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Albert Morton 756112, C Battery, 251st Brigade RFA, MM 1918


Ivor Anderson
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Albert Morton 756112, C Battery, 25th (251st?) Brigade RFA

25th Brigade RFA were with 1st Division. 

25th Brigade RFA WD online: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7351867

 

Parents: Peter Morton & Mary Ann Dobson m. Q4 1881, Hartlepool.

Born: Q4 1884, Hartlepool

1891 Census: 11 Union Place, Hartlepool. Parents Peter & Mary Anne.

1901 Census: 11 Union Place, Hartlepool. Parents Peter & Mary Anne.

1911 Census: 6 Mount Pleasant Rd, Hartlepool, Age 26, Fireman NER.

                       Father died Q4 1911 aged 58. Mother died 1916 aged 57.

 

WW1 Service - no surviving service record? Trying to fill in his service history!

Arrived in France 18 April 1915 (MIC & star roll) - entitled to WW1 trio.

Served as 289 RFA, then WR/209498 RE (railways), and then 756112 RFA.

(N.B. Albert was a 26 year old fireman with the NER on the 1911 Census)

AWARDED MM LONDON GAZETTE 6TH AUGUST 1918, 30830, page 9246

MM Index card wrongly states 251st Brigade RFA. Schedule no. 175941.

Gazette for German Spring Offensive March-April 1918.

(Stated in LG to be from West Hartlepool).

Wounded - on casualty list 30/09/18.

Discharged 2 March 1919 - war pension.

 

Married: Beatrice Holland Q1 1921 in Hartlepool district.

Died: Q2 1939 aged 54, West Hartlepool.

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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49 minutes ago, Ivor Anderson said:

Arrived in France 18 April 1915

 

This ties in with 1/3rd Northumbrian (County of Durham) Brigade RFA departing for France. The third battery of which was raised in West Hartlepool.

The brigade became 252nd Brigade RFA in May 1916 and the third battery became C/252.

However, it looks like he was transferred to D/252 between its formation on April 18, 1916 and it becoming C/253 on May 16, 1916.

 

57 minutes ago, Ivor Anderson said:

MM Index card wrongly states 251st Brigade RFA

 

Not necessarily, C/253 was broken up to C/250 and C/251 on November 16, 1916, those of C/251 getting the six figure numbers 756078 - 756133.

I would also suggest that his posting to the RE was after his MM award for the Spring Offensive in 1918 and 25th Brigade RFA is an error.  

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It also says N'BN BDE which is Northumbrian Brigade RFA so cannot be 25th Brigade RFA. A simple but annoying error.

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Thanks David. Makes sense now! His MM Index Card off TNA: WO-372-23-146135

Screen Shot 2021-01-08 at 15.34.49.jpg

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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13 hours ago, David Porter said:

I would also suggest that his posting to the RE was after his MM award for the Spring Offensive in 1918

His medal roll (off Ancestry) agrees with you about him serving with the RE last. I was going by his MIC.

Screen Shot 2021-01-09 at 07.43.45.png

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Dvr. Walter F. Tunnacliffe 756149, of A/251st Bde. RFA was the next consecutive MM schedule number to Albert Morton (TNA WO-372-23-177297):

Gnr. G Ransom 755235              was sch. no. 175938,

Gnr. Arnold Pape 755938           was sch. no. 175939, 

Dvr A. Hillbeck 2555                  was sch. no. 175940,

Gnr. John Green 16194               was sch. no. 175943 (Bar)

Sgt. Bernard Spray 755254         was sch. no. 175944,

Sgt. Jonathan F. Crawford 61271 was sch. no. 175945

Dvr T Overy 755413                    was sch. no. 175946

Farr/Sgt Sydney Dalton 755050    was sch. no.175947,

Sgt. Robert McIntyre 755812       was sch. no. 175910.    All of 251st Bde. RFA in the same LG.

Screen Shot 2021-01-11 at 16.21.42.jpg

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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  • Ivor Anderson changed the title to Albert Morton 756112, C Battery, 251st Brigade RFA, MM 1918

50th Divisional Artillery WD contains documents listing many Corps MM awards in September 1918, presumably for the Battle of Amiens, but has no mention of Albert Morton & Co. between April & then. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/50th_(Northumbrian)_Division#Battle_of_the_Lys_(1918)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/50th_(Northumbrian)_Division

Found this helpful thread re Corpshttps://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/281200-which-corp-was-the-50th-division-attached-1918/

From it (thanks to Terry Reeves). They certainly moved around the Corps a lot during 1918! 

21-23 March , Fifth Army Reserve on 21.3.18 then XIX Corps, 5th Army. - Battle of St Quentin

23 March- Actions at Somme Crossings, XIX Corps

26-27 March - Battle of Rosiers, XIX Corp.

9-11 April - Battle of Estaires - XV Corps , 1st Army.

12 April - Battle of Hazebrouck - XV Corps, 1st Army.

28 April, IX Corps (under 6th French Army). 6th May took over Beaurieux from 51st (French) Division.

27 May -  6 June - Battle of the Aisne, IX Corps  attached 6th French Army.

1 October - Battle of St Quentin Canal, XIII Corps , 4th Army.

3-5 October - Battle of Beaurevoir Lone, XIII Corps.

8 October - Battle of Cambrai XIII Corps, 4th Army.

11-12 October - Pursuit to the Selle XIII Corps , 1st Army.

17-18 October - Battle of the Selle, XIII Corps, 4th Army.

4 November - Battle of the Sambre, XIII Corps, 4th Army.

Source; Order of Battle of Divisions, Major A. F. Becke, Part 2a

 

They must also have been with III Corps during August-Sept. 1918:

Screen Shot 2021-01-13 at 09.20.59.png

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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XIX Corps RFA units and Casualties 21 March- 5 April 1918, including 50th Div RFA (containing 251st Bde, RFA):

Screen Shot 2021-01-13 at 20.43.20.png

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Awarded TFEM  (card courtesy NatArchives etc)

1845474833_GWFMortonARFARETFEM.JPG.a9a6ab225ab6ac78ba987083d8ae5fe7.JPG

 

Service record of a sort , for his Pension Award is here on FindmyPast.

Interesting description of his nervous condition

 

'Re-engaged' 26/4/14

Discharged 2/3/19

Wounded at some stage - GSW, left hand, no disability.  (Wounded per DailyCasList 30/9/18, LBdr,MM, suggests actual wounding end Aug, start Sept, but already has MM)

Neurasthenia, -strain of Active Service- attributable 30%

 

So maybe previous service pre-war ? Perhaps an enlistment c1902

 

Charlie

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13 minutes ago, charlie962 said:

So maybe previous service pre-war ? Perhaps an enlistment c1902

 

Yes, definitely pre-war service. He was on a Territorial Force engagement, which is usually 4 years, so could be a 1910 enlistment. However his early number is 289 which might have been at the beginning in April 1908 and he re-engaged on a yearly basis from 1912.

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4 minutes ago, David Porter said:

Yes, definitely pre-war service. He was on a Territorial Force engagement, which is usually 4 years, so could be a 1910 enlistment. However his early number is 289 which might have been at the beginning in April 1908 and he re-engaged on a yearly basis from 1912.

Good thinking !

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I think the RE number was an early Nov 1918 issue. Compulsory Trf Railway Operating Division.

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Thanks Charlie & David. He was a 'fireman' with the North-Eastern Railway in 1911 (census off Ancestry) so a Nov 1918 transfer to the Railways makes sense:

Screen Shot 2021-01-14 at 16.44.44.png

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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23 hours ago, charlie962 said:

Wounded at some stage - GSW, left hand, no disability.  (Wounded per DailyCasList 30/9/18, LBdr,MM, suggests actual wounding end Aug, start Sept, but already has MM)

Neurasthenia, -strain of Active Service- attributable 30%

Thanks Charlie. His wound stripe came with his MM:

 

DSC_0117.JPG

DSC_0119.JPG

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Did you read the medical report ? Wins an MM on one occasion, gets wounded on another, ends up frightened of sudden noises and low in confidence.

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Sorry Charlie, I don't have a FMP subscription. Albert Morton himself in his RFA uniform with MM ribbon (seated):

 

DSC_0123.jpg

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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The crossed flags on his sleeve? Inscription on back of photo (erased bit - 'Disability...'?):

 

DSC_0125.jpg

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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Yes the crossed flags on his sleeve. Battery signallers were often required to be out repairing lines under shell fire or perhaps he could have been with the Forward Observation Officer as his signaller.

 

Charlie

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Albert Morton's MM is listed among an incredibly long collection (pages & pages) of XIX Corps awards in their Headquarters Branches and Services: Adjutant and Quarter-Master General diary for April 1918 (the last digit of his service no. is wrongly listed here as 0 instead of 2). No doubt they were for the German Spring Offensive where XIX Corps was pushed back 20 miles in 6 days. WO 95/965/3. It is little wonder that his MM was engraved 25 Bde in error instead of 251. 

Screen Shot 2021-01-18 at 16.09.16.png

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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