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

Remembered Today:

643rd H S Employment Company


chris champion
 Share

Recommended Posts

Can you help?

I am a new member to the forum and would appreciate any help of identifying what the 643rd H S Employment Company represents and where it was based in WW1.

My Grandfather Zaccheus Charles Northover was a Private (38122) in the 1st Battalion Duke of Cornwall Light Infantry. I have a copy of an entry from the 1917 Attestation Book of Bodmin Barracks, held at Bodmin Museum showing 38122, Northover Z. C. transferred from the 643rd H S Emp Coy to Depot 1.12.17

My Grandfather enlisted with the DCLI on 4th December 1916; on the 2nd March 1919 he was transferred to the 44th Training Reserve Battalion and also served in the Labour Corps. This is all the information I have for my Grandfather during WW1.

I would also like to know how long a new recruit would have been trained before being sent to the front.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

An 'HS employment company' was a 'home service employment company', a unit of the Labour Corps that was stationed in the UK.

The time that a recruit spent in training before going to the front varied greatly from one unit to another and one period of the war to another.

Most of the training programmes that I have seen called for an infantry recruit to spend a bare minimum of four months before being given a place in the ranks of an operational unit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

An 'HS employment company' was a 'home service employment company', a unit of the Labour Corps that was stationed in the UK.

The time that a recruit spent in training before going to the front varied greatly from one unit to another and one period of the war to another.

Most of the training programmes that I have seen called for an infantry recruit to spend a bare minimum of four months before being given a place in the ranks of an operational unit.

Many thanks for quick reply.

The 'home service employment company' still seems a mystery to me. I have also received the following explanations through other forums on this subject;

1) Hold Strength Employment Company - term used by Army when troops are not employed in a Regiment

2) Home Service Employment Company - units served only in the UK often comprising of soldiers who were recuperating from wounds or sickness but were fit enough to carry out some 'light duties'.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

TM

I found no entry in the Medal Rolls WO372/15 at the National Archives for 38122 Zacchaeus Northover. This record sometimes lists the various units served in and can sometimes reveal another service number or two.

Moving from the 643rd HS Employment Company to Depot means to me that he moved to the Base Camp of the Regiment,probably in the West of England,which is usually for reasons of awaiting posting to a front line regiment,to regain fitness or increase skills, or to be employed on homeland duties. Have you seen any reference to him joining a front line Battalion ? At around the end of 1917 the 1st Battalion DCLI were withdrawn from Flanders and sent to Italy for war duties,but had to return to France again because of the German Offensive of early 1918.

If he had joined the 1st Bn you might learn something from that Bn's War Diary at the National Archives under reference WO95/4217 for the period Dec 1917 to March 1918.

Later transfer to the 44th Training Reserve Battalion of the 10th Reserve Brigade (Devon and Cornwall Brigade) probably meant that he was on standby in case of need at the end of the War.

Sorry I can't be of more positive help. I expect there are others here who can be though !

Best wishes

Sotonmate

Link to comment
Share on other sites

TM

I found no entry in the Medal Rolls WO372/15 at the National Archives for 38122 Zacchaeus Northover. This record sometimes lists the various units served in and can sometimes reveal another service number or two.

Moving from the 643rd HS Employment Company to Depot means to me that he moved to the Base Camp of the Regiment,probably in the West of England,which is usually for reasons of awaiting posting to a front line regiment,to regain fitness or increase skills, or to be employed on homeland duties. Have you seen any reference to him joining a front line Battalion ? At around the end of 1917 the 1st Battalion DCLI were withdrawn from Flanders and sent to Italy for war duties,but had to return to France again because of the German Offensive of early 1918.

If he had joined the 1st Bn you might learn something from that Bn's War Diary at the National Archives under reference WO95/4217 for the period Dec 1917 to March 1918.

Later transfer to the 44th Training Reserve Battalion of the 10th Reserve Brigade (Devon and Cornwall Brigade) probably meant that he was on standby in case of need at the end of the War.

Sorry I can't be of more positive help. I expect there are others here who can be though !

Best wishes

Sotonmate

Hi

Many thanks for responding.

I found an entry on the DCLI Medal Roll ref. WO329/1212 Page 763b, it doesn't tell you anything other than Regimental No., Rank, Name and Unit.

I have also found an entry in the DCLI War Daries ref. WO95/1578 they are lists found at the back of the monthly dairy entries headed 'Nominal Roll of W.C.Os and men who have become casualties, been transferred or joined since last Report' 1st Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, document ref. A149 sheet 7 lists 38122 Pte C. Northover joined 4-7-18.

Could it be that my Grandfather was recuperating from wounds from an earlier engagement during 1917?This might explain the entry appearing in the DCLI Attestation Book transferred from the 643rd H S Emp Coy to Depot 1.12.17?

Any good at deciphering code's appearing on Medal Index Cards?

The entry on my Grandfathers card reads - C¹/101 B 9

Regards

TeMoananui

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
Hi

Many thanks for responding.

I found an entry on the DCLI Medal Roll ref. WO329/1212 Page 763b, it doesn't tell you anything other than Regimental No., Rank, Name and Unit.

I have also found an entry in the DCLI War Daries ref. WO95/1578 they are lists found at the back of the monthly dairy entries headed 'Nominal Roll of W.C.Os and men who have become casualties, been transferred or joined since last Report' 1st Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, document ref. A149 sheet 7 lists 38122 Pte C. Northover joined 4-7-18.

Could it be that my Grandfather was recuperating from wounds from an earlier engagement during 1917?This might explain the entry appearing in the DCLI Attestation Book transferred from the 643rd H S Emp Coy to Depot 1.12.17?

Any good at deciphering code's appearing on Medal Index Cards?

The entry on my Grandfathers card reads - C¹/101 B 9

Regards

TeMoananui

Hi, just resurrecting requesting for help.

Has anyone come across the 643rd H S Employment Company in their research?

Would like to know where they were based in 1917 and first quarter JFM 1918.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi

In Sept 1917 643 HS Coy were at Exeter.

Hi

Many thanks for quick response.

Are there any records I can view concerning the 643 HS Coy, the Training Reserve Bns particularly the 10th(Reserve)Bde and the Labour Corps for the DCLI?

I have copies of the MIC and the MRH for my Grandfather who served with the 1st DCLI, but they offer very little information. He enlisted for the 44th Training Reserve Battalion in Dec 1916, Z. C. Northover 38122. He is recorded being transferred from 643 HS Coy to Bodmin Depot in Dec 1917 and then is listed on a Nominal Roll joining the 1st DCLI at the front on 4 July 1918.

I'm going to the NA tomorrow, 11 Dec to follow-up on the entry I found in the Nominal Roll for the 1st DCLI on 4 July 1918. Any pointers where I might find further information would be appreciated.

Kindest Regards

TM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think I've covered this thread somewhere else in the Forum, but the 44th Training Reserve Battalion were formed on the 1st September 1916 from the 11th(Reserve)Bn, Devonshire Regiment, and it was disbanded on the 30th November 1917. His regimental number while with 44th T.R.B. would have began TR/ followed by his Regimental District number and then his regimental number, i.e. TR/9/10000. Unfortunately this type of information would only be found on his Service Records if they survived the Blitz. Again on transfer to the Labour Corps a new regimental number would be issued.

Graham.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think I've covered this thread somewhere else in the Forum, but the 44th Training Reserve Battalion were formed on the 1st September 1916 from the 11th(Reserve)Bn, Devonshire Regiment, and it was disbanded on the 30th November 1917. His regimental number while with 44th T.R.B. would have began TR/ followed by his Regimental District number and then his regimental number, i.e. TR/9/10000. Unfortunately this type of information would only be found on his Service Records if they survived the Blitz. Again on transfer to the Labour Corps a new regimental number would be issued.

Graham.

Hi Graham,

Thanks for responding. This potentially helps explain why the entry appearing in the DCLI Attestation Book is only recorded as 'Transferred from 643rd H S Emp Coy to Depot 01 Dec 1917' presumably because his personal details were already recorded with the TR, while several other entries on the same page list details of last action, age, cilivian profession, height, weight, transferred to etc.

Are there any other journals I could look at which might help track his where abouts and explain typically what his experiences would have been with the TR and Labour Corps?

Kindest Regards

TM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Hi Graham,

Thanks for responding. This potentially helps explain why the entry appearing in the DCLI Attestation Book is only recorded as 'Transferred from 643rd H S Emp Coy to Depot 01 Dec 1917' presumably because his personal details were already recorded with the TR, while several other entries on the same page list details of last action, age, cilivian profession, height, weight, transferred to etc.

Are there any other journals I could look at which might help track his where abouts and explain typically what his experiences would have been with the TR and Labour Corps?

Kindest Regards

TM

Just refreshing this request for help

TM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
Just refreshing this request for help

TM

Would like to hear from anyone who has information on the 643 HS Emp Coy during 1917.

So far I have ascertained that they were based at Exeter in Sept 1917.

Any pictures would also be appreciated.

Regards

TM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
Would like to hear from anyone who has information on the 643 HS Emp Coy during 1917.

So far I have ascertained that they were based at Exeter in Sept 1917.

Any pictures would also be appreciated.

Regards

TM

Hi

Just resurrecting this query.

Would like to hear from anyone who has information on the 643 HS Emp Coy during 1917.

So far I have ascertained that they were based at Exeter in Sept 1917.

Any pictures would also be appreciated.

TM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 7 years later...

Found this thread while looking for info re the 643 HSE Coy, Labour Corps - so I can't add much - except to note that they were also in Exeter in August 1918.

I will now look elsewhere!

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...