Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

clive_hughes

SOME WELSH SOURCES

Recommended Posts

clive_hughes
Hi LSt 164,

I did some research into AE Wilkes 10th RWF who is Recorded on the Holyhead memorial. He died at ypres and is also recorded on the menin gate.

I can give you more details if interested.

regards

DAvid

Hello David,

yes, I know of Wilkes but would be very pleased to learn more - maybe in the process I might even be able to add to what you know. By all means send what you have on him.

Can I also ask what is your interest in this casualty - is he family, or do you collect medals, or what?

Cheers,

LST_164

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
droberts

AE WilKes was my great Grandmothers brother. He Enlisted in Wolverhampton and was killed at a place called the bluffs on the 19th february 1916. I got the battalion war diary for that and the previous days. It would seem that the trenches were heavily shelled and collapsed and were covered. The bluffs were composed of spoil heaps from the messines commines canal. I have an Idea he was about 40 but I will check this.

The family lived in Mill Bank gardens and I think he is also mentioned on his parents grave in st seriols Robert M Wilkes.

regards

Dave Roberts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Beau Geste

I know your interest focuses mainly on the RWF but I'm at that stage in a family member search where I'm beginning to see floating straws as being very attractive opportunities indeed. I'm searching for my grandfather Richard Lofthouse who came from Bolton. He was born in 1880 and after doing the usual checks in Bolton and at Kew I'm left with two possibilities. The only one that you might be able to help me with is a Pte Richard Lofthouse, 20304 of the Welsh Regiment (15th Bn I think). I don't know how long he served; he certainly survived the war but he transferred sometime before Nov '18 into the South Lancashire Regiment (as Pte 63615).

I've tried contacting their museum by letter and email but they don't answer.

Harry Lofthouse

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
clive_hughes
AE WilKes was my great Grandmothers brother. He Enlisted in Wolverhampton and was killed at a place called the bluffs on the 19th february 1916. I got the battalion war diary for that and the previous days. It would seem that the trenches were heavily shelled and collapsed and were covered. The bluffs were composed of spoil heaps from the messines commines canal. I have an Idea he was about 40 but I will check this.

The family lived in Mill Bank gardens and I think he is also mentioned on his parents grave in st seriols Robert M Wilkes.

regards

Dave Roberts

Dave,

Thank you for the details & connections to your family. As you probably know, Albert Edward ("Bertie") Wilkes was born in Holyhead, and I have his address from the book Holyhead in the Great War as Alderley Terrace, Holyhead (just east of the old County School). Millbank Gardens was about 4 streets south of the Terrace, and in those days right on the western edge of town according to an old map I own. Perhaps his parents lived there?

The old published history of 10th (S) Battalion RWF lists him by name as one of the casualties of the fighting at St.Eloi, Ypres - thank you for putting this in the more detailled context of "The Bluffs" action for me. His death was mentioned in the Holyhead Chronicle of 3 March 1916, page 8, which seemed to say that his brother at Alderley Terrace was next of kin; but that he himself was resident in Wolverhampton (hence the enlistment there).

He is named on Holyhead Town war memorial; and on the Holyhead panel of the "North Wales Heroes' Memorial Archway" in Bangor, Gwynedd. He may be on other memorials in the Holyhead area (eg, school, church)- not to mention possibly Wolverhampton. Thanks for the reference to the family gravestone: if at any time you can check this, or better still take a picture, I'd be grateful.

He isn't named on the North Wales Chronicle Roll of Service for Holyhead dated June 1915, but as he wasn't resident in the town that is perhaps not surprising.

His number is in the 16,000 range: a look at Soldiers Died in the Great War reveals that 26 out of 756 war fatalities for the 10th RWF had numbers in this range. Most of the fatalities (137) were in the 15,000 range. If you want any further analysis of what this might mean for his date of enlistment or service in other battalions I recommend you contact "Grumpy" on the Forum as he specialises in RWF number allocation patterns.

If you can obtain a copy of his medal card from the National Archives online, it may tell you more, including the date he went overseas. The RWF medal rolls at the NA may also indicate if he served in other battalions.

Any other information you come across would be of interest - such as his age, marital status, and parents names, or even a photo. My aim is to build up a database of information on Anglesey casualties which can ultimately be made available online, and I would value your help in this matter.

In the meantime, if you feel I can be of any further assistance, please ask. Thanks again for your help so far.

LST_164

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
clive_hughes
I know your interest focuses mainly on the RWF but I'm at that stage in a family member search where I'm beginning to see floating straws as being very attractive opportunities indeed. I'm searching for my grandfather Richard Lofthouse who came from Bolton. He was born in 1880 and after doing the usual checks in Bolton and at Kew I'm left with two possibilities. The only one that you might be able to help me with is a Pte Richard Lofthouse, 20304 of the Welsh Regiment (15th Bn I think). I don't know how long he served; he certainly survived the war but he transferred sometime before Nov '18 into the South Lancashire Regiment (as Pte 63615).

I've tried contacting their museum by letter and email but they don't answer.

Harry Lofthouse

Hi Harry,

Not sure if I can help a lot, but here goes:

if you know exactly where your grandfather was living in 1914, perhaps you could check the Absent Voters List / Register for the relevant Parliamentary area (was Bolton the Constituency then?). These were issued in various editions during 1918-19, and list servicemen and certain others entitled to vote in elections. They are arranged by ward, parish, street etc. and if detailled enough, they may give his exact unit at that time. Try asking at the local Reference Library and County Records Office if these lists survive. You may try searching for references to AVLs and their whereabouts on this Forum - there are at least 2 threads which specialise in them.

If you're not sure where he lived, have you checked out the 1901 Census (some forum pals can offer look-ups in these; otherwise try National Archives online)?

You mention the NA Kew - does that mean you have a copy of the Medal Card? Have you checked the Medal Rolls there, as they may specify which battalions of the two regiments this man served with?

The 15th Welsh Regt were the Carmarthenshire Battalion. If I remember aright, it didn't gather enough local recruits and had to fill up with men from England. His number is in the 20,000 range which 99 fatalities (out of 510 for the War) of the 15th Welsh also shared. Compared to 2 casualties with these numbers in the 14th (Swansea) and 4 in the 16th (Cardiff) battalions this would suggest he was indeed in the 15th battn.

You might also try asking in the "Soldiers" section of this Forum for help from members specialising in the Bolton area, or the S.Lancs Regt. The range of expertise represented amongst the membership never ceases to amaze me!

best of luck,

LST_164

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
droberts
Dave,

Thank you for the details & connections to your family. As you probably know, Albert Edward ("Bertie") Wilkes was born in Holyhead, and I have his address from the book Holyhead in the Great War as Alderley Terrace, Holyhead (just east of the old County School). Millbank Gardens was about 4 streets south of the Terrace, and in those days right on the western edge of town according to an old map I own. Perhaps his parents lived there?

The old published history of 10th (S) Battalion RWF lists him by name as one of the casualties of the fighting at St.Eloi, Ypres - thank you for putting this in the more detailled context of "The Bluffs" action for me. His death was mentioned in the Holyhead Chronicle of 3 March 1916, page 8, which seemed to say that his brother at Alderley Terrace was next of kin; but that he himself was resident in Wolverhampton (hence the enlistment there).

He is named on Holyhead Town war memorial; and on the Holyhead panel of the "North Wales Heroes' Memorial Archway" in Bangor, Gwynedd. He may be on other memorials in the Holyhead area (eg, school, church)- not to mention possibly Wolverhampton. Thanks for the reference to the family gravestone: if at any time you can check this, or better still take a picture, I'd be grateful.

He isn't named on the North Wales Chronicle Roll of Service for Holyhead dated June 1915, but as he wasn't resident in the town that is perhaps not surprising.

His number is in the 16,000 range: a look at Soldiers Died in the Great War reveals that 26 out of 756 war fatalities for the 10th RWF had numbers in this range. Most of the fatalities (137) were in the 15,000 range. If you want any further analysis of what this might mean for his date of enlistment or service in other battalions I recommend you contact "Grumpy" on the Forum as he specialises in RWF number allocation patterns.

If you can obtain a copy of his medal card from the National Archives online, it may tell you more, including the date he went overseas. The RWF medal rolls at the NA may also indicate if he served in other battalions.

Any other information you come across would be of interest - such as his age, marital status, and parents names, or even a photo. My aim is to build up a database of information on Anglesey casualties which can ultimately be made available online, and I would value your help in this matter.

In the meantime, if you feel I can be of any further assistance, please ask. Thanks again for your help so far.

LST_164

Albert was 2 in the 1881 census. His parents were Robert Morris Wilkes and Annie Tyson Wilkes. He may have been a mason as were his Father and Grandfather. The Grandfather Samgarnebo (incredible biblical name)Wilkes was a founder member of the masons in Holyhead.

I am also researching my fathers uncle Robert M Roberts who was in the RWF. He is said to have fought on every front and come through the war unscathed. We believe he was at Kut at some point but maybe not during the seige. I believe him to be have been numbered 3435 and subsequently 290911. First entry was egypt 1-8-1915. His Home was Ffestiniog. I would be grateful of any light you would be able to shed on this man.

Many thanks

Davve Roberts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Beau Geste
Hi Harry,

Not sure if I can help a lot, but here goes:

if you know exactly where your grandfather was living in 1914, perhaps you could check the Absent Voters List / Register for the relevant Parliamentary area (was Bolton the Constituency then?). These were issued in various editions during 1918-19, and list servicemen and certain others entitled to vote in elections. They are arranged by ward, parish, street etc. and if detailled enough, they may give his exact unit at that time. Try asking at the local Reference Library and County Records Office if these lists survive. You may try searching for references to AVLs and their whereabouts on this Forum - there are at least 2 threads which specialise in them.

If you're not sure where he lived, have you checked out the 1901 Census (some forum pals can offer look-ups in these; otherwise try National Archives online)?

You mention the NA Kew - does that mean you have a copy of the Medal Card? Have you checked the Medal Rolls there, as they may specify which battalions of the two regiments this man served with?

The 15th Welsh Regt were the Carmarthenshire Battalion. If I remember aright, it didn't gather enough local recruits and had to fill up with men from England. His number is in the 20,000 range which 99 fatalities (out of 510 for the War) of the 15th Welsh also shared. Compared to 2 casualties with these numbers in the 14th (Swansea) and 4 in the 16th (Cardiff) battalions this would suggest he was indeed in the 15th battn.

You might also try asking in the "Soldiers" section of this Forum for help from members specialising in the Bolton area, or the S.Lancs Regt. The range of expertise represented amongst the membership never ceases to amaze me!

best of luck,

LST_164

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Beau Geste

Thank you. That's given me a lot to think about. I've just got back from Bolton where I've been using their archive facilities. I'm afraid it was an activity that posed more questions than it answered.

I will follow your suggestion though of tapping in to the expertise of members.

Many thanks.

Harry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
clive_hughes
Albert was 2 in the 1881 census. His parents were Robert Morris Wilkes and Annie Tyson Wilkes. He may have been a mason as were his Father and Grandfather. The Grandfather Samgarnebo (incredible biblical name)Wilkes was a founder member of the masons in Holyhead.

I am also researching my fathers uncle Robert M Roberts who was in the RWF. He is said to have fought on every front and come through the war unscathed. We believe he was at Kut at some point but maybe not during the seige. I believe him to be have been numbered 3435 and subsequently 290911. First entry was egypt 1-8-1915. His Home was Ffestiniog. I would be grateful of any light you would be able to shed on this man.

Davve Roberts

Dave,

Your relative RM Roberts has a number block in the 290,000 range which corresponds to that issued to men of the 7th (Merioneth and Montgomeryshire) Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers (Territorial Force) at the start of 1917. Previously they would have had 3- or 4-figure numbers allocated by the regiment or battalion to its Territorials, and all the men were renumbered according to their seniority within the unit.

The 1/7th Battn. (158th Brigade, 53rd Welsh Division (TF)) served at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli from 9 August 1915 until evacuated to Egypt on 22 December. Therefafter it served in Egypt and eventually in the campaigns in Palestine until the end of the War. It was not present at the Kut siege (no Welsh unit was), though the 8th (S) RWF did participate in the Mesopotamia fighting after Gallipoli.

I'm interested that his medal card doesn't seem by your account to have the First Theatre of War code "2b" for the Dardanelles / Gallipoli, but either "4" or "4a" for Egypt? Maybe he did land there first; or maybe the authorities counted the unit's very brief call at Alexandria en route for Gallipoli?

The fact that he was administered as a 7th RWF Territorial doesn't mean that he didn't see service with other battalions, or on other Fronts. Men were always being posted to other units but keeping their original numbers unless they changed regiment. Check the Medal Rolls (refs. on the Medal Card) at the National Archives as these should state with which battns. he served in the course of the War.

You could see if his Service Record has survived at the National Archives; but also ask at the County Record Office Dolgellau if an Absent Voters List for 1918-19 has survived for Merionethshire (see the previous entries in this thread). Otherwise, rolls of men serving, extracts from letters home and other occasional personal news can be found in the local newspapers of the period if you're prepared to trawl through them.

Thanks very much for the additional information on Albert Wilkes. I'll add it to the database.

LST_164

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Beau Geste
Having had sterling service from various pals since recently joining the Forum, I decided to offer look-ups if desired from any of the following works (in original or copy format) of Welsh interest in my possession:

Who's Who In Wales, pub. Western Mail, Cardiff 1921. Has 551 pages of biographies of persons living at that time and connected with Wales. The compilers included a question about War service, so WW1 activities of civilians are often noted, as well as those of servicemen.

Absent Voters List, Parliamentary County of Carmarthen, 3rd edition (?1919). My copy may not be complete, but still substantial. As usual, it is in order of districts, parishes, streets etc. so an indication of where to look would be appreciated!

14th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers - Nominal Roll of all ranks who embarked with the battalion for France on 1 December 1915, plus home addresses. ORs in regt. number order (c.20,000 onwards). Fatalities are noted. Additional list of all officers who subsequently served with the bn.; Honours & Awards, corrections & additions.

14th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers - copy booklet which gives a brief digest or synopsis of the unit's War Diary or notes of activities between 21 November 1914 and 31 May 1919.

1-6th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers (TF) - Statement of Casualties reported to the Carnarvonshire and Anglesey TF Association up to 31 October 1915. This lists the bn.'s Gallipoli casualties, with nature of wound/injury/ailment, home address, and date of casualty.

Talar Gwroldeb - Nodion Cof Cewri Fy Ardal - volume by David Jones, pub. by J.T.Williams, Amlwch 1920. Mainly lists those from Amlwch town and surrounding parishes in Northeast Anglesey who died as a result of the War, but includes some who became POWs, were decorated, etc. Most have photos and a biography. Text mostly in Welsh (don't worry - I can translate!), with bits of home-made poetry and a specially composed "Memorial" hymn by the author. A scarce volume.

Cofeb Y Dewrion / Heroes Memorial 1914-1918 - by Rev. W.J.Owen, Bangor(nd). As with the above, but a larger volume chronicling fatalities from the city of Bangor, Carnarvonshire. In separate Welsh and English sections, according to the background of the deceased. Bits of verse added by the poetical author. Most have photos also.

My main long-term project is a list of WW1 fatalities connected with Anglesey, so again if anyone wants to know about these, just ask.

I may be able to add to these sources as I go on, but in the meantime they're on offer.

LST_164

What a generous offer.

You might have seen my posts regarding my grandfather Pte 20304 Richard Lofthouse of the 15th Bn The Welch Regiment. He was one of the 300 plus volunteers from Bolton in Lancashire who joined The Welch Regiment sometime in 1914. Apparently, recruitment in the Carmarthanshire area was slow (due mainly to its agricultural nature) and the Bolton lads swelled the ranks at a critical time. Later, I don't know when, he transferred into the South Lancasahire Regiment as Pte 63615 Pte Richard Lofthouse and survived the war.

All of this is what I believe to be the case. What I'm looking for is that one piece of information : date of birth, address in Bolton, next of kin, family connections etc you know the sort of thing, something that would do the trick.

I've emailed the curator of the museum in Cardiff and the chap who runs the archives in Bolton and await their reply. I've done the usual searches at Kew or at least a researcher there has done them on my behalf and I've written to the WFA for the reverse side of his medal card.

Anything you can offer would be gratefully received.

Harry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
clive_hughes

Hello again Barry,

Sorry about the 2-day delay: combination of weather and being Dad to 2 new puppies...

I don't think any source I've got access to here is even remotely going to assist you, but I gave some ideas in my previous mailing on 10 January.

Might I indulge in some ideas of more roundabout methods of tracing Richard Lofthouse, based on what you might know or discover about the rest of his life?

He was your grandfather, so do you know when he died and where he is buried? A gravestone will usually give an age at death, or a year of birth, and so help you to ask a Pal who has access to the 1837 Online or similar searchable database for Birth/Death certificates. The stone and/or certs will perhaps also give background details - his parents names & occupations, his address at birth & maybe where he died. Parents details should link into the 1901 and maybe earlier Censuses (and there are pals who have searchable access to these).

If you know when/where he died, the local newspapers might have a worthwhile obituary or in memoriam with more info.

An idea of his exact place of birth, or where he might have lived before the War would be a real help if you ever find a set of the area's Absent Voters Lists 1918-19. Mind you, sometimes the AVLs were incorporated into the ordinary 1918 Voters Lists, giving no service details but having an annotation such as "S" for "Serviceman" next to his name, at his home address. As a long shot, try asking the local County Records Office or Reference Library for the Bolton Voters Lists 1914, 1918 or just after - if you've no other leads re. exact locality, I'm afraid you'd face hours of trawling through the different districts and streets searching for any R.Lofthouse references as a basis for subsequent research. But it's one way of placing him.

As a servicemen in the earlier part of the War, it is not impossible that his enlistment or subsequent movements were recorded in the local newspapers. For Bolton I imagine there would be more than one, but again the Library / CRO can advise what was published at that time, and where copies can be consulted. Some can be identified as "factional" papers, eg supporting Church & Tory, or Chapel & Liberals, and if you have any background info which places his likely "preferences" it might narrow the field.

More trawling, but at least they took local news seriously in those days, and it's worth a look to see if his name appears in the "letters received" or "news of servicemen" sections, or maybe in a periodic "Roll of Service" which papers were printing in 1914-15 especially. Churches & chapels & businesses also created or published similar rolls - do you know what his civil employment was back then, or which church he attended?

There do exist (on a highly patchy basis) "Rolls of Service" collected throughout the conflict or made at the end of the War, on behalf of communities, schools, places of worship, etc. - do any of these survive in Bolton which you could check in case he's named? If he worked for the Railways, or was a member of the National Union of Teachers, and sundry other employments his name might be included in their published Rolls after the War (again, very patchy coverage).

As I said before, someone with good local WW1 expertise is who you really need to connect with - but if you've tried the National sources, any surviving answers are going to lie in or to do with his home locality, and I advise you to concentrate on there.

Hope this might help, even though it's quite a task I've outlined.

Cheers,

LST_164

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Beau Geste
Hello again Barry,

Sorry about the 2-day delay: combination of weather and being Dad to 2 new puppies...

I don't think any source I've got access to here is even remotely going to assist you, but I gave some ideas in my previous mailing on 10 January.

Might I indulge in some ideas of more roundabout methods of tracing Richard Lofthouse, based on what you might know or discover about the rest of his life?

He was your grandfather, so do you know when he died and where he is buried? A gravestone will usually give an age at death, or a year of birth, and so help you to ask a Pal who has access to the 1837 Online or similar searchable database for Birth/Death certificates. The stone and/or certs will perhaps also give background details - his parents names & occupations, his address at birth & maybe where he died. Parents details should link into the 1901 and maybe earlier Censuses (and there are pals who have searchable access to these).

If you know when/where he died, the local newspapers might have a worthwhile obituary or in memoriam with more info.

Thanks so much for putting such obviuos thought and effort into trying to help me. I stumble a lot due to my inexperience in these research areas but am gratified that a lot of the things you suggest I've tried. The NA have his MIC, I've got that. I've now sent my cheque to the WFA for the reverse side of this. It doesn't have 'over' in the bottom RH corner but Paul Reed said, im a different posting, that a relatively high % of MICs do have something on the back. It's a gamble but we'll see.

The AV list for Bolton doesn't exist, it was either destroyed during WW2 or has been done away with to make space !!!!!

I think you will have seen my posting about 300 plus volunteers from Bolton who joined the Welch Regt in 1914. One of these was a Richard Lofthouse 20304 who later transferred to the South Lancs with a new number 63615.

I have done the NA search (or a researcher has done it for me - I'm 350 miles north of there and the Bolton archives and drawn a blank

I've telephoned every Lofthouse in the Bolton telephone directory and knocked on what seems to be significant addresses (if they still exist).

The latest thing is a detailed email to the Welch Museum in Cardiff and a friend has said he'll spend a day there on my behalf.

I've also emailed the Bolton diocese to see if they have anything in their records or an Honours Roll. So far no response !

I think I'm covering all the bases but I'd love to get my nose a few inches off this damn wall I keep running into.

Thanks again for your interest and support

Harry

An idea of his exact place of birth, or where he might have lived before the War would be a real help if you ever find a set of the area's Absent Voters Lists 1918-19. Mind you, sometimes the AVLs were incorporated into the ordinary 1918 Voters Lists, giving no service details but having an annotation such as "S" for "Serviceman" next to his name, at his home address. As a long shot, try asking the local County Records Office or Reference Library for the Bolton Voters Lists 1914, 1918 or just after - if you've no other leads re. exact locality, I'm afraid you'd face hours of trawling through the different districts and streets searching for any R.Lofthouse references as a basis for subsequent research. But it's one way of placing him.

As a servicemen in the earlier part of the War, it is not impossible that his enlistment or subsequent movements were recorded in the local newspapers. For Bolton I imagine there would be more than one, but again the Library / CRO can advise what was published at that time, and where copies can be consulted. Some can be identified as "factional" papers, eg supporting Church & Tory, or Chapel & Liberals, and if you have any background info which places his likely "preferences" it might narrow the field.

More trawling, but at least they took local news seriously in those days, and it's worth a look to see if his name appears in the "letters received" or "news of servicemen" sections, or maybe in a periodic "Roll of Service" which papers were printing in 1914-15 especially. Churches & chapels & businesses also created or published similar rolls - do you know what his civil employment was back then, or which church he attended?

There do exist (on a highly patchy basis) "Rolls of Service" collected throughout the conflict or made at the end of the War, on behalf of communities, schools, places of worship, etc. - do any of these survive in Bolton which you could check in case he's named? If he worked for the Railways, or was a member of the National Union of Teachers, and sundry other employments his name might be included in their published Rolls after the War (again, very patchy coverage).

As I said before, someone with good local WW1 expertise is who you really need to connect with - but if you've tried the National sources, any surviving answers are going to lie in or to do with his home locality, and I advise you to concentrate on there.

Hope this might help, even though it's quite a task I've outlined.

Cheers,

LST_164

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RG Curtis

[Having had sterling service from various pals since recently joining the Forum, I decided to offer look-ups if desired from any of the following works (in original or copy format) of Welsh interest in my possession:

14th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers - Nominal Roll of all ranks who embarked with the battalion for France on 1 December 1915, plus home addresses. ORs in regt. number order (c.20,000 onwards). Fatalities are noted. Additional list of all officers who subsequently served with the bn.; Honours & Awards, corrections & additions.

14th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers - copy booklet which gives a brief digest or synopsis of the unit's War Diary or notes of activities between 21 November 1914 and 31 May 1919.

My main long-term project is a list of WW1 fatalities connected with Anglesey, so again if anyone wants to know about these, just ask.

I may be able to add to these sources as I go on, but in the meantime they're on offer.

LST_164

Request for Lookup:

I believe that the 14th Bn RWF were in operation near to Berty around 22 October 1917, and near ??? Croix on 30 October 1917. Would you be able to confirm this from information you have - in particular are you able to identify units of the RFA which were in support of these operations?

My G/Unlce was a driver with the RFA but I have been unable to identify his unit. There is a minor reference in a family diary to his being at/near to Bertry on 22 Oct 1917 and Croix on 30 Oct 1917.

If you can help another brick in the wall would be removed.

Thanks.

RG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
clive_hughes

Hi RG,

sorry for the delay - I went off to a conference for 4 days and have only just returned.

The 38th Welsh Division left the Ypres sector in mid-September 1917 and took over a stretch of line approx. ten miles long (at times) between Laventie and Armentieres.

My printed digest of the Battalion War Diary for 14th RWF becomes sadly just the briefest of summaries at this point, stating that the unit operated in the Bois Grenier sector of the defences till late December.

More information might be available from the original war diary at the NA Kew (WO/95 series, poss. available online for a fee?) though copies are also held at the University College Bangor archives in North Wales. Member hywyn sometimes consults papers at this location so you could try contacting him.

If that doesn't work, you could try the 113th Infantry Brigade or even the 38th Welsh Division's War Diaries at the NA. The Divn.'s own artillery were the 119th, 120th, 121st, and 122nd (Howitzer) Brigades RFA plus the 38th Div. Ammunition Column. Though logic might suggest they were the units supporting, it doesn't always work like that. Their own War Diaries are also, of course, at the NA.

Could one of the other pals of the Forum, maybe more artillery-oriented than myself, help with this query?

Regards,

LST_164

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
garethcaergwrle

Hi Lst

I have 1 Member of the 14th RWF that I am researching and would be very grateful if you have any information on him

L/Cpl Jonathon P Messham - Service No 89367

and thats all the info I have been able to find, he is not listed on CWGC

thanks for your kind offer

Gareth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LarsA

Hi,

if it is still OK to ask I am curious whether Pte 1309 (later 265355 Richard Thomas, 1/6th Royal Welsh Fusiliers) is mentioned in the Gallipoli casualty list you mentioned.

Regarding the 14th I wonder what they were up to (say two weeks) before 18.7.1918. I am trying to research the medals of 56653 R J Williams who died in a hospital at Trouville on this day. (general area and anything of note mostly)

Last one, I also have the medals to a Doctor who according to this MIC was MO with the 14th at some time during the war (1915-16?) William Pritchard-Airey, he later had a practice at Prestatyn. Asking in case you have come across his name in the booklet or if there is a register for a quich check.

Kind regards,

Lars

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
clive_hughes
Hi Lst

I have 1 Member of the 14th RWF that I am researching and would be very grateful if you have any information on him

L/Cpl Jonathon P Messham - Service No 89367

and thats all the info I have been able to find, he is not listed on CWGC

thanks for your kind offer

Gareth

S'mai Gareth,

he won't be on the 14th RWF's Embarkation Roll for 1915, as his number was issued rather later in the war. GRUMPY might be able to pin that down for you, being the expert that he is on the RWF numbering system.

I have however brought up the image of his Medal Card. This states that Jonathan Messham (no middle name here, & card originally had Meesham and has been officially corrected) first went overseas as Private 89367 in the RWF. Must have been after 1 January 1916 because he qualified for the BWM/Victory medals only. He may well have been a Lance-Cpl. but this will not be shown on the card as the two medals were to be impressed with the man's Rank (eg., Pte,Cpl, Sgt) but not any Appointment (L/Cpl and L/Sgt are Appts.).

However, card says he was discharged (on medical grounds) because he received the Silver War Badge, with SWB List ref. no. J/1970/2. This will refer to the ledgers at the National Archives by which you can ultimately find out a bit more info such as his date of enlistment, and date & cause of discharge.

As he had the SWB, I have tried to look for any surviving Pension papers on Ancestry. There were 4 other MESSHAMs, interestingly their places of residence etc. were localised to one corner of Wales - Buckley, Hawarden, Port Sunlight, Mold. No Meeshams. Service papers might also survive, but they aren't available via Ancestry for his surname yet.

His RWF medal roll references are: J/2/102 B29 page 9573. His entry on that Roll should have a note of which battalions he served with, and possibly other info as well.

One other source you might consider is the RWF Forum online, where there are regimental specialists who might be able to help.

Regards,

LST_164

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
clive_hughes
Hi,

if it is still OK to ask I am curious whether Pte 1309 (later 265355 Richard Thomas, 1/6th Royal Welsh Fusiliers) is mentioned in the Gallipoli casualty list you mentioned.

Regarding the 14th I wonder what they were up to (say two weeks) before 18.7.1918. I am trying to research the medals of 56653 R J Williams who died in a hospital at Trouville on this day. (general area and anything of note mostly)

Last one, I also have the medals to a Doctor who according to this MIC was MO with the 14th at some time during the war (1915-16?) William Pritchard-Airey, he later had a practice at Prestatyn. Asking in case you have come across his name in the booklet or if there is a register for a quich check.

Kind regards,

Lars

Hello Lars,

Firstly, re. 1309 Richard Thomas of the 1/6th (Carnarvonshire and Anglesey) Battn. - sorry, he isn't named as a casualty on the list. This isn't a complete Gallipoli casualty roll, but only those names which the local Territorial Force Association had been officially made aware of up to 31 October 1915. Men who became casualties in the period after that (eg., in the dreadful winter storms a few weeks later) aren't included. But they will be listed in the local newspapers through 1915-16 since the North Wales papers copied all RWF entries appearing in the official casualty lists.

Secondly then, the 14th RWF before 18 July 1918. The synopsis of the unit's service from the start of June shows them going into bivouac at Acheux Wood 4 Jun; relieving RMLI as support bn. in Hamel-Mesnil sector next day. 13 Jun bivouacking in old trenches east of Forceville, bn. training for raid. 20 Jun moved to Barn Trench by midnight, raiding party in the early hours found German trench only slightly held by a hostile patrol. One MG captured. 25 Jun marched to Acheux Wood. 1 July relieved 10th S.Wales Bordrs. in Mesnil Sector, from Quaker Alley to Drake Alley. 9 July to dug-outs south of Forceville after relief by 16th RWF. 30 July marched to Arqueves.

Note this is just a synopsis: the full War Diary would have more details of incidents & casualties.

Lastly, Dr. Pritchard-Airey. The 14th's Embarkation Roll starts with a list of all officers who served with the unit during the War, inluding attached personnel from the RAMC and Army Chaplains Dept. The MO at the time of embarkation in early Dec 1915 was Capt. W.E.Stevenson. He was succeeded by seven others, but your man isn't listed amongst them. I couldn't raise his MIC when I tried so can't comment on that source. He isn't in "Who's Who in Wales" 1921 edn, but that was just a chance.

As a Doctor he should be in the annual Medical Directory, giving his qualifications & place of practice/hospital. Qualifications might lead you to his University, and the chance of an entry in their records of past students serving - see rflory's Classic thread. There are also others on the Forum who specialise in medical personnel who might help.

I'm sorry, I don't seem to have come up with the goods this time but I know you have an interest in Welsh medals, so our paths will undoubtedly cross again!

hwyl,

LST_164

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LarsA

LST164,

Thanks for your help, it's greatly appreciated. Every little bit helps. It looks like Pritchard-Airey is not on Ancestry yet. His MIC has him first as Lt attd 14th RWF then Captain RAMC. Service recorded also as being with the 129th Field Ambulance

His commission as Lt is 15.1.15, Captain 16.1.15.

/Lars

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
garethcaergwrle

excellent information my friend will try the sources you recommend

the rwf forum has to be the first as i am researching 59 servicemen on our local memorial 29 of them are fusiliers

many thanks for your time & effort

diolch - Gareth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
clive_hughes

Nigel,

thanks for the references - as it happens I own copies of these two volumes! I didn't list them (and others) in my original look-up offer because they have no biographical information.

J.Vyrnwy Morgan's volume can be viewed as a chunky, Conservative, Anglicized, Anglican diatribe against Nonconformists not getting on board the war effort. Bear in mind that in 1914 the Liberal Government under heavy Nonconformist pressure had passed the Welsh Church Disestablishment Act, but put this measure on hold for the Duration. Morgan and his fellow Welsh Anglicans were angry, sore & probably fearful of the effects of this Bill on their Church once implemented - which it was in 1920.

It severed the Church in Wales from the Church of England, confiscated much of its ancient property and titles, and obliged it to reorganise itself without much capital. In fact, it did so and in retrospect ultimately thrived as a separate province of the Anglican Church.

Nicholson & Lloyd-Williams were part of Lloyd George's propaganda machine, and turned their talents to this little glorification of Wales' war effort. Fine as a light popular summary of what was done, but don't trust their statistics which show Wales as having fielded proportionately more men than England or Scotland. It didn't, and their figures are incorrect (I'm being charitable here, in not saying that they were purveyors of honking great fibs).

There isn't that much published on Wales and WW1, so these volumes, warts & all, are still worth having for reference.

Cheers,

LST_164

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dogflud

Hi LST_164,

I'm glad you've been able to post some cautionary information on these books.....It is often too easy to rely on the easily available sources without examining it too closely, especially as you say there is little published on Wales' contribution to the Great War.

While I'm here, are you able to suggest a source that might carry any information about one Arthur Ford Davies, Captain, 9th West Yorkshire Regiment?

He was born 4th quarter of 1878 in Monmouthshire.

1901 census shows him living at Nightingale Row (now Terrace), Pontnewynydd, Monmouthshire. Married to Rose, father to Mary. Employed as a Colliery Haulier (underground).

If I have got the right man, his father was Rev. Davies of Dixton, who protested vehemently against the coming of the railway to his parish.

I have a copy of Kelly's Directory for Monmouthshire 1920 (also from Internet Archive), and cannot see anything obvious for him, but the local info is very useful. I have a feeling that he went to live in Sidmouth directly after the war and he was still living there in 1941 when he claimed his medals. I haven't got his file with me but if memory serves his last phone book entry for Sidmouth was 1952-3.

Cheers,

Nigel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
clive_hughes

Hi Nigel,

sorry to say, I can't immediately think of any sources known to me which might help you re. Captain Davies.

Absent Voters Lists might be one line, if you had a likely address for 1918, or his Officers file at the Nat. Archives.

Some other pal with a better knowledge of Monmouthshire maybe could assist?

Regards,

LST_164

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dogflud

Thanks LST_164.

I'll keep digging!

Cheers,

Nigel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...