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Pte Lawrence Roxby


Ourfamily
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Hello Everyone.  I am the wife of Richard T Hensman and, with your (and his) permission, I am using his membership to write to you about Lawrence Roxby.  We are attempting to prepare a family jistory for our grandsons!  (My birth name is Yvonne Roxby).  Today I have discovered the Medal Card for Pte Lawrence Roxby who, I believe was in the 14th Hussars and then the Machine Gun Corps.  Is there any other WW1 information you could direct me too please?  I am very surprised that the Medal Card shows his c/o address as Roxby & Co. in Michigan.  Is there anyway I can prove that I have the correct family member who, if it is, was born in Altofts, Yorkshire.

Any help would be very much appreciated. 

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Do you know who his parents are? There is a Michigan marriage record for a Laurence E Roxby who married Doris M Zierle on 11 September 1920 in Three Rivers, Michigan. His birth year is estimated to be 1894 based on his age which is given as 26. He was born in England, his parents are named as Edwin Roxby and Hannah M Dent, and his occupation is given as machinist. If it's the same man as your Lawrence Roxby, then the Michigan address makes sense.

 

In the 1930 US Federal census he states that he arrived in the US in 1913. It looks as though he moved to California in later life, as there is a death for a Laurence E Roxby, born 2 October 1893, recorded on 3 May 1968 in Ventura, California.

 

There is a Laurence Roxby in the 1901 England census, aged 7 and living with Edwin and Hannah M Roxby, and three sisters at 105 Queen Street, Redcar. In the 1911 England census he is aged 17 and living at 45 Victoria Road, Middlesborough with the family. In 1911 his occupation is given as what looks like bridge plater's apprentice, which is certainly consistent with his occupation of machinist on his marriage in 1920. In both cases his birthplace is given as Middlesborough, Yorkshire.

 

Unfortunately, beyond his medal index card, and the associated entry in the medal rolls, there appears to be no further information on his WW1 military career.

Edited by Tawhiri
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And Laurence Edwin Roxby was born in the Middlesborough registration district, birth registered in the final quarter of 1893. 

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28 minutes ago, Tawhiri said:

Do you know who his parents are? There is a Michigan marriage record for a Laurence E Roxby who married Doris M Zierle on 11 September 1920 in Three Rivers, Michigan. His birth year is estimated to be 1894 based on his age which is given as 26. He was born in England, his parents are named as Edwin Roxby and Hannah M Dent, and his occupation is given as machinist. If it's the same man as your Lawrence Roxby, then the Michigan address makes sense.

 

In the 1930 US Federal census he states that he arrived in the US in 1913. It looks as though he moved to California in later life, as there is a death for a Laurence E Roxby, born 2 October 1893, recorded on 3 May 1968 in Ventura, California.

 

There is a Laurence Roxby in the 1901 England census, aged 7 and living with Edwin and Hannah M Roxby, and three sisters at 105 Queen Street, Redcar. In the 1911 England census he is aged 17 and living at 45 Victoria Road, Middlesborough with the family. In 1911 his occupation is given as what looks like bridge plater's apprentice, which is certainly consistent with his occupation of machinist on his marriage in 1920. In both cases his birthplace is given as Middlesborough, Yorkshire.

 

Unfortunately, beyond his medal index card, and the associated entry in the medal rolls, there appears to be no further information on his WW1 military career.

26 minutes ago, Tawhiri said:

Do you know who his parents are? There is a Michigan marriage record for a Laurence E Roxby who married Doris M Zierle on 11 September 1920 in Three Rivers, Michigan. His birth year is estimated to be 1894 based on his age which is given as 26. He was born in England, his parents are named as Edwin Roxby and Hannah M Dent, and his occupation is given as machinist. If it's the same man as your Lawrence Roxby, then the Michigan address makes sense.

 

In the 1930 US Federal census he states that he arrived in the US in 1913. It looks as though he moved to California in later life, as there is a death for a Laurence E Roxby, born 2 October 1893, recorded on 3 May 1968 in Ventura, California.

 

There is a Laurence Roxby in the 1901 England census, aged 7 and living with Edwin and Hannah M Roxby, and three sisters at 105 Queen Street, Redcar. In the 1911 England census he is aged 17 and living at 45 Victoria Road, Middlesborough with the family. In 1911 his occupation is given as what looks like bridge plater's apprentice, which is certainly consistent with his occupation of machinist on his marriage in 1920. In both cases his birthplace is given as Middlesborough, Yorkshire.

 

Unfortunately, beyond his medal index card, and the associated entry in the medal rolls, there appears to be no further information on his WW1 military career.

 

Just now, Ourfamily said:

Thank you both for your replies!  Tawiri - that confirms that he went to live in the USA.  Amazing information- thank you so much!

 

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4 hours ago, Tawhiri said:

Unfortunately, beyond his medal index card, and the associated entry in the medal rolls, there appears to be no further information on his WW1 military career.

There is a very short on detail card amongst the pension records at Western Front Association / Fold3 - for Laurence Edwin ROXBY, 28877 Hussars / 62565 Machine Gun Corps.

It has a claim reference of 64614/OS/M - the OS might perhaps refer to Overseas.  The M typically means a military claim.

No address on front or rear.

[I've transcribed it all!!!]

Can't say what it might relate to - the records have not yet been fully uploaded so perhaps time will tell and more may perhaps be revealed - I'm guessing it might perhaps relate to an unsuccessful claim.

:-) M

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Hi Yvonne and welcome to the forum.

 

8 hours ago, Ourfamily said:

Is there anyway I can prove that I have the correct family member who, if it is, was born in Altofts, Yorkshire.

 

For the family details provided by @Tawhiri it is the father Edwin who is recorded on the 1911 Census of England & Wales as born Altofts, Yorkshire.

 

Lawrence travelled out from Liverpool aboard the S.S. Corsican bound for the U.S. via Canada. Aged 19 and an Industrial Engineer his:-

- last place of residence was Middlesboro'

- next of kin was his father, Edwin Roxby, of 45 Victoria Road, Middlesboro' (same address as the 1911 Census)

- final destination was 3 Rivers, Michigan.

The passenger list can be seen as an attachment here: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QK3B-3CCB

 

He most likely paid himself to return to the UK following the outbreak of war and volunteer. His Medal Index Card shows that for Great War conflict he qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal - I'll come back to his other medal in a moment. That combination of Victory Medal and British War Medal would indicate that he did not serve in a Theatre of War until some point on or after the 1st January 1916. (The MiC incidentally uses the alternative spelling of Laurence).

 

Our parent site, the Long, Long Trail, shows that his first unit served with overseas, the 14th (Kings) Hussars had this war record.

 

14th (King’s) Hussars
August 1914 : in Mhow in India, part of the Meerut Cavalry Brigade.
September 1914 : came under command of 14th Cavalry Brigade in Meerut Divisional Area.
November 1915 : left Brigade and landed in Mesopotamia, came under orders of 6th Indian Cavalry Brigade.
May 1918 : left Brigade and moved to Persia.

https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/cavalry-regiments/the-hussars/

The same webpage lists a number of publication covering the history of the regiment.

 

Given their various locations mentioned above, he would have done his initial training in the UK after returning from the United States. He would then have been shipped out to Mesopotamia as part of a replacement draft.

 

Service numbers weren't unique to a particular regiment of Hussars, let alone an individual soldier - they were allocated at the Corps of Hussar level. A check through the Medal Index Cards records for nearby service numbers following by a check for surviving service records failed to produce anything concrete.

 

28868 John Padgin

28869 No match

28870 William H. Wells

28871 No match

28872 Charles Smales

28873 No match

28874 William A. Higgs

28875 Thomas W Chambers, 14th Hussars

28876 Frederick Jacobs

28877 Laurence E. Roxby

28878 Robert R Starkey

28879 Ernest Peacock

28880 George N Brown, 10th Hussars

 

No surviving service records but he was admitted on the 13th April 1917 to 18 General Hospital in France while serving with the 10th Hussars. He was stated to have had 1 years service in the Army and had been in the field 8 months.(Source FindMyPast). He would die of wounds on the 9th March 1918. His entry on Soldiers Died in the Great War shows he enlisted Middlesbrough.

 

28881 No match

28882 No match

28883 No match

28884 Hazelley Holliday

28885 Roy P S Harris

28886 Horace J. Clayton

 

Widening the search may turn up more information.

 

At some point he was transferred to the Cavalry Machine Gun Corps. The 14th Hussars would have had a mounted machine gun section, and the various Cavalry Machine Guns Corps were normally formed by transferring such sections into a squadron that supported the Brigade. This was a tactical chance and reflected that the cavalry could often be required to serve as dismounted infantry, adopting infantry tactics.

 

Unfortunately what happened and when in the 6th Indian Cavalry Brigade isn't covered by the Long, Long Trail. The other MGC Cavalry Squadrons seemed to have formed in February 1916.

https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/machine-gun-corps-in-the-first-world-war/machine-gun-corps-cavalry-squadrons/

 

However War Diarys can currently be downloaded for free from the National Archive, and I would have thought the departure of the Machine Gun Section would have been noted - there could even possibly be a roll call of those being transferred. To be able to download for free you just need to register for an account with the National Archive, (if you haven't already got one). No financial details are required and it can even be done as part of placing your first order.

The 1916 War Diary for the 14th (Kings) Hussars should be this one: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/f668ab2f0470426d9d1d9d091d24458f

 

There are then War Diaries for the 16 Machine Gun Squadron of the 6th Indian Cavalry Brigade.

October 1916 to November 1917. https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/33a0fd548b1c4f78a32c4206c36c4a24

January 1918 to November 1918: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/73cff82d5642475caf137436fd23c7bb

 

None of the diaries are likely to mention him by name in the day to day entries but will give a feel for where there were and what they were up to.

 

The 6th Indian Cavalry Brigade  Headquarters Diary goes into January 1919 and may give some insight into the next part of his military career and the additional medal on his Medal Index Card. https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C4558238

 

Lawrence is shown as qualifying for the Indian General Service Medals with clasps for Afghanistan and the North West Frontier Force, 1919.

 

To be continued - I've been called away, but hope that is of interest,

Peter

 

Edited by PRC
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Thank you such chums!  Peter - you’ve given me more research to do!  Ha,ha!  Lawrence’s great grandfather, John Roxby was my 2 x great grandfather!  Our grandsons will love the detail!

Best wishes both,

Yvonne

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18 hours ago, PRC said:

He most likely paid himself to return to the UK following the outbreak of war and volunteer. His Medal Index Card shows that for Great War conflict he qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal - I'll come back to his other medal in a moment. That combination of Victory Medal and British War Medal would indicate that he did not serve in a Theatre of War until some point on or after the 1st January 1916.

Just to follow-up on what Peter found, Laurence Roxby arrived back in Liverpool, England on 5 January 1916, on the Pretorian, which had sailed from St John, New Brunswick, Canada. His intended address was given as 45 Victoria Road, Middlesborough. His post-war service had ended by 15 May 1920 when he left Liverpool, England, on the Kaiserin Augusta Victoria, arriving in New York, USA on 5 June 1920, his last address being given as Middlesboro, once again giving the family address at 45 Victoria Road. His intended destination was Three Rivers, Michigan. 

 

This would suggest he enlisted sometime between January and early April 1916, based on what Peter found.

 

Edited to add that it looks like he went to Canada for his honeymoon as there is a Canadian border crossing card for him dated 15 September 1920, crossing at Windsor which would be the closest crossing point to where he was living in Michigan. Interestingly, this seems to indicate that he first entered Canada in 1912, and spent time in Edmonton, Alberta, before leaving Canada in 1915 at St John in order to join the army. He also states that he intends to reside in Canada, although this clearly never happened as he remained in the US for the rest of his life.

Edited by Tawhiri
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15 minutes ago, Tawhiri said:

This would suggest he enlisted sometime between January and early April 1916, based on what Peter found.

 

Sorry -the cogs are whirring a bit slow at the moment, As it's likely the 16th Machine Gun Squadron had come into being while Lawrence was still in the UK, (subject to confirmation from the 14th Hussars War Diary), then he wasn't transferred over.

 

One of the scenario's I'm used to seeing on Medal Index Cards for the France & Flanders theatre is where men arrive arrive in Theatre intended as a draft for one unit. They arrive at an Infantry Base Depot, (or a Cavalry Base Depot) technically on the establishment of that unit. But while at the Depot they are reposted elsewhere. Both units are shown on the M.i.C., as technically the soldier did "serve" with them both  in a Theatre of War, but the reality is that the first unit never saw them or had the use of them. Whether something similar might have happened in Mesopotamia must be a possibility.

 

The lack of surviving paperwork makes it all guesswork. He could have got to the 14th Hussars as a trained machine gunner and they pushed him straight on to the 16th Machine Gun Squadron. Or he could have gone on elsewhere - the later War diaries for the 14th Hussars show then serving in other Brigades. Or he could have been wounded \ accidentally imjured \ had health issues, and on recovery was posted wherever the need was greatest.

 

3 hours ago, PRC said:

Lawrence is shown as qualifying for the Indian General Service Medals with clasps for Afghanistan and the North West Frontier Force, 1919.

 

A good introduction to the Third Anglo-Afghan War can be read here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Anglo-Afghan_War

 

34 minutes ago, Tawhiri said:

His post-war service had ended by 5 June 1920, which is when he arrived back in New York from Liverpool, England on the Kaiserin Augusta Victoria

 

Unfortunately it's behind a paywall but I can see the basic details that a Private L. Roxby sailed from Liverpool bound for New York on the Kaiserin Augusta Victoria in 1920.

 

He arrived at Ellis Island on the 5th June 1920. The ships passenger list shows that it sailed from Liverpool on the 27th May 1920. Lawrence Roxby gives his occupation as "Steelwork", he was 26 years old and single. As in 1913, he was last resident Middlesboro', his next of kin was his father Edwin of 45 Victoria Road, Middlesboro, and his intended destination was 3 Rivers, Michigan. He was single and aged 26.

Passenger list is attached here https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6ZJ-J2W

 

On the 11th September 1920 at Three Rivers, Michigan, the 26 year old Lawrence Roxby, machinist, son of Edwin, married Doris M. Zierle, aged 22, daughter of Henry and a native of 3 Rivers.

Marriage register for Michigan can be seen attached here: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N3BY-T3B

 

1930 US Census. Born England. Resident 510(?) West Hoffman Street, Three Rivers, Michigan with wife Doris and children Edwin H., (8), Lawrence W., (6) and Diana A. (2 and 4 months), all born Michigan. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X7MZ-G17

 

1940 US Census. Born England. Resident 333 Prospect, Grand Rapids, Michigan with wife Doris and children James, (18), Lawrence, (16) and Donna\Diana, (12) all born Michigan.

https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KH37-KC5

 

1942 Became a naturalised US citizen as "Laurence" Edwin. Born Middlesborough on October 2nd, 1894. (That doesn't tie up with the civil records in the UK - probably should be 1893). Also lists three children but they are shown Edwin Henry, November 24th 1921; Laurence William, December 6th 1923 and Diana Arden, December 8th, 1927, all born Three Rivers, Michigan. The family were then living at 601 Union Avenue South, Grand Rapids. He arrived on the S.S. Kaiserin Auguste Victoria at New York on June 5, 1920.

https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:ZPWH-VST2

 

Died 3rd May 1968 at Ventura, California. Date of birth given as 2nd October 1893.

https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VPH3-DLK

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/218397231/laurence-edwin-roxby

 

There is also more on the three children and their children on the familysearch website.

 

Hope that helps,

Peter

 

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9 minutes ago, PRC said:

Unfortunately it's behind a paywall but I can see the basic details that a Private L. Roxby sailed from Liverpool bound for New York on the Kaiserin Augusta Victoria in 1920.

Peter

 

I can confirm that he is listed as a soldier on the original passenger manifest departing from the UK. On the manifest he is grouped with three other individuals who are all described as soldiers. The other three names are William Brown, J(osy) Guncher, and Joseph Horowitz. The arrival manifest in New York simply states their civilian occupations. William Brown is Irish and from Tatnagoll, Ireland, the other two are Russian, but coming from Liverpool, England. The latter two both have parents living in Brooklyn, New York.

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Dear All,

Thank you for the wealth of information which I will need time to digest.  As always, you’ve done a great job!

Best Wishes,

Yvonne & Richard

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At the end of the war men who were discharged & had travelled to the UK to enlist from abroad could have the return passage to their previous country of residence paid for by the British Government.

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On 19/01/2021 at 01:25, Tawhiri said:

I can confirm that he is listed as a soldier on the original passenger manifest departing from the UK. On the manifest he is grouped with three other individuals who are all described as soldiers.

Thanks for checking @Tawhiri – I only thought it added to what you had already posted because of the title for him being given as Private.

 

On 18/01/2021 at 21:52, Ourfamily said:

 Peter - you’ve given me more research to do!

 

Apologies – lost my train of thought on this one when I was called out on a “dad rescue mission”

 

Next step for me should have been to look for when his Cavalry Machine Gun Corps number - 62565 -  was issued. A run through the MiC's and a hunt for surviving paperwork brings up:-

 

62566 Albert H. Swales ex Hussars 31069

62567 Morris C Smither ex Hussars 12237

62568 Arthur H. Shelton ex Hussars 28961

62569 James R Wallace ex Hussars 4529

 

Died 28th October 1918 while serving with the 16th Squadron Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry). Has no known grave and is remembered on the Basra Memorial.

https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/863802/JAMES ROBERT WALLACE/

Soldiers Died in the Great War records him under “62560” and as “Died” so presumably not combat related.

 

62570 No match

62571 William G. Galley ex 13th Hussars 22803

62572 Patrick Devlin ex Hussars 595.

62573 Richard Rawlinson ex 13th Hussars 18235

 

FindMyPast has an undated scrap that was part of a Casualty List being sent to the Machine Gun Corps Record Office. Private 62573 R. Rawlinson had suffered a Gun Shot Wound Right Foot. His unit was given as the 7th Cavalry Brigade MGS.

 

62574 Frank Webb ex Hussars 16517

62575 No match

62576 Thomas Sidney Ansell ex Hussars 1952

62577 No match

62578 Stephen H Stoneman  ex Hussars 13583

62579 William Cummings ex 14th Hussars 31176

62580 Richard Greenhalgh ex 20th Hussars 8962

62581 No match

62582 No match

62583 Alfred Jackson ex Hussars 31099

62584 James Jakeman ex Hussars 28963

 

Surviving transfer sheet for his Service records that although low on detail, because of his original Hussars service number are doubly helpful. They cover a posting to the 13th Reserve Regiment of Cavalry and the records were transferred on the 1st February 1916.

 

62585 Paul Kilgallen ex Hussars 12149

62586 John E Matthews ex Hussars 28861

62587 Nathaniel H. Noble ex Hussars 28929

62588 Frederick Osborne ex Hussars 31350

 

FMP has another piece of scrap paper that came from an undated Casualty List sent to the Machine Gun Corps Records Office. Private 62588 F. Osborne was suffering with S.F. Fever, (Sand Fly Fever). He was then serving with MGC 6th Brigade.

 

62589 Joseph C Shepherd ex Hussars 2891

62590 Stephen Bentley ex Hussars 5472

62591 Samuel Jarman ex Hussars 6792

62592 Richard Smith ex Hussars 25553

62593 John H. Bettney ex 14th Hussars 31064

62594 Harold Edward Oakley ex Hussars 31048

 

Surviving Discharge Records.He enlisted for service on the 27th November 1915, probably under the Derby Scheme as he was mobilised on February 8th 1916. I suspect that is why is original Hussars service number is higher than that for Lawrence Roxby. Pages like his attestation forms are missing but his Casualty Form –Active Service I suspect paints a picture that is probably identical to that of Lawrence Roxby as far as the deployment overseas is concerned.

 

543761001_HaroldOakleyCasualtyFormsourcedFindMyPast.jpg.2f51e52c1a1788d5290d4332fbe5fc85.jpg

(Image courtesy of FindMyPast)

 

Harold embarked on His Majestys Transport Medic at Devonport on the 10th September 1916 as part of the draft for the 14th Hussars

 

He landed at Basra on the 10th October 1916. Possibly while serving with the 14th Hussars, (or more likely while still at a Depot in Mesopotamia), he was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps and posted to the 6th Cavalry Brigade Machine Gun Squadron on the 23rd December 1916 with service number 62594. However doesn’t look like he joined up with his unit in the field until the 28th January 1917, so perhaps there was some training required.

 

Hope that helps.

Peter

 

 

 

Edited by PRC
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Question for Peter (PRC)

As you have found a lot of MGC transfer data above would you mind if I entered this data into the database.

Tim

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1 hour ago, Woodnbits said:

As you have found a lot of MGC transfer data above would you mind if I entered this data into the database.

 

Of course you can use it Tim - would hate to see it go to waste :)

 

Cheers,

Peter

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