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2nd Lt. R5/74940 H P WELLS Royal Garrison Artillery.


ZIL
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I am currently researching the above.He was was admitted to Craiglockhart Hospital in Edinburgh in 1918 with “shell shock” discharged in June 1918.From his number and 5R he was in company no 5.That is shown as being in Malta.

Can anyone assist …with further details as to if that is correct or not.

Thanks again Zil

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I dont know where you get the Malta connection from but I would ignore. Wells was a previous member of 139 Sge Bty, posted to Cadet School 14.02.1917 and comm as you can see from his MiC 20.07.1917. Gunners recommended for such a promotion where normally well educated, former teachers, or accountants or suchlike. I do not know where he served once commissioned 2Lt.

Rgds Paul

Edited by ororkep
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Thank you Bardess & Paul,

I thought Malta was a non starter…your contributions help enormously with the research .Really appreciated.

Regards Zil

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He was reported wounded, as a 2ndLieut RGA in the DailyList of 11th Dec 1917. Officer casualties were often reported just two weeks after the actual event, suggesting a possibility of Cambrai ?

Charlie

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4 hours ago, ZIL said:

From his number and 5R he was in company no 5.

Pension Index Card at WFA/Fold3 has as Herbert Percy Wells, Lieut, RGA (SR), not 5R - that SR could perhaps be Special Reserve.

:-) M

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Thank you Charlie & Matlock1418,

He was admitted to Craiglockhart on 30/1/18.The hospital dealt with “shell shocked” commissioned officers.So…he was wounded…did the hospital admission happen after? That’s a 2 month gap…suggest wounded…back in action.…..then suffers from” shell shock”….hospital.

In relation to the 5R….you are correct…it’s SR…I have his binoculars and it’s  on the case strap with his rank and name.It’s very neat writing but it’s obviously a fountain pen…the ink has slightly smudged the S.

But….do you know what the Special Reserve was? The binos were clearly issued when he was commissioned.

Cannot thank you enough…Zil

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34 minutes ago, ZIL said:

That’s a 2 month gap…suggest wounded…back in action.…..then suffers from” shell shock”….hospital.

By 1918 the importance of prompt treatment of shell shock (to get the man back in service) was well known. So it could be a wounding late November and a delayed shellshock- either whilst back at the front if his wounds were 'slight' or whilst recovering from more serious wounds.

Here, courtesy FindmyPast, is the Hospital Admissions for Neurasthenia that you have probably seen:

650691026_GWFWellsHPRGA2LtHospAdmit2.JPG.26fabb9d6efa216b6a1b98c16bad6984.JPG572962037_GWFWellsHPRGA2LtHospAdmit1.JPG.52ef225fb930bdf14ac663d2a60fb1a7.JPG

It shows he was transferred from the 4th Southern General Hospital which was at Plymouth and spent 135 days under treatment at Craiglockhart, if I've read it correctly.

It also shows 24 months total service and 12 months overseas service. His 74940 Service Number was issued in April 1916 but this would have been when he was mobilized. Prior to this he was presumably in the Army Reserve, probably having attested under the Derby Scheme in Dec 1915 (and then been posted next day to Army Reserve).

For his field service you can presumably deduct from 12 months total the months he served in France as an Officer (July-Nov or is it the following Jan?) and then assume the rest was as an OR. Then take this off his cadet school entry date provided by ororkep and you get his approx date of going overseas.

139 Siege Bty (as quoted by ororkep) went to France 1st Aug 1916.  He went to Cadet school 14/2/17 (again ororkep). Thus if he went o'seas with 139 he would have had 6 months with the Field Force by the time he went to Cadet School. Assuming Cadet School was in UK, that leaves him with 6 mths Field Service as an officer ?

Commissioned 20/7/17 then 6 mths takes us to mid-Jan 1918, suggesting he remained in France until not long before he went to Craiglockhart. Have I got my maths right- please check.

His Officer's Service File should have the answer, if you can locate it?

Charlie

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Thanks Charlie,

Yes, I agree with your math & your reasoning…I have got his posting to Cadet School in 139’s WD…thanks to orokep…I’ll  try for his officer record.

I’m still trying for the Special Reserve.

regards Zil

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4 hours ago, ZIL said:

In relation to the 5R….you are correct…it’s SR…I have his binoculars and it’s  on the case strap with his rank and name.It’s very neat writing but it’s obviously a fountain pen…the ink has slightly smudged the S.

But….do you know what the Special Reserve was?

If in doubt look at the LLT https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/soldiers/a-soldiers-life-1914-1918/enlisting-into-the-army/british-army-reserves-and-reservists for the SR but I think you would be better to specifically search GWF for "Special Reserve of Officers" - plenty on Reserves I think but SRO had a special meaning I think.  It is likely that you will find something there, quite likely from @FROGSMILE

For Herbert Percy WELLS - See London Gazette https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/30229/supplement/8223 [and the previous page] for his commissioning:

"War Office, 13th August, 1917. SPECIAL RESERVE OF OFFICERS. The undermentioned, from an Officer Cadet Unit, to be 2nd Lts. 22nd July 1917: — GARRISON ARTILLERY.  .... Herbert Percy WELLS"

4 hours ago, ZIL said:

The binos were clearly issued when he was commissioned.

The binos might have been issued [as WD issue, or ones formally loaned by civilians for issue] but for an officer it probably wasn't all that uncommon to alternatively have privately purchased ones.

If you post good photos, of binos, case and especially close-ups of any markings, then I feel sure GWF members may also be able to help out on that subject - You could try in another thread by posting in 'Other Equipment' to catch the right sort of eyes but I very strongly suggest you put cross-linking links in each of your threads so as to keep them 'together' and relating to WELLS.

:-) M

Edited by Matlock1418
added LG details and mention
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Once again great detail…thank you.

the binos  were  bought off an auction site with superb photos.I have asked permission to use them but I don’t know forum rules regarding credit from an auction site

regards Zil

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14 hours ago, Matlock1418 said:

If in doubt look at the LLT https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/soldiers/a-soldiers-life-1914-1918/enlisting-into-the-army/british-army-reserves-and-reservists for the SR but I think you would be better to specifically search GWF for "Special Reserve of Officers" - plenty on Reserves I think but SRO had a special meaning I think.  It is likely that you will find something there, quite likely from @FROGSMILE

For Herbert Percy WELLS - See London Gazette https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/30229/supplement/8223 [and the previous page] for his commissioning:

"War Office, 13th August, 1917. SPECIAL RESERVE OF OFFICERS. The undermentioned, from an Officer Cadet Unit, to be 2nd Lts. 22nd July 1917: — GARRISON ARTILLERY.  .... Herbert Percy WELLS"

The binos might have been issued [as WD issue, or ones formally loaned by civilians for issue] but for an officer it probably wasn't all that uncommon to alternatively have privately purchased ones.

If you post good photos, of binos, case and especially close-ups of any markings, then I feel sure GWF members may also be able to help out on that subject - You could try in another thread by posting in 'Other Equipment' to catch the right sort of eyes but I very strongly suggest you put cross-linking links in each of your threads so as to keep them 'together' and relating to WELLS.

:-) M

February 1910

CONDITIONS OF SERVICE IN THE SPECIAL
RESERVE OF OFFICERS. War office 40 /1166

1. The following paragraphs give a short summary of the conditions of service in the Special Reserve of Officers as laid down in the Special Reserve Regulations. Paras. 3,5,6,8,9 and 10 do not apply to the non-combatant branches of the service, and there are certain modifications in the case of Royal Engineers and Army Service Corps.

2. The Special Reserve of Officers, which is a part of the Reserve of Officers for the Regular Army, is designated for the following purposes:-

(i). To provide officers, up to Lieutenant-Colonel, for units of the Special Reserve.

(ii). To provide officers up to the rank of Captain (inclusive) for the supplementary list of Regular units and corps.
The officers required for (a) are almost for Infantry.

There are 101 reserve battalions
(formerly Militia battalions) in the Army, and nearly all of these are short of subalterns.
The requirements of (b) include all branches of the service. It is hoped that before very long each Regular unit and corps will have a number of young Supplementary officers, trained in that unit and ready to be called up to serve with that unit, either on the outbreak, or in the course of war. The present shortage of officers in the Infantry Reserve battalions makes it necessary to defer opening the supplementary Lists of Regular Units of Infantry of the Line, and to appoint all candidates for this branch of the services to the reserve battalions. Candidates for the Supplementary Lists of Regiments of Cavalry and Foot Guards, and for Artillery, Engineers, Army Service Corps, Royal Army Medical Corps, and Army Veterinary Corps, may be accepted at once.

3. The qualifications for candidates are:-

(i). To be between the ages of 18 and 25.

(ii). To provide a certificate of moral character.

(iii). To be certified medically fit, according to the standard laid down for
candidates for the Regular Army.

(iv). No standard of education required before 31st March 1912.

4. Candidates may select the branch of service, and the unit to which they wish to be appointed. Candidates who fulfil the above qualifications are appointed to a commission in the Special Reserve of Officers on probation, subject to approval by the prescribed authority.

5. The probationary training of officers, performed for the most part (except Royal Engineers and Army Service Corps) with a Regular unit, lasts 12 months for those who have no certificate of proficiency from the Officer Training Corps; it lasts 8 months for those who have Certificate A, and 4 months for those that have Certificates A and B.

The exceptions are:- Two regiments of Irish Horse, two Royal Garrison Artillery units (Antrim and Cork), two Royal Engineer units (Anglesey and Monmouthshire).
 
6. The probationary officers who are in possession of Certificate B will be allowed to perform their 4 months’ training in two parts. By this means an officer can do some or all of his probationary training during university vacations, and if he takes advantage of this during his 4 years stay at university, will have on leaving no liability in peace beyond his annual training. This should greatly facilitate the entry of candidates who wish to start their civil career without delay.

7. At the conclusion of the period of probationary training, the officers commission is confirmed, with the date from the day on which he was he was appointed on probation, if the commanding officer if the unit with which he has performed this training certifies that he is in all respects fit to do his duties of his rank in the field.

8. The annual training of officers of the combatant branches is 14 or 25 days; and, in addition, 6 days’ musketry, or 2 days’ gun-practice according to arm. Officers of Special Reserve units train with their units, Supplementary officer’s train with a Regular unit of the regiment or corps to which they belong. The principle to be borne in mind is that supplementary officers should train annually, and, if required, go on active service, with officers whose acquaintance they made during their probationary training. Certain obligatory courses are also required.

9. Promotion is, generally, by establishment; but, failing this, promotion by time (5 years to Lieutenant, 10 years to Captain) is allowed.
Officers must qualify before promotion to the rank of Captain (and for officers of Special Reserve units to the rank of Major) as laid down for Regular officers, in subjects C (i.) (ii.) and (iii.), (vide Kings regulations, App. Xi 1).
Officers on the supplementary list are not promoted above the rank of Captain.

10. On reaching the age of 35, supplementary officers cease to be borne on the supplementary list. They can either transfer to a Special Reserve unit, or to the general reserve of officers (retaining their liability in case of war), or resign their commissions. In the case of the supplementary list of Royal Field Artillery, officers transferred from the recently disbanded Special Reserve units of Royal Field Artillery, may be admitted up to the age of 40.

11. The pay of officers of the Special Reserve of Officers is as follows:-

•40l. outfit allowance (part to be refunded if the officer fails to serve 4 years).

•20l. a-year retaining fee, which may be withheld if annual training is not performed in two successive years.

•Whilst on military duty or attending an authorised course of instruction, pay
and allowances, generally speaking, as for Regular officers of the same rank and arm, together with 4s. a-day messing allowance.

•50l. gratuity if called up during an emergency.

•A cadet of the Officers Training Corps in possession of Certificate B, who takes a commission in the Special Reserve of Officers, receives a gratuity of 35l.

12. From the foregoing paragraphs it will be seen that the conditions of service and the duties of a Special Reserve officer need not, in peace, time hinder a young man in his civil profession, nor involve him in expense. In war he may at any time be called to command Regular troops, and to fight side by side with the Regular officers with whom he has preformed his training in peace time.

13. It should be borne in mind that the provision of officers for the Special Reserve is the primary object with which the Officers Training Corps has been started.

14. Cadets desiring information as regards the procedure to be followed with a view to obtaining commissions in the Special Reserve of Officers, can, if they belong to a contingent of the senior division, obtain this from the adjutant of the contingent; if they belong to the junior division they should ask the Regular officer detailed to assist in the training of the contingent.
 

Edited by FROGSMILE
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10 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

February 1910

CONDITIONS OF SERVICE IN THE SPECIAL
RESERVE OF OFFICERS. War office 40 /1166

Thanks.

10 hours ago, ZIL said:

Photos to follow

We look forward to them.

:-) M

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Both world wars led to a surge in production of binoculars, as the U.K. was never self sufficient for such instruments and, before WW1 had in any case relied upon Germany to supplement the small British industry.  The war shut off that source, but the slack was taken up by French manufacturers. 

The x8 designation to indicate a measure of magnification was introduced around the turn of the century and after the war the measure for the objective diameter was added.  The British Army predominantly favoured 6x30 as an optimum compromise between good magnification and a decent field of view, although other measures also existed.  

Negretti and Zambra (active 1850 – c. 1999) was a company that produced scientific and optical instruments and also operated a photographic studio based in London.  Sadly the company no longer exists, it’s demise paralleling, like so many commercial commodities with the decline of Empire and influence.  See:  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negretti_and_Zambra

They are prismatic type binoculars (where the eyepiece lens is not in direct alignment with the objective lens) with the other type popular at the timebeing Galilean, many of which were French made.  Another famous British manufacturer at that time was the Ross company, but there were others such as e.g. Barr & Stroud and Heath.  

The absence of an inscribed arrow mark (aka ‘crows foot) and serial number indicates that the binoculars were privately purchased by the officer as part of his equipment from a commercial military outfitter (or directly from the optometrist).  They were thus personal possessions.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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4 minutes ago, ZIL said:

FROGSMILE..Once again superb information…thank you.

Regards Zil

I’m glad to help.  They are an interesting artefact to possess.

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54 minutes ago, ZIL said:

Photos as promised.

Thanks for posting.

21 minutes ago, FROGSMILE said:

The absence of an inscribed arrow mark (aka ‘crows foot) and serial number indicates that the binoculars were privately purchased by the officer as part of his equipment from a commercial military outfitter (or directly from the optometrist).  They were thus personal possessions.

I agree at first look, to my untutored eye, they do look like civilian binoculars and a possible private purchase - but there is a broad arrow in the first photo.

The absence of a serial number and any form of WD or NATIONAL SERVICE LEAGUE- FIELD GLASSES SCHEME [for loan] numbering is however unusual and perhaps does reinforce this civvy origin and private purchase status. ???

However ... ZIL, I would encourage another very careful look for any form of numbering - and if found please post a further photo(s)

:-) M

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21 minutes ago, Matlock1418 said:

Thanks for posting.

I agree at first look, to my untutored eye, they do look like civilian binoculars and a possible private purchase - but there is a broad arrow in the first photo.

The absence of a serial number and any form of WD or NATIONAL SERVICE LEAGUE- FIELD GLASSES SCHEME [for loan] numbering is however unusual and perhaps does reinforce this civvy origin and private purchase status. ???

However ... ZIL, I would encourage another very careful look for any form of numbering - and if found please post a further photo(s)

:-) M

Yes you’re right, I can see the arrow now, well spotted.  The serial number was often inscribed on the pivot if it’s not on one of the screwed on back plates.

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Hi Zil

Negretti and Zambra is still registered at Companies House as a dormant entity, not trading since approximately 1988:-

https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/00151729/filing-history?page=4

Its legacy as a product is carried on by its holding company, Meggitt PLC ,as part of their Avionics business, part of the Equipment Group division. 

https://www.meggitt-avionics.co.uk/about-us/company/

https://www.devex.com/organizations/meggitt-avionics-66608

Hope this is of some interest

Kind Regards

Derek

 

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37 minutes ago, Swinesheadvillage said:

Hi Zil

Negretti and Zambra is still registered at Companies House as a dormant entity, not trading since approximately 1988:-

https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/00151729/filing-history?page=4

Its legacy as a product is carried on by its holding company, Meggitt PLC ,as part of their Avionics business, part of the Equipment Group division. 

https://www.meggitt-avionics.co.uk/about-us/company/

https://www.devex.com/organizations/meggitt-avionics-66608

Hope this is of some interest

Kind Regards

Derek

 

Some interesting archived history here: https://web.archive.org/web/20150730090810/http://www.negrettiandzambra.co.uk/index.htm

Apparently a "Potted History" of Negretti & Zambra 1850 - 1999 in 2 volumes by David Day, former publicity manager of Negretti & Zambra, is available, which suggests that they continued to operate in some form after 1988.

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A sincere thank to everybody for your excellent information.I have looked more closely at the exterior..no serial numbers.These is as  pointed out the broad arrow in photo 1.In the flesh it’s much harder to see.

I will continue to search for further info and update as and when.

regards Zil

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Further to charlie962’s post concerning the wounded list of 11.12.1917 and the Cambrai connection.I have checked the WD for the 139th Siege battery and they were in the Cambrai area at that time…this is my presumption that when commissioned he returned to his previous unit.How feasible this is I don’t know.

regards Zil

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