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Post office riffles photo


Stevesmith
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Hi here is a photo with my grandfather Charles Marking Smith (standing on far left with hand on his hip) 

this was taken maybe 1917-18 at a training camp I think my father told me was in south England somewhere. I wondered what anyone would know where, or it would be awesome if someone else was recognised in it.

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One of the Fovant Badges is of the Post Office Rifles (along with the City of London Rifles and the London Rifle Brigade), so Fovant is a possibility. The 'Shiny Seventh' were at Sutton Madeville and the Australians at Hurdcott Camp, Compton Chamberlayne.

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11 hours ago, Fovant said:

One of the Fovant Badges is of the Post Office Rifles (along with the City of London Rifles and the London Rifle Brigade), so Fovant is a possibility. The 'Shiny Seventh' were at Sutton Madeville and the Australians at Hurdcott Camp, Compton Chamberlayne. 

 

 

 

I think I remember now my father saying something about Fovant.

Thank you for your reply.

 

 I was wondering now if these two photos of him in a hospital after being injured by shrapnel shattering his leg are also at Fovant. As he was injured in September 1918 you can see it’s Christmas. He is seated at the back with the soldier standing behind him. Possibly someone from his regiment?

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Welcome, Steve

 

The 3/8th London Regiment (Post Office Rifles) was at Fovant from January to autumn, 1916. The 2/8th was at Sutton Veny (near Warminster, Wiltshire) from July 1916 to January 1917. The Rifles would also have been at other UK training camps during the war. The Long Long Trail website (there's a link at the top of this page) may give more details, but it's "down" at the moment,

 

The two  hospital photos are almost certainly not of Fovant - the odds would be greatly against a soldier wounded overseas being treated in a hospital at a camp where he'd trained.

 

Have you tried to find your grandfather's service record? It might be that another member with time on their hands might do it for you.

 

 

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Thanks for the info.

I did try to find his service record on ancestry web site but didn't come up with anything, despite using his service number. 

I will give it to the forum and see what happens.

 

Thanks again for your help.

 

Steve.

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Sutton Veny seems likely as Moonraker has said.  The 2/8th landed as Havre 31 Jan 18 and were absorbed by the much denuded 1/8th on 6 Feb 18, which then became 8th Battalion.  The 3/8th remained in the UK to provide replacements and was at Blackdown Camp, Aldershot from Apr 17 until the end of the war.  Your photo appears almost certainly to be 2/8th on Salisbury Plain before embarking for France.

 

The hospital photo could be almost anywhere and the wards would contain soldiers from many regiments.  One nurse is VAD (BRC) and the others are sisters of the QAIMNS(Reserve). 

Edited by FROGSMILE
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I've just been reading some of the letters from my grandfather to his mother, and found an entry where he refers to being at "Blackdown."  I'm very sorry I should have look before asking for your help.

 He was wounded on the 2nd sept. 1918 and the letter dated the 4th says he is at the 8th gen Hospital Rouen, France and will be moved when fit enough to England.

In a previous letter I find It amazing how he says "Fritz was shelling, making it rather unpleasant for us." I guess he can't really say to his Mother what it's truly like.

And also after talking about trivial things before he signs off he says, "By the way I shot my first Fritz about a fortnight ago."  Just the way a 17yr old boy sees and deals with the terror of war I suppose.

 

thanks again for all the help from everyone.

 

steve.

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10 minutes ago, Stevesmith said:

I've just been reading some of the letters from my grandfather to his mother, and found an entry where he refers to being at "Blackdown."  I'm very sorry I should have look before asking for your help.

 He was wounded on the 2nd sept. 1918 and the letter dated the 4th says he is at the 8th gen Hospital Rouen, France and will be moved when fit enough to England.

In a previous letter I find It amazing how he says "Fritz was shelling, making it rather unpleasant for us." I guess he can't really say to his Mother what it's truly like.

And also after talking about trivial things before he signs off he says, "By the way I shot my first Fritz about a fortnight ago."  Just the way a 19yr old boy sees and deals with the terror of war I suppose.

 

thanks again for all the help from everyone.

 

steve.

 

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It looks like he was with 3/8th at Blackdown then and went out to the 8th in F&F as a battle casualty replacement.  It’s a shame he didn’t record which hospital in the UK he went to.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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I think that Blackdown comprised mostly brick barracks, whereas Steve's photograph shows the typical army hut built during the Great War. It could be, of course, that extra accommodation was built during the war.

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I have it that he started with the 8th. 

I still have some more things to look through of my grandfather’s that I was left to me buy my father recently when he died. There might be more information as I have not yet looked in fine detail. 

 

Thanks again guys.

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13 hours ago, Moonraker said:

I think that Blackdown comprised mostly brick barracks, whereas Steve's photograph shows the typical army hut built during the Great War. It could be, of course, that extra accommodation was built during the war.


I suppose it’s possible that he went from 3/8th at Blackdown to 2/8th at Sutton Veny before they embarked for France where they merged with the remnants of 1/8th.

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I've just found a letter to his mother saying how to visit him at the John Radcliff Hospital, Oxford. 

 

You probable all ready know about him but. I also found a note written by my father saying about Hugh Owen Thomas who was the inventor of the "Thomas leg splint," and then used by his nephew, Robert Jones in ww1.  Until then Broken femurs caused by shot or shell had an 80% death rate, with about 50% dyeing on transit to the field hospital.   So if not for him thousands of lives would have been lost , including my grandfather and therefore also my existence.

 

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The John Radcliffe was a part of the 3rd Southern General Hospital and staffed by the Territorial Force nursing staff along with VADs.   Other ranks were treated in the Radcliffe infirmary and officers in Somerville Cottage.  See: http://www.oxfordhistory.org.uk/war/military_hospitals/

Edited by FROGSMILE
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On 12/12/2020 at 09:24, Stevesmith said:

I have it that he started with the 8th. 

I still have some more things to look through of my grandfather’s that I was left to me buy my father recently when he died. There might be more information as I have not yet looked in fine detail. 

 

Thanks again guys.


Steve all the units mentioned are 8th, it’s just that the 8th was divided in three.  These were known as 1st, 2nd and 3rd ‘line’, battalions = 1/8th, 2/8th and 3/8th.  At first just 1/8th was sent to France, with the other two training and providing casualty replacements.  Towards the end of the war 2/8th also went to France, leaving just 3/8th behind to train and dispatch recruits.  The details that you have related from your family letters make clear that he served with all three ‘lines’ of the 8th.  I hope that makes more sense to you now.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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Yes it dose, thanks for sharing you’r knowledge.

All I need to find out now is some information of events leading up to him being wounded. How much truth is involved with mouth to mouth down through the family I’m not sure.  I was told he knew he was about to get hit because he noticed the mortar fire had found its range, and was slowly panning it’s way along the trench towards him. Not a nice feeling sure.

 

Although l have never been in the forces, I have total respect for anyone Who has.

For what they have all done they are like royalty to me.👏👏👏👏👏

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