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Bill'sgrandaughter

Help needed please - Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort´s Own) Regiment Number:S/24364

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Bill'sgrandaughter
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hi All, [IMG] 
 
Hi All, 
 
I am a newbie to the forum, I am trying to locate my G.Grandfather's war records - I have a photo attached. His name was Thomas Arthur Grubb. He was from the Camberwell area. 
 
The only record I can find is for Pte S/24364 and is his medal record - I can't locate any other info to confirm it is my Thomas - any one have any ideas??
Details on record:
 
Private
Company: WO 329
Regiment or Corps: Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort´s Own)
Regiment Number: S/24364
Medal Awarded: British War Medal and Victory Medal
 
I would be grateful for any pointers.
 
Kind Regards, 
 
Jo

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Polar Bear

Firstly, welcome to the Forum.

 

Secondly, the man in the picture certainly looks to be Rifle Brigade of the appropriate period. Beyond that you may already know that many service records for WW1 era soldiers were destroyed by German bombing during the second world war. You may however get lucky and if you haven't already I would look here:

 

https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/soldiers/how-to-research-a-soldier/how-to-find-a-soldiers-service-record/

 

Hope this helps,

 

P

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Bill'sgrandaughter

Many Thanks P, I'll check it out.

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kenf48

There is a POW record for Thomas Arthur Grubb Rfmn S/24364 C Company 2nd Rifle Brigade b.18.3.1878 wife E.Grubb 4 Caldew Street Addington Square Camberwell S.E.5. Taken 30 March 1918

 

 

Oddly there is a second POW reference that shows him as 2nd Berks same number; same next of kin different regiment

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Bill'sgrandaughter

Hi Ken, 

 

That's him!!! I know by the address - How did you find that?

 

I just spoke to a cousin and he was a POW - Oh what was the other regiment please?

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kenf48

Medal entitlement, British War Medal and Victory Medal only, means he did not go to France until after 31st December 1915.  Medal Roll confirms his active service was with the 2nd Bn. Rifle Brigade.  The 2nd (Royal) Berkshires is probably a typo that got lost in translation.

 

I found it on Find My Past but you can see it for free on the ICRC site https://grandeguerre.icrc.org/

can be tricky to navigate enter surname first

 

The service record of 24367 Crow has survived and shows he attested under the Derby or Group Scheme in December 1915, mobilised and posted to the Rifle Brigade 14 July 1916 and on the 20th of July posted to the 5th Battalion on the Isle of Sheppey on the 20th.  He went to France in November which is where his record diverges from Grubb in that he was pposted to the 1st Battalion and wounded.  He returned to France and was posted to the 2nd Battalion and was killed on the 24th March 1918 (Battle of Saint Quentin).

 

24365 Partridge was  called up for service on the 14th July 1916, he had previous service with the RB including active service in France in 1914.

 

24351 called up and mobilised to the RB 14 July 1916 so we now have a number series for that date which 'brackets' Pte S/24364 Grubb and confirms he too was called up on that date.  We don't know when he first joined the 2nd  Bn but most of his contemporaries were posted to active service Battalions and went overseas in November 1916.  The war diary for the 2nd Battalion which is on Ancestry or can currently be downloaded for free from TNA here if you register (you will need to download two sections) shows a draft of 180 other ranks arriving on the 5th November 1916 which would be about right if there was no impediment to overseas service.

 

Basic genealogical information, age marital status etc provides other clues to his service.

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Bill'sgrandaughter

Opps where's my manner - first thing I should have said was thank you.

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Bill'sgrandaughter
3 minutes ago, kenf48 said:

Hi Ken,

The first one isn't correct he didn't die.

 

However, family story says - he had cramp and left foxhole only to watch it be blown up - it was then he was taken prisoner - he lived up to 1960. His wife was told he was KIA but this wasn't the case. So could still be the correct person?

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kenf48
1 minute ago, Bill'sgrandaughter said:

The first one isn't correct he didn't die.

 As previously noted at post 2 his service record was weeded by the Luftwaffe when they bombed the warehouse where they were stored in 1940.

It is estimated only about one fifth survive (the burned records).

 

Therefore we try to piece together his service from surviving records

so

24351 called up for service  and numbered to the Rifle Brigade 14 July 1916 and posted to 5th Bn

24364 called up for service and numbered to the Rifle Brigade  ????

24365 called up for service and numbered to the Rifle Brigade 14 July 1916 and posted to 5th Bn

24367 called up for service and numbered to the Rifle Brigade 14 July 1916 and posted to 5th Bn

 

You must make your own interpretation but I believe there is little doubt over the date he was mobilised to the Rifle Brigade.

The medal roll shows Pte Grubb only served with the 2nd Battalion who were badly mauled during Operation Michael the German Spring Offensive March 1918.  Although the ICRC record says 'taken' 30th March I suspect this was hen he was processed. The Battalion lost over 350 officers and men on the 24th and 25th March killed, wounded or missing.  This probably represented nearly half their strength.

 

You will need further research to find records of the 180 men in the draft which joined the  2nd Battalion in November 1916 to piece together his service further.

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Bill'sgrandaughter

I see, I understand what you mean now. Many Thanks. A confirmation of his service no is more than I had when I started, so at least I've made some progress.

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kenf48

I'm sure the Rifle Brigade experts will be along soon to help you further, nice picture to have btw

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Bill'sgrandaughter

Thank you. He does look very at home in his uniform. 

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Pat Atkins

Just in case the navigation of the ICRC website defeats you as it has me on occasion (I still struggle with it, despite having used it several times), his POW card gives the 2nd RB details and his wife's address just as ken48 said, then an update which says "According to letter of 20.8.18 is a prisoner (no negative)"; I think this just means that his POW status wasn't contradicted from any other source e.g. regimental returns or whatever.

 

The 2 Berkshire Regt details have been added in a slightly cramped hand at the bottom, below a pencilled line. Again as ken48 says, this probably reflects a typo somewhere down the line; a conscientious clerk has included it on Rfmn Grubb's card. Unlike some cards, this doesn't contain any reference numbers to existing records which might have told us more about his captivity.

 

In my experience knowing which company a man served in, as well as his battalion, is a bit of a bonus, and might help in piecing together e.g. the circumstances of his capture. Good luck in your research.

 

Cheers, Pat

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Pat Atkins

Actually, I'll post an image of the POW card here, courtesy of the ICRC (website: grandeguerre.icrc.org) in case others can glean more - there's a bit of writing at the very bottom I couldn't make much of.

image.png.633292f222d9b171d6b22b1f851b2845.png

 

Edit: I believe posting this image conforms to Forum rules on copyright - I think "fair dealing" covers it. If I'm wrong, apologies and I'll remove it immediately, of course.

Edited by Pat Atkins

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FROGSMILE

The last sentences read:

 

Taken [POW] 30-3-18 hagnicourt [location?] unwounded. arrived from Helson [?] at Friedrichsfeld.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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Pat Atkins

Better eyes than me - thanks, Frogsmile. C Company, 2nd RB and Hagnicourt might be worth a look, perhaps.

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FROGSMILE
4 minutes ago, Pat Atkins said:

Better eyes than me - thanks, Frogsmile. C Company, 2nd RB and Hagnicourt might be worth a look, perhaps.


Yes, I think that’s the sum of it.  Not sure what Helson / Herson [?] refers to.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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Pat Atkins

Just going through the War Diary now - on 25th March 1918 some 80 men of 2nd RB were engaged in an action at LICOURT with about 160 men of - 2nd Royal Berkshire Regt. The attack went badly and 2nd RB ended up as the rearguard of a retirement, eventually to the line of the HYENCOURT-MARCHELEPOT railway. About 50 ORs killed, wounded or missing. I'm wondering about Hyencourt/Hagnicourt, also the possibility that on what seems to have been a pretty chaotic day Rfmn Grubb might have been taken prisoner and initially erroneously recorded as 2nd Berkshires instead of as 2nd RB. Having said that, this is just speculation of course.

 

Edit: the WD states the rest of the battalion was in trenches west of MORCHAIN; it was attacked and scattered, retiring NW. HQ paty held on at LICOURT, then retired eventually to the railway line. Hyencourt-le-Petit and Hyencourt-le-Grand are in the vicinity of all this.

Edited by Pat Atkins

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Michelle Young

Is it Gagnicourt  could be Cagnicourt 

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FROGSMILE
43 minutes ago, Michelle Young said:

Is it Gagnicourt  could be Cagnicourt 


I think you’re right Michelle, good spot.  It did seem odd for the word to start off with a lower case letter.  There is a Hagnicourt, but it’s way up North in the Ardennes.  Cagnicourt it is methinks.  Assuming that all annotation is by the same hand, he/she renders a ‘G’ differently according to other examples at the top of the card.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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headgardener
1 hour ago, FROGSMILE said:


Not sure what Helson / Herson [?] refers to.

 

It's the French town(?) of Hirson. It was the site of a German hospital and a POW camp - ostensibly a transit camp, but I believe it was also a source of prisoners who were employed as labourers behind the lines (all very much against the rules, but a subject that has been covered on the forum previously I think). 

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FROGSMILE
3 minutes ago, headgardener said:

 

It's the French town(?) of Hirson. It was the site of a German hospital and a POW camp - ostensibly a transit camp, but I believe it was also a source of prisoners who were employed as labourers behind the lines (all very much against the rules, but a subject that has been covered on the forum previously I think). 


Excellent, that all fits together neatly then.

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HTSCF Fareham

A quick tweak of the photo.

 

image.png.b013b51ed18dc2197d2b227445b81cb5.png

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headgardener

A couple more things to add from the ICRC records.....

He was part of a large group of men who arrived at Friedrichsfeld directly from Hirson on, the list appears to indicate, 4 Aug 1918. If you see my earlier post (#21, above) this suggests that he was held at Hirson for about 3 to 4 months and may have been forced to work behind the German lines during that time in contravention of the Geneva Convention on POW’s - I think the Germans put prisoners to work in the French and Belgian fields gathering crops, but maybe someone else can provide a bit more detail on that. The Germans took a phenomenal amount of prisoners during the March 1918 offensive, so there would have been an enormous backlog in processing them and sending them back to camps in Germany. Further to that, the tide of the war swung against them and they probably had more pressing matters to attend to than processing allied POW’s.

EDIT: that’s partly why his wife (and countless other wives and families) will have been led to understand that their husbands or sons were dead. 3 to 4 months is a long time to wait without hearing if the man was alive or dead.

Edited by headgardener

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Michelle Young

The location where he was taken prisoner might also be Lagnicourt 

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