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Remembered Today:

Harry Roberts Smith help needed to confirm whether RFA, RHA or RGA.


Gunner 87

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Hello.

I wonder if anyone could help. The picture attached is believed to be Harry Roberts Smith, born Islington 3rd May 1892, to parents Morris and Cornelia Smith. Harry was married to Ruby Olive Wright in October 1914. We know that Harry was not serving as at 18th April 1915 as on his daughters baptism record he is shown as a Milkman. However, by 21st October 1917 Harry is serving as he is listed as Soldier on his son's baptism record. Harry survived the war as the 1921 Census has him shown as a Bricklayer and by 1939 Harry was a Bus Conductor.

I have access to Ancestry, Fold3 and Find My Past and am having no luck confirming whether Harry Roberts Smith served with the artillery. The RA Attestations does not appear to have him listed. There are a number of possibles, one of which is Acting Bombardier Harry R Smith, 102495, RHA but no further details on his MIC or Medal Roll are listed. A look at service numbers either side is also proving fruitless. I have searched against Newspapers on FMP and the Absent Voters, again with no luck.

I would be very grateful if any member could suggest where to turn next on this seemingly difficult subject.... unless I'm missing something very obvious. 

Thank you Gunner 87.

 

DBB33D39-408A-4CE5-9B10-AD5FA769119C.jpeg

Edited by Gunner 87
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Apart from the question over whether it is him in the picture or not, do we know for certain that Harry Roberts Smith was in the artillery and that he served overseas?

Craig

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45 minutes ago, ss002d6252 said:

Apart from the question over whether it is him in the picture or not, do we know for certain that Harry Roberts Smith was in the artillery and that he served overseas?

Craig

Hi Craig. It is strongly believed the image is Harry and as such the photograph confirms his service in the artillery. This is not 100% though and I have also researched  solders serving with other regiments. With regards serving overseas, other than the MIC's i've trawled, I can't confirm that. I understand that if he had been posted to the UK only there may not be any trace MIC or Medal Roll wise and if the service records were burnt then there will be nothing. A difficult one as there does appear to be any matching pension records to assist either.

I really have run out of ideas and hope one of our experts may come up with a new angle I can go in at. 

 . 

Edited by Gunner 87
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It looks to me as if the pictured artilleryman is wearing the ball buttons worn by RHA men - these are smaller and round unlike larger flatter buttons worn by RFA and RGA. I would identify this man as RHA ... although sometimes it can be hard to be certain from side-on photos..

That service number I think suggests a later 1915 enlistment.. one of the number experts can probably confirm the more-or-less date of issue of that number which would be in shared RFA/RHA service number series..

Edited by battiscombe
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12 minutes ago, battiscombe said:

It looks to me as if the pictured artilleryman is wearing the ball buttons worn by RHA men - these are smaller and round unlike larger flatter buttons worn by RFA and RGA. i would identify this man as RHA ... although sometimes it can be hard to be certain from side-on photos..

Thank you, that's very helpful and appreciated. The possible being thrown up by Ancestry lists Harry R Smith with the RHA

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Yes I concur with battiscombe.  If you search “ball buttons” in the forum you will see lots more RHA examples.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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22 minutes ago, FROGSMILE said:

Yes I concur with battiscombe.  If you search “ball buttons” in the forum you will see lots more RHA examples.

Thank you Frogsmile. Having seen HAC records listed I think it unlikely he served with them so the local RHA to islington would be F Battery at St John's Wood. I think that maybe a reasonable assumption. 

Edited by Gunner 87
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49 minutes ago, battiscombe said:

That service number I think suggests a later 1915 enlistment.

The number 102495 belongs to a batch of numbers allotted to men attesting at the RHA Depot Woolwich mid August 1915.

Regards

Russ

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1 minute ago, RussT said:

The number 102495 belongs to a batch of numbers allotted to men attesting at the RHA Depot Woolwich mid August 1915.

Regards

Russ

Thank's Russ. We know he wasn't serving in April of that year so that makes sense. Appreciated. 

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I would note that there is not going to be a local connection in terms of service in RHA; whichever unit he was posted to after training will have been determined by current needs, as likely to have been posted to a unit  [probably in 1916..] requiring replacements .. only Territorial RHA units had local connections.   RFA/RHA home training etc was based around a series of Depots and Reserve Brigades, in his case starting at the RHA Depot at Woolwich https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-royal-artillery-in-the-first-world-war/royal-artillery-depots-training-and-home-defence-units/

By that time St Johns Wood was mainly used as an Artillery officer training unit, if under RHA.

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5 hours ago, battiscombe said:

I would note that there is not going to be a local connection in terms of service in RHA; whichever unit he was posted to after training will have been determined by current needs, as likely to have been posted to a unit  [probably in 1916..] requiring replacements .. only Territorial RHA units had local connections.   RFA/RHA home training etc was based around a series of Depots and Reserve Brigades, in his case starting at the RHA Depot at Woolwich https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-royal-artillery-in-the-first-world-war/royal-artillery-depots-training-and-home-defence-units/

By that time St Johns Wood was mainly used as an Artillery officer training unit, if under RHA.

Thank you battiscombe, that's interesting and appreciated. Gunner. 

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