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3 COUNTY OF LONDON YEOMANRY - MEDAL ROLL AND 6-FIGURE NUMBERS


ALAN MCMAHON
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  Having a bit of bother with a Pioneer of the Royal Engineers who died of pneumonia at Kantara, Egypt on 10th December 1918.   The extract from the (only) Medal Roll below, which appears to match with only reference to a medal roll on his MIC.

image.png.7b14a647806b001351cc06bf381a377a.png

[With Thanks to Ancestry]

 

    Problem is that his military service is a complete blank.    He was originally in 3rd County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters)  and his War Gratuity of £21 seems to take his enlistment back to early 1915-possibly with the formation of 1/3 County of London but also possibly as far back as late November 1914 (gauged against other  COL service numbers that I can find.) 

    Would any member know when the 6 figures were introduced for City of London Yeomanry???    Sometime in 1917 I believe but it would help to know- the unit served at the tail end of Gallipoli, dismounted as infantry and thereafter at Salonika. Whether he did or not is a mystery.

    Similarly, would any GWF member have information on when the Royal Engineers 6 figure number was issued?  Indications from similar numbers suggests sometime in 1918- those with close service numbers appear to be in the Labour Corps in Egypt and to have been transferred from other units on account of wounds or illness.

    I have found no record of this man being wounded and my suspicion is that illness got him either in Salonika or Egypt.  Also, the Medal Roll above authorises BWV medals, on authority to Royal Engineers. But does anyone know if there is an extant medal roll for the County of London Yeomanry????  This to hopefully check date of entry into theatre.

     Information from a friend., based on family tradition, is that this man served "somewhere hot" but that does not help much.  Informed speculation welcome- uninformed as well- I haven't a clue with this one.

Edited by ALAN MCMAHON
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There is a pension card for Francis Main showing that he died on 10/12/18 of pneumonia contacted on active service and his widow Olive was awarded a pension.  So it looks like you are right about his demise.

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6 minutes ago, Bordercollie said:

There is a pension card for Francis Main showing that he died on 10/12/18 of pneumonia contacted on active service and his widow Olive was awarded a pension.  So it looks like you are right about his demise.

Thanks Bordercollie-  Yes, picked up his demise from the pension card. In fact, there is a second pension card for him- which cannot be tracked with a surname(there isn't one on the listing) - it can be found with his RE number alone. I have not seen this yet- subscribed to Fold3 and thought I had done the ones I needed, then reference to another one on Ancestry. I suspect the second will be re-marriage of his wife in 1928.  Always the way!!   

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8 hours ago, ALAN MCMAHON said:

  Having a bit of bother with a Pioneer of the Royal Engineers who died of pneumonia at Kantara, Egypt on 10th December 1918.   The extract from the (only) Medal Roll below, which appears to match with only reference to a medal roll on his MIC.

Problem is that his military service is a complete blank.    He was originally in 3rd County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters)  and his War Gratuity of £21 seems to take his enlistment back to early 1915-possibly with the formation of 1/3 County of London but also possibly as far back as late November 1914 (gauged against other  COL service numbers that I can find.) 

 

1913 Frank Thomas enlisted on the 3rd May 1915 in London.  He was posted to the 3/3rd.

His record shows he was in a draft that embarked Southampton on the 18th December 1916, disembarked Salonika 1st January 1917 Joined unit in the field on the 6th January 1917.

Embarked Salonika 4th June 1917 with the main body of the 3/1  and disembarked Alexandria 7th June 1917.

Thomas was renumbered 265652

There is always a caveat in relying on a single record to extrapolate service but Thomas Young, enlisted 9 May 1915  original number 1971/265693 follows the same pattern as Frank Thomas.

8 hours ago, ALAN MCMAHON said:

  Would any member know when the 6 figures were introduced for City of London Yeomanry???    Sometime in 1917 I believe but it would help to know- the unit served at the tail end of Gallipoli, dismounted as infantry and thereafter at Salonika. Whether he did or not is a mystery.

The Yeomanry were renumbered vide ACI 381 3rd April 1917 see:-
https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/soldiers/a-soldiers-life-1914-1918/renumbering-of-the-territorial-force-in-1917/renumbering-of-the-territorial-force-yeomanry-in-1917/

8 hours ago, ALAN MCMAHON said:

  I have found no record of this man being wounded and my suspicion is that illness got him either in Salonika or Egypt.  Also, the Medal Roll above authorises BWV medals, on authority to Royal Engineers. But does anyone know if there is an extant medal roll for the County of London Yeomanry????  This to hopefully check date of entry into theatre.

Medals were issued by his last unit (the record office had the address of the next of kin in the case of deceased soldiers, or the address given on demobilisation).  They were named to the details on entering the theatre of war.  As Francis Main’s medal index card shows he was entitled to the BWM and VM he did not serve in a theatre of war prior to 31. 12.1915. As the authorities declined to issue a ‘Gallipoli’ Medal the 14-15 Star was partly a sop to those who served in that campaign and others who were, by definition, volunteers which set them apart from the  Derby men and the conscripts.

The County of London Yeomanry are in the Corps of Hussars Medal Rolls, but it won’t help you with Francis Main. e.g. Alexander Peggie 265633 kia 21 November 1917 His medal roll entry is here on Ancestry.  The Roll is alphabetical so you need to browse for 'M'.

Date of entry into theatre was only relevant to the Stars and is invariably hardly ever shown for the ORs not entitled to the Star(s) and only occasionally for officers. There is no evidence Main was entitled to the 14-15 Star.

There is no consistency over the completion of the Rolls other than named to first unit entered theatre of war - issued by the last.

A slip that accompanied the BWM and VM medal stated,

'To avoid unnecessary correspondence, kindly note that the Regtl. particulars inscribed on the British War & Victory Medals are those held on first disembarkation in a theatre of war. The rank is the highest attained, PROVIDED IT WAS HELD IN A THEATRE OF WAR OR OVERSEAS PRIOR TO 11.11.18. Appointments such as L/Sgts., L/Cpl/, etc. are not inscribed on Medals, SPECIAL NOTE TO THOSE WHO SERVED IN RIFLE REGTS. 'Rifleman" is not inscribed on War Medals, "Pte." being the correct designation of this rank.' (Original Capitals).

As to the Royal Engineers (again with the caveat above concerning single records) 547853 was allocated to Pioneer L. A. Dupere of the 2nd London Yeomanry when he exchanged his four hoofed steed to a two wheeled one and was posted as a motorcyclist to the RE (TF)  w.e.f. 11 August 1917 (he was subseqently transferred to the Regular RE, it appears on 12.2.1918).   He was posted as a despatch rider to the North Palestine Line of Communications Signals Unit (RE).

Therefore my interpretation of the timeline for Francis Main looks something like:

Enlisted 3rd London Yeomanry early May 1915 allocated the number 1920(Craig @ss002d6252 will give you an accurate date based on the gratuity awarded) - Thomas referred to above was posted to the 3/3rd and the 3rd Cavalry Reserve at Dublin (bear in mind Ireland was a "Home" posting therefore no medal entitlement).

Posted as a reinforcement draft to Salonika and the 1/3 County of London Yeomanry arriving in theatre on New Year's Day 1917

Renumbered in accordance with ACI 281/1917 around April 1917

Transferred with the main body of the 1/3 to Egypt on 7th June 1917

Transferred to the RE (Signals) August 1917 (may have been posted earlier on attachment Dupere was attached from May 1917) probably as a despatch rider unless you know his peacetime occupation/skill

Died  10/12/1918 Kantara Egypt of pneumonia, likely a side effect of contracting influenza during the pandemic.

You of course must make your own interpretation, with the advantage of family tradition.

 

 

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Kenf- Thank you very much indeed for your time and trouble with this. I must admit the London yeomanry units are always challenging to me as their war histories are so arcane.  Thank you especially for the  reference to the service record for Frank Thomas, which I had failed to pick up despite searching for a number of others.  I had also never noticed the territorial renumbering stuff on Long Long Trail.  Would I be right in thinking that the London yeomanry enlistements of 1914-1915 are usually on Territorial terms?????

     I should be able to flesh this out a little with a look at the war diary for RE Div. Signals, which means a trip to Kew. -as does the War Diary 3 COLY. I am happy to accept what you say about arrival in a theatre of war after the end of 1915 but I will still plod through the Corps of Hussars MR.

       Thank you once again. Has cheered my day

 

PS. F.G.Main was a clerk with a borough council at the 1911 Census. From what you very helpfully add,  the stuff about despatch riding,etc  fits in well. I was  pondering why someone who may have -likely-stretchered off with illness would then be in a position to carry out work as a Pioneer-One has an image of bearded, hunky fellows but I suppose "Pioneer" covered a multitude of tasks that were not worthy of "Sapper", outside of the front line.

Edited by ALAN MCMAHON
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2 hours ago, ALAN MCMAHON said:

Kenf- Thank you very much indeed for your time and trouble with this.

s'ok I'm self isolating :angry2:

2 hours ago, ALAN MCMAHON said:

Would I be right in thinking that the London yeomanry enlistements of 1914-1915 are usually on Territorial terms?????

Yes, the Yeomanry were the cavalry element of the TF, Dupere as noted above enlisted in 1914 on TF terms i.e. 4 years that is why he was remustered in 1918 to the Regular RE unfortunately it appears your man never made it that far.  It was still possible to enlist on TF terms until February 1915, but from then it was 'duration of the war' and every enlistment was obliged to sign the Imperial Obligation.  By 1916 of course conscripts were posted where needed, but very few to the Yeomanry.

2 hours ago, ALAN MCMAHON said:

From what you very helpfully add,  the stuff about despatch riding,etc  fits in well.

I have the greatest respect or despatch riders, they worked independently and alone, as a motor cyclist their work on keeping their machines going across every front often placed them in danger.  You will see Dupere moved around quite a lot which may make tracing Francis Main's movements difficult.  The RE was responsible for communications (signals) until the formation of the (Royal) Corps of Signals on the 28 June 1920.

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1 hour ago, kenf48 said:

s'ok I'm self isolating :angry2:

Yes, the Yeomanry were the cavalry element of the TF, Dupere as noted above enlisted in 1914 on TF terms i.e. 4 years that is why he was remustered in 1918 to the Regular RE unfortunately it appears your man never made it that far.  It was still possible to enlist on TF terms until February 1915, but from then it was 'duration of the war' and every enlistment was obliged to sign the Imperial Obligation.  By 1916 of course conscripts were posted where needed, but very few to the Yeomanry.

I have the greatest respect or despatch riders, they worked independently and alone, as a motor cyclist their work on keeping their machines going across every front often placed them in danger.  You will see Dupere moved around quite a lot which may make tracing Francis Main's movements difficult.  The RE was responsible for communications (signals) until the formation of the (Royal) Corps of Signals on the 28 June 1920.

   A very salutary lesson to me to realise that RE "signals" included bike riders as well- rather than, as I thought, just  telephone cables.  Good luck with the self-isolating-  Please,make sure people still see you. I self-isolated and ended up with 3 weeks in hospital as COVID had continued when I thought it had cleared.  Just thought I was a bit fatigued.

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