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Remembered Today:

Does anyone know anything about Royal Defence Corps 463 P coy?


Historian2
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Presumably this RDC unit served was a naval unit as LCpl John Sutton  died at sea on 10th October 1918 (see attached ledger). Would anyone know what the duties of an RDC company was on a ship, and why P? Were there parachute companies by 1918?

John Sutton Ledger.jpg

Record of death.jpg

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51 minutes ago, Historian2 said:

Presumably this RDC unit served was a naval unit as LCpl John Sutton  died at sea on 10th October 1918 (see attached ledger). Would anyone know what the duties of an RDC company was on a ship, and why P? Were there parachute companies by 1918?

Regarding 'P' companies ........ "8.  Any Protection Companies required that were outside this structure would be numbered 351 and upwards"

Have a look at this for starters Historian2: 

The Royal Defence Corps of 1916-1918 - The Long, Long Trail (longlongtrail.co.uk) 

Also:

"Husband of Mary Ann Ellen Sutton, of 11 Mount Pleasant, Agergele, Conwy, North Wales. He was a military passenger on board R.M.S. Leinster which was sunk by torpedoes from a German Submarine in the Irish Sea, 16 miles east of Dublin, shortly before 10am on the morning of 10th October 1918, on its outbound journey of 100km [68 miles] from Kingstown [now Dun Laoghaire], Dublin, to Holyhead, Anglesey, North Wales. His body was not recovered. His name is included on the Abergele War Memorial." Source: 

Lance Corporal John Sutton (unknown-1918) - Find a Grave Memorial

Also:

1 of 569 lives lost apparently:

R.M.S. Leinster: Home (rmsleinster.com)

Regards

Edited by TullochArd
1 of 569 lives lost apparently:
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That was a quick reply, thank you so much, his great nephew was more lucky on the Leasowe six months before. I see he was a 'military passenger' on RMS Leinster, is that code for Supernumerary protection, a fore runner of Dad's army on the seas? At 65 years old, he must have been one of the oldest aboard.

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It is what it says, ‘Military’ means he was not a civilian and ‘Passenger’ indicates that he played no part in the operational crewing of the vessel. In other words he was simply being carried on board as human cargo, being transported from one place to another because the army required him be be somewhere else. In this case relocating from Ireland Dún Laoghaire (then known as Kingstown) to Holyhead, mainland GB.

MB

Edited by KizmeRD
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1 hour ago, Historian2 said:

 At 65 years old, he must have been one of the oldest aboard.

.......... I would have thought that employed in any military role at that age is rather unlikely ....... might be worthwhile double checking that source.

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Thanks for throwing this ball into the Great War Forum court Historian2.   It's been an interesting little RDC foray and I've learned a lot on the way.

Regarding KizmeRD's link to the rmsleinster.com site.  I couldn't help but notice that the subject in the photo posted as John Sutton appears be wearing a 37 Pattern BD Blouse. 

I don't believe similar was around in 1918. 

Is it a 37 Pattern BD Blouse?

SUTTON_John.jpg

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It is the wrong John Sutton! thanks KizmeRD for that input. I was surprised that he haled from Wales, but he appeared to check out in other respects except he was too old really to be on active service. Also his death did not appear in the family diary, but I thought this might be that the John Sutton I was thinking about was a first cousin once removed.

It doesn't move my book forward but I learn a lot about RDC and RMS Leinster/U Boat. Thanks to you both for your input.  

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And he looks a lot older than 55 in the photo too!

It’s been interesting for me to delve a bit deeper into this often neglected body of men. From what I’ve been able to discover, the RDC was raised in 1916 and at it’s peak in 1917 there were about 28,000 men, half of whom were being used to guard PoW Camps and to protect certain key installations. They generally comprised of men aged 41-60 who were unfit for active service.

In Ireland there were some 3,000 RDC men (10 Protection Companies), mainly used to provide security for the large munitions factories (located in Dublin, Cork, Waterford and Galway). By 1918 their numbers were starting to be reduced. Could be that the ‘wrong’ John Sutton was returning from Ireland with his unit, or simply going back home for a period of leave when his ride got torpedoed.

MB

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