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Good morning. I am looking for some help regarding the husband of my great grandmother. I have located his pension and medal cards and haven’t a clue as to what it all means.

his name was James Fleming and his wife was Kate Mary Fleming. He died on 7 Jan 1969. He was from Irishtown New Ross, Co Wexford. He served with inniskillig engineers but I can’t figure out the rest of it. Any help deciphering it would be much appreciated 

745FC7EC-8D72-41FF-9C9D-06F3A18914B7.jpeg

B7BA28EC-ACFC-4C34-8234-2635C2095838.jpeg

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Hi Lorelei and welcome

If you click the Long Long Trail link at top of page there are links to lots of tips for researching and explaining such as this

image.png.b79eafed10440fc20241c2b71cfe3a17.png

http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/soldiers/how-to-research-a-soldier/campaign-medal-records/how-to-interpret-a-campaign-medal-index-card/

regards

Jon

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That is wonderful and explains loads. Thank you. I also have his service roll. 
am I right in thinking the BM and VM were returned. How would I go about deciphering the numbers and codes that follow that entry?

 

on the top card, there are three codes also that are baffling me BK9592 and 13/M7/1899 and KF41624

 

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Lorelei said:

on the top card, there are three codes also that are baffling me BK9592 and 13/M7/1899 and KF41624

 

They will be references to other records or ledger books that may or may not exist any more.

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I'm presuming since the image you posted is in colour that you subscribe to Ancestry.

On the Medal Roll (HERE) it notes initally Roy Irish Rgt 2nd Btn, then 7/8 Btn Ryl Inis, Fusiliers

image.png.abced6148b50a529cc432aae93e863dd.png

and scroll right and you will see this reference which matches the number on your second image (992K.R.1923)

image.png.8fe0e89e7ec3bc7b8e6d3f3920248092.png

image.png.67f433352a256e4dfb36f68a1b62083e.png

So this an example of the ledger cross references used

I guess this means the medals were returned. This could have been by a relative, or could mean they no longer lived at the address held on record

image.png.e7e2ef735a39db306b566eab9d36ba75.png

and returned by existing resident, or some such thing.

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Lorelei

Thank you for all your help and information. You have been wonderful. What do all the dates mean in the bottom left of the above 1st card? Starting Ad 22.10.20 at 5/6..... world war1 had ended but would he have been still enlisted. 

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They only issued the medals after 1920 so probably refer to when original letters sent, reveived etc and logged into the records

see

British Campaign Medals of the First World War (WW1) (greatwar.co.uk)

 

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Lorelei

Oh that makes sense. Thank you. Any advice as to where I can find out when he enlisted with the Royal Irish Regiment. I can’t find anything under 15165. 

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Ivor Anderson

He was born at Irishtown, New Ross on 31 May 1896: 

https://civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/images/birth_returns/births_1896/02158/1818378.pdf

He was 14 and still at school on the 1911 Census: http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai003598779/

He married Kate Carthy in New Ross on 26 January 1918 when he was a 'soldier': 

https://civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/images/marriage_returns/marriages_1918/09705/5520808.pdf

He got no 1914-15 star so he only went to France in 1916 at the earliest. 

https://armyservicenumbers.blogspot.com/2009/08/royal-irish-regiment-1st-2nd-battalions.html

The 1920 dates on the Pension card refer to pension payment dates?

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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The first card you have posted is a pension card which shows he was serving in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when discharged from the Army.  It gives the address he gave the Army on his discharge papers, it also indicates he was discharged on the 27th April 1919, in all probability to the Class Z Reserve (see LLT).

 He applied for a pension for sickness or wounds attributable to his war service.  He was granted a pension of 5 shillings and sixpence per week initially for one year from the 20th August 1920, first instalment authorised (admitted) on the 22 October 1020 and paid on the 25th of that month. 

 

I don't know if it continued to be paid but there is a notation on the card dated one month after his death and giving the name of his widow, so there must have been some correspondence.

 

The second card is the medal index card, as noted above this refers to the entries on the Royal Inniskilling Medal Rolls, it's unusual in that units are usually in chronological order but there is no consistency in the preparation of the Rolls.  Medals were named to the first unit he was serving in when he first entered a theatre of war, so 15165 Royal Irish Regiment (2nd Battalion).

 

Based on surviving records there is a strong possibility he initially enlisted in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, details of 'home service' would not be shown on the medal roll.  Therefore we can't say when he originally enlisted. 

 

However what we can say with a high degree of certainty is that he was posted to the BEF in a draft which landed at Boulogne on the 26th August 1916, and proceeded to the Infantry Base Depot at Etaples arriving on the 27th.  On the 8th September 1916 he was renumbered to the Royal Irish Regiment under the terms of ACI 1499/1916 and posted to the 2nd Battalion who had suffered heavy losses earlier in the month at Ginchy.  This change of unit at the IBD was not unusual. 

See https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/renumbering-of-soldiers-on-arrival-in-theatre-of-war/

 

The draft joined the Battalion in the field on the 11th September (the diary does not record the draft merely that during this period they were resting and refitting after the earlier battle).

 

At a later date he was wounded and was returned to the U.K. He is listed on the War Office Casualty List dated 2 October 1917 as wounded. It appears he was on convalescent leave when he married as noted above.

 

On the 2 July 1918 he was posted to the amalgamated 7/8 Battalion of the Inniskillings and remained with them until discharged from the Army.

 

Unfortunately only half the entry on the roll above has been posted, this shows the medals were returned, we can't say why, against a certified receipt voucher dated 16th February 1924.  The full entry then shows the medals were sent out again against an IV or Issue Voucher dated 26 August 1925. 

Screenshot 2021-05-03 at 11.51.16.png

 

The fact his entitlement was for the BWM and VM corroborates the fact he did not enter a theatre of war until after the 31st December 1915.

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Lorelei
11 hours ago, kenf48 said:

 

 

The first card you have posted is a pension card which shows he was serving in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when discharged from the Army.  It gives the address he gave the Army on his discharge papers, it also indicates he was discharged on the 27th April 1919, in all probability to the Class Z Reserve (see LLT).

 He applied for a pension for sickness or wounds attributable to his war service.  He was granted a pension of 5 shillings and sixpence per week initially for one year from the 20th August 1920, first instalment authorised (admitted) on the 22 October 1020 and paid on the 25th of that month. 

 

I don't know if it continued to be paid but there is a notation on the card dated one month after his death and giving the name of his widow, so there must have been some correspondence.

 

The second card is the medal index card, as noted above this refers to the entries on the Royal Inniskilling Medal Rolls, it's unusual in that units are usually in chronological order but there is no consistency in the preparation of the Rolls.  Medals were named to the first unit he was serving in when he first entered a theatre of war, so 15165 Royal Irish Regiment (2nd Battalion).

 

Based on surviving records there is a strong possibility he initially enlisted in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, details of 'home service' would not be shown on the medal roll.  Therefore we can't say when he originally enlisted. 

 

However what we can say with a high degree of certainty is that he was posted to the BEF in a draft which landed at Boulogne on the 26th August 1916, and proceeded to the Infantry Base Depot at Etaples arriving on the 27th.  On the 8th September 1916 he was renumbered to the Royal Irish Regiment under the terms of ACI 1499/1916 and posted to the 2nd Battalion who had suffered heavy losses earlier in the month at Ginchy.  This change of unit at the IBD was not unusual. 

See https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/renumbering-of-soldiers-on-arrival-in-theatre-of-war/

 

The draft joined the Battalion in the field on the 11th September (the diary does not record the draft merely that during this period they were resting and refitting after the earlier battle).

 

At a later date he was wounded and was returned to the U.K. He is listed on the War Office Casualty List dated 2 October 1917 as wounded. It appears he was on convalescent leave when he married as noted above.

 

On the 2 July 1918 he was posted to the amalgamated 7/8 Battalion of the Inniskillings and remained with them until discharged from the Army.

 

Unfortunately only half the entry on the roll above has been posted, this shows the medals were returned, we can't say why, against a certified receipt voucher dated 16th February 1924.  The full entry then shows the medals were sent out again against an IV or Issue Voucher dated 26 August 1925. 

Screenshot 2021-05-03 at 11.51.16.png

 

The fact his entitlement was for the BWM and VM corroborates the fact he did not enter a theatre of war until after the 31st December 1915.

Thank you so much for all the hard work and effort you have put into deciphering all the cards and records. It all looks so obvious once it is explained and is really appreciated!!
• now that you say he was at home for the 1914 star, that would make him 18 when he enlisted. Family rumour had it that he was 16

• someone had said he signed up originally to the Connaught Rangers so this does not bear any truth now 

• he received a pension and his wife continued to receive it as far as we know

• he was deaf and had shrapnel wounds so this matches that he went home injured. He must have known his wife to be already

• his medals must be out there somewhere! If they were issued. I reckon they were initially returned as he had moved house

once again thank you so much for finally solving all this paperwork. Your help has been invaluable 

This is his brother in laws park rework. What does the reference SA order mean

DEE5AA07-10BD-4689-8B2C-FB7DC62679CF.jpeg

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10 hours ago, Lorelei said:

• someone had said he signed up originally to the Connaught Rangers so this does not bear any truth now 

For clarification, in the absence of a service record we don't know in which Regiment he originally enlisted.  All we can say with certainty is on arrival in France he was renumbered and posted to the 2nd Bn Royal Irish Regiment.  Careful reading of the ACI 1499 as linked above shows he may have originally enlisted in the Special Reserve Battalion of an Irish Regiment.

 

As for his age men were not posted on active service overseas until age nineteen, however no proof of age was required. If someone added a year or two to their age this became their 'army age' and was really only discovered if parents claimed him back and produced evidence of his real age.  This may explain why he did not go to France until 1916.

 

Generally 'family stories' have a kernel of truth, they may get a bit mangled over the years but there is often an explanation to them  rather than dismiss them entirely.

 

10 hours ago, Lorelei said:

This is his brother in laws park rework. What does the reference SA order mean

 

The Wexford Militia was formed in the 18th Century see https://www.royal-irish.com/stories/the-irish-militia

therefore outside the period researched in this forum.

I can't tell you what the S.A. Order of 23.12.07 means but it coincides with the disbandment of the Irish Militias following the Haldane Reforms and becoming the Special Reserve administered by the 3rd Battalion of the parent regiment, in this case as shown on the stamp the '3rd Royal Irish' (Rgt.).  I suspect he was  'discharged free' has he did not want to continue to serve under Special Reserve terms.

 

To a certain extent the family connection supports the possibility and I put it no higher than that, that James enlisted in the Special Reserve (3rd Royal Irish) and allocated a four digit number, now lost, and remained on Home Service until 'nineteen' and renumbered on arrival in France in accordance with ACI 1499.  A young man could join the Special Reserve aged seventeen.

 

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