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Alexander Balloch - Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders / Labour Corps - help requested


Gunner 87
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Hi Guys.

 

I'd appreciate any help with the following. Ancestry and Fold3 hold the Medal Index Card, correspnding Medal Roll and a pension card for Private Alexander Balloch 23636 Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders / 4251 Labour Corps of 38 Rannock Street, Cathcart, Glasgow.  It is only since his son's birth certificate has been obtained that we have been able confirm we had the right Alexander. There is however no attestation / service record surviving, or at least with Ancestry or Fold3, making it difficulty to find which Battalion Alexander served with, any military history or transfer date or unit with the Labour Corps. The only clue as to when he joined is he was awarded the Victory Medal and British War Medal though no Star which, of course, only indicates deployment to a Theatre of War on or after the 1st January 1916, not a great help.

 

Looking at numbers either side of Alexander's it seem's likely he joined, either attested or mobilised, in June or July 1916 and would, by judging the records I've viewed, have been sent after training at the 'Depot' to either the 3rd or 8th Battalion's, both 'Reserve', before being posted on. 

 

My first question, which I apologise for if blatantly obviously, is regards the issue of service numbers. Were these issued on attestation or when the recruit was mobilized / physically joined up under the different recruiting schemes?

 

In the case of the Queens Own Cameron Highlanders, does the service number, 23636, give any clue as to which Battalion Alexander was posted to after training or leaving the 'Reserve'?

 

Can Alexanders Labour Corp's service number, 4251, identify when he was transferred and to what unit? 

 

many thanks in advance. 

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3 hours ago, Gunner 87 said:

Were these issued on attestation or when the recruit was mobilized / physically joined up under the different recruiting schemes?

Allocated when mobilized.

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4 hours ago, Gunner 87 said:

Can Alexanders Labour Corp's service number, 4251, identify when he was transferred and to what unit? 

Whilst the 4 figure service numbers were used by a number of different LC units, I get the impression that the block for Balloch was probably for a Scottish  Company. Bit of a guess I'm afraid as I do not have No Labour No Battle. Can I suggest (if you've not already tried it) you search the other near LC numbers on that medal roll page for a surviving service record and that should give you a date and perhaps a unit.

 

eg

 

   Pirie  4243, on that roll as prev 24192 Cam Hdrs, won a MM later 1917 with the Labour Corps 8th Coy

  Ramsey 4244, on that roll as prev 24853 Cam Hdrs, has a pension record (mixed in with someone else's) showing trf from 9th Cam Hdrs to 8th LC 14/5/17

   Abbott 4245, who is missing from that roll sequence, has a service record that shows trf to LC from 9th Cam Hdrs on 14/5/1917

 

ie looks to be suggesting a bit of a pattern in 9th Cam Hdrs to 8th LC 14/5/17 ??   You will need to do the further spadework!

 

Charlie

Edited by charlie962
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I now see the LongLongTrail has it cracked- here

 

So at some point (unknown) he was trf'd to 9th Labour Bn of the Cameron Higlanders half of which then became No 8 Company Labour Corps 14/5/17.

Edited by charlie962
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3 minutes ago, charlie962 said:

I now see the LongLongTrail has it cracked- here

 

Thank you Charlie, very much appreciated. 

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7 hours ago, charlie962 said:

I now see the LongLongTrail has it cracked- here

 

So at some point (unknown) he was trf'd to 9th Labour Bn of the Cameron Higlanders half of which then became No 8 Company Labour Corps 14/5/17.

 

Hi Charlie.

 

Looking at the Queens Own Cameron Highlanders numbers near to Alexander's, 23636, the following pattern occurs

 

23612 called up for service 12/07/16 - posted to 3rd (Reserve) Battalion 12/07/16 - then onto 9th (Labour) Battalion 12/07/16

23623 mobilised 12/07/16 - posted to 3rd (Reserve) Battalion 13/07/16 - then onto 9th (Labour) Battalion date not recorded but before 12/08/16

23630 mobilised 11/07/16 - posted to 3rd (Reserve) Battalion 13/07/16 - then onto 9th (Labour) Battalion 22/07/16

23631 mobilised 10/07/16 - posted to 3rd (Reserve) Battalion 13/07/16 - then onto 9th (Labour) Battalion 22/07/16

 

As our man was an early entry into the 8th Company Labour Corps, confirmed by his number, 4251, I think it likely he also went to 3rd (Reserve) Battalion, onto 9th (Labour) Battalion beforehand.

 

Of note, the LLT does show the 9th (Labour) Battalion formed in August 1916 though the dates above were taken from the soldiers records so I presume men were already posted to that unit before it was officially shown as raised.

 

Thanks again for your help.  

 

 

 

Edited by Gunner 87
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13 hours ago, Gunner 87 said:

As our man was an early entry into the 8th Company Labour Corps, confirmed by his number, 4251,

Allocation of numbers may have been done on a first come first served basis or an alphabetic order basis, meaning the two series could be out of step. Any way I suspect you have a good sequence of events. But do note that after the intial trf to 8th Labour Company LC, they all went different ways- from Chinese Labour Corps to home Employment Cos. So that trf date is just a snapshot in time.

 

charlie

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1 hour ago, charlie962 said:

Allocation of numbers may have been done on a first come first served basis or an alphabetic order basis, meaning the two series could be out of step. Any way I suspect you have a good sequence of events. But do note that after the intial trf to 8th Labour Company LC, they all went different ways- from Chinese Labour Corps to home Employment Cos. So that trf date is just a snapshot in time.

 

charlie

 

Thanks Charlie, and with no WD for the 9th (Labour) Battalion QOCH, or any obligation on the Labour Corps to record one, I think that's as far as we'll get... I appreciate your help. 

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26 minutes ago, Gunner 87 said:

I think that's as far as we'll get...

What was his trade pre-war? Why would he go rapidly  from 3rd Reserve to a Labour Bn- ie was his health poor (re Front Line service) or his trade particularly relevant ?

 

I see his pension Card shows discharged 9/3/19 and a pension for bronchitis (attrib) but nothing on his unit so that is a bit of a dead end

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4 minutes ago, charlie962 said:

What was his trade pre-war? Why would he go rapidly  from 3rd Reserve to a Labour Bn- ie was his health poor (re Front Line service) or his trade particularly relevant ?

 

I see his pension Card shows discharged 9/3/19 and a pension for bronchitis (attrib) but nothing on his unit so that is a bit of a dead end

 

Alexander was a tailor by trade so that isn't a great help. I don't think being thirty either was considered overly mature and a factor for being posted to the Labour Battalion / Labour Corps? Agreed, I think we are at an impasse though still more informed than prior to the comparison of the service numbers. 

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