Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

'Forfeits 14 days pay for tempering with his...' what?

Mike Leishman

Recommended Posts



My Gt. Uncle was in the 142nd Labour Corps and I was lucky enough to find his Regimental Conduct Sheets (I think he found it 'hard' to live up to the army's expectations!) I can read most of them quite easily but I'm struggling with parts of these two. 


Can anyone tell me what he was tampering with? I have Googled, with no luck. The 'closest' I got was 'AB' as Army Book. Apologies in advance if it's something blindingly obvious.



The next sheet has a bigger punishment but I can't work out what it says/means between 'Awarded 84 days detention' and 'when on active service...'

If I've read it correctly, it appears to be when he had been transferred to 2/5th Battalion Norfolk Regiment (I wasn't sure about the last letter being a 'k', but may have been the way it was done back then). 

The unexpired term of sentence appears to be related to a transfer to the Northants Regiment? On the next line something relating to the 'Labour Company' happened 8/3/17, possibly just admin, or does 'EA Dis' mean something? Having read his conduct sheets (!) I was imagining 'discharge' but I also came across 'EA' as Enemy Artillery - he was injured in the field in July 1916.  

While with the Northants Regiment, he was appointed a/Cpl on 24/3/17 (reverted to ranks 16/4/17 after further misconduct!) but I'm not sure if 'LfCC' is important here?




Sorry for all the questions. I can see how much trickier it is without the actual service record. Thank you again for any help you are able to give.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Mike Leishman said:

he was tampering with?

His Paybook AB64

7 minutes ago, Mike Leishman said:

does 'EA Dis' mean something

part of the authority, I suspect East Anglian District ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, Mike Leishman said:

can't work out what it says/means between 'Awarded 84 days detention' and 'when on active service...'

by DCM  = by District Court Martial

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Charlie 962,


A big 'thank you'...there's no way I was ever going to see those letters/numbers. 


So, (AB 64) most likely tampering with a pay book to make it look like he hadn't received/was owed money, or could it even be something like tearing a page/doodling?


I see the 84 days detention was awarded early November 1917. I think the Norfolk Regiment were at Doncaster, but would a Court Martial have taken place at the Regimental Depot? In which case he was possibly in the detention rooms at Colchester. East Anglia District would work as he was with the Norfolk Regiment. So, he was transferred early March 1917, from Norfolk to 4th Company Northants (142 Coy), which arrived in France March 25th, which is the reference on the sheet to BEF 25.03.17 - 10.2.19. Would you know of a reason why the unexpired part of his sentence was remitted? Would that be an equivalent to the modern 'early release for good behaviour'? Or perhaps his sentence didn't begin until less than 84 days before transfer to the Northants...


He seems to have (very!) regularly been in trouble since joining the Highland Cyclist Brigade, and continued while in the field in 1917. Lots of Confined to Barracks / Forfeiting pay and a couple of FP2s! Nothing for May 1916-March 1917 or 1918, but maybe that's just because the paperwork no longer exists! My dad says James was joked about as being the black sheep of the family,...which makes me wonder if this was all he got up to and what he did in later life!


Thanks again, I really appreciate it,



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi @Mike Leishman


Reading through the documents:-


His transfer from the 2/6th Royal Warwickshire to the 2/5th Norfolks was authorised by a memo with reference CRSG 15111461/a, (or something similar!).


His transfer from the 2/5th Norfolks to the Labour Company of the Northamptonshire Regiment was authorised by a memo with reference EA Dis/a/8/3/17, citing Army Order a/17/69.


These memo weren’t documents between the two units, but an order from higher up the chain. EA could potentially be Eastern Area rather than East Anglia. I believe the UK had been divided into a number of Commands, Eastern Area Command being one of them.


Given the severity of the punishment awarded, (probably in part because of previous disciplinary issues), his commanding officer probably didn’t have the authority to sanction it. Hence why he was tried by a District Court Martial, which I believe was normally carried out by District appointed officers attending the camp where he was held – the Army would be loathe to ship potential witnesses around the country.


The charge was that “When on active service using insubordinate language to his superior officer”


I believe at the time that he joined them the 2/5th Norfolks were at Rugeley Camp in Staffordshire, although I’m still looking for better confirmation of that than what I currently have. I believed after that they subsequently moved to the Sussex coast, so would be interested in anything you have that says they were at Doncaster in early 1917, (the DCM itself appears to be undated in the extracts you have attached).


I suspect the sentence was remitted in order to get him out to a Theatre of War asap. There was a unit being formed, it was bound for France and was short of men – answer = clear out the jails and detention centres.


The 4th Infantry Labour Company, Northamptonshire Regiment became 142nd Company, Labour Corps when the Labour Corps was created. So he stayed in the same place but the unit title and place in the army organisation changed.


for a time line of their activities in France.


I’d appreciate it if you could let me know his name and Norfolk Regiment service number, (if you have it) – he’s probably one of my blanks at the moment. Send me a PM if you don’t want to post it in open forum.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Peter,


A big 'thank you' for your input. I've had a trawl around the internet but the best information (HCB / 142 Labour Corps etc is definitely on here)


His name is James Leishman and his service number for Labour Corps was 84847. There is also an earlier 242266 with the Royal Highlanders ('C' Company Highland Cyclist Brigade) on his medal card, also 84777 (4th Labour Infantry Coy) on another conduct sheet with a date in May 1917 and another sheet for June 1917 has 84847 crossed out and 40912 written above it, though still 142 Labour Corps. (just giving you all the numbers I can see) I don't have any paperwork that is Norfolk specific, just a few regiment conduct sheets. 'Interestingly' his Z.22 of May 1919 only makes reference to the 1/2 Highland Cyclist Battalion and 2/6 Warwick Regt. under 'Former Regiments'


He seems to have joined the Norfolks after being injured on July 19th with the 2/6 Warwicks (a lot of HCB seem to have moved across to the Warwicks just before they left for France) - so I guess it was Fromelles -  and after a spell at Mile End Hospital. I got the paperwork from Findmypast (Fold3 also have it). I think Forces War Records have something about the court martial, which may give a date, I'm not a 'member' so don't know any more than that.


Ah, I said I was an amateur! The 'information' about possibly Doncaster was a guesstimate on my part based on what it said on Forces War Records, Unit History:Norfolk Regiment, 2/4th and 2/5th Battalion Territorial Force - so I have probably got that wrong, or the site isn't that accurate!




Link to comment
Share on other sites



Sorry, I just found the Court Martial  on Fold3, going in through the free Ancestry library option with my library card!


The date was January 1st, 1917, held at Sheffield. No service number given. Insubordination to a Captain and L/Cpl, So that explains why it was unexpired/remitted. As you suggested, the Northants were ready to go in March, so the 84 days was cut short.


Hope it helps with your gaps. Would the detention rooms have been in Sheffield too? 



Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Mike Leishman said:

going in through the free Ancestry library option with my library card!


Envious - my free access to FindMyPast always seems to reach its look up limit with about a week to go to the end of the month - you can still get in on the 28th :)


I do have two sizable groups of Royal Warwicks who transferred in to the Norfolk Regiment, and several are known to have gone on to serve with the 1/5th Battalion, so likely they went via the 2/5th. However they came in just after the Territorial Force renumbering at the start of 1917 and so instead have five digit numbers starting 33xxx.


As James was transferred to the Norfolks in mid-November 1916 its likely he would have been included in the re-numbering - most likely a six digit 242xxx. He would have had a four digit number for the first few weeks of his service with the Norfolks, shown possibly with a 5/ prefix - unfortunately the prefixes tend to be the first thing that gets forgotten on much of the paperwork.


Still it's good to pick him up and glad we could help.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mike, I've started looking at his papers, trying to put things in date order:


Embodied 31/10/14  1600  2/1 Highland Cyclist Bn
Trf'd 17/5/16      6174   2/6 Warwicks
To France 21/5/16
wounded 19/7/16
to UK 21/7/16
Trf'd 15/11/16    SvcNo??  2/5 Norfolks
Trf'd 13/3/17     34551 Northants Regt 4th Inf Lab Coy - 142Lab Coy
Became Lab Corps 84847 24/3/17 ?
To France 25/3/17 until 10/2/19


Some docs stamped 927th Area Artizan Company- wghat is this?

Suffering Malaria 28/4/19 ??


Question marks etc because I've rushed and I've got to go out and work!  Peter may be able to make more sense of this. I think he is probably right with Eastern Area rather than East Anglia.



Edited by charlie962
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Charlie,


I've been going through things (slowly) too, as I pick things up. All new to me so I don't notice things first time round!


You mentioned the malaria, so I'm guessing you're looking at all the docs that have been scanned. James's AF Z 22 and Conduct Sheet for the end of 1917 says he is with the 834th Area Artizan Coy, and, as you noticed, there is a stamp for the 927th Area Artizan Coy showing up, one on his conduct sheet when with the 2/1 HCB. 927th is also indicated as his unit on the Cover for Discharge Documents. Confusing! I did find out that 142 Labour Corps as well as 834th and 927 Area Employment (Artizan) Coys were part of the BEF 3rd Army (as of 18th November 1918) http://www.314th.org/Nafziger-Collection-of-Orders-of-Battle/918BKWB.pdf p37/8. Back to the malaria. I wonder why he went off to Bangour, after Stirling, maybe a recuperation thing? That was after disembodiment, so I guess the army still looked after their soldiers. 


It's the number of (what appear to be Service Numbers) that's confusing me. The HCB conduct sheet seems to have three numbers. I'm assuming 1600 was the original as it seems to be written in the same hand/pen as his name. It also fits in with the numbering indicated in the link below. So why the 6174 and what looks like 4551? His medal card has Royal Highlanders (Black Watch) Service Number 242266, which, I'm guessing, would be related to the renumbering that took place.



Then there's the Service Number 84777 4th Infantry Labour Coy, on the June 1917 Conduct Sheet, before Service Number 40912 on the Conduct Sheet of mid 1917 when it became the 142 Labour Coy. Or is that just a natural 'new unit/new number? I think I read that was common in WWI. 40912 is also on the pension (?) card. Pity I don't have the medical notes from 1916, to know whether being sent to the 142 Labour Coy was a medical category, or it was because of the court martial and they didn't want him on the front line!


We don't know anything about James on the civilian side of things, as he appeared to drop off the radar, as far as the family were concerned, which is why the next bit is intriguing. Did you happen to read the reply to a letter his daughter sent in 1964 regarding the award of service pension? It was rejected as he only had 17 years and 65 days service (11 years and 25 days 'reckonable service'(?) plus 6 years and 40 days with Army Reserve and Territorial Force - Oct 1914 to March 1919 is only about four and a half years). So, does this mean he must either have 'rejoined' after disembodiment in 1919, or served in WWII? And, what I thought were just scraps, but they must mean something if they were in his file. It looks like a form was torn, and this bit 'saved'. Seems to be the front/back of the same piece of paper. Date of 1963 showing, so not related to the letter from his daughter. Would you happen to know what it was, or should I post it on ww2talk?



I've only done three other family related service records (CEF, RNVR and RAFVR). In the middle of another RNVR and got a pre-WW1 to do. Nice full records. So much easier!




Link to comment
Share on other sites


Just a few points on Service Numbers.

During WWI a man was issued with a new number when he changed Regiment permenantly but not if a temp attachment.

In 1917 there was a renumbering of all the Territorial Army, from 4 digit to six digit numbers.

After the end of the war,1919, new unique 7 digit Army numbers were issued to all those remaining or joining.


1.  James's wounding was with the Warwicks and the number 6174 is definitely his Warwicks number (I've edited my post above). So I do not have a Norfolks number for him - it may be in the rest of his record that I have not yet read. Otherwise I have shown the number that goes with his unit.

2. He would have been issued a Labour Corps number on formal Transfer to Labour Corps from a Labour Company of the Northants.

3. Postwar his new Army number was 2968529 and the MoD Glasgow still hold a file under this number that you could apply for (when they re-open). This may cover RASC time or maybe A&SH TF time (at least that is what the Medal card says ?). There is info in the LongLongTrail as to how to apply.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

His renumbering is difficult to follow indeed. The MIC that has R Highlanders 242266 is a puzzle in that this looks like a post-March 1917 Territorial renumbering but he left Highland Cyclists (the closest unit I can see) in early 1916 ? But that number may be an error ? Could it be a Labour Corps number ?


As you say there is also the number 40912 on one of his 1917 Labour Corps Defaulter sheets. I assume this was before 84847 but was it before or after 34551 ??


With all his transfers and detentions the Army must have been confused, let alone us. I suspect that MoD file may help.



Link to comment
Share on other sites



Looks like we came to the same conclusion, it just took me longer to get there - thanks to a couple of 'nudges' from Long Long Trail (prefix 'M' for Mechanical Transport) and trying the 7 digit number on 'Forces-War-Records'. So, a useful little scrap of paper. I think Glasgow will have to wait until a couple of Premium Bond numbers come in! I'm a little wary as the D.O.B. is a month out, but possibly just a computer reading software transcription error.


Interestingly, (regarding the HCB) 'our' James Leishman was SN 1600, enlisted 31.10.14, and another, older, James Leishman, unrelated, from a village about 12kms away, enlisted the same day (1/1st HCB) and is number 1599, which all fits in with Michelle79 post I referenced above. James's HCB Company Conduct Sheet is Sheet 2. I would love to see what he was up to for the year since enlisting! There's no way he behaved himself!!



Link to comment
Share on other sites

A quick comment re. TF renumbering. Some ASC TF soldiers that I've looked at were renumbered to 6 digits as early as September 1916. But not sure whether this is relevant here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...