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Help in piecing together a war and pre war army service record


stroudpete
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A couple of queries:

 

1. My Grandfather joined the Section A Reserve in 1911 after he was discharged after 2 years from the Army Service Corps based at Aldershot. According to his records he moved to Swansea after he joined the Special A Reserve. Is there a link between the Special A reserve and Swansea?

He reverted to section B reserve in June 1912.

 

Also, in August 1918 his record says that he was absent on mobilisation. What does this mean?

His name was William Thomas Harwood and his Reg. No was 27663.

 

2. His WWI records appear to be destroyed. All I know from his medal roll is that he joined the RGA at Reading and joined the theatre of war in France on 10th March 1915 and his Reg. No was 40796 and his company was WO329. He was a Gunner and then Corporal.  

 

Any assistance in helping me piece together his war service and the other question re the reserves

would be very gratefully received.

 

Pete

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1. My Grandfather joined the Section A Reserve in 1911 after he was discharged after 2 years from the Army Service Corps based at Aldershot. According to his records he moved to Swansea after he joined the Special A Reserve. Is there a link between the Special A reserve and Swansea?

He reverted to section B reserve in June 1912.

 

 

When a man went in to his reserve capacity he went either in to the standard section B (recalled in an emergency) or section A (recalled if the army needed him, at any time). He could do a maximum of 2 years in the Section A before dropping back in to Section B for the remainder of his term of service.

 

Craig

 

 

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The absent on mobilisation quote is an interesting one.  In 1918 the maximum age for call up reached a new highest age (following earlier hikes) as one of the reactions to the casualties caused by the German March offensive.  My guess is that your grandfather found himself falling within the new age limit and was called up.  According to the record that you quote he seemingly failed to report and was thus reported as absent.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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WO329 would refer to the medal roll numbers I would have thought, not be his company/ battery number

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The phrase "Company: WO 329" or similar is something I keep seeing posted by people researching family members for the first time, who have obtained the MIC transcription via ForcesWarRecords. It's one of those cases where the data provider provides misinformation, like FindMyPast having classed its records for veterans of Nelson's Navy as "British Army service records 1852-1862".

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39 minutes ago, Keith_history_buff said:

The phrase "Company: WO 329" or similar is something I keep seeing posted by people researching family members for the first time, who have obtained the MIC transcription via ForcesWarRecords. It's one of those cases where the data provider provides misinformation, like FindMyPast having classed its records for veterans of Nelson's Navy as "British Army service records 1852-1862".

Yes, you are correct. I eventually worked this out myself. Because I have no WWI records for my grandfather I saw this being described by Ancestry as relating to his company and got excited. However, I then worked out that it wasn't the case. Thanks anyway. 

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1 hour ago, Michelle Young said:

WO329 would refer to the medal roll numbers I would have thought, not be his company/ battery number

Yes, you are correct. I eventually worked this out myself. Because I have no WWI records for my grandfather I saw this being described by Ancestry as relating to his company and got excited. However, I then worked out that it wasn't the case. Thanks anyway. 

13 hours ago, ss002d6252 said:

 

 

When a man went in to his reserve capacity he went either in to the standard section B (recalled in an emergency) or section A (recalled if the army needed him, at any time). He could do a maximum of 2 years in the Section A before dropping back in to Section B for the remainder of his term of service.

 

Craig

 

 

Thanks Craig. 

 

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If you are sure your grandfather was RGA 40796 W T Harwood then his number would imply him enlisting as a regular not long before the war started in May 1914. He would have been asked whether he had previous service, so he either lied if he said no, or told the truth and the relevant permission and paper work wasn't brought up to date by the ASC.

You should check the original medal rolls, but I would suggest he was a reinforcement gunner and probably says "Base Details". Trying to find the unit, or units, he served with will be very difficult without any further leads.

 

Kevin

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It really irks me when I see rubbish information provided by the genealogical data companies.

 

Here's a link to his medal index card, as recorded in the catalogue of The National Archives:
https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D2596976


The index card references the following documents:

WO 329/2563 1914-15 Star medal roll, Royal Garrison Artillery other ranks

 

WO 329/265 Victory Medal and/or British War Medal, Royal Garrison Artillery other ranks

 

The latter roll mentions 'Base D'tls R.G.A.' There is no unit information on the former, it just states that he arrived in the F&F theatre of war on 10 March 1915.

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Just to clarify what others have said.

WO329 is The National Archive reference number for:

 

"War Office and Air Ministry: Service Medal and Award Rolls, First World War

The volumes in this series record the entitlement to medals and awards of men and women serving in some capacity during the First World War."

 

The date for the formation of these records and details regarding subseries and contents are given herehttp://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/browse/r/h/C14533

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I took a look at the Absent Voters Lists, but did not see any records for Reading. All I saw was records for men named Harwood in Bedfordshire.

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2 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

The absent on mobilisation quote is an interesting one.  In 1918 the maximum age for call up reached a new highest age (following earlier hikes) as one of the reactions to the casualties caused by the German’s March offensive.  My guess is that your grandfather found himself falling within the new age limit and was called up.  According to the record that you quote he seemingly failed to report and was thus reported as absent.

I don't think this applies to my grandfather as he was 22 when war was declared. He was also in the reserves at the time. 

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8 minutes ago, stroudpete said:

I don't think this applies to my grandfather as he was 22 when war was declared. He was also in the reserves at the time. 

I can’t really help then.  You didn’t mention his date of birth / age in your post.  Good luck with your research.

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5 minutes ago, FROGSMILE said:

I can’t really help then.  You didn’t mention his date of birth / age in your post.  Good luck with your research.

Thanks for your help Frogsmile, much appreciated. 

 

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OK, It seems that I may have to accept that I will never know any more details about my grandfathers war service. Thanks for all your help everybody.

 

In the absence of his war records I'm left with trying to understand his pre war army situation. I mentioned the link with Swansea which is where he moved to when he joined Section A reserves (ASC). Is there a link between Swansea and the ASC? I just don't understand why he would have moved there. 

 

Cheers,

 

Pete

40 minutes ago, Keith_history_buff said:

I took a look at the Absent Voters Lists, but did not see any records for Reading. All I saw was records for men named Harwood in Bedfordshire.

Thanks for trying Keith

 

Pete

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I have a couple more questions.

 

1. He entered the theatre of war on 10th March 1915. He was already in section B reserves when war broke out. Would it be correct to assume that between the start of the war and when he went to France he would have been training?

 

2. He was in the ASC before the war. How did he end up being in the RGA when war started? 

 

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I am not sure whether my earlier post was of any interest, but if you subscribe to FMP you will see he re-enlisted and given the new number 1409702. His original enlistment in to the RGA was 19th May 1914. As he was a post war gunner there is a possibility that his service records have survived with the MOD. How to obtain them can be found on the Long Long Trail. 

 

As to your questions; yes he would have been training, and as he enlisted under his own free will he may just have liked the idea of becoming a gunner.

 

 

Kevin

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3 hours ago, kevinrowlinson said:

I am not sure whether my earlier post was of any interest, but if you subscribe to FMP you will see he re-enlisted and given the new number 1409702. His original enlistment in to the RGA was 19th May 1914. As he was a post war gunner there is a possibility that his service records have survived with the MOD. How to obtain them can be found on the Long Long Trail. 

 

As to your questions; yes he would have been training, and as he enlisted under his own free will he may just have liked the idea of becoming a gunner.

 

 

Kevin

Kevin, thank you so much! How on earth did I miss that? You have made my day. I've got the FMP record and am now going to look for the post war records at the national Archives. Thanks again.

 

Pete

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