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Remembered Today:

Pte Stephen David Morris: Welch Regiment 45356; Cheshire Regiment 52753


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I'm trying to find out information about my Great Uncle, Stephen David Morris (photo attached). I have found some documents but don't have the full picture.

 

Short Service Attestation of No 52753 Stephen D Morris, The Cheshire Regiment dated 9/12/1915 at Porth.

Certified 24/3/1916 at Cardiff.

 

 

On this document there was also a number 45356 crossed out and Welsh Regiment hand written above the printed Cheshire Regiment.  (see attached)

 

I don't know what this means. Was he in the Welsh Regiment first with a different number? If so, when did he first enlist? And which regiment was he in?

 

Stephen died on 8 Jun 1918 at 53 Casualty Clearing Centre. Where was this?

 

His remains are buried at Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension Nord III C292 (is this the grave location in the cemetery?)

 

If anyone can provide further information, I'd be very grateful and interested.

 

Thank you.

 

Pte Stephen David Morris.JPG

30972_176824-00709.jpg

Private S D Morris - CWGC Certificate.pdf

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Soldiers Died shows that he was born at Abergorlech, Glam.  Enlisted at Porth, Glam and lived at Tylorstown, Glam. 

 

it also shows that he was formerly 45356 Welsh Regiment.  So he enlisted into the Welsh Regiment, then transferred to the Cheshire Regiment.  The service papers should tell you more, 

III.C.292 

 

is Plot 3, Row C, Grave 292 

 

 

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Hi there,

 

Which website did you find that attestation on? There are more pages, and they show that he went to France with the 21st Welsh Regiment 28/6/1916, but was attached to 11th Cheshires 13/7/1916, and transferred to them 1/9/1916.

 

 

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The 53rd Casualty Clearing Station was stationed at Bailleul from 23rd July 1917 to 28th March 1918.  It was known as North Midland C.C.S 

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Thanks @Chesterboyand @IPT 

You've been very helpful.

I've looked at the extra pages and that explains a lot. I think my sister found the info on Ancestry.co.uk. 

Was it common to be transferred to other regiments?

When the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, I will go to Bailleul to pay my respects. 

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21 hours ago, Sallyjane said:

Thanks @Chesterboyand @IPT 

You've been very helpful.

I've looked at the extra pages and that explains a lot. I think my sister found the info on Ancestry.co.uk. 

Was it common to be transferred to other regiments?

When the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, I will go to Bailleul to pay my respects. 


Sally, are you aware that the cap badge he is wearing in the photo you posted is that of the Welsh Regiment?

 

There were a number of reasons why men were transferred between regiments.  Sometimes battalions had such heavy casualties that they were no longer effective and if the system for reinforcing them from Britain was no longer sustainable then they were broken up and remnants sent to other battalions of the same regiment or different regiments altogether.  This happened a lot at the end of 1917 and into the Summer of 1918.  
Also, after the Somme battles that commenced in July 1916, reconstition measures led to some men being transferred to bring other units back up to strength.  
By far the most common circumstances though were after a man had been wounded, sent home to recover, and then upon return to France sent to a different regiment via the infantry base depots (IBDs) that processed reinforcements.

Before the military service act that introduced compulsory conscription in 1916, men would volunteer on enlistment to join a particular regiment, but after that date they were enlisted for ‘general service’ and this enabled the army to send men where they were needed at any time deemed necessary.  As well as men moving between different infantry battalions it also led to fit men from the support arms of the army being compulsorily transferred to the infantry in order to provide battle casualty replacements.  
Some extremely unlucky men were initially in the infantry, wounded and on recovery sent to a support arm, only then to be retransferred to the infantry in 1918 and killed.  It was something of a lottery. 

FDC760ED-33AD-4522-A3A8-798FD011C21E.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE
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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
15 hours ago, Chesterboy said:

Soldiers Died shows that he was born at Abergorlech, Glam.  

Can you post an image?

Abergorlech is a rural village in Carmarthenshire, quite a journey in those days to the Rhonddas, although lots of country Boys left home to go and work in the coal mines.

Could it be Aber... something else?

Abergorki, Abercwmboi or similar?

 

Edit, just seen he was the son of the Black Ox, Abergwili, Carmarthen, so that fits with Abergorlech, Carms.

As it happens, I shall be driving past the Black Ox later, and have several happy memories of pleasant evenings spent there many years ago. My last pub meal before lockdown was an excellent Sunday lunch there.

S D Morris is commemorated on the Abergwili War Memorial which is situated just a stone's throw away from the Black Ox. (You can see the pub sign behind the parked cars up the road).

 

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.8659689,-4.2696699,3a,30y,61.14h,89.74t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1szN5m4dyJXIb8nptlzuZINQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

 

 

Edited by Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
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Thanks @FROGSMILE - really fascinating information. It helps build a picture of some of the experiences G Uncle Stephen possibly went through. The badge picture is great. Thank you.

 

A coincidence, @Dai Bach y Sowldiwr. We were in the pub a few weeks ago when doing some research. We found Stephen's memorial in the Ebenezer Chapel graveyard but completely missed the war memorial (a real omission - very embarrassed!). Agree the food in the Black Ox is lovely. My dad was born there (upstairs) in 1928 to Stephen's sister Gertrude. She had married Dan Griffiths who became chauffeur to the Bishop of St Davids and lived at 39 High Street, Abergwili until his death in 1964.

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Sallyjane

There are 4/5 pension records on Western Front Association/Fold3

Stephen's date of death from wounds is given as 8 June 1917 [which matches CWGC] - a typo may have crept into your original post

 

2 hours ago, Sallyjane said:

Black Ox is lovely. My dad was born there (upstairs) in 1928 to Stephen's sister Gertrude. She had married Dan Griffiths

There is one pension card which names his parents: Anne, and then Richard (in 1931), at the Black Ox and it also gives at a seemingly later date a Nominee:- Gertrude GRIFFITHS.

:-) M

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
6 hours ago, Sallyjane said:

@Dai Bach y Sowldiwr the Black Ox is lovely. My dad was born there (upstairs) in 1928 to Stephen's sister Gertrude. She had married Dan Griffiths who became chauffeur to the Bishop of St Davids and lived at 39 High Street, Abergwili until his death in 1964.

Chauffering for the Bishop fits, the Bishop's Palace is just  another 100 yards beyond the pub. It's Carmarthen Museum now.

 

Here you go,

Some fresh, almost live images of Abergwili, taken less than 2 hrs ago:

image.jpeg.0dc194c97af0b97406cb0ad7279dc30c.jpeg

 

image.jpeg.d74ad2b1ff2e5022e477170055540d4e.jpeg

 

image.jpeg.f9ee1330dbd9360efabeaf7c290fb24c.jpeg

 

image.jpeg.789dabd6281cb3a9f6b01b068d6d05ec.jpeg

 

Edited by Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

This is probably his birth registration, don't be put off by the Lampeter Registration District.

Although Lampeter is in Ceredigion (then Cardiganshire), the district then covered parts of North Carmarthenshire, including Llanfihangel Rhosycorn, which includes Abergorlech.

Births Dec 1891   (>99%)
MORRIS  Stephen David    Lampeter  11b 27
Edited by Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Sallyjane,

 

If you don't already have it, the war diary for the 11/Cheshires,  is available as a free download (after registration) from the National Archives - link.  It is very unlikely to mention Stephen by name though. It might also be worth getting a copy of the Brigade HQ, and the Division HQ (General Staff) diaries as they often contain 'extras' that add more context to the lower level Battalion diary. At the National Archives ,for the time of his death, they are here, and here. If there are any map references, there is help on how to read them here.

 

If you would like a digital image of his resting place, it looks like British War Graves would be able to send you one (on a free of charge basis).

 

Regards

Chris

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That's great - thank you for taking the trouble to help me understand more about what Stephen might have experienced. I will look at the links you have given and see if I can get a picture of his grave.

Best regards

SJ

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