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Uniform recognition


reggie
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Hi

I wonder if someone can help me.

I was trying to research my Grandfather, who was killed in the first month of WW1. He served in the Kings Own Yorkshire Rifles.

We understand he had 3 brothers and someone said they were all killed in the war, i assume WW1.

We have come across this picture (hope it is not a dressing up picture) and believe it to be either my Grandfather with 2 brothers or the 3 brothers.

Can anyone shed any light on the uniforms and approximate dates.

Thanks

Reg

 

IMG_1089 - ThomasStanford Brothers.jpg

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Your link doesn't work.

It seems to be a link to some sort of cloud.

Just drag and drop the image from your desktop into the box at the bottom of the reply box, it will then appear as an image in the post, and members won't have to go chasing broken links.

 

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Hi

I wonder if someone can help me.

I was trying to research my Grandfather, who was killed in the first month of WW1. He served in the Kings Own Yorkshire Rifles.

We understand he had 3 brothers and someone said they were all killed in the war, i assume WW1.

We have come across this picture (hope it is not a dressing up picture) and believe it to be either my Grandfather with 2 brothers or the 3 brothers.

Can anyone shed any light on the uniforms and approximate dates.

Thanks

Reg

IMG_1089 - ThomasStanford Brothers.jpg

IMG_1089 - ThomasStanford Brothers.jpg

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  • Admin

Welcome to the forum. Please supply names and as much information as you have in order for the membership to assist you. I imagine that you mean Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry rather than Rifles? 

Michelle 

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Hi Reggie and welcome to the forum.

 

Going on the file title in your opening post the only Stanford who died in the opening 8 weeks of the war was a Harry James Stanford, Private 9023 1st Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment.

There are no additional details as to age and family on his Commonwealth War Graves Commission webpage - but there is an exhumation report to be investigated if he was indeed a family member.

https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/324267/HARRY JAMES STANFORD/

 

Soldiers Died in the Great War, an HMSO publication from the early 1920's records that he was Killed in Action on the 9th September 1914 and that he was born West Ham, Essex, resident Eagle, Lincolnshire and enlisted Stratford, Essex..

 

The Regular Army Battalions of the Bedfordshire Regiment issued service number 9023 at some point between the 14th January 1907 (8901) and the 7th August 1908 (9340).

https://armyservicenumbers.blogspot.com/2009/03/the-bedfordshire-regiment-1st-2nd.html

 

There don't appear to be any surviving service records for him, which is the norm - most were lost when German bombs hit the warehouse where they were being stored during the Blitz. However the International Committee of the Red Cross did receive a missing persons enquiry from a Miss Ada Stanford, Craignethan Lodge, St John's Park Road, Blackheath. She said that Harry James was wounded and missing near Mons on the 9th September 1914. He was serving in B Company.  Eventually the ICRC would have to reply that they had received no information from the German authorities.

https://grandeguerre.icrc.org/en/File/Details/433721/3/2/

 

A transcription of the 1st Battalion War Diary for the period can be read here: - http://www.bedfordregiment.org.uk/1stbn/1stbtn1914diary.html

 

From the civil records the most likely birth registration was that of a Harry James Stanford, mothers' maiden name Pilbrow, which was recorded in the West Ham, District of Essex in the October to December quarter, (Q4), of 1888 - which most likely have made him about 18/19 when the service number 9023 was issued.

 

I stop there  - there are a number of other sources still to exploore - so you can tell me it's the wrong man :)

 

Cheers,

Peter

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Hi Peter

Thanks for all that information. It could be relating to one of the brothers.

We have been completely frustrated in our search for anything on my grandfather. 

The only war record we could find, showed him as Frank Thomas Stanford and the pension record also shows his wife and children as Stanford. He was with the K.O.Yorkshire Light Infantry and had a service no. 7418 He died on 16th. September 1914 but we have also seen a war graves record saying 25/02/1915.

But the odd thing is we can't find any record of him being in the Army. Also his Marriage certificate and the 1911 census shows his name as Frank Thomas with no mention of the Stanford. His service number would appear to be issued much earlier about 1902 as well.

The picture we were told were the three brothers and that they were all killed in the war. 

Any other help would be greatly appreciated.

Regards

Reg

 

 

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If it assists you in any way Reg, the sailor seated in the centre is a Stoker 2and class.

 

Did you have a family member in the RN?

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The uniforms of the Soldiers in the picture do appear to be that of the KOYLI (etc), the shoulder strap should say YORKSHIRE surmounted by a horn. They are the pre 1902 straight "Jampot" cuff tunics. The tunics and hair styles would indicate c1890s. 

 

I hope that helps. 

 

From www.uniformology.com

S-TO-K_51_KOYLI.jpg.f1d20478c0b4bf599005ccbea185adce.jpg

 

 

Edited by Toby Brayley
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1 hour ago, reggie said:

The only war record we could find, showed him as Frank Thomas Stanford and the pension record also shows his wife and children as Stanford. He was with the K.O.Yorkshire Light Infantry and had a service no. 7418 He died on 16th. September 1914 but we have also seen a war graves record saying 25/02/1915.

The Soldiers' Effects give a date of death of "..on or since 16/09/1914".

CWGC gives an exact date of 25/02/1915, giving his name as Frank Thomas Stanford. Other details are given as:

"Son of the late Thomas Stanford; husband of Mary L. Thomas (formerly Stanford), of 5F, Peabody Buildings, Wild St., Kingsway, London."

 

Thomas appears to be his mother's surname after re-marriage also.

 There may be other 'delicate' circumstances in play here.

What was his mother's full name? There's no reference to her in the CWGC information.

Do you know the date of his parents' marriage, and his date of birth?

Edited by Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
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If his widow in 1916 was  Mary L. Thomas (formerly Stanford) that implies she married sometime after his death.

There are no plausible marriages of a Mary L. Stanford to a Thomas between 1890 and 1930.

Nor of any plausible Mary L. Thomas marriages to a Stanford in the same time  frame.

 

Can you post more details on this marriage certificate, also of Frank's origins- place and date of birth, parents names, locations in censuses etc.etc?

 

Edited by Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
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Hi All

Frederick Stanford Thomas was born on 4th February, 1915 and baptised  21st February, 1915 at St.Giles in the Fields, Holborn, London. Parents Frank and Louisa Mary Thomas. Address 5F Peabody Buildings, Wild  St. Father's occupation, "Soldier".  This does not tie up with the Fold 3 Pension Record Card ( I don't subscribe) regarding the name of the "child"  ie. Frank William Thomas Stanford. The 1911 census shows Mary Louisa Thomas (nee Fletcher) and Frank Thomas had been married 3 yrs 10 months had 2 children both still living , George Henry aged 2 and frank William aged 3. They married on 19th May 1907 at St. Clement Danes, Westminster. Frank Thomas's father dec'd is shown as William Thomas and the bride's father Charles Henry Fletcher.....searching

Regards Barry

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Unfortunately the collar badges can’t been seen due to the glaring reflection of the white facings, but they would have looked as per those below.  I agree with Toby that a key aspect is that the photo must be pre-1902 given the style of the tunics seen in the OP’s photo.

 

265BF57F-F583-4694-955C-70102DE950FC.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE
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H All,

Louisa Fletcher was born 18th Jan 1887 and baptised 28th Jan, 1887 at St.Clement Danes, Westminster. Father Charles Henry 2 Denzil St., a Porter. born Gibraltar. Mother Louisa. checks out with 1891 census, 2 Denzell St.,  St.Clement Danes...searching 

The Banns for her marriage in 1907 were read on 21/4. 28/4 and 5/5  Frank Thomas and Mary Louisa Fletcher.

As previously posted Frank's father was William Thomas. !

Something not right. I think someone got the records wrong.

Regards Barry

Edited by The Inspector
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1 hour ago, The Inspector said:

Louisa Mary Thomas

Thanks, 

So, Louisa Mary Thomas. Not Mary L. Thomas as per Soldiers' Effects.

Basic details that the OP should be providing and confirming.

 

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2 hours ago, reggie said:

His service number would appear to be issued much earlier about 1902 as well.

 

The Army service numbers site quoted earliers shows that the Regular Army Battalions of The Kins Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry) issued service number 7418 at some point between the 1st February 1902, (7011) and the 23rd June 1903, (7436),

https://armyservicenumbers.blogspot.com/2009/08/kings-own-yorkshire-light-infantry-1st.html

 

I suspect he was most likely recruited in 1903. The standard period of recuitment was 12 years, until 1903 usually split 7 years in the colours and 5 in the reserves, although the Army was starting to push 3 years in the colours and 9 in the reserves from that year. Other options were available, and a man could sign up for the full 21 years to get a service pension. The fact that he turns up with his wife on the 1911 Census would tend to undicate he signed up for no more than 7 years in the colours, and would be interesting to know his status on the 1907 wedding certificate, as potentially he could have already been a reservist at that point. If he was on the picture then that in turn would narrow down the date it could have been taken or help to eliminate him as being present.

 

A 12 year commitment however would have left him liable for recall when Britain joined the Great War at the start of August 1914.

 

The Soldiers died in the Great War entry for Private 7418 Frank Thomas Stanford, 2nd Battalion Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry shows him as Killed in Action on the 25th February 1915. He was born Soho, London and enlisted Woolwich , London. There are no details for place of residence.

 

On the actual census return for the 1911 Census of England & Wales the 30 year old Frank Thomas gives his place of birth as No.10 Crown Court, Crown Road.  The place of birth for the other household members are similary detailed - Mary Louisa (25), was born 18 Clare Street, Clare Market, while George Henry, (2) was born No.10 Neal Street, Long Acre and Frank William, (3) was born at the Lying in Hospital, Endell Street. Frank Thomas also says he has been a Carman for E & J(?) Pinks(?), Jam Manufacturer, for two months:)

 

There was a Crown Street in Soho, the site of the partially built Greek Church. Although this site doesn't reference Soho it gives more details about where it was.

https://www.british-history.ac.uk/survey-london/vols33-4/p192

However the occupants of 10 Crown Court on the 1881 Census appear to be the Kinney family, and there is no Frank\Francis in the household.

 

While checking the possible birth records I did come across a Frank Standen Thomas whose birth was registered in the Kingston District of Surrey in the April to June quarter, (Q2), of 1880. A follow up on the census shows him as born Wimbledon and his parents as Frank and Elizabeth, so appears to be a dead end.

 

Time to put me thinking cap on !

 

Peter

 

 

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3 minutes ago, The Inspector said:

Hi Peter.

As previously posted his marr.cert. in 1907 shows him as a "Soldier".

Regards Barry

 

2 hours ago, The Inspector said:

Frederick Stanford Thomas was born on 4th February, 1915 and baptised  21st February, 1915 at St.Giles in the Fields, Holborn, London. Parents Frank and Louisa Mary Thomas. Address 5F Peabody Buildings, Wild  St. Father's occupation, "Soldier". 

 

Sorry Barry, I thought I'd read it all through several times before posting and didn't see any reference to marriage certificate saying he was a soldier, only that he was soldier at the time of the 1915 baptism. I've just re-read the thread, and I may be being a numpty, but still not seeing it. Just wanted to be clear so that we don't accidentally close off a line of enquiry.

 

Thanks,

Peter

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Hi Peter

CORRECTED THE ABOVE POST BUT SEEMS TO BE RUNNING VERY SLOW!

HE WAS A TALLOW MAN ON THE MARR.CERT.....APOLOGIES

Regards Barry

13 minutes ago, The Inspector said:

Hi Peter.

He is a Tallow Man  on the 1907 marr.cert.    https://www.ancestry.co.uk/imageviewer/collections/61867/images/61865_314054001181_17920-00234?pId=753584

Regards Barry

 

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3 hours ago, PRC said:

The Army service numbers site quoted earliers shows that the Regular Army Battalions of The Kins Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry) issued service number 7418 at some point between the 1st February 1902, (7011) and the 23rd June 1903, (7436),

https://armyservicenumbers.blogspot.com/2009/08/kings-own-yorkshire-light-infantry-1st.html

 

 

The date of enlistment can be narrowed down a little bit more.

 

7402 Harold Brimswick Offen - according to surviving Service Records he transferred in from the Essex Regiment on the 12th February 1903.

7420 William Franks Gardner (or Gardiner - MiCs in both surnames, cross referenced). Was honourably discharged during the War and thus entitled to receive the Silver War Badge. The details on the associated Badge Roll shows he enlisted 15th June 1903.

 

5 hours ago, The Inspector said:

They married on 19th May 1907 at St. Clement Danes, Westminster.

 

So the most likely scenario would appear to be that Frank signed up for 3 years in the colours and 9 in the reserves - or he might have done an extra year in the colours and got married shortly after discharge - or he may have done a runner, hence the need for a change of name, but even then the Army must have decided to subsequently take him back.

 

As to date of death, his name appears in a the Casualty List which appeared in the edition of The Times dated Monday March 1st, 1915. However it is from an Other Ranks list dated 17th January 1915 and appears in the section for those men who were Missing. He was the only man of the KOYLI listed as Missing.

Other KOYLI men on the same list.

 

KILLED

10837 W. Gallagher. CWGC shows 2nd Battalion died 11th October 1914.

418 W. K Price. CWGC shows 2nd Battalion died 31st October 1914.

6422 F W Sowter. CWGC shows 2nd Battalion died 31st October 1914.

 

DIED OF WOUNDS

7303 S. Ronksley. CWGC shows 2nd Battalion died 19th September 1914.

 

WOUNDED

6641 Moseley J (MiC for Private James Moseley, later 21711 Yorkshire Regiment)

1247 Thompson J C (MiC for Private 3/1247 John C Thompson)

18270 Wheat J W (MiC for Private John W. Wheat)

1754 Whiting T (MiCs for 3/1754 T. Whiting and Whitting)

 

So certainly a mystery and potentially supportive of a September 1914 death.

 

Cheers,

Peter

 

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Hi All

A big thank you to all the contributors.  I was only looking for the information on the photograph, I didn't know about these great uncles until this photo came to light recently and I don't know anything about them, ie names or ages etc, so have now some avenues to follow.  It was amazing how much information and comments that came back in such a short time.  My wife had spend much of lockdown seeking this information on the "Thomas Family"

 

All the Army information was of particular interest as we have no knowledge of these matters.  The information supplied has answered some questions.

 

The research we did, could find no information of Frank Thomas prior to his marriage to Mary Louisa Fletcher in 1907, probably because we were always looking for "Frank Thomas".  We now know "Frank Thomas" and "Frank Thomas Stanford" are one and the same.  His father on the marriage certificate was "William Thomas" but on the CWGC record hi is T/L Thomas Stanford.  It was interesting to note that his wife is shows as Mary L Thomas (formerly Stanford), she was never technically a Stanford.

 

It was interesting to see "Frederick Stanford Thomas" son of Frank was born on 4th Feb 1915, probably after Frank died, which means he was conceived about May/June 1914 which also means Frank was in London at that time!  Frank was with the 2nd Bn. KOYLI when he died and as I understand it, they (KOYLI) were based in Dublin at the outbreak of WW1 and went straight to France in August 1914.  Is it likely that a reservist (as suggested Frank was) would have been sent straight to France?  Wouldn't he have been sent for retraining?

 

Also, why would a person from Soho, London be in a Yorkshire Regiment? And if in fact he changed his name how did the regiment find him? So many questions we may ever know the answers too.  If the service number 7418 for Frank was allocated in about June 1903 as has been suggested could he have been transferred from another regiment? and been given another service number as happened with 7402.  Would there be any records for this?

 

Last year we visited the Menin Gate Memorial a very moving experience, at that time we didn't know Frank was commemorated there so we will have to return.  Particularly now we know his military name.

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2 hours ago, reggie said:

Frank was with the 2nd Bn. KOYLI when he died and as I understand it, they (KOYLI) were based in Dublin at the outbreak of WW1 and went straight to France in August 1914.  Is it likely that a reservist (as suggested Frank was) would have been sent straight to France?  Wouldn't he have been sent for retraining?

 

Once he entered the Reserve he wasn't just forgotten about until needed - there were training sessions and camps to attend. His Medal Index Card shows him landing in France on the 10th August 1914, but our parent site the Long, Long Trail shows the 2nd Battalion KOYLI as landing at Le Havre on the 16th.

https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-british-infantry-regiments-of-1914-1918/kings-own-yorkshire-light-infantry/

As I have interests in other units of the 5th Division, especially the 1st Norfolks, I would have to say the 16th is more in keeping with their arrival dates. I suspect the clerk no doubt had hundreds of these cards to complete and probably repeated the date error numerous times based on a mis-reading.

 

As a reservist he would have been mobilised on the 5th August 1914 and reported himself to the barracks to pick up kit and then be dispatched over to Ireland. The 2nd Battalion would then have been looking to grow to war-time strength. (over 1,000 men) from a more normal peace-time of 500-600, over the next few days. They could have afforded to choose the best of what arrived and hold the rest back for earlier replacement drafts or refresher training as appropriate. Frank was obviously fit enough and considered trained enough to make the strength of the battalion that deployed overseas.

 

2 hours ago, reggie said:

Also, why would a person from Soho, London be in a Yorkshire Regiment?

 

Not everyone signed up for a named unit - a significant number signed up for General Service and went where they were posted. A man keen enough to sign up under another name might also have been keen to get out of London. Having said which Harts Annual Military List for 1904 has the 1st Battalion starting the year at Aldershot and the 2nd Battalion in Malta.. You also have to remember that the age, place of birth and parents names were what Frank Thomas Stanford said they were to the recruiting officer. Unless there was cause for doubt, none of that would be verified. Similarly the age given when married and fathers name were not verified by the Registrar - if groom or bride couldn't provide a birth certrificate then there was a declaration that had to be signed with the threats of criminal penalties and nullification of the marriage. Same applies again with the information given to the Census taker - none of it was independantly verified unless it was one of the small number on which a sample check was done.

 

Franks' incredibly detailed answers on the 1911 Census of England & Wales sound too good to be true - and perhaps therefore they aren't.

 

3 hours ago, reggie said:

If the service number 7418 for Frank was allocated in about June 1903 as has been suggested could he have been transferred from another regiment? and been given another service number as happened with 7402.  Would there be any records for this?

 

7402 Harold Brimswick Offen had originally enlisted in 1888 and by the time of the transfer was a Sergeant and an Army qualified tailor. It looks like his old unit was in transit when he transferred, so possibly he didn't fancy where they were heading or preferred to stay where he was. As a skilled senior NCO of good standing, (several Good Conduct Badges) he would have been welcomed with open arms by his new unit and his loss probably deeply regretted by his old unit.

 

Based on what little we know about Frank, yes he could have served previously with another unit based on the age stated on the 1911 Census - but not much earlier. Firstly he was aged about 22 when he joined the KOYLI, so you are probably looking at no more than 4 years earlier. But that then raises the issue that his 12 years would have expired before the outbreak of war. If he enlisted again on the outbreak of war he would have had a new service number and much less likely to have gone out straight away with the 2nd Battalion. If he had enlisted earlier than 1903 he could on expiry of the original 12 year term have signed up for Army Group B Reserve - which effectively committed him to another four years in the reserves and in theory meant he could have gone to any regiment. But the second issue is that men didn't routinely transfer between units unless it suited at least one of the units involved. So not impossible but next to impossible to prove without his service records. The day to day admin records that might have recorded this sort of thing were long ago destroyed as all the information would be noted in the servicemens files.

 

Cheers,

Peter

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A check of the 1939 England and Wales Register produces a Mary L Thomas, born on 13 January 1887 and widowed, living in Penzance, Cornwall. There is also a death registration for a Mary L Thomas in the same location in the last quarter of 1960, with an inferred birth year of 1887. A search of the GRO Indexes also produces four children with names that match the four names on the pension card. These are:

 

THOMAS, FRANK  WILLIAM  FLETCHER  

GRO Reference: 1907  D Quarter in ST GILES  Volume 01B  Page 553

 

THOMAS, GEORGE  HENRY  FLETCHER  

GRO Reference: 1909  J Quarter in ST GILES  Volume 01B  Page 535

 

THOMAS, MARY  LOUISA  FLETCHER  

GRO Reference: 1911  J Quarter in ST MARYLEBONE  Volume 01A  Page 431

 

THOMAS, CHARLES    FLETCHER  

GRO Reference: 1913  J Quarter in ST. MARYLEBONE  Volume 01A  Page 884

 

There is also the 1915 birth that was identified earlier, so a possible fifth child?

 

THOMAS, FREDERICK  STANFORD  FLETCHER  

GRO Reference: 1915  M Quarter in ST. MARTIN  Volume 01A  Page 831

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Hi All,

The Cornwall Mary L Thomas may not be the same person. According to a public tree on Ancestry Mary Louisa Thomas remarried in June 1920 at St.Martin, London. Husband George Cook. Her death recorded in 1951, Islington, London, 5c, 1362.

Regards Barry

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Hi All

Yes Barry, you are correct, she did marry George Cook in April 1920 and went on to have another 7 or 8 children with him.  The five Thomas children were with Frank

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