Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Terry_Reeves

Royal Engineers Special Brigade

Recommended Posts

plattyuk
Posted (edited)

 

Hello Terry,

 

I have the DCM awarded to Pte 47768 A Barton RAMC. However on further investigation it would appear that Barton Transferred to the RE and due to his knowledge of Mining and Gas was promoted to Sgt and posted to one of the Gas Companies.

 

Barton was awarded his DCM for the Gas attack of the 25th September 1915 at Loos and must be one of the first gallantry awards to the Gas Companies. He is mentioned on page 70 of Foulkes history of the Special Brigade.

 

It has always puzzled me why his DCM would have been named to the RAMC but I suspect that his transfer between the services wasn't complete by then, I know his Trio would have been RAMC given this was the unit he first landed in France with.

 

One for your records if he was previously unknown to you. 

 

Regards

 

 

Mark 

 

 31825_217834-01961.jpg.c88a77c23c07e19a175c77a36fc5a68c.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by plattyuk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Terry_Reeves
Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, AlasdairW said:

Been looking for more information on behalf of another for -

 

Adam Hopkirk SUTHERLAND, Born 1883 Kildonan, Sutherlandshire.

1st Battalion Special Brigade RE (Gas)

Service Number 155223

Family believes he was killed by artillery whilst accompanying artillery limber on 27 June 1916.

 

MIC shows BWM and VM.

 

Commemorated at Aveluy Communal Cemetery extension Somme, Kildonan war memorial and also private headstone.

 

Thanks in advance for any help.

Alisdair

 

The only thing I can offer is that he joined 1st Battalion in March 1916. On the day he was killed sections from A and B companies of the battalion were in action SW of Thiepval as part of  wider Special Brigade operations softening up the German defences in advance of the 1st July offensive.  

 

The battalion war diary for the 27th June gives casualty statistics for that date but very few names are mentioned. . It can be downloaded from TNA and is in WO95/121/1.

 

TR

 

Edited by Terry_Reeves

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Terry_Reeves
1 hour ago, plattyuk said:

 

Hello Terry,

 

I have the DCM awarded to Pte 47768 A Barton RAMC. However on further investigation it would appear that Barton Transferred to the RE and due to his knowledge of Mining and Gas was promoted to Sgt and posted to one of the Gas Companies.

 

Barton was awarded his DCM for the Gas attack of the 25th September 1915 at Loos and must be one of the first gallantry awards to the Gas Companies. He is mentioned on page 70 of Foulkes history of the Special Brigade.

 

It has always puzzled me why his DCM would have been named to the RAMC but I suspect that his transfer between the services wasn't complete by then, I know his Trio would have been RAMC given this was the unit he first landed in France with.

 

One for your records if he was previously unknown to you. 

 

Regards

 

 

Mark 

 

 31825_217834-01961.jpg.c88a77c23c07e19a175c77a36fc5a68c.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Platty

 

Many thanks for that.  His pension record makes for interesting reading as well. I see what you mean about his DCM and the RAMC and agree that it caused a bit of confusion administratively. 

 

TR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AlasdairW

You dont happen to know if these are on ancstry?, I have a subcription but couldn't find any after only a quick search earlier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Terry_Reeves

Alisdair

 

I you are referring to the war diaries, no they are not. The TNA download only costs £3-50 however.

 

TR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Great Uncle Ted

Terry I've just seen this post and messaged you with what details I have been able to find out about 214682 Pnr Alfred George Baxter who, according to his silver war badge roll entry, was discharged from the Special Brigade Depot with neurasthenia in June 1918.  If his RE number allows you to identify anything further about him I should be happy to hear of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Terry_Reeves

Ted

 

Many thanks for your contribution. I will keep an eye out for him. I can say that he was transferred to the SB in May/June 1916

 

TR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GWF1967

 Charles James Fox.    B.1888 Ramsgate.     Pte. 4737 - 3/4 East Kent Regt.    Pnr. 195953. 'K' Special Coy.  R.E.    D.o.W.  15/09/1918 - 46 C.C.S.

Scan_20180310 (7).jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Terry_Reeves

GWF1967

 

Many thanks for your contributon. The photo is particularly welcome.

 

TR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GWF1967
9 hours ago, Terry_Reeves said:

GWF1967

 

Many thanks for your contributon. The photo is particularly welcome.

 

TR

:thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sjshart

Terry

 

I am writing the biography of James Chuter Ede, who served as a sergeant in the RE Special Brigade from August 1915 till the end of the War.  He went on to be Home Secretary in the government of Clement Attlee, was a junior minister in Churchill’s coalition in WW2, and achieved much in education, trade union work, penal reform and religious matters.

 

It is possible your blogs have already covered him, but I have not seen anything, so I am wondering whether you or any of your correspondents have come across any details of him.

 

He transferred from the 5th East Surreys as lance-corporal on 18 August 1915, was promoted to sergeant in the RE, having read sciences at Cambridge, but was never commissioned. In 1916 he was, I believe, at Aire sur la Lys and Roquetoire, near St Omer. That is about all I know, but I wonder if you or any of your bloggers have any more information about him?

 

Regards

 

Stephen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stuart T

Stephen,

This is a forum, not a series of blogs.  Big difference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Terry_Reeves
Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, Sjshart said:

Terry

 

I am writing the biography of James Chuter Ede, who served as a sergeant in the RE Special Brigade from August 1915 till the end of the War.  He went on to be Home Secretary in the government of Clement Attlee, was a junior minister in Churchill’s coalition in WW2, and achieved much in education, trade union work, penal reform and religious matters.

 

It is possible your blogs have already covered him, but I have not seen anything, so I am wondering whether you or any of your correspondents have come across any details of him.

 

He transferred from the 5th East Surreys as lance-corporal on 18 August 1915, was promoted to sergeant in the RE, having read sciences at Cambridge, but was never commissioned. In 1916 he was, I believe, at Aire sur la Lys and Roquetoire, near St Omer. That is about all I know, but I wonder if you or any of your bloggers have any more information about him?

 

Regards

 

Stephen

Stephen

 

Thanks for your post, a most interesting man indeed.  I have checked my material but cannot place him with a battalion or company, however that is not unusual. I can't find him as an acting RSM -  again that is not unusual as battalion HQ personnel, particularly other ranks, are rarely named. I have checked the battalion war diaries for 1916 and he is not mentioned.  In 1917 there was a reorganisation of the Special Brigade. As part of this individual companies became responsible for their own administration which included responsibility  for their own war diaries, which makes things a little easier in some respects, but there are 17 diaries involved often each with several parts. 

 

That is the negative side unfortunately, however I do have a partial service record for his service prior to his transfer to the RE.  Pre-war he had been a member of the 2nd Volunteer Battalion , East Surrey Regiment  and was a member of the National Reserve on the outbreak of war, as a member of the Epsom Company. He enlisted at Epsom on 7.11.14 and became a member of No 2 Supernumerary Company, 5th (Reserve)  Battalion East Surrey  Regiment. These companies were responsible for guarding key points such as railway bridges and the like. Given that 5th Battalion East Surrey Regiment was a Territorial Force unit  he had to be formerly discharged from the TF to join the regular army, which the Special Brigade was part of, as the TF contract was different. His disembarkation date in France was 7 September 1915 just 18 days before the Brigade's first action at Loos, which means it is very likely he took part in it.

 

I will keep my eye open for any further information.

 

TR

 

ps. Just out of interest there were a number of men from the SB who had some interesting careers post-war. One joined the diplomatic service and became an ambassador; another was pre-war famous actor-manager who was  knighted for his services to the armed forces in WW2. Another was a medical officer with the SB and later a physiologist at the Central Laboratory in France. He was  knighted for  his post-war work on nutritions. Yet another, a pre-war solicitor who emigrated to Singapore and formed a law firm became a respected member of the legislature. He also  employed a young Lee Kuan Yew who would become Singapore's Prime Minister. The aftermath of the war can be just as interesting as the war itself as you know.

 

 

Edited by Terry_Reeves

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sjshart
On 09/04/2018 at 11:43, Stuart T said:

Stephen,

This is a forum, not a series of blogs.  Big difference.

 

Stuart, thank you, point taken.

 

Stephen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
leo mcguire

My Grandfather was in the Royal Engineers Regimental # 130154. He was born in Saint John NB in 1875 and in 1915 went to Liverpool England and signed up in the 8th Royal Liverpool Regiment # 5193. After about 18 months he somehow left the Liverpool Regiment and re-joined in the Royal Engineers. I think because he had some training in poison gas with Liverpool and the RE wanted him in their new Poison Gas unit. I believe he stayed in the War till 1919 and then returned to Canada and received an army pension possibly because he was injured. He died in Canada in 1925. Apparently his service records were destroyed in a fire in Britain. Can you confirm that he was in the Poison Gas Unit and might you have any info on where he served in Europe. Thanks, Leo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Terry_Reeves

Leo

 

I am sure that he enlisted into 2/8th  Battalion, the King's Liverpool Regiment, a Territorial Force unit.  The 1/8th Battalion disembarked in France on 18th May 1915, which would have entitled him to the 1915 Star, and the War and Victory medals. He was only entitled to the latter two medals however which shows he did not enter a theatre war until 1916 or later. The 2/8th Battalion did not go to France until 1918 so it appears he would have been transferred from them to the Royal Engineers.  His number indicates that he joined the Special Brigade about March 1916 and the many men that were transferred to them from infantry battalions in the first few months of 1916, had no experience of gas or related subjects whatsoever.

 

The 1st Depot Company mentioned in GWF1967's post is a bit of a mystery. There Special Brigade had two depots, one in the UK known as the Depot Special Brigade and the other at Helfaut in France, some four miles from St Omer known as the Special Brigade Depot. The UK depot had two companies, "A" Reserve and "B" Reserve.  The depot in France appears not to have had a company structure.  Having been sent to hospital it is possible he could have been put on the strength of either after his wounding, however his injury would have had been severe if he required treatment in the UK. If he remained in hospital in France, he would have been sent to the Helfaut depot to be returned to his unit.

 

I cannot pinpoint his actual unit unfortunately. Just in case  there was an error of title in the sick return I have checked the 1st Battalion war diary and also that of No1 Special Mortar Company of the 5th battalion, but there is nothing in either that helps unfortunately.

 

TR

ps. Just found an attestation paper for him in the pension records. It is brief and does not help much:

 

Enlisted 29 November, 1915 age 38.  He joined the RE on 21.3.6. His home address was given as PO Pleasant Point, St John's, Canada.

 

Edited by Terry_Reeves

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
leo mcguire

Re: Anthony McGuire. Thanks so very much Terry. I know so little about my Grandfather, no pictures etc...so what little I will learn will come from his war record.

With what you have given me I can say it is definitely my Grandfather. Would he have received a pension because of his war wound ?

Leo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Terry_Reeves

Leo

 

I can’t say whether or not he received a pension I’m afraid.

 

TR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GWF1967
On 4/15/2018 at 10:57, Terry_Reeves said:

The 1st Depot Company mentioned in GWF1967's post is a bit of a mystery. 

 

Hi Terry,

 Here's the sick and wounded list, there may be others of interest to you.

 

206675. A.E. Kimble.  4. Special Coy.

206670. Francis Barratt.  3 Depot Coy S.B. 

129447. Arthur R. Cooper.  3 Spec. Coy.

113049. Cyril De La Haye.  Depot Spec. Brig.

214554. P. Adams. Depot Spec. Brig.

120665. Francis (Frederick?) Westoby.   Depot Spec. Brig.

130682. Henry O. Copson. 3 Spec. Brig.

214695. John Crdwell.  3 Depot Coy.

128400. John W. Joyce.  3 Depot Coy. Spec. Brig.

129651. Frederick Stevens.   4. Depot Coy. Spec. Brig.

130080.John H. Walmesley.   1.Depot Coy. Spec.Brig.

214659. William Pitt. 4. Depot Coy. Spec. Brig. ( also under 214559. FMP).

??

130154. Anthony McGuire. 1.Depot Coy. Spec.Brig. 

 

GBM_WO363-4_007306879_00836.jpg

On 4/17/2018 at 17:41, leo mcguire said:

Re: Anthony McGuire. Thanks so very much Terry. I know so little about my Grandfather, no pictures etc...so what little I will learn will come from his war record.

With what you have given me I can say it is definitely my Grandfather. Would he have received a pension because of his war wound ?

Leo

The sick list indicates he was admitted to the 10th stationary hospital on 15/1/1917.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Terry_Reeves

GWF1967

 

Many thanks for , it is very useful.  It also confirms my suspicion that the compiler has probably mixed up depot companies with units. There was most certainly not four companies. I'll have a dig around and see what I can come up with.

 

TR

Edited by Terry_Reeves

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
John_D

I posted a few months back asking about my great grandfather, Ralph Hall Atkinson, and wanted to return to share something fascinating I found out. Searching through the archives of his hometown newspaper, the Teesdale Mercury, I've come across an article in the August 12th, 1914 edition titled "Local Man's Move From Berlin". My great grandfather was apparently studying in Germany for the ten months leading up to the war, and reported seeing anti-war demonstrations led by the Social Democrats in Berlin as late as the 28th of July before catching a train for Hamburg and, with some difficulty, both exchanging his German money for something close to face value and booking a delayed passage back to England (he said he arrived in West Hartlepool early Tuesday morning, which would have been August 4th).

 

I have to assume that a man who had actually studied chemistry in Germany (and who, my family confirms, spoke and wrote fluently in German) would have been of particular interest to the Special Companies, and so now it makes even more sense to me that is where he ended up.

 

The article can be found here if anyone is interested.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
brianmorris547
On 19/04/2018 at 00:29, GWF1967 said:

Hi Terry,

 Here's the sick and wounded list, there may be others of interest to you.

 

206675. A.E. Kimble.  4. Special Coy.

206670. Francis Barratt.  3 Depot Coy S.B. 

129447. Arthur R. Cooper.  3 Spec. Coy.

113049. Cyril De La Haye.  Depot Spec. Brig.

214554. P. Adams. Depot Spec. Brig.

120665. Francis (Frederick?) Westoby.   Depot Spec. Brig.

130682. Henry O. Copson. 3 Spec. Brig.

214695. John Crdwell.  3 Depot Coy.

128400. John W. Joyce.  3 Depot Coy. Spec. Brig.

129651. Frederick Stevens.   4. Depot Coy. Spec. Brig.

130080.John H. Walmesley.   1.Depot Coy. Spec.Brig.

214659. William Pitt. 4. Depot Coy. Spec. Brig. ( also under 214559. FMP).

??

130154. Anthony McGuire. 1.Depot Coy. Spec.Brig. 

 

GBM_WO363-4_007306879_00836.jpg

 

Terry

I sent you the details on this list on 12 and 13 January this year by pm. I thought that it was too faint to post on the main Casualty List thread. 

Brian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Terry_Reeves

Brian, thanks. It is always worth posting them in here just in case someone has a query.

 

TR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Terry_Reeves
7 hours ago, John_D said:

I posted a few months back asking about my great grandfather, Ralph Hall Atkinson, and wanted to return to share something fascinating I found out. Searching through the archives of his hometown newspaper, the Teesdale Mercury, I've come across an article in the August 12th, 1914 edition titled "Local Man's Move From Berlin". My great grandfather was apparently studying in Germany for the ten months leading up to the war, and reported seeing anti-war demonstrations led by the Social Democrats in Berlin as late as the 28th of July before catching a train for Hamburg and, with some difficulty, both exchanging his German money for something close to face value and booking a delayed passage back to England (he said he arrived in West Hartlepool early Tuesday morning, which would have been August 4th).

 

I have to assume that a man who had actually studied chemistry in Germany (and who, my family confirms, spoke and wrote fluently in German) would have been of particular interest to the Special Companies, and so now it makes even more sense to me that is where he ended up.

 

The article can be found here if anyone is interested.

John

 

Thanks, it is most interesting. Germany was admired by many of the middling class in Britain for its education in the sciences and the arts, and a number of Special Brigade men went to German universities for second degrees or to study for a doctorate.

 

TR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
brianmorris547
Posted (edited)
On 17/04/2018 at 17:41, leo mcguire said:

Re: Anthony McGuire. Thanks so very much Terry. I know so little about my Grandfather, no pictures etc...so what little I will learn will come from his war record.

With what you have given me I can say it is definitely my Grandfather. Would he have received a pension because of his war wound ?

Leo

Leo

Please see the above casualty list posted by GWF 1967 which in post 894 purports to show, if I read it correctly, that the last name on it is 130154 Anthony Mcguire. In January this year I sent Terry the names of the Special Brigade men on this list and I did not find A Mcguire. The last name on the list I read as 130434 Pnr Noble A - RE Depot Coy Special - Incised wound R Hand.

This is confirmed by the Service Record of 130434 Austin George Noble of the RE Experimental who suffered an injury to the index finger of his right hand in December 1916 and was treated in No 10 General Hospital (in his words).

Brian

EDIT: I checked FMP with "Engineers" in the keyword box and 130154 in the Soldier number. It coes back with a hit but just shows a question mark, which means that the document has a name which is obscured or unreadable. I will check it when next at the library unless another Forum Member can confirm that it relates to A Mcguire.

EDIT 2: I checked 130154 on FMP today and it came back with the Casualty List HA 5981 as above, but the number is not 130154 it is definitely 130434 which is A Noble. The original is in the Service or Pension record of 11588 William Ford, South Staffs, according to FMP. A FMP check on 130434 comes back with a Hospital Admission for A Noble and on the same page are three other men of the Special Brigade. It is MH 106/1444 and the names are:

130434 Noble A - 5 Bn SB - Age 20 - ICT L Foot - Discharged to Duty 04/05/1916.

128297 Knight J A - 3 Bn SB (late R Fus) - Age 22 - Flu - D to D 19/04/1916.

128939 Pavinder ? J W - 1 Bn SB (late 13 Lincs) - age 40 - Tonsilitis - D to D 19/04/1916. (Can not find this man in the Rolls and there was no 13 Bn Lincs).

129430 Bowler C J - 5 Bn SB (late 3 Beds) - Age 19 - Gastritis - D to D 09/05/1916.

Brian

EDIT 3: 128938 is John William Parrinder later 565778 Labour Corps.

Brian

Edited by brianmorris547
additional info

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×