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Remembered Today:

Information about my great grandfather


Stephen Paternoster
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Hi I just found out my great grandfather Ernest Oscar Westcott was in WW1 he was in East Yorkshire Regiment service number 201644 and he was awarded British War Medal he was in 2/4th Battalion and possibly went to Bermuda I found his medal roll and year he got it but can’t find his enlistment papers stating year he joined up?. 

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Hi

As his Medal Index card (HERE) does not show any entitlement to a Star he didn't serve overseas before 1/Jan/1916

From East Yorkshire Regiment – The Long, Long Trail (longlongtrail.co.uk)

2/4th Battalion
Formed at Darlington in September 1914 as a second line battalion. Moved to Hull in November 1914.
February 1915 : moved back to Darlington and came under orders of 189th Brigade, 63rd (2nd Northumbrian) Division. In July 1915 moved to Cramlington and in November 1915 to Retford. Division was broken up in July 1916 and Brigade moved to Catterick.
Moved in November 1916 to Bermuda, remaining there throughout the rest of the war.

 

Regards

Jon

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1 hour ago, jonbem said:

As his Medal Index card (HERE) does not show any entitlement to a Star he didn't serve overseas before 1/Jan/1916

 

As Bermuda wasn't a Theatre of War, the only medal for service overseas he could qualify for is the British War Medal, regardless of when the man arrived. He could have been already there at the outbreak of the war, (in theory!). However if he only served at Bermuda, then I think the Long, Long Trail gives the date correctlly.

 

@Stephen Paternoster

 

The 201644 service number would have been issued to him at the start of 1917 as part of the Territorial Force renumbering. This attempted to standardise the numbering scheme in use across all the TF units. The number block allocated to the 4th Battalions of the East Yorkshire Regiment was 200001 to 225000.

https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/soldiers/a-soldiers-life-1914-1918/renumbering-of-the-territorial-force-in-1917/renumbering-the-tf-infantry-in-1917/

It's an informed guess, but given his new service number I would say it's likely he was with the 2/4th at the time or renumbering, and therefore most likely deployed overseas to Bermuda with them.

 

Unfortunately the renumbering can make it hard to work out when a man originally enlisted if there is no surviving service record or Silver War Badge issued.

In the case of Ernest it looks like his service records were among the majority of other ranks records which went up in flames when the London Warehouse where they were being stored was hit in the Blitz. And there is nothing on his Medal Index Card to indicate he received the Silver War Badge as a result of being honourably discharged before the official end of the war.

Short of becoming an expert on the renumbering of the 4th Battalion, there may be more mileage in checking for any reports on him in the local press.

 

I can't see the birth of an Ernest Oscar Westcott in the Civil Records for England & Wales, (apologies if he was born elsewhere), but by the time in died at Hull in 1978 the published civil death records included the date of birth. In the case of Ernest Oscar Westcott that was the 10th February 1895. It may be a co-incidence but the marriage of an Ernest O. Westcott to a Sarah E. Opie was recorded in the Hull District in the October to December quarter, (Q4), of 1915.

 

If that isn't a co-incidence and he was already serving in the Army, then at a minimum Groom's occupation should show Rank & Regiment \ Corps - although it is pot-luck. Sometimes it can have a lot more information, (service number, role, company, etc) and sometimes it just says soldier.  And of course if he isn't shown as a soldier then his service started after then.

 

Looking for possible children of that couple, it looks like the birth of a William H. Westcott, mothers' maiden name Opie, was registered with the civil authorities in the Hull District in the July to September quarter, (Q3), of 1917. Again, if that is the right couple, the childs' birth certificate should show under fathers' occupation Rank and Regiment\Corps. It would also tend to suggest the father was in England up to the end of 1916 :)

 

Hope some of that helps,

Peter

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Potentially this is the man on 1901 HERE & 1911 HERE census on Ancestry, Sculcoates being the main division of what we know as (Kingston upon) Hull

Name: Ernest Westcott
Age in 1911: 16
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1895
Relation to Head: Son
Gender: Male
Birth Place: Portsmouth, Hampshire, England
Civil Parish: Sculcoates
Search Photos: Search for 'Sculcoates' in the UK City, Town and Village Photos collection
Country: England
Street Address: 8 Picturesque Terrace Manchester Street Hull
Marital status: Single
Occupation: Baker

 

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On the 1901 looks like the father, Henry, was a musician violinist from Exeter, Devon. So that could tie in with the Portsmouth birth location for Ernest?

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15 minutes ago, jonbem said:

Manchester Street Hull

I lived about 500yards from there, the other side of Hessle Road, in 1988!

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22 minutes ago, jonbem said:

On the 1901 looks like the father, Henry, was a musician violinist from Exeter, Devon. So that could tie in with the Portsmouth birth location for Ernest?

Looks like the Father, Henry got nicked for travelling without a ticket!

Ancestry.co.uk - West Yorkshire, England, Prison Records, 1801-1914

image.png.2a4b3d8f53bac2cc99fa88ea219e14ff.png

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The Wiki entry linked above shows the 2/4 arrived in Bermuda on the 18 November 1916. As Peter has explained the TF was renumbered in March 1917, technically they qualified for the medal with a four digit number, but the Medal Roll Records all the 2/4th six digit numbers.

 

It appears they begin  at 200008 on the Rolls with the senior  NCOs allocated first which disrupts the sequence a little but assuming they numbered sequentially we have, from the Silver War Badge Rolls

201657 enlisted 5 October 1915

201631 enlisted 15 October 1915

201652 enlisted. 2 November 1915

 

In general terms these dates accord with attestation under the Derby or Group Scheme.  Direct enlistment to the TF effectively ceased on the 11 December 1915.  I suspect these dates are attestation and posting to the Army Reserve B, they would then be called up in their Group depending on age and whether or not they were married.   Men considered unfit for front line service were posted to Home Service TF units.  He therefore, based on the sequence above, probably attested under the Derby Scheme was called up in his turn an posted to the 2/4th.   I would agree with Peter he most likely deployed with the main body to Bermuda, hence the entitlement to the BWM as it was not a theatre of war.

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