Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Help with an inscription


Michael Pegum
 Share

Recommended Posts

I need help with an inscription, please. The one below is on the WW I section of the war memorial in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. The name of Corporal E. K. Coulter, R.P.A. appears in the section “Other Units in British Expeditionary Force”. In this context, that means not a member of any Irish Regiment, and not Canadian, etc. Letters after a name on this memorial may indicate a decoration or a regiment/corps.

Problem 1. What does R.P.A. mean?

Problem 2. Who was Cpl. E. K. Coulter? I can’t find him on the C.W.G.C. website, even with everything “Unknown” except World War I.

Hope you can solve this. Michael

post-3328-1159639880.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

not on sdgw or mic either.

know a Irish Woolsley Coulter races bikes and Aussie Matt Coulter who stunt rides quads amongst others.

If its any use I also found a H J Dundas who was a Driver in the R P A.

the African Tutsi Rebel army or Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) seems to have been a 1970's force unless its anything to do with the Rationalist Press Association could have been a reporter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If its any use I also found a H J Dundas who was a Driver in the R P A.

Thanks, chaz. Where did you find H. J. Dundas? The name isn't on C.W.G.C.

Michael

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 years later...
I need help with an inscription, please. The one below is on the WW I section of the war memorial in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. The name of Corporal E. K. Coulter, R.P.A. appears in the section “Other Units in British Expeditionary Force”. In this context, that means not a member of any Irish Regiment, and not Canadian, etc. Letters after a name on this memorial may indicate a decoration or a regiment/corps.

Problem 1. What does R.P.A. mean?

Problem 2. Who was Cpl. E. K. Coulter? I can’t find him on the C.W.G.C. website, even with everything “Unknown” except World War I.

Hope you can solve this. Michael

post-3328-1159639880.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've just bumped into your correspondence about Corporal EKCoulter RPA named on the Enniskillen War Memorial.

I am a volunteer in Inniskilling Regimental Museum in Enniskillen and I have recently started to research all the names on the war memorial. I have not yet reached Coulter's name and I imagine I am going to be in difficulties with "RPA". I wonder did you ever resolve the question and if so I would be delighted to hear from you. Would you have learned anything else about the man?

Regards, Clive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Michael,

Had a look through a militar acronym site and apart from many other reasons for RPA, one stuck out and it was

Reserve Personnel, Army.

Could have this been the meaning ?

David

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What about

Name: KANE

Initials: E

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Gunner

Regiment/Service: Royal Field Artillery

Unit Text: 24th Bty., 38th Bde.

Age: 28

Date of Death: 24/11/1917

Service No: 57996

Additional information: Son of Eliza Coulter, of Tatnafree, Brookeborough, Co. Fermanagh.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: XII. B. 22.

Cemetery: TYNE COT CEMETERY

The EK could be the E Kane, and I assume Brookeborough is not too far from Enniskillen?

Could the RPA actually be a misread of RFA by the mason?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could the RPA actually be a misread of RFA by the mason?

I wondered that too, Kevin. A search of the online London Gazette for RPA yields several results, but all the ones I checked were in fact OCR errors for RFA.

Jane

P.S. and your E. Kane sounds like a good candidate for E.K. Coulter too. Good detective work!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Reserve Personnel, Army sounds reasonable, but why is it so rare? Large numbers of soldiers who had served their time were recalled.

As for an error by the mason, the only other similar designations on this section of the memorial ("Other units in the B.E.F." i.e. not Irish regiments) were in corps: R.A.M.C., R.A.O.C., R.E.). Of course, the R.F.A., R.G.A. and R.H.A. were corps, not regiments, so it might be right, though I doubt if an error would not have been repaired. The whole text of the inscription can be seen at Enniskillen Great War Memorial on the 'Text of the memorial and further information' .pdf document.

The identification as E. Kane looks good, but his rank was gunner. Even if there is an error in the rank on the CWGC list, but he was in the artillery, wouldn't he have been called a bombardier on the memorial, not a corporal? The area would include Brookeborough, by the way; Coulter is (or was) quite a frequent name, as there are four others of that name on this memorial.

I don't think I am any wiser (or more knowledgeable).

Michael

Link to comment
Share on other sites

'Reserve personnel, Army' sounds very unlikely to me. Has anyone here ever heard of it before? Sounds like a much more recent abbreviation than WW1, too....

My suggestions;

Maybe it's someone who didn't serve abroad, and was with a quasi-military unit that was thought worthy of commemoration i.e. a cadet corps, some kind of local volunteer group, or a local volunteer police body.

Maybe it's a mis-spelling of RFA. You'd have thought someone would have sorted it out years ago, but that might be assuming too much.

Next step;

Check deaths in Ireland for the period 1914-1919 or 1920. Did anyone with this name die? If not, try deaths in the rest of the UK for the same period. Next, try to find a birth certificate for someone with this name, see what comes up and see if that takes you anywhere.

Does that name appear on another local memorial?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Michael,

A bombardier is a Lance Corporal next step up Corporal, according to my g/fathers paybook.

David

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A bombardier is a Lance Corporal next step up Corporal, according to my g/fathers paybook.

Gunner, Lance-Bombadier, Bombadier, Sergeant, is how it goes......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What about local newspaper archives for Casualty Lists, or Church baptism, marriage records etc?

The War Memorial must have had Names submitted to a committee, so are there any records with the Council?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What about local newspaper archives for Casualty Lists, or Church baptism, marriage records etc?

The War Memorial must have had Names submitted to a committee, so are there any records with the Council?

I'm really glad I put the cat among the pigeons by re-opening the correspondence and I thank you all for you suggestions. I have already started trawling through the microfilms of our three local papers at the library and I will keep Kane/Coulter to the front of my mind as I continue. I have been discussing the RPA with local Legion men and museum volunteers including a former museum curator who was instrumental in adding the WW11 names to the memorial. No one ever noticed it before.

Clive Johnston

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Headgardener,

Slightly pre war but the pay book says Appointed A/Bombardier (a provisional rank), Promoted Bombardier, Promoted Corporal, Promoted Sergeant etc etc

David

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Headgardener,

Slightly pre war but the pay book says Appointed A/Bombardier (a provisional rank), Promoted Bombardier, Promoted Corporal, Promoted Sergeant etc etc

David

Actually, I've just realised that you're right. Though it's a bit of an odd situation; Bdr at that time was the equivalent to the RE rank of 2/Cpl, which is essentially a L/Cpl (they only have one stripe, just like a L/Cpl). It's unique to the artillery. So, at that time it went Gnr, L/Bdr, Bdr, Cpl, Sgt, just as it says in your paybook.

I believe that this rank structure changed after the end of WW1, so we're both right, but you were more right than me in this instance......!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm just off to enjoy a slice of humble pie.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 months later...

I have finally reached this man in my research of the names on Enniskillen's War Memorial.

Here is my answer:

This was 57996 Gunner Edward Kane Royal Field Artillery (RFA) killed in action 24 Nov 1917. 1901 Irish Census records show Edward Coulter, 11 years, living at Tattinfree, Brookeborough. He was son of James and Eliza Coulter. His maternal grandmother Ellen Kane was living with the family. It is reasonable to assume he adopted her name when he enlisted.

My work has uncovered many, many other mistakes on the memorial and this has complicated my research a lot.

Clive

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow! Glad to hear that at least one of the unintended errors has been resolved!

Pleased that I was lucky enough to find what was the missing link.

I hope you have been able to track down the source records, and perhaps it was just down to florid style of handwriting?

Makes it all worthwhile <sigh>

Link to comment
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
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...