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Assistance required interpreting Records


stroudpete
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Hi,

 

My great uncle Alfred Harwood enlisted in the Berks Yeomanry on 25/5/1916 (No 14987). He was transferred to the Royal Machine Gun Corps (Heavy Section) and then to the Royal tank Corps. His reg. No. was 121065. 

According to the limited records I have he served in Egypt in 1917-1918. See record below.

 

image.png.808b3cb0a350911227da0866af22c531.png

 

I am aware that the Royal Tank Corps was formed from the MGC.

1. Would he have served initially in France and with which - MGC or RT or both?

2. The final column gives the dates of former service as M.G.Corps 25.7.18 to 31.3.20. What would he have been doing between 25/5/1916 and 23/7/1918;

3. According to his medal card he was disembodied from the Berks Yeomanry on 24/9/1919. Is this when he was transferred to the RTC?

image.png.d28fd168cbc93cd2e4b0463b8baddd20.png

4. When would he have gone to Egypt and with which company? Would he have fought in the 3rd battle of Gaza?

5. What is "D" Reserves? I know that he signed on for a further 4 years from 17/10/1921 for "D" Reserves

 

Any help with getting a cleat timeline confirmed would be very gratefully received.

 

Pete 

Edited by stroudpete
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5 hours ago, stroudpete said:

1. Would he have served initially in France and with which - MGC or RT or both?

2. The final column gives the dates of former service as M.G.Corps 25.7.18 to 31.3.20. What would he have been doing between 25/5/1916 and 23/7/1918;

3. According to his medal card he was disembodied from the Berks Yeomanry on 24/9/1919. Is this when he was transferred to the RTC?

Pete

My reading (incomplete) is

 

The Medal Roll on Ancestry and the Tank Enlistments show:

He first served oversesa with the Berkshire Yeomanry 14987 (he joined them 25/5/1916 but  didn't go overseas -Egypt-  until sometime 1917)

    I note there is a 4 digit number (3300) on the roll that is crossed out- it would be the original Territorial number. Then he (like everybody else) was renumbered with a 5 or 6 digit number c April 1917.    See LongLongTrail here.

But why is his new number not in the range allocated to Berks Yeo  of 70000-75000 ??

 

Then served overseas ((Egypt) with MGC 121065 ( to which he was transferred 23/7/1918) See LongLongTrail notes on 1/1 Berks Yeo conversion here on LLT:

 

April 1918 : [ 1/1 Berks Yeo} left brigade and merged with the Buckinghamshire Yeomanry to form C Battalion, the Machine Gun Corps.
June 1918 : moved via Italy to France.
August 1918 : renumbered 101st Battalion, the Machine Gun Corps.

 

--Slight problem in that Tank Attestation doesn't mention France. Could he have remained in Egypt/Palestine ?

 

Issued a new seven digit Army Number in 1919 -7874310

He ceased to be MGC on 31/3/1920

He was disembodied whilst Tank Corps  on 17/10/1921

Re-enlisted for 4 years in  Section D Army reserve (see here on LongLongTrail for explanation)

 

Incomplete I'm afraid.

 

Charlie

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10 hours ago, charlie962 said:

Pete

My reading (incomplete) is

 

The Medal Roll on Ancestry and the Tank Enlistments show:

He first served oversesa with the Berkshire Yeomanry 14987 (he joined them 25/5/1916 but  didn't go overseas -Egypt-  until sometime 1917)  

    I note there is a 4 digit number (3300) on the roll that is crossed out- it would be the original Territorial number. Then he (like everybody else) was renumbered with a 5 or 6 digit number c April 1917.    See LongLongTrail here.

But why is his new number not in the range allocated to Berks Yeo  of 70000-75000 ??

 

Then served overseas ((Egypt) with MGC 121065 ( to which he was transferred 23/7/1918) See LongLongTrail notes on 1/1 Berks Yeo conversion here on LLT:

 

April 1918 : [ 1/1 Berks Yeo} left brigade and merged with the Buckinghamshire Yeomanry to form C Battalion, the Machine Gun Corps.
June 1918 : moved via Italy to France.
August 1918 : renumbered 101st Battalion, the Machine Gun Corps.

 

--Slight problem in that Tank Attestation doesn't mention France. Could he have remained in Egypt/Palestine ?

 

Issued a new seven digit Army Number in 1919 -7874310

He ceased to be MGC on 31/3/1920

He was disembodied whilst Tank Corps  on 17/10/1921

Re-enlisted for 4 years in  Section D Army reserve (see here on LongLongTrail for explanation)

 

Incomplete I'm afraid.

 

Charlie

 

10 hours ago, charlie962 said:

Charlie,

Thank you so much for this - it's helped me a lot. I think I'm now on the right track. This is what I've concluded so far and I'd welcome your thoughts.

Alfred served in the 1/1st Berkshire Yeomanry from when he joined up in May 1916. He  lied about his age - he was actually 17. I don't know when he would have joined them but the 1/1st was at Alexandria and Suez in early 1916 (having returned from Gallipoli) and became part of the 6th Mounted Brigade in January 1916. They remained there until at the end of the year when they joined the advance on Jerusalem and fought in the battles of Gaza. In Feb 1917 they were transferred to the Imperial Mounted Division and then in June 1917 they transferred to the Yeomanry Mounted Division. In April 1918 they merged with Bucks Yeomanry to form C Battalion of the Machine Gun Corps. In June 1918 - they moved to France via Italy (as you say) and then in Aug 1918 they were renumbered the 101st Battalion, MGC (as you say). Much of this is from the LLT reference and another source. I now need to follow it up from there through further research. Any hints gratefully received. Interestingly Alfred's brother in law was in the 1/1st Berkshire Battery of the RHA and he was already in Egypt when Alfred arrived. They were in the same places at the same time and fought in the same battles. I now need to research where he was from Aug 1918. 

Pete

 

 

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13 hours ago, charlie962 said:

Issued a new seven digit Army Number in 1919 -7874310

He ceased to be MGC on 31/3/1920

He was disembodied whilst Tank Corps  on 17/10/1921

 

So likely his records are still held by the Ministry of Defence and what survives may answer some of your questions. The process for applying for his records is set out here:-

https://www.gov.uk/get-copy-military-service-records/apply-for-someone-elses-records

 

The proviso is if he was disembodied from a Territorial Force unit in 1919 rather than discharged, was the new seven digit number a reflection of the fact that he was still a member of the Territorial Force, (i.e. a part time soldier), or that he had signed up for a short stint in the Regular Army. The fact that he went into Army Reserve "D" tends to suggest the latter, in which case his Great War records may not be in the file.

 

There use to be spreadsheets on the MoD site that detailed the records held for serviceman born before 1900. I believe they are now on Ancestry.

 

Hope that helps,

Peter

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On 30/11/2020 at 14:44, PRC said:

There use to be spreadsheets on the MoD site that detailed the records held for serviceman born before 1900. I believe they are now on Ancestry.

I checked that with those various numbers above but nothing came up. It does not mean that MoD haven't got it and it is always worth asking. But with lockdowns etc I think there's quite a long wait ?

 

Charlie

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I don't think that the MOD gave them up, they merely sold access (copies) to Ancestry (and other equivalents) so that they could make money from them whilst at the same time encouraging that inquirers approach the genealogical companies rather than the MOD.  It was a win win as far as the MOD was concerned.

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54 minutes ago, FROGSMILE said:

I don't think that the MOD gave them up, they merely sold access (copies) to Ancestry

They made the spreadsheet index available to anyone- see old threads on the subject. Ancestry have copied this index to their site. The actual service records referred to are only available by payment (c30pounds) to the MoD who still hold them at Glasgow and have not yet agreed with any of the Gen sites that they may be copied.

 

Charlie

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5 minutes ago, charlie962 said:

They made the spreadsheet index available to anyone- see old threads on the subject. Ancestry have copied this index to their site. The actual service records referred to are only available by payment (c30pounds) to the MoD who still hold them at Glasgow and have not yet agreed with any of the Gen sites that they may be copied.

 

Charlie

 

So they still hold them as I said and Ancestry possess only the index and refer anyone wanting a copy of any individual record itself to the MOD?

Edited by FROGSMILE
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1 minute ago, charlie962 said:

I believe this is the MoD site for applications but there are various old threads on this forum that might help.

 

Charlie

 

Thanks charlie.

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On 30/11/2020 at 13:44, PRC said:

 

So likely his records are still held by the Ministry of Defence and what survives may answer some of your questions. The process for applying for his records is set out here:-

https://www.gov.uk/get-copy-military-service-records/apply-for-someone-elses-records

 

The proviso is if he was disembodied from a Territorial Force unit in 1919 rather than discharged, was the new seven digit number a reflection of the fact that he was still a member of the Territorial Force, (i.e. a part time soldier), or that he had signed up for a short stint in the Regular Army. The fact that he went into Army Reserve "D" tends to suggest the latter, in which case his Great War records may not be in the file.

 

There use to be spreadsheets on the MoD site that detailed the records held for serviceman born before 1900. I believe they are now on Ancestry.

 

Hope that helps,

Peter

Thanks Peter, very helpful

Pete

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  • 4 months later...

Hi Pete 

I am coming to this a little late but I haven't logged on to the forum in a little while

I can inform you of why Alfred Harwood did not have the new number in the 70000-74999

His original number 3300 was issued when he joined the 3/1st Berks Yeomanry. We do not have any records for him, but note Pte CD Hall 3301 was called up for service on 25 May 1916 aged 18 as part of Group 30.

 

He will have then done his training at Tidworth with the 3/1st Berks Yeomanry being affiliated to the 7RCR then in 1917 in the large reorg the 6RCR. At the time of the reorg he then gets a new number, but is numbered as part of the RCR not Berks Yeomanry. Only those men actually serving overseas with the 1/1st got the new 7xxxx number.

We do not have a record when he arrived in Eygpt, but it is likely he will have been though the finghting with the Regt in Nov 1917

 

In late March 1918 the regiment was warned it was to be amalgamated with the Bucks Yeo to form a MG Bttn and sent to France. This created an certain surplus over establishment and so those men were then posted to other MGC units in Egypt.

 

Hope that adds a bit to the mix

Andrew

 

Edited by AndrewFrench
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Thanks for this Andrew. So, to be clear, he joined the 3/1st Berks Yeomanry on 25th May 1916. He did his training at Tidworth and then became part of the 7th Reserve Cavalry Regiment. The Long, Long Trail states that,

 

'7th Reserve Regiment of Cavalry - Formed August 1914 at Tidworth. Trained men for the 9th and 21st Lancers, Buckinghamshire Yeomanry and Berkshire Yeomanry. Was absorbed into new 1st Reserve Regiment early in 1917'

 

You say that he joined the 6th Reserve Cavalry Regiment in 1917 rather than the 1st RCR so I'm a bit confused.

 

So who did he go to Egypt with? Was it the 1/1st Berks? Was being renumbered as part of the RCR rather than the Berks Yeomanry just an error?

 

Am I correct in believing that he fought with the Imperial Mounted Division and the Yeomanry Mounted Division in 1917?

 

Can you confirm that he was posted to France as part of the newly formed 'C' Battalion of the MGC in April 1918 and was transferred to France via Italy in June 1918?

 

Many thanks,

 

Pete

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Hi Pete 

I was going from Memory. In fact on checking 3/1st were initially affiliated to 7th RCR, the only other TF affiliate unit being the Bucks Hussars.

Then early 1917 in the reorg of all RCRs,  3/1st Berks Yeo became affiliated to 6th RCR and affiliated were all 3/1st Yeomanry Dragoon units - i.e Duke of Lancs, Herts, etc.

I hope that answers. I am out shortly but on return will see if I can add any further clarity.

Regards

Andew

 

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To clarify numbering

  • 1/1st Berks Yeomanry (unit serving abroad) - 70000 onward (RSM allocated No. 71000)
  • 21/1st Berks Yeomanry (home defence unit) - 71000 onwards. (RSM allocated No. 71000)
  • 3/1st Berks Yeomanry (training unit att 6th RCR) - I have never worked out how these were allocated. I have records of the numbers of many men some in sequence;  Some some are five figures, some six; some are prefixed with D others with GS.

Many of the men were posted out of the unit while they were working up in Egypt and others back in France, there's no real way of telling, but does not his discharge card give overseas service as Egypt only? or am I missing something?

 

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