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Remembered Today:

Herbert Leonard Andrews


ClareA

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Hello. I can’t work out if these three records all belong to my Grandfather. And I can’t work out where he was or what regiment from his cap badge. See photo. I think my dad said he didn’t actually go to war but I’ve seen beautiful cards that he sent my grandma do I think he must have been posted somewhere. I think he must have worked with horses , a ASC Remounter perhaps? One of the men is dressed as a jockey. Any info would be great!! Thanks in advance 

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Hi,

 

The Medal Index Cards you have posted are for three quite different men and I don't think they relate to your relative. If he only served in the UK then he would not have qualified for any Service Medals and so there would be no need for a Medal Index Card.

 

I believe the capbadge they are wearing is that of the The Queens, (Royal West Surrey Regiment), in the Great War era. I found this image on the British Military Badges website.

551168520_TheQuuensRoyalWestSurreyRegimentWW1CapBagesourcedBritishMedalForum.jpg.1df422899a8930bb4e3720e3bdabaf55.jpg

 

There were a number of Battalions of The Queens who served in the UK only, and I believe later in the war some were rebadged into the Labour Corps.

https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-british-infantry-regiments-of-1914-1918/queens-royal-west-surrey-regiment/

 

Do you know anything more about Herbert, like when and where he was born - I'm assuming you've been unable to find any service records, (over 60% were completely lost in the Blitz and much of what has survived is fire damaged). With a bit more personal information on him it may be possible to tease out some details about which unit(s) he might have served in and where.

 

Cheers,

Peter

 

 

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Hello Peter

thanks for your response. I’ve now discounted those three records. I now know his service number was 18554. He originally joined up in June 1917 to the Labour Corps and then the Queens. He was wounded on 5th Sept 2017. Id life to know which battalion he was in and where he was posted. He was born in Sept 1988, Herbert Leonard Andrews. Can you help at all? Thanks in advance 

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12 hours ago, ClareA said:

Id life to know which battalion he was in and where he was posted. He was born in Sept 1988, Herbert Leonard Andrews.

 

Hi,

 

I don't have access to Ancestry beyond a basic free account and I can't find the same record on FindMyPast, but looks to me that the service record you have found for a Herbert Leonard Andrews who enlisted on the 25th June 1917 when he was two days short of his 29th Birthday, and the details for Herbert Andrews, 18554 The Queens & 637675 Labour Corps, relate to two different individuals.

 

The service record is for a married man from Willesden who goes straight into the Labour Corps. While his wife could have moved, or died, there is no other obvious link to the wounded man in The Queens whose next of kin lived at Shooters Hill. Herbert Andrews also seems to have followed the more common route of serving in a front line unit, being wounded, recovering but wasn't found fit enough for Front Line service again and wasn't disabled enough to be discharged, and so was posted to the Labour Corps. His Medal Index card shows that last unit he served with, and so the unit that issued his medals, was the Labour Corps.

 

So going back a step, what do you know about the Herbert Leonard Andrews you are interested in? If you know anything definate about where and when he was born, who his parents are, whether he married, where he lived, even when he died, or anything like that, then that would be a good place to start.

 

Cheers,

Peter

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Hello Peter

my grandfather was born in 1888 and the battered old bit of paper has his correct details. He was married to my grandma and lived at the address given.

i too thought the Shooters Hill reference was very odd!

 

i am now wondering if there is a chance the man in the photo isn’t my grandfather??? The Queens Regiment clue comes from his cap badge.

 

i need to find another photo of my grandfather to be sure. 
 

he died in 1930 but I can’t find a death certificate online and none in my papers. Only a funeral director’s invoice!! And my dad who was born in 1920 said his dad died when he was a young boy.

 

so maybe the photo is a red herring?!?! But I was told it was my grandfather. 
 

sadly my dad has died so I can’t ask him. And I don’t think I have any other photos 

 

do you think we can find out anything more? 
 

thanks

 

clare 

Edited by ClareA
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3 hours ago, ClareA said:

my grandfather was born in 1888 and the battered old bit of paper has his correct details. He was married to my grandma and lived at the address given.

i too thought the Shooters Hill reference was very odd!

 

i am now wondering if there is a chance the man in the photo isn’t my grandfather??? The Queens Regiment clue comes from his cap badge

 

do you think we can find out anything more?

 

17 hours ago, ClareA said:

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Hi Clare,

 

Looking at that there are 10 more pages of his service record, so hopefully someone with access to Ancestry can take a look. Don't discount that he may have gone from the 301st Reserve Labour Company into one of the Labour Companies that was rebadged from The Queens (Royal West Surrey Regiment).

 

The Labour Corps struggled to establish any kind of esprit d' corps and those members that had previously served with a 'named' regiment frequently chose to retain their old cap badge. I've come across examples of men who have died during their time in the Labour Corps and their headstone makes no reference to that Corps at all.

 

BTW - You may want to watch this pictorial newsreel thats on the Imperial War Museum website. Looks like it dates from 1918 and one of the items is the 301st Reserve Labour Company sportsday at Carshalton, (which I believe was still then regarded as being in Surrey). Can't quite make out the cap badges but you may spot your grandfather!

https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/1060005457

 

The birth of a Herbert Leonard Andrews, mothers' maiden name Hunt, was registered with the Civil Authorities in the Paddington District of London in the July to September quarter, (Q3), of 1888.  You had 42 days after the event to register this birth, which was then shown in the quarter registered, not the quarter born. So a birth registered in Q3 1888 could quite legally have been born at the end of June, which is what his enlistment form is saying.

 

On the 1891 Census of England & Wales the 2 year Herbert L. Andrews, born Paddington, was recorded living at Omnibus Companys Yard, Paddington. This was the household of his parents Francis J, (aged 34, a Bus Yard Foreman, born Paddington) and Lizzie M., (aged 32, born Paddington). The couple have three other children, Emma, (10, born Marylebone), Percy F, (8, born Hampestead(?), London), and Bessie A., (4, born Paddington).

 

By the time of the 1901 Census of England & Wales mother Lizzie has died and the family were recorded living at 4 Queens Arms Yard, Maida Vale, Paddington. Father Francis, (44). is an Omnibus Washer, Of the children, Percy F, (18, born Hampstead), is a horsekeeper, plus there is Bessie A, (14), Herbert L, (12), Elsie J, (9, born Paddington), Lottie F, (5, born Willesden) and Cissey G, (3, born Paddington). Also boarding in the household is a 32 year old widow Harriet A. Norris, and (probably) her two children.

 

Francis and the younger children all seem to be missing from the 1911 Census of England and Wales.

 

The marriage of a Herbert L Andrews to a Katherine Green was recorded in the Willesden registration district in the October to December quarter, (Q4), of 1915. (Ancestry have publicly indexed that the service record shows he was married to a ?rine Green at Willesden)

 

Looking at the quarterly index of births in England & Wales looks like possibly they had children in Q1 1917 and Q3 1920 - so both probably outside the time he would have been serving in the Army. If they'd had children while he was serving then the birth certificates would have shown at a minimum his rank and regiment \ corps and sometimes much more.

 

Death was registered in the Willesden District in the April to June quarter, (Q2), of 1930, aged 41. No obvious Civil Probate so can't be too precise but would appear to have been before his birthday at the end of June.

 

Apologies if you know all the civil record stuff already.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Peter

 

 

Edited by PRC
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I don't want to go off on a tangent as there are several HL Andrews mentioned but is this the correct wife and address please?

image.png.2735ed52233e71b4f921e9c39647d96c.png

 

George

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Hello Peter....yes those civil details are correct. Thanks for checking for me. My great grandfather lived to a ripe old age. I wanted to know what my grandfather died of as he was only 41. can’t find a death certificate.

 

Hello George. Yes that is my grandfather’s wife. In which case that must be his record? 

 

Do you both think that could be a photo of him then even though he is wearing a Queen’s Regiment cap badge ?!? Looks like he ended up in the East Kent Regiment as you say. Did they merge into the Queens Reg? I will check. 
 

when it says ‘posted’ can you tell where to? Was it just in the UK? 

 

i see he was demobbed in Dec 1919. My dad was born in Sept 1920!! 
 

thanks so much for trying to help me. I really appreciate it

 

regards

Clare


 

 

 

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Peter (PRC) has cracked this I believe.  The subject seems to have been in one of the “infantry labour companies” that were formed earlier in the war (the 301st).  They wore the cap badge of their regiment, in this case the Queen’s, but were simply given the number of the company as their unit title, which often causes confusion.  Later on the Labour Corps was formed from all the infantry labour companies merged with their equivalent labour units of the Army Service Corps, and the Royal Engineers.  Initially the new Labour Corps formed from all these sub units wore the General Service coat of arms cap badge. Towards the end of the war they were at last given their own special badge.  This last badge, worn only for a short time, was used again in WW2 as the badge for the Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps, which took on the role of the old Labour Corps for that next conflict.

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Edited by FROGSMILE
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10 minutes ago, ClareA said:

Do you both think that could be a photo of him then even though he is wearing a Queen’s Regiment cap badge ?!? Looks like he ended up in the East Kent Regiment as you say. Did they merge into the Queens Reg? I will check. 
 

when it says ‘posted’ can you tell where to? Was it just in the UK? 

 

Clare,

 

The East Kent Regiment and The Queens (Royal West Surrey Regiment) remained separate Regiments. He certainly moved around during his 25 months in the Army but as far as I can tell all of his service was in the UK. There are some Labour Corps experts here, ( @Gardenerbill perhaps), who might be able to say whether any of them them had a link to the Queens or even just what many of them are - the damage down the left hand edge doesn't help. If Herbert was posted to them wearing a General Service Cap Badge he might well have been chucked one for the Queens cap badges and told to put it on.

 

Thanks to @George Rayner for posting that statement of his services and glad we could help,

 

Cheers,

Peter

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THANK YOU ALL SO VERY MUCH!!! 
I am satisfied it is him in the photo and that he remained in the UK. Not the most illustrious army stories! Nevermind. I am sure he did his bit!! 
happy and healthy lives to you all

kindest regards 

Clare x

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9 hours ago, ClareA said:

THANK YOU ALL SO VERY MUCH!!! 
I am satisfied it is him in the photo and that he remained in the UK. Not the most illustrious army stories! Nevermind. I am sure he did his bit!! 
happy and healthy lives to you all

kindest regards 

Clare x

 


Clare, one of the roles he carried out was in so-called ‘Employment Companies’, and these contained the men necessary to form the administrative infrastructure of a static unit, or a formation headquarters.  Cooks, potmen, laundrymen, officers servants and grooms, etc. to mention just a few.

 

Reading down the left hand edge of his service record as posted by George it’s possible to read some of his movements and for one it reads RFC Rochford with the abbreviation H.D. This relates to the Home Defence Squadrons set up to deal with German bombing raids on Britain.

 

“These squadrons, eleven in all, began to come into operation from January 1916.  One of the squadrons, 37 (Home Defence) Squadron Royal Flying Corps, was formed in September 1916 with its headquarters at Woodham Mortimer and its three flights located at three separate, and newly built, aerodromes in Essex: Rochford, Stow Maries and Goldhanger.

Its mission was to provide air defence on the eastern approaches to London.”

 

Throughout his service he is posted between employment companies, which are abbreviated in the left hand column as E.C. and labour companies that appear as L.C. or on one occasion  L Coy.  Then a column to the right gives the number of his company, which usually has three digits, although for one short period he spent some time at the ‘Depot’.  He clearly had a role in the war, and as you say did his bit, but his medical grading must in some way have restricted him to home service only.

Companies he served with include: 301st, 363, 597(?), 198, back to 363, Depot, 576, 389.  Then to ‘D’ (Depot) for transfer to Z Reserve and discharge.

Many of the companies and what they did are recorded in the book ‘No Labour, no Battle’, by Ivor Lee and John Starling.

 

Picture of Rochford Aerodrome from fineartamerica.com

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Edited by FROGSMILE
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Thank you for this information. I’m going to get hold of the book you referred to. 
I wonder what medical grade he was. He died at 41 Which is why I wanted to see his death certificate.

 

thanks again everyone. It’s been great!!

 

Best wishes

clare xx

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My memory says B2 but I will need to check for certainty

 

George

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Hi Clare,

I have some knowledge of the Labour Corps, but I am by no means an expert but I do have the book 'No Labour No Battle'. Here is some information from the appendixes at the back of the book that may help:

 

Labour Corps numbers 170141 to 357600 were allocated June to September 1917 - so if I read it correctly from the service page posted by Frogsmile his number 249195 is in that range so fits with a late June enlistment date.

 

I can't see any link to the Queens, the 13th was the Queens Labour battalion and it was split into 2 labour companies 93 and 94 when the Labour Corps was formed in March 1917.

 

The 301st was formed in May 1917 as a Reserve Employment Company it's location is given as Thetford (Employment) and Sutton (Agriculture) this will be explained further in the book.

 

363 has has the same details as 301 (R Emp Thetford and Sutton)

 

597 was formed autumn 1917 as an Employment company based at Warley (there's a Warley near Brentford in Essex)

 

198 is a bit of an anomaly, all the other companies were home service, however 198 was an overseas company formed from PB (men no longer fit for front line duty) and Bantams (men whose height was less than the original minimum height requirement for enlistment in the  the Army.

 

I would also recommend 'No Labour No Battle' as it will give you the background to the creation of the Labour Corps and the detail of what the various types of companies did. 

 

 

 

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That’s great info. Thank you Gardenerbill! 
I guess they just wore any hat and badge until their own were sorted out. 
I am sure it is him in the photo because he looks exactly like my nephew!! 
move ordered the book!
Have a lovely day

Clare x

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1 hour ago, ClareA said:

That’s great info. Thank you Gardenerbill! 
I guess they just wore any hat and badge until their own were sorted out. 
I am sure it is him in the photo because he looks exactly like my nephew!! 
move ordered the book!
Have a lovely day

Clare x


Clare, the only thing I would add is that if you are relatively sure that your photo is your grandfather (family resemblance and the likelihood of it being anyone else) then don’t rule out that he may have started with a Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment battalion, or even Queen’s labour company unit initially, before moving to the Labour Corps.  There is something odd because his first unit recorded on the service record is very clearly laid out as the 5th Battalion of the Labour Corps, and his deemed enlistment date is 25th June 1917 (“called up for service”).  Questions in my mind are, where was he before that?  And if that really was his very first unit, who are the group of men in your photo all wearing the Queen’s cap badge, might they have been a draft of men graded B2 sent by the Queen’s to help form the 5th Battalion Labour Corps initially, and still wearing their Queen’s insignia.  However, if he enlisted previously with the Queen’s as either, a volunteer, or a conscript, then it ought to be shown on his service record.  The only other scenario that I can think of is him being enlisted originally with the Queen’s, discharged subsequently as unfit, (or needed in a category of special civil employment), but later called up under the Military Service Act, when a use was found for every able man within set medical categories.  This would mean though that he had another military record, and that might have been destroyed/lost.  Did he have any brothers that might have served in the Queen’s?

Edited by FROGSMILE
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2 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

Clare, the only thing I would add is that if you are relatively sure that your photo is your grandfather (family resemblance and the likelihood of it being anyone else) then don’t rule out that he may have started with a Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment battalion, or even Queen’s labour company unit initially, before moving to the Labour Corps.

 

His Record of Service Page, (equivalent to an Attestation by the look of it), has him stating no previous military service. His Trade or Calling of Washhouse Man would seem unlikely to have got him a deferment, so prime theory would be health. By June 1917 I believe the medical standards were already dropping \ being redefined, so a B2 then might have been very different to his original assessment if the army attempted to call him up previously.

 

4 hours ago, ClareA said:

He died at 41 Which is why I wanted to see his death certificate.

 

Clare

 

You can get a copy of the death certificate from the GRO. They were experimenting with doing a low-cost pdf version of the BMD certificates for genealogy purposes only, and from the comments made on the forum when it was trialled it looked like they only told you that was an option when you got to the checkout stage. I have no personal experience of the process so apologies if that is not still the case, but might be worth a look. https://www.gov.uk/order-copy-birth-death-marriage-certificate

 

I think the information you need is:-

 

827282790_HerbertLAndrewsFreeBMDdeathrecord.jpg.7a514a0107a181055eca365d51fbb888.jpg

(Courtesy Free BMD)

 

Hope that helps,

Peter

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It would seem then that the man in the Queen's cap badge is most likely another member of the family.

 

Wash-house-man made him a prime candidate for the employment companies.  Square peg, square hole.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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27 minutes ago, FROGSMILE said:

It would seem then that the man in the Queen's cap badge is most likely another member of the family.

 

Good thought. Frederick only had one other brother, Percy R. Andrews that I could identify in the Census record. No MiC for a Percy Andews serving with the Royal West Surreys, and no MiC for a Percy R. Andrews serving with any unit. Would take a fair amount of family history legwork to go looking for cousins.

 

Peter

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12 minutes ago, PRC said:

 

Good thought. Frederick only had one other brother, Percy R. Andrews that I could identify in the Census record. No MiC for a Percy Andews serving with the Royal West Surreys, and no MiC for a Percy R. Andrews serving with any unit. Would take a fair amount of family history legwork to go looking for cousins.

 

Peter


Thanks Peter.  I’m still a bit suspicious that something obscure has been missed regarding the grandfather himself.  The OP seemed quite definite that it was him and if so there has to be an explanation, no matter how obscure.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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Thanks everyone!

Yes it does feel like something is not adding up here. But I was told by my mum and dad it was a photo of my grandfather. 
The  only other person it could be, as you say looking at birthdates, is Percy (discounted)

 

i do have a cousin who might have a photo of our Grandad. I will get in contact with him. It’s a long shot but if I can at least confirm it is him it will help solve some of the mystery 

 

will let your know!!
 

Thanks  again

Clare

 

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