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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Pte Richard Blythe Pte R37226 16th KRRC.. and his brother George


MrG

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I am trying to get a handle on the rather convoluted services of the two Blythe brothers in the header of this post. What I have found out to date is that George (Pte 5668/452483 11th London Rifle Reg) was KIA in Egypt 19 April 1917 and Richard after initially being reported KIA 23rd April 1917 survived and possibly went on to father (illegitimately) my half-uncle. The problem I have is that there is an ongoing issue in the records regarding the brother's christian names. George (christened George Thomas)  is also referred to as "Charles Austin George" and is actually recorded as this on his CWGC memorial. Similarly Richard (christened Richard Charles Austin) crops us as "Richard Childs" and on a dependants pension record issued as a result of his "death" as Richard C but with a different service number (R/29385) . Nevertheless I have managed to track Richard down as a POW in Gottingen Camp but there my trail goes cold until the early 20's when he reappears in the ERs living with his parents in London. Is there anyway of tracking his release from internment as to close the loop on this bit of lost family history I need to put him the the Dorchester area od Dorset around the May of 1919. Any Thoughts welcome

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56 minutes ago, MrG said:

Nevertheless I have managed to track Richard down as a POW in Gottingen Camp but there my trail goes cold until the early 20's when he reappears in the ERs living with his parents in London. Is there anyway of tracking his release from internment as to close the loop on this bit of lost family history

He is in a WO Casualty List dated 14 January 1919 Returned POWs Screenshot 2021-03-20 at 14.39.48.png

Image courtesy BNA on FMP

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1 hour ago, MrG said:

George (christened George Thomas)  is also referred to as "Charles Austin George" and is actually recorded as this on his CWGC memorial.

 

1 hour ago, MrG said:

Richard (christened Richard Charles Austin) crops us as "Richard Childs"

MrG,

You seem likely to have seen these [but for others]:

Also showing as on his MIC [Charles A. G.] and Pension cards [George Thomas / Charles Austin George / C. A. G.] - at 4, or 41, Eaton Terrace, St John's Wood, NW8

Pension card [Richard C.] shows 4, Eaton Terrace, St John's Wood, NW

As Kenf48 has identified St John's Wood, NW.

:-) M

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Thanks Chaps, Thought I had trawled Ancestry, FMP and Fold3 pretty well but missed the returning POWs listing. Anyone know how these chaps were "processed" when they got home or indeed how they got home??

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3 hours ago, MrG said:

Nevertheless I have managed to track Richard down as a POW in Gottingen Camp

This PoW appears to be under 37222 - sadly no "R" repatriation report in ICRC records

MIC also has 37222 - so a query about the 37226 number in the thread title - where did that come from? - or a typo crept in somewhere ???

:-) M

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Sorry, the "37226" is a typo. All the records I have found, except for the strange death notice, have 37222 as you state above.

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7 hours ago, MrG said:

Thanks Chaps, Thought I had trawled Ancestry, FMP and Fold3 pretty well but missed the returning POWs listing. Anyone know how these chaps were "processed" when they got home or indeed how they got home??

 

Although there was no one way they came home the majority came through Holland and embarked at Rotterdam, others travelled from Copenhagen.  The casualty returns simply said ‘arrived in England’.  

 

The majority of boats were pre war North Sea ferry services utilised by the Army.  Many prisoners were ill and emaciated cf the more widely published photos of WW2 and were kept in Holland to build up their strength.  On arrival in the UK, landing at ports on the East Coast in England and Scotland,  many went to the camp at Ripon, were with a new suit of clothes, discharged from the Army and given a rail warrant home.

 

After making their way home local communities often held a reception, or dinner for them and that was it.  Many suffered illness and premature death due to conditions contracted during their incarceration.

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  • 9 months later...

Since my last post on this topic I have managed to confirm via DNA and family discussion that Pte Richard Blythe 3722 16th KRRC. was my illegitimate uncle's biological father. From the whole of Richards quite large family there is only one surviving descendant and we are in correspondence. He is descended from one of Richards sisters but as his parents divorced when he was small. he has no knowledge of his grand mothers generation and just one photo of his parents wedding which may contain some of them. My question therefore is does anyone have/know of photographs of the 16th KRR from around the time of Richards service that may help me close this final part of the family puzzle. Any help welcome.

Many Thanks

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32 minutes ago, MrG said:

Since my last post on this topic I have managed to confirm via DNA and family discussion that Pte Richard Blythe 3722 16th KRRC. was my illegitimate uncle's biological father. From the whole of Richards quite large family there is only one surviving descendant and we are in correspondence. He is descended from one of Richards sisters but as his parents divorced when he was small. he has no knowledge of his grand mothers generation and just one photo of his parents wedding which may contain some of them. My question therefore is does anyone have/know of photographs of the 16th KRR from around the time of Richards service that may help me close this final part of the family puzzle. Any help welcome.

Many Thanks

Along with the Rifle Brigade, the King’s Royal Rifle Corps maintained regularly published regimental Chronicles that were so well funded by these wealthy units that they were probably the best such journals in the Army.   I don’t know how well engaged the war-raised service battalions of the regiment were in these publications, but the 16th was quite a famous unit if I recall correctly and so ostensibly it seems likely that they contributed articles and photos.  Two forum members with special interest in the two original regular rifle regiments @stiletto_33853and @MBrockwaymight be able to comment. 

Edited by FROGSMILE
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1 hour ago, MrG said:

Since my last post on this topic I have managed to confirm via DNA and family discussion that Pte Richard Blythe 3722 16th KRRC. was my illegitimate uncle's biological father. From the whole of Richards quite large family there is only one surviving descendant and we are in correspondence. He is descended from one of Richards sisters but as his parents divorced when he was small. he has no knowledge of his grand mothers generation and just one photo of his parents wedding which may contain some of them. My question therefore is does anyone have/know of photographs of the 16th KRR from around the time of Richards service that may help me close this final part of the family puzzle. Any help welcome.

Many Thanks

A DNA success story - it's a handy tool these days.

Craig

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  • 2 weeks later...

Currently away from my library, so will look into this once I am reunited.

My grandfather was in 16/KRRC.

Mark

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I can confirm that the correct Service Number for Rfn Richard C. BLYTHE was R/37222.  The letter prefix is often omitted, even in official documents such as casualty reports, but it is significant.  His medal roll entry suggests he only in 16/KRRC and the R/37222 suggests he was not one of the original establishment of the battalion.

It seems he was taken prisoner unwounded during the 33rd Division attack on the Hindenburg Line at CROISILLES on 23 Apr 1917 for which elements of 16/KRRC were placed under the command of 1/Queens, which lead the attack for 100 Brigade.  Rfn Blythe was in B Coy when captured. 

By early June 1917 he was in LANGANSALZA POW Camp having transited via the POW Camp at GÖTTINGEN.  However by 01 Sep 1917, he was back at GÖTTINGEN, this time in the POW hospital (Gefangenenlazarett).

I'll do some further digging on the CROISILLES action at later in the week.

Mark

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