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A Durham Man In A Liverpool Battalion


Denny Pooley
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After several wrong turns and dead ends, I now know for certain, that my Grandfather, Pte 57866, Charles Pooley, was in the 18th Battalion, King's Liverpool Regiment. He was born, raised, lived and worked in County Durham, and at the time of his enlistment, 9th March 1915, was living in a very small "village" called Haswell Moor. I'm assuming, because his war record hasn't survived, that he would have enlisted in Durham City, or maybe Sunderland or Hartlepool, and the story in the family was that he'd joined one of the DLI Battalions., but it would seem that he went straight to the 18th KLR, remaining with them until he was discharged on 12 April 1918, having been badly wounded. Was he randomly, and singly, assigned to the KLR, or were there more Durham men who found themselves on Merseyside? The story of his wounding and discharge is confirmed by his award of the Silver War Badge, and more intriguingly by a postcard bought by his wife Millie, on the back of which she wrote, unfortunately with virtually no punctuation, "Bought in Boulogne Aug 6th 1917. When visiting my dear husband who was wounded in hospital June 24th 1917." The questions I'm trying to answer are...is the June date the date he was wounded, or the date of my Grandmother's visit? If the latter, is it conceivable that she would have stayed in France for nearly 2 months,before perhaps  buying the postcard in Boulogne on her journey back to England?  Or are the 2 dates what they appear to be..the date of his wounding, and a date which fell sometime during her visit? Broad questions I realise, and possibly unanswerable but any suggestions would be much appreciated.

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49 minutes ago, Denny Pooley said:

...Was he randomly, and singly, assigned to the KLR, or were there more Durham men who found themselves on Merseyside?

 

I'm researching 18KLR men with numbers in the range 57500-577xx, almost all of whom had transferred in as part of reinforcement drafts following earlier service in other units. Most of them had come from the Army Cyclist Corps or one of several Divisional Cyclist Companies. I suspect many of them may never have set foot on Merseyside before, during or after the war - my relative (57606, 18KLR), plus about 70 men similarly numbered, went directly from the Cyclists training HQ at Chisledon (near Swindon) to join the Kings Liverpool Regiment in France. 

 

My point is, your Grandfather may have done similar. Unfortunately his number 57866 is just outside the scope of my research to date, so I have nothing really to add, but I'll be reading this thread with interest. If you haven't seen it already, I would recommend Graham Maddocks' book, Liverpool Pals (ISBN 1473845122), which is superb and would be relevant to your Grandfather's service.

 

All the best

Ben

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Ben is correct Your grandfather previously served with the Cyclist Corps before transferring to the Kings Liverpool Regiment 

Confirmed by entry's on his Western Front pension documents

He is shown to have been discharged from duty with the disability's  gun shot wounds, head,  legs +arm

 

 

Ray

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Western Front pension card as confirmation

pooley.JPG.f6f9a450dace936a8e55813b499afd56.JPG

 

The reverse of the card reads that he was awarded a grant of £ 40.00 on the 12/11/19 to start a general business  

 

Ray

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Posted (edited)

Three great replies already - many thanks! Ben - Graham Maddocks' book is on my must buy list. I can add one detail to Promenade's KLR database. Charles was born in the village of Waterhouses, in County Durham. And we now know that he did come from the Cyclist Corps, so that can be added too. Ray - that is amazing...I have some pension ledger documents, but have never seen anything with the details of his wounds. My dad recalled that one of Charles' legs was permanently rigid after he returned home. He could not bend it at all, but apparently this didn't prevent him from buying, and riding, a motorbike! He used some or all of the grant to buy the a general dealer shop in Haswell Moor. Unfortunately for him, his generosity towards his customers meant that it was a fairly short lived venture. One other thing I know about Charles, which may be relevant, is that he was quite short. This had led my dad to believe he had joined the 19th DLI their "Bantam" Battalion. Was height a consideration when men were assigned to the Cycling Corps?

Edited by Denny Pooley
Omitted detail, and spelling mistake!
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Not an answer to your question, but you may find this interesting...from The Northern Daily Mail, August 1913.

Courtesyof the British Newspaper Archive. 

 

Screenshot_20210511-103737.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Yes - that's my Grandad! The incident was reported in 2 other local papers, one under the heading "The Miner Who Stopped The Train". I was disappointed that he had nothing more to say in court - I'd like to have known what he was celebrating in Sunderland!

Edited by Denny Pooley
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Celebration in 1913? Sunderland won the First Division that year.  
 

Speaking of cycling one of Britain’s greatest cyclists was born in Haswell, Tom Simpson.

 

Btw I think I might have pulled the cord, to avoid stopping in Shotton! 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Simpson

 

David 

 

Edited by David_Blanchard
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Hi David - you could be right about the SAFC connection. Not too many sporting notables from around that way. Apart from Tom Simpson there was a boxing champion called Maurice Cullen who lived just around the corner from me in Shotton. 

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 Colin Bell not too far away in Hesleden. My grandmother’s cousin Griffith Jones was a miner at Shotton Colliery. He was killed serving in the 2 DLI, in 1915. Only found this out recently, will have to see if his name is on the memorial next time I am up. I used to live in Wheatley Hill, then Peterlee. 
 

 

 

0C2441CD-FD1B-4BA9-9F7D-9DFDBE2EDE9F.jpeg

D8A4313C-000D-49C2-B673-3F75382A7B6F.jpeg

Edited by David_Blanchard
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Hi David - see the attached links to the North East War Memorials Project. I have been in contact with James Pasby several times over the past few years, and he's been very  helpful with research into my Grandad's war record. So, you lived in Wheatley Hill (my mam was born there), and Peterlee ( I worked in the town centre for a couple of years before moving to London - I now live in Poland!), all the high spots!

 

http://www.newmp.org.uk/detail.php?contentId=9177#listlink

http://www.newmp.org.uk/memorial_image.php?contentId=9177

http://wheatleyhillheritagecentre.org.uk/warmemorial.html

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  • 5 weeks later...

His KLR service Number indicates that he served with he 3/1st (Northumbrian) Divisional Cyclist Company. The 2/1st (Northumbrian) Divisional Cyclist Company was completed to full complement by April 1915 and Captain Maurice Moore immediately began recruiting the Third Line Company.  In November 1916 ,the Territorial Cyclist Companies were transferred to the Regular Army and re-numbered. The training role undertaken by the Third Line units was taken over by the Army Cyclist Corps Training Centre  at Chisledon and all of the Third line units were sent Chisledon to be reposted, with most going direct to infantry battalions. The men from the 3/1st (Northumbrian) Divisional Cyclist Company supplied drafts to the 18th (Service) Battalion (2nd City) Regiment  on the 11th December 1916 and the 19th Battalion on the 29th December 1916 .They received new KLR numbers in the range 57759 to 57868.

 

Best

 

Clive

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Hello Clive, many thanks for this very useful information, which helps to narrow down the options for future research. But, and isn't there always a "but", it also raises another question, particularly with reference to the December 1916 re-posting date. Were the 3/1st (Northumbrian) Divisional Cyclist Company in France at any point before the men (including presumably my grandfather) were assigned to the KLR Battalions? The question arises because I have a series of postcards, sent by Charles Pooley to his wife and children from France, the earliest dated 6th August 1915. This in itself seems odd, because his enlistment date was just under 4 months earlier, 9th March 1915. Any light you could shed on this would be much appreciated.

Cheers

Denny

 

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Denny

 

The August 1915 postcards from France are difficult to reconcile with the other details.

 

If he enlisted on 9th March 1915, that is very early to be a direct entrant into the 3/1st Northumbrian Divisional Cyclist Company.  What I have already from service records  and newspapers suggests that the Second Line was still recruiting until the end of April 1915. It's  also quite late for someone to be in France by August 1915.

 

None of the Third Line Cyclist units served overseas before going to Chisledon in November 1916. However, a number of men with those units in November 1916 had already served overseas, usually with the First Line Cyclist Company, and been posted to the Third Line after being invalided home. For example :57863 Thomas Gregory 1/KLR had previously served overseas with 1/1Northumbrian Divisional Cyclists as 177 and 57884 Thomas Juett 18/KLR had previously served overseas, also with 1/1Northumbrian Divisional Cyclists, as 256.

 

The First Line Northumbrian Cyclists went overseas on the 18th April 1915 with the 50th Division but I can’t see anything that suggests Charles Pooley was with them. His enlistment date in March 1915 precludes a 1914 Star. Below is a list of the possible candidates for C* Pooley awarded the 1914 -15 star. I can’t see any that look to be your Charles Pooley. The favourite, 2695 Charles Pooley of the DLI, was killed in action in October 1917.

 

Name                                 Rank                          Regiment or Corps          Regimental Number

Charles Victor Pooley         Private                        Durham Light Infantry                            20423

Charles Pooley                   Private                        Durham Light Infantry                               2695

C F Pooley                         Sapper                         Royal Engineers                                      67626

C Pooley                            Corporal                      Loyal North Lancashire Regiment             8808

Charles B Pooley               Private (a Corporal)      Machine Gun Corps                                 4449

C Pooley                           Private                          Essex Regiment                                      14142

C H Pooley                        Private                          Bedfordshire Regiment                           13253

J C Pooley                         Private                          Lincolnshire Regiment                           20601

Charles William Pooley   Staff Sergeant                Royal Field Artillery                                90180

C Pooley                           Private                          Essex Regiment                                      14142

A C Pooley                        Sapper                         Royal Engineers                                      86026

Charles Pooley                 Private                         Hampshire Regiment                              13282

E C Pooley                        Private                         Essex Regiment                                        14821

 

The photo shows him  in  riding breeches and with puttees wound down cavalry style, which is consistent with a Cyclist unit. If there is a date on the photo, that might help to identify the dates for his Cyclist service.

 

Best

 

Clive

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Hello again Clive - and many thanks again for your help in trying to clarify my Grandad's movements in 1915. I've re-checked all the evidence I have, in case I missed anything. His enlistment date of 9th March 1915 is confirmed by the Silver War Badge roll, and in line with what you said, the other medals he was awarded were the Victory Medal and the British War Medal.

 

There are 15 postcards in all, 2 picture postcards and 13 silk embroidered ones, and these latter cards are mostly, but not entirely, dated, from the earliest, 6th Aug 1915 to the latest, Jan 12th 1917. Eight in all have dates in 1915, (one, dated Oct 8th 1915, has the embroidered design  "1915 Souvenir") and the others are from Jan 1917 - there are none from 1916. 

 

The picture I posted  has the handwritten "Charles Pooley 1916" caption. However, my aunt was fairly certain that it was originally part of a postcard which included pictures of Charles and his two brothers, Thomas and William - and Thomas Pooley died at 2nd Ypres on 26th April 1915, which would mean the photos of the 3 brothers were taken before that date....?

 

I did find something on the back of another photograph (attached) which could help - there is a date stamp, presumably from the photography studio, for 27th Sept 1915. I don't know how long it would have taken to process and develop back then, but is it feasible that it was taken just prior to his leaving for France, sometime in the month or so before? Does the uniform give any more clues in this picture? Unfortunately we don't know who the other soldier is, so we can't check any records for him, and Charles' war record was one of those that did not survive.

 

I'm hoping that we are a little closer to solving the mysteries of Private 57866 Charles Pooley, and will say thanks again in advance for any suggestions/educated guesses you can provide.

 

Cheers

Denny

 

Charles-Pooley-and-Anon-Front.jpg.acfca30b3fe7e548ef42635aac0d8e10.jpg

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  • 2 months later...

I was told that there was quite a few men from around the area (South Hetton/Murton) who enlisted into the ACC. Many of them were later transferred to the KLR and discharged from that unit. Also that Army Cyclist Corps personnel from around the country were transferred to many other regiments as replacements. I'm not certain but I seem to think that the person that told me said that they trained at either South Hetton or Shotton. However I haven't found any other information with regards to this.

 

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A South Hetton man had the number 57777 and his brother in law from Murton 57808. Both of KLR. Neither of them have the ACC on their medal cards. I have found an address for correspondence;

3rd Line? N.D.C.C.

N? Platoon

Rise Carr School

Darlington

 

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On 10/05/2021 at 21:24, Promenade said:

You may be interested in this extract from my KLR database:

 

image.png.98e083698603f3366f38a3e7053150f3.png

Henry Collins not shown here, born South Hetton. 57777. Trained/served with Fred below and later married his sister.

Frederick Lowerson was born in Murton, Durham. He was in the A.C.C. though it's not mentioned on his medal card. It is though as North Div Cyclists on his pension card.

 

 

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