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Remembered Today:

14th btn Northumberland Fusiliers


Hannah West
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Dear members, I hope you can help me. I am researching my Great Grandad Arthur Whitehead who joined the 14th bn Northumberland Fusiliers in 1915 and fought in the Battle of Loos. I know he had injuries from gas inhalation and on his discharge card Feb 1919 it says the cause is shell shock. I have his medal records but would love to find out more about his military career if possible, such as whether he fought in other battles and what it was like for him, and whether he was hospitalised or came home on leave. I did a search, prior to joining as a member here and found a blog entry from someone asking a question about the same battalion. There was a reply from someone which said 'Old Sweats' underneath the profile name - which I cant remember and unfortunately didn't make a note of. This helpful respondant said that their relative was in the same battalion and he had a copy of his diary which he would post here the next day. I then excitedly joined in the hope of finding this diary posted here. However - now I am a member - I cant find the original post and I cant find the diary either. I am hoping someone will be able to help? 

Very many thanks

Hannah West

YORK

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Hi Hannah.

 

Welcome to the Forum 

 

You can download the Battalion War Diaries for free (subject to registration) here:

 

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_q=14+NORTHUMBERLAND+FUSILIERS+WAR+DIARY

 

These will tell you the movements and actions of the battalion on a daily basis.

 

Dave

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29 minutes ago, Hannah West said:

Arthur Whitehead who joined the 14th bn Northumberland Fusiliers

Hi Hannah,

Welcome to GWF.

If you are looking for potentially more from GWF ...

As you have his medal record - it would certainly help us if you could please tell us his Regimental No(s) [if medals - on back of Star and rims of BWM & VM]. Thanks.

Regardless, good luck with your quest.

:-) M

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Thanks Dave, this is really useful, though the person in the post I previously read Im think was referring to a personal diary.

Do you have any advice on how to find out any further details of Arthurs life as a WW1 soldier? 

On his medal record in the comments column it says: 641817 Pte C1.z 18.2.19 - Can anyone decipher this please?

Many thanks

Hannah

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Hi Matlock1418, and thank you,

His number is 15553.

On his medal record in the comments column it says: 641817 Pte Cl.z 18.2.19 - do you know what this means please?

I wonder what happened to his medals. No one in the family knows.

 

Many thanks

Hannah

Edited by Hannah West
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You can read about how to interpret a medal index card on the Long Long Trail website. I would also suggest using the forum search facility to see if you can find the thread you mean, don't search on Old Sweats though, as members attain Old Sweats status when they reach 100 posts. 

Michelle 

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40 minutes ago, Hannah West said:

His number is 15553.

On his medal record in the comments column it says: 641817 Pte Cl.z 18.2.19

Hannah,

I presume off his 1914-15 Star Medal Roll

641817 is his later Labour Corps number - he must have been transferred to them - probably as later less fit than required for the infantry [you can also see the reference to LC on the Medal Roll references on his MIC]  Both these numbers are seen on his British War Medal & Victory Medal Roll and on his MIC

Cl.z 18.2.19 - this records the date after the end of the war of his transfer to the [Class] Z Reserve - essentially he would have become a civilian again but a temporary assignment in case the Army had to be quickly reinforced if the peace negotiations failed  Obligation likely to have ended n 1920 when the Z Reserve was abolished. [See also on the LLT under "Reserves"]

:-) M

Edit:

If you are interested in what this Labour Corps period might have entailed then there is an excellent book by Starling & Lee called "No Labour, No Battle", a detailed history of the LC - I don't have a copy to hand but in it the LC numbers are dated/explained.  Other members may perhaps help you out with this.

Edited by Matlock1418
added details re BWM & VM and edit
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Just now, Matlock1418 said:

641817 is his later Labour Corps number

 

His MIC shows 

Reference: WO 372/21/128634
Description:
Medal card of Whitehead, Arthur
Corps Regiment No Rank
Northumberland Fusiliers 15553 Private
Labour Corps 641817 Private
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Thank you Michelle, M and Ian,

 

The book looks really interesting. Looks like my next Amazon purchase! It sounds like I may be able to find out which aspect of the LC he was involved with based on the medal index card? Is that right?

Can I ask M - what do the abbreviations MIC and LLT stand for please?

Also - do you know if it is possible to find out whether Arthur was admitted to a military hospital?

Thanks for all your help,

Hannah

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10 minutes ago, Hannah West said:

what do the abbreviations MIC and LLT stand for please?

Sorry about the acronyms :-/

Easy - you might note below both are some dots - just hover your pointer and an explanation emerges!

However:

MIC = Medal Index Card [Compiled from one or more Medal Rolls (two in this case) - a small card produced individually so that the 'engraver' knew what to emboss on the star & medals]

LLT = Long Long Trail - the parent organisation for the GWF [Great War Forum!] - see in the top blue banner, above, 2nd tab from the left.

:-) M

Edited by Matlock1418
further guide
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7 minutes ago, Hannah West said:

It sounds like I may be able to find out which aspect of the LC he was involved with based on the medal index card?

Not always quite that easy but you may be able to get to know when he got his LC number from the book, and perhaps which LC Company he got to, etc.

Been a long time since I read the book so a little rusty on the exactitudes.

:-) M

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3 hours ago, Hannah West said:

Hi Matlock1418, and thank you,

His number is 15553.

On his medal record in the comments column it says: 641817 Pte Cl.z 18.2.19 - do you know what this means please?

I wonder what happened to his medals. No one in the family knows.

 

Many thanks

Hannah

Hannah - just a quick one for you, although you may already know this - he arrived in France on the 8th September 1915.

Graham

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Hello Hannah, this is the post you were looking for: https://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/15133-14th-battalion-northumberland-fusiliers/?tab=comments#comment-2727014

 

By coincidence the person who made the response about submitting diary details is the original proprietor of this forum @Chris_Baker.   Perhaps he will see this and be able to assist, but I don’t know for sure.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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AH brilliant - thanks Frogsmile and Graham! It looks like Chris was referring to the general war dairy after all. I have now downloaded it from the National Archives website. I did already know his arrival in France date but thank you anyway Graham. 

I have been searching on Ancestry to see if I could find the relevant Victory and British medal Roll page 26203 but it doesn't seem to be there. If I did manage to find this Roll page - would it be able to tell me what the codes on the MIC mean? 

 

Thanks all

 

By the way Frogsmile I noticed your little tagline which caught my eye as I am currently reading Goodbye To All That by Robert Graves and he talks about The Flash, an interesting quirk! 

 

 

Arthur Whitehead Medals.jpg

Edited by Hannah West
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24 minutes ago, Hannah West said:

AH brilliant - thanks Frogsmile and Graham! It looks like Chris was referring to the general war dairy after all. I have now downloaded it from the National Archives website. I did already know his arrival in France date but thank you anyway Graham. 

I have been searching on Ancestry to see if I could find the relevant Victory and British medal Roll page 26203 but it doesn't seem to be there. If I did manage to find this Roll page - would it be able to tell me what the codes on the MIC mean? 

 

Thanks all

 

By the way Frogsmile I noticed your little tagline which caught my eye as I am currently reading Goodbye To All That by Robert Graves and he talks about The Flash, an interesting quirk! 

 

 

Arthur Whitehead Medals.jpg


Hello Hannah, I’m glad to help.  The codes on the MIC alongside each medal type are file reference numbers relating to the entry for him on the regimental medal rolls.  Each regiment lists its men in a roll and then each entry on the roll cross relates to an individual, named medal index card.  There was one roll for the War and Victory Medals and another roll for the 1914-1915 Star, as you can see.

 

I’m glad that you’re enjoying Goodbye to All That.  You might also enjoy ‘Old Soldiers Never Die’ by a soldier of the regiment, a publication directly supported by Robert Graves, who knew the soldier concerned, Private Frank Richards, very well.

 

C4F61EE2-1057-4F9A-BDCB-75105201765A.jpeg

603B2E50-D129-4660-997E-FF988B5DD791.jpeg

559D78F7-B2ED-42A4-86BE-212EFD558D5B.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE
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 I am no wiser,  sorry, I think I need an Idiot's Guide to Mics and rolls! 

Put another way - will these codes tell me anything - or are they just id codes - if that makes sense?

 

Many thanks

Hannah

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20 minutes ago, Hannah West said:

I have been searching on Ancestry to see if I could find the relevant Victory and British medal Roll page 26203 but it doesn't seem to be there. If I did manage to find this Roll page - would it be able to tell me what the codes on the MIC mean? 

 

 

The Roll page 26203 on Ancestry is Here

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5 minutes ago, Hannah West said:

 I am no wiser,  sorry, I think I need an Idiot's Guide to Mics and rolls! 

Put another way - will these codes tell me anything - or are they just id codes - if that makes sense?

 

Many thanks

Hannah


They are just ID codes linking the roll with the MIC so that a clerk could find it.  They don’t tell you anything, no.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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Thanks for sharing the photos Frogsmile, I will add Old Soldiers Never Die to my reading list :) 

Ray - thank you for the link - though Ive been using the library version of Ancestry as I get free access to that in lockdown, and this link takes me to a subscription page. I do have a subscription to Ancestry but it's only the basic one - maybe this is why I couldn't find the document. Grrrr.

Can you see Arthur on there?

Many thanks

Hannah

 

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42 minutes ago, Hannah West said:

I am currently reading Goodbye To All That by Robert Graves

Which version/edition?

There are quite a few interesting changes between the 1929 and 1957 editions.

:-) M

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I had a couple of quite recent reads - both editions.  [And a few of his biographies too!]

Omissions and additions by 1957

Don't forget that neither is necessarily an absolutely accurate account - but ones by an author who needed to sell print.

This is what I got on GWF

:-) M

 

Edit: I hadn't seen these previous threads

Graves certainly stirs up comment - even today

Edited by Matlock1418
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Hmm, interesting, didn't realise there was a fact checking hoo ha  - hasn't put me off - a bit of artistic licence is acceptable and now expected!

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If you want an unalloyed account of the 2nd battalion without any of Robert Graves chutzpah then get ‘The War the Infantry Knew’, by Captain J C Dunn RAMC (RMO).

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It is a good read.

The other books mentioned in the threads e.g. The War The Infantry Knew are also interesting reads.

:-) M

Edit; Frogsmile - we crossed!

Edited by Matlock1418
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