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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Bedford Pte into the war April 1915

steve fuller

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Hi Pals

Harry VARNAM MM. Initially Pte 15034, later Pte (then A/Cpl) 201411

Have his MIC & am researching one of my 5th Btn chaps & his date of entry isnt as clear cut as the usual ones - 27-4-1915, Theatre France.

Now ... the 1st & 2nd Btns were in France in 1914, 4th, 6th, 7th & 8th arrived July / August 1915 & 5th went to Gallipoli, so I deduce he must have arrived as some kind of early draft into the 1st or 2nd, unless someone can correct me at all?

Oh, and he was from Nottigham, so have also "assumed" he just landed in the Bedfords by chance rather than design. Anyone come across this before, especially so "early" in the war?

Obviously this means he served in another Btn of the Bedfords before being moved to the 5th in Egypt (probably early 1916 if it runs in line with others Ive seen), but can anyone give a clue as to what his initial Btn was please, either from the entry date, his service number or a 1915 Star Roll thats close to K/2/24, page 26? (trying to avoid bothering someone for a copy of the roll from the NA!!!)

No mentions in the diaries, but no surprises there of course. Interestingly, the 2nd Btn diary states a draft of 270 recieved 27th April & 1st Btn had draft of 300 30th April. I dont suppose he would have landed in France & made it to the 2nd Btn on the same day would he?

Thanks Pals


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MM anyone...?

LG 2-4-1918 (29-3-1918)

201411 Pte. (A./Cpl.) H. Varnam, Bedf. R. (Netherfield).




Knew that name was familiar:

A list of the 1/5th Bedfords MMs:

MM Bar

201151 Cpl (A/L-Sgt) R R Charge MM (Paddington) - Bar to MM gazetted 18-10-1917.


200152 Pte F Andrews (Olney)

200548 Pte H J Chamberlain (Luton)

200286 Pte A Halfpenny (Luton)

203127 Sjt R E Hawking (Bedford)

200467 Pte W Hallyar (Bedford)

201066 Pte A C Joyce (Bedford)

201284 Pte (A/Cpl) H G Kent (Berkhampstead)

201287 Pte W Kingham (Hockliffe)

201283 Pte G Knight (Goddington)

201376 Pte S Swallows (Gt Munden)

201411 Pte (A/Cpl) H Varnam (Netherfield)

One of the 3rd Gaza MMs I asked about a while back in the Bedfordshire War Diaries Topic.

Edited by Stebie9173
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Thats him mate. We nattered about the Umbrella Hill raids a month or so back & he came up. Was looking at him when Steve Nulty noticed his medals were on ebay & ... blah blah!! Got me looking into him for his relly.

Found a bit but either Btn is possible so dont wanna "junp" without firm direction as to which one!


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OK Steve,

Will be at Kew either tomorrow or wednesday so I will pull his 14-15 Rolls for you.


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OK Steve,

Will be at Kew either tomorrow or wednesday so I will pull his 14-15 Rolls for you.


Bless ya Andy, thanks B)

Thats the one Steve. We were debating whether they were Umbrella Hill in July or 3rd Gaza. :rolleyes:

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