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Remembered Today:

1/4 South Lancashire Regiment


Aaron
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Looking for help. 
 

thanks in advance 

 

I am looking for information on my Grandfather whom served in the Great War. I have found a bunch of information already;

name: George Powell 

DOB: 16/03/1897 

1/4 South Lancashire Regiment 

Regiment no: 1839 

Rank: Private

1/4 South Lancashire Regiment 

Regiment no: 200349

Rank: Private 

Shropshire Light Infantry 

Regiment no: 205826

Rank: Private

I have his medal card already which states he enlisted on 06/08/1915 to France and was demobbed on 23/03/1919. I found out that he was wounded twice whilst with the 1/4th South Lancashire Regiment (Pioneers) 

I have managed to find the war diaries (catalogue ref: WO 95/2917/1) for his regiment but I am after the following; (if possible) 

1) photos of him (portraits, group etc…) 

2) Details of extent of injuries (if possible)

3) Which company he was with when with the 1/4th South Lancs?  (A, B, C or D)

4) Which company he was with when with the Shropshire Light Infantry?

5) Any other general information 

I hope someone can help. 
many thanks,

Aaron Powell

CDFC8636-5E27-4B01-A260-1868C5BF09CD.jpeg

771FD66B-A608-46AE-8BC2-5FF58EF89380.jpeg

Edited by Aaron
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Welcome to the forum. The 6/8/15 date is the date he arrived in a theatre of war in this case no 1 which was France, not his enlistment date. 
Michelle

 

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He looks very young in the photo and at a guess I’d say he possibly/probably started with the Training Reserve.  I wonder if @kenf48can put some flesh on the bones in relation to the regimental serial numbers and associated dates.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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20 minutes ago, Michelle Young said:

Welcome to the forum. The 6/8/15 date is the date he arrived in a theatre of war in this case no 1 which was France, not his enlistment date. 
Michelle

 

Thanks for clarifying that. Is it possible to find out from the date given what ship he would have crossed the channel on?

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The war diaries, currently free to download at the National Archives should tell you that. 

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16 minutes ago, FROGSMILE said:

He looks very young in the photo and at a guess I’d say he possibly/probably started with the Training Reserve.  I wonder if @kenf48can put some flesh on the bones in relation to the regiment’s numbers and associated dates.

Thanks for your response. It may well be possible as he does look young in that picture. 
based on his DOB and the date on his attached card, it would appear that there was a 5 month period from turning 18 that I cannot find any information. 
thanks 

Aaron

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Have you seen his entry in the Medal Rolls? (image courtesy of Ancestry)

Powell.jpg

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1 hour ago, Allan1892 said:

Have you seen his entry in the Medal Rolls? (image courtesy of Ancestry)

Powell.jpg

Wow, thanks for that Alan. This is the first time I’m seeing that document. Do you happen to know if there is a way to find out the dates served with each battalion?

thanks again. 
 

Aaron

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55 minutes ago, Aaron said:

Do you happen to know if there is a way to find out the dates served with each battalion?

As Frogsmile mentioned,  @kenf48 could be the man to give you an idea of the dates in relation to the service numbers.

I believe that 1839 would have been his service number with the 4th Btn South Lancashires, the 4th Btn were a Territorial Force. All Territorial Force men were renumbered in 1917 and George's next number was 200349. In the renumbering process, the 4th Btn were allocated the numbers 200001 to 240000, George's number fits in to this allocation of new numbers.

The link below will take you to the a section on the Long Long Trail which tells you about the renumbering of TF men.

Renumbering the Territorial Force Infantry in 1917 - The Long, Long Trail (longlongtrail.co.uk)

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He enlisted in the 4th Battalion South Lancashire Regiment,Territorial Force between the 19th June 1914 (1838 Skelhorn) and the 14 July 1914 (1842 Millington).

The Headquarters, and Companies A-D, F and H were based in Warrington.  The other two Companies E and G were at Newton-le-Willows.  He probably served with his chums in his home town, so he probably joined one of the Newton-le-Willows Companies.  He signed up for four years, which was extended to five as a result of the war.  As you have observed he was 'disembodied from war service in March 1919.

He could legitimately join the TF aged seventeen as the TF was raised for Home Defence and its members were not expected to serve overseas. 

On the 4th August 1914 he and his Battalion were 'embodied for war service'. A TF soldier had to sign the "Imperial Service Obligation' to serve overseas. Whilst the TF played fast and loose with the regulations to bring battalions up to strength in January 1915 the TF Associations were reminded  by the War Office the age for active service overseas was nineteen and soldiers were not to be sent on active service until they had attained that age.

Accordingly Pte Powell did not go overseas with the main body of his battalion on the 13 February 1915.  He would, in all probability, have been posted to the second line or reserve 2/4th Battalion and moved with them to Ashford in Kent.

On the 6th August 1915 (eighteen and a half?) he was posted to the BEF and sent to the TF Infantry Base Depot (IBD) at Rouen.  He still did not join his chums but was posted to the 6th Entrenching Battalion which had just been formed.

see https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/other-aspects-of-order-of-battle/entrenching-battalions/

We don't know when he eventually joined the 4th Battalion in the field but it was probably when he reached the age of nineteen around March 1916.  The war diary may help with drafts.  Winters on the Western Front were generally quiet periods and reinforcements were not in great demand to replace losses.

EDIT I see the war diary has a draft of 45 other ranks ' from the base' on the 17th March 1916, work back through the diary to August to identify other drafts. if any.

He is in a Casualty List published in the Liverpool Echo on the 9th November 1916 (H/A Earlstown).  The list is almost exclusively men from Warrington or Newton-le-Willows indicating an incident involving the 4th Battalion. There was a lag of about four to six weeks between the incident and publication of the list.  Looking at the diary it seems they took heavy casulties on 26/27 September.  Men working in the open were always a target for artillery and snipers.

We do know he was still serving either in the field or at home with the 4th Battalion in March 1917 when the 4th Battalion along with the rest of the TF was renumbered with a six digit number.

again see http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/soldiers/a-soldiers-life-1914-1918/renumbering-of-the-territorial-force-in-1917/

I can't find the second wounding.

His posting to the KSLI is a bit more problematic.

He returned to the IBD with his South Lancashire six digit number in 1918, after the German attack of the 21st March 1918. 

At the IBD he was compulsorily posted to and renumbered to the 1/4 KSLI (another TF unit). The exact date is uncertain 204310 was allocated on the 1st April 1918 and  205226 was allocated in France at the TF IBD Rouen on the 26 August 1918. Pte Powell did not serve in the field with the 4th Battalion but was posted to the 1st Battalion KSLI.  This service appears to have been  broken as the Roll shows he returned to the IBD.  He retained the 6 Digit TF KSLI number even though posted to a regular battalion.

There are a couple of casualties listed in Soldiers Died in Great War who are shown as previously with the South Lancashire and were killed whilst serving with the 1st KSLI e.g. 205823 Barker kia 21.9.1918 formerly 2780 S.Lancs; 205827 Ratcliffe/3884 S.Lancs kia 10/10/1918

205838 was with the Northern Cyclist and killed with 1st Bn KSLI on the 14th May 1918

1 hour ago, Allan1892 said:

As Frogsmile mentioned,  @kenf48 could be the man to give you an idea of the dates in relation to the service numbers.

I'm on the case - taking some time as it's a bit complicated !  :thumbsup: Above is what I have so far

 

7 hours ago, Aaron said:

1) photos of him (portraits, group etc…) 

2) Details of extent of injuries (if possible)

3) Which company he was with when with the 1/4th South Lancs?  (A, B, C or D)

4) Which company he was with when with the Shropshire Light Infantry?

5) Any other general information 

1. Good luck with the photos TF units often had photos taken at Summer Camps but his first one was cut short because of the war.  There is unlikely to be any for the KSLI but the Division did go to Germany after the Armistice and quite a few were taken there.

2. Sorry can't help local newspaper worth a go  but a quick trawl of BNA didn't help

3 and 4 Even with a service record next to no chance of drilling down to Company level.  Pte 205829 Sparke 1/KSLI was admitted to hospital in the UK on 10.10.1918, sometimes medical records show the Company.  My guess is the South Lancs. men would have stayed together when posted to the 1st KSLI. 

In wartime the TF adopted the four Company system again an educated guess but Newton-le-Willows probably became 'D' Company whether he was posted there when he rejoined them in France is impossible to say.

5. See above, further recommended reading K.W. Mitchinson 'Pioneer Battalions in the Great War".

 

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11 minutes ago, kenf48 said:

He enlisted in the 4th Battalion South Lancashire Regiment,Territorial Force between the 19th June 1914 (1838 Skelhorn) and the 14 July 1914 (1842 Millington).

The Headquarters, and Companies A-D, F and H were based in Warrington.  The other two Companies E and G were at Newton-le-Willows.  He probably served with his chums in his home town, so he probably joined one of the Newton-le-Willows Companies.  He signed up for four years, which was extended to five as a result of the war.  As you have observed he was 'disembodied from war service in March 1919.

He could legitimately join the TF aged seventeen as the TF was raised for Home Defence and its members were not expected to serve overseas. 

On the 4th August 1914 he and his Battalion were 'embodied for war service'. A TF soldier had to sign the "Imperial Service Obligation' to serve overseas. Whilst the TF played fast and loose with the regulations to bring battalions up to strength in January 1915 the TF Associations were reminded  by the War Office the age for active service overseas was nineteen and soldiers were not to be sent on active service until they had attained that age.

Accordingly Pte Powell did not go overseas with the main body of his battalion on the 13 February 1915.  He would, in all probability, have been posted to the second line or reserve 2/4th Battalion and moved with them to Ashford in Kent.

On the 6th August 1915 (eighteen and a half?) he was posted to the BEF and sent to the TF Infantry Base Depot (IBD) at which was at Rouen.  He still did not join his chums but was posted to the 6th Entrenching Battalion which had just been formed.

see https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/other-aspects-of-order-of-battle/entrenching-battalions/

We don't know when he eventually joined the 4th Battalion in the field but it was probably when he reached the age of nineteen around March 1916.  The war diary may help with drafts.  Winters on the Western Front were generally quiet periods and reinforcements were not in great demand to replace losses.

He is in a Casualty List published in the Liverpool Echo on the 9th November 1916 (H/A Earlstown).  The list is almost exclusively men from Warrington or Newton-le-Willows indicating an incident involving the 4th Battalion. There was a lag of about four to six weeks between the incident and publication of the list.  Looking at the diary it seems they took heavy casulties on 26/27 September.  Men working in the open were always a target for artillery and snipers.

We do know he was still serving either in the field or at home with the 4th Battalion in March 1917 when the 4th Battalion along with the rest of the TF was renumbered with a six digit number.

again see http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/soldiers/a-soldiers-life-1914-1918/renumbering-of-the-territorial-force-in-1917/

I can't find the second wounding.

His posting to the KSLI is a bit more problematic.

He returned to the IBD with his South Lancashire six digit number in 1918, after the German attack of the 21st March 1918. 

At the IBD he was compulsorily posted to and renumbered to the 1/4 KSLI (another TF unit). The exact date is uncertain 204310 was allocated on the 1st April 1918 and  205226 was allocated in France at the TF IBD Rouen on the 26 August 1918. Pte Powell did not serve in the field with the 4th Battalion but was posted to the 1st Battalion KSLI.  This service appears to have been  broken as the Roll shows he returned to the IBD.  He retained the 6 Digit TF KSLI number even though posted to a regular battalion.

There are a couple of casualties listed in Soldiers Died in Great War who are shown as previously with the South Lancashire and were killed whilst serving with the 1st KSLI e.g. 205823 Barker kia 21.9.1918 formerly 2780 S.Lancs; 205827 Ratcliffe/3884 S.Lancs kia 10/10/1918

205838 was with the Northern Cyclist and killed with 1st Bn KSLI on the 14th May 1918

I'm on the case - taking some time as it's a bit complicated !  Above is what I have so far

 

1. Good luck with the photos TF units often had photos taken at Summer Camps but his first one was cut short because of the war.  There is unlikely to be any for the KSLI but the Division did go to Germany after the Armistice and quite a few were taken there.

2. Sorry can't help local newspaper worth a go  but a quick trawl of BNA didn't help

3 and 4 Even with a service record next to no chance of drilling down to Company level.  Pte 205829 Sparke 1/KSLI was admitted to hospital in the UK on 10.10.1918, sometimes medical records show the Company.  My guess is the South Lancs. men would have stayed together when posted to the 1st KSLI. 

In wartime the TF adopted the four Company system again an educated guess but Newton-le-Willows probably became 'D' Company whether he was posted there when he rejoined them in France is impossible to say.

5. See above, further recommended reading K.W. Mitchinson 'Pioneer Battalions in the Great War".

 

Wow… amazing that you’ve managed to find out so much. I’m trying to digest and take in all this information but please see below an attachment in reference to being wounded which might shed some light on them. 3BFAC625-5499-4288-A8BB-6692EC89579B.png.ee4d43107a80a96639a9b1a6ca3a1a4d.png

In reference to the photos, would I have more look at the museum in Preston as opposed to anything online?

A8896738-BB3E-4A38-8DDB-849554F161D8.png

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2 hours ago, kenf48 said:

:thumbsup: Above is what I have so far

Once again, you have come up with answers for a service man with no service record.

Well done.:thumbsup:

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Aaron

He is named in the Casualty List in the Times 09/11/1916 under South Lancashire - wounded and in the War Office Casualty List dated 20/08/1917 again under South Lancashire - wounded. Both lists attached. The lists will contain men from all Bns of the Regiment but you may be able to find some service or pension records of men in his Bn.

Brian

001.JPG

WOCL 20081917.jpg

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On 06/03/2022 at 15:31, kenf48 said:

His posting to the KSLI is a bit more problematic.

@kenf48

please see attached pay card - would this shed any light on anything?

this is the only physical information we have 

7A9B0191-2B85-497C-A761-AB3770F96785.jpeg

4C55F0D6-79C8-4060-B709-B9FFE87DD224.jpeg

On 06/03/2022 at 19:25, brianmorris547 said:

Aaron

He is named in the Casualty List in the Times 09/11/1916 under South Lancashire - wounded and in the War Office Casualty List dated 20/08/1917 again under South Lancashire - wounded. Both lists attached. The lists will contain men from all Bns of the Regiment but you may be able to find some service or pension records of men in his Bn.

Brian

001.JPG

WOCL 20081917.jpg

Thanks @brianmorris547 that’s amazing! I was searching through the BNA but could only view 3 pages for free so you’ve pulled a gem out there with those. Much appreciated 

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2 hours ago, Aaron said:

please see attached pay card - would this shed any light on anything?

this is the only physical information we have 

The pages above don't really help us pin down the date of transfer to the KSLI, it gets us a little closer as he was still on the strength of the 1/4 South Lancashire in January 1918 when he received an increase of pay which had been made to all soldiers from October 1917. That said the Regimental Paymaster at Shrewsbury was responsible for the KSLI.  The Regimental Depot of the KSLI was at Copthorne Barracks, Shrewsbury. Though it seems the  Record Office for the South Lancashire Regiment was also at Shrewsbury so we're going to need a pay expert @ss002d6252(?)

We don't know the extent of his wounds but it appears he was in the UK when the entry was made. (You will have noted the entry above says 'in the field'.)

What is quite unusual (but not exceptional) is that after serving as a Pioneer at a slightly enhanced rate of pay, which he probably retained, he should be posted to the infantry.  Though the 'exigencies of the service' or 'you go where you are put' would apply (Army Order 204 of 1916 to be precise).

Interestingly I have found a draft from the 4th (Reserve) South Lancs who embarked for the BEF 0n 184.17. and were posted to the 1st KSLI on the 5th May 1917 (clearly as his second wound shows he remained  with the SLR through 1917 he was not in tat draft but it does indicate some cross over between the two - just interesting to us anoraks doesn't really help you!).

I confess -I'm stuck - for now.

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8 hours ago, kenf48 said:

I confess -I'm stuck - for now.

Well, you have been a massive help so far in helping me discover about my Grandfather’s history. Don’t be too hard on yourself. 
 

hopefully your friend the payment expert can decipher some of that payment card rather than everything proving to ask more questions than provide answers. Thanks again @kenf48, much appreciated. 

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