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Remembered Today:

5th DLI


Guest bazz
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Hi To All

I have just found this great forum.

I am unsure which 5th DLI my grandfather was in, Ernest Cliffrod Alexander Reg no 200358 private enlisted 16th Nov 1914 at Stockton, discharged at York 1st Dec 1919.

I have read 'The Fifth Battalion The Durham Light Infantry 1914-1918' and he is not listed in

the back.

He was only 15 when he enlisted and lied about his date of birth, which I know was a very common thing.

I have found that he enlisted along with he's brother John Alexander who was captured at St Eloi on 12/02/1916, I can remember my grandfather telling me that he watched

from above as his brother was captured and that they waved to each other as his brother

was lead off by the Germans

I would be very grateful of any help in finding a more detailed account of what he got up to and also

any photo's.

All have his is enlistment papers and medals, in later years my grandfather and grandmother had a fall

out and she burnt he's uniform and photos of him.

Many thanks and if I can be of help to anybody please contact me barry.alexander@ntlworld.com

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Hello Bazz, welcome to the forum. Looks like he also served with the Yorkshire Regiment and Royal Engineers. Link to his medal index card below.

John.

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documen...;resultcount=47

Hi John

Thanks for the link, I do have his index card, he re-enlisted into the York's in 1919 as a telegraph operator, then he moved over to the Royal Engineers working on motorbikes and he left in 1922.

During WW2 he was with the home guard.

I also know that his records for the first WW1 were destroyed when the M O D got hit during the second world war. I found this out when I reapplied for this medals which I now have (my grandmother throw out the originals).

I have no photo's of him when he was in the DLI or indeed of him in his younger days, so if anyone out they as group photos of the 5th DLI that I could look over and hopefully I might be lucky and find him.

What makes me sad is that was I was young I can remember him taking me into the spare bedroom and

he had an old suitcase with all his photo's and uniform's from his army days, and I can recall him putting his

1st World War DLI unifrom on me, which I thought was great!! and in his will he left them to me, but as I have said my grandmother burnt the lot which I did not find out until after his death.

I have been reading thru the forum and noted a book 'The War Record of the Old Dunelmians, 1914-1919'

what does this book contain? is it about the 5th DLI?. I already own 'The Fifth Battalion The Durham Light Infantry 1914-1918' which gives a good insight into what was going on.

Many Thanks again John.

Cheers Barry

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Barry, I have the book 'The War Record of the Old Dunelmians', this is a Roll of Honour for pupils of Durham School, and as such lists all regiments in which the pupils (mainly officers) served during WWI. The only book I know of which is dedicated to the 5th battalion is the one you already have 'The Fifth Battalion The Durham Light Infantry 1914-1918' ..I also have a copy. The nominal roll in the back, lists only men who landed with the battalion in France, in April, 1915, so it looks like your grandfather may have joined the battalion in France/Flanders after this, possibly a reinforcement for the battalion after they were badly mauled during April, 1915 at 2nd Ypres. Does his medal index card give a date when he entered a theatre of war?

John.

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I have no photo's of him when he was in the DLI or indeed of him in his younger days, so if anyone out they as group photos of the 5th DLI that I could look over and hopefully I might be lucky and find him.

I already own 'The Fifth Battalion The Durham Light Infantry 1914-1918' which gives a good insight into what was going on.

Barry,

For photos, try the online DLI image archive held by Durham Record Office. Over 28,000 photos are available and, best of all, it's searchable by the name of whoever anyone is interested in. Go to www.durham.gov.uk/recordoffice, input DLI to access the DLI database... you'll find best part of thirty catalogue records... go into the ones for 5/DLI + Individual Servicemen (A-B) and do a search. From memory, 'Document' search is the default, so don't forget to change it to 'Image' search.

As you have a copy of Raimes' you've already got the best secondary source book available. Some time ago, I researched all DLI battalions raised during the First World War for a MLitt degree and I've kept comprehensive records... generally, not for individual soldiers tho'. Attached is an extract from an as yet unpublished manuscript that might add a little to your knowledge. I hope you like it and find it of use.

David T.

First_line_5th_Battalion__DLI.doc

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:) Hi Guy's

I thank you all for your advise and help.

I only live 40 mins away from Durham Record Office and I can not

believe that I did not think of that before, I have contacted them

and made a appointment to do some research,I will give you a update

on what I find.

John84

Thanks for the reply , I have looked over his index card but I cannot

see a date, so I am unsure when he entered.

David T

Thank you for the downloadable file which I look forward to reading

in detail (just had a quick scan and look's very intresting).

I would be interested in the full manuscript if ever you publish.

One last thing, can I presume that he was in the 2/5th DLI and not the

1/5th DLI, does anybody know how it worked?

Thank's again guy's, I am so glad I found this forum.

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One last thing, can I presume that he was in the 2/5th DLI and not the

1/5th DLI, does anybody know how it worked?

Barry,

2/5th Battalion, DLI, Territorial Force was the reserve battalion for its parent 1/5th Battalion. It formed at Stockton, probably in September 1914 - some sources suggest August - and, given the age of your Grandfather and his obvious lack of military experience when he enlisted, it's reasonable to assume that he'll have first joined the 2/5th Battalion. Soon after the parent battalion moved overseas (April 1915) there was a constant demand for reinforcements. Usually, it took about twelve months to complete the training of a soldier, so I guess your Grandfather will have been sent to France & Flanders towards the end of 1915.

At the end of October 1916, 2/5th Battalion entrained for Southampton, bound for Salonika. On 17 September 1919, what remained of it (some officers and, probably, less than one hundred other ranks) began its return journey to UK via Constantinople.

When you go to the DRO, if you've got the time have a look at Reverend J. A. G. Birch's scrapbook & the Vane Papers. It might simply confuse things if I gave you the old reference numbers... the whole archive was re-catalogued a couple of years ago but you should find the new references easily enough although a word of warning, the Vane Papers are extensive! Anyway, I hope you find what you're after.

David T.

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David T

Thank you for your reply and I have searched the DRO online and found the papers you refer to

and I have made a note of the ref no.

I am booked for all day so hopefully I should have enough time, if not I will rebook.

Once again many thanks for your effort in answering my question's.

Cheers

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