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Remembered Today:

Who was Sjt Whitfield? 22nd MMG Battery, subsequently 25th (Calcutta Volunteers) MMG Battery. Subsequently commissioned


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I am trying to identify a Sjt Whitfield (no initials, first names or service number!) who appears in a The Motor Cycle photo of serjeants of 22nd Battery Motor Machine Guns. So far as I know he shipped to India with 22 Battery in Feb/March 1916. I believe he was transferred then to 25th (Calcutta Volunteers) Motor Machine Gun Battery before they shipped from India to Egypt in July 1917. He was probably MMGS / MGC(M) rather than ASC, although ASC remains a possibility. The 22nd Battery magazine of late 1917 also suggest that he was attempting to go to OTU and try for a commission.  The follow are, I believe, potential candidates:


0248 Sgt Herbert John Whitfield MGC originally N Staffs, (1705), subsequently Tank Corps (205520) 

3527 CSM H Whitfield MGC,

2924 Pte Howard Whitfield MGC

Of these, I'm almost sure he's not Herbert John Whitfield. He has a service record which suggests in June 1916 he was transferring (or re-enlisting) from 6th Bn N Staffs to MGC, rather than being in India with 22 MMG Bty. And I don't think it can be 2924 Gunner Howard Whitfield. He enlisted too late (1 March 1916) into MGC Hvy Section and discharged with a SWB 25 Nov 1916. Which leaves 3527 CSM H Whitfield as a possibility - but I cannot find a MIC for him - the only MIC is DCM citation from 1918 in France with 31st Bn MGC. (LG 3 Sep 1918 - suggests the DCM was for actions in the German Spring Offensive?) I cannot find anything else - so the timings work if he failed to commission and then moved to regular MGC in France but I think he's a possibility rather than hugely likely.

Then there are some officer possibilities (there may be others but these are the most obvious I could see). A visit to TNA (I overseas for the rest of this year and the first bit of next) required for officer files to confirm or otherwise:

57783 Lt Arthur Henry Whitfield, served with Tank Corps 12th Battalion. b 1890/91 and d 14 Jan 21 at Netley - war related injuries.

Lt Jack Whitfield MGC - MIC shows entered France 13th May 1917 - so dates tight but could fit with transfer out of 25th Calcutta Volunteers in late 1916, to OTC and then to France in May 17. He appears to have served with 197 Coy MGC.

And then there is Lt GH Whifield referred above - he if he was IARO may not have an officer file at TNA. MIC suggests attached 14th Sikhs, or possibly 51st Sikhs - and it looks as if this is 2039 Pte Gilbert Henry Whitfield of the Ceylon Planters Rifles who appears to have deployed to Egypt in Nov 1914 so probably went to Gallipoli? From the MIC he also appears to have died by Nov 1920. This may be most promising candidate ie  he deployed to Egypt in 1914, then joined 22 Bty in either 1915 in UK (or perhaps was picked up by them in Egypt in early March 1916 when they passed through) and then transferred to 25th Battery in 1916/17 and was commissioned in India.

There are also a number of potential ASC candidates - although I haven't done any digging into these: - their M/2 service numbers are in same ball park as other 22 Bty ASC attachments)

A/Cpl Alfred Whitfield ASC M2/137450

Sgt Thomas D Whitfield ASC M2/119567

Pte William Whitfield ASC M2/051250

Pte Walter S Whitfield ASC M2/101006

Pte Thomas H Whitfield ASC M2/133025

Pte Samuel J Whitfield ASC M2/033211

Pte Frederick C Whitfield ASC M2/114821

Pte Thomas Whitfield ASC M2/119369

Any help to identify my 22 Bty Sjt Whitfield would be much appreciated. Thanks, Paul



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Gilbert Henry Whitfield's MIC.  Is this my man? Some trees on Ancestry indicate he died in Gallipoli?


Edited by pjwmacro
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8 minutes ago, ALAN MCMAHON said:

CWGC  -  The G.H.Whitfield (the only one of the Great War)  died at Gallipoli- a Ceylon Planter and listed as attached  14th King George's Own Ferozepore Sikhs. Unlikely to motorcycling in 1917......

Thanks Alan. Correct GH Whitfield is not the 22 Battery Whitfield. Just found this via Google:

Whitfield, G.H. Second Lieutenant Gilbert Henry Whitfield was educated at Charterhouse School, and then studied engineering at Kings College from 1906-1909. He has taken up planting in Ceylon in 1909 was stationed at Bandarapola and Gammaduwa, Matale, later on Thornfield, Agrapatna, and finally on Sunny Side and Baddegama Estates, Baddegama. Whitfield enlisted in September 1914 with the Ceylon Planters Rifle Corps at Diyatalawa. He was a Second Lieutenant and served in Indian Army Reserve of Officers, attached to the 14th King George's Own Ferozepore Sikhs. He was reported missing and believed killed on 8 August 1915 during the fighting at Gallipoli. His name is mentioned in the Helles Memorial.

From the WFA Galle #War Memorial page: https://www.westernfrontassociation.com/world-war-i-articles/first-world-war-memorial-at-galle-sri-lanka/

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