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Battalion allocation


Guest mythago
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I'm pretty new at this so you'll forgive me if these questions are obvious. :rolleyes:

I'm trying to clarify the position of those soldiers who were wounded and had to go back, and also of ORs who obtained commissions.

1. If someone was wounded/sick and hospitalised in France, when they recovered, would they return to their original battalion?

2. If yes, would this still be the case if they had been evacutated to Britain? Or on returning to France would they join a draft going to the first in the queue for reinforcements regardless of whether it was their own battalion or not?

3. Was the case different for officers?

4. Where an OR obtained a commission, would they normally go to a different regiment/battalion? My understanding was yes, but I've come across a reference to someone who started off as a RQMS and ended the war as Captain & QMs in the same battalion.

Thanks for any help

Cas

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Cas

I think the short answer to several of your points is "it depends".

The key to whether an OR returned to battalion seems to relate to how long they were away. A quick couple of days or so would see you back with the Battalion. Certainly several months away, you would be up for grabs to whichever battalion was most in need. Not sure how it affects officers.

In general, guys who got commissioned very often went to another battalion of their original regiment, but I don't think there''s a hard & fast rule.

John

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Cas,

Have noticed that if wounded earlier in the war, they had a better chance on returning to the same battalion. After 1916 they seem to get sent wherever they were needed.

Jim

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Thanks for this, guys. I rather thought the answer might be 'it depends'! :rolleyes: Interesting that the point in the war could make a difference too.

Cas

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You often find that men wounded & recovered ,were on recovery posted to another Regiment within the Division they were serving with,for example;A number of Men who had been serving with the 1/1st Cambridgeshire Regiment,who were wounded,& recovered enough to return to the Front are to be found within the other Battalions of the 39th Division;posted there to fill a dearth of Men;not a hard & fast rule but it is handy.

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But (I think) Territorials could only be returned to their original Battalion until after the National Service Act (or whatever it was called officially) came in, as their term of enlistment was different to regular/new army men.

Also, I believe there may have been a degree of shuffling on occasion - I know the 56th Div sometimes posted the mis-posted men back to their original regiments.

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Harry, that's interesting about the divisions. I've been reading a history of the 7/8th KOSB and there was at least one reference to receiving a draft of, eg HLI from the same division, although they presumably wouldn't be wounded men returning, but new recruits.

Steven, that's also useful about the territorials. I knew their terms and conditions were different, but hadn't realised that it bound them to their battalion in that way.

Cas

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Commissions for pre-war regular other ranks were regular commissions, and usually in their own regiment. Such commissions were granted in large numbers in 1914 to make up for losses, but under existing rules. They were 'combatant', ie. the officer was entitled to command in combat. These commissions were permanent rather than temporary.

Another sort of commission was as Quartermaster or Riding Master. These were not combatant, and awarded to very senior NCOs [whereas regular commissions for regulars could go to corporals]. Such QM commissions carried an honorary rank, beginning at lieutenant, with promotion by seniority and merit.

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QM commissions carried an honorary rank, beginning at lieutenant, with promotion by seniority and merit.

Ah, that explains the QM in the example I gave in my first post. There was a reference to the Lt & QM being killed following some action and then this guy being 'promoted' to Lt, rather than going off to cadet school, which I thought a bit odd.

Cas

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Pals,

CSM Ernest Shepherd of the 1st Dorsets, in his book From Hill 60 to the Somme, makes note several times of his 'fear' of a blighty wound, as it was evident that wounded soldiers of the Bn were being returned to the New Army Bns (5th and 6th) of the Dorset Regt rather than returned to their original unit. His 'love' of his own Bn was such was that this would have been totally unacceptable to him.

Regards

Steve

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