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Essex Regt - South Wales Borderers, 1915


Paul D
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Good afternoon all,

 

I am currently researching the war history of a relative of a good friend of mine. He is shown as having served with Essex Regiment, South Wales Borderers and, finally, Coldstream Guards. I'm trying to ascertain the dates he moved between units. I have managed to establish that is SWB s/n suggests that he was amongst a draft from 11th Essex to 4th SWN, just prior to their leaving for Gallipoli in 1915.  A couple of the medal indexes of those from that draft confirm that these men's first theatre of war was Gallipoli / Aegean. However, my friend's relative's MI shows that his first ToW was Western Europe and that he did not enter that until 30th Sept 1915. However, he was awarded the 1914-15 Star.

 

His Coldstream Guards s/n places him as joining them post-May 1918. 

 

He obviously didn't shower himself in personal glory as all three of his medals were forfeited in 1922,  'under authority of NW/9/219'.

 

Would anybody be able to help me explain these circs, please?

 

His full details are as below:

 

 

Private 15964 George Alfred O’Neal,

11th Battalion Essex Regiment

 

Private 45562 George Alfred O’Neal,

4th Battalion, South Wales Borderers

 

Private 29595 George Alfred O’Neal,

Coldstream Guards

 

Thanks in anticipation.

 

Paul

 

 

 

Edited by Paul D
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The Medal Card gives a sequence of Essex 15964 / Coldstream 29595/ SWB 45562 / Coldstream 2648794, two service numbers for CG, one looks a 1920-ish one. No clue on Medal Rolls concerning why forfeited, often desertion is a cause. You may have to see what you can find at NA (series WO213) on court martial ?  The NW is a file reference of the day, someone here may know if there is mileage in finding that but I haven't seen anything about finding such a file since I have been playing here.

Edited by sotonmate
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@sotonmate

 

Many thanks for your reply!

 

Looking at the MI card again, there appears to be an arrow denoting that his SWB s/n should in fact come before his two CG numbers. I can only deduce that - for some reason - he did not go to Gallipoli with the 4th SWBs, but did go into action on the WF on 30/09/15, possibly with 3rd CG? 

 

There is a court martial record for a Guardsman G O'Neal, 3CG on Fold 3 which appears to tie in with what else I know about him. This shows he PG at Court Martial on 15/10/21 and was sentenced to 6 mos detention.

 

Any ideas what that longer, final CG might relate to?

Edited by Paul D
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2 hours ago, Paul D said:

@sotonmate

 

Any ideas what that longer, final CG might relate to?

Yes. This is explained in the Long Long Trail in an article about new continuous numbering for the Army in 1920.

CG soldiers had the series 2646001 to 268800. The article mentions that it is likely that soldiers with this series may still have records at APC Glasgow.

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He seems to have enlisted at Kirkee (modern day Khadki) in India 10/2/19 and been allocated the long number. He was discharged 23/12/21 for misconduct his behaviour described as 'Bad' ( it could be worse the chap above him in the list is 'Very Bad'). No details given as to what that misconduct entailed.

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Being discharged in 1921(even so late as this) means he isn't documented as one of the soldiers in the Post 1921 database of soldiers whose records are still held by the MOD.

Indeed I can't find him under that surname or any usual variant.

The 7 digit number likewise isn't findable.

The lists though are thought to be almost certainly incomplete.

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2 hours ago, sotonmate said:

Yes. This is explained in the Long Long Trail in an article about new continuous numbering for the Army in 1920.

CG soldiers had the series 2646001 to 268800. The article mentions that it is likely that soldiers with this series may still have records at APC Glasgow.

Thanks very much. I really appreciate your help.

 

Paul 

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26 minutes ago, Dai Bach y Sowldiwr said:

Being discharged in 1921(even so late as this) means he isn't documented as one of the soldiers in the Post 1921 database of soldiers whose records are still held by the MOD.

Indeed I can't find him under that surname or any usual variant.

The 7 digit number likewise isn't findable.

The lists though are thought to be almost certainly incomplete.


The list of discharges was put together from the APC database in December 2014, based on their current inventory.

In September 2018 the service records that were being kept separately at Birdcage Walk by the Brigade of Guards were transferred to the APC. I would apply for his service record.

 

Best of luck
Keith

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South Wales Borderers service number:

 

There were a number of men who were transferred from the East Yorkshire Regiment to the South Wales Borderers on 19 March 1917. There are surviving service records for 45133 Private Fred Drewery, 45145 Private Albert Johnson, 45155 Private John Robert Jones.

 

It would appear that 48000 series numbers were being issued in January 1918, so it looks like your man transferred to the South Wales Borderers in 1917.

 

Source of 48000 series info is below:

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 16/11/2020 at 17:49, ajsmith said:

He seems to have enlisted at Kirkee (modern day Khadki) in India 10/2/19 and been allocated the long number. He was discharged 23/12/21 for misconduct his behaviour described as 'Bad' ( it could be worse the chap above him in the list is 'Very Bad'). No details given as to what that misconduct entailed.

Morning. Thanks for your reply. His service records show him enlisting into Essex Regt at Stratford in January 1914, so nothing to do with Kirkee, I think.

Edited by Paul D
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19 minutes ago, Paul D said:

Morning. Thanks for your reply. His service records show him enlisting into Essex Regt in January 1914, so nothing to do with Kirkee, I think.

 

On 16/11/2020 at 20:29, Keith_history_buff said:

South Wales Borderers service number:

 

There were a number of men who were transferred from the East Yorkshire Regiment to the South Wales Borderers on 19 March 1917. There are surviving service records for 45133 Private Fred Drewery, 45145 Private Albert Johnson, 45155 Private John Robert Jones.

 

It would appear that 48000 series numbers were being issued in January 1918, so it looks like your man transferred to the South Wales Borderers in 1917.

 

Source of 48000 series info is below:

 

Thanks for your reply, Keith. It's interesting (and confusing) as I've managed to identify a number of 11th Essex men with s/n very close to George's transferring across to SWB in Spring 1915. They all went to Gallipoli, but George didn't. That's the head-scratcher.

Edited by Paul D
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On 16/11/2020 at 19:27, Dai Bach y Sowldiwr said:

Being discharged in 1921(even so late as this) means he isn't documented as one of the soldiers in the Post 1921 database of soldiers whose records are still held by the MOD.

Indeed I can't find him under that surname or any usual variant.

The 7 digit number likewise isn't findable.

The lists though are thought to be almost certainly incomplete.

Thanks for your reply and help.

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On 16/11/2020 at 20:29, Keith_history_buff said:

South Wales Borderers service number:

 

There were a number of men who were transferred from the East Yorkshire Regiment to the South Wales Borderers on 19 March 1917. There are surviving service records for 45133 Private Fred Drewery, 45145 Private Albert Johnson, 45155 Private John Robert Jones.

 

It would appear that 48000 series numbers were being issued in January 1918, so it looks like your man transferred to the South Wales Borderers in 1917.

 

Source of 48000 series info is below:

 

Re: my earlier reply to you, Keith, I'm going to go back and check my 1915 'theory' as it is not stacking up in the face of the evidence now coming through (like yours). Many thanks indeed.

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Hi Paul,

Thanks for your reply.

I would consider applying for his service record from the MOD, although it will be a long wait. I gather that the Coldstream Guards enlistment registers 1800-1947 are available on FMP, not sure if these were accessed when this thread was being replied to.

Best wishes

Keith

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12 hours ago, Paul D said:

Morning. Thanks for your reply. His service records show him enlisting into Essex Regt at Stratford in January 1914, so nothing to do with Kirkee, I think.

I Got the info from the Coldstream Guards enlistment registers on FMP. I'm sure it's him, he reenlisted.Oneal.png.da0becf970257a38f319ca3181db5ef3.png

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9 minutes ago, ajsmith said:

I Got the info from the Coldstream Guards enlistment registers on FMP. I'm sure it's him, he reenlisted.Oneal.png.da0becf970257a38f319ca3181db5ef3.png

Sorry, I got my wires crossed. It was his brother, Charles, who enlisted at Stratford in Jan 1914.  You mean he (George) reenlisted at Kirkee?  
 

Thanks very much Tony

 

Paul

Edited by Paul D
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12 hours ago, Keith_history_buff said:

Hi Paul,

Thanks for your reply.

I would consider applying for his service record from the MOD, although it will be a long wait. I gather that the Coldstream Guards enlistment registers 1800-1947 are available on FMP, not sure if these were accessed when this thread was being replied to.

Best wishes

Keith

Thanks Keith. Big help. 

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