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Remembered Today:

Draft From Londons To Seaforths

Jock Bruce

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I hope there is an expert on the London Regt out there who can help on this one and save me a slog.

During 1918 the 5th Seaforth received a draft of about 150 men from the London Regt, all of whom seem to have served in RE, ASC or AVC before serving in the Londons. Men from the same corps seem to have served in the same battalion of the Londons (at least those I've checked in medal records), thus

ASC went to 2nd Londons and then to 5th Seaforth.

AVC went to 4th Londons then to 5th Seaforth.

RE went to 8th Londons then to 5th Seaforth (some them were RE Postal Service)

I'm speculating that these men were combed out of rear echelons at some point for service with the infantry and then transferred to the 5th Seaforths.

Their Seaforth numbers are S/4xxxx (i.e. not TF), run sequentially and are allocated pretty much in order of London battalion and then alphabetically within that i.e. ex 2 London men A - Z, then ex 4 London men A-Z, then ex 8 London men A-Z, so it looks like they transferred at much the same time.

I suppose the obvious time for them moving from the Londons to the Seaforths is when briagdes went from 4 to 3 battalions in early 18, but none of them killed before Oct 18, which seems rather unlikely, so I suspect it is later.

None of the Seaforth/51 Div war diaries I've checked throw any light on this - before I unleash myself on those for the Londons can anybody suggest a likely date of transfer from Londons to Seaforths and a likely date of combingout to the Londons.

Jock Bruce

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This is certainly a little puzzling. The two line battalions of 2nd Londons did not suffer any amalgamation in 1918, while 1/8 and 2/8 Londons were amalgamated in February 1918. More pertinent with regard to the evidence which you give is that 2/4 Londons were disbanded on 12 September 1918, with the remaining personnel going to 2/2 Londons. It may have been at this juncture that the ex ASC and AVC men went to 5th Seaforths, but at this time the 8th Londons had recently been in action and their strength was very low and so it is difficult to conceive of them getting rid of their ex RE men.

It is difficult to establish precisely when this particular comb out of Cat A ASC, AVC, and RE men took place. The policy came into force in August/September 1917. As for RE Postal men going to the 8th Londons, this was logical since they were the Post Office Rifles.

I fear that checking the London Regiment war diaries is your only option.


PS I seem to remember previous postings on this subject, or one very like it, on the WFA Forum or an earlier version of this forum.

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thank you - the previous enquiry was probably me, I have floated this before (on the old WFA web I think) when the pattern first began to emerge; thought I would try again with a slightly different audience and as I've become more convinced there is 'something' in it.

So the answer is long days peering at war diaries written on Izal in blunt pencil. Oh joy ........

Jock Bruce

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Always remembering, Jock, that the War diaires were written by scared young men sometimes under fire, and with perhaps a more immediate use for their Izal!! :)

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