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Jacqueline Allen

Alfred Whitwell Machine Guns Corps

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Jacqueline Allen

Hi I am researching where Alfred Whitwell might have been during WW1.  He is my husband’s grandfather. He never wanted to talk about the war.  So Andrew knows nothing about his war.  I have been following my grandfathers footsteps Alfred Hensher who was also in the machine gun corps and we have been travelling through the WW1 battle fields in France Havrincourt Hermes Albert Bapaume Inchy ending up in the town of Bachant where my Grandfather delivered the armistice message as he was a signaller.  So obviously we wondered if we could track Alfred Whitwell as well.  If any of you good people could suggest what I should do.?  Sadbrewer on this forum has sent me a copy of Alfred Whitwell’ s medal record and suggested I Start a new thread.  His number is 160251.

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Mark1959

Medal roll indicates discharged to Z reserve 4/6/19. His papers appear not to have survived

Edited by Mark1959

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kenf48

Pte Whitwell was compulsorily transferred to the MGC in the U.K. in June 1918, between 18th and 22nd June. Training for the MGC was a minimum of six weeks so the earliest he would have gone to France would have been August 1918.

 

In the absence of a service record or other corroboration it is difficult to trace members of the MGC in France.  They were posted to the Base Depot at Camiers and from there posted to an active service Battalion where they were most needed.

 

You have not given us his age, nor where he lived.  It is likely he was transferred from a reserve unit of another Regiment, in all likliehood the Royal West Surrey.  You could try the Absent Voter List for the Electoral District where he lived, or he may have a pension card.  Many of these young men re-enlisted after the war, a bounty was paid and they were allocated another, seven digit number.  If they served after 1920 their record may still be available at the MOD.

 

Apart from that his relatively short period of active service may remain a mystery.

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Jacqueline Allen

Thank you he was born in 1892 but not sure100% as he was in the poor house before being adopted.....And he came from Hull

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Jacqueline Allen

My grandfather went to war  to the front when he was just 18 in 1917 but Alfred Whitwell was older so I expected he would have been in the war from the beginning.....

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Jacqueline Allen

What is a bounty?  Is it money for signing up again? 

If he was only there for a short time why did he get medals? And I guess my grandpa would have got one too? 

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sadbrewer

In the 1939 census his birth date is shown as June 1st, 1892. His wife is Mabel, b September 29th, 1900.

They were at 8 Trenton Avenue, Hull.

 

Edit...appears to be Mabel Sanderson...they married in the June quarter of 1919.

Edited by sadbrewer

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kenf48
1 hour ago, Jacqueline Allen said:

What is a bounty?  Is it money for signing up again? 

If he was only there for a short time why did he get medals? And I guess my grandpa would have got one too? 

 

Yes, the peacetime Army still needed soldiers across the Empire, younger men were encouraged to sign up for one, two or three years and were paid a bounty for doing so, the amount commensurate with the terms of service.

 

I suggest you look at the Long Long Trail for how to research a soldier

 

This section https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/soldiers/how-to-research-a-soldier/campaign-medal-records/the-british-campaign-medals-for-the-great-war/

explains the campaign medals. Pte Whitwell like Pte Hensher, the subject of your other post was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal as indicated on the Medal index card above.

 

We don’t know when Pte Whitwell enlisted/was conscripted.  He may have been granted an occupational exemption from military service by the local Tribunal.  In the absence of a service record details of service at home are difficult to trace.

 

Incidentally, men were not posted on active service overseas until age 19;  in March 1918 the Government sent men aged eighteen and a half with six months training to the Front but this policy was for a short period.  Elsewhere men were posted from Home Service units into the MGC and other active service Battalions to make up the losses from the German Spring Offensive in March. 

 

The AVL for Hull has survived so the 1918 List May give his previous unit. See this thread

Unfortunately forum pal ‘Joseph’ has not visited us since 2014

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sadbrewer
2 hours ago, Jacqueline Allen said:

Thank you he was born in 1892 but not sure100% as he was in the poor house before being adopted.....And he came from Hull

 

He had a sister Ethel May b 1896, and a brother Frank, b1895.

Their mothers maiden name was Oxtoby.

Edit..a Walter Whitwell married Alice Oxtoby in Hull in December 1891.

 

Edit 2...Alice Whitwell is in the Hull City Lunatic Asylum in 1901.

  Walter Whitwell dies in 1900.

Edited by sadbrewer

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