Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Harold Parker W.R./24348 Pioneer R.E.


Sandra Parker

Recommended Posts

Thanks to a brilliant forum suggestion, I have got a clue about Harold Parker, born Cheadle, Cheshire 1894. served in the war and returned to live in Cheshire.

The 1919 absentee voter's list shows the correct family address and

'2679 Parker Harold W.R./24348 Pioneer R.E.'

I presume (and I know what presumptions led me to last time!) the first number may be related to the voters list itself, rather than anything to do with Harold's service. He was gassed and I understand, never fully recovered his health.

Would really appreciate and explanation of the W.R. and the significance of Pioneer and Royal Engineers?

Sandra

Link to comment
Share on other sites

W R = WATERWAY & RAILWAY was he a boatman or Railwayman in civi street.......... looks like your man was a territorial.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I assume you've tracked down the MIC for Harold:

Medal card of Parker, Harold

Corps Regiment No Rank

Royal Engineers 225855 Pioneer

Royal Engineers WR/24348 Pioneer

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documen...1&resultcount=1

The WR/ stands for Waterways & Railways which was a branch within the Royal Engineers that constructed and maintained both railways and canals.

They usually operated behind the lines, but in the case of light railways went pretty close to the Front lines deilvering ammunition etc. It could be a VERY dangerous job.

The 2679 could be a TF number but there isn't one shown on his MIC. In any case it is unlikely to help us narrow down his service.

From his 225855 number he would probably have been given that number sometime late-1916/early-1917 and although I don't have many nearby numbers in my little RE numbers database the nearest one (226431) is actually a Railway Construction Company number.

The WR numbers came into being later in the War. 1918, I think.

A Pioneer was the equivalent of a Private in the Infantry. The rank of Sapper was also the same, only it seems to infer a "profession", whereas a Pioneer was a jack-of-all-trades.

Hope this helps,

Steve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

MIDMED, Harold apparently worked in the railways at Crewe after the war, not sure about before.

Steve, Thanks for the explanations. There is no theatre of war listed. Is this unusual? If he was entitiled to Victory and British medal, he must have been somewhere. I also note no 14/15 star.

Why are there 2 separate service numbers? I note the only the second one has WR. I did look at LLTrail, but it didn't really explain it to me, or maybe my learning curve hasn't bent that far yet!

Sandra

post-8011-1128493276.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Theatre of War and date of entry were on the MIC to confirm entitlement to the 1914 or 1914-15 Star, and were missed off most of the "Pair" cards entirely. All this means is that he went overseas after 1-1-1916. This fits with him enlisting sometime late 1916 and early 1917.

We have to remember that these cards were a "bookkeeping" resource which we are using for a purpose which wasn't ever intended. Because no-one needed to know where and when for these later men, it wasn't even recorded and therefore saved time for them. (Unfortunately for us)

Late in the war some of the Royal Engineers had a change in numbers. Men working on the military railways and docks/barges were all given a new number. Basically one day Harold was doing a job (probably on the railways by the sounds of it) with one number in the RE, and the next day he was doing the same job with a different number.

Apparently there is some structure to these numbers, but I don't know if anyone has carried out any research into what that structure is.

Steve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sandra

It's a couple of years since I looked at the Absent Voters List for the village, but I think you can be reasonably certain that the 2679 relates to the List and not his service. Only the military unit in which a man was serving at the time is shown (which, as I think you've already sussed, is what you'd expect).

If he was a Territorial, then he would have been a member of the 1/6th Cheshires. The service number would have related to something like a September 1914 enlistment. His local drill hall still exists just behind St Mary's Church. But, none of this has relevance , as I'm sure he's not a Territorial. :rolleyes:

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks again, John and Steve, for your explanations. what a difference it makes to have these sort of details.

I have been expounding to anyone who'll listen, (and even those who don't!), about the tremendous support, information and advice given to me, since I joined this forum.

It is a great reflection on the value of these service personnel, as so many interested people work to ensure they are, and remain, part of our recorded history.

Sandra

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...