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Identifying via Service Numbers


Derbys

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Hello,

I'm researching my great uncle and have found a lot of info - apart from when he joined up. He served in 7th Notts & Derbys and was captured at Bullecourt on 21st March 1918, the first day of the German Spring Offensive.

I seem to recall finding a web page which listed ranges of service numbers and dates issued, but that was some years ago and I can't remember where I found it.

His name was Pte. WILLIAM H JONES - service number 204839 - 7th Notts & Derbys.  That's all that mentioned on his medal card along with War and Victory medals (no 1914,1914/15 star)

To complicate matters, when retired his employers gave him an address which refers to... "During the First World War he joined the Royal Bucks Huzzars and served with the Sherwood Foresters".  I can find no evidence whatsoever of his connection with the Bucks Huzzars - I thought if he had served with them it would be on his medal card ?

So, is it possible to identify when/where he attested from his name, reg't and service number ?

Any help or advice is much appreciated.Many thanks 

Chris

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12 minutes ago, Derbys said:

Hello,

To complicate matters, when retired his employers gave him an address which refers to... "During the First World War he joined the Royal Bucks Huzzars and served with the Sherwood Foresters".  I can find no evidence whatsoever of his connection with the Bucks Huzzars - I thought if he had served with them it would be on his medal card ?

So, is it possible to identify when/where he attested from his name, reg't and service number ?

Any help or advice is much appreciated.Many thanks 

Chris

If he transferred to the Notts & Derby Regiment in the UK, before proceeding overseas, his Bucks Hussars service would not be recorded on his MIC

At the time of capture he was serving with C Coy. 7th Battalion N & D. 

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9 minutes ago, mandy hall said:

Paul Nixon’s site is probably, where you found service numbers

https://armyservicenumbers.blogspot.com/2009/07/army-service-numbers-1881-1918-index.html

Mandy

Thanks Mandy. The site gives examples the ranges of numbers to dates, but stops at Sept 1914. I guess I'd have to make a formal enquiry to get specific date. Thanks again, much appreciated.  Chris

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To make it harder still that 204839 number comes from the 1917 Territorial Force renumbering, and comes from the number block allocated to the 5th Battalion - see https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/soldiers/a-soldiers-life-1914-1918/renumbering-of-the-territorial-force-in-1917/renumbering-the-tf-infantry-in-1917/

I suspect it's more likely that it was a spare number left over that was used for a subsequent draft into the regiment, rather than him ever serving with the 1/5th, 2/5th or 5th Reserve -  the number block started at 200001, so even allowing for prisoners and those who were still officially missing it is unlikely that there were 4 thousand 8 hundred and 38 other men already serving in the ranks with those battalions who needed renumbering before they got to him.

Starting point would probably be a near service number search to see if you can identify any patterns - a bulk compulsory transfer from the Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars for example may help you to have an informed guess at his likely original regimental service number with that unit. It's a bit of a cross fingers and hope job I'm afraid - most such drafts are usually given their new unit service number in roughly alphabetical order, rather than the order of enlistment with their original unit.

I take it he wasn't married, or if he was the marriage didn't produce children during the war time years? Grooms occupation on a marriage certificate or fathers occupation on a birth certificate might at least tell you whether or not he was serving at that point in time.

Cheers,
Peter

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Just had a quick look at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database for men who died and who had nearby service numbers, and then reconciled it againt Soldiers Died in the Great War, (SDGW), an HMSO publication from the 1920’s.

204815 Lance Serjeant George Gill, 2/7th Battalion, died 21st March 1918, remembered Arras Memorial. SDGW – Killed in action, born Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, enlisted Retford, Nottinghamshire, no information shown as to his original unit. Possibly some surviving service records for him – I don’t subscribe to Ancestry \ FindMyPast \ Fold 3 so can’t check them out.

204849 Private Pybus William Hamilton, 1/5th Battalion, died 22th March 1918, buried Cambrin Military Cemetery, France, aged 26, Son of Thomas Adamson Hamilton and Jane Elizabeth Hamilton, of The Farm, Hesley, Tickhill, Rotherham. SdGW – Killed in action, born East Harlsey, Yorkshire, resident Tickhill, Yorkshire and enlisted Retford, Nottinghamshire. Formerly 275714 Nottinghamshire S.R. Yeomanry. Possibly some surviving service records for him.

Has this interesting entry in De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour, a private publication to which members of the public were invited to submit entries.

PybusHamiltonDeRuvignyssourcedGenesReunited.png.b51cd36e56060c90c9dbaf4cfad6e5e6.png

Image courtesy Genes Reunited.

204852 Corporal Arthur Guise, 1st Battalion, died 26th March 1918, remembered Pozieres memorial, aged 22, Son of David and Jessie Guise, of Kingsland Hill, Wychbold, Droitwich, Worcs. SDGW – Killed in Action, Resident Droitwich, Worcestershire and enlisted Nottingham. Formerly 1589 South Nottinghamshire Hussars. Possibly some surviving service records for him.

Couldn’t see any deaths in the service number range 204900 to 204999. The comparative lack of deaths and the fact that the three we could find all died in March 1918 serving with different Battalions would tend to suggest they were renumbered in the UK. If they were renumbered after arriving in France it would then seem likely that part of this group must have either been very lucky or were reposted while still at a Base Depot on the coast to another Regiment \ Corps.

Cheers,
Peter

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According to the few pages of his service record surviving Sgt Gill was originally 2/1st Notts Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry (with the number 2178, renumbered to 275509), transferred to the Notts & Derbys Cyclist Bn 19.12.1917 the day of his embarkation for France. He was then quickly transfered to 2/7th Bn.

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3 hours ago, PRC said:

To make it harder still that 204839 number comes from the 1917 Territorial Force renumbering, and comes from the number block allocated to the 5th Battalion - see https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/soldiers/a-soldiers-life-1914-1918/renumbering-of-the-territorial-force-in-1917/renumbering-the-tf-infantry-in-1917/

I suspect it's more likely that it was a spare number left over that was used for a subsequent draft into the regiment, rather than him ever serving with the 1/5th, 2/5th or 5th Reserve -  the number block started at 200001, so even allowing for prisoners and those who were still officially missing it is unlikely that there were 4 thousand 8 hundred and 38 other men already serving in the ranks with those battalions who needed renumbering before they got to him.

Starting point would probably be a near service number search to see if you can identify any patterns - a bulk compulsory transfer from the Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars for example may help you to have an informed guess at his likely original regimental service number with that unit. It's a bit of a cross fingers and hope job I'm afraid - most such drafts are usually given their new unit service number in roughly alphabetical order, rather than the order of enlistment with their original unit.

I take it he wasn't married, or if he was the marriage didn't produce children during the war time years? Grooms occupation on a marriage certificate or fathers occupation on a birth certificate might at least tell you whether or not he was serving at that point in time.

Cheers,
Peter

This is great, Peter - many thanks, much appreciated. I can see your point re the 5th. I'll take the Huzzars and marriage certificate routes as you suggest and see what turns up.

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1 hour ago, Pat Atkins said:

According to the few pages of his service record surviving Sgt Gill was originally 2/1st Notts Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry (with the number 2178, renumbered to 275509), transferred to the Notts & Derbys Cyclist Bn 19.12.1917 the day of his embarkation for France. He was then quickly transfered to 2/7th Bn.

Thanks Pat.

@Derbys

According to the Long, Long Trail the 2/1st Buckinghamshire Yeomanry,  (Royal Bucks Hussars) was converted to a Cyclist unit in August 1917 - would take some digging to see if they were in the same Brigade as the Notts & Derby Cyclists but could be a possibility. https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-british-yeomanry-regiments-of-1914-1918/buckinghamshire-yeomanry-royal-bucks-hussars/

And the 19th December 1917 date for going to France seems to be key - pops up in connection with both Gill and Hamilton.

The International Committee of the Red Cross record card for 204839 William Jones at first glance doesn't get us much further. https://grandeguerre.icrc.org/en/File/Details/3785946/3/2/

It references two reports from the German authorities. The first was received at Geneva on the 24th April 1918 and was given the reference PA 21785. It shows William captured at Bullecourt on the 21st March 1918 but doesn't show a Battalion, only that he was in C Company.  https://grandeguerre.icrc.org/en/List/3785946/698/21785/

The second was received on the 29th May 1918 and given the ICRC reference PA 30306. https://grandeguerre.icrc.org/en/List/3785946/698/30306/ Again he is shown as captured at Bullecourt, and now his unit is C Company, 7th Battalion. A look up at down the same page shows 10 others who were also captured at Bullecourt on the same day. Their units are:-

2/5th Sherwood Foresters, 2/6th Sherwood Foresters, 2/6th North Statffordshire, 2/5th Lincolns, 296th Brigade Royal Field Artillery, (all part of 59th (2nd North Midland) Division http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/order-of-battle-of-divisions/59th-2nd-north-midland-division/ ) and 15th Royal Scots and 23rd Northumberland Fusiliers.

The 2/7th Battalion Sherwood Foresters had been absorbed into the 1/7th on the 6th February 1918 to become just the 7th Battalion.

If you don't already have them both the 2/7th and 7th Battalion War Diaries should be available to download, currently free, from the National Archive (NA) website. You do need to sign in with your account, but if you don't have one just click on "sign in" on any page of the NA catalogue and follow the instructions. No financial details are requested.

The relevant catalogue pages for the two war diaries are:-

2/7th Battalion, February 1917 to January 1918: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7355226

(1)/7th Battalion February 1918 to July 1918: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7355224

Cheers,
Peter

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3 hours ago, PRC said:

Just had a quick look at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database for men who died and who had nearby service numbers, and then reconciled it againt Soldiers Died in the Great War, (SDGW), an HMSO publication from the 1920’s.

 

204815 Lance Serjeant George Gill, 2/7th Battalion, died 21st March 1918, remembered Arras Memorial. SDGW – Killed in action, born Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, enlisted Retford, Nottinghamshire, no information shown as to his original unit. Possibly some surviving service records for him – I don’t subscribe to Ancestry \ FindMyPast \ Fold 3 so can’t check them out.

204849 Private Pybus William Hamilton, 1/5th Battalion, died 22th March 1918, buried Cambrin Military Cemetery, France, aged 26, Son of Thomas Adamson Hamilton and Jane Elizabeth Hamilton, of The Farm, Hesley, Tickhill, Rotherham. SdGW – Killed in action, born East Harlsey, Yorkshire, resident Tickhill, Yorkshire and enlisted Retford, Nottinghamshire. Formerly 275714 Nottinghamshire S.R. Yeomanry. Possibly some surviving service records for him.

Has this interesting entry in De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour, a private publication to which members of the public were invited to submit entries.

 

 

PybusHamiltonDeRuvignyssourcedGenesReunited.png.b51cd36e56060c90c9dbaf4cfad6e5e6.png

 

Image courtesy Genes Reunited.

204852 Corporal Arthur Guise, 1st Battalion, died 26th March 1918, remembered Pozieres memorial, aged 22, Son of David and Jessie Guise, of Kingsland Hill, Wychbold, Droitwich, Worcs. SDGW – Killed in Action, Resident Droitwich, Worcestershire and enlisted Nottingham. Formerly 1589 South Nottinghamshire Hussars. Possibly some surviving service records for him.

Couldn’t see any deaths in the service number range 204900 to 204999. The comparative lack of deaths and the fact that the three we could find all died in March 1918 serving with different Battalions would tend to suggest they were renumbered in the UK. If they were renumbered after arriving in France it would then seem likely that part of this group must have either been very lucky or were reposted while still at a Base Depot on the coast to another Regiment \ Corps.

 

Cheers,
Peter

 

Hi Peter, thanks again . Particularly interesting is the lack of deaths in 204900 to 204999.  Just when you think you're seeing some light...boom ! - plenty to think about. Cheers, Chris

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4 minutes ago, PRC said:

Thanks Pat.

@Derbys

According to the Long, Long Trail the 2/1st Buckinghamshire Yeomanry,  (Royal Bucks Hussars) was converted to a Cyclist unit in August 1917 - would take some digging to see if they were in the same Brigade as the Notts & Derby Cyclists but could be a possibility. https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-british-yeomanry-regiments-of-1914-1918/buckinghamshire-yeomanry-royal-bucks-hussars/

And the 19th December 1917 date for going to France seems to be key - pops up in connection with both Gill and Hamilton.

The International Committee of the Red Cross record card for 204839 William Jones at first glance doesn't get us much further. https://grandeguerre.icrc.org/en/File/Details/3785946/3/2/

It references two reports from the German authorities. The first was received at Geneva on the 24th April 1918 and was given the reference PA 21785. It shows William captured at Bullecourt on the 21st March 1918 but doesn't show a Battalion, only that he was in C Company.  https://grandeguerre.icrc.org/en/List/3785946/698/21785/

The second was received on the 29th May 1918 and given the ICRC reference PA 30306. https://grandeguerre.icrc.org/en/List/3785946/698/30306/ Again he is shown as captured at Bullecourt, and now his unit is C Company, 7th Battalion. A look up at down the same page shows 10 others who were also captured at Bullecourt on the same day. Their units are:-

2/5th Sherwood Foresters, 2/6th Sherwood Foresters, 2/6th North Statffordshire, 2/5th Lincolns, 296th Brigade Royal Field Artillery, (all part of 59th (2nd North Midland) Division http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/order-of-battle-of-divisions/59th-2nd-north-midland-division/ ) and 15th Royal Scots and 23rd Northumberland Fusiliers.

The 2/7th Battalion Sherwood Foresters had been absorbed into the 1/7th on the 6th February 1918 to become just the 7th Battalion.

If you don't already have them both the 2/7th and 7th Battalion War Diaries should be available to download, currently free, from the National Archive (NA) website. You do need to sign in with your account, but if you don't have one just click on "sign in" on any page of the NA catalogue and follow the instructions. No financial details are requested.

The relevant catalogue pages for the two war diaries are:-

2/7th Battalion, February 1917 to January 1918: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7355226

(1)/7th Battalion February 1918 to July 1918: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7355224

Cheers,
Peter

Hi Peter, wow, many thanks for this. We knew he'd been captured at Bullecourt 21st March and held at Marchienne then Dulmen then Limburg/Wahn.  (Wahn camp was associated with Limburg although in different towns - so my understanding is that you could nominally be recorded as held in Limburg but physically at Wahn - we still have his armband from Wahn).

So, the frustrating bit is pinning down date joined Bucks Huzzars and his subsequent transfer to N&D and then date of entry into France.

Without any concrete evidence and with possibly confirmation bias.......I've a feeling he went to France with Gill and Hamiliton in December 1917, and had a short war.

Thanks again

Chris

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204849 Pte Hamilton, 7th N&D, has some service papers too, showing compulsory transfer to 12th N&D (which was the Pioneer battalion) dated 19.12.1917; he subsequently went to 2/7th Bn (on 25.12.17? the same day as Gill) then on 18.01.1918 to 1/5th Bn. His original Sherwood Rangers number was 2458, he appears to have been in B Company - and the OC B Coy signed off Hamilton's transfer "for Lt Col. commanding Sherwood Rangers Cyclist Regiment".

His service is subsequently reckoned as "Home 11.01.1915-19.12.1917, France 20.12.1917-22.03.1918". For what it's worth, I think you're right Chris. He appears to have been one of a batch of Yeomanry men transferred into the infantry via the N&D Pioneers and then 2/7th Bn (Gill's record also notes 12th Bn) at the end of 1917. I would say, Peter has much more expertise in this kind of interpretation than me so I await his thoughts!

image.png.42209cca9af238b92810d4881aff80a4.png

And as a possible extra morsel of info, is that K Infantry Base Depot?

image.png.1ca9187d686612fcf98a056875ca81d6.png

204852 Cpl Guise has a fragment of service record on FMP too, showing Home service from December 1914 until he disembarked on 18.01.1918; it states South Notts Hussars, but there's no more detail alas.

 

Images courtesy of Find My Past.

Edited by Pat Atkins
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Further to the other info above - The SWB records have a Leonard Warrington, No 204838, enlisting 21/12/1915 served 2/7th, 2nd and 10th battalions.

 

Steve M

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59 minutes ago, Pat Atkins said:

204849 Pte Hamilton, 7th N&D, has some service papers too, showing compulsory transfer to 12th N&D (which was the Pioneer battalion) dated 19.12.1917; he subsequently went to 2/7th Bn (on 25.12.17? the same day as Gill) then on 18.01.1918 to 1/5th Bn. His original Sherwood Rangers number was 2458, he appears to have been in B Company - and the OC B Coy signed off Hamilton's transfer "for Lt Col. commanding Sherwood Rangers Cyclist Regiment".

Looking at the Long Long Trail Page for the Nottinghamshire Yeomanry (Sherwood Yeomanry), probably the unit to be interested in is the 2/1st.

Formed as a Second-Line regiment in September 1914.
March 1915 : at Retford and under orders of 2/1st Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Mounted Brigade.
19 June 1915 : moved to Swaffham in Norfolk and brigade now under 2/2nd Mounted Division.
11 August 1915: moved to Narford Camp.
29 October 1915: returned to winter billets at Swaffham.
March 1916 : formation titles changed to 9th Mounted Brigade and 3rd Mounted Division.
July 1916 : division changed title again to 1st Mounted Division. Regiment now in 1st Mounted Brigade and had moved to Thorndon Park near Brentwood (Essex).
August 1917 : converted to a cyclist unit and under orders of 11th Cyclist Brigade in Cyclist Division in Canterbury (Kent) area. The regiment was located at Ramsgate in early 1918.

https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-british-yeomanry-regiments-of-1914-1918/nottinghamshire-yeomanry-sherwood-rangers/

As you can see a lot of name changes for the Brigade and Division they were part of.

And looking at the Wikipedia page for the Cyclist Division turns up –

In July 1916 there was a major reorganization of 2nd Line yeomanry units in the United Kingdom. All but 12 regiments were converted to cyclists: the rest were dismounted, handed over their horses to the remount depots and were issued with bicycles. The 1st Mounted Division was converted to 1st Cyclist Division and the 4th Mounted Division to 2nd Cyclist Division. At the same time, the 3rd Mounted Division was renumbered as the 1st Mounted Division as it was the only remaining mounted division: the other mounted division, 2nd Mounted Division, had been broken up in Egypt on 21 January 1916. At this time the division was reorganized. It now consisted of three mounted brigades (1st, 2nd, and 3rd) and a cyclist brigade (9th) and once again the support units were renumbered.

At this time, the division was assigned to General Reserve, Home Defence Troops. The headquarters was at Brentwood, Essex along with two of the mounted brigades; the third was near Maidstone, and the cyclist brigade at Bridge, Bishopsbourne, and Bekesbourne (all in Kent). In October, the brigade at Maidstone moved to West Malling and the cyclists were concentrated at Bridge. In November, the cyclist brigade was renumbered as the 5th Cyclist Brigade.

In May 1917, divisional headquarters moved to Sevenoaks and the brigades were at Brentwood, West Malling, Sevenoaks and Bridge (the cyclist brigade).

The Cyclist Division

In mid August 1917, the division was issued with bicycles; from now on it would be the training and draft-finding formation for overseas cyclist units and the Army Cyclist Corps. All trained cavalrymen were transferred to the Reserve Cavalry Regiments. On 4 September 1917 the division was renamed again, this time as The Cyclist Division and the mounted brigades redesignated as the 11th, 12th and 13th Cyclist Brigades. The 5th Cyclist brigade became independent, but rejoined the division in December when the 13th Cyclist Brigade was broken up.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3rd_Mounted_Division

The same source gives us that when formed as the 2/2nd Mounted Division in September 1914 it consisted of the 2/1st South Midland, 2/2nd South Midland, 2/1st Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, and 2/1st London Mounted Brigades.

The 2/1st Staffordshire Rangers were part of 2/1st Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Mounted Brigade.
https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-british-yeomanry-regiments-of-1914-1918/nottinghamshire-yeomanry-sherwood-rangers/

The 2/1st Nottinghamshire Yeomanry (South Nottinghamshire Hussars) were also part of the same Brigade. https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-british-yeomanry-regiments-of-1914-1918/nottinghamshire-yeomanry-south-nottinghamshire-hussars/

The pre-war Buckinghamshire Yeomanry, (Royal Bucks Hussars), were part of the 2nd South Midland Mounted Brigade. https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/the-territorial-force/the-territorial-force-mounted-brigades/

So its almost certain that when the 2nd Line 2nd South Midlands Mounted Brigade was formed then the 2/1st Royal Bucks Hussars was part of it.

These home service only units were subject to a constant ‘combing’ as the war progressed, with Travelling Medical Boards(TMB’s) set up to reassess men found previously not fit for frontline service and judging them against the ever lowering standards being applied.

Seems a possibility that if the units themselves didn’t already weed out these men then it might be that a Travelling Medical Board had paid a visit to the Cyclist Division and what we are seeing with Gill, Hamilton, Jones and Guise is the result.

Having all been transferred into the Sherwood Foresters, they probably all ended up at Infantry Base K, (IBD K), at Calais on the 20th December 1917. A few such as Guise may have been held back – he may have been sick or his new UK unit MO may have disputed his new medical category. Men weeded out by TMB’s certainly got to France and were put on the next boat back after a medical assessment at the IBD. We’ve only a small sample to go on so far, but when times were quiet a large draft could be split up into penny packets and sent where ever needed. It’s not uncommon for individual soldiers to go through a two of more administrative postings before actually leaving to join up with their new unit in the field. Because the MiC and the associated medal rolls were supposed to reflect all units 'served' with overseas this can sometime make it look like those soldiers had served with half the regiments of the British Army! The reality is the man himself may not even have been aware of unit or new service number, never wore the relevant capbadge or had a paybook and ID tags showing them and the unit with whom he is shown as serving wouldn’t have known him from Adam :)

Would be interesting to see the results of a fuller search  of this block of service numbers to see if Gill, Hamilton and Guise are just a co-incidence or reflective of a draft.

Cheers,
Peter

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19 minutes ago, stevem49 said:

Further to the other info above - The SWB records have a Leonard Warrington, No 204838, enlisting 21/12/1915 served 2/7th, 2nd and 10th battalions.

 

Steve M

Thanks Steve.  Without me jumping to conclusions could this mean that my 204839 William Jones 2/7th must have also enlisted 21st Dec 1915 ?   And if my previous leap of faith in assuming Gill and Hamilton's dates to France of Dec 1917 is correct - then he must have been 'at home' for two years.  (I need a drink )

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At best he enlisted around that time into the 2/7th Battalion. His medal roll only shows 2/7th and no other battalion.

The Battalion served in Ireland from April 1916 which at the time was classed as home, so no medals. They arrived in France in early 1917 and then absorbed in 7th battalion in February 1918 when many changes were made to the army. 

Steve

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@Derbys

The Sherwood Foresters service numbers are likely to have zero value as a guide to when he enlisted as they only reflect he was part of a group drawn from various units and compulsorarily transferred in on the 19th December 1917. At this point William could have joined up in August 1914 or August 1917, and a lot of other dates as well - we just don't know.

Cheers,
Peter

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1 minute ago, PRC said:

@Derbys

The Sherwood Foresters service numbers are likely to have zero value as a guide to when he enlisted as they only reflect he was part of a group drawn from various units and compulsorarily transferred in on the 19th December 1917. At this point William could have joined up in August 1914 or August 1917, and a lot of other dates as well - we just don't know.

Cheers,
Peter

Thanks Peter. I guess I was putting two and two together and aiming longingly for four - in the knowledge I don't actually have anything certain as regards enlistment date. But 19th Dec is a date I didn't have previously so all worth it.  Thanks again.  Chris

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Hi Guys,

So, these two pieces have turned up - and possibly more to be found.

POW envelopes:  Establishes he was at Limburg. My rough translation would suggest his POW number in the camp was 107877 and he was in a specific hut/barrack 877 ?

Letter (partial) to his wife Lil:  Confirms the date left England, Regiment and his company as we knew.  

Now whats puzzling me is that number op left of letter - is that a new service number 276297 ?    His MIC has 204839 and IRCC has 204839 - so whats 276297, did his number change ?

I'd appreciate any help with this again.

CheersWJonesPOWenvelope.jpg.417ae17ba9f81743842f66a7df14a3eb.jpgWJonesletter.jpg.cab5156c910686a44155348dd57ad846.jpgWJonesletter.jpg.cab5156c910686a44155348dd57ad846.jpg

Chris

 

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Hi Chris,

1 hour ago, Derbys said:

is that a new service number 276297 ?

Hmm. That is very interesting. It does look like another service number - presumably one which William was familiar with. My guess would be that it was one allocated to him out of the  (re)number block associated with the Nottinghamshire Yeomanry (link), and forms part of his service path history. A couple of near number examples are:

image.png.90dd9f6fbd3991c522152f86185fc000.png

...and possibly more relevant...

image.png.a9ab29ed0595815848228b968ea03c97.png
Images sourced from Ancestry

Regards
Chris

Edited by clk
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Thanks for this Chris. Gosh, just when I thought I understood it along comes another issue. So, he joined the Bucks Huzzars who, along with the Notts Yeo and Notts Huzzars etc, swapped their horses for bikes and were home based - his number 276297. He then gets compulsorily transferred to Sherwood Foresters and renumbered 204839.  This letter is written in Dec 1917 literally as he joins the Sherwood Foresters and he uses his 'old' number on the letter. 

Crudely explained but do you think that sums it up ?

Cheers. Chris.

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Hi Chris @Derbys,

On 21/04/2023 at 21:17, Derbys said:

Crudely explained but do you think that sums it up ?

Unfortunately, without his service file we can't be 100% certain, but broadly speaking, I think so.

A small ( and perhaps moot) point - I don't think that he was captured at Bullecourt - rather probably a couple of miles away at/near Noreuil.

The Division HQ (General Staff) dairy (link) shows:

image.png.8333685d4eaf5bfd049f5cd30fca70d0.png
Image sourced from the National Archives

Map reference (map sheet 57c) C.11.c.70.95 is indicated by the blue marker on this map - link. There is a report on operations in the Brigade HQ diary held at the National Archives (attached below) which gives a bit more detail.

Report on Operations.pdf

Moving forward in time, given that there was a delay in the official publication of repatriations, it would seem that William was back in the UK in time for Christmas1918 - link. It might be possible to narrow his actual return date down to within a couple of days by looking for men from his Regiment who appear on the same list who have surviving service files to see if their repatriation dates are noted, and make a reasonable inference about William. For instance, both 307086 Ackroyd and 102996 Andrews seem to have some kind of file.

Regards
Chris

 

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1 hour ago, clk said:

Hi Chris @Derbys,

Unfortunately, without his service file we can't be 100% certain, but broadly speaking, I think so.

A small ( and perhaps moot) point - I don't think that he was captured at Bullecourt - rather probably a couple of miles away at/near Noreuil.

The Division HQ (General Staff) dairy (link) shows:

image.png.8333685d4eaf5bfd049f5cd30fca70d0.png
Image sourced from the National Archives

Map reference (map sheet 57c) C.11.c.70.95 is indicated by the blue marker on this map - link. There is a report on operations in the Brigade HQ diary held at the National Archives (attached below) which gives a bit more detail.

Report on Operations.pdf 3.68 MB · 3 downloads

Moving forward in time, given that there was a delay in the official publication of repatriations, it would seem that William was back in the UK in time for Christmas1918 - link. It might be possible to narrow his actual return date down to within a couple of days by looking for men from his Regiment who appear on the same list who have surviving service files to see if their repatriation dates are noted, and make a reasonable inference about William. For instance, both 307086 Ackroyd and 102996 Andrews seem to have some kind of file.

Regards
Chris

 

Hi Chris,

This is great - can't thank you enough. Seems he was lucky to get captured and get out alive - sadly, the casualty figures are sobering, as they were elsewhere.

Many thanks again - your help is very much appreciated.

Regards. Chris

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