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Remembered Today:

209061 William Sellers Signal Squadron Royal Engineers, 5th Cavalry Division - Egyptian Expeditionary Force


Jonathan D'Hooghe
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Help please! - Driver William Sellers was a 1916 Derby Scheme recruit who served in Egypt/Palestine with the EEF. His unit is variously described on documents as being 'RE, 5th Signal Squadron', '5th Div Sig Coy RE' and also 'Signal Squadron RE, 5th Cav Division.'

 

He is described as being 'A Driver (proficient)' and 'A good horsekeeper and a capable man with mules.' 

 

I appreciate that this is a completely separate RE unit to the 5th Signals Company who served on the Western Front, but can someone please enlighten me as to his role in the EEF and the units who made up the 5th Cavalry Division in Palestine?

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Thank you Charlie. As you say, that is a probable good starting point.

A number of documents have recently come to light, found in a tin box in a loft of a house of an elderly member of the Sellers family. The documents are mainly 1918 and 1919 and several refer to 'instructions' as to his release from the Army in September 1919.

His Certificate of Transfer To [the] Reserve - show that he attested on 13th May 1916 and was called up on 9th October 1916, and was officially Transferred to the Reserve on 25th December 1919.

 

I am sure he would have served in theatre in 1917 but there are no records with this year date.

 

There is a hand written account dated February 1918 of his accident whilst charging an acetylene lamp - which resulted in facial burns.

A very interesting programme  for a 'Desert Mounted Corps Concert Party' held nightly 15th to 18th January 1919.

A programme for a horse racing meeting held at Aleppo in September 1919, including all the horses and riders.

A number of small private photographs taken at the time of various scenes of mosques, natives, camels etc.

 

In all, a very interesting selection of papers but without a 'great deal of meat' included and with there being no surviving service record, I have hit a bit of a dead end, particularly, as you say, for 1917.

 

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There are several possibilities if he was posted to Egypt 1917, including

 Signal Squadron of the Imperial Mounted Division EEF

Base Signal Depot

Signal Squadron Australian Mounted Division

 

War Diary of Div Sig Squdn Australian Mtd Div (formerly the Imp Mtd Div) is here but, again, not yet digitised.

War Diary of Base Signal Depot is here, not digitised

 

I have seen service records for men who passed through these units before ending up in 2nd Cav/ became 5th Cav Div Signal Squadron.

eg

233823 Grant

36778  Keeler

203459 McIntosh

The problem is we will be guessing. But looking at the above examples gives a possible idea of sequence.

 

Charlie

 

 

Edited by charlie962
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23 hours ago, Jonathan D'Hooghe said:

A very interesting programme  for a 'Desert Mounted Corps Concert Party' held nightly 15th to 18th January 1919.

Australian War Memorial has this:

908294998_GWFDesertMountedCorpsConcertPty.JPG.a2f8afa9c559bc83607178cd36699799.JPG

 

 

and again via wiki, but seeming reasonable, this background on the Corps:

 

Edited by charlie962
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Thank you once again Charlie for your pointers and the concert party card.

I will delve deeper and see what I can turn up.  

Edited by Jonathan D'Hooghe
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MCINTOSH                                                                                                                                 SELLERS

203459                                                                                                                                          209061

Rank – Driver                                                                                                                                Rank - Driver

Attested 31.8.1916                                                                                                                       Attested 13.5.1916

On duty 18.10.1916                                                                                                                      On duty 9.10.16

To Egypt 16.3.1917                                                                                                                       To Egypt ? – likely to have been similar to McIntosh?

At Base Depot from 30.3.1917                                                                                                     Probably similar to McIntosh

Posted to Signal Squadron Cable Section 23.10.1917                                                                 ????

Posted to Signal Squadron Mounted Division 16.6.1918                                                            I would think William Sellers joined at this time too as this coincides                                                                                                                                                           with the formation of 5th Cav Div                                                                         

Four weeks Furlough to UK October 1919 on ticket number 1580                                             Four weeks Furlough to UK October 1919 on ticket number 1584

Demobilised 29.12.1919                                                                                                               Demobilised 25.12.1919

 

Charlie, thank you for the pointer towards McIntosh's service record. His dates are so close to William Sellers' that I am happy that an educated guess would suggest they saw similar service. They certainly travelled home together in October 1919.

 

Jonathan

Edited by Jonathan D'Hooghe
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