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Old trousers

Hi, 

Edward Thomas Fell, 

Headteacher at our village school for many years. Joined the MGC as Private  55131, I think around late 1916, wounded in France in ‘17 and severely wounded in Italy in 1918. 
Would appreciate confirmation of joining date please and any advice on looking into his service in Italy.

Amazing site - Thank you 
 

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Looking at the Machine Gun Corps medal roll I'm wondering if he was originally a territorial soldier, because he was disembodied on 16 February 1919. The term disembodied is usually associated with the release of a territorial soldier from active service.

 

Image sourced from Ancestry:

41629_636897_11145-00271.jpg

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Ivor Anderson

His MIC for MGC 55131 only shows one service number and the entitlement to the war and victory medal, indicating service in theatre from 1916.

The men on the above list could have been directly recruited into the MGC during 1916-17, but most MGC were transferred from other units?

There is an Edward T Fell who has a MIC as D/33414 with the 1st Dragoon Guards, yet no WW1 medal entitlement? He was granted a GSM in 1923?

Could he have been a pre-WW1 soldier who served elsewhere before being transferred to the newly formed MGC in 1916 during WW1?

He served post war with the DG under the number 391982. His GSM award page comes up mis-sorted under 'Napoleonic Wars' (ancestry images): 

https://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=1686&h=690184&tid=&pid=&queryId=a0f99b12b6019d5a89b18ed2c6a35105&usePUB=true&_phsrc=AHE11438&_phstart=successSource 

Screen Shot 2021-04-22 at 03.33.22.png

Screen Shot 2021-04-22 at 03.35.20.png

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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Ivor Anderson

I hope I haven't started a wild goose chase, but the 1st Dragoon Guards men on the above GSM list were all serving in Cologne when their medals were issued in 1923 and do not seem to have WW1 medals issued under the DGs. The above post WW1 GSMs had bars for IRAQ.

According to wiki: 'The 1st Dragoon Guards was stationed at Lucknow in India at the start of the war, landed at Marseille as part of the 8th (Lucknow) Cavalry Brigade in the 1st Indian Cavalry Division in November 1914 for service on the Western Front. The regiment saw action at the Battle of Festubert in May 1915, the Second Battle of Ypres also in May 1915 and the Battle of Morval in September 1916, but returned to India in October 1917'.

If the above soldiers landed in France with their Bn. in Nov. 1914 they would surely have been eligible for a WW1 trio?

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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Ivor Anderson

Anyway, back on track! :)

I notice that corporal Lionel Burgess (55134) on the medal roll was awarded the MM. It was listed in the LG on 28 September 1917:

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/30312/supplement/10022

Lionel was with the 194th Company MGC when he was awarded the MM: http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D6139447

Their war diary up to Oct 1917 is online here: http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7353241

According to the LLT MGC page it was formed at Grantham and joined the 23 Division on 16 Dec 1916: http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/machine-gun-corps-in-the-first-world-war/the-companies-and-battalions-of-the-machine-gun-corps/

They joined 23 Bn. MGC in April 1918, with the 23rd Division in Italy: http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C4557386Screen Shot 2021-04-22 at 10.35.20.png

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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I'm not convinced about the Edward T Fell serving with the 1st Dragoon Guards, as the Edward Thomas Fell mentioned by the OP was a schoolmaster/headmaster, and he shows up as that all the way through his career. As far as I can see he is the Edward Thomas Fell born on 19 February 1879 to William John and Edith Fell, and baptized on 30 March 1879 at Rugby, St Matthew, Warwickshire. In the 1881 England census he is living with his parents and two older siblings, Alfred William aged 7, and Herbert John aged 4, in Rugby. He is still living at home in Rugby in the 1891 England census with his parents and two older brothers, along with a younger brother Frank, who is aged 7 in 1891.

 

In the 1901 England census he is living in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, at the Male Training College as a student (schoolmaster), so training to be a teacher. He then marries Norah Chole Kilby at Rugby, St Matthew on 19 August 1903 aged 24, his occupation being given as schoolmaster. Norah is also aged 24, and was born living in Rochdale. In the 1911 England census Edward and Norah are living in Stretton on Dunmore, Rugby, with one child, Edith Sylvia Fell aged 5. Edward's occupation is given as head teacher CE school. In the 1939 England and Wales Register he and Norah are living in Brackley, Northamptonshire, with Edward now a retired schoolmaster. Edward dies on 17 May 1942, with probate on 13 August 1942 going to his widow, Norah Chloe Fell.

 

I think it's far more likely that he joined his local territorial regiment, either after the outbreak of war or even pre-war, before volunteering for overseas service sometime in 1916.

 

Edited to add that Norah Chole Kilby was living in Rochdale at the time of her marriage to Edward, it looks as though she was actually born in Coventry, Warwickshire. In the 1901 England census she is working as an assistant matron in some sort of children's convalescent home in Balsall, Solihull judging by the ages of the patients.

Edited by Tawhiri
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Ivor Anderson

You are very likely right Tawhiri. I did not look for anything about him pre-WW1. He would be quite an old soldier when joining up in 1916 (37?).

I'm still puzzled as to how a soldier with the 1st Dragoon Guards has no WW1 medal card, unless they joined up after the Bn. moved back to India in late 1917?

E.g. Edward G. Freeman 390141 on the GSM list was born 17 January 1900).

 

At least Lionel Burgess' (55134) MM card shows the MGC units that Edward T Fell 55131 probably served in.

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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Bordercollie

55131 E T Fell is on the Daily Casualty List No. 5627 dated 25th July 1918 giving his nok address as Rugby.  Images courtesy of the National Library of Scotland.

 

Screenshot_12.png.e0839f0d710419e45e6af74b0a44eeec.png

 

Screenshot_13.png.8f32fa24e22b1d7642704750b1ed4b8e.png

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Old trousers

Gentlemen 

I am truly astounded by the quality and quantity of information you’ve provided. 
Thank you so much. A brace of virtual Port to each of you.

Paul 

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Bordercollie
31 minutes ago, Ivor Anderson said:

At least Lionel Burgess' (55134) MM card shows the MGC units that Edward T Fell 55131 probably served in.

194th Coy MGC joined 23rd Division in December 1916 and the Division moved to Italy in November 1917.  That seems to tie in with the information in the OP.

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The service record of 55137 Fishlock has survived also 194 Coy, there is always a caveat in relying on just one service record but I think there is enough corroboration here.

 

Pte Fishlock also went to Italy on the 11th November 1917 so we can be reasonably sure his service was similar to that of Pte. 55131 Fell

 

Fishlock was called up for service on 15th June 1916 and posted to the 16 Glosters for training

transferred to the MGC 7 September 1916 and to France 16th November 1916 before going to Italyu with the Division.

 

You may be interested in this Army Council Instruction regarding the call up of teachers:-

 

“Teachers

Position of, under Military Service Acts

Persons in the following categories who are not passed fit for general service (Class A) will not be called up at present.  They should be marked in Army Book414 and the Area Register A.F. 3152 as not to be called up for service without reference to the Secretary War Office.

Teachers and full-time students in public schools (elementary secondary or technical)

Teachers and full-time students in Universities and University Colleges or other teaching institutions recognised by the Board of Education and by the Scotch Education Department respectively.

Officials of Educational Authorities and of the Governing Bodies of the above mentioned institutions.”

Army Council Instruction 1398 of 1916

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52 minutes ago, kenf48 said:

The service record of 55137 Fishlock has survived also 194 Coy, there is always a caveat in relying on just one service record but I think there is enough corroboration here.

 

Pte Fishlock also went to Italy on the 11th November 1917 so we can be reasonably sure his service was similar to that of Pte. 55131 Fell

 

Fishlock was called up for service on 15th June 1916 and posted to the 16 Glosters for training

transferred to the MGC 7 September 1916 and to France 16th November 1916 before going to Italyu with the Division.

 

Interestingly, Leonard Fishlock, service number 55137 with the Machine Gun Corps, shows up in the British War Medal and Victory Medal rolls as service number 328981 with the Royal Engineers. Previous service with the Gloucestershire Regiment as service number 29536, a Training Reserve Battalion as service number 8057, and the Machine Gun Corps as service number 55137.  

Edited by Tawhiri
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18 minutes ago, Tawhiri said:

nterestingly, Leonard Fishlock, service number 55137 with the Machine Gun Corps, shows up in the British War Medal and Victory Medal rolls as service number 328981 with the Royal Engineers. Previous service with the Gloucestershire Regiment as service number 29536, a Training Reserve Battalion as service number 8057, and the Machine Gun Corps as service number 55137.

Yes, he would be allocated the Glosters number on entlistment and posting to 16 Battalion, given the TR number when the 16 Battalion became the 94th TR Bn on 1st September 1916, then the MGC number on posting to the MGC.  At this time two officers from the MGC visited Home Service Units to find suitable candidates who were then posted into the Corps.  Fishlock was a wheelwright and joined the RE in March 1919.

 

It does appear Fishlock was a Derby Scheme recruit, I wonder if Pte. Fell also attested under this scheme. He is of an age for the TF but if he attested under Lord Derby's Group Scheme born 1879 and married he would be in Group 42, call up June 1916 ehich accords with Pte. Fishlock's call up. 

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