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Remembered Today:

6th East Yorkshire Regiment


Joy Tonks
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Hi, hope someone may be able to help me. My husband’s grandfather Richard Clark no: 3/6501 originally joined the 3rds training men at Beverley. He then joined the 6th Battalion.

There are no service records available except for his medal record card. 
I know that the 6th Battalion landed at Sulva Bay in August but on Richard’s card it states ‘entering the Balkans 5th October 1915’

Does anyone know he was delayed or if you can point me in the right direction that would be greatly appreciated!

Joy

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Joy,

 

The 6th Battalion suffered heavy casualties at Suvla Bay in August 1915. It is probable that he was part of a reinforcement draft, which included 3rd Bn men, to make good those, or subsequent, losses.

 

The joining of that draft might be recorded in the battalion war diary. I'll check later.

 

Colin

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Joy,

 

The War Diary is available online on Ancestry but the November 1915 pages no longer include detailed nominal rolls of arrivals and departures (as there are in Oct 1915); no obvious mention in October and it is likely he would not have joined the battalion for a week or so.

 

 On mention of drafts in the regimental history.

 

Regards

 

Colin

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  • RussT changed the title to 6th East Yorkshire Regiment

Thank you for your help. It took us a while to identify his service number so anything we find out is a bonus. 
Thank you again.

Joy

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Hi @Joy Tonks and a belated welcome to the forum :)

 

I took a quick look at men with nearby service numbers to see if any patterns readily stood out.

 

There are surviving service records for the 18 year old Alfred Earnshaw, an 18 year old Labourer from Hull who joined the 3rd Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment as a Special Reservist at Hull on the 15th August 1914. He was unmarried and had no previous military experience. He was issued with service number 3/6500. He didn’t go overseas – his records note that he went absent on the 27th December 1914 and was subsequently deemed to have deserted from the 3rd Battalion.

 

3/6502 James McKie doesn’t have surviving service records but his Medal Index Card shows he landed in France on the 9th November 1914.

 

3/6503 Frederick Bailey also doesn’t have surviving service records. His Medal Index Card shows he landed in France on the 8th November 1914 to serve with the 1st Battalion. It also shows him as discharged and in receipt of the Silver War Badge. These badges were issued  to men who were honourably discharged before the official end of the war – to show they had “done their bit”. The associated administrative control document, the Silver War Badge Roll, generally contains some useful information. It can be seen on Ancestry – FindMyPast only have a transcription. FMP doesn’t have a match for 3/6503 but it does have a “3/2003” Frederick Bailey who enlisted on the 15th August 1914 and who was discharged on the 30th July 1915 on the grounds of sickness. I suspect this is the right man and there has been an error somewhere.

 

Both 3/6504 Christopher Biggin and 3/6505 Herbert Kay don’t have surviving service records, but as well as Medal Index Cards, both appear in Medical Admission Registers from 1915 held on FindMyPast. Christopher Biggin Died of Wounds on the 17th June 1915 while serving in France & Flanders with the 1st Battalion.  His entry in Soldiers Died in the Great War shows he enlisted at Sheffield.

 

3/6507 Arthur William Tognola was 17 years and 120 days old according to his surviving service record when he enlisted at Hull on the 16th August 1914 as a Special Reservist in the 3rd Battalion. It would be the 13th June 1917 before he was posted to France.

 

A limited sample, but starting to look like Richard Clark probably enlisted as a Special Reservist on the 15th August 1914. A wider search may bring up other examples of men who joined the 6th Battalion at the same time as him, and hopefully some of those will have surviving service records.

 

As Special Reservists these men were already under obligation to serve overseas. However, unlike the pre-war Special Reservists, these new recruits were being trained from scratch. Depending how they progressed would have a direct impact on how soon they were made available to be a replacement draft. Delays could also be caused by ill-health – the rapidly expanding Army lacked accommodation for all these new men, and quite a significant portion spent at least part of the winter of 1914/15 under canvas. Both they and those crammed into hastily built wooden huts were also prone to contagious diseases – not just pneumonia but the likes of smallpox, meningitis \ scarlet fever and tuberculosis.

 

BTW – that date of entry into a Theatre of War should be treated with caution. Practice could vary considerably even within the same records office. As frequently the actual date made no difference to the actual medals awarded, there was no incentive for the records clerk to delve into a mans’ file to get it spot on. Particularly with Gallipoli I find the date shown can be the date they sailed from the UK, (i.e. the date they officially joined the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force), the date they arrived at Mudros, (an island that was the rear base area where a man could wait hours or weeks before actually landing on the Peninsula) or the date they stepped off the boat at Gallipoli.

 

I see the 6th Battalion were a New Army Battalion converted into Divisional Pioneers for the 11th Division in December 1914. As Pioneers while they had been trained to fight this wasn’t their primary role.

https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-british-infantry-regiments-of-1914-1918/east-yorkshire-regiment/

 

The War diary for their time at Gallipoli can be viewed via subscription at Ancestry.

It’s likely they subsequently went to Egypt :-

On 19/20 December 1915 the Division withdrew from Gallipoli and moved to Imbros.

 

1916

On 26 January the Division began to move to Egypt, landing at Alexandria on 2 February and concentrating at Sidi Bishr six days later. 19 February saw the Division take over a section of the Suez canal defences.

 

The Division received orders on 17 June 1916 for a move to France. Embarkation at Alexandria was completed on 3rd July and by 7th of that month Divisional HQ had been set up at Flesselles. By 27 July, the Division had taken over part of the front in Third Army sector.

http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/order-of-battle-of-divisions/11th-northern-division/

War Diaries for the period at Egypt can currently only be viewed at the National Archive – there is no online source.

 

War Diaries for units that served in France and Flanders are among the many documents that can currently be downloaded for free from the UK National Archive. You do need to sign in with your account, but if you don’t have one even that can be set up as part of placing your first order. Just click on “sign in” and follow the instructions. No financial details are required.

 

The War Diaires are unlikely to mention him by name, but will give a feel for where they were and what they were up to. The War Diary for the 6th Battalion covering July 1916 to June 1919 can be found here: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7352604

 

Hope some of that helps,

 

Peter

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Thank you so much for all the information. I had read the long trail and made a note of it just in case it was the right regiment.

I will check the other links out as well.

Thank you again.

Joy

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