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Remembered Today:

Frederick Stewart Palmer


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I am hoping someone out there will be able to identify the uniforms attached.  They are both of the same person - Frederick Stewart Palmer born 1884 and died 1918.  He lived in Kent.  I have no further details except I believe the WW1 uniform shows Light Infantry buttons and the other uniform is pre-war?  All help gratefully received.  Research being carried out for a family relative.

 

Tanks3

Palmer, Stewart 3.jpg

Palmer, Stewart.jpg

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Both uniforms have Light Infantry Buttons, the second photo is I think post 1902 pattern uniform and looks to have some sort of braiding on the shoulder straps. Are they the same man, certainly vey similar? 

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He’s a part time soldier of a Territorial Force infantry battalion styled as rifles.  Going from the cap badge on his obsolescent field service cap it appears be like that of the Royal West Kent Regiment.  The identitifying feature of his part-time status is the Austrian knot decoration that you can see on his cuffs.  The Battalion of the 20th London Regiment wore that style of uniform and insignia from when it was formed from a Volunteer Battalion in 1908.  The battalion’s drill halls were at Blackheath and Woolwich.  See: https://www.steppingforwardlondon.org/20th-county-of-london-battalion-the-london-regiment-blackheath-and-woolwich.html

 

In the first photo the dress is a dark, rifle green tunic as usually worn prewar when walking out of barracks.  In the second photo drab khaki service dress is worn but with the special black rifles buttons worn by ranks below officer in most rifle regiments.

 

NB.  I think that the first photo actually slightly predates 1908, which means it would be the same actual unit, but at the time titled the 2nd Volunteer Battalion (VB) of the Royal West Kent Regiment.

 

 

 

B376E294-D7DB-4419-8437-CD77D0F26585.jpeg

5BA38254-E6BB-429D-A555-04C3F7C53D26.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE
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1 hour ago, Michelle Young said:

Both uniforms have Light Infantry Buttons, the second photo is I think post 1902 pattern uniform and looks to have some sort of braiding on the shoulder straps. Are they the same man, certainly vey similar? 


It’s a bit confusing because of the Austrian cuff knots, can you see RB on his shoulder straps on the upper photo?  If so my original thought that he was in the Rifle Brigade is correct.  They’re definitely the same young man.  In the second photo he’s wearing one of the earlier patterns of 1902 service dress (with the twisted shoulder cords).  If a battalion of the Rifle Brigade were at Dover around 1903-1904 then it’s a clincher.

 

NB.  Looks like it might be the 4th Battalion Rifle Brigade, who were in Chatham in 1903, so not that far from Dover.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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I'm not sure whether it's E or R! 

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32 minutes ago, Michelle Young said:

I'm not sure whether it's E or R! 

No I can’t make them out for sure either and I’m going cross eyed squinting at a phone.  Perhaps @CorporalPunishmentcan assist?

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12 minutes ago, CorporalPunishment said:

I think the titles have got to be RB, it's hard to see what else they could be really.    Pete.

 

Thanks Pete, I'm puzzled by his cuffs, but the two-letter shoulder title certainly looks like RB to me.  I'd written a lengthy post explaining RB, only to change it completely when I saw the Austrian knot.  I should have stuck with my convictions.  I'd date the photos to either side of the 2nd Anglo/Boer War.  If only the cap badge was a tiny bit more visible.  You can just about see the 1902 titles at the top of his arm on the second photo.  I wonder if @PRC can trace his name and confirm the regiment?

 

Image posted with permission.

S-TO-K_RIFLE_BRIGADE.jpg

Edited by FROGSMILE
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The title looks like EK.

East Kent??

I did think with the cuffs Royal East Kent Mounted Rifles, but the buttons are wrong, and what you can see of the badge appears wrong.

The only other East Kent is the Buffs', again, seems wrong?

The first letter, to me, definitely looks like an E.

I'll stand corrected, and make an appointment to Specsavers if wrong Ha ha.

Cheers all

Chris

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5 hours ago, Dragoon said:

The title looks like EK.

East Kent??

I did think with the cuffs Royal East Kent Mounted Rifles, but the buttons are wrong, and what you can see of the badge appears wrong.

The only other East Kent is the Buffs', again, seems wrong?

The first letter, to me, definitely looks like an E.

I'll stand corrected, and make an appointment to Specsavers if wrong Ha ha.

Cheers all

Chris

You and Michelle have caused me to have a moment of blinding realisation, and I am kicking myself.  You both saw an E and when I looked I thought it could be an E, but that as there was just two letters it must be RB.  A classic and really annoying mistake to make.  I was right about the Austrian knot being problematic and in the context of what you and Michelle have said it now makes sense.  He is in fact a part time soldier of the 1st Volunteer Battalion (East Kent Rifles) the Buffs, and the cap badge is what I thought it was, the prancing horse, but counter intuitive to the Buffs, as it’s also the badge favoured by the Royal West Kent’s and the 20th Battalion London Regiment.  

 

The East Kent Rifles wore Rifle green uniform in a similar style to that favoured by the King’s Royal Rifle Corp’s, i.e. with red backing to the helmet badge.  The shoulder title was E.K reflecting East Kent (as Chris said) and contrasted starkly with the regulars, who used ‘BUFFS’.  You have solved it between you, thank you!  In 1908 the unit became the 4th (East Kent) Battalion the Buffs, Territorial Force. The image below shows a soldier of the 2nd VB, who were also styled as Rifles (Weald of Kent Battalion).  Notice the Austrian knot on his cuff.

 

EE6E7719-D745-4DD3-B1BA-65C0EB80260C.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE
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2 hours ago, tanks3 said:

Thank you Frogsmile.  Really grateful

 

Tanks3

 

Definitely the 1st Volunteer Battalion (East Kent Rifles).  @Michelle Young and @Dragoonpointed the way!  They are cracking photos and the second one in drab service dress probably had the woven shoulder title EAST KENT with 1 over V below, but I'm unsure if in red thread on green or black thread on green.  My pure guess is red as it appears light on dark with orthochromatic film and matches the helmet plate centre.  The cap badge he wears in photo 1 is the horse over scroll Invicta (the same as worn by Kent Yeomanry).

 

East_Kent_Vol_Helmet_06.jpg

East_Kent_Vol_Helmet_03.jpg

EK-Volunteers.jpg

 

East Kent Rifles.jpg

Buffs Band_SM.jpg

Kent Yeomanry & East Kent Rifles.jpg

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On 30/03/2021 at 20:15, FROGSMILE said:

I wonder if @PRC can trace his name and confirm the regiment?

 

Looks like this one is pretty much resolved but just in case in adds anything:-

 

The birth of a Frederick StewErt Palmer, mothers’ maiden name Prebble, was registered with the Civil Authorities in the Sheppey District of Kent in the July to September quarter, (Q3), of 1884. Plenty of places in the process between the local register and the publishing of the consolidated quarterly index of births in England & Wales where the erroneous “E” may have crept in, or conversely, that may be the correct spelling of his middle name.

 

The Sheppey Civil Registration District at that time covered the civil parishes of Eastchurch, Elmley, Harty, Leydsdown, Minster in Sheppey, Queenborough and Warden.

https://www.ukbmd.org.uk/reg/districts/sheppey.html

 

The most likely union of his parents was the marriage of an William Wood Palmer to an Eliza Prebble which was recorded in the Elham District of Kent in the January to March quarter, (Q1), of 1878.

 

Their other children, (all mothers’ maiden name Prebble) are likely to be:-

 

Sheppey Civil Registration District, Kent

Q4 1880 Ellen Lucy Palmer

Q1 1882 Percy Prebble Palmer (The death of a Percy Prebble Palmer, aged 14, was recorded in the Milton District of Kent in Q2 1896).

Q2 1883 Fanny Palmer (The death of a Fanny Palmer, aged 6, was recorded in the Milton District in Q2 1889).

Q3 1885 Lilian Mary Palmer (The death of a Lilian Mary Palmer, aged 1, was recorded in the Sheppey District in Q3 1886)

Q3 1886 Edward Cecil Palmer

 

Milton Civil Registration District, Kent

Q4 1887 Bessie Palmer (The death of a Bessie Palmer, aged 5, was recorded in the Milton District in Q2 1893).

 

There is also a William Robert Palmer, mothers’ maiden name “Rebble”, whose birth was registered in the Sheppey District in Q1 1879 and which might also be in the mix.

 

The 1891 Census of England & Wales has a 6 year old Frederick S. Palmer living with a widower uncle, Thomas Prebble, at St John Farm, Foxhall Bottom, Swingfield. Other than Kent it is not at all clear where most of the members of the household, including Frederick, were born. Thomas Prebble, (47), was a Farmer, and while this edition of the census doesn’t state how many acres he farms or men he employs, there are 4 male farm servants living at this address, one female domestic servant and a Sarah Jane J Prebble who is described as a Servant Housekeeper. There is another member of the Prebble family farming the neighbouring North Court Farm. Swingfield does not fall within the Sheppey Civil Registration District.(The 1881 Census shows Thomas Prebble at Selstead Farm, Swingfield. He was then farming 410 acres, employing 7 men and 2 boys).

 

Elsewhere in Kent there is a 42 year old married Farmer, William Wood Palmer, born Minster in Sheppey, Kent, who was recorded as the head of the household of a dwelling at Deane Hill Road, Bredgar, Kent. That address fell within the Milton Civil Registration District. He lives there with his wife Eliza,(aged 42, born Springfield, Kent) and their children William Robert, (12), Ellen Lucy, (10), Percy Prebble, (9), Edward Cecil, (4) – all born Eastchurch, Kent, - and the 3 year old Bessie, born Bredgar.(On the 1881 Census William W. Palmer was shown as farming 400 acres at Eastchurch, employing 14 men, 1 Shepherd, 4 women and 5 boys).

 

On the 1901 Census of England & Wales the most like match for the Palmer family were recorded living at 2, Pemberton Place, Milton next Sttingbourne, Kent. Head of the household was the 52 year old Farmer, “W.W.”, born Minster. Living with him is his wife “C”, (aged 52, born Swingfield) and male children “F.S.”, (aged 16, a House Painter, born Eastchurch), and “E.C”, (aged 14, born Eastchurch, recorded as Deaf and Dumb). This was the last census taken by someone going door to door, so the wifes’ initial may reflect a known as name, or a mistake by the Census taker in either noting down the family details or when subsequently writing up the census schedule.

 

When the 1911 Census of England & Wales was completed by the householder of 33 Shropshire Street, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, (Henry Perry, a 66 year old married Carpenter), he noted that he had a boarder, Frederick Stewart Palmer. Frederick, aged 26 and single, was a house painter from East Church, Sheppey.

 

His parents recorded themselves living at 3 Pemberton Place, Sittingbourne, (the census enumerator says its 3 Newberton Place, London Road, Sittingbourne). Father William Wood Palmer, (62), now gives his occupation as Vaccination Officer. He amd Eliza, (62) have been married 33 years and of their 8 children, 4 were then still alive. Their son Edward Cecil, (24), a Cycle Engineer in a Motor Works, is recorded as having been totally deaf since birth.

 

No obvious marriage in England & Wales for Frederick Stewart Palmer.

 

I don’t know if it’s a co-incidence, but the death of a 33 year old Frederick S. Palmer was recorded in the Milton District of Kent in the January to March quarter, (Q1), of 1918. There is no obvious Soldiers Will or Civil Probate.

 

However I’m not seeing any obvious match on the CWGC website. When his father passed away in 1926, the probate calendar has him living at 6 Addington Road, Sittingbourne, so seems likely the family were living in the Sittingbourne area when their son died in 1918.

https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk/Calendar?surname=Palmer&yearOfDeath=1926&page=7#calendar

 

So do I take Frederick died after discharge, and cause of death was not directly related. Or have I got the wrong man entirely?

 

Cheers,

Peter

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I wonder if he died of the Spanish Flu Peter, the timing would be about right.  Brilliant analysis as usual, and in truth I struggle to follow all the branches.  At first I thought he was a regular and that we might match up his location with a regular garrison, but of course it turned out that he was an auxiliary.  His uniforms straddle the 2nd Anglo/Boer War almost perfectly, but I have no idea from them whether or not he ended up having WW1 service.  He would have been older by 1914 and, contrary to our expectation, only around 25% of the men in Britain of military age served during WW1.

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So the East Kent Rifles, the West Kent Yeomanry and the Kent Cyclist Battalion all wore the same cap badge at some time or another, the mind boggles. I knew about the Yeomanry and the Cyclists but I learnt something new today. You never stop learning.    Pete.

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51 minutes ago, CorporalPunishment said:

So the East Kent Rifles, the West Kent Yeomanry and the Kent Cyclist Battalion all wore the same cap badge at some time or another, the mind boggles. I knew about the Yeomanry and the Cyclists but I learnt something new today. You never stop learning.    Pete.

Yes Pete, I was stunned to discover that before 1881 and the imposed linking with regular regiments, all the Kent RVCs, East and West, formed a county wide brigade, and all units used the White Horse of Kent in some form, or another, on their insignia. Something similar to Lancashire/Lancaster where the Red Rose was omnipresent.

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