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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Alfred James Rowland


Keith74

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Hi,

This the first time I have used this Forum and wonder if anyone can help/advise.

am trying to research about my grandfather, ALFRED JAMES ROWLAND, who served in the Great War and was transferred to the Army Reserve on 19 February 1919.  I cannot find any trace on Ancestry UK - I am surprised about this but perhaps it is not unusual?  I have Alfred's (who was always known as Jim) Army Form Z.21 (Cert. of Transfer to Reserve on Demobilization) card.

His Regimental no. is stated as 207151 and his rank as Gunner. Names in full: Rowland, Alfred James. Transferred to Reserve Enlisted on the 11th December 1915 for Royal Horse & Royal Field Artillery.

There is a handwritten number at the very top of the card (Z83.619) which is just above a stamp stating: R.H&R.F.A. Records.

Next to Medals and Declaration etc. stamped is the following: Medals for present campaign not yet awarded.

Place of rejoining states: Woodstock, Stroud. Medical category 132 or 32? Specialist Military qualifications: Nil.  Year of birth 1889.  The date of birth recorded is incorrect, he was born in 1888.

The card is signed by a Colonel at Woolwich, but I can't make out his name.

Additional information: 'Jim' was born on 30 December 1888 and died 25 September 1963. He was married on 25 December 1913.

'Jim' appears in the UK ABSENT VOTERS LIST 1918-1925,1939

Name: Alfred James Rowland

Electoral Date: 1918

Electoral Place: London Borough of Southwark, Southwark, London

Address: 18 Bennett Street, Stamford Street, Southwark

Regiment: Royal Field Artillery

Service Number: 207151

I have undertaken research into my family for several years but am slightly baffled as to why nothing comes up when I search the military records section on Ancestry UK. Is the answer possibly that his records were among those records destroyed by fire in 1940?

I would be very grateful for any help, advise or guidance anyone can give to help me with my research.  

 

Kind Regards

Keith Rowland

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32 minutes ago, Keith74 said:

Is the answer possibly that his records were among those records destroyed by fire in 1940?

Yes probably.

34 minutes ago, Keith74 said:

Medical category 132 or 32?

Probably B2.

Post an image of the form for confirmation.

He might not have made it overseas to a theatre of war because of this, so he may have had no entitlement to medals, which might explain why I can't find him in the MICs with that numbe.

 

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I can’t find any medal entitlement for Alfred which usually means no overseas service. For whatever reason it may appear he was retained for home service only. The lack of a service record is most likely down to the Blitz of 1940. 

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Keith, welcome 

What was Alfred's occupation in 1911 and 1921 census?

With med cat of B2, home service might have been appropriate for him. He was mobilized 19/1/17 and would have joined No4 Depot RFA at Woolwich . (His original Dec 1915 attestation would have been under the Derby Scheme and he he would have been transferred to the Reserve the next day to await formal mobilization).

I note that others mobilised at the same time were then posted to 1B Reserve Brigade RFA at Forest Row. Thereafter they will have followed different paths.

Charlie

Edited by charlie962
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1 hour ago, Dai Bach y Sowldiwr said:

Yes probably.

Probably B2.

Post an image of the form for confirmation.

He might not have made it overseas to a theatre of war because of this, so he may have had no entitlement to medals, which might explain why I can't find him in the MICs with that numbe.

 

Thanks very much for your response, I will upload image later this evening.

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1 hour ago, jay dubaya said:

I can’t find any medal entitlement for Alfred which usually means no overseas service. For whatever reason it may appear he was retained for home service only. The lack of a service record is most likely down to the Blitz of 1940. 

Thanks Jay, hopefully not the end of the line!

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15 hours ago, Keith74 said:

Regimental no. is stated as 207151

Looking in Find My Past and using this number 12 soldiers appear-none of whom's name is vaguely similar to Rowland.

I also can't find any references to Alfred James Rowland using birth date or marriage but there is a death.

If using Ancestry could you give a URL of any documentation found so far please? Do you have an Ancestry Family tree on line?

Hoping to help

George

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15 hours ago, Dai Bach y Sowldiwr said:

Yes probably.

Probably B2.

Post an image of the form for confirmation.

He might not have made it overseas to a theatre of war because of this, so he may have had no entitlement to medals, which might explain why I can't find him in the MICs with that numbe.

 

Hi,

Card image attached, I think you are right, it is B2.

Keith

 

AJR card image.jpg

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14 hours ago, charlie962 said:

Keith, welcome 

What was Alfred's occupation in 1911 and 1921 census?

With med cat of B2, home service might have been appropriate for him. He was mobilized 19/1/17 and would have joined No4 Depot RFA at Woolwich . (His original Dec 1915 attestation would have been under the Derby Scheme and he he would have been transferred to the Reserve the next day to await formal mobilization).

I note that others mobilised at the same time were then posted to 1B Reserve Brigade RFA at Forest Row. Thereafter they will have followed different paths.

Charlie

Hi Charlie,

Thanks for your reply. Can you help with:

1) How you know he was mobilized on 19.01.1917

2) What is he likely to have been doing between Dec 1915 and Jan 1917

3) What was the Derby Scheme

In 1911 census he was employed as a Lithographer and in 1921 as a 'Line Operator.  Both jobs were in the print industry.

Keith

 

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31 minutes ago, George Rayner said:

Looking in Find My Past and using this number 12 soldiers appear-none of whom's name is vaguely similar to Rowland.

I also can't find any references to Alfred James Rowland using birth date or marriage but there is a death.

If using Ancestry could you give a URL of any documentation found so far please? Do you have an Ancestry Family tree on line?

Hoping to help

George

Hi George,

Thanks for your reply. I don't have an online family tree and the Army Form Z.21 is the only document I have found.  From other responses I have had it seems Alfed probably did not see service outside of UK and his records were likely destroyed during the blitz.

Keith

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15 minutes ago, Keith74 said:

Hi Charlie,

Thanks for your reply. Can you help with:

1) How you know he was mobilized on 19.01.1917

2) What is he likely to have been doing between Dec 1915 and Jan 1917

3) What was the Derby Scheme

In 1911 census he was employed as a Lithographer and in 1921 as a 'Line Operator.  Both jobs were in the print industry.

Keith

 

Charlie,

Ignore point 1.

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6 hours ago, Keith74 said:

Charlie,

Ignore point 1.

Or do you mean ignore point 3. The LLT may have explained under Derby Scheme or else under Reserves what a man is doing when in the reserves. Simple, he carries on his civil life and job awaiting the mobilisation call. 

His mobilisation date I got from looking at the record of a man mobilised same day. Service numbers were issued on mobilisation rather than original attestation date so I searched for an RFA number (or 2 or three) close to his and could make that deduction on mobilisation date and initial posting. But cannot take the exercise further because they all went different ways.

His civil trade doesn't immediately give a clue if he could have done the same at a home depot or unit. His medical cat may be what kept him on home service.

Edited by charlie962
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Thanks for the update, really appreciate it.

It would be great to discover what Alfred's medical cat. was but I guess that's lost to the past.  I wonder, did such men receive any regular or intermittent training whilst awaiting mobilization?

I found some information on Forest Row camp which was interesting, feels like I have a little bit more of a picture of what Alfred experienced.

 

 

7 hours ago, Michelle Young said:

Many thanks for the link, I read with interest.

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33 minutes ago, Keith74 said:

It would be great to discover what Alfred's medical cat. was but I guess that's lost to the past.  I wonder, did such men receive any regular or intermittent training whilst awaiting mobilization?

As has already been mentioned on attestation he was posted to the Army Reserve 'B' and sent home with an armlet to show he was willing to serve.  They did not receive any military training.

Only attested men could appeal to the Local Tribunal for exemption from military service.  As you will have seen from the link previously provided his call-up depended on age and marital status.

The date of his call up in all probability meant he had previously secured an exemption, either absolute or conditional but in January 1917 came within the terms of the Military Service Act (Review of Exceptions)Act 1917 which was implemented following the losses of 1916, and the documented 'manpower crisis'.

There were 80,000 men in the Home Army during WW1 (not, of course, the same 80,000 many were posted overseas).

Medical category B2 was:-

B Free from serious organic diseases, able to stand service on lines of communication in France, or in garrisons in the tropics.

Subcategories:

Bl Able to march 5 miles, see to shoot with glasses, and hear well

B2 Able to walk 5 miles, see and hear sufficiently for ordinary purposes

B3 Only suitable for sedentary work

It, therefore, seems most likely he had poor eyesight which could not be corrected, though the military did supply spectacles.  It was not such a handicap in the artillery where they did not have to use a rifle.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Many thanks to all who responded to me, much appreciated.

As far as I can see, no one commented on the handwritten number (Z 83.619) at the top of the Z.21 form.  Can anyone explain? Perhaps it is simply a RH & RFA record number?

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