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South Irish Horse photograph (Pte. Michael J Connell)


reluctantuncle
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35 minutes ago, FROGSMILE said:

I can’t find any Corps Cavalry Regiment linkage.  It seems to me that the most likely venue for the photo was infantry training at Etaples in late August 1917, where elements of both units seem to have been undergoing infantry training.

NB.  Incidentally the Northumberland Hussars arm badge was the central motif from the cap badge - a representation of the ancient Norman Keep in the city of Newcastle.

Others sources say it is a representation of Alnwick Castle.      Pete.

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13 minutes ago, CorporalPunishment said:

Others sources say it is a representation of Alnwick Castle.      Pete.

Yes I saw that.  But my online source for the information indicated that after examining photographs accredited historians believe that the evidence for the Norman Keep is overwhelming, which is why I mentioned it.  There are still disputations but apparently it’s more to do with PR for Alnwick Castle.  I leave it to others to quibble if they wish.

C121993D-CF8F-4E50-8420-0C5714D02310.jpeg

538F6813-AB6C-45C5-873E-D505524E45F1.jpeg

9C5C87B7-9C75-44EA-A099-79DBFFA6CE7B.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE
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Alnwick Castle. 
 

45627081-5CB8-4773-8564-E078685A7122.jpeg

9CA1FD22-0402-4B78-82EA-F091E4F55F88.jpeg

12FB8417-3FC7-4AF2-AD1E-546804B7A86F.jpeg

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11 minutes ago, FROGSMILE said:

Alnwick Castle. 
 

45627081-5CB8-4773-8564-E078685A7122.jpeg

9CA1FD22-0402-4B78-82EA-F091E4F55F88.jpeg

12FB8417-3FC7-4AF2-AD1E-546804B7A86F.jpeg

Great images there Frogsmile but for my money you can't beat Bamburgh Castle, one of the finest buildings in Northumberland.      Pete.

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Blimey!  Rabbit hole anyone?

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21 hours ago, reluctantuncle said:

Incredible detective skills, thanks both. That would line up with the medal card 'Corps of Hussars' too.

Andrew, I forgot to mention that the second ‘type’ of bandolier that was mentioned is that worn by cavalry machine gunners for the clips of ammunition used by their discrete Hotchkiss Gun.

6AABF835-B1F5-4BD4-9E75-7B086DD89ECE.jpeg

70B4324C-A66B-46B0-BF4C-6ED00CD2D9E9.jpeg

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Very interesting. Amazing what info can be gleaned from a photo. Any other photos I can find I will post here.

Andrew

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Trying to find these same questions out myself for my ancestor. Do let me know if you ever discovered the answers.

Best,

Andrew1486289947_MedalRecord.jpg.de060bd98d04fecc684042200836e3d0.jpg

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The establishment of various corps of cavalry (Dragoons, Hussars, Lancers) was a way to categorise regiments into administrative groups that were easier (broader) to organise.  Basically each cavalry regiment, both regular and auxiliary (the latter comprising yeomanry and special reserve), already belonged to a regiment that followed a particular style of full dress, distinctions of insignia and historical links (Hussars, Lancers, etc).  In truth by 1914 there was very little difference between the regiments apart from the carriage of lances (initially) by rank and file of the lancers, but otherwise all cavalrymen were similarly armed and trained.  Manoevrable via their mounts they would often dismount to fight as infantry, unless the enemy was demoralised and in retreat, and likely to be vulnerable to en masse shock action (essentially a charge).  

Rather like infantry base depots (IBD) that consisted of regiments grouped in order to facilitate a more simple system of battlefield replacement, the cavalry administrative corps were intended to achieve the same aim.  In principle a man categorised as e.g. a dragoon or hussar could be sent as a replacement to any regiment within that category.  In effect it simplified supply and demand and made the matter of administering drafts of reinforcements much easier.  It seems that the South Irish Horse were at some point placed in the category of hussars so that each man would fall under the designation corps of hussars.

 In late Summer 1917 the attrition rate for infantry was such that numerous yeomanry cavalry units were redesignated as infantry and so after receiving appropriate training were established as infantry battalions associated with their own region or county.  Their lineage was maintained by the retention of their original unit title in parentheses immediately after the new unit title that they adopted as infantry.  In this way a man's individual lineage might show initially his original regimental unit first, then his designated cavalry corps after that reorganisation was implemented, followed by the infantry regiment to which he was sent after his auxiliary cavalry regiment was dismounted.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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  • Admin

I have added the query onto an old post onto this thread, please keep all questions in one place to avoid repetition of answers.

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Understood Michelle,

The other thread I commented on was another member trying to figure out why a medal card he has stated SIH and also Corps of Hussars only, but where it was known that the soldier also served in the 7th Bt Royal Irish (SIH). This seems similar to Michael's medal card in that it doesn't mention the Royal Irish Regiment, even though I believe the remaining men of the SIH (among others) were incorporated into the 7th in September 1918.

As mentioned above Michael was in the same town as the 7th Royal Irish Bt when he was admitted by the 14th FA and 51st CS on 4th May 1918. and I just found the below record of a man by the same name, and same neighbourhood in Dublin (Inchicore) in the Royal Irish Regiment officially listed as wounded 3 days after, on the 7th May.

Im kind of assuming thats him. But if not, and if I go by the medal card only which doesn't mention service in the Royal Irish Regiment, and if he instead was transfered into a Corps of Hussars I wonder which Corps it would have been.

Any help appreciated!

Andrew

Screenshot 2021-08-13 at 14.39.21.png

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2 hours ago, reluctantuncle said:

Understood Michelle,

The other thread I commented on was another member trying to figure out why a medal card he has stated SIH and also Corps of Hussars only, but where it was known that the soldier also served in the 7th Bt Royal Irish (SIH). This seems similar to Michael's medal card in that it doesn't mention the Royal Irish Regiment, even though I believe the remaining men of the SIH (among others) were incorporated into the 7th in September 1918.

As mentioned above Michael was in the same town as the 7th Royal Irish Bt when he was admitted by the 14th FA and 51st CS on 4th May 1918. and I just found the below record of a man by the same name, and same neighbourhood in Dublin (Inchicore) in the Royal Irish Regiment officially listed as wounded 3 days after, on the 7th May.

Im kind of assuming thats him. But if not, and if I go by the medal card only which doesn't mention service in the Royal Irish Regiment, and if he instead was transfered into a Corps of Hussars I wonder which Corps it would have been.

Any help appreciated!

Andrew

Screenshot 2021-08-13 at 14.39.21.png

I did reply to your query within the first thread that you posted it Andrew and Michelle has simply moved the posts across so that it’s all in one subject pertaining to your SIH person of interest.  If you look above her post you will see my reply to your question.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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  • Admin

The other post was on a thread where the poster you were asking for help from is no longer a member. 

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Thanks both. Thats really helpful information and I have a better understanding now.

On that basis, given that the SIH were transformed into the 7th Bt Royal Irish Regiment in September 1917, and given that Michael was definitely still on the Western front after that had happened (and definitely in the same town as the 7th Battalion on 4th May 1918 at least), maybe its reasonable to assume his medal card should have stated that he also served in the Royal Irish Regiment with his new service number (25162) beneath his preceding designation as Corps of Hussars, but doesn't for some reason.

Its also curious that his medical admittance on 4th May still lists him as being in SIH (though that Regiment had been absorbed into 7th Bt Royal Irish Regiment by then), but that the wounded notice of 7th May in my last post has him down as Royal Irish Regiment. Some inconsistency among the army clerks maybe?

Best,
Andrew

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41 minutes ago, reluctantuncle said:

Thanks both. Thats really helpful information and I have a better understanding now.

On that basis, given that the SIH were transformed into the 7th Bt Royal Irish Regiment in September 1917, and given that Michael was definitely still on the Western front after that had happened (and definitely in the same town as the 7th Battalion on 4th May 1918 at least), maybe its reasonable to assume his medal card should have stated that he also served in the Royal Irish Regiment with his new service number (25162) beneath his preceding designation as Corps of Hussars, but doesn't for some reason.

Its also curious that his medical admittance on 4th May still lists him as being in SIH (though that Regiment had been absorbed into 7th Bt Royal Irish Regiment by then), but that the wounded notice of 7th May in my last post has him down as Royal Irish Regiment. Some inconsistency among the army clerks maybe?

Best,
Andrew

My understanding of the sequence on his MIC is that he would initially be designated as South Irish Horse, then as Corps of Hussars after that ‘system’ was adopted. The reason he does not show as Royal Irish Regiment I suspect is that the change to infantry was technically a temporary one.  The regiments origin remained a part of the unit title in brackets following its infantry designation.  This was a common protocol with all the auxiliary cavalry units converted to infantry.  It implies that it was a temporary measure with the full intention that at the end of the war or in the event of changed circumstances no longer requiring so many infantry the regiment would return to its intended role.  It’s important to bear in mind that there was no intention at that point to disband the SIH and so just like all the other auxiliary cavalry units, reliant as they were on volunteers, it was fully expected that the unit would become extant in its own right again and return to its base in Ireland.  For this reason, on paper he remained a member of the Corps of Hussars, and not a substantive infantryman, which role had only been one of temporary expedience.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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That makes complete sense now. I've looked high and low for an explanation as comprehensive as that. Thank you sincerely!

Andrew

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1 hour ago, reluctantuncle said:

That makes complete sense now. I've looked high and low for an explanation as comprehensive as that. Thank you sincerely!

Andrew

I’m glad to help.  It was an extraordinarily fraught period and the auxiliary cavalry (Yeomanry and Special Reserve) were not entirely happy to be made into infantry.  Keeping their title, albeit as a secondary designation, was a reassurance that the change was not a permanent one. 

Edited by FROGSMILE
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  • 1 month later...

Hi,

Just happened upon this post and I'm short of time at present but will have a full read of the previous posts and come back later tonight. it's definitely two units. 

The MIC shows him as SIH only, the Corps of Hussars, as noted above, is an administrative body only. He did not transfer to the Royal Irish Regiment.

It's a great photo as well, you're very lucky to have it. just to finish I've no additional information in my database...

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Hi again,

It's difficult to know where to start, so I'll go with the photograph. As I said above it a great example, as said by Frogsmile, the key to identifying the warrant officer seated front row fourth from the right is his arm badge. Remember these men are all dressed for mounted service!
What struck me initially about the photograph is the sight of lanyards, cap and for the most part collar badges. Given the overseas service stripes, four on the WO and two on the SIH sergeant to the left hand side of the officer, I'd say this photograph was taken in 1918, possibly after hostilities ended!
The other thing which stands out is the street sign on the building, Bure Ave? Bure is in the area of Meuse in France, I'm unsure where the front line was in relation of this place but might give some more clues as to the date of the photo.
I'll drop in again later if I have time, otherwise it might be the weekend before I come this way again...

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On 10/08/2021 at 19:31, Mark1959 said:

He appears to have gone AWOL from the SIH at Cahir on or about 17/4/16. He appears in a Police Gazette list dated 25/4/16. Trade is clerk and enlisted Limerick. Records says enlisted 24/1/16. Birth town Dublin.

Age given as 23 1/2. 5ft 7 1/4in. Pale complexion and fair hair. Marks: sc 1 eybrw mole rt scapula

From his SIH number 1986, I would have previously said with confidence that he joined up on the 1st or 2nd January 1916,  1985 Joseph Davie joined on the 1st January and 1990 George Fitzgerald joined on the 2nd January. However revisiting my list there are a few men joining up slightly out of sync of an otherwise perfectly numerical and date ordered enlistment date. But January 1916 it most definitely is.  

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On 13/08/2021 at 17:44, FROGSMILE said:

I’m glad to help.  It was an extraordinarily fraught period and the auxiliary cavalry (Yeomanry and Special Reserve) were not entirely happy to be made into infantry.  Keeping their title, albeit as a secondary designation, was a reassurance that the change was not a permanent one. 

They also remained on cavalry rates of pay, which must have rankled a bit with the infantrymen in the battalion..

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1 hour ago, vaugh said:

Hi again,

It's difficult to know where to start, so I'll go with the photograph. As I said above it a great example, as said by Frogsmile, the key to identifying the warrant officer seated front row fourth from the right is his arm badge. Remember these men are all dressed for mounted service!
What struck me initially about the photograph is the sight of lanyards, cap and for the most part collar badges. Given the overseas service stripes, four on the WO and two on the SIH sergeant to the left hand side of the officer, I'd say this photograph was taken in 1918, possibly after hostilities ended!
The other thing which stands out is the street sign on the building, Bure Ave? Bure is in the area of Meuse in France, I'm unsure where the front line was in relation of this place but might give some more clues as to the date of the photo.
I'll drop in again later if I have time, otherwise it might be the weekend before I come this way again...

I don’t think that the photo could have been taken in 1918, the image shows men badged to two ‘auxiliary cavalry’ units and, as mentioned previously, I think that they’re probably just attending their infantry conversion training.  They spent the last part of the war functioning as an infantry battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment, albeit with their own insignia, and would not have been in mounted dress unless as a part of the battalion’s transport section.  Had the photo been at the end of the war we might have expected to see at least a few associated medal ribbons and also the full range of overseas service stripes earned (the most that I can see on the men in the front row is 4).

Edited by FROGSMILE
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4 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

I don’t think that the photo could have been taken in 1918, the image shows men badged to two ‘auxiliary cavalry’ units and, as mentioned previously, I think that they’re probably just attending their infantry conversion training.  They spent the last part of the war functioning as an infantry battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment, albeit with their own insignia, and would not have been in mounted dress unless as a part of the battalion’s transport section.  Had the photo been at the end of the war we might have expected to see at least a few associated medal ribbons and also the full range of overseas service stripes earned (the most that I can see on the men in the front row is 4).

Hi,
Whilst I agree in principle with your answer I believe it's based upon erroneous information, which is that the SIH were fully formed into an infantry battalion.  This was not the case, what happened was the 1st and 2nd SIH were used as the base of an infantry battalion. James Abbott 25001 to James Younger 25910 were numbered alphabetically with an additional 84 men numbered as they came. So we have just shy of a thousand men to form the 7th (SIH) Battalion. Royal Irish Regiment. Younger a man called Daniel O'Loughlin 25676, William Kelly 25435, John Dodd 25219, James Burton 25066, Edward Fitzgerald 25298 and George Floater 25295 being the only men without an SIH number!

So these men are quite possibly part of the group of four hundred who remained as cavalry.

The other four hundred or so men remained as cavalry, a contingent went to Alexandria with the horses, saddles and associated equipment, the rest remained as corps cavalry with various duties, no diaries remain for these men and other diaries for the unit have been lost as well.

I have twelve, now thirteen men who have a full set of numbers, namely an SIH one a R Ir Regt one and a Corps of Hussars one, but that's another story altogether...

Edited by vaugh
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On 13/08/2021 at 14:50, reluctantuncle said:

Understood Michelle,

The other thread I commented on was another member trying to figure out why a medal card he has stated SIH and also Corps of Hussars only, but where it was known that the soldier also served in the 7th Bt Royal Irish (SIH). This seems similar to Michael's medal card in that it doesn't mention the Royal Irish Regiment, even though I believe the remaining men of the SIH (among others) were incorporated into the 7th in September 1918.

As mentioned above Michael was in the same town as the 7th Royal Irish Bt when he was admitted by the 14th FA and 51st CS on 4th May 1918. and I just found the below record of a man by the same name, and same neighbourhood in Dublin (Inchicore) in the Royal Irish Regiment officially listed as wounded 3 days after, on the 7th May.

Im kind of assuming thats him. But if not, and if I go by the medal card only which doesn't mention service in the Royal Irish Regiment, and if he instead was transferred into a Corps of Hussars I wonder which Corps it would have been.

Any help appreciated!

Andrew

Screenshot 2021-08-13 at 14.39.21.png

Hi,

A couple of points to note, Michael Connell is one of those rare cases that prove previously held beliefs incorrect. His MIC has all the hall marks of one of the four hundred or so SIH men who did not become infantry on the 1st September 1917 when the 7th (SIH) Btn Royal Irish Regiment was formed. However, I know that the first nine hundred or so men who did transfer were allocated infantry numbers in the range 25001-25910 alphabetically by surname, Michael's number is one previously missing from my database but fits the sequence perfectly viz: Andrew Conlon 25161 and John Connolly 25163, I have about three hundred gaps thus far in my research, with thirty one missing up to 25172 Michael Corcoran.

Your assumption that this is your man is, I believe, quite correct, his number is in sequence, his place of birth etc all match so I'm at a loss to explain why his number is missing from his MIC, a clerical error perhaps? There have to have been some errors made given all the documents flying about?

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