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Remembered Today:

Signal Companies (46th Division)


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Hi all,

 

I'm researching a relative who was in the North Midland (46th) Signal Company. 

I have been able to fair bit of information about him already, from this early years in the Church Lads Brigade  through to joining the  2nd Volunteer Battalion North Staffordshire  Regiment  in around 1901 and then in the Staffordshire Territorials, A Coy 6th Battalion North Staffords. I know in the 6th North Staffords by 1912 he was a Sergeant and the Instructor of Signals at the Territorial Camp at Aberystwyth. In 1913 he was noted as 'Signalling Sergeant' 

 

I know during the war he was in No2 Section of the 46th Signal Company and wine the Military Medal at the for his part in the the attack on the 

Hohenzollern Redoubt on the 13th October 1015. 

 

I was wondering of anyone had any tips for researching how the signallers worked with in the battalions of the territorials pre war 

If they had any particular additions to the uniforms

Any tips on sources for researching signal companies. 

 

Iv already been through the 46th Division HQ war diaries and the 137 Stafford's brigade  HQ diary. also the engineers diaries for the division and the signal company diary. 

 

Any tips much appreciated - learning all the time ... many thanks in advance. 

 

James 

(The chaps name was Frederick Birch) 

 

 

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brianmorris547

James

The WDs of 137 Infantry Brigade and 138 Infantry Brigade have Operational Orders for the attack on 13/10/1915 and these show details under Communications.

How do you know that his MM was awarded for 13/10/1915. The MM Card for 2279 Sgt F Birch 46 Sigs Co (ex 25 N Staffs and later 492094 RE) shows a LG date of 11/11/1916 (Schedule 36555). (LG 29819 p 10918). This is more than a year after the Action. Not impossible but not likely. Two pages of the annotated version of this LG can be found in the Service Record of Reginald George DCLI. (Ancestry Filmstrip ref WO 363 Geo 13065 & 13066 / 20697). Also shown is 1082 Spr D Benton, 1/2 N Mid FC RE. The schedule number on his MM card is 36571 indicating a number of MMs for the RE in whatever action it was.

The WD of 137 IB shows raids on 02/09/1916 and 20/09/1916 and the Op Orders and reports show RE Signals involvement, including a report by Lt Lewis RE OC Signals 137 IB. 

Brian

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Hi Brian, 

 

Thank you so much for the reply :-) I'm working my way through the War Diaries steadily now, so learning lots. 

 

I managed to find a picture of his medals, which were sold in auction  in 2017 and with them was a 'recommendation'  which mentioned the action on the 13th October. The recommendation was dated 18th June 1916 

 

Admittedly it does not say '13th' but say 'on .. October'  and I was assuming (may be mistakenly) that '13th' had been left off in error. 

 

Another recommendation was also made on the 18th June 1916, (below Freds) for the same action where the 'on 13th October 1915' has been penciled in.

 

My assumption was they were both recommended for their part in the action on that day - but I could be wrong  and am very much open to advice as still learning. 

 

Have attached these docs and a picture of the medals. 

 

I have e mailed the auction house in  the hope they can pass my details on to the buyer  - a long shot I know but if in a museum would be nice to know. 

 

Many thanks once again - very much appreciated :-)

Screenshot 2021-06-11 at 21.10.08.png

Screenshot 2021-06-11 at 21.10.11.png

Screenshot 2021-06-11 at 21.20.24.png

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brianmorris547

James

13/10/1915 it is. As I said Not impossible. It must have been a retrospective recommendation. The WD of the 46 Div Adjutant and Quarter-Master General in the Div HQ papers is no help I'm afraid, it only goes up to June 1915. Honours and Rewards are sometimes mentioned in Routine Orders. I have been meaning to download the WD of the 11 Corps A&QMG to look for RE Honours and Rewards so I will bring it forward and let you know if there is a mention. There is also some information about the 13/10/1915 in The Long Long Trail under Battles - Loos.

Brian

EDIT: The Routine Orders of 11 Corps A&QMG dated 06/04/1916 announce the New War Medal to be known as the Military Medal and that "Recommendations can be made from now." I was looking for the para which allowed retrospective recommendations to be made but I have not found it yet. (I went through WO 95/885/ 1 to 4). The later ROs make no mention of 46 Div.

I note that your 137 IB recommendation dated June 1916 is headed 7 Corps so there will probably be more info in the Routine Orders in the WD of the A&QMG 7 Corps. (WO 95/809/1 to 4).

Brian

Edited by brianmorris547
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brianmorris547

James

The WDs are easy to download from The National Archives. You have to create an account first. The MM card for 2297 L A Jeffcott also shows a LG date of 11/11/1916. The schedule number is 36556. He is also named in the LG 29819. The recommendations were made by Lt Maguire of 46 Div Sigs Co No 2 Section.

The 7 Corps A&QMG Routine Orders should show all the MMs from 46 Sigs Co for the action on 13/10/1915.

Brian 

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Very kind  - have down-loaded the relevant diaries  from the NA, sadly no mention  of Fred's MM in 7 corp diaries , it seems the mentions start in Sept 1916 and have followed through an no mention. i'll see what else I can find

 

many thanks for your time and interest its very much appreciated :-)

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Sadly no mention in the VII corp Routine orders for Fred, the first  MM's  noted in September 1916 Diary.

Thanks for the tip though, interesting reading.  

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WOW !!!    gosh !    thank you so much for sharing !!   Great photo !  

 

It would be nice to think he was one of the 2 Sergeants (I can only see 2 ?) seated in the middle row.

 

I have no date for him Joining the North Midland  Signal Coy. 

 

I know he was (Signaling) Sergeant in A Coy 6th North Staffords in 1912 and was still with the 6th in 1913, 1914. 

 

I know No2 Section North Midland Signal Company was given permission to be located a the Burton HQ with the 6th North Staffords in Mid 1913. 

 

My assumption - may be wrongly, is he traveled to France as a member of the Signals Coy - no service record (that I can find) survives but his medal card gives his date of entry to the theatre  as the  5th March 1915, the same day  as No2 Signals Coy disembarked form the SS Maidan at Havre. 

 

If that's the case and the photo was taken in Feb before heading to France he might just be one of the 2 men - never the less thank you !!

 

Edited by james drury
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On 13/06/2021 at 12:07, AndrewThornton said:

A photograph of No. 2 Section, taken at Saffron Walden in February 1915. The photograph is in my collection.

1085159_163245927194038_1216049800_o.jpg

I noticed from the divisional war diary No2 Section  Signals Coy arrived in France with a strength of 1 officer and 26 other ranks. The photo, if I'm right shows 1 signals officer - (with the armband) along side 2 other officers - may be not signals, and 26 other ranks so potentially this was the section at full strength just before leaving.   

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