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Neill Gilhooley

To state the obvious, for it is written time and again on demob forms, many Edinburgh men were demob'd Duddingston. 

-

Separately, Terry will probably know of these photographs:

https://collection.nam.ac.uk/detail.php?q=searchType%3Dsimple%26resultsDisplay%3Dlist%26simpleText%3D51st%2Bdivision&pos=5&total=15&page=1&acc=2002-02-902-180

One of 188 copy photographs taken by Lt Patrick Robert Koekkoek, Special Brigade, Royal Engineers.

Edited by Neill Gilhooley

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Terry_Reeves
On 25/07/2018 at 12:12, Michael Haselgrove said:

Hello Terry,

I am in the process of gathering and attaching to items in my collection such information as I already have and, wherever possible, adding to it. 

In this respect I would like to find out the identity of the owner of a "souvenir painted" steel helmet I have had for many years.  I wonder if you, or anyone reading this, can assist or at least point me in the right direction. 

I say straight away that I appreciate my question is the very opposite of the information you were seeking in your first post in this thread and apologize in advance for this.  I also appreciate that finding a name may be compared to looking for a needle in a haystack.  However, the helmet may be of interest in any event.

I attach some photos of the helmet which, you will see, provides a great deal of information save the identity of the owner. 

Here is a list of the dates and places painted on each side of the helmet:

    

8/8/15                            Landed Le Havre

25/9/15                         Loos  (18)

June -  Dec '15              Arras - Somme

26/12/16                       Wounded Berles au Bois

Septr  '17                       Ypres - Potize Ridge

Octr  '17                         Cambrin - Loos

Octr - Dec. '17              Dixmude (Belgium Army)

Feb - Apl. '18                "Retreat" Ham, Noyan, Nesle, Roye, Moreuil, Amiens

May '18                          Vermelles - Loos, Vimy

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

June - July '18               Mailly-Maillet, Aveloy

                                       -Wood, Auchonvillers.

  "          "                        Beaumont-Hamel.

Aug  '18                         River Ancre Offensive

  "       "                           Albert - Bapaume Offensive

Sept - Octr  '18             Bapaume - Cambrai   "

Octr    '18                      Cambrai - Le Cateau  "    

Nov    '18                       Englefontaine, Mormal Forest,

                                        Sambre Canal, Berlaimont.

                                        Armistice.

Jan 14th 1919              Demobilised Duddingston

Michael

 

I have been through the disembarkation dates for the original members of the SB in 1915 and can only two men disembarking on 8.8.15. One, TH Mills, was commissioned in February 1919 which disqualifies him.  The other, is T / WO1 Frederick Doherty, formerly of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. However, he was Sergeant Major at HQ Special Companies 3rd Army, so that disqualifies him. Demobilisation Regulations show that the owner was demobbed at Duddingston near Edinburgh (also mentioned by Neil above)  so the man we are looking for is almost certainly a Scot.  I have yet to check the officers but I will get back to you if anything turns up.

 

TR

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Terry_Reeves
On 27/07/2018 at 08:13, Neill Gilhooley said:

To state the obvious, for it is written time and again on demob forms, many Edinburgh men were demob'd Duddingston. 

-

Separately, Terry will probably know of these photographs:

https://collection.nam.ac.uk/detail.php?q=searchType%3Dsimple%26resultsDisplay%3Dlist%26simpleText%3D51st%2Bdivision&pos=5&total=15&page=1&acc=2002-02-902-180

One of 188 copy photographs taken by Lt Patrick Robert Koekkoek, Special Brigade, Royal Engineers.

Neil, thanks, yes. I have an original cartoon drawing of him as a Major in WW2 at a HQ in somewhere in the UK in 1940. His family name is Dutch, although he was born in the UK.

 

TR

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Michael Haselgrove

Stuart, Neill & Terry,

Thank you very much for your replies to my post with special thanks to you, Terry, for your no doubt time-consuming research which is much appreciated.  I await a further post in the hope that the owner of my helmet was an officer.

Again, many thanks.

Michael. 

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Angela Casey

My great uncle Patrick Casey served with the Royal Scots Fusiliers from 1908. Whilst sailing home from a 6 year tour in India their ship was detoured to France as there was word of a little bit of trouble brewing there. He was later seconded to the R.E. 'A' Special Coy. I know he was badly gassed and suffered with lung problems until his early death in 1930. If you have any information about this company, or Patrick. I'd be very interested. I'm not sure if the men in the attached photo have anything to do with 'A' Coy, but old war photos are always interesting to see. Patrick is seated on the left of the middle row. It would be lovely to learn something new about him.

 

His details are as follows:

Name: Patrick Casey

DOB: July 1889

Service Number: 9565, 2/R Royal Scots Fusiliers.

Service Number: 143089, CQM Sjt R.E. 'A' Special Coy

He was known as 'Tim'.

Medals: 1914 Star, Silver Meritorious Service

 

Patrick Casey Group A Coy Photo 1_000009.jpg

mention in despatches).pdf

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Terry_Reeves

Angela

 

Thanks for posting. I am away from my my material at the moment but I will look at it at the weekend and get back to you.

 

TR

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Terry_Reeves

Angela

 

He was transferred to the RE in January 1916 the four original special companies having been expanded into the Special Brigade. The men for this new formation were largely  found from reserve units of the territorial force, new army battalions and drivers from depots of the Royal Field Artillery. To bolster these inexperienced soldiers experienced ncos from the regular army and other men who had seen active service were posted in. Patrick Casey was one of the latter. The photograph appears to have been taken sometime from August 1916 onwards as the men are wearing the Small Box Respirator haversacks.  It is not possible to say when he became CQMS of A  Special Company as he is not mentioned in the unit war diary, nor does he have a service record. 

 

Originally he would have been posted as a section sergeant to sections one to six of the A Company. All these men were involved in the digging in and operation of gas cylinders and later the Livens Projector, a crude but effective mortar.  His later position of CQMS was a vital one as it involved the administration and provision of company stores and rations. The CQMS would often act as the Company Sergeant Major in his absence. 

 

You can get an idea of the day to day doings of the unit from the war diaries. In 1916 individual companies did not keep one as the operation record was, in this case,  maintained by 1st Battalion HQ. From March 1917 individual companies kept their own. These can be downloaded from the National Archives for £3-50 each:

 

http://tinyurl.com/ycucsfph

 

http://tinyurl.com/y99u8ajm

 

http://tinyurl.com/y9borndw

 

TR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Terry_Reeves

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inkerman

Terry

 

I suspect that you already know about this soldier, and I apologise if I tell you what you already know.

I am about to take 113136 Sapper Sigmund Gestetner's daughter to see his scene on action.  He was a member of 188 Company RE and was so severely gassed at Loos that he was medically discharged after at least a year in military hospitals.

Do you know how 188 Company was deployed on 25 September 1915?

 

Anything that you can add will be very helpful.

 

Richard

 

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Terry_Reeves

Richard

 

Unfortunately there are no war diaries for the special companies at Loos and therefore no operational orders . There is a war diary for the headquarters, but but no plans or maps for specific locations.  I can say that 188 Company was operating in 1st Corps sector and I attach a map of that which will give you a good idea of the ground when you visit which shows roughly the locations where gas was dispensed from.

 

 

 

With regard to his RAMC service that you asked for in a private message, I have no idea about the particular.  However, this site will give you a broad outline about the work of No 2 Sanitary Company RAMC.

 

yc9bxlvn

SAM_1093.jpg

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Pete Bull

Grandad WW1 SECTION 10.pdf

 

Hi Terry

My Grandfather served in the Special Brigade after his Ammunition Column was disbanded in 1916, he was192862 Pioneer Joseph Stevenson.He was awarded the MM on the 15th August 1917 whilst attached to the Canadian 11 Div.in front of Lens and received the award during the Canadian assault on Hill 70.He was in B company section 10.I have attached a photo which I believe is section 10. Grandad is front row second left.

 

He survived the War and went on to father 7 children.

 

Myself and two other Grandchildren paid a visit to Lens last August (2017) and raised a glass to him as near to the site of his gaining the award.We tracked this down by studying the Citation and believe it was in the Dud Corner Cemetery area.

 

Regards Pete.

Edited by Pete Bull
missed photo

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Terry_Reeves

Pete

 

Welcome to the forum. Thanks very much for your post and the photograph.  About 1,000 drivers, mainly from the RFA were transferred to the Special Brigade in 1916 or later.

I take it you have seen his service record on ancestry.

 

By sheer coincidence, Cpl AK Smith, the nco who who gave a statement about your grandfather's  injury to the board of enquiry, was also awarded the MM whilst with B Coy. The award was gazetted on 12.6.18 and  I have it in my collection.

 

TR 

Edited by Terry_Reeves

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Pete Bull

Hi Terry

Thankyou for your prompt response.I have my Grandfathers MM,plus his pip,squeak and Wilfred.Attached is the MM citation from Aug.1917.

 

Regards.2D6563D3-ADE1-42CF-942E-677C1F27CF95.jpeg.6c069e7bb30c3a2567617b1410730ecf.jpeg

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Terry_Reeves

Pete

 

Brilliant. The citation is a rare survivor.

 

TR

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plattyuk

 

Hello Terry,

 

I'd like to draw on your knowledge again if I could.

 

Currently researching Cpl 113489 John Paterson Royal Engineers. 3rd Battalion Special Brigade and L Company. i've recently acquired his 14-15 Star. 

 

Service Papers are available and show that Cpl Paterson originally enlisted into the 17th Battalion HLI (3rd Glasgow) but it appears as he was a Metallurgical Chemist he was transferred to the Royal Engineers around September 1915, he landed in France with the RE 14th September 1915. 

 

What i'm interested in is the entry on the attached image which states that in September 1916 he was transferred to the Army Reserve and seconded to the Ministry of Munitions to work with a Major Alexander DSO. 

 

Ive struggled to Identify this officer without any initials, has he ever featured in any of your research with the Special Brigade?.

 

Regards

 

Mark 

 

 

 

Paterson Service Papers 8.jpg

Paterson 1a.jpg

Edited by plattyuk

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Terry_Reeves

Mark

 

Major Alexander was not Special Brigade Officer. The Royal Engineers were called upon to supply  officers for the Ministry of Munitions throughout the war as were other arms. You might be able to find something at TNA as there are records for the Explosives Supply Department, an outline of which can be founds here:

 

http://tinyurl.com/ycamboyr

 

TNA library also holds  the multi-volumed History of the Ministry Munitions which will be worth checking. 

 

As an aside, I have in my database a record for Cpl Walter Evelyn Lee DCM of 5th Battalion who was also transferred to the Class W Reserve to work under Major Alexander at Storey's Gate. Cpl Lee was a works  analytical chemist.

 

I will keep Major Alexander in mind and if anything turns up I will let you know.

 

TR

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plattyuk

 

Many Thanks Terry,

 

If I find Major Alexander i'll let you know.

 

Mark 

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Mangoman

I wonder if you have any information on Pioneer 12931 James Powell,  4th Battalion "N" Special (Projector) Company, Royal Engineers. Many thanks.

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Terry_Reeves

Mangoman

 

He transferred to the Special Brigade around March 1916.  Born and resided Mangotsfield ( I think you know this) he enlisted at Bristol. He was killed on 19 July 1917 and is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate ) memorial. Although he is not named in the unit war diary N Company were preparing for an operation on the 19th assisted by some 100 infantrymen carrying into the line Liven's projectors at around 10 pm.  The diary records that one OR was killed and one wounded. The fatality must have been James Powell. 

 

Although the exact nature of his death is not recorded, any noise would have attracted German artillery fire which was a standard procedure for them.

 

Hope this helps.

 

TR

 

 

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Mangoman

Many thanks for the information, which as you rightly say, I was informed of before, but regrettably I had a relatively serious laptop crash and lost quite a bit of my research from over the years. Just needed to replace the missing info. Many thanks for your help.

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Susangela

Hello Terry,

I am posting here because I am trying to discover more about one of my relatives who fought in WW1. His name is Williams, GJ (Gilbert James) and according to the CWGC he was a Lance Corporal in the Royal Engineers "O" Special Coy. His service number is 192938 and he is from Combe Down, BATH. He is buried in Charmes Military Cemetery, Essegney (Vosges France). Am I understanding correctly from a previous post he would have been in battalion 4 if he was in "O" Special Coy?

I would like to find out when he enlisted, and what he was doing and in which parts of France, particularly during 1918. My understanding is, he did not die in battle but died from Spanish Flu, when he was coming home ten days after WW1 ended, on November 21st 1918, aged 22 years. If you can direct me to sources to verify this I would be grateful and I would like to know if he would have been in a military hospital and if so which one? Thanks.

Susangela

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Mangoman

Gilbert James Williams first attested for the Royal Field Artillery (RFA) on 4th September 1914 at No. 3 Depot RFA when  he was employed as a gardener living at 2, Richardson Place, Combe Down. He was posted to Hilsea Barracks, Portsmouth on 5.9.1914. First posted to 230 Battery, RFA on 14.9.1914. Later posted to 73 Brigade Ammunition Column, 15th Divisional Ammunition Column (DAC) on 22.5.1916. On 27.5.1916 he was transferred from 15th DAC to Base at Calais.

 

He was 5ft 7 1/2 ins tall, weighed 136 lbs and had a 36" chest, grey eyes and brown hair. He was transferred from the RFA to the Royal Engineers in the field and posted to No. 4 Special Brigade, 'Company 'O', on 18th July 1916 as a Pioneer. Regimental number allotted 192938. 4.9.16 awarded 1st Good Conduct Badge.  Promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal on 10.11.1916

 

He first landed in France on 8.7.1915. On 5.8.1917 he was given 1 Day, Field Punishment No, 2 for being absent from Roll Call parade..

 

Admitted to hospital 5 Feb 1918 and rejoined his Unit on 12th Feb. 1918. Leave granted to the UK 22.9.1918 - 6.10.1918. Died of influenza complicated by bronchial pneumonia 22.11.1918

Edited by Mangoman

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Terry_Reeves

In addition to the post above, he also served with "O" company in the short-lived 4A Battalion an improvised unit  with "C" & "J" Companies from 1st and 3rd battalions respectively. This was disbanded in February 1917 when the companies were returned to their original battalions. 

 

He died at US Army Base Hospital 45 of which there is  some  information below following the links below and may useful for background information.

 

http://tinyurl.com/y9jxrg22

 

http://tinyurl.com/y77t3vuw

 

http://tinyurl.com/y89xxnt6

 

 

The relevant war diaries can be downloaded from here for £3-50 each:

 

http://tinyurl.com/y99s5zkz

 

http://tinyurl.com/yb9vslta

 

http://tinyurl.com/ycnphuo8

 

http://tinyurl.com/ybsbsfqk

 

TR

 

 

 

 

Edited by Terry_Reeves

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Doctord84

One I've come across: -

 

Private Frederick Ernest Audas (1885-1918), previously a 2nd Lt. in the East Riding Yeomanry, Court martialled for drunkenness 10th June 1917 and dismissed from service. Re-enlisted with the 2nd Special Company RE's. Died 9/4/1918. Commemorated on the Tyne Cot memorial. Disinfectant manufacturer at Hull, so perhaps his previous experience with chemicals is relevant to his later service. Image in album of Lt. R.S. Stephenson in East Riding archives collections.

 

David

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Terry_Reeves

David

 

Many thanks, he has a file at TNA -  I will investigate. I also note your 2014 post.

 

TR

Edited by Terry_Reeves

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