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Remembered Today:

Unknown Devons Btn


eviltaxman
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On Christmas Day, whilst out getting some fresh air and taking photos of a VC's grave in Dawlish (that's in Devon for the Northerners :P ) I decided to take the names & details of their war memorial too.

The CWGC have this chap as being "52nd Graduation Btn, Devonshire Reg". I've checked LLT and a book or two and can't seem to find it. The info from the CWGC is below.... is it a typo or a long lost battalion?!?! :unsure: I even thought maybe 5/2nd Btn, but that doesn't exist either (I think).

Cheers

Les.

Edited by eviltaxman
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Hi Les, :)

He is not listed in SDGW.

Cheers

Tim.

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Tim,

Thanks for the confirmation. I looked at my copy and I couldn't find him either. There are 2 J Gilpins of the Devons, but they're 1st & 2nd Btns.

The plot thickens.... or have the CWGC lost the plot :lol:

Les.

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Formed in February 1918, the 52nd Bn was one of the "Young Soldier" and "Graduated" battalions formed as a sort of "last resort" reserve battalion which stayed in the UK and supplied soldiers to other battalions. These battalions could be classified as "nursery" battalions as the age of the recruits in them was generally very low.

It's not a "long-lost battalion", it's just that they don't get much mention as they didn't have much of a history to tell! (Quite a few regiments had similar high numbered battalions, such as the Manchesters, etc.)

Dave.

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Go to SDGW and type in his service number only.

He comes up as John Sparkes, 52nd Batt'n.

Roy

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Roy,

Thanks. I never considered that Sparkes could have been (maybe) a family name.

Les.

Les,

Or a transcription error?

Roy

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Hi Les, :)

Just a little more about his family.

1901 Census

John Gilpin born 1863 Dawlish, Devon.Occupation, Porter and C.

Eliza Gilpin Born 1865 Durley Street, London

John Gilpin born 1900 Dawlish, Devon.

9, Golden Terrace, East Dawlish in the Parish of St Michael.

Cheers

Tim.

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Roy,

Could be! May be we'll never know?!?

Tim,

Thanks. I'll have a dig around later to see what his mother's maiden name was. I've got full access to Ancestry.co.uk so it looks like another late night :D

Les.

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Hello,

The number that John Gilpin Sparkes has 8/38683 is actually slighty incorrect and should infact be TR/8/38683, which indicates that he was actually serving with a Training Reserve Bn recruited from No.8 District, Southern Command.

No.8 District was composed of county regiments from the following Counties;- Devonshire, Somerset, Cornwall, Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire.

The Reserve Battalions of three of these regiments went to serve with the 8th(Reserve)Bde along with other units before being converted to Training Reserve Battalions on the 1st September 1916. They were;-

13th(Res)Bn,R.Warwicks became 33rd Training Res Bn

13th(Res)Bn,Hampshires became 34th T.R.B.

7th(Res)Bn,Dorsets became 35th T.R.B.

9th(Res)Bn,Ox & Buck L.I. became 36th T.R.B.

9th(Res)Bn,R.Berkshires became 37th T.R.B.

8th(Res)Bn,Wiltshire was absorbed by the other T.R.B.'s.

In 1917 further reorganisation took place and so you had the following changes;-

33rd T.R.B. became 206th(Graduated)Bn 13/7/17, which became 51st(Graduated)Bn,Devonshire Regt 24/10/17.

34th T.R.B. became 280th(Graduated)Bn 19/9/17, which became 51st(Graduated)Bn,Hampshire Regt 24/10/17.

35th T.R.B. became 35th(Young Soldier)Bn, which became 53rd(Young Soldier)Bn,Deveonshire Regt 1/11/17.

36th T.R.B. became 36th(Recruit Depot)Bn 22/11/17, which became 36th(Depot)Bn disbanded 28/2/1919.

37th T.R.B. became 210th(Graduated)Bn 1/7/17, which became 52nd(Graduated)Bn,Devonshire Regt 24/10/17.

New 37th T.R.B. formed 10/7/17 became 37th(Young Soldier)Bn 10/17, which became 53rd(Young Soldier)Bn, Hampshire Regt 1/11/1917.

My suggestion is the Pte Sparkes actually served with the 210th(Graduated)Bn,Training Reserve before it became the 52nd(Graduated)Bn,Devonshire Regt based upon his regimental number TR/8/38683.

Graham.

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Hi Les, :)

John Sparkes Gilpin married Eliza Jane Hart in the March quarter of 1899. The marriage was registered in Newton Abbot.

Cheers

Tim.

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Hi Les, :)

In the 1881 Census Eliza Jane Hart is already in Dawlish and a 15 year old servant to George John Cuncliffe, a Pharmacist, Dental Surgeon. Living at 7 The Strand, Dawlish.

Cheers

Tim.

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Hi Les, :)

Even in 1871 she was in Dawlish. She lived with, her Father, Mother, sister and brother.

William Hart, Carpenter

Maria Hart

Eliza Hart

Charlotte Hart

Thomas Hart.

9, High Street, Dawlish.

Cheers

Tim.

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Tim,

Thanks for the info. Dawlish isn't very big as a town in its own right, but it does take in a few smaller villages for census purposes. The actual town isn't very big - even today. From the seafront to the church at the back of town (where the memorial is) would only take 10 minutes to walk.

Les.

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Graham,

I've been on this forum for a while now and the info available here still astounds me!

I've copied your info for future reference. I think it may come in handy when digging a little deeper on some of the names on the memorial.

Thanks

Les.

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On a side note, this memorial has listed the WW1 navy men first, then the soldiers/airmen etc...... But one name stood out, or rather his rank did. I've found that he was a Private, but he listed as a sniper! I know they had snipers, but it's the first time I've come across one on a memorial. See below....... he is Private Stephen Leaman, 21134, 14th Btn Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

Also, the memorial lists a Petty Officer (HMS Amphion) killed on only the second day of the war! This is turning out to be a great memorial :D

Les.

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Hi Les, :)

Dawlish may only be small, but I have always loved it. My Nan lived in Teignmouth for many years and I have the fondest Memories of the whole area.

Do you know if any of the addresses I gave are still there ?

Cheers

Tim.

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Tim, small world ain't it?!

The High Street and The Strand are still around. The High street being the main the thoroughfare an dthe Strand is now a side street - it's on the opposite side of The Lawn (and stream leading to the front).

The church I got my names from is just up from the Strand...... head along Brunswick Place, away from the seafront, you come to a T junction. Hang a left then follow the road round a corner and along, passed the surgery and museum. Just along from there is another junction (more like side streets) - the church is right in front of you.

Les.

Edited by eviltaxman
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Hi Les, :)

Very many thanks for the reminder ! My parents and my sister and I have gone to a campsite between Teignmouth and Newton Abbot for many years, even after my Nan died !!

I took my family down there last year after a long gap, and we went to Dawlish, it bought back very many very happy memories of my childhood !!

I know generally where you are on about. It certainly has made me reflect on my memories !!

Cheers

Tim.

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Hi Les, :)

Dawlish may only be small, but I have always loved it. My Nan lived in Teignmouth for many years and I have the fondest Memories of the whole area.

Do you know if any of the addresses I gave are still there ?

Cheers

Tim.

If we are talking of Bishopsteignton I can almost see the campsite from my window as I type this

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Hi Jim, :)

Yes I am, it's 'Wear Farm' !! You're a lucky man living there. A lovely part of the world !!!!!!!!!! :D

Cheers

Tim.

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