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Remembered Today:

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Good afternoon,


I hope everyone had a pleasant Christmas! 


I was wondering what the usual convention would be for officers commissioning from the ranks? Would it be usual for these officers to commission into the same regiment (if not the same battalion) or would they commission into a different one? 


The examples I've seen so far have all commissioned into the same regiment, but always into a different battalion. 


Any help would be greatly appreciated. 


With best wishes,

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In the early part of the war, "commissioned up" very often went to a different regiment- and often from the other end of the country. Thus, for my area of London, those commissioned early on would go to northern regiments mostly. This was to stiffen the separation between officers and men- that a man might be compromised in his relations with Other Ranks if he had been one of them. The introduction of regiments that acted as "officer factories" started to tone down this practice- The Honourable Artillery Company and the Artists Rifles. Many men were talent spotted on enlistment or spotted and encouraged to apply for a commission very early on-after which they went to Officer Cadet Units. [Note -other parts of the country applied to England mostly-the Scottish regiments tried to hold on to Scots-or,at least,keep out the English-Ireland was too weak in terms of manpower to sustain the Irish regiments without significant infusions of both officers and men]

  As the war progressed, some men wished to stay with their own regiments- and the senior officers of the regiments often wanted the men back again as officers rather than be continually depleted of good NCOs or,at least, good potential NCOs.  A couple of my local examples might show what happened:

1) Captain J.S.Calder, London Rifle Brigade- a schoolteacher who enlisted as a Private with the LRB in September 1914[although talent spotted-he had been in an OTC at university]. Lance Corporal by Christmas 1914-and that in a battalion stuffed full of good officer candidates-a Company Sergeant Major by February 1916. Wounded just as the Somme offensive started and went for a commission- he turned down a posting to 3 LRB and held out for his old battalion-which he got. Killed in action,Captain MC and Bar in 1918.

2) Captain Thomas Gayes-  a pre-war Regular with 1st Border Regiment.  Asked to step down from acting Lance Corporal as the war began but made his way back up to Sergeant in mid 1917- Commissioned with a good character reference from the Colonel of his battalion- BUT commissioned into 11th Border Regiment.

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