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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

James Roe (273901 or 213901) Royal Field Artillery


James862

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Hi folks, I wonder if you could help me identify the rough time my Great-Grand Uncle, James Roe (273901 or 213901), would have joined the Royal Field Artillery and with what Battery etc. He was born in 1900 so I think he may have joined underage but I have no reference point. I have found his medal and pension card which indicates he suffered with 'soldiers heart' but appears to have been assigned 'Home Service Only'. I'm not sure if that was because of his condition or if he joined up too late and therefore not eligible for medals.

I've attached some supporting documents. Any steer would be greatly appreciated

Thanks!

James

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Screenshot 2022-08-13 at 13.37.13.png

Screenshot 2022-08-13 at 13.37.23.png

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1 hour ago, James862 said:

Hi folks, I wonder if you could help me identify the rough time my Great-Grand Uncle, James Roe (273901 or 213901), would have joined the Royal Field Artillery and with what Battery etc. He was born in 1900 so I think he may have joined underage but I have no reference point. I have found his medal and pension card which indicates he suffered with 'soldiers heart' but appears to have been assigned 'Home Service Only'. I'm not sure if that was because of his condition or if he joined up too late and therefore not eligible for medals.

I've attached some supporting documents. Any steer would be greatly appreciated

Thanks!

James

Screenshot 2022-08-13 at 13.36.42.png

Screenshot 2022-08-13 at 13.37.03.png

Screenshot 2022-08-13 at 13.37.13.png

Screenshot 2022-08-13 at 13.37.23.png

Hi @James862,

Hopefully the admins will cut this off into it's own thread as there is nothing in common with your request and the purpose of this thread and so any additional replies posted here to either you or Lee will just either end up causing massive confusion or stop individuals who might be able to help you from contributing.

Alternatively please hide your post and create a new thread so we can get on with trying to help you.:)

Thanks,
Peter

Edit. No longer relevant

Edited by PRC
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1 minute ago, PRC said:

Hopefully the admins will cut this off into it's own thread as there is nothing in common with your request and the purpose of this thread and so any additional replies posted here to either you or Lee will just either end up causing massive confusion or stop individuals who might be able to help you from contributing.

I was just on it as you posted :thumbsup:

Craig

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12 minutes ago, James862 said:

Hi folks, I wonder if you could help me identify the rough time my Great-Grand Uncle, James Roe (273901 or 213901), would have joined the Royal Field Artillery and with what Battery etc. He was born in 1900 so I think he may have joined underage but I have no reference point. I have found his medal and pension card which indicates he suffered with 'soldiers heart' but appears to have been assigned 'Home Service Only'. I'm not sure if that was because of his condition or if he joined up too late and therefore not eligible for medals.

I've attached some supporting documents. Any steer would be greatly appreciated

Thanks!

James

Screenshot 2022-08-13 at 13.36.42.png

Screenshot 2022-08-13 at 13.37.03.png

Screenshot 2022-08-13 at 13.37.13.png

Screenshot 2022-08-13 at 13.37.23.png

His pension claim was rejected as there was nil qualifying disability, so no pension was ever paid.

You do see cases of men not being regarded as fit enough for France yet not qualifying for a pension. It certainly seems he never left the UK.

Craig

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29 minutes ago, James862 said:

He was born in 1900 so I think he may have joined underage but I have no reference point.

As the war went on it became increasingly harder for those underage to join up, let alone see service overseas. Although conscription was not introduced in Ireland, part of the deal between the politicians and the armed forces for its wider introductions was that those aged under 19 would not see combat service. This should have been the situation prior to 1916 but was widely flaunted by the Army.

It seems like you have a home service only man, probably as a consequence of that age limitation. My best guess interpretation of the information on the second pension card is that he was discharged to Army Reserve Class Z on the 23rd October 1919 and then discharged from the Army altogether on the 31st March 1920.

In order to cut costs Army Reserve Class Z was introduced after the armistice was signed, allowing the army to rapidly demobilise wartime recruits but allowing the army to recall them in the event that the peace talks broke down and hostilities resumed. Additionally unlike the other peacetime Army Reserves there was no requirement to carry on paying a wage, throwing millions of men back into the job market. After the peace treaty had been signed Army Reserve Class Z was abolished and men were formallty released from their enlistments..

The various arms of the artillery, Field, Horse and Garrison, would quite often use duplicate number ranges - it was only in 1920 that a unique number was assigned that would stay with a serviceman throughout his career. And sometimes those number ranges were reused.  I don't know if an artillery cognescsenti like @David Porter can assist with with how many times 273901 was issued in the Field Artillery and when. (I think 213901 on the last card is a typo).

I suspect James and many of his contemporaries were home service only and so did not qualify for any Great War Medals. But just in case I did try a wildcard search for nearby service numbers in the Medal Index Card section of the National Archive catalogue.

Driver 273904, (subsequently 1048399 in the 1920 renumbering) Patrick Leonard qualified for the postwar India General Service Medal with clasp for Iraq.

And there are a couple of interesting MiCs for men who qualified or at least applied for the Silver War Badge.

273931 Jas Graham Taylor 7 Reserve Brigade RFA, stated to have enlisted 25th September 1915, all service prior to the 24th October 1918 forfeited for desertion and fraudulent enlistment, and discharged 15th March 1919.

1246305401_JasGrahamTaylorRFAMiCsourcedAncestry.jpg.341b8456de588cad03ee062ac9a86480.jpg

Image courtesy Ancestry.

273956 John McCormick 7 Reserve Brigade RFA enlisted 9th October 1918 and discharged 24th May 1919.

1438731316_JohnMcCormickRFAMiCsourcedAncestry.jpg.5290d170fec21c12f0c167ecc77e1366.jpg

Image courtesy Ancestry

Just wondering if the enlistment date for Jas Graham Taylor should be 1918. There are a number of others that could be worth exploring.

Hope that’s of interest,

Peter

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The RFA number 273901 was only issued once and that was at No. 5 Depot RFA, Athlone, in late September or early October 1918. The War would be over part way through his training. As can be seen from the cards of other men, there was a posting from Athlone during October 1918 to No. 7 Reserve Brigade RFA TF, which by then was at Durrington Camp, Wilts.

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Hi David, Peter, Many thanks for this! Appears he didn't sign up until he was of age which is a good thing and Athlone makes sense. After he was discharged he joined the Irish Free State army in 1922 and made a career out of it.

Very much appreciate the steer. Puts questions to bed.

James

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