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Remembered Today:

Where would a Battlefield Commission be listed?


Paul Milne
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Looking for guidance on where to find information on a battle field commission.  My great grandfather, born 1870, was a professional soldier pre WW1 and was awarded the India Medal 1895 with clasps for Punjab Frontier 1997-8, Tirah 1897-8.  I know he was still a sergeant in the RGA in the 1901 Census.

From his medal card (attached) I can see he was commissioned (2nd Lt?) on 4/3/15 after after arriving France 1/4/15.  From the Gazette I can see he was granted rank of captain on completion of service on 31/3/21 (at the age of 50!). According to the medal card he was in RH (Royal Horse?), RFA (Royal Field Artillery?), RGA (Royal Garrison Artillery?).  Sounds like he went from Gunner to Captain!  He also was awarded a military OBE at some point.

Why would there be dates 7/9/29 and 7/9/31 on his medal record card?

Thanks for any help!

Screenshot 2022-11-20 at 14.03.28.png

Screenshot 2022-11-20 at 14.03.50.png

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Could he be the Arthur William Smith commissioned quartermaster (honorary lieutenant) in 1 Cambridgeshire Regiment with effect from 2 April 1915 (LG 1 April 1915 page 3236).

RM

Unfortunately there is also an Arthur William Smith who was commissioned temporary lieutenant, RHA/RFA with effect from 21 February 1915 (LG 20 February 1915 page 1812)

Edited by rolt968
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1 minute ago, rolt968 said:

Could he be the Arthur William Smith commissioned quartermaster (honorary lieutenant) in 1 Cambridgeshire Regiment with effect from 2 April 1915 (LG 1 April 1915 page 3236).

RM

Everything I have uncovered so far only lists the three Artillery regiments(?); Royal Horse, Royal Field, Royal Garrison Artillery.  His middle name was Williams, so a bit distinct.  Plus the medal card has his post war address correct.  I have his OBE and the Victory, British and 15 Star medals and a few other bits of information.

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The only true battlefield promotion I have come across (Unfortuately I found him for someone else's thread) appears in the war diary. Unfortunately the man was killed a day or so later so he did not appear in the London Gazette.

Edited by rolt968
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48 minutes ago, rolt968 said:

Could he be the Arthur William Smith commissioned quartermaster (honorary lieutenant) in 1 Cambridgeshire Regiment with effect from 2 April 1915 (LG 1 April 1915 page 3236).

RM

Unfortunately there is also an Arthur William Smith who was commissioned temporary lieutenant, RHA/RFA with effect from 21 February 1915 (LG 20 February 1915 page 1812)

 

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Thanks.  The second one seems far more likely given the Corps. listed on his medal card although the date, 21/2/15 is slightly out from that on his medal card, 4/3/15.  Is it possible given large loses and long experience that a sergeant would be promoted to temporary Lieutenant ?  Were there ranks of 2nd Lieutenant and Lieutenant at this time (WWW1)?

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Thanks for this link kenf48.  Had a look and asked NA to review and give me a cost for digitising.  Hopefully its his military record and I don't need a second mortgage to get it scanned!

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Too many Royal Artillery war diaries to check without brigade number.  How would I check which units would have landed in France on 1st March 1915?

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23 minutes ago, Paul Milne said:

Thanks for this link kenf48.  Had a look and asked NA to review and give me a cost for digitising.  Hopefully its his military record and I don't need a second mortgage to get it scanned!

I believe it’s often less expensive to employ a researcher rather than accept the TNA estimate.

 

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57 minutes ago, Paul Milne said:

Had a look and asked NA to review and give me a cost for digitising.  Hopefully its his military record and I don't need a second mortgage to get it scanned!

32 minutes ago, kenf48 said:

I believe it’s often less expensive to employ a researcher rather than accept the TNA estimate.

 

A thread post/ 'Ad' placed in the GWF 'Wants and Offers' sub-forum can sometimes come up trumps and a fellow GWF member may perhaps be visiting TNA and get you photo images of the pages.

Edit: I suppose the correct sub-forum is entitled: Documents - Requests and Offers

It's worked for me in the past for an officer's papers [and very many thanks go/went to that very helpful member :thumbsup::)]

M

Edited by Matlock1418
edit and typo
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Thanks,

Will look into this option.

Paul

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Paul,

I'm slightly confused. How can he have had a battlefield commission if he was gazetted to a commission (4 Mar) before he arrive in France (1 April).

As an very experienced soldier with potential as an officer he was an ideal candidate for gazetting - this was at a time when the army was expanding and officer replacements were needed. He may have travelled to France as a replacement rather than with a formed unit making identifying his unit difficult.

I've not seen many battlefield commissions from WW1; the few I've come across were from lost paperwork being found and not for acts of bravery. 

Kind regards

Colin

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 Agree with Colin. There is also an annotation next to his commission date “no trace of regt.”

TR
 

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5 hours ago, Paul Milne said:

From his medal card (attached) I can see he was commissioned (2nd Lt?) on 4/3/15 after after arriving France 1/4/15.

Er, as has been earlier pointed out ??? Look at those dates again.

Both medal rolls are Officers'

Doesn't look to me like he did any OR/NCO service O/S before his commission.

M

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Colin,

You are absolutely correct, my error, misread the 1/4/15 as American format, had myself convinced.  Apologies for duff request!

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Notwithstanding my misreading of the Date of Entry Theatre, thanks for all the advice on finding out more on his military record.

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