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

Remembered Today:

Question on interpreting dates on a Medal Index Card


James McAuley
 Share

Recommended Posts

If his unit did not go to France until Aug 1916 an enlistment in 1915 is likely.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, johnboy said:

The transcript  shown in OP gives royal Dublin Fusiliers and Royal Munster Fusiliers. I interpret tha as Enlisting with RDF and transferred To RMF

This transfer could have taken place at IBD France

This is very interesting for me Jonhboy.

I have been trying to figure out where Eugene might have moved form the 10th Dublin Fusiliers to 2nd Munster Fusiliers...

First time I have heard of this IBD.

Thank you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From Long LongTrail

10th (Service) Battalion
Formed in Dublin in late 1915. Moved to Buttevant, then in June 1915 to Ballyhooley. Moved to England in August 1916, going to Pirbright.
19 August 1916 : landed at Le Havre and placed under command of 190th Brigade in 63rd (Royal Naval) Division.
23 June 1917 : transferred to 48th Brigade in 16th (Irish) Division.
24 October 1917 : absorbed surplus troops from 8/9th Bn.
So did not enlist before June 1915

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Admin
1 hour ago, James McAuley said:

Though I think Eugene was enlisted during 1914.

 

What reason do you have to think he enlisted in 1914?

 

Regards

 

Russ

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, RussT said:

 

What reason do you have to think he enlisted in 1914?

 

Regards0

 

Russ

Russ....

I very well be wrong with the enlistment date.

I had assumed his Medal Record (which suggests 1914 to 1920) referred to his enlistment date / demobilization dates. That could well be a wrong assumption but I cannot find any other details. (Indeed, this was the first question I asked when I registered with the site - if the MIR dates could confirm year of enlistment).

Other that the Medal Card record I could offer nothing as to when Eugene may have enlisted.

Thanks Russ.

James

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The MIC's recorde awards of medals for the whole war i.e 1914 / 1920

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Admin

I think his RDF number was allotted in 1916 - you would have do further research into surviving service records of men with similar RDF service numbers. This is an oft used technique that can pay dividends.

 

Of course when a number was allotted and when a man enlisted is not always the same thing - as a man may have been transferred from a different home-based unit which would not appear on a MIC/Medal Roll. But looking at service records can often tell you whether men were predominantly direct enlistments or transferees in the number block of interest.

 

If you look at other men with similar RDF numbers in CWGC you will notice that none died before 1916 indicative that no one with a similar number was overseas before 1916. You can also take those who died with similar numbers by working out when they enlisted from their War Gratuity - a search of the Forum will tell you all about that technique.

 

Regards

 

Russ

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Admin

As Russ has pointed out the medal records indicate his Regiment and number when he entered a theatre of war, not when he enlisted, nor even when he was posted to a Regiment.  The 10th Battalion RDF was an active service Battalion but was disbanded due to the reorganisation of the Army in February 1918.

 

He was in a draft to the 2nd Royal Munster Fusiliers on the 3rd March 1918.  As has previously been pointed out due to the grievous losses on the 21st March  throughout the Division there is no war diary for the entire month of March.  If it survived it would enable us to confirm the size of the draft on the 3rd March. There are only after action accounts for the battle on the 21st March.  Notwithstanding the lack of documentation there is a high degree of confidence in the date of transfer to the RMF.

 

Turning to the Royal Dublin Fusiliers number this was probably allocated in April 1917 when he was posted to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion.  In the normal course of events he would be posted to an active service Battalion after a few weeks.  We cannot say if he was transferred from a home service unit but this seems unlikely given his age and antecedents as posted.

 

I have not found sufficient corroboration to have the same degree of confidence as to the date of allocation of the RDF  number compared to the transfer to the RMF.  What can be interpreted with a high degree of certainty is that 20733 was not allocated in 1914/15.  

 

It is entirely possible he enlisted in another unit e.g. 20739 Devlin enlisted Glasgow and was killed whilst serving with the 8th Battalion SDGW states previously 26650 HLI; 20732 Jackson enlisted in the Special Reserve on 10th August 1914 and was numbered 8342 to the 4th West Yorkshire Regiment; on the other hand 20734 O’Donnell 1st Bn. was aged 19 when admitted to hospital in February 1918 and had 15 months service, three at the front.  As far as O’Donnell’s numbering he would have to have attained the age of nineteen before going on active service overseas so if he was initially in the Training Reserve at eighteen (November 1916) then three months training would see a posting to the RDF at the earliest February 1917.

Therefore my interpretation based on his Regimental number is that he was posted to the RDF early in 1917.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, RussT said:

 

I think that is mistaken - that record is for a certain 18122 R W McCauley of the Royal Irish Rifles.

 

Regards

 

Russ

 

 I should have spotted that, did see two McAuleys with same number & Irish Regiments. Apologies for the red-herring.

TEW

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Admin
7 hours ago, Pat Atkins said:

I couldn't find him on the ICRC site either! The cards on FMP state that he was in 2nd Bn RMF and was made POW on 21/3/1918*. On one card it gives that date and "Ronsay", though in a very cursory glance I couldn't find a likely place of that name - the next men's entries in the same ledger give the same date and "Lansoy" and "Rosenoy" respectively, which suggests typos (they were Dublin Fusiliers, for what it's worth). On another, otherwise sparse, index card it gives the capital letter A after "2 MF", and I suspect this refers to his company. I don't know what the War Diary of the 2nd RMF is like for the very confused period of the Spring Offensive but it would be worth a look.

 

* caveat: the date of capture can be slightly out in the records for the first days of the Spring Offensive, I believe. 

 

Edit: on one card it says "Ronsoy" for place of capture.

 

It’s probable the ‘Dublin Fusiliers’  were in the draft to the 2nd Munsters on the 3 March 1918 and in the confusion gave their previous unit.  I have seen other examples of this especially in the reorganisation of the MGC which occurred around the same time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks very much for all your assistance. One last question on Eugene please.

I have a photo of Eugene in a uniform with the number 60350,

This does not seem to correspond to his service numbers in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers nor Royal Munster Fusiliers.

Private 20733 10th Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers

Private 18122 2nd Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers

The 60350 does appear to correspond with the number on a letter from Mannheim below.

Could anyone offer any insight into this ?

Appreciate any advice.

James

 

image.png.3bc47efddf7212fdd43e8cdc753796d5.png

 

 

image.png.0eedb5acebe799e0903ef58fc3b4568a.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've not come across such a photo before and haven't heard of the practice, so pure uninformed speculation but - I can only guess it's a German POW mugshot using transferable brass numerals to record his prisoner number. Having said that, I realise I don't know anything about POW numbers either... We need an expert!  

 

Do the envelope and letter have his 2/RMF number on them as well, anywhere? In which case we might more reasonably postulate the 60350 as a POW number of some kind. FWIW I'm not aware that the British Army did these kinds of ID photos in those days, and though the numerals look rather British in style to my untrained eye they may just as well be typically German for all I know. Have you come across 60350 in any other related context at all?  

 

Kenf48 - that's a good call re RDF/RMF and, as I think I've seen this before in March 1918 ,I should have put two and two together! Thanks :thumbsup:

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, James McAuley said:

Thanks very much for all your assistance. One last question on Eugene please.

I have a photo of Eugene in a uniform with the number 60350,

This does not seem to correspond to his service numbers in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers nor Royal Munster Fusiliers.

Private 20733 10th Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers

Private 18122 2nd Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers

The 60350 does appear to correspond with the number on a letter from Mannheim below.

Could anyone offer any insight into this ?

Appreciate any advice.

James

 

image.png.3bc47efddf7212fdd43e8cdc753796d5.png

 

 

image.png.0eedb5acebe799e0903ef58fc3b4568a.png

Who was the envelope addressed to and any indication who sent it It seems to be printed in English.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pure speculation here.

Could it be the photo and brass numbers were IRC origin?

 

All I can see of the address is Ireland and possibly Donegal. A mug shot sent back to NOK to say 'I'm alright'.

 

If it was a German photo of POWs how would it end up with the family.

TEW

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good point, TEW.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, johnboy said:

Who was the envelope addressed to and any indication who sent it It seems to be printed in English.

Johnboy.

Just in the door form work...

Thank you for the continued interest & help.

I attach the full photo of Eugene in this uniform with the Badge No 60350 (Seems to be a portrait type photo) along with the full version of the Mannheim Camp document that was sent to Eugenes' family in County Donegal. The Mannheim document seems to be dated July 1918 I think.

Very interesting there is mention that it may be a 'borrowed' uniform. I had not considered that type of thing !

Eugene Photo 60350.jpg

Mannheim PoW Card 60350 A.jpg

Mannheim PoW Card 60350 B.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Pat Atkins said:

 

I've not come across such a photo before and haven't heard of the practice, so pure uninformed speculation but - I can only guess it's a German POW mugshot using transferable brass numerals to record his prisoner number. Having said that, I realise I don't know anything about POW numbers either... We need an expert!  

 

Do the envelope and letter have his 2/RMF number on them as well, anywhere? In which case we might more reasonably postulate the 60350 as a POW number of some kind. FWIW I'm not aware that the British Army did these kinds of ID photos in those days, and though the numerals look rather British in style to my untrained eye they may just as well be typically German for all I know. Have you come across 60350 in any other related context at all?  

 

Kenf48 - that's a good call re RDF/RMF and, as I think I've seen this before in March 1918 ,I should have put two and two together! Thanks :thumbsup:

 

 

Hello Pat.

Thanks very much for the reply today and the continued assistance - I spent nearly two hours at work today looking through documents you send me yesterday....I am amazed at the detail in planning and recording of activities that went on then.

Fascinating to even consider it might have been a German PoW mugshot as you call it...I have not come across the 60350 number in any other documentation regarding Eugene - only the photo in the uniform and the document form Mannheim Camp. (dated July 1918 I think)  I notce his name is spelt the ame in both the ohto and Mannheim document - MacAulay.

(Thankfully he could not have been there during Casements' earlier visit so we can rule that out I hope !).

 

The photo seems to be in a portrait style with a your sincerely mark so I do not know the circumstances exactly - might he have been in a borrowed a uniform ??

Attached a copy of the letter sent to Eugenes' family from the Infantry Record Office, Cork in April 1918 which clearly mentions Pte. No. 18122 as detained as a 2nd Munster Fusiliers at Cassel Camp. This correspondence from Cork is dated April 1918, so hard to figure out why he might be wearing a tunic with No. 20733 by July 1918 and an undated photo in Uniform .

Hope all is well Pat.

James489237755_CasselPoWRecord1.jpg.d37e2fb373b6c79eb8e1ee53a5193966.jpg

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
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...