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A Regular Officer has no surviving record, nor a long number? Can anything be inferred?


rolt968
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I have been researching a regular officer for some years. He has neither a surviving officer's record (At least he is not in the index.) nor a long number. Nor does he appear in a pension record. (He was a young man with no dependents.)

If I understand things correctly the surviving officers' files at TNA might be described as correspondence files. Material only appears if it was needed to answer some kind of point or question whcih came up post war. The actual officers' service files wer lost in the Blitz.

Can I infer anything from the absence of both a file at the National Archives and a long number?

RM

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He was killed in September 1914.

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Is he in the Gazette?

George

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"If I understand things correctly the surviving officers' files at TNA might be described as correspondence files. Material only appears if it was needed to answer some kind of point or question whcih came up post war. The actual officers' service files were lost in the Blitz. "

 

Not sure if all that's the case. I have a number of officer's files and some are extremely useful, 50 pages plus.

 

Any chance you could share his name?

 

Mike

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1 hour ago, Skipman said:

"If I understand things correctly the surviving officers' files at TNA might be described as correspondence files. Material only appears if it was needed to answer some kind of point or question whcih came up post war. The actual officers' service files were lost in the Blitz. "

 

Not sure if all that's the case. I have a number of officer's files and some are extremely useful, 50 pages plus.

 

Any chance you could share his name?

 

Mike

So, presumably, officer files are like OR files and very variable in content?

Craig

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22 minutes ago, ss002d6252 said:

So, presumably, officer files are like OR files and very variable in content?

Craig

In my limited experience, yes. I have the files of about 10 officers. One of them has a file of 102 pages, another 24 pages, another 42 pages and so on.

 

Mike

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11 minutes ago, Skipman said:

In my limited experience, yes. I have the files of about 10 officers. One of them has a file of 102 pages, another 24 pages, another 42 pages and so on.

 

Mike

Interesting, thanks Mike.

Craig

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Of the 29 Officers killed in 1914 with the Worcs Regt 13 sets of papers appear to be missing, of 21 officers killed in 1914 with Glos Regt 12 appear to be missing and of the 14 officers killed with the KLR 4 appear to be missing..

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Sorry everyone, I have let this run too long without responding.

My man is Lt. Ronald Francis Simson, RFA (also Scottish Rugby International).

The contents which I have found in officers' records are extremely variable. I have come across files with less than 24 pages. Like all files they have been weeded, although perhaps surprising some sensitive stuff has not been weeded (although it may not have been considered sensitve at the time).

It is not always obvious why certain material has been retained and others obviously weeded.

To give a clear example where it was clear why material survived. My late father's cousin served as an officer in the HLI (SR) attached to the KAR. He lost his protection certificate and needed it to obtain life insurance and wrote for a copy.

RM

2 minutes ago, Promenade said:

Of the 29 Officers killed in 1914 with the Worcs Regt 13 sets of papers appear to be missing, of 21 officers killed in 1914 with Glos Regt 12 appear to be missing and of the 14 officers killed with the KLR 4 appear to be missing..

Do you know if any have long numbers?

RM

Edited by rolt968
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Have you tried WO76?? it might not contain the detail you require but will give basic details, service, Psc etc etc. Of all the officers in The Rifle Brigade who died in 1914 there is only one that I can find no record of in WO339, 374 or WO76. Even when they are listed as Connaught Rangers of which many RB early commissions are listed as for some bizarre reason.

 

Andy

Edited by stiletto_33853
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I researched the 2nd Life Guards a few years ago and was disappointed when no trace of two officer files could be found after intensive searches. I was a little surprised when I found one of them last year in the CWGC archive. The file had evidently been weeded at some stage and one assumes the weeding was prior to the then IWGC obtaining said file.

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2 hours ago, jay dubaya said:

I researched the 2nd Life Guards a few years ago and was disappointed when no trace of two officer files could be found after intensive searches. I was a little surprised when I found one of them last year in the CWGC archive. The file had evidently been weeded at some stage and one assumes the weeding was prior to the then IWGC obtaining said file.

Did you happen to notice if they had long numbers?

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2 hours ago, rolt968 said:

Did you happen to notice if they had long numbers?

From memory no long number but will need to check to be sure. The file must have been with the IWGC by August 1924. I’ll report back with the facts when I get home later.

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23 hours ago, jay dubaya said:

I researched the 2nd Life Guards a few years ago and was disappointed when no trace of two officer files could be found after intensive searches. I was a little surprised when I found one of them last year in the CWGC archive. The file had evidently been weeded at some stage and one assumes the weeding was prior to the then IWGC obtaining said file.

I wonder if this was actually the opposite way round? The file (extract file?) which had been sent to IWGC should have been sent back somewhere and would have become part of the set of officers' files which is now at TNA? (But was not sent back.)

RM

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On 14/01/2022 at 12:26, Skipman said:

This isn't him is it? Maybe an error in name  https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C1118292

 

Mike

It's a possibility, but every document I have found uses either both forenames or both initials or forename + initial. It worth looking at next time I get to TNA.

I worry a bit about officers' files with very few pages since I found one folder which contained the files of two officers (same name, same rank, same regiment) mixed up. Not incidenatlly an error of modern indexing.

RM

 

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On 14/01/2022 at 13:56, jay dubaya said:

I found one of them last year in the CWGC archive

As an aside, how did you 'find' this? Where should one search?

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On 14/01/2022 at 12:28, stiletto_33853 said:

Have you tried WO76?? it might not contain the detail you require but will give basic details, service, Psc etc etc. Of all the officers in The Rifle Brigade who died in 1914 there is only one that I can find no record of in WO339, 374 or WO76. Even when they are listed as Connaught Rangers of which many RB early commissions are listed as for some bizarre reason.

 

Andy

Thanks Andy, I will look.

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On 14/01/2022 at 11:54, rolt968 said:

Sorry everyone, I have let this run too long without responding.

My man is Lt. Ronald Francis Simson, RFA (also Scottish Rugby International).

The contents which I have found in officers' records are extremely variable. I have come across files with less than 24 pages. Like all files they have been weeded, although perhaps surprising some sensitive stuff has not been weeded (although it may not have been considered sensitve at the time).

It is not always obvious why certain material has been retained and others obviously weeded.

To give a clear example where it was clear why material survived. My late father's cousin served as an officer in the HLI (SR) attached to the KAR. He lost his protection certificate and needed it to obtain life insurance and wrote for a copy.

RM

Do you know if any have long numbers?

RM

Of the 13 Worcs Regt officers killed in 1914 without papers 5 have long numbers

Of the 12 Glos Regt officers killed in 1914 without papers 5 have long numbers

Of the 4 KLR officers killed in 1914 without papers 1 has a long number

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17 hours ago, Promenade said:

Of the 13 Worcs Regt officers killed in 1914 without papers 5 have long numbers

Of the 12 Glos Regt officers killed in 1914 without papers 5 have long numbers

Of the 4 KLR officers killed in 1914 without papers 1 has a long number

Thank you. That is very interesting. Mind you, I am not sure where gets us!

I had not expected to find as many regular officers who wer killed early in the war for who there are neither papers nor long numbers.

RM

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16 hours ago, Skipman said:

Do any of the officers missing files and numbers have anything in common?

 

Mike

I think that's what I started the thread to try to find out. However some more interesting points seem to have emerged.

Most (all?) of the men mentioed so far were regulars who were killed in 1914. However they are not the only men with neither papers nor long numbers. I know of a TF officer (who went to France in 1914 and was commisioned later) who survived who has neither papers nor a long number.

RM

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I am wondering something.

I at least, have assumed that there were officers' files at TNA for all WW1 officers with a small number of exceptions. I am beginning to wonder if the number of officers for whom there is no file at TNA is bigger than I had thought.

There are estimates (although they vary quite a bit) for the number of other ranks for whom no service file survives. Has anyone ever seen an estimate for the percentage of officers for whom no file exists at TNA?

RM

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