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Remembered Today:

Request of help to locate the unit/Regiment and perhaps past locations that said unit fought.


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Good evening all. Apologies, this has probably been asked 1000's of times. 

My Grandfather Frank Coombes fought in the Great War, and was an enlisted man in the ranks. I'm sure when i was younger, he told me which regiment, but to this day i cannot remember, and thus cannot go forward, as i would like to know where his regiment went. It's possible he mentioned the Somme, but the brain cell is so hazy these days.

The only thing i do know, is that he was lucky and was repatriated with shrapnel wounds, ( maybe circa 1916/17).

He was from Broadhembury in Devon, so my immediate thoughts he might have been in the Devon Regiment. On the other hand, i do remember he used to say he was going to the Buffs meetings in the village pub. Now this could be the charitable organisation, or mean the Kent Buffs Regiment, as there were some from the village that did.

His christened name was Francis, thought everyone called him Frank.

I wondered if anyone has the ability to find which regiment... please ask for any info , and I will try and help.

Thanks, Glenn

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Welcome to the forum

There is a fairly full Ancestry tree on this Link - click, which includes war service

It includes this MIC which has him in Buffs and Sussex

coombes.jpg.11fff90c65eabc32765a57989cdec043.jpg

Edited by corisande
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The outline of his life is

1898 Sep 13 born Broadhembury, Honiton, Devon

1911 census living with his family at Broadhembury, Honiton, Devon

1926 Married in Cork, Ireland. I have no idea why he went to Cork. It was not the safest of places for an ex-soldier to work at that tiem!

frank1.jpg.d965e2f69f17dc5114fac3b504278d64.jpg

1939 Register. He is a Gardener living at Colliton, Nr Broadhembury, Devon.

1978 Mar 14 died Devon & Exeter Hospital

 

 

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The 243313 number is associated with the 5th East Kent when the TF was renumbered in March 1917.

The Medal Rolls show he originally entered a theatre of war in a draft (or more accurately with three other men)from the 2/6 Battalion R. Sussex.

His service record has survived and indicates he was posted to the Buffs 1/5 Battalion on the 19th January 1919.

The record is on FMP (UK) HERE

This man was originally from Bermondsey in London and was demobilised to an address in EC 1 so I doubt he is your man, unless of course you know different.

 

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So he entered the war with the 2/6 Royal Sussex and went on to Buffs.

The Long Long Trail gives for 2/6 Royal Sussex, His Buffs service number should enable someone here to give you a date for his reansfer

2/6th (Cyclist) Battalion
Formed at Brighton in November 1914.
November 1915 : moved to Chisledon, joined with three other Cyclist Bns – 1/9th Hampshire, 1/25th London, and 1/1st Kent Cyclist Battalion, and converted to infantry. This ‘Brigade’ was originally intended for East Africa.
4 February 1916 : sailed from Devonport to India.
In October 1918: moved to Vladivostock and moved into Siberia, where then remained until November 1919 before returning to England.
Some troops formerly with the Canadian Reserve Cyclist Company (aka 2nd Div. Cyclist Co.). are known to have been transferred into this battalion.

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Yes, Ken is correct that Buffs man is in fact

 

Frederick Heyward Coomb

from his service record

So it is certainly not your man. Back to the drawing board

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10 minutes ago, kenf48 said:

There is in the Medal Rolls a Frank Coombes 39879 Devonshire Regiment/92198Labour Corps 

The problem with him is that his Fold3 Pension Card  gives him at Buckfastleigh - other side of Exeter. One would need more evidence to believe this was our man

[edit] In fact there is a service record with this man - click. Nothing I can see to link him to our man. Someone else may like to have a go, the record is faded in places [/edit]

coombes2.jpg.8c9129f3fc42da8d4695aa3cc1182ad0.jpg

Edited by corisande
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25 minutes ago, corisande said:

 

 

Back to the drawing board

Yes, as you say, 😟 unfortunately there are 137 Frank Coombes in the Medal Rolls, some with a middle name. I wonder if Glennknows date of birth which may help, and/or any other names.

 

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I am fairly confident that the "life" in my post #3 above is our man - he is Broadhembury, through and through. It does not appear to help nail down any war service :(

1898 Sep 13 born Broadhembury, Honiton, Devon

1911 census living with his family at Broadhembury, Honiton, Devon

1926 Married in Cork, Ireland. I have no idea why he went to Cork. It was not the safest of places for an ex-soldier to work at that tiem!

frank1.jpg.d965e2f69f17dc5114fac3b504278d64.jpg

1939 Register. He is a Gardener living at Colliton, Nr Broadhembury, Devon.

1978 Mar 14 died Devon & Exeter Hospital

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And using the Subjunctive, if that were to be him, then this would be his family in 1911 census (Ancestry) living at Broadhembury

coombes3.jpg.64d4458d4a324d8981374fe4a4e978bd.jpg

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There is a Francis James Coombes 267959 1/6 Devons but  unlikely to have been at the Somme 1916.

Locally the 4th Bn Devonshire ‘F’ Company was at Honiton, but again they did not serve in France.  I acknowledge he may not have served in a local Regiment.the only Battalions of the Devon’s in France in 1916 were the 8th and 9th.

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There is a Francis James Coombes 267959 1/6 Devons but  unlikely to have been at the Somme 1916.

Locally the 4th Bn Devonshire ‘F’ Company was at Honiton, but again they did not serve in France.  I acknowledge he may not have served in a local Regiment.the only Battalions of the Devon’s in France in 1916 were the 8th and 9th.

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Age 12 in 1911, makes him a conscript around 1917 so can’t see him in the TF 

 

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Wow guys, thanks I am just catching up. I'll have to take it from the top to give context.

Corisande, yes all correct on the Ancestry web site; that is my family tree, (still in progress), and i found the 2 records for Frank, then realised they were not correct.

I kept them for reference until i could find out more.

Kanf, yes it was not the guy; and definitely not from Bermondsey.

Corisande, "Yes, Ken is correct that Buffs man is in fact Frederick Heyward Coomb." .So it is certainly not your man. Back to the drawing board.~ Unfortunately not.

 

Kenf48, ..There is in the Medal Rolls a Frank Coombes 39879 Devonshire Regiment/92198Labour Corps 

In all probability 12th Labour Battalion Devonshire ~  This looks promising 

Corisande, yes that looked promising. Buckfastleigh is definitely wrong side of Exeter though, if it indeed referenced his hometown. It could have been a recruiting office, but that's a longshot.

Kenf, i would never have believed 137 Frank Coombes, ( yes i know Coombes was quite a well used surname back then, which i think originated from Coombe).

His D.O.B is 13/09/1898. It could well have been dodgy getting married in Ireland, but his wife came over from Cork and was housekeeping for the landed gentry, where they met.

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He had a few little artifacts that he bought back. Two of which were shell casings; cannot remember what size, maybe between 2 and 12 pounders. He suffered shrapnel and still had a bit somewhere in a foot i think. 

I'm wondering if he could have been in the Royal Artillery...straw clutching.

Some of the local gentry were officers, and would appear men of the village followed them, into regiments. My Grandfather was looked after on his return, and given a job, several of his village peers didn't return. I don't know if this helps or not, but a picture of the village memorial quotes their units.

here a several views... 

 

large_25209e_mark_newton_10_05_2015.jpg

large_25209f_mark_newton_10_05_2015.jpg

large_25209a_mark_newton_10_05_2015.jpg

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If he had shrapnel in his foot there may well be a pension record I don't have access but @Matlock1418 may be able to help us.

Born in 1898 he was most likely conscripted age eighteen so he could have been posted anywhere once he landed in F & F.

Do you know if the Absent Voter List for the electoral district has survived?

See https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/soldiers/how-to-research-a-soldier/finding-soldiers-through-the-1918-absent-voters-lists/

He should also be in the casualty records if he was wounded, but my geography of Devon is a bit lacking

 

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49 minutes ago, kenf48 said:

If he had shrapnel in his foot there may well be a pension record I don't have access but @Matlock1418 may be able to help us.

Had a look under both Frank and Francis COOMBES [and COOMBE] - but nothing immediately stood out I'm afraid.

Nearest I got was this chap = Frank COOMBES, 59987, Royal Welsh Fusiliers = GSW (Lt) (Loss of proximal phalanx of great toe). Born 1898.

...  but he was from Tredegar, Monmouthshire [at the time of his claim]

For anyone further interested in this FC there are additional notes on his final pension on the reverse of the card and an additional pension card [on transfer to Army Z Reserve]

1516300842_COOMBESF59987.png.df4b34d0b0778128036042dfaf5f3659.png

Image courtesyof WFA/Fold 3

= ???

MIC for a BWM & VM 'pair' so overseas after 31/12/1915

M

Edited by Matlock1418
addit card
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15 hours ago, kenf48 said:

Do you know if the Absent Voter List for the electoral district has survived?

I didn't know of that , thanks it makes sense.

15 hours ago, kenf48 said:

He should also be in the casualty records if he was wounded, but my geography of Devon is a bit lacking

That's what i would have thought but never managed to find him , lots of others though.

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Thanks Matlock; and I thought his name would shorten down the possibilities, well i haven't given up yet :rolleyes:

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10 hours ago, RN Veteran said:

Thanks Matlock; and I thought his name would shorten down the possibilities, well i haven't given up yet :rolleyes:

That’s the spirit of the GWF🤞

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Drewsteignton? 

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1 hour ago, Michelle Young said:

Drewsteignton? 

Hi Michelle, i think there were some some family name links in other parts of Devon. Drewsteignton (the other side of Exeter) also has a pub of the same name, as the village pub my grandfather used ~ The Drewe Arms. The Drewe's were landowners and employers in the Broadhembury area. One of whom was obviously an officer, and one of the fallen in WW! ~A Drewe, Major , Royal Artillery

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I asked because I recently visited Castle Drogo, and his original grave marker was in the chapel.

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