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Remembered Today:

Tracking my Great GrandFather


jhmarkham
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Hi

I am a real novice at this.

I have tracked the medal card for my great grandfather John Markham. During the war he was in 3 regiments and I suppose I am looking to find out where he was and what timeframes he would have been in each regiment.

He entered the war in Sept 1915 in France (1). he served as a private in the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment (19019), the Royal Fusiliers (106423) and the Labour corps (577335).

Any assitance on where to look would be much appriciated, trying to get together a history to present to his daughter. i.e my nan

Gavin

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welcome to the forum

The medal roll (found from the ref numbers on the MIC) may show transfered dates

or you could see if his papers are at the NA, kew

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Just had a look for him on the Times casualty lists:

Times 16-11-1916

List of Wounded

post-6536-1170248768.jpg

It is difficult to draw any solid conclusions from the lists apart from that he was wounded before this date!

However, the delay between wounding and publication was usually about a month (a week for officers).

Men killed in the Regiment on the same list are:

26993 Private John Gilmore, 8th Battalion, Died 11-10-1916

29967 Private R Hargeaves, 8th Battalion, Died 12-10-1916

27029 Private M Lomas, 8th Battalion, Died 15-10-1916

27055 Private Richard O'Neill, 8th Battalion, Died 14-10-1916.

So, if we were going to jump to conclusions, we might say that he was probably in the 8th Battalion and was wounded somewhere around 11th to 15th October 1916. This coincides with 8th Battalions capture and defence of Stuff Redoubt near Thiepval from 11th October 1916 to 14th October 1916.

The date of entry of September 1915 does in fact coincide with the entry date of the 8th Battalion:

http://www.1914-1918.net/loyals.htm

http://www.1914-1918.net/25div.htm

Is the date at the end of September ?

This can usually be properly checked by consulting the Medal Rolls at the National Archives. I have seen mention that very few of the Labour Corps Rolls still exist, but I have never tried to look at them. May be worth looking anyway.

After his time in the Loyals, he would have probably returned to the UK for treatment and returned to the Front in the Royal Fusiliers. After that he may have either been wounded again or medically downgraded for some reason, and transferred to the Labour Corps.

In any event, John's career would have been recorded in his Service Records at the NA. Unfortunately, 70% of these were lost in the Blitz, so it is pot luck as to whether it survives. If not, then we are left with guesswork and other sources - letters, other official records, local newspapers, and the Regimental Museum.

Hope this is a start,

Steve.

P.S. The young officer referred to in the book linked to below seems to have had almost the same career in the Loyals as John, except he was killed in October 1916.

http://www.1914-1918.net/books/year.htm

http://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/SearchRe...=0&sortby=3

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steve

what did you put in the times search engine ?

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Ribena! :D (see the stain...?)

Actually, just Markham (reasonably rare name), dates Sep 1915 to Jun 1917 (no OR wounded recorded thereafter) and ticked People.

Steve.

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From the Somme , Day by Day:

Wednesday 11th October 1916. Day 103

Thiepval

8th Bn, Loyal North Lancashire Regt had relieved the Cheshires in Stuff Redoubt. During the day the North Lancs drove off numerous German attacks.

Saturday 14th October 1916. Day 106

Thiepval

39th Div attacked in Schwaben Redoubt with 4/5th Black Watch, 1/1st Cambridge and 17th King’s Royal Rifle Corps. The fighting lasted from 3pm until 11pm when the Germans were finally cleared from the Redoubt. To the left of the redoubt the 1/6th Cheshires also pushed the line forward. North east of Schwaben Redoubt 8th Bn Loyal North Lancs (7 Bde, 25th Div) attacked and secured The Mound affording observation over Grandcourt.

Steve.

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cheers - never used the people tick option

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Thanks so much for your great information.

He entered on the 25th September 1915.

John's medal card has a number next to the three regiments, does thios indicate their chronolgical order?. If so it was the loyals 1, labour corps 2 and fusiliers 3.

However they are listed as loyals, fusiliers and labour corps.

From what i have learnt from family sources there was never any mention of being wounded so this is a big surprise.

Thanks again

Gavin

P.S The search is sometimes hard in Australia but I will be in the U.K in a couple of months and plan to try and find whatever i can.

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Gavin,

The numbers would be the order, which actually makes quite good sense in view of what happened to a lot of soldiers.

It is also good for you, because the Royal Fusiliers medal rolls are both much more complete, and (I am told) give dates of service with each battalion. What codes are against the medal references?

What happened quite a bit is that men were wounded and then returned to the Army in the Labour Corps. This was created 1-1-1917 and allocated approx. 100-200,000 numbers straight away (not an expert as you can tell!). I would very tentatively estimate that the LC number is sometime in late 1917, perhaps even into 1918. The LC numbers reached about 700,000 by the end of the war.

The Labour Corps was often the Corps that men who had been wounded enough to be disqualified from frontline action but were still useful would be transferred. From early 1918, the infantry manpower shortage meant that we see a lot of Labour Corps men reclassified as capable of fighting purely by "lowering of the bar".

This MAY have happened to your great-grandfather.

Steve.

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Hi Steve

I am unable to access the medal card at the moment as I am at work, however I know that John Markham was married in Manchester in September 1917. This would indicate that he went home after being wounded in 1916, got married, went back to the Labour Corp in 1917 and then was moved to the 43rd battalion of the Royal Fusiliers in 1918. I have read that the 43rd was active in 1918. i also know that in January 1919 he jonied the army reserve.

Does this timeline seem probable?

your help has been amazing.

thanks

Gavin

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That timeline seems reasonable to me. Possibly got married before going back overseas.

Do you have documents with the 43rd Royal Fusiliers on?

Does his marriage certificate give a unit?

Steve.

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Steve

I am now able to see the medal card. Next to the word medal is a small x, is this significant? The numbers next to the medals are as follows:

Victory - TP104B58 (though the 8 could be a 3) - page 6388

British - do, then another do

1915 Star - tp/77c - page 80

Is there anything to be learnt from these numbers?

Gavin

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They confirm that his last unit was the Royal Fusiliers (TP medal office) and not the Labour Corps (LC medal office).

x's on medal cards are usually an aid for the correct stamping of the medals. There is often another x next to a rank, number, etc.

1914-15 Star - Name, number, rank and regiment when first stepped off the boat into a theatre of war.

VM & BWM - Name, number and regiment on arrival, but highest rank achieved. (Different rules if an officer, though.)

These numbers can be converted into a WO329 reference that can be looked up at the National Archives. The Medal rolls are old-fashioned thick ledger books that will state units served with, usually with a battalion number. As I mentioned I believe the RF Rolls are much more detailed than most, giving dates as well.

Steve.

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I access them through my County Library website using my library card number as a log-in.

I imagine the British Library Newspaper section at Colindale, North London has a copy or two, but these won't be searchable.

You may be able to log-in via Athens.

http://www.galeuk.com/times/remote.htm

The Free Trial is only for Institutions.... :(

Perhaps:

http://nla.gov.au/anbd.bib-an24209369

http://www.caslconsortium.org/product_list/times.html

Edit:

I think this is the place. Bottom of page here, but you will need to Register for Remote Access. Don't ask me how!

http://www.nla.gov.au/apps/eresources/acti...d=113&sid=6

Steve.

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