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Re enlisting at commencement of WW1 - London


david bush
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For those soldiers who were re enlisting in the army at the commencement of WW1. Where would they have been housed prior to combat. My grandfather re enlisted in Australia, came back to london, just trying figure out where he may have been housed prior to setting off to Gallipoli? Any ideas

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At first instance in the early months of the war men were often housed wherever the army could get space - barracks, schools, drill halls etc. As time went by then it became more formalised and more army camps were set-up.

 

Craig

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Where your grandfather was accommodated would have been determined by the regiment with which he re-enlisted.  For example if he had re-enlisted with the Guards then his accommodation would have been in one of the Guards barracks.  

Your use of the word “re-enlisted” is key, as it implies previous military service.  Had he formerly been a British regular, or perhaps an Australian with previous colonial service during the Boer War?  What precisely do you mean by “re-enlisted”? 

Knowing more about your grandfather, such as his name, date of birth, and original home town will enable a more focused answer to your question.  Currently your query is too vague to give more than a general reply.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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The clue may well be found in his service record or the war diary of the AIF unit which he was in when he arrive in UK from Australia.  As @FROGBMILE says, his name will help towards a solution.

 

MaxD

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To my mind, Issy Smith VC is the most famous example that I can think of, of a soldier of the British Army who was in the Army Reserve, and who was in Australia when war broke out. 

You can find a number of fatalities from the SDGW dataset who were living in Australia and elsewhere.

There was a recent post, with a list of men who returned from Australia to the UK, which I see was also started by the OP

 

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I seem to have misinterpreted the post.  I read it as him joining the AIF in Australia.

 

MaxD

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Issy Smith's Manchester Regiment service record has survived. The record can be accessed via Ancestry or FindMyPast, so you could look at that and see if it answers your question. He was discharged to the Army Reserve on 11 October 1912, and at some date thereafter he emigrated to Australia.

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I don't think the OP's grandfather re-enlisted, I think he was mobilised (my spelling). 

If you were going to re-enlist, it seems you would have joined the AIF, based on what I saw when I did some research into a unit of the AIF, which saw me looking at former servicemen joining the AIF.

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If we had a service number, regiment and name, that would allow further assistance. 

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As Keith has pointed out this is becoming a bit drawn out, happy to cut a new member slack but instead of telling us who is being researched we have a succession of questions firstly, how were British Army Reservists recalled from Australia; (as linked above), then the structure of the RFA and now ‘re-enlistment’.  Deducing the soldier was RFA he would report to one of the Depots as listed on the LLT 

https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-royal-artillery-in-the-first-world-war/royal-artillery-depots-training-and-home-defence-units/

As noted above the lack of information is not helpful and is leading to some duplication and misunderstanding. I’m reluctant to merge them until we get some clarification from the OP

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He was an Aussie who enlisted in the british army in 1910, went back to Australia, re enlisted when the war broke out. The only unit I know of is the 130th Battery, He wrote home in 1912 to tell his parents he was now a Gunner with this unit. So I assume when he arrived back in December 1914, he would have re joined this unit? I was just wandering where they would have put him up?

 

I very much appreciate your replies.

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Oh and his service number is 63504 Roger B Bush 

 

Again thanks for your help. I sorry if this isn't what Im to use this forum for, just researching my grandfather

 

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There are surviving service records for the following soldiers, who appear to have similar service numbers:
 

Venners, Thomas

Regt No Rank Regiment
63500 - Royal Horse & Field Artillery - WO 363

Welch, Joseph

Regt No Rank Regiment
63502 - Royal Horse & Field Artillery - WO 363

Andrews, Thomas Robert

Regt No Rank Regiment
63502 - Royal Field Artillery - WO 97

Beedham, Walter Edward

Regt No Rank Regiment
63507 - Royal Field Artillery - WO 363

Butterfield, Alfred

Regt No Rank Regiment
63508 - Royal Horse & Field Artillery - WO 364


 

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He would almost certainly have begun in 1914 in one of the main Royal Artillery depots Royal Artillery depots, training and home defence units – The Long, Long Trail (longlongtrail.co.uk) until the army decided where he was needed.  His main service record has not survived the WW2 bombing, the records that exist for him are his medal card:

Medal card of Bush, Roger B Corps: Royal Field Artillery Regiment No: 63504 ... | The National Archives

and two medical records (on Findmypast) that place him in 85 Brigade RFA in France in Nov 1916 and in 242 Brigade also in France in Oct 1917.  The latter says he has 7 years service, which would add up with first enlistment 1910 and 36 months with the field force.  His medal card says his first theatre of war was Egypt which he entered on 20 March 1915.

In the Great War, RFA batteries were lettered not numbered.  I can't place 130 Battery RFA in 1912, others may be able to.

You suggested he went to Gallipoli, presumably that is family knowledge?

MaxD

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130 Battery RFA was a Howitzer Battery and in 1912 based in the artillery barracks at Dundalk, in Ireland, as part of XXX Howitzer Brigade, Max.

Information courtesy of the wonderful FIBISWIKI website maintained so devotedly by forum member @MaureenE .  See:  https://wiki.fibis.org/w/Stations_of_the_Royal_Artillery_in_India

(although referring to India the lower section of locations from the “New Annual Army List 1883-1914” covers worldwide).

NB.  I cannot recommend the "BRITISH ARMY - FIBIWIKI" (search term) pages of the FIBISWIKI website enough.  The riches contained there are immense for those with the patience to scroll through.

83BB002F-94DD-4DA5-B40C-8E0455702853.jpeg

E9D92A07-FB1C-48A0-A679-664AAF55A7DF.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE
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Thank you FROGSMILE for the comprehensive reply and the additional material, an embarrassment of riches!  I shall make sure to tuck away your recommendation for future use.

130 Battery can still be found in 30 Brigade RFA at the start of the war in support of 3rd Division and going to France with them right at the beginning of the war.  As our man went initially to the Egyptian theatre in March 1915 I would suggest he did not go back to 130 Battery and my supposition that he would have begun his servuce back in UK in one of the Depots stands.

 

MaxD

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63500 Thomas Venners enlisted for the first time on the 29th December 1914 at Sunderland on Short Service (Duration of the War) terms and reported to No.1 Depot, RFA. He was discharged on the 16th January 1915 as not likely to become an efficient soldier.

63502 Joseph Welch enlisted for the first time on the 29th December 1914 at Sunderland on Short Service (Duration of the War) terms and reported to No.1 Depot, RFA. He would go on to serve with 26th Divisional Ammunition Column (11/01/15), 114th Brigade (02/02/15) and 114th Brigade Ammunition Column, (10/04/15). Discharged with ignominy (16/06/15).

63502 Thomas Andrews enlisted at London in the Regular Army on the 29th December 1910 on a basis of 3 years in the Colours and 9 in the reserve. He reported to No.3 Depot at Seaforth on the 31st December 1910. He purchased his release on the 28th March 1911.

63507 Beedham enlisted 29th December 1914 and 63508 Butterfield in January 1915.

So given the narrative set out by the OP, only Thomas Andrews seems relevant. Given a December 1910 enlistment and a 1912 letter home saying he was a Gunner, he should turn up on one of the 1911 Censuses, taken on the 2nd April 1911.

I suspect he is the 20 year old Roger Bush shown at the Military Barracks at Dundalk on the 1911 Census of Ireland. Unfortunately you can only see multi-page institutional returns on the Irish Genealogy site and I've not found a way as yet to snap directly to the relevant page as yet. The first name on the first page appears to be a Lieutenant-Colonel, 30th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1911/Louth/Dundalk_Urban_No__4/Military_Barracks/578700/

My understanding that while a Reservist a man could apply for permission to immigrate, but they had to self-fund their return in the event of mobilisation. I suspect the same applied to a man returning "home".

Hope that helps.
Peter

Edited by PRC
Typo
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Hi David

A FMP medical record has him at 11 CCS in October 1917 suffering from the effects of a gas shell serving with 242 Brigade RFA. Image courtesy of FMP:-

image.png.ad846dbd4239b45464bc67757375a1aa.png

He was transferred out of the CCS to 15 Ambulance Train.

Hope this helps

Kind Regards

Derek

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1 hour ago, MaxD said:

Thank you FROGSMILE for the comprehensive reply and the additional material, an embarrassment of riches!  I shall make sure to tuck away your recommendation for future use.

130 Battery can still be found in 30 Brigade RFA at the start of the war in support of 3rd Division and going to France with them right at the beginning of the war.  As our man went initially to the Egyptian theatre in March 1915 I would suggest he did not go back to 130 Battery and my supposition that he would have begun his servuce back in UK in one of the Depots stands.

 

MaxD

I think you are absolutely correct Max, as a RFA Regular Reservist his initial reporting station would have been the RA Barracks, Woolwich.  He would have been kitted out there and after the barest of update training posted to a battery.

From the LLT:

LXXXV (Howitzer)

This brigade was originally comprised of numbers 265, 266 and 267 (Howitzer) Batteries RFA and the Brigade Ammunition Column. It was placed under command of the 18th (Eastern) Division. The brigade then remained with the division until December 1916: you can see details of its battles and movements on the page describing the division.

On 16 February 1915 the three six-howitzer batteries were reorganised to become four four-howitzer batteries and were titled as A, B, C and D.

B (Howitzer) Battery left on 8 February 1916, joining 278 Brigade and becoming its C (Howitzer) Battery.

The Brigade Ammunition Column left on 17 May 1916 to merge with others in the divisional artillery to form the 18th Divisional Ammunition Column.

On 24 May 1916 A, C and D (Howitzer) Batteries all left the brigade and joined 84, 82 and 83 Brigades respectively and became those brigade’s D (Howitzer) Batteries. They were replaced by the D Batteries arriving from 82, 83 and 84 Brigades which became this brigade’s new A, B and C Batteries.

The brigade was broken up on 3 December 1916 and its guns used to bring other batteries up to six guns each. A Battery and a section of C Battery went to 82 Brigade; B and the other section of C Battery went to 83 Brigade.

18th ED.jpg

british-army-ww1-western-front-18th_360_4b214f07106e136c86d8b0278d67597f.jpg

Edited by FROGSMILE
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The medical record cited by Derek that has him in 242 Brigade RFA on 9 Oct 1917 shows he has 7 years service which would add up with an original enlistment in 1910.  An earlier record on Findmypast shows him in 85 Brigade in November 1916.  Both of these are in France.  85 Brigade was broken up in Dec 1916.

Thank you FROGSMILE for your support.

MaxD

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26 minutes ago, MaxD said:

The medical record cited by Derek that has him in 242 Brigade RFA on 9 Oct 1917 shows he has 7 years service which would add up with an original enlistment in 1910.  An earlier record on Findmypast shows him in 85 Brigade in November 1916.  Both of these are in France.  85 Brigade was broken up in Dec 1916.

Thank you FROGSMILE for your support.

MaxD

It seems a strong possibility that he joined 85 (How) Bde fairly early on (he was after all a Howitzer trained gunner), perhaps after Woolwich, but it's difficult to be completely sure given the loss of his personal record and our reliance on medical records of wounding.  Given the subsequent reorganisations of the Howitzer ORBAT he appears to have moved to 242 Bde relatively soon, probably in the latter's D (Howitzer) battery.

Again, from LLT:

CCXLII (III South Midland) Brigade

Comprised of Brigade Headquarters, numbers 1, 2 and 3 Warwickshire Batteries and III South Midland Brigade Ammunition Column. All based at the artillery drill hall on Stoney Lane in Birmingham.

Each battery was equipped with four 15-pounder field guns.

Re-armed with 18-pounder field guns 21 July 1915

5 May 1916: D Battery added

15 May 1916: the Brigade Ammunition Column left to be merged into the Divisional Ammunition Column

18 May 1916: D Battery transferred to CCXLIII Brigade and became its C Battery

18 May 1916: the brigade was renamed to CCXLII and the batteries lettered A, B and C

18 May 1916: D (Howitzer) Battery joined from CCXLIII Brigade and became this brigade’s D (Howitzer) Battery

19 October 1916: C Battery was broken up to bring A and B Batteries up to six guns each

28 October 1916: 531 (Howitzer) Battery joined from England and was renamed as C (Howitzer) Battery

16 January 1917: C (Howitzer) Battery was broken up and transferred to bring it up the D (Howitzer) Batteries of CCXL and CCXLI Brigades up to six howitzers each

16 January 1917: a section of two howitzers joined from C (Howitzer) Battery of CLXXXVIII Brigade (40th Division) to bring D (Howitzer) Battery up to six howitzers

20 January 1917: A Battery joined from CCLII (50th Division) and was renamed as this brigade’s C Battery

20 January 1917: brigade left the 48th Division to become an Army (level) Field Artillery Brigade.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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I can't thank you all enough. This gives me a wealth of information to dive into.

 

 

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11 hours ago, david bush said:

I can't thank you all enough. This gives me a wealth of information to dive into.

 

 

Woolwich was the principal RFA (and RHA) depot and located in South London.  At that time it was a very large garrison indeed and contained a number of training schools, including the school for artillery drivers, the school for artillery clerks, and separate schools for all the artillery artisan trades (wheeler, collar maker, farrier,etc.).  You can read all about the garrison, and get a feel for what he would have seen there, here: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/architecture/sites/bartlett/files/sol-woolwich9-ch7.pdf

Edited by FROGSMILE
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In case it helps [?] there is a Pension Index Card at WFA/Fold3

RFA, 63504, Roger Briar BUSH [yes, that is the transcription and it looks like it on the PIC too - but could possibly be an original typo - the OP will probably know best.

An overseas military claim Ref: 72838/OS/M

No further details on the claim but from the reverse the card appears created/active 23 Aug 1939.

:-) M

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WOW thank you. Ill take a look, Thats a record Ive never sen or known of. Really appreciate it.

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