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Remembered Today:

Background information on Rifleman Harold Robert Everest Service No. C/7129. 18th Batt. King's Royal Rifle Corps.


Top notch
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I have acquired a Memorial Plaque to Rifleman Harold Robert Everest Service No. C/7129, 18th Service Battalion, King's Royal Rifle Corps.

Along with the plaque, I also have a copy of his Short Service Attestation and using the information from that, I have managed to get quite a bit of background into the man.

Unfortunately, as with this man, more answers often lead to more questions! 

I wonder if anybody can help me find the missing answers?

Harold Robert Everest attested on 22/9/1915, at Gidea Park, near Romford. He was 30 years old and gave his profession as a schoolmaster. He was given the service number C/7129. He entered France on 2/5/1916. He took part in the Battle of Flers-Courcelette (first use of tanks?), on 15/9/1916. On this day he received a "shot gun" wound to his right leg, I have a copy of the Battalions war diary and, although brief, notes that a total of 346 men, of Harold's Battalion, were killed or wounded, on this day. Harold arrived at a General Hospital in Etaples on 18/9/1916, where he unfortunately died of his wounds on 24/9/1916.

My queries are as follows...........

I believe the 18th Service Battalion were known as the "Arts and Crafts" Battalion and from previous threads on the Forum, this was attributed  to Sir Herbert Raphael's links to the Arts and Crafts movement? Also, Wikipedia list the 18th Battalion as one of the Pals Battalion's, but this is not, surely, correct, as technically Raphael recruited men, not only from the Romford area, but from his constituency of Derbyshire and Leicestershire, so how could it be a Pals Battalion? 

I have read that Raphael decided to form the 18th Battalion on 7/6/1915, yet Harold did not enlist until 22/9/1915! Would it have taken this long to raise the 18th Battalion? Also, his number C/7129, why such a low number and what does the "C" stand for?

Harold was born in Winchester, yet enlisted at Gidea Park, I know he was a schoolmaster, could he have been teaching near Gidea Park, does anyone know how I might find out which school he was at, as they might have some record of him?   

On his Service Record it states that following his wounding on 15/9/1916, he went for initial treatment on 16/9/1916 before going on to Etaples on the 18/9/1916. I assume it would have been a CCS on 16/9/1916, any ideas which one it was?

Where can I find out more on the 18th K.R.R.C. involvement in the attack on 15/9/1916, as the War Diary gives about two sentences and I can find no more information?

Any help or recommendations would be gratefully received. Many thanks,

Eddie.                     

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31 minutes ago, Top notch said:

Harold was born in Winchester, yet enlisted at Gidea Park, I know he was a schoolmaster, could he have been teaching near Gidea Park, does anyone know how I might find out which school he was at, as they might have some record of him?   

Have you tried local newspapers both where his parents lived and where he might have lived/worked?

They often had stories and obituaries of men from the area(s), sometimes even privately taken photos - on enlistment, going overseas, receipt of letters sent home, wounding & death etc.

The British Newspaper Archive https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk [also found in Find My Past] seems to be the usual port of call [I'm afraid I do not have access]

M

Edit: From WFA/Fold3 pension index cards = His mother, Mrs Eleanor Everest made a Dependant's Pension claim - Lived at 34 Hyde Close, Winchester when she claimed c.26.7.16 - received 6/- pw from 4.9.17

Edited by Matlock1418
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Here is what he was doing in early 1914 with more about him

school1.jpg.6ef7bb004d1529cc667927907740a283.jpg

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The C prefix was issued to the  men serving with 16th to 21st  Battalions KRRC.  16th C1-C1999, 17th C3001-4999, 18th C6001-C7999, 20th C9001-C9999, 21st C12001-C12999

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Hello Matlock, 

Thanks for info. on local newspapers, unfortunately my pension just about covers Ancestry membership but nothing else.

However, a big thank you to Corisande, who came up trumps with the newspaper cutting he found.

Thank you also Edward 1 for your info on "C" prefix and link to war diaries.

You have answered most of my queries, but can anyone help with whether the 18th "Arts and Crafts" Service Battalion was termed a "Pals" Battalion? and any ideas which CCS he might have been treated at?

Eddie

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25 minutes ago, Top notch said:

Thanks for info. on local newspapers, unfortunately my pension just about covers Ancestry membership but nothing else.

I understand about cutting your cloth accordingly - especially in the current economic climate!

Who knows what other members might be able to turn up for you.  ??  Certainly @corisande seems to have turned up a very good clipping.

In hope ...

M

Edited by Matlock1418
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I don't think you will get much more on him in newspaper cuttings. But you can research the two schools mentioned

Hyde School

St Faiths School

which could yield more on him as a teacher

You also need to research the certified v uncertified teacher question

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2 hours ago, Top notch said:

any ideas which CCS he might have been treated at?

Have you thought about using the various techniques that are available in trying to work this out - it can be quite enjoyable doing the research - if you have the time and the means. Being retired and subscribing to Ancestry sounds like good qualifications !

One method is to look at the Brigade/Division war diaries to find the location of the Battalion in the wider context on the day he was wounded. Then you can look at the various Medical Unit war diaries starting with the Assistant Director of Medical Services for the Division and perhaps similar for the relevant Corps diary. Those diaries will likely list the weekly disposition of all the medial units (including the CCS) which you can then align with the Battalion disposition and thus reconstruct the medical evacuation chain for a given unit for any given day. These diaries are all available in Ancestry and/or are free to download from TNA.

You can supplement the above by looking for the relevant casualty list for that particular action/unit. With over 300 men wounded/killed that list should be a very long one  - it would typically be printed around 4 weeks after the actual event. Then you could work your way through that list and look for men who have a surviving service record (on Ancestry) - that might well contain the medical units down which that man was evacuated. Those individual records often also well include the relevant ambulance trains and the hospitals at Etaples - all of which also have war diaries you can download.

Repeat the above process for as many men as you can find on the casualty list to build up a self-consistent picture from which you could draw fairly safe conclusions as to the medical evacuation of your man.

You can spend many an enjoyable few hours doing this - and also discover more general aspects on the journey of discovery !

Just a thought !

Regards

Russ

 

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Thank you Matlock, Corisande and Russ (I have a son named Russ and he is clever too!!).

Corisande, I have looked at Hyde School and Saint Faith's, Hyde is in London. Saint Faith's is in Cambridge, how do I find the original school location?

Russ, thanks for the in depth reply, but how do I reference the various lists on Ancestry? I think I must be looking in the wrong "search area" as all I can find is a general Military section! I realise I am but an amateur in all this, but am keen to learn.

Eddie.

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15 minutes ago, Top notch said:

Hyde is in London

Afraid you are barking up the wrong tree there. The excerpt is from a Hamps paper and in fact is the Winchester Education Committee meeting

This leads to the school being Bartholomew Hyde's School Winchester. And there is a book on it

I suspect that St Faiths is also in Winchester

school.jpg.38148f55cc417c5a9c347318a1429240.jpg

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And St Faith's is probably this Primary School - but you need to do a bit of work to confirm that

https://www.st-faiths.hants.sch.uk/

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Thanks for the rep[y Corisande. It answers the question that the schools were in Winchester (Harold's birthplace). Winchester area was traditionally Hampshire Regiment territory, so why would Harold travel to Gidea Park to enlist with KRRC? Unless it was the "Arts and Crafts" Battalion that held the allure? And were they a "Pals* Battalion?

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2 hours ago, Top notch said:

Russ, thanks for the in depth reply, but how do I reference the various lists on Ancestry? I think I must be looking in the wrong "search area" as all I can find is a general Military section! I realise I am but an amateur in all this, but am keen to learn.

Hi Eddie

Yes, getting to grips with the various sources and the vagaries of search engines within those sources can be a bit of a learning curve and sometimes quite frustrating - but it's worth persevering as it can bring satisfying results. I'm still learning tricks after many years and there are others on the Forum here much better than me who can also offer tips.

Everyone adopts their own preferences but here are some that I use for the War Diaries:

For Ancestry, I prefer to start on this (intuitive) page:

UK WWI War Diaries - Ancestry

On the opening page you can then scroll to the bottom and click on one of the links for either France or Gallipoli - and then on the next page choose the unit you need via the drop down menu(s). Within those drop down menus, there are some further tricks to learn - but have a play around with them to become familiar with how they are structured.

Corps Diaries are not on Ancestry but can be found in the National Archives. For those I use the starting page linked below which searches within the WO 95 Series (i.e. War Diaries). Then in the search box I put a few key words e.g. 15 Corps Medical - which in this example takes you to a listing of the relevant War Diaries for the XV Corps Deputy Director of Medical Services and from which you can select the time period of interest. Once you register, you can download the diary for free. I chose that example as I think at the time 18/KRRC was in 122th Brigade/41st Division/XV Corps/4th Army. Here is that link with the search terms already entered for you:

Search results: 15 corps medical | The National Archives

Using this TNA approach also provides you with the so-called piece reference number - written something like WO 95/1234 at the foot of each individual record. From that you can use the final digits e.g. 1234 as the sole search term within the Ancestry search link I provided as an alternative route for finding a War Diary of interest.

The Casualty List is a bit more tricky - because in the subject of interest to you on this thread the men were wounded mid September 1916 and so would appear in casualty lists from about mid October 1916. Unfortunately, the War Office Casualty Lists that are more freely available on various sites e.g. National Library of Scotland only run from August 1917. To get earlier lists you will need to have access to the Times Newspaper Archive. I get access to that through my local library on-line - you will need to check whether that is possible for your own location/library services.

Hope this helps as a start - if you decide to have a go on any of this and get stuck then ask away - perhaps in a dedicated thread of its own if of generic interest or here if specific to this action.

Regards

Russ 

 

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On 01/04/2022 at 16:13, Top notch said:

Where can I find out more on the 18th K.R.R.C. involvement in the attack on 15/9/1916, as the War Diary gives about two sentences and I can find no more information?

The attached map, taken from Trevor Pidgeon's excellent book "The tanks at Flers" shows the disposition of the various companies of 18KRRC at the start of the attack on 15 September 1916.  They are straddling squares 11.b and 12.a to the SW of Flers.  The blue arrowed line going through their ranks is the direction taken by tanks D16 and D18 on their way up the western side of Flers.  I haven't got my copy to hand and can't remember if there is much in the Battleground Europe series book on Flers, also written by Trevor Pidgeon.

 

18KRRC 001.jpg

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Hello Russ and Don Regiano,

Thanks for the detailed message on research tips, Russ, I will definately give it a go when I get a break from "grandchildren" duties and household chores!! Will definately give you a shout if I get stuck.

Don Regiano, many thanks for the map, it makes things much clearer, I imagine the green line (on top right of map) is the German line they were to attack? Given the map details, any idea where the CCs was positioned that Harold may have been sent to?

Eddie.

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1 hour ago, Top notch said:

the green line

First objective.  Sorry can't help with the CCS.  Below (courtesy Google Earth) is the view from the Longueval-Flers road towards High Wood in the distance and covering the assembly area of 18KRRC on the opposite side of the dirt track:

image.png.a7a8712d7969f425db83dcc34821be97.png

Edited by Don Regiano
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Hello Don,

Never mind on the CCS and what a picture?

My son and I once went to the very spot where my uncle attacked at Passchendale, again thanks to a Google picture. Modern technology can be useful at times?

Eddie

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