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Joseph Russell Worcestershire Regiment


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StephenFord

Seeking help with my Great Grandfather Joseph Russell born 1877 at Dudley. I believe (not sure) he enlisted as a reservist 5 Worc R. Possibly E Coy (army number 4397). Transferred to the 2nd Battalion for service in South Africa. Medal list has at least 2 Joseph Russell’s, with one having army number 4379.

 

755C0057-AB5F-4710-9D90-21F9904763C4.jpeg.de09bed8acc7368b15ff8cf0593e4e1f.jpeg


You’ll see from the photograph he is wearing spurs. Any significance?

Upon his return from duty he married and eventually had 6 daughters.

29 August 1914 he enlisted with the Worc R (number 9127).

5 January 1915 disembarked for France with 2 Worc R (badge number 54861, is this significant?).

Now the hazy part. He joined 5 Worc R, then 9 Worc R. 
15 September 1915 wounded at Gallipoli (lost leg). Discharged 14 May 1916.

My concerns are identifying the correct Joseph Russell in South Africa. And the chronology of the Great War with differing Battalions. Any assistance and guidance would be greatly appreciated. I hope I’m on the right track. 
Kindest regards to all,

Stephen

 

 

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54861 is the number of the Silver War Badge and accompanying Certificate, it has no significance other than the fact each Badge was numbered to avoid misrepresentation.

https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/soldiers/how-to-research-a-soldier/campaign-medal-records/records-of-the-silver-war-badge/

 

The Medal Roll shows 1st and 9th Battalion difficult to say when he transferred.  Probably  sick or wounded on the Western Front and returned to the U.K., posted to the 5th Reserve Battalion on recovery.  This would be the normal sequence then posted to the 9th Battalion, probably to bring them up to strength for deployment to the Dardanelles in July. 

 

Can’t help with South Africa Paul Nixon’s indispensable site shows 9127 enlisted 1904-1905

https://armyservicenumbers.blogspot.com/search/label/Worcestershire Regiment

 

This means usual service of twelve years, either 3 years with the colours and 9 on Reserve or five and seven years, but it does mean he was a reservist when war was declared, so would have been recalled August 1914.

 

I can’t see him in the casualty list for the 1st Bn., but sickness was not recorded.  Equally the 1st Worcestershire Regiment was heavily engaged at the Battle of Neuve Chappelle in March 1915 where the CO was killed.  No mention of the 2nd Battalion on the Medal Roll.

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I’m not knowledgeable about the Worcestershire Regiment, but having checked a couple of editions of Harts Annual Army List for round about the time an 1877 born man might have first enlisted, (1894/95), the Regiment consisted of two Regular Army Battalions, a Depot and two Volunteer Miltia Battalions.

 

While various Army reforms had brought the Regulars and the Militia together, (by making them Battalions of the same Regiment, for example), the Regulars still reported to the War Office and were paid for by the Government, while the Militia reported to the Lord-Lieutenant of the County – the area they were tasked to defend – and were paid for by the County ratepayers. It would take the introduction of the Territorial Force to align reporting and paymasters.

 

So a man wouldn’t usually transfer from a Militia Battalion to a Regular Battalion. He would resign from the Militia and join the Regular Army on standards terms – then normally 12 years, with a split between time in the colours and time in the reserves, or 21 years in the colours. He would leave his old Militia Service Number behind and gain a new Regular Army one.

 

If 4379 was a Regular Army number then Paul Nixon’s site tells us it was issued between the 10th June 1895 (4358) and the 15th July 1896 (4640) – so not a number issued to a man joining up to go off to fight in the Boer War. You are however looking at a man aged 18/19 if he was born 1877.

 

However there are surviving service records in the WO96 series for a Joseph Russell who joined the 3rd Volunteer Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment on the 19th February 1896 and who has the Service Number 4379. That man was then aged 21 (so born circa 1875) and an unmarried  Iron Plate Worker. But this Joseph was born and resident Lye, Stourbridge. He additionally volunteered for the Militia Reserve in July 1897, so he agreed to be called up in times of National Emergency even if his unit hadn’t been formally embodied. This occurred in April 1900 and so he was appointed to the 2nd Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment, remaining with them until the 24th August 1902 and then returning to the Militia.

 

Obviously age and birth place would seem to indicate this wasn’t your man and therefore service number 4379 can probably be ruled out.

 

I’m not finding another Joseph Russell on the Boer War Service Medal Roll for the Worcesters, but I only have access to transcripts.  Can you let me know the other service number and I’ll take a look.

 

Cheers,

Peter

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StephenFord

Thank you kenf48 the web links were helpful, especially the info found on the Silver War Badge. It verified Joseph Russell 6/9127 enlisted 29 August 1914 and was discharged 14 May 1916. But what is the meaning of the additional 6/ in front of the 9127?

Thank you Peter. Indeed several named the same from nearby towns confuses the matter. The paperwork where I found he enlisted in the Reservist 5 Worc R in 1895 escapes me at the moment, but it does appear in correspondence I received from the Worcestershire Regiment. They found 2 men named J. Russell appearing on the Roll for the Queens South Africa medal (Boer War).

— 4212 P G J Russell served in H Coy 1 Worc R and received QSA with clasps Cape Colony, Orange Free State and Transvaal.

— 4379 Pte J Russell from 5 Worc R served in E Coy 2 Worc R and received QSA with clasps Wittebergen, Cape Colony and Transvaal.

They were not able to establish a link with either of the Boer War Russells..

Paul Nixon states Special Reserve and Territorial Force Battalions operated completely separate number sequences. So therefore a soldier in Regular enlistment and a soldier in Reserve could potentially have the same number. Only when called for active service would the latter number change. 
Peter I hope you will be able to look for the other service number. I greatly appreciate the time you guys give helping. 
yours sincerely

Stephen

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5 hours ago, StephenFord said:

But what is the meaning of the additional 6/ in front of the 9127

 

Generally it refers to the Battalion, and is usually seen where it is allocated with the number on enlistment. 

 

The 6th was a Reserve (Home Service) Battalion he would have been posted there for administrative purposes.  As a prefix it is often ignored by the Record Office/clerks as it was more relevant to the Regiment.  It is most commonly seen as a '3' which invariably indicates enlistment under Special Reserve terms and posted to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion.

 

I'm not a Worcester specialist but they appear unusual for a County Infantry Regiment in that their Reserve Battalions were designated 5th and 6th, and the 3rd an active service unit.  Further research would be needed, unless someone knows for certain, that the Worcesters Special Reserve posting were to the 5th and 6th.  In any event as an old soldier, which he clearly was, he would be able to enlist on Special Reserve terms if time expired.  I notice, by browsing the SWB Roll, both the prefix '5' and '6' were used which supports the fact it was allocated according to which Reserve Battalion they were posted to.  A Special Reserve enlistment fits with posting to the 1st Battalion as he would not require further training, just kitted out and refreshed.

 

The enlistment date shown for Pte Russell on the SWB Roll of the 29th August indicates a re-enlistment, if he had been on the Army Reserve they were all recalled on the 4th August (though may not have arrived at the Depot immediately).  You will have seen on the SWB Roll page the men below him all have enlistment dates which predate 1914 indicating they were either serving regulars or reservists. Therefore you can ignore the information previously given as to enlistment, again the SWB Roll indicates four digit numbers in the 'regular' sequence.

 

There is a page on Reserves and Reservists on the LLT.

https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/soldiers/a-soldiers-life-1914-1918/enlisting-into-the-army/british-army-reserves-and-reservists/

 

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FROGSMILE

The soldier in the photo is dressed as a mounted infantryman (hence the spurs and bandolier) and wearing the 1899 pattern drab serge (brownish khaki) frock that was typical field dress in the colder months during the 2nd Anglo/Boer War 1899-1902.  A few regiments deployed entire militia battalion’s to the war and in addition Volunteer Battalion’s of the other arm of auxiliary forces, the Volunteer Force, created composite sub units from men willing to leave home and hearth.  These latter were known as Service Companies and because they had been trained to shoot but not manoeuvre they were generally employed for guarding of key points (railway junctions and telegraph stations) along the lines of communication.

 

98E7E8C3-9BD1-42FD-B3AD-A48F54A7B968.jpeg

136358F3-AAE5-4AB3-ADD1-90FCB2391375.jpeg

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Matlock1418
5 hours ago, StephenFord said:

But what is the meaning of the additional 6/ in front of the 9127?

Required in the days of Regimental Number, before unique Service Numbers.

As Ken has indicated above - Within a Regiment a number could be used several times, so a battalion prefix

 

You may be interested to know that there are three pension record cards at WFA/Fold3

Joseph RUSSELL, 9127, Pte, Worcestershire Regiment

Widow's pension for Faith Hope RUSSELL, 44 Bond St., Dudley

One card appears to record Joseph's details as Joseph Mausoleum RUSSELL, Died 29/11/25 [I've got to admit to be being a bit puzzled by the "Mausoleum" bit ??]

Unfortunately the pension cards do not give cause of death.

His death and Death Certificate must in some way link to his service and thus grant his widow a pension.

Speculating [not a medic but think I have recently seen here on GWF] - Apparently amputees were prone to more cardio-vascular conditions due to additional strain of dealing with loss of limb and/or thromboses, I think. Or ... ???

:-) M

Edited by Matlock1418
typo
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I didn't want to over-complicate matters with my previous post - I know, a first for me :)

 

Turning to Paul Nixon's site again:-

 

The Second South African War 1899-1902

The Worcestershire Regiment raised two more regular battalions, the 3rd and 4th Battalions, in 1900. The 3rd Battalion was raised on the 14th February and the 4th Battalion on the 10th March. Men joining these battalions were numbered from the same series being used for the 1st and 2nd Battalions. The regiment maintained its additional two battalions after the war with South Africa had ended and thus went to war with Germany in 1914 with four regular battalions.

https://armyservicenumbers.blogspot.com/2011/06/worcestershire-regiment.html

 

That would have meant the 3rd and 4th Militia Battalions would have had to be renumbered,

 

Harts 1902 Annual Army Lists “correct to the end of 1901” shows

1st Battalion in South Africa

2nd Battalion in South Africa

3rd Battalion in Tipperary

4th Battalion in Aldershot

The 5th and 6th Battalions are formed from the 1st and 2nd Battalions Worcestershire Militia respectively.

https://digital.nls.uk/british-military-lists/archive/100616846

 

So at that point a man serving with the 3rd Militia could well have found himself serving overnight with the 5th Battalion. As per earlier posters, men from the Militia Battalions could volunteer for overseas service, taking a 1 or 2 year short service Regular Army enlistment with a new service number. Another variations also crops up on Paul Nixon's website -

 

Volunteer Service Companies
During the South African War, the 7th and 8th Volunteer Battalions supplied enough men to enable the regiment to raise two volunteer service companies (VSCs). One hundred and thirty of these men came from the 8th Volunteer Battalion. Numbers were allocated to VSC recruits as follows:

1st VSC: numbers within the range 6693 to 6855
2nd VSC: numbers within the range 6808 to 6878

 

To be honest I don't understand how it all fits together. The Army Reforms of 1908 also creates another issue. In the more normal Country Regiments I'm used to dealing with, the reforms including the creation of a Special Reserve and an associated 3rd Battalion to serve as their administrative centre in peacetime and the unit they were mobilised to in wartime. This in turn meant a further renumbering of at least one existing Battalion to make way for it. These Special Reservists spent an initial few months of their 6 year enlistment term training and then returned to their civilian roles. In the event of war they would then provide a partially trained reserve to provide replacement drafts to the two Regular Army Battalions. With the Worcesters having four regular Army Battalions I don't know whether this had the knock-on effect of requiring two Special Reservist Battalions - hope someone can answer that.

 

For now I was ruling out the Militia man 4379 Joseph Russell who has surviving service records because of his age and place of birth.

 

Now to look at those other service number options :)

 

Cheers,

Peter

 

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FROGSMILE

Both the 5th and 6th Militia Battalion’s of the Worcestershire Regiment embodied (mobilised) in 1900, with the former standing down after 5-months, but the latter deployed to South Africa in 1902 with a strength of 15 officers, 1 sergeant major of battalion, and 535 NCOs and men.  On arrival the battalion was chiefly employed in static guarding by manning the Blockhouse Line (of which there were a number as part of a containment strategy) from Bethulie on the Orange River to Stormberg, as well as the Garrison of Stormberg itself.  Casualties (principally from disease) were 20 NCOs and men and one attached officer.

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Thank @FROGSMILE - so the reference to the 7th & 8th Battalions on Paul Nixon's site, units which are not referred to in Hart's of 1902 as existing at that point, is probably an error and should read 5th & 6th. However if the Battalions were mobilised that would seem at odds with them providing Volunteer Service Companys. Got to admit I am out of my comfort zone on this stuff!

 

On a separate note, Paul statement that the Regular Army Battalions, (1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th), all shared a common service number range, would mean that 9127 Joseph Russell can be ruled out as a Regular Army enlistment. 9127 Frank McGrath enlisted on the 21st February 1905 on a 9 and 3 term. Co-incidentally had previously served in the 5th Battalion.

 

There are surviving service records for a (6/)9128 Henry Bird who enlisted 29th August 1914 on a One Year term as a Special Reservist. Going first to the 6th Battalion he was sent as part of a draft to the 3rd Battalion on the 26th October 1914 and was Killed in Action on the 7th November 1914. Aged 40, he was a time expired man, having served 12 years in the Inniskilling Dragoons.

 

(6/)9122 Edward Arthur Powell also has surviving service records. Aged 24 and with no prior military experience he signed up on the 28th August 1914 on a Six Year term as a Special Reservist. Initially with the 6th Battalion, he was posted to the 4th Battalion on the 5th February 1915 and was missing presumed killed on the 6th August 1915.

 

Admittedly only a sample of two, but if those are a benchmark it would seem the prior military experience of Joseph Russell, who landed in France on the 5th January 1915, was closer to that of Edward Powell than Henry Bird.

 

Cheers,

Peter

 

 

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FROGSMILE

Peter it was the Volunteer Force (volunteer battalions) that provided Volunteer Service Companies.  As you know the Volunteer Force (VF) was separate to the Militia.  
 

It confuses people that at that time the VF units were numbered separately (as they still stood alone as a separate force despite being associated with regular regiments - it was a half way house - and a fudge).  This meant that there were two 1st Battalion’s, the regular one and the one with suffix VB (volunteer battalion), and ditto 2nd Battalions.  
 

It wasn’t until 1908 and the creation of the Territorial Force (TF) that the numbering ran consecutively.  There was then 1st to 4th (Regulars), 5th and 6th (Reserve - ex Militia) and 7th and 8th (TF).

 

Ergo, during the 2nd Boer War the Worcester’s Militia mobilised one battalion complete (albeit at a reduced strength) and the VBs formed some composite Service Companies.  Most (but not all) regiments did similar.

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33 minutes ago, FROGSMILE said:

As you know the Volunteer Force (VF) was separate to the Militia.

 

No I didn't - or at least I have't got the relationship pre-1908 clear in my own head:)

 

In which case it would appear there were three "1st" Battalions of the Worcesters as Harts 1902 describes the 5th Battalion as formed of the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Militia.

So in the same vein were the 1st (Volunteer) Worcestershire Battalion, (or however it was titled1), also the 7th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment, or were they entirely stand alone?

 

Thanks,

Peter

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FROGSMILE
44 minutes ago, PRC said:

 

No I didn't - or at least I have't got the relationship pre-1908 clear in my own head:)

 

In which case it would appear there were three "1st" Battalions of the Worcesters as Harts 1902 describes the 5th Battalion as formed of the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Militia.

So in the same vein were the 1st (Volunteer) Worcestershire Battalion, (or however it was titled1), also the 7th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment, or were they entirely stand alone?

 

Thanks,

Peter

 

As at 1902:

 

a.  1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th Battalions (Regulars).

 

b.  5th and 6th (Militia) Battalions.  These had previously been numbered as 1st and 2nd Worcestershire Militia but their title had changed long before, in July 1881.

 

c.  1st and 2nd Volunteer Battalions (VB).  These also were created later in 1883 from the RVC 'Worcestershire Rifles'.  Notice difference in VB cap badges, both also in white metal to reflect their rifles origins.

 

NB.  In 1908 the 5th and 6th became Reserve battalions and the 1st and 2nd VB became 7th and 8th TF.

 

Pre-Ww1-The-1St-Volunteer-Battalion-Worcestershire-Regiment.jpg

2nd VB.jpg

 

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StephenFord

Thank you kenf48 the web links were helpful, especially the info found on the Silver War Badge. It verified Joseph Russell 6/9127 enlisted 29 August 1914 and was discharged 14 May 1916. But what is the meaning of the additional 6/ in front of the 9127?

Thank you Peter. Indeed several named the same from nearby towns confuses the matter. The paperwork where I found he enlisted in the Reservist 5 Worc R in 1895 escapes me at the moment, but it does appear in correspondence I received from the Worcestershire Regiment. They found 2 men named J. Russell appearing on the Roll for the Queens South Africa medal (Boer War).

— 4212 P G J Russell served in H Coy 1 Worc R and received QSA with clasps Cape Colony, Orange Free State and Transvaal.

— 4379 Pte J Russell from 5 Worc R served in E Coy 2 Worc R and received QSA with clasps Wittebergen, Cape Colony and Transvaal.

They were not able to establish a link with either of the Boer War Russells..

Paul Nixon states Special Reserve and Territorial Force Battalions operated completely separate number sequences. So therefore a soldier in Regular enlistment and a soldier in Reserve could potentially have the same number. Only when called for active service would the latter number change. 
Peter I hope you will be able to look for the other service number. I greatly appreciate the time you guys give helping. 
yours sincerely

Stephen

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StephenFord
Posted (edited)

It seems I need to do an about turn with my Boer War research. 4379 J Russell is NOT my great grandfather. 4379 was born in 1875 in Lye, his Militia Attestation of 1896 has different father, address and birthdate. 4379 was in 5 Worc R in 1901 Medal Roll and 2 Worc R in 1903 where it also states he returned to England in the Militia Reserve. 
Therefore it seems (at the moment) I must pursue 4212 J Russell who was in 1 Worc R in 1901 medal roll and 1 Worc R 1903 seemingly promoted to L’C with remarks his “time expired”. 
Further reading of the Boer War, many Battalions of Mounted Infantry were formed by taking picked men from the Line Battalions. A Worc company was formed from personnel of the 1st and 2nd Bn. Worc R and was grouped with companies of other regiments to form the 5th Bn. of Mounted Infantry. I’m not saying 4212 was amongst them but in the early photo he is wearing spurs. Just a thought. 
My research continues...

 

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FROGSMILE

It’s entirely feasible that he was one of those detached to form a mounted infantry battalion, especially if a steady, mature soldier with experience of riding and horse management.

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19 hours ago, StephenFord said:

Peter I hope you will be able to look for the other service number.

 

Paul Nixon should be on royalties.

 

Okay 4212 in the Regular Army Battalions would have enlisted between the 13th March 1894, (4020), to the 10th June 1895, (4358).  Working from a birth year of 1877 Joseph Russell’s 18th birthday would have potentially fallen during that period.

 

No obvious surviving service records for him. One potential reason is that he signed up for 21 years in the colours and so served in the Great War under his original number. Another is that the records of his earlier period were mixed with those of his service in the Great War, and so subsequently went up in flames.

 

Surviving service records in the WO97 series for men with nearby service numbers include:-

 

4211 William Jackson. A Dudley born man, he was aged 19 years and 6 months when he joined the Regular Army in the same town on the 5th December 1894. He joined for 7 years in the colours and 5 in the reserves. He was then serving in the 4th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment Militia. His next of kin was his father who lived in Dudley. He reported to the Depot at Worcester on the 6th December 1894 and was posted to the 2nd Battalion on the 10th January 1895. He is shown as stationed at Malta (14/11/95 to 03/10/97), Bermuda, (04/10/97 to 06/12/99) and then South Africa (06/01/00 to 08/11/02). Those dates would have included travelling time. He qualified for the Queens South Afica with clasps for Wittebergen, Cape Colony and the Transvaal, as well as the Kings South Africa medal.  He was transferred to the Army Reserve on the 9th November 1902. He completed his first period of engagement on the 4th December 1906 and was discharged.

 

4213 John Henry Evans. Born Madresfield, Malvern, Worcestershire, he was aged 22 years when he enlisted at the Worcester Depot on the 6th December 1894. He had previously served in the 3rd Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment, but had purchased his release. He joined for 7 years in the colours and 5 in the reserves. His next of kin was his father, of Cherry Orchard, near Worcester. It doesn’t show which Battalion he was attached to. He is shown as stationed at Malta (14/11/95 to 04/06/96 – medical report says 13th April 1896) but then returned to the UK. He was discharged as medically unfit on the 28th July 1896.

 

4216 Alfred Turner. Born Doddham, Worcestershiren he was aged 21 years and 11 months when he enlisted at Dudley on the 7th December 1894. He joined for 7 years in the colours and 5 in the reserves. His next of kin was his father of Doddham. He reported to the Depot on the 8th. No Battalion is shown in his papers. He is shown as stationed at Malta (14/11/95 to 03/10/97), Bermuda, (04/10/97 to 06/12/99) and then South Africa (06/01/00 to 08/11/02). Those dates would have included travelling time. He qualified for the Queens South Afica with clasps for Wittebergen, Cape Colony and the Transvaal, as well as the Kings South Africa medal. He was transferred to the Army Reserve on the 9th November 1902. He completed his first period of engagement on the 6th December 1906 and was discharged.

 

So likely 4212 Joseph Russell enlisted 5-6th December 1894. Unless he lied about his age, that would take his birth back to 1876.

 

There are two Joseph Russell’s whose birth was registered with the civil authorities in the Dudley District in the Januay to March quarter, (Q1), of 1877. The as now you had 42 days after the event to register the birth, so a registration at the start of the quarter could be for a child born as early as the middle of the previous November.

 

The first birth registration had a mothers’ maiden name Ross. For the second the mothers maiden name was Davis.

 

Cheers,

Peter

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8 hours ago, PRC said:

 

There are two Joseph Russell’s whose birth was registered with the civil authorities in the Dudley District in the Januay to March quarter, (Q1), of 1877.

They both appear in each Census until 1901 when one is absent, then they are both present in 1911 which mitigates against being a regular soldier, other than a reservist.

 

The one we are discussing married Faith in Dudley in 1903.

 

The father of the one who is present throughout is John, in 1891 aged 14 his occupation is given as 'filer'; in 1901 he is single and a 'file grinder' and n 1911 still a 'file grinder' and still single, though birth year given as 1876 for the first time.

 

The other's father is Joseph, in 1881 young Joseph is shown as born 1876. In 1891 the relationship gets a bit hazy as he is listed as the son of James and Annie Brannon he is a scholar.  1901 missing (haven't time now to check military census) 1911 married to Faith and a clay grinder.

 

Not sure what his tells us about his military service, but  possibly could indicate enlistment 1894 hence absent 1901, then married when returned to UK and on the Reserve and time expired 1914.

 

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Apologies – missed the reference in @Matlock1418‘s post that the widow was Faith Hope Russell.

 

And as @kenf48 has indicated the only likely marriage in England & Wales was recorded in the Dudley District in the October to December quarter, (Q4), of 1903 – the union of a Joseph Russell with a Faith Hope Davies.

 

Familysearch, quoting the source England Marriages 1538-1973, records that the marriage took place at Dudley on the 25th December 1903. Joseph Russell, aged 25 and single, was the son of a Joseph Russell.

https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NJ77-217

 

However that would place his year of birth as c1878, (or the last few days of 1877). So a slight age issue as to it being the same 4212 Joseph Russell who enlisted in 1894.

A copy of the marriage certificate would confirm fathers’ occupation and whether he was then still alive, which might help confirm that the correct Joseph has been identified from the Census record.

 

On the 1881 Census of England & Wales there are two potential matches for a Joseph Russell of the right age with a Dudley connection – but the one with the father called Joseph is recorded as born Stafford. That Joseph was shown as aged 5 and was part of one of at least three households at 11 Gads Lane, Dudley. Parents were Joseph, (aged 43, a Coal Miner, born Dudley) and Fanny, (aged 39 and born Stafford), Their other children living with them are:-

Sarah Ann…….aged 12….born Stafford

Samson……….aged 10….born Stafford

Thomas……….aged 3…..born Chonhead(?), Lancashire

Robert…………aged 1…..born Dudley

 

May be a co-incidence but the death of a 45 year Joseph Russell was recorded in the Dudley District in the October to December quarter, (Q4), of 1883.

 

Similarly it may be a co-incidence but the marriage of a “Hannah” Russell to a James Brannon was recorded in the Dudley District in the April to June quarter, (Q2), of 1886

 

On the 1891 Census of England & Wales, Sarah Ann Russell, (21), Samson Russell, (20), Joseph Russell, (14),  - all now shown as born Dudley, plus a Thomas Russell, (13, born Lancashire) and an Albert Russell, (4 months?, born Dudley), were recorded living with a married couple James and Annie Brannon. Annie was aged 43 and born Dudley.

(On the 1901 Census she is shown as Hannah Brannon,aged 56 and born Stafford, Her husband has given the relationship of the two other residents in the household – Thomas Russell, (23) and Albert Russell, (10), as Stepson. I suspect Albert may actually be Sarah Ann Russells child as James and Hannah would have been married at the time of his birth).

 

If Joseph was living in the household of his step-father, without wanting to resort to clichés, perhaps the urge to lie about his age in order to escape into the Army might be a bit more understandable.

 

And taking a step backwards, and with the usual caveats about it all potentially being just co-incidences:-

 

The marriage of a Joseph Russell to either an Anne Ross or an Anne Smith was recorded in the Dudley District in Q1 1869.

 

The following births were registered in England & Wales for children with surname Russell, mothers’ maiden name Ross.

 

Sarah Ann Russell – Q1 1870, Dudley District.

Joseph Russell – Q1 1877, Dudley District

Thomas Russell – Q1 1879, Leigh District of Lancashire

Robert Russell – Q4 1880, Dudley District

 

“Sampson” Russell, Q1 1871, Dudley District doesn’t have a mothers’ maiden name shown in the source I’m using, but the GRO website should be able to confirm it.

 

There is no obvious candidate for the birth of an Albert Russell or Bannon in the Dudley District in the right period.

 

Matches from the baptism record.

 

A Samson Russell, born 31st August 1871, and a Joseph Russell, born 1st February 1877, were baptised at St Luke, Dudley. on the 21st February 1877. Parents were Joseph, a Miner, and Annie. The family were then living at 2 Lawley Street, Dudley.

https://www.freereg.org.uk/search_records/5817c204e93790eca3d1f107/samson-russell-baptism-worcestershire-dudley-1877-02-21?locale=en

 

A Robert Russell, date of birth not recorded/transcribed, was baptised at St. Luke, Dudley, on the 12th January 1881. Parents were Joseph, a Collier, and Annie. The family then lived at Cross Street, Dudley.

https://www.freereg.org.uk/search_records/5817c20ce93790eca3d20224/robert-russell-baptism-worcestershire-dudley-1881-01-12?locale=en

 

 

BTW - Familysearch also has the following baptisms for children of a Joseph and Faith Hope Russell.

 

17th July 1904, (born  8th April 1904, at Dudley -  Annie

https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J7T7-N5M

 

9th May 1906, (born 19th April 1906) at Dudley – Charity.

https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NV32-S2S

 

15th April 1910, (born 7th April 1910), at Dudley - Elizabeth

https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:CNTD-GMN2

 

20th April 1912, (born 24th March 1912), at St Thomas, Dudley – Isabella.

https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:CV9J-1TPZ

 

17th May 1914, (born 25th April 1914), at St Thomas, Dudley – Anna.

https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:CV9J-KWZM

 

9th March 1919, (born 29th January 1919), at St Thomas, Dudley – Louisa Mary.

https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:CV9C-7B2M

 

9th October 1921, (born 15th September 1921), at St Thomas, Dudley – Clarice.

https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:CV9J-ZB6Z

 

Hope some of that helps,

Peter

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StephenFord

Thank you Peter @PRC and Ken @kenf48 for the family info. It all helps. Much appreciated.
My Joseph Russell was born 1st February 1877 at Dudley to Joseph (1838-1883) and Annie Ross (1845- ). Indeed in the 1891 Census Joseph is living with his stepfather James Brannon, mother Annie (Hannah) and siblings. One of whom was Thomas born 1879 in Lancashire. On a separate note Thomas lost an arm in the Great War although I have no idea of his regiment or anything. Upon Joseph’s return from South Africa he married Faith Hope Davies and subsequently had 7 daughters, one of whom was my grandmother. After the Great War Joseph struggled. With a lost leg and deteriorating health he died 29 November 1925 aged 48. The death certificate states “succumbed to acute bronchitis (accelerated by war service gas) and cardiac failure”. At his funeral the British Legion Band played and members of the Legion formed a firing party. 
Thank you for the links. I did not know of the baptismal site.

Of course my research continues for the Boer War years of J Russell and possible Reservist. But also for other family members who served during the Great War. Many with the Worcester’s, and Kings Liverpool, RGA, RVC... 

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StephenFord
On 12/05/2021 at 04:14, FROGSMILE said:

The soldier in the photo is dressed as a mounted infantryman (hence the spurs and bandolier) and wearing the 1899 pattern drab serge (brownish khaki) frock that was typical field dress in the colder months during the 2nd Anglo/Boer War 1899-1902.


Fascinating.
 

Further reading of the Boer War, many Battalions of Mounted Infantry were formed by taking picked men from the Line Battalions. A Worc company was formed from personnel of the 1st and 2nd Bn. Worc R and was grouped with companies of other regiments to form the 5th Bn. of Mounted Infantry.

It could well be that J Russell belonged to that regiment. 
 

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FROGSMILE
5 hours ago, StephenFord said:


Fascinating.
 

Further reading of the Boer War, many Battalions of Mounted Infantry were formed by taking picked men from the Line Battalions. A Worc company was formed from personnel of the 1st and 2nd Bn. Worc R and was grouped with companies of other regiments to form the 5th Bn. of Mounted Infantry.

It could well be that J Russell belonged to that regiment. 
 

Yes I agree and mentioned as such in my last post above.  Everything about his dress implies mounted infantry, including the slouch hat not spotted previously but which sits on the table beside him.  See colour image.  There is an interesting article about a typically composite MI unit formed from infantry sections in Malta here: https://www.google.com/amp/s/timesofmalta.com/articles/view/The-Malta-Mounted-Infantry-in-the-Second-Anglo-Boer-War.499554.amp

The enclosed photo shows a full strength section of MI found from one standard infantry battalion circa 1902.  Notice the officer seated front and centre, his section sergeant seated adjacent and wearing a red sash and on the left flank as you look is the bugler.  The lanyard around each man’s neck is for a revolving pistol.

 

36CB4A54-4E57-4757-85D5-E9FC549CDA88.jpeg

0995E624-D916-48D7-BD73-D5C78EB2D2C0.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE
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StephenFord
12 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

There is an interesting article about a typically composite MI unit formed from infantry sections in Malta here: https://www.google.com/amp/s/timesofmalta.com/articles/view/The-Malta-Mounted-Infantry-in-the-Second-Anglo-Boer-War.499554.amp

 
Indeed a very interesting article. Thanks. I’ll be looking for more. And photographs, scanning for a familiar face. 

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FROGSMILE
18 minutes ago, StephenFord said:

 
Indeed a very interesting article. Thanks. I’ll be looking for more. And photographs, scanning for a familiar face. 

There are several good books on the subject of British and Dominion mounted infantry, including some that are biographical.  Just do a search on the web.

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StephenFord

Thank you @FROGSMILE I have been searching as you suggest.
I’ve posted a new topic regarding my grandfather and the RGA. I’m hoping to avail myself of your interest in uniforms and insignia. Please take a look.

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