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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Enlistment in Monmouthshire Regiment


Martyn Gibson
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I have recently been given by a family member my grandfathers Certificate of Disembodiment on Demobilization Army form Z21. My quandry is with his initial enlistment in the Monmouthshire Regiment, it states that he joined this regiment on 2/7/1914. I have checked through some sites that give a quick rundown on the various battalions but all the dates shown, of which I presume are when they were raised, are all after his initial enlistment date.

ie. 1/1 Battalion T.F. August 1914 in Newport.

2/1 Battalion T.F. Formed in Newport in September 1914.

Can any one enlighten me on these dates as I thought that the Monmouthsire Territorials were some time before the outbreak of war.

Many thanks in advance.

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I am no expert but I believe that 1 Monmouth Regt. came into being in 1908 having previously been 2nd. Volunteer Batt. South Wales Borderers. Could it be that in August 1914 the Battalion were 'at' Newport (their HQ)as they had been mobilzed for home defence, rather than 'formed at' Newport.

They took their 1/1 designation prior to 2/1 their second line Batt. being formed?

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Martyn, there are a couple of books by Dr John Dixon on the history of the Monmouths, and very extensive they are too. I cannot lay my hands on the titles straight away, but if someone does not get in first, I'll post them here soon.

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When the Territorial Force came into being on 1 April 1908, one of the innovations was the establisment of several new regiments. One of these was the Monmouthsire Regiment, this was formed from the volunteers affiliated to the South Wales Borderers.

On 4 Aug 1914, the Regiment's three Battalion headquaters were at:

1/1st Stow Hill, Newport.

1/2nd Osborne Road, Pontypool.

1/3rd Abergavenny

In September 1914, further Battalions were raised 2/1st, 2/2nd and 3/3rd., and in February 1915 even more 3/1st, 3/2nd and 3/3rd. The details and dates of movements etc. will be found in 'Units and Formations of the Army' on the home page of this site.

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Martyn

I would suspect that your grandfather was transferred to the 2nd/1st Monmouths because he initially did not take the Imperial Service Obligation, undertaking service abroad, or was medically unfit for active service at the time.

Charles

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Monmouthshire Regiment. Territorial Army.

The 1st Battalion Monmouthshire Regiment was initially composed of men from the 2nd and 4th Volunteer Battalions S.W.B. Eight Companies were formed,four from Newport,one from Chepstow,one from Aberbargoed,one from Rhymney and one from Blackwood.This structure was effective from the 1908 establishment of the Territorial Army to the outbreak of war when the Battalion was rationalised into four Companies to align to the Regular Army Battalions.

Both the 1st Battalion and 2nd Battalion landed at Le havre on 14 February 1915.

The 1st Battalion was to experience heavy losses when it was decimated on 8 May 1915 during the Battle of Frezenberg.(2nd Battle of Ypres).

Two Companies from the 4th Volunteer Battalion S.W.B.centred at Abergavenny were detached to form the core of the 3rd Battalion Monmouthshire Regiment.This Battalion went on to maintain the Abergavenny association during the WW2 and still performs a veterans march past in the town in early May each year.This was the Battalion in which Eddie Chapman won his VC late in WW2.

The book to read about the 1st Battalion Monmouthshire Regiment is Les Hughes and John Dixon's "Surrender Be Damned" a history of the 1/1st Battalion the Monmouthshire Regiment.ISBN 0 9517087 1 6.

Regards

Frank East

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I am very gratefull for your replies. The depth of knowledge available through this site is a constant source of amazement to me. I will certainly be looking for the books that have been suggested.

My grandfather surivived the war despite some shrapnel wounds and was discharged from the Welsh Regiment on 27/1/1919.

Thankyou again for your time in replying to my request. :D

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All the other replies encompass more than what I know. I live near Abergavenny, Monmouthshire and in the town there is a memorial to the 1/3rd.

Eddie Chapman VC's funeral service was held at my local church and I think his family still live in the village.

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The 2nd Battalion of the Monmouthshire Regiment embarked to the Western Front on the Manchester Importer from Southampton, on the evening of the 5th November 1914, arriving at La Havre. The regiment served in the line on the 21st November (C and D Company). It is by virtue of these two companies in the line on the 21st and 22nd November that the Monmouthshire Regiment are among the select Territorials who are entitled to wear the bar on their 1914 stars.

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2nd Battalion Monmouthshire Regiment embarkation to France.

Agreed,it was the 3rd Battalion Monmouthshire Regiment who sailed into Le Havre on 14 February 1915 and not the 2nd Battalion Monmouthshire.

The 1st Battalion left Southampton late on 13 February aboard the SS Caledonian arriving at Le havre on 14th.The 3rd Battalion arrived on the same day on another transport.

Regards

Frank East

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