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Remembered Today:

Mystery soldier


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FROGSMILE
15 minutes ago, Alisonmallen62 said:

Many thanks Frogsmile I am sure you are correct about the temperance medal -  I had an uncle in the Cameronians a Catholic so interested that they were fundamentally Protestant!  Got my wondering now.  So Margaret’s soldier was a good living man and just confirm the good conduct stripes all could earn these in any regiment but in that regiment were they associated with the temperance medal too? 
 

Nee photo - they might be second war Margaret but I am no expert! 

Although a regiment with strong Protestant traditions the Cameronian’s (Scottish Rifles) were a pragmatic infantry unit and recruited its men from where they could get them, regardless of religion.  They also shared a regimental depot with the Highland Light Infantry in a tough part of Glasgow, a city with a significant RC population.  At church parade on Sundays the RC soldiers paraded on one side, Protestants another, and Non Conformists another.  After the roll was checked they then marched off to respective places of worship.

 

Good conduct badges (stripes) were for all regiments and worn on the left cuff utilising regimental pattern stripes simply inverted.  The first for 2-years the second for 3 so he had around 5-years service in without disciplinary infringement.


There was no formal association between GCB and ATA medals or emblems.

 

Edited by FROGSMILE
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Theletterwriter
4 hours ago, Margaret Ross said:

No official adoption in those days but, yes, she went to live with a childless couple. However, I have researched her birth family and the one she moved to in 1911ever since she died in 1997 and Alfie is not a name that ever appears.

Her uncle Thomas fought in the Great War so I will look to see if I can find a record of him. Will also look in 1901 and 1911 census to see who the neighbours were.

Could her uncle Thomas have had a middle name of Alfred?

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Margaret Ross
2 hours ago, Theletterwriter said:

Could her uncle Thomas have had a middle name of Alfred?

Nice idea but no. Middle name his mother's maiden surname.

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johnboy

Margaret why not tell us all you do know rather than drip feeding dribs and drabs?

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Margaret Ross
1 hour ago, johnboy said:

Margaret why not tell us all you do know rather than drip feeding dribs and drabs?

Sorry. Not meaning to send dribs and drabs. Photo of contents of mother's sewing machine drawer just in case there was some link with soldier on horse.

I have now looked up her uncle's World War 1 service record. He was a Private in Royal Army Service Corps. Discharged 31/8/18 as no longer fit for service. Died in 1919. Had arrived in France in 1915. Name Thomas Dunwoodie McPhee so not an Alfie anywhere.

I will attach a photo of the reverse of the Cameronian photo. 

Have tried to think of every possibility but just cannot find link between soldier and my mother 

20210509_203708.jpg

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johnboy

Is  it possible first word is not'from' but 'thom' [thomas]? the word we are taking as Ruth seems to be in a different hand. Could it be a place name?

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Margaret Ross
8 minutes ago, johnboy said:

Is  it possible first word is not'from' but 'thom' [thomas]? the word we are taking as Ruth seems to be in a different hand. Could it be a place name?

Not an easy hand to read. I wondered if the last word was "Butt" rather than Ruth. 

First word could as you say be Thom but I can't make sense of it as a whole. If it was to Ruth from her uncle would he not have called himself "uncle". She was 10 when he enlisted and already in her new "adoptive" home. He was also not in the Cameronians.

Oh dear! Round in circles, I fear 

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johnboy

The greeting is not very personal. I wonder if it is from Thomas a. then final initial T[surname]  and if Ruth could be something like short for rutherglen?

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Margaret Ross
16 minutes ago, johnboy said:

The greeting is not very personal. I wonder if it is from Thomas a. then final initial T[surname]  and if Ruth could be something like short for rutherglen?

You are right about the impersonality. Maybe nothing  to do with a Ruth or an Alfie at all. I will get the magnifying glass out in the morning in a good light and study it again. 

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johnboy

 It looks like the first three words are seperated by a full stop. Implying the words belong together. 2 christian names and a surname?

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Margaret Ross
4 minutes ago, johnboy said:

 It looks like the first three words are seperated by a full stop. Implying the words belong together. 2 christian names and a surname?

Thomas Alfie Butt?

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Could it be "from A/Cpl J. Butts", or "from A/cpl T. Butts"?

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johnboy

Possibly. I copied and enlarged the writing using photos on laptop. 

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Margaret Ross
10 minutes ago, johnboy said:

Possibly. I copied and enlarged the writing using photos on laptop. 

I will see if I can find anyone of that name on Ancestry tomorrow. Thank you both for your hard work. I like a  mystery - but I like it to be solved too!

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johnboy

Probably of little help, but going back to the picture. Soldiers on horses are very common, but I have not seen on with a rug on before. In my 40 odd years around horses and stables I have never seen anyone put a saddle over a rug. The pic seems to have been taken spring/summer. Leaves on the trees  so I wonder if the rug/sheet was on the horse to help protect it from flies, midges?

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Alisonmallen62
11 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

Although a regiment with strong Protestant traditions the Cameronian’s (Scottish Rifles) were a pragmatic infantry unit and recruited its men from where they could get them, regardless of religion.  They also shared a regimental depot with the Highland Light Infantry in a tough part of Glasgow, a city with a significant RC population.  At church parade on Sundays the RC soldiers paraded on one side, Protestants another, and Non Conformists another.  After the roll was checked they then marched off to respective places of worship.

 

Good conduct badges (stripes) were for all regiments and worn on the left cuff utilising regimental pattern stripes simply inverted.  The first for 2-years the second for 3 so he had around 5-years service in without disciplinary infringement.


There was no formal association between GCB and ATA medals or emblems.

 

Thank you really interesting indeed! 

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corisande

"soldiers portrait  photos" regularly come up on the forum, and the writing is invariably "formal"

 

So I feel that it is unlikey to be "Alfie to Ruth" unless they were closely related, and even then soldiers tended to be formal.

 

So I would go with trying to tease a full name out of that photo (virtually impossible, unless one of the suggestions can be tied to a known relative)

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Margaret Ross
8 hours ago, johnboy said:

Probably of little help, but going back to the picture. Soldiers on horses are very common, but I have not seen on with a rug on before. In my 40 odd years around horses and stables I have never seen anyone put a saddle over a rug. The pic seems to have been taken spring/summer. Leaves on the trees  so I wonder if the rug/sheet was on the horse to help protect it from flies, midges?

Taken in this country by the look of the trees - or in a country with similar climate to UK?

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FROGSMILE
6 hours ago, Alisonmallen62 said:

Thank you really interesting indeed! 

Despite that type of routine worship, which was followed by pretty much all regiments at that time  (i.e. church parade was mandatory), the Cameronian’s also commemorated their origins with a regimental day on 14th May that involved all men going to a ‘conventicle’ at the Regimental church armed with their rifles. Taking arms to church was highly irregular, but commemorated the time when the regiment’s creed was illegal and punishable by severe consequences.  As part of the tradition the ceremony only commenced once sentries had taken post at each of four sides of the gathering facing outwards in an alert position.  You can perhaps imagine that it might seem strange that soldiers raised under different beliefs should attend such an act of worship, but they did so as a matter of discipline and regimental cohesion.  It was accepted as part of ‘their’ regimental day.

 

F5C1A32A-88A0-42F5-A83F-D6E66B4855A1.jpeg

F91AD39C-6A65-4501-AB9D-7DCBAEEE92DD.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE
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1 hour ago, Margaret Ross said:

Taken in this country by the look of the trees - or in a country with similar climate to UK?

My guess is uk. The card is printed in English.

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TullochArd

The horse is one fine looking animal and not what I would have thought might turn up as a draft horse in the Transport Section.  Maybe a mounted Field Officer's (CO or Adjt) horse?  The dog looks pretty officer-ish and comfortable with the horse as well suggesting they are well known to each other.  There is no doubt in my mind this fellow has not just hopped on the horse for the photo opportunity as he is wearing spurs.  Field Officer's Batman perhaps?  As such he would have been responsible for daily equine tasks and routine exercise. 

 

I read the handwriting as "Fm. Alf. T. Ruth."

 

Edited by TullochArd
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Margaret Ross
18 minutes ago, johnboy said:

My guess is uk. The card is printed in English.

Right.  I have spent a couple of hours on Ancestry UK and printed off lots of records for individual soldiers.    There is a Private G Budd and a Private A Budd in the Service Medal and Award Rolls.  Both in KOSB.  There is an A/Cpl James Budd in 1st Scottish Rifles;  bugler F Betts in 1st Bn Cameronians missing in 1914;  Cpl Frederick Betts in 1st Scottish Rifles;  Private A Betts of 1/7th Bn Scottish Rifles killed in action 1915;  Frederick JT Butts, "Dvr" in RHA and RGA;  Arthur J Betts, Private in "LC ";  Private J Beats in KOS Borderers;  Alfred J Betts, Private in RAMC  (Eastern/London/Southeast).

Don't know if I am any further forward!!

Interestingly, my mother's uncle, Thomas Dunwoodie McPhee, served as a Private with the Royal Army Service Corps - may have said that already?

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FROGSMILE
19 minutes ago, TullochArd said:

The horse is one fine looking animal and not what I would have thought might turn up as a draft horse in the Transport Section.  Maybe a mounted Field Officer's (CO or Adjt) horse?  The dog looks pretty officer-ish and comfortable with the horse as well suggesting they are well known to each other.  There is no doubt in my mind this fellow has not just hopped on the horse for the photo opportunity as he is wearing spurs.  Field Officer's Batman perhaps?  As such he would have been responsible for daily equine tasks and routine exercise. 

 

I read the handwriting as "Fm. Alf. T. Ruth."

 

Yes I agree with your observations, but would make the point that one of the roles of the Transport Section men was to exercise the battalion’s chargers (for its field officers including adjutant).  Although not impossible that a batman would do it instead, his most usual place was at the officer’s residence, whether Mess or quarters, where he had plenty to do under prewar routine.  Of course in addition to their government provided charger many officers of field rank apparently kept their own mounts in private accommodation and it’s not impossible that such an animal is what is seen here.  As you say it’s a fine animal.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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Is it possible the "Alf" is actually "Alps" ?    So the writing reads  ?? Alps. T Ruth  ?

Edited by RBau
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