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E. Greaves 128727


E Greaves
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Ernest Greaves was my Grandfather. I am trying to research his time in the army. His medals were sold , by my Mother, in the late 60's early 70's. They were sold to a second hand shop in Rotherham. 

From research and adverts in The Advertiser (a Rotherham paper). I found he had 3 medals, the War and Victory Medals plus a Military Medal. I have been able to find his MM and have purchased it back into the family. The War and Victory medal are proving very difficult to find.

I would love to find any information regarding his service in the war and any way of locating his medals.

His details are:  He enlisted in the York & Lancs , Service no. 24146. He was transferred to the Royal Engineers some time in 1917. 

His Military Medal is inscribed to E.Greaves L/Cp 'A' Spec. Coy R. E

His Medal record shows War & Victory Medals were for Sgt E. Greaves No. 128727

 

Any help would be much appreciated.

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The Special Companies are explained here: https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-corps-of-royal-engineers-in-the-first-world-war/the-special-companies-of-the-royal-engineers-poison-gas/

The fact that his company was designated with a letter rather than a number suggests that he joined them after Special Battalions were formed, each comprising several such companies.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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Welcome to GWF.

1 hour ago, E Greaves said:

The War and Victory medal are proving very difficult to find.

I would love to find any information regarding his service in the war and any way of locating his medals.

We will try to help you with his war service.

So far as trying to locate his BWM & VM I suggest you try the BRITISH MEDALS FORUM  https://britishmedalforum.com [Yes, there is a slight difference between name and web address] - they have a Seeking Family Medals sub-forum.

Good luck

:-) M

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1 hour ago, E Greaves said:

He enlisted in the York & Lancs , Service no. 24146

1 hour ago, E Greaves said:

His Medal record shows War & Victory Medals were for Sgt E. Greaves No. 128727

From the BWM & VM Medal Roll we can see a whole list of several pages of men with adjacent RE numbers.

All appear to have transferred from the 3rd York & Lancaster Regiment - it rather looks like they were transferred en-masse.

The 3 Y&L were a Reserve Bn and the LLT records:

3rd (Reserve) Battalion
August 1914 : at Pontefract. A depot/training unit, it moved on mobilisation to Cleadon and in January 1915 went on to Sunderland. Moved in August 1915 to Durham but returned to Sunderland in February 1916 where it remained as part of the Tyne Garrison.

Even if we can't find a surviving Service record for your GF it may be that one, or more, of these other men has a surviving SR - It may perhaps be possible to look at those other records and make a tentative extrapolation as to what your GF's service career was like in 3 Y&L and then the RE.  The search will need to begin.

:-) M

Edited by Matlock1418
trim & typo
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Hi @E Greaves and welcome to the forum.

Possibly @Ivor Anderson may have come across him in connection with the award of the Military Medal and forum member @Terry_Reeves takes a keen interest in the men of the Royal Engineers Special Companys.

If no-one else jumps in I'll try and do a near number search. Edit - just seen @Matlock1418 post. The 3rd Battalion did not go overseas so this group may have been part of a draft from them that got as far as an Infantry Base Depot on the coast of France before being transferred to the Royal Engineers.

Cheers,
Peter

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11 minutes ago, PRC said:

If no-one else jumps in I'll try and do a near number search. Edit - just seen @Matlock1418 post.

:thumbsup:  I can think of no one better!

:-) M

Edit: I see that @clk has just pitched in too. :thumbsup:

Good to have a bit of of competition! ;-) 

Edited by Matlock1418
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Hi,

Welcome to the Forum.

The medal rolls (link) indicate that Ernest was one of a number of men who were transferred from 3/Y&L to the RE where they were renumbered consecutively.

image.png.599731da9e62900934d991fbfaeccef1.png
Image sourced from Ancestry

128725 Davies has surviving service papers which indicate that he was transferred to the RE on 12.3.1916

image.png.7c624d39f8b3780a8e9af7517e384019.png
Image sourced from Findmypast

In terms of his 3/Y&L (3/)24146 service number that may date to January 1916. The record for (3/)24141 Deering shows:

image.png.3941895dd8d56bb9f4d9ef0c0cdb5e64.png
Image sourced from Findmypast
 

Regards
Chris

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1 hour ago, E Greaves said:

His Military Medal is inscribed to E.Greaves L/Cp 'A' Spec. Coy R. E

14 minutes ago, PRC said:

Possibly @Ivor Anderson may have come across him in connection with the award of the Military Medal

London Gazette for MM  https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/30287/supplement/9607   LONDON GAZETTE, 17 SEPTEMBER, 1917 ... 128727 L./C. E. Greaves, R.E. (Rotherham)

MM card at the National Archives https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D6166218 [Bottom left of the six shown here = Free to download at present - after free registration]

:-) M

Edited by Matlock1418
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Another Greaves here (Jon Edward being my first two names). My family is from Sheffield originally, so not far from your home town :)

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The record for 128725 Davies also notes...

image.png.e05d55907bcf2d6d08ae191dbef0de9b.png

I wonder if Ernest "joined" on the same date?

Regards
Chris

Edit:
This war diary (link) records a number of drafts in March 1916, including 362 men on the 16th.

Edited by clk
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Hi Jon,

52 minutes ago, JonEdward123 said:

Another Greaves here (Jon Edward being my first two names). My family is from Sheffield originally, so not far from your home town :)

Welcome to the Forum to you too.

If you would like any help with something WW1, I think that you'll find that Pals are more than happy to pitch in where they can. It might be worth starting a new topic though, and posting everything that you already know. That helps to avoid duplication of research, and might give members some clues to follow up on for you.

Regards
Chris

 

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His MM Index Card confirms that he was with A Special Co. as inscribed on the medal - TNA ref. WO 372/23/112917

I am so pleased that you were able to retrieve his MM. I hope the BWM & VM turn up.

He may be mentioned in the WD: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/c4f5d950c9764d2cb9ca153114f39cde

Though, as 1st Army Troops any awards may be listed in the 1st Army diaries - for around July 1917?

There are a lot of RE MMs in that LG so may be a long list of Army/Corps awards?

Screen Shot 2021-10-07 at 21.36.35.png

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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Is this him? ...from The Sheffield Daily Telegraph September 21st 1917. from The British Newspaper Archive.

 

Snap 2021-10-08 at 01.54.49.png

Edited by sadbrewer
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5 hours ago, JonEdward123 said:

Another Greaves here (Jon Edward being my first two names). My family is from Sheffield originally, so not far from your home town :)

What is the connection with WW1

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6 hours ago, sadbrewer said:

Is this him? ...from The Sheffield Daily Telegraph September 21st 1917. from The British Newspaper Archive.

That seems to be him. Living at no. 8 Silverwood Avenue, Thryberg in 1911. Born 27 Oct. 1896. (Ancestry image):

Screen Shot 2021-10-08 at 08.29.02.png

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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The Special Brigade was the product of the original four special companies  formed in 1915. At the end of that year it was decided to  expand the organisation to five battalions  plus one unit - Z Company - originally for operating flame throwers. 

Each battalion had four companies. Numbers 1 to 4 battalions were cylinder companies who dispensed gas from cylinders and later also used the Livens Projector. No 5 battalion used the newly introduced 4 inch Stokes Mortar. "A" Company was part of 1st Battalion. 

Between March and May 1916, thousands of men were transferred to the Special Brigade mainly from reserve infantry battalions as well from the Royal Field Artillery, to make up this new formation. Unlike the men in the original companies, there was no need for these men to have experience in chemistry nor indeed a science subject in general. They also received automatic promotion to Corporal. This was stopped in October 1915 and  later additions to the  newly enlarged formation were generally in the rank of Pioneer, which had been introduced in 1912. There were exceptions to this  as the new formation required experienced NCOs who would be also be transferred in. Ernest was one of the many infantry men who were transferred at this time.

Ernest is not noted in the unit war diary as far as I can see,  however, it will be worth  consulting the war diaries in any event. In 1916  only battalion war diaries were kept, company war diaries, which are more detailed, started in 1917.  1st Battalion diary has not been digitised but can be viewed at TNA in person. The document number is WO142/312. This differs from the normal WO 95 series because it had been held in the library of the Porton Down Experimental Establishment, originally  a Royal Engineer responsibility. When it was transferred to TNA it had be be given a new catalogue number because the WO95 numbers had been taken up.

"A" Special Company war diary starts in early 1917 and can be downloaded gratis at the moment here: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_q=A+special+Company+AND+WO95&_sd=&_ed=&_hb=.

If I can help further please let  me know.

TR

 

 

Edited by Terry_Reeves
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  • 2 weeks later...
20 minutes ago, clk said:

@E Greaves

Clearly not. I wish I hadn't wasted my time :rolleyes:

Never mind mate, there are plenty who do appreciate the help and who are also courteous enough to say so. I was keeping an eye on the thread as I did have something more to post, but was just waiting for some indication from the OP that were we on the right track. Funnily enough whenever I looked in they were lurking but not posting, so doesn't sound like the usual IT issues \ internet down \ domestic disaster \ inability to find the thread \ non-recept of notification lines that are the usual reason for posters coming back weeks later.

And should you choose to come back @E Greaves at some point in the future, just let us know if we're getting it right or not. If it sounds right then there could well be more out there to find.

Cheers,

Peter

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