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3271 Pte Thomas Smith 1st Battalion Royal Scots


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Being new to this :unsure: I'm looking for pointers in the right direction. My grandfather Private Thomas Smith 3271 is listed (Medal Card) as arriving in France 19 Dec 1914, under 1st Royal Scots. Would it be possible for a new recruit to be installed in a regular battalion that early in the conflict? Or could this be an omission of detail from the medal card - 1/? batallion rather than 1st? The added complication is that an old relative claims my grandfather was in the Army prior to WW1 - which is news to the rest of the family? Can someone give me the benefit of their experience?

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welcome

new recruits could have gone into regular Btns due to the losses they would have been suffering, but 1st Btn didnt get to France/Flanders until 20 december 1914 - so not in this case. They where in India when war started

no expert on this regiment but number is quite low so perhaps previous service

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I think that your old relative is probably correct. The date and the battalion indicate that he was an old soldier on the reserve and was recalled in August, 1914.

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new recruits would have gone into regular Btns due to the losses they would have been suffering

Surely not as early as December, '14?

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Hi Ian t

I also had a relative who served with the 1st Royals. He initially served with the KOSB enlisting in 1900 and served in the Boer War. In 1907 he went into the Reserves and in 1914 was enlisted into the 1st Royals.

His KOSB Service records survived in the National Archives in the WO97 series, but his Great War Service Records were lost in the Blitz in the Second World War.

Regards

LIT

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depends what you term new ? He could have joined say in June and this was his first posting. He would have been "new"

Ive several examples of Coldstream who joined in August 1914 and arrived in November 1914

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Ive several examples of Coldstream who joined in August 1914 and arrived in November 1914

That is interesting. My grandfather spent many months training before he was allowed overseas with the Irish Guards. I can't imagine what the old sweats of a regular guards battalion would think of a recruit of 3 month's standing joining them in the front line!

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probably just glad to be getting reinforcements - the CG suffered pretty badly in 1914

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post-3871-1170198508.jpg

CG killed 1914 - not what you'd call scarce to be a CG casualty

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Nasty figures for the poor old Coldstream Guards.

Since I have no statistical evidence, I obviously cannot say for certain how Pte Smith joined the Royal Scots but I would have thought, on the balance of probabilities, that it was more likely that he was a reservist. Particularly if there does exist that old family memory.

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If he was with the 1st Royal Scots in December, 1914 he would in all probability be a reservist recalled to the colours as the 1st did leave for France until November,1914 and did not see serious large scale action until the following spring at St Eloi and 2nd Ypres. They moved to Salonika later in 1915 , hope this assists. Out of curiousity did your Grandfather reside in Edinburgh or the Lothians, the reason I ask is I run a website (see link in signature) about local men (Newtongrangeand district, Midlothian)who served in the Great War.

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If he was with the 1st Royal Scots in December, 1914 he would in all probability be a reservist recalled to the colours as the 1st did leave for France until November,1914 and did not see serious large scale action until the following spring at St Eloi and 2nd Ypres. They moved to Salonika later in 1915 , hope this assists. Out of curiousity did your Grandfather reside in Edinburgh or the Lothians, the reason I ask is I run a website (see link in signature) about local men (Newtongrangeand district, Midlothian)who served in the Great War.

Although originally from Braidwood, Carluke at this time he was resident in Blackburn, West Lothian (the old relative I quoted did make a fleeting reference to the Cameronians, which would fit in with the area, but I think this unlikely as my grandfather's mother was an Irish Catholic and this wouldn't fit with the regiment's recruiting profile. It is known that he worked some of the Lothian coalfield so perhaps there is also a Newtongrange connection I'll keep you posted if I find one.

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welcome

new recruits could have gone into regular Btns due to the losses they would have been suffering, but 1st Btn didnt get to France/Flanders until 20 december 1914 - so not in this case. They where in India when war started

no expert on this regiment but number is quite low so perhaps previous service

I had thought his number was low too - thinking this might point to previous service but a 'Pay Corps' contact states one does not necessarily follow the other unfortunately

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  • spof changed the title to 3271 Pte Thomas Smith 1st Battalion Royal Scots

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