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Remembered Today:

Help with regiment identification please


NickyDixon

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East Surrey Regiment I think, although it has a voided surround so I need to check the Wandsworth battalion of that regiment which had a unique variation.

 

Either way he’s a Territorial (part-timer) going by shoulder titles, and a sergeant assistant instructor of signals (crossed flags above his stripes).  The Wandsworth Battalion were war raised and not Territorials so that rules them out.

 

53E4920D-AD88-4868-B242-89BF74C1FF19.jpeg

31239D16-BA34-4FC4-8943-093A4443051F.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE
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Oh wow, that is brilliant! Thank you so much.

 

East Surrey would make sense as he was living in Anerley at the time war broke out. Presumably he was a sergeant in the signal's unit?

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14 minutes ago, NickyDixon said:

Oh wow, that is brilliant! Thank you so much.

 

East Surrey would make sense as he was living in Anerley at the time war broke out. Presumably he was a sergeant in the signal's unit?


Yes, he was a sergeant in support of the signals officer.  Together they oversaw the battalion signallers responsible for communication using semaphore, heliographs, field telephones and toward the end of the war the fledgling radio sets. 

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I think he is more likely to be 23rd Battalion, London Regiment. The circular centre of the badge is the giveaway for me.   Pete.

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That is fantastic information - I feel so ignorant about what my grandfather did. He would have been 36 in 1914 would this age account for him being a Territorial?  

 

 He was very much into radio and early television construction, in fact made our first television! 

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3 minutes ago, CorporalPunishment said:

I think he is more likely to be 23rd Battalion, London Regiment. The circular centre of the badge is the giveaway for me.   Pete.

 

You're right Pete, I've been looking for that voided centre.  

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7 minutes ago, NickyDixon said:

That is fantastic information - I feel so ignorant about what my grandfather did. He would have been 36 in 1914 would this age account for him being a Territorial?  

 

 He was very much into radio and early television construction, in fact made our first television! 

Yes he seems to have been an older Territorial of the London Regiment battalion that was directly associated with the East Surrey Regiment and that had before 1908 been a Volunteer Battalion for that regiment.  In 1908 the Territorial Force was formed and most of the auxiliary (part-time)  units in and around London were brought together in a single regiment, "the London Regiment", at the same time.  Some chose to retain a cap badge similar to their previous regiment and the 23rd London's were one of these.  The voided surround to the badge was distinctive.

 

23rd London.jpg

Edited by FROGSMILE
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Super picture.  He also is a Territorial (see the miniature T on his collar under the badges), but his insignia is for the Essex Regiment.  The photo looks to be pre war.  He has no medals and an unseasoned aura to him. A young captain with a flashy motorcycle, I wonder if he survived.

 

badge-essex-OSD-small-patt-01.jpg

Military Badges - 28th November 2017 004 (1280x1138)-1500x1500.jpg

s-l225.jpg

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Do you have any biographical details (like a name for starters)? Then people will be able to ferret out whatever there is to be found about your grandfather's service.

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36 minutes ago, NickyDixon said:

Ah! Maybe at a training camp before the war - unfortunately I have no idea who he was.

 

Yes, the tents in the background evoke the annual summer training camp undertaken by Territorials, Nicky.  It was very important as it was the key part of their obligation to earn a yearly cash bounty, something wives and girlfriends were often waiting for eagerly.

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1 hour ago, NickyDixon said:

That is fantastic information - I feel so ignorant about what my grandfather did. He would have been 36 in 1914 would this age account for him being a Territorial?  

 

 He was very much into radio and early television construction, in fact made our first television! 

 

He has a rolled flag in his hand and you can see two heliographs/lamps on tripods either side of him, as well as the telescope for reading replies in front.  Morse code was used.  He's also wearing the special Territorial version of the Mills equipment ammunition pouches on his belt.

 

P.S.  I attended primary school in Anerley.  I've never been back.

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His name was John Henry Dixon born 224th Oct 1878 in Balsall Heath but he moved to Anerley (in Surrey then)in the late 1890s.

 

Many thanks for all your comments they are really helpful. He was a bit of a mystery and had quite a temper - maybe as a result of his experiences in the war?

 

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33 minutes ago, NickyDixon said:

His name was John Henry Dixon born 224th Oct 1878 in Balsall Heath but he moved to Anerley (in Surrey then)in the late 1890s.

 

Many thanks for all your comments they are really helpful. He was a bit of a mystery and had quite a temper - maybe as a result of his experiences in the war?

 

 

Yes, if he definitely went to the war and didn't stay in Britain at 2nd or 3rd Line.  There should be a medal index card for him if he did.

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The Norton motorcycle the officer was photographed on was registered in London (Middlesex) between 1912 and 1917.  The curly 'N' Norton  logo was first used in 1915.  So dates the picture 1915-1917.

 

 

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6 hours ago, NickyDixon said:

Oh wow, that is brilliant! Thank you so much.

 

East Surrey would make sense as he was living in Anerley at the time war broke out. Presumably he was a sergeant in the signal's unit?

Does that count as Croydon?

There is an Absent Voters List for Croydon for both Spring and Autumn 1919, but not online.

https://croydonhistory.wordpress.com/genealogy/electoral-registers/

AVLs give  the man (or woman)'s name, address, rank, number and regiment. Sometimes even battalion and even company, in about 95% of cases.

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The Forces War Records website has John Henry Dixon listed as being a sergeant in the London Regiment and part of the Royal Field Artillery Battalion - does this make sense to anyone?

 

I can't find any army records so I am now wondering whether he never actually left this country but worked as a signals instructor ...

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I couldn't see an obvious candidate in the Medal Rolls on Ancestry. 

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7 hours ago, NickyDixon said:

The Forces War Records website has John Henry Dixon listed as being a sergeant in the London Regiment and part of the Royal Field Artillery Battalion - does this make sense to anyone?

 

I can't find any army records so I am now wondering whether he never actually left this country but worked as a signals instructor ...


It’s not usual to be simultaneously London Regiment and Royal Field Artillery Nicky, but by 1914 he was quite old for the rigours of infantry service.  To put that into perspective, in peacetime a regular soldier who joined at age 18 and was kept on for a full career of 21 years (just a proportion did so) would be approaching 40 at the time he discharged on pension, and there was a good reason for that.  Long experience had shown that even the healthiest men were starting to be broken down by that age.  It was a reflection of differences in healthcare, far less medication and vaccination, and little attention to safety at work.  Bearing that in mind it’s not impossible that he transferred formally to a local Royal Field Artillery unit of the TF, and perhaps carried on his role as a signaller there.  If a medal index card can be found for him (he would need to have served overseas) then it will confirm the situation.  Failing that he might have served only at ‘second line’ on home defence and never have left Britain, in which case there will be no medal roll entry for him.  The latter situation would be a particular problem because as most service records were destroyed during WW2 bombing, it would be impossible to assess his service with any clarity.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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FROGSMILE thank you so much for all your responses - they really help to paint a picture of what my grandfather might have been doing. It was only when I chanced upon two postcards (posted above) that I even realised he might have played a part in the First World War. It seems that there is no medal index card for him so your scenario is highly likely.

 

Nicky

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5 hours ago, NickyDixon said:

FROGSMILE thank you so much for all your responses - they really help to paint a picture of what my grandfather might have been doing. It was only when I chanced upon two postcards (posted above) that I even realised he might have played a part in the First World War. It seems that there is no medal index card for him so your scenario is highly likely.

 

Nicky


I’m glad to have helped just a little Nicky and am sorry that a clearer record of his service history appears not to have survived.

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On 03/12/2020 at 15:28, NickyDixon said:

he was living in Anerley

 

21 hours ago, Dai Bach y Sowldiwr said:

Does that count as Croydon?

There is an Absent Voters List for Croydon for both Spring and Autumn 1919, but not online.

https://croydonhistory.wordpress.com/genealogy/electoral-registers/

AVLs give  the man (or woman)'s name, address, rank, number and regiment. Sometimes even battalion and even company, in about 95% of cases.

Do you have an answer  to this question?

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20 hours ago, Dai Bach y Sowldiwr said:

Do you have an answer  to this question?

Best answer I can give you is that Anerley is in the London Borough of Bromley, and is historically associated with Sydenham and Penge.

 

I used to live in South Norwood, the district next door, which is in Croydon Borough but afaik Anerley has ever been associated with Croydon.

My knowledge of the area only goes back to the 1960's but I doubt it will be included on the electoral roll for Croydon in 1918. 

As a matter of interest there is a book Croydon and the Great War available online

https://archive.org/details/croydongreatwaro00moor/page/252/mode/2up

It has an interesting chapter on recruiting and in particular how initially the Borough recruited to the Queen's (Royal West Surrey) and in 1916 it administratively evolved more towards the East Surrey Regiment. That said I don't think East Surrey was ever fully accepted as the local regiment.

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