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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

PTE LESLIE HERBERT MILLSON - 18881 LEICESTER REGT, 42416 MANCHESTER REGT, 338878 ROYAL ENGINEERS AND WR/205550 ROYAL ENGINEERS


NickF

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My wife's grandfather Pte Leslie Herbert Millson had several regimental numbers during WW1: 18881 in the Leicester Regt; 42416 in the Manchester Regt; and 338878 and WR/205550 in the RE.  However, apart from an anecdotal report that he was in the 9th Battalion Manchester Regiment at some time, we have no other definite reference points related to his military service.

In the case of the Leicester Regt, we know regimental number 18873 was assigned to someone who attested into the Regt on 1 June 1915.  Is it safe to assume Leslie Millson would have attested shortly afterwards or is there any other way to be certain of when he attested?  Likewise, are there any other sources of information on when he would have transferred to both the Manchester Regt and the RE and under what circumstances?  As for his service in the RE, his entry in the RE medal roll refers to 'RAILWAYS'; does this mean he was connected in some way with the provision of railway services and, if so, are there any sources of information we could consult to determine what his work might have entailed?  Finally, can anyone advise what the WR prefix 'WR' on his last regimental number actually means?

Many thanks

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we know regimental number 18873 was assigned to someone who attested into the Regt on 1 June 1915.  Is it safe to assume Leslie Millson would have attested shortly afterwards or is there any other way to be certain of when he attested

That number was allocated on or around that date. It may well have been his first enlistment but it may have been a transfer from elsewhere.

Craig

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Nick

The WR prefix standard forWaterways and Railways.

The reason he has two RE numbers is that there was a number change in 1918 for all members belonging to Transportation Troops which happened as the result of an Army Order of March 1918. The WR numbers were issued after that date. This also included roads and quarrying unit. 
 

He would of had a trade or calling that was useful to railway units which amongst other things had railway operating companies, light railway, and narrow gauge units , loco workshops and so on.

TR

Edited by Terry_Reeves
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Terry,

Many thanks for such a prompt and helpful reply.  I am not sure what his trade or calling would have been, but my wife is in contact with a family member who might be able to help.

Kind regards,

Nick

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11 minutes ago, NickF said:

Terry,

Many thanks for such a prompt and helpful reply.  I am not sure what his trade or calling would have been, but my wife is in contact with a family member who might be able to help.

Kind regards,

Nick

I suspect it probably was his first number but we can never be 100% without other evidence. That may come out when we look further.

Born 1898 in Dewsbury ?

Craig

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Craig,

The census records show he was living in Scunthorpe in both 1901 and 1911, and this is consistent with where he lived and worked for the rest of his life.  Therefore, that would tie in with the same census entries showing him born in Dewsbury.  As for birth year, it was either 1897 or 1898.

Nick 

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31 minutes ago, NickF said:

Craig,

The census records show he was living in Scunthorpe in both 1901 and 1911, and this is consistent with where he lived and worked for the rest of his life.  Therefore, that would tie in with the same census entries showing him born in Dewsbury.  As for birth year, it was either 1897 or 1898.

Nick 

The 1939 Register shows his dob as 3.12.1987. He was a Carpenter and Joiner in a steel works maintenance department. He was still living in Scunthorpe. 

TR

 

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Terry,

The DOB sounds about right and he definitely worked in the steel works at Scunthorpe.  As far as I am aware, he lived and worked in Scunthorpe all his life after leaving the Army.

Nick

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Terry,

Following on from your earlier posts, do you know the details of the Army Order that introduced inter alia the WR prefixes?  Moreover, while aware of the RE's work in general, I am completely new to its work on railways.  Can you give any indications of where I might Find an introduction on how the units were organized structured, eg where they fitted in the ORBAT, unit establishments?  The specific details of Leslie Millson's military service are still scarce, but an appreciation of the type of work he would have been involved would still be very useful.

Kind regards,

Nick

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