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Remembered Today:

G-Grandfather's regiment in India WW1


tgrubb
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Hi

My great grandfather Herbert Swan was stationed in India during WWI. I have a photograph of him (middle row centre) with some members of his unit but I am unable to identify the regiment. I was wondering if anyone on the forum with more experience of this could identify the unit from the attached photo. My untrained eye says that there is little in the picture to identify the unit but I may be missing something.

Thanks

Tim Grubb

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Sorry I couldn't make anything out. Have you had a look for his medal cards?

Tim

A search on the War Medal Cards site at the National Archives site reveals only 2 pages of Herber Swans, if you had access to his medals his regiment number would be on them and the regiment, simple then to confirm his medal card. I take it you have no medals to refer to so how about looking at the list that comes up and looking at Regiments associated with where he came from in the UK, that might narrow it down further. Did he have a middle name?

Hope that helps

Colin

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South India at a guess. The two Indians are quite dark which would suggest the south rather than the north. As mentioned above, a medal card search would be your best bet first off.

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Thanks Paul, Flyboy and Max

I will have a look at the medal card tonight.

Cheers

Tim

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Thanks Paul, Flyboy and Max

I will have a look at the medal card tonight.

Cheers

Tim

You might be lucky and find only one Herbert Swan listed under an Indian Regiment - chances are good !

Once you have that, if you post the images of his medal cards here I'm sure some people can find more info for you. :)

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Paul, Flyboy and Max

I downloaded the medal card and, of course, there are 3 Herbert Swans that it could be! My family is from north Kent and he had no middle name (1901 census) so two relevant regiments from the card search are the East Kents and the Royal West Kents. He was a groom before and after the war so the 3rd that might be relevant is the Royal Horse Artillery. My grandmother remembers him coming home from India (?) at the end of the war so it appears he did not fight in Europe (but she may be mistaken - she is 90) and all of these units seem to have been in India at some time. I have attached the cards below in the hope that this will help.

Cheers

Tim

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Don't mean to confuse your search but the 1901 census wouldn't tell you his middle name if he had one, you would only get that from his birth certificate. If you have any idea of when he was born you could check for his birth certificate. If he has a middle name it might help you pinpoint your man. If he didnt have a middle name, at least you would know for sure it was one of the above MiCs you were looking for.

Good luck,

Barrie

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Another possibility is to see if any of these Herbert Swan's service papers have survived. If they have, they will tell you where he lived, who he was married to, kids, vital statistics, dates, places, etc, etc. If you do a search you should find how to check for/obtain service papers.

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Paul, Flyboy and Max

I downloaded the medal card and, of course, there are 3 Herbert Swans that it could be! My family is from north Kent and he had no middle name (1901 census) so two relevant regiments from the card search are the East Kents and the Royal West Kents. He was a groom before and after the war so the 3rd that might be relevant is the Royal Horse Artillery. My grandmother remembers him coming home from India (?) at the end of the war so it appears he did not fight in Europe (but she may be mistaken - she is 90) and all of these units seem to have been in India at some time. I have attached the cards below in the hope that this will help.

Cheers

Tim

Hi Tim,

Whilst I can't at this stage tell you which one it is..I can tell you it is not Herbert Swan from the QORWK - No G/11882. This Herbert Swan was killed 30/06/16 so by a proccess of elimination.....then there were two !

Cheers

James

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Hi Tim,

Whilst I can't at this stage tell you which one it is..I can tell you it is not Herbert Swan from the QORWK - No G/11882. This Herbert Swan was killed 30/06/16 so by a proccess of elimination.....then there were two !

Cheers

James

Also for your information I have found the following Herbert Swan's with Birth registrations around the right sort of time for North Kent.

Herbert Swan - Registered December 1891 Medway

Herbert S Swan - Registered March 1897 - Medway

Herbert William Swan - Registered Sept 1889 - East Ashford, Kent.

Is your Herbert the son of John & Sophia from Chatham ?

Cheers

James

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The East Kent man would appear to be a territorial; his number - 201938 - was part of the sequence issued to the 4th East Kent Regiment in 1917. And the 4th East Kent Regt was stationed in... INDIA throughout the war.

Somebody will correct me if I'm wrong but the fact that he only has one number (and was obviously not re-numbered) would suggest that he was a post 1st March 1917 enlistment and therefore would not have been in India until after this date.

You better check out this last paragraph with a TF expert as I might be going astray here.

Paul

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My money is on the East Kent man.

No Victory medal qualification is shown on the MIC which would be correct if he only served in India. Troops stationed in India would only qualify for the British War Medal, the Victory Medal only being awarded for service in a theatre of war which, as I understand it, India wasn't.

Hope this helps

Steve

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Tim,

Not wishing to unduly put matters off-course, but how do you narrow it down to the three (or two) chaps out of the 16 Herbert Swans on the medal index lists?

Of course, if you are sure then I will shut up, but otherwise it may be a bit premature to chase after the ones you selected?

Ian

Edited by ian turner
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Hi James, Barrie, Max, Paul & Steve

Thanks for all of the above. Herbert Swan was born 1883 in Faversham, Kent but brought up in Bredgar about 10 miles to the west.

I too was concerned that the 1901 census might not have recorded his middle name as well but assumed that he hasn’t for the purposes of the medal card search. On this basis I eliminated those with a middle name and those regiments that were outside of a reasonable area around Kent (eg York and Lancaster Reg, Yorkshire Reg, Welsh Reg). I have some other unidentified photos of men in the East Kent Reg so it may be that there was some family connection with it.

I am trying to get in touch with some other people who may know more about the Swans so hopefully I will be able to confirm whether he had one or not and we can confirm whether it is the East Kent man. I will post again if I find anything out.

Cheers

Tim

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I am trying to get in touch with some other people who may know more about the Swans so hopefully I will be able to confirm whether he had one or not and we can confirm whether it is the East Kent man. I will post again if I find anything out.

Cheers

Tim

Hi Tim,

There is a Herbert William Swan registered via Faversham first Quarter 1883.

Looking at his father and also other sons William looks to be a family name.

It does'nt narrow things down that much as there are no HW Swans in the MIC's. It does eliminate the others with middle initials though.

Cheers

James

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James

Thanks for this. His father was Edward W (William??) Swan and he had brothers William Swan and Humphry W (William??) Swan (as well as Frank, Clara, Arthur, John, Kate and Irving). Looks like you might be right.

I am much obliged - have been trying for months to identify a whole batch of photos given to me by my grand mother.

Tim

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Tim

Some more Swan info:

Edward William Swan

Born at Eastry. Kent - Birth registered at Eastry District in December Quarter 1847 (Vol 5, Page 141)

Humphrey William Swan

Birth registered at Hoo District in September Quarter 1878 (Vol 2a, Page 496)

Paul

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Tim,

Not wishing to unduly put matters off-course, but how do you narrow it down to the three (or two) chaps out of the 16 Herbert Swans on the medal index lists?

Of course, if you are sure then I will shut up, but otherwise it may be a bit premature to chase after the ones you selected?

Ian

Ian

I am assuming a lot! So I am aware I might be wrong. I narrowed it down on the absence of a middle name (which might be erronious, see above) and the likely regiment he could have been in given my Kentish roots. I might hit the jackpot this way if not I might have to wait until I can be sure if he had a middle name or not.

Thanks

Tim

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Tim

Some more Swan info:

Edward William Swan

Born at Eastry. Kent - Birth registered at Eastry District in December Quarter 1847 (Vol 5, Page 141)

Humphrey William Swan

Birth registered at Hoo District in September Quarter 1878 (Vol 2a, Page 496)

Paul

Paul

Thanks so much for this - I have the 1901 census information but haven't got as far as the earlier ones. I am intrigued by the military photos I have and have been concentrating on these but I clearly need more information on all of the possibilities before I am going to be able to narrow it all down.

Cheers

Tim

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Tim,

Sorry I can only advise in the negetive! At times like this you want advice as to what you can do, not what isn't possible! But I just caution against enthusiastic chasing of wrong paths. (Been there myself). Not to forget that his regiment may not have been connected with his place of residence, so do not necessarily eliminate regiements from counties remote from Kent.

Good hunting.

Ian

Edited by ian turner
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Tim,

Sorry I can only advise in the negetive! At times like this you want advice as to what you can do, not what isn't possible! But I just caution against enthusiastic chasing of wrong paths. (Been there myself). Not to forget that his regiment may not have been connected with his place of residence, so do not necessarily eliminate regiements from counties remote from Kent.

Good hunting.

Ian

Ian

Thanks I am beginning to realise all of the pitfalls!

From the medal list, the knowledge that he was Herbert William Swan, that he spent some time in India and that the R West Kent guy was KIA the possibilities seem to be the H Swans from the Labour Corps, the Yorks & Lancaster Regiment, the Welsh Regiment, the London Regiment, the East Kent Regiment, The Royal Horse Artillery, the Yorkshire Reg and the Royal Engineers. Unitl I can visit Kew or dig out some more information it looks like I will have to be satisfied with that.

All the best

Tim

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