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Remembered Today:

Early recipient of the Silver War Badge


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4739 Sergeant Edward Yeo was medically discharged from the Depot, South Wales Borderers on 11 May 1915. His name was added to List J/4, compiled on 21 September 1916. 

As well as being one of the first in receipt of a Silver War Badge, he has a surviving service record, too. This tells us that was one of the original members of the 1st Battalion that departed Bordon and disembarked at Le Havre on 13 August 1914. The Battalion's first major action was the Battle of the Aisne. It was here that he was injured at the end of September 1914, with the result that he was evacuated back to Britain, and was to remain there for the rest of his time in the army.

Images courtesy Ancestry

Yeo screenshot.JPG


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Yeo was an older soldier, and this can be deduced by his enlistment date, and a service number that likewise indicates he is an old hand.

A year later, his comrade Gerald Scantlebury, also one of the original members of the 1st Battalion, was medically discharged. At this time, the reason for discharge is not referencing the Para 392 reasons for discharge, but are directly referencing Army Order 265 dated 10 August 1917. One further change is that the age at discharge is now being recorded.

He enlisted under Regular terms of service, and was a Time Serving soldier. It is interesting to see 'TS AR SR' recorded as a header. On other sheets within this roll, I have come across 'New Army', 'New Welsh Army' and 'NWA' for men who are being discharged from Service Battalions that had signed up for General Service, for the duration of the war. It is indicative of the volumes of men being processed that the Record Office is batching these men by terms of service, rather than just one list for the regiment, regardless of terms of service.

List J/1005, compiled at Shrewsbury on 15 September 1917
Image courtesy Ancestry

Scantlebury SWB.JPG

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Regarding the first sheet.

3/8808 Arthur Joseph Richardson is on the list.

It could be assumed that with the "3/" prefix, that he is in the Special Reserve. He appears in South Africa with the 2nd Battalion on 2 April 1911, at the time of the census, so he is clearly a regular. It is a good example of how the prefix can be a false friend, and that other sources are needed to verify terms of service.


On 18th May 1915, Army Council Instruction 144 attempted to deal with the problem of duplicate numbering by instructing that where such duplication existed, a soldier's regimental number would be prefixed by the number of the battalion in which he was serving thus, for example, 5/3492


From elsewhere


Somewhat belatedly, on 18th May 1915 ACI 144 was issued, entitled ‘Procedure to be adopted in dealing with Duplication of Regimental Numbers’. This duplication arose in regiments where no prefixes or compounds were used, such as the RWF, who had six series (at least) running at that date: a regular series shared by the two line battalions and the Service (New Army) battalions, the separate series of the Special Reserve 3rd battalion, and separate series for each of the four Territorial Force (TF) battalions 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th.


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