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Remembered Today:

AVC Special Enlistment SE/14334 William Francis Snelling


digabout

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This is my first ever post anywhere so hope all goes to plan. I was recently left a British War medal which belonged to my great grandfather. His name was William Francis Snelling, his number was SE/14334 a private. He was a fat and bone merchant in Stratford London and also owned a cold meat shop there. Hence his knowledge of working with horses. My father once told me that William was wounded twice and was awarded medals (plural). My questions are: how can I discover what the other medals were, what they where awarded for and when? Also, where and when he served and any any information regarding him getting wounded? 

Many questions I know but hopefully someone would be kind enough to lend their time in assisting or advising me.

Thank you, Ricky

Edited by digabout
Grammatical errors.
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5 hours ago, digabout said:

This is my first ever post anywhere so hope all goes to plan. I was recently left a British War medal which belonged to my great grandfather. His name was William Francis Snelling, his number was SE/14334 a private. He was a fat and bone merchant in Stratford London and also owned a cold meat shop there. Hence his knowledge of working with horses. My father once told me that William was wounded twice and was awarded medals (plural). My questions are: how can I discover what the other medals were, what they where awarded for and when? Also, where and when he served and any any information regarding him getting wounded? 

Many questions I know but hopefully someone would be kind enough to lend their time in assisting or advising me.

Thank you, Ricky

Hi Ricky. Welcome to the forum. There does not appear to be a great deal on Ancestry, Fold3 or Find My Past but William's Medal Index Card and corresponding Medal Roll confirm he served with the Royal Army Veterinary Corps and awarded the Victory Medal and British War Medal. There is no Star listed so it's unlikely William embarked to a Theatre of War, such as France, until after 1st January 1916. Ancestry also hold a Pension Index Card recording him living at 26 Plover Street, Hackney Wick. 

In case you weren't aware a large percentage of Great War service papers were destroyed in The Blitz and this maybe why I am unable to locate William's. I have also check the Silver War Badge records which may have shown William being wounded but had no luck. Perhaps one of our experienced members can check against the casualty lists.

 

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Hello Ricky,

Information here about the medals he would have received. As previously stated by Gunner87, he received the Victory  and British War medals. You don’t say which one you have.

https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/soldiers/how-to-research-a-soldier/campaign-medal-records/the-british-campaign-medals-for-the-great-war/

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9 hours ago, digabout said:

William Francis Snelling, his number was SE/14334 a private. He was a fat and bone merchant in Stratford London and also owned a cold meat shop there. Hence his knowledge of working with horses

Ricky,

Welcome to GWF.

From the mainly Minstry of Pensions pension card records at the Western Front Association/ Fold 3 we can see he was transferred to the AVC Z Army Reserve, 9-8-19 = For most intents he was demobbed - for fuller details on the Z Reserve see the LLT:

"Class Z Reserve

This was authorised by an Army Order of 3 December 1918. There were fears that Germany would not accept the terms of any peace treaty, and therefore the British Government decided it would be wise to be able to quickly recall trained men in the eventuality of the resumption of hostilities. Soldiers who were being demobilised, particularly those who had agreed to serve “for the duration”, were at first posted to Class Z. They returned to civilian life but with an obligation to return if called upon. The Z Reserve was abolished on 31 March 1920."

He also simultaneously made a claim for a disability pension [the two actions were not mutually-exclusive - would have been initially on Army Form Z.22] and was awarded 25/10 pw from 10.8.19 to 2.9.19 - this is quite a high award for a Private, likely suggesting moderate disability, but unfortunately we can't see what condition he claimed for and the Ministry of Pensions pension awards file will have been deliberately destroyed once its use was passed [I can't find it within the very few known to survive at The National Archives]

He gave his address as 121 Cathall Rd, Leytonstone.

Further delving into the pension cards at WFA/Fold3 we can find he made a less common Military Service (Civil Liabilities) claim.

This was for a grant [Max. £104] in order to help former servicemen with the setting up of a small business [quite typically initially as a one man sole trader]

We can see he was successful and received a payment of £76, 8.2.22, Towards Pig Rearing & Market Gardening

He then gave his address as: 26 Plover St, Hackney Wick

M

Edited by Matlock1418
add MS(CL)
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9 hours ago, digabout said:

My father once told me that William was wounded twice

As he was transferred to the Army Z Reserve [see above] it appears he wasn't fully discharged with a Silver War Badge due to a wound(s) [though such might perhaps have been the cause of his disability claim on transfer to the Army Z Reserve ??]

If he was formally considered wounded then his name would appear in a formal Casualty List(s) [wound(s) rarely being mentioned though gassing might perhaps be] - such a listing(s) would usually be published a few weeks after a wound(s).  https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/soldiers/how-to-research-a-soldier/casualty-lists

Such dating of a CL(s) may assist in working out a date period in which a wound(s) earlier occurred.

This may then potentially assist with looking for/at Hospital Admission & Discharge lists and thus perhaps get you closer = no promises! https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/soldiers/how-to-research-a-soldier/hospital-admissions-and-discharge-records

Such a wound(s) being published in a CL entitled a man to a Wound Stripe(s) which he wore on the left sleeve/forearm of his jacket [several could be received/worn] https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/soldiers/how-to-research-a-soldier/tips-for-interpreting-photographs-of-men-in-uniform/whats-that-on-his-sleeve-a-wound-stripe

Have you perhaps any in-uniform photo(s) which might confirm a wound(s)?

M

Edited by Matlock1418
typo
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Firstly I would like to thank Gunner 87, Michelle Young and Matlock1418 for your quick and informative responses. This certainly seems to be a place of dedicated, enthusiastic and knowledgeable people!

Plenty of information for me to digest, two very detailed responses from Matlock1418, thank you, with several links that I will dive into.

I will have a dig around to see if I can find an in-uniform photo. If so I will post it.

Many thanks for all your time, Ricky

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15 hours ago, digabout said:

his number was SE/14334

Hi @digabout and welcome to the forum :)

As has already been stated the majority of other ranks service records went up in flames in WW2 when the London warehouse where they were being stored was hit by German bombs. It can however sometimes be worth doing a check of men wih nearby service numbers to see if they throw up any patterns that might be relevant to your ancestor. Other men may have received a full honourable discharge before the official end of hostilities and so received the Silver War Badge. The associated administrative documents will give a date of enlistment. Those that died can also bring up much more information.

SE/14323 Walter Wilson has surviving discharge records. (Ancestry, Fold 3 and FindMyPast).
SE/ 14326 Harry Briggs has surviving service records. (Could only see them indexed on FindMyPast, so may just be a single page memo found in another man's records).
SE/14326 Charles Barwell may have surviving service records. (FindMyPast have something indexed as "Barwell", so may be a scorched remnant of his record from the fire).
SE/14331 Arthur Standing has surviving service records. (Could only see them indexed on FindMyPast as A. Standing, so may just be a single page memo found in another man's records).
SE/14333 Charles Hemmings, as 14333 C Hemmings has three Medical Admission Registers on FindMyPast - 1 from 1916 and 2 from 1917. All medical institutions along the medical evacuation chain from the Field Ambulance to Hospitals back in the UK were required to keep these, but only a 5% sample were kept post-war for statistical analysis, eventually being handed over to the National Archives. Images are available on FindMyPast, or, (in my opinion misleading) transcriptions are available on Forces War Records. They will list unit served with, and if the relevant columns have been completed, how long a man has served (a) in the Army and (b) in the field.
SE/14336 Abraham Winter, as 14336 A. Winter, has a Medical Admission Register entry on FindMyPast from 1916.
SE/14338 Henry Goody has surviving service records. (Ancestry, Fold 3 and FindMyPast). As 14338 "H. Gooday" also has a Medical Admission Register entry on FindMyPast from 1917.
SE/14343 Charles Dobson died on the 10th July 1918 while serving in the Egyptian Theatre of War. Aged 42 when he died, he was serving with No.3 Base Veterinary Stores and is buried at Alexandra, Egypt. The amount of his War Gratuity shown on his entry in the Register of Soldiers Effects, (Ancestry & Fold3 only), can be used by whizzy people here on the forum to calculate his month of mobilisation \ conscription.

I suspect once these men had completed their basic trainining they all went their own ways, probably posted in penny packets as replacements to existing units, rather than forming a new unit.

BTW, for completeness, the Army Veterinary Corps only gained the Royal prefix from the end of November 1918.

Hope some of that is of interest,
Cheers,
Peter

Edited by PRC
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Hi Peter (PRC)

Yes, it is of great interest and thank you for the time spent replying.

I will look into this avenue of investigation, it may indeed bear fruit.

Thanks again, Ricky

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Forgot to include this one - SE/14337 Albert Brinley Powell. Any surviving other ranks records for him are likely to be included in his officers papers - he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Garrison Artillery on the 16th September 1917. If nothing else that tells you your great grandfather was serving before that date.

Unfortunately officer records are not available online. What has survived can be viewed in person at Kew or by obtaining a copy. Never done it myself but consensus on the forum seems to be that the copying facility on offer from the National Archive is overpriced and low on quality - if you can't visit Kew then usually a private researcher is what is recommended.

Cheers,
Peter

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Just remembered, my father once told me that William (my great grandfather) was a stretcher bearer. I don't know where my father got this information so have no way of knowing if this was indeed factual.

Ricky

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