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Ministry of Munitions


Simon Warren
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Afternoon All

 

I wonder if you can help ? I am looking into Henry William Summers who is listed in 1921 census as having retired from Ministry of Munitions. I am wondering if he worked shipping weapons to the front by lorry as in other records he is listed as having worked for Army Service Corps Mechanical and later in life he ran a motor garage.....Any help woould be wonderful.   034034-Service Corps (Mechanical Transport)-25/1/1915

 

Thanks Simon 

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45 minutes ago, Simon Warren said:

Afternoon All

 

I wonder if you can help ? I am looking into Henry William Summers who is listed in 1921 census as having retired from Ministry of Munitions. I am wondering if he worked shipping weapons to the front by lorry as in other records he is listed as having worked for Army Service Corps Mechanical and later in life he ran a motor garage.....Any help woould be wonderful.   034034-Service Corps (Mechanical Transport)-25/1/1915

 

Thanks Simon 

The Army Service Corps ‘mechanical transport’ (MT - i.e. involving both internal combustion and steam traction engined transport) reference is likely to refer to his military service during WW1.

Working for the Ministry of Munitions would be a civilian employment and he most probably worked as a civil service clerk, or other functionary before retiring in due course.  

It wouldn’t make any military sense for the two above roles to be in any way directly related.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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1 hour ago, Simon Warren said:

Henry William Summers who is listed in 1921 census as having retired from Ministry of Munitions

1 hour ago, Simon Warren said:

later in life he ran a motor garage

You don't mention his age but having quite recently served in the Army I suspect he was relatively young in 1921 ... If he did formerly work for the MoM I wonder if the "retired" bit is actually some 'self-improvement' ??

M

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19 hours ago, Simon Warren said:

Afternoon All

 

I wonder if you can help ? I am looking into Henry William Summers who is listed in 1921 census as having retired from Ministry of Munitions. I am wondering if he worked shipping weapons to the front by lorry as in other records he is listed as having worked for Army Service Corps Mechanical and later in life he ran a motor garage.....Any help woould be wonderful.   034034-Service Corps (Mechanical Transport)-25/1/1915

 

Thanks Simon 

Simon, the following is a precis from  Army Service Corps, 1902 -1918 by Michael Young pp 143/144.

On the 11 December 1915, 606 Company ASC was formed at Beckenham in Kent. They moved to London and were responsible for the supply of transport for the sole use of the Ministry of Munitions  in the guise of  68 Local Auxiliary MT Company ASC. Their remit was extended to cover other  parts of  England and Wales. Their duties were as follows:

1. Conveyance of Ministry of Munitions officials on inspection duties and conferences.

2. Transport of munitions of war at various factories, including a large detachment at Woolwich Arsenal.

3. Transport for the Aircraft Inspection Department.

4. Transport of clothing for the Royal Army Clothing Department.

5. Ambulances stationed at various factories.

6. Tractors at Shoeburyness proof ranges.

7. Vehicles supplied to the RE Experimental Establishment, Porton and Imbercourt.

8. Vans used for conveying canteen stores at factories.

9. Steamers employed hauling wood.

Hope this helps.

TR

 

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1 hour ago, Terry_Reeves said:

Simon, the following is a precis from  Army Service Corps, 1902 -1918 by Michael Young pp 143/144.

On the 11 December 1915, 606 Company ASC was formed at Beckenham in Kent. They moved to London and were responsible for the supply of transport for the sole use of the Ministry of Munitions  in the guise of  68 Local Auxiliary MT Company ASC. Their remit was extended to cover other  parts of  England and Wales. Their duties were as follows:

1. Conveyance of Ministry of Munitions officials on inspection duties and conferences.

2. Transport of munitions of war at various factories, including a large detachment at Woolwich Arsenal.

3. Transport for the Aircraft Inspection Department.

4. Transport of clothing for the Royal Army Clothing Department.

5. Ambulances stationed at various factories.

6. Tractors at Shoeburyness proof ranges.

7. Vehicles supplied to the RE Experimental Establishment, Porton and Imbercourt.

8. Vans used for conveying canteen stores at factories.

9. Steamers employed hauling wood.

Hope this helps.

TR

 

That’s a fascinating link that you’ve found Terry, thank you for posting it.  I have the Michael Young book that you refer to, but haven’t yet read it cover to cover and it just goes to show that the most arcane connections can be made in wartime.  I’m entirely content to accept that I got this completely wrong.  The odd aspect that threw me is the reference to 1921 and the suggestion of direct retirement from the Ministry of Munitions rather than from the British Army.  For @Simon Warren: is there any family connection with Beckenham in Kent, and the Territorial Force (part-time auxiliary soldiers)?  In the light of Terry’s information the 1921 reference begs the question as to whether Henry Summers might have been working for the Ministry of Munitions as a civilian employee pre-war and then recruited into “68 Local Auxiliary Company ASC” for war service.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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Hi There. It just get more facinating by the min. No connection to Beckenham.  He lived in Ramsgate . I have attached the 1921 Census original as you can see it looks like Ministry of Munitions , but has been mis read as ministry of ministry?

 

Simon

HENRY WILLIAM SUMMERS 1921 CEN.pdf

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1 hour ago, FROGSMILE said:

The odd aspect that threw me is the reference to 1921 and the suggestion of direct retirement from the Ministry of Munitions rather than from the British Army.

We have earlier been rather lead astray!

34 minutes ago, Simon Warren said:

I have attached the 1921 Census original as you can see it looks like Ministry of Munitions , but has been mis read as ministry of ministry?

Yes, I too read as -  Ministry of Munitions, Out of Work - aged 32 - so perhaps not retired

[though this is probably not the place to go further about FMP's dreadful transcriptions!]

M

Edited by Matlock1418
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43 minutes ago, Simon Warren said:

Hi There. It just get more facinating by the min. No connection to Beckenham.  He lived in Ramsgate . I have attached the 1921 Census original as you can see it looks like Ministry of Munitions , but has been mis read as ministry of ministry?

 

Simon

HENRY WILLIAM SUMMERS 1921 CEN.pdf 1.19 MB · 5 downloads

It definitely says Ministry of Munitions followed by “out of work”.

The TF (later TA) auxiliary forces were organised on a local basis via County Associations and, as both Beckenham and Ramsgate were at that time in Kent, there does seem the tantalising possibility that there might have been some connection. It appears possible at least that he might have been with the Ministry of Munitions pre-war and then with the local TF ASC serving the Ministry during the war.  It needs more research, but seems worth looking into.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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The census return definitely states Ministry of Munitions Out of Work.  This is the answer that Henry gave in answer to a question about his employer or his last employer if he wasn't working.  It was up to him to provide an answer that he thought correctly described his employment situation.  So if he was posted to 606 Company ASC as his last posting before discharge from the Army it would not be unreasonable for him to describe the Ministry of Munitions as his last employer.  He could equally have described the Army as his last employer as I assume he received his pay from the Army rather than from the Ministry of Munitions. 

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7 minutes ago, Bordercollie said:

The census return definitely states Ministry of Munitions Out of Work.  This is the answer that Henry gave in answer to a question about his employer or his last employer if he wasn't working.  It was up to him to provide an answer that he thought correctly described his employment situation.  So if he was posted to 606 Company ASC as his last posting before discharge from the Army it would not be unreasonable for him to describe the Ministry of Munitions as his last employer.  He could equally have described the Army as his last employer as I assume he received his pay from the Army rather than from the Ministry of Munitions. 

Yes he would have received his pay from the Army, and his employer was also the Army (War Office).  Although it’s not impossible that he might have described his previous employer mistakenly in that way, I thing he’d have had to be remarkably dim/naive to do so (soldiers were paid weekly, in cash, by a uniformed Army officer).

Edited by FROGSMILE
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Thank you . V intersting indeed. Simon So I am still wondering what he might have done in 1915 for the army given that he later worked as a lorry driver and owned a garage? Facinating

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2 minutes ago, Simon Warren said:

Thank you . V intersting indeed. Simon So I am still wondering what he might have done in 1915 for the army given that he later worked as a lorry driver and owned a garage? Facinating

If he served overseas then there should be a Medal Index Card for him.  This would presumably be linked with the Army Service Corps mechanical transport assuming that your family lore is correct.  If however he served on the home establishment only then there wouldn’t usually be an MIC and as the majority of service records were destroyed in WW2 bombing you would probably struggle to find much further. 

Edited by FROGSMILE
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3 minutes ago, FROGSMILE said:

If he served overseas then there should be a Medal Index Card for him.

There appears to be one as M2/034034, ASC

1127112425_SUMMERWM2-034034.png.0074499fa28acc843cdeb398c2003465.png

Image courtesy of WFA/Fold3

M

Edited by Matlock1418
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According to his service record he was discharged from the ASC on 17th February 1919 and so I think there was time for him to be employed by the Ministry of Munitions after his discharge. I can't see any mention of 606 Company in his records.

Image courtesy of Ancestry

 

31238_200327-00515.jpg.f614d0b83774566a0b9d438a1489223a.jpg

Edited by Bordercollie
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2 minutes ago, Bordercollie said:

According to his service record he was discharged from the ASC on 17th February 1919 and so I think there was time for him to be employed by the Ministry of Munitions after his discharge. I can't see any mention of 606 Company in his records.

Image courtesy of Ancestry

 

31238_200327-00515.jpg.f614d0b83774566a0b9d438a1489223a.jpg

Thank you.  It does seem as if my initial suggestion could be about right then.  ASC war service followed by a stint as a civilian with the ministry of munitions.  With 1920s straitening of industry and last in first out principles he probably then lost his job.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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The MIC also shows his ToW as (3) Egypt - seems a very likely place to use or pick up motor/driving skills which he could use after the war.

Potentially later with the MoM.

Based on what we were originally also told it seems he later went onto a motor business of his own.

M

Edited by Matlock1418
typo
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Wow that is wonderful news . Records are so so useful especially in the hands of experts like you guys...Can you read the handwriting ? It looks like it says Expeditionary force and new zealand? What might that refer too? Thanks Si 

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10 minutes ago, Matlock1418 said:

The MIC also shows his ToW as (3) Egypt - seems a very likely place to use or pick up motor/driving skills which he could use after the war.

Potentially later with the MoM.

Based on what we were originally also told it seems he later went onto a motor business of his own.

M

Excellent.  Appears to be a trio of medals entitlement then.  1914-15 Star, War Medal and Victory Medal.  Presumably out there somewhere for the OP to find.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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15 minutes ago, Simon Warren said:

Wow that is wonderful news . Records are so so useful especially in the hands of experts like you guys...Can you read the handwriting ? It looks like it says Expeditionary force and new zealand? What might that refer too? Thanks Si 

It means he was attached to the New Zealand forces.  First in the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force and then in France later on attached to the New Zealand Field Artillery (I think). 

NB.  Matlock mentions the Field Ambulance.  I’m not sure which context is correct in this case.  My initial thought was that he would be supporting the artillery train (ammunition column) by driving vehicles up containing ammunition for the guns.  Alternatively he would have been driving the motorised field ambulances from the Casualty Clearing Stations rearwards to medical facilities along the chain of evacuation.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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I don't have access to his full SR - so only going from above abstract ...

Rather looks like as part of the Egypt Expeditionary Force he was attached to a New Zealand Contingent.

I also see 3rd NZFA, which I take could be New Zealand Field Ambulance or Field Artillery. [?]

The second would likely involve the transport of ammunition - potentially his route to the Min. of Munitions ???

Other members may have more knowledge and/or be able to read/intepret better than me.

M

Edited by Matlock1418
the usual - typos!
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10 minutes ago, Matlock1418 said:

I don't have access to his full SR - so only going from above abstract ...

Rather looks like as part of the Egypt expeditionaly Force he was attached to a New Zealand Contingent.

I also see 3rd NZFA, which I take could be New Zealand Field Ambulance or Field Artillery. [?]

The second would likely involve the transport of ammunition - potentially his route to the Min. of Munitions ???

Other members may have more knowledge and/or be able to read/intepret better than me.

M

I think he was probably with the 3rd (NZ) Field Artillery Brigade Ammunition Column: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/war/new-zealand-artillery

Edited by FROGSMILE
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It is 3rd New Zealand Field Ambulance.  The service record also shows he was a Motor Transport man presumably driving an ambulance which would link with his later occupation in a garage mentioned by the OP.

@Simon Warren you can view Henry's full record here if you have access to Ancestry

https://www.ancestry.co.uk/imageviewer/collections/1219/images/31238_200327-00513?treeid=&personid=&hintid=&queryId=e73a389c1a762e19ddf5dded6ffe27cd&usePUB=true&_phsrc=SZK6487&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&_gl=1*1csudlg*_ga*MTEyMTU1Nzk3MS4xNTQzNDg3ODI1*_ga_4PXYE4RLH1*MTY0NDkzOTM5Mi4yNy4xLjE2NDQ5Mzk1NjkuMA..&pId=1911008

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1 minute ago, Bordercollie said:

It is 3rd New Zealand Field Ambulance.  The service record also shows he was a Motor Transport man presumably driving an ambulance which would link with his later occupation in a garage mentioned by the OP.

@Simon Warren you can view Henry's full record here if you have access to Ancestry

https://www.ancestry.co.uk/imageviewer/collections/1219/images/31238_200327-00513?treeid=&personid=&hintid=&queryId=e73a389c1a762e19ddf5dded6ffe27cd&usePUB=true&_phsrc=SZK6487&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&_gl=1*1csudlg*_ga*MTEyMTU1Nzk3MS4xNTQzNDg3ODI1*_ga_4PXYE4RLH1*MTY0NDkzOTM5Mi4yNy4xLjE2NDQ5Mzk1NjkuMA..&pId=1911008

Excellent, it’s good to know the definitive answer could still be found after all this time.  I am surprised and pleased that his service record had survived.

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