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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

identifying cap badge


ma1

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I am trying to find out in which regiment my grandfather, Thomas McCann, served during WW1. The only information I have is the attached photo of him mounted, with a fairly good view of his cap badge. I know he did not join the army before 1916; his wedding certificate of that year indicated he was a coal miner which status I believe exempted him from service until then. He lived in Paisley, Scotland and, I assume, joined a regiment raised from Renfrewshire or perhaps Glasgow.

Help in identifying his regiment would be greatly appreciated!

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I found 6 Royal Engineers named Thomas McCann on the medal Index Cards online.

The Royal Engineers are a Corps as opposed to a Regiment.

There is one one with a prefix T in front of his number - not sure if in the RE's this refers to Transport or not. As he is on horseback he may have been in the Transport section though. Although the cavalry had a 'Cavalry Signals unit' as well. To further complicate matters the RE's were divided into Mounted and Dismounted branches.

Without a number, i think you need to check at NA to see if his service records survived.

stevem

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post-18970-1171202759.jpg

I found 6 Royal Engineers named Thomas McCann on the medal Index Cards online.

The Royal Engineers are a Corps as opposed to a Regiment.

There is one one with a prefix T in front of his number - not sure if in the RE's this refers to Transport or not. As he is on horseback he may have been in the Transport section though. Although the cavalry had a 'Cavalry Signals unit' as well. To further complicate matters the RE's were divided into Mounted and Dismounted branches.

Without a number, i think you need to check at NA to see if his service records survived.

stevem

Thank you so much for your help. I was also searching the NAR site and downloaded the six Thomas McCann's on it. Three of them went to France in 1915 which would seem to rule out my grandfather as he was still a coalminer in 1916. Also, he would probably have been too young in 1915 to send overseas. But, according the only thing he ever told his children about his service, we know he did go overseas and I'm pretty sure it was to France. That means he could be one of the remaining three since they all have the Victory medal. There is another curious detail on the saddle blanket on his photo which I am attaching in case it means anything to anyone. It looks like TD - RE (Transport Division - Royal Engineers?) I have been searching online to find out what the mounted duties for the Royal Engineers with no luck today so thank you for the pointers regarding Transport and Cavalry Signals. Happily, I live in London at the moment and I can go to the NAR. Again, I am very grateful for any and all help -- a family mystery is on the way to being solved!

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There is an RE Museum at Chatham Kent. If you search for Royal Engineers Museum, it should give website address.

Have you 'clicked' on The Long, Long Trail in top left hand corner. That also has RE info and pointers on researching.

stevem

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The "T" mentioned by Steve would stand for Territorial not Transport.

Enlistments from the later half of 1916 would probably have numbers from 200000 upwards.

I see 209336 is listed as a Driver. Driver in WW1 parlance usually means a "driver" of horses (i.e. sits on a horse and drives whatever is being pulled by the horse or horse team)

200895 later went to the Waterways and Railways Department. He may well have been in that dept. before being renumbered too.

Same with 39636 though seemingly an early enlistment. 1 of the 3 1914-15 Star cards?

The ex-Royal Scots man has an odd RE number 612660 that may be post war.

82326 is probably an early 1915 enlistment. No 2 of the 1914-15 Stars?

119721 may be 2nd half of 1915 enlistment. Possibly the 3rd 1914-15 Star.

Based solely on numbers and ranks, 209336 is my favourite, but is a guess, nothing more.

A search of Service Records at Kew could help eliminate some of these as candidates, even if you can't find your own Thomas McCann.

Steve.

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The "T" mentioned by Steve would stand for Territorial not Transport.

Enlistments from the later half of 1916 would probably have numbers from 200000 upwards.

I see 209336 is listed as a Driver. Driver in WW1 parlance usually means a "driver" of horses (i.e. sits on a horse and drives whatever is being pulled by the horse or horse team)

200895 later went to the Waterways and Railways Department. He may well have been in that dept. before being renumbered too.

Same with 39636 though seemingly an early enlistment. 1 of the 3 1914-15 Star cards?

The ex-Royal Scots man has an odd RE number 612660 that may be post war.

82326 is probably an early 1915 enlistment. No 2 of the 1914-15 Stars?

119721 may be 2nd half of 1915 enlistment. Possibly the 3rd 1914-15 Star.

Based solely on numbers and ranks, 209336 is my favourite, but is a guess, nothing more.

A search of Service Records at Kew could help eliminate some of these as candidates, even if you can't find your own Thomas McCann.

Steve.

Wow! You guys know your stuff! The criteria for 209336 would appear to fit best. Off to Kew next. I have looked at both the Long, Long Trail info and the RE website, but as I am new to this, I may not be taking it all in very efficiently yet. I take it that the saddle blanket lettering does not provide any useful info?

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I think it is actually a shoulder bag and not part of the saddle. If the 'T' is Transport then i would think the 'D' is more likely Detachment and not Division. The bags were used for carrying signals etc. The other problem is that the mounted sections used 1903 pattern equipment and the bag could have been marked at any time after that, depending on how old the bag is.

It could be therefore that he was in a Signals Company. All signals personnel belonged to the mounted branch.

I checked SDGW to see if we could eliminate any of the 6 men but no Thomas McCann seems to have died!

Best of luck

stevem

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I think it is actually a shoulder bag and not part of the saddle. If the 'T' is Transport then i would think the 'D' is more likely Detachment and not Division. The bags were used for carrying signals etc. The other problem is that the mounted sections used 1903 pattern equipment and the bag could have been marked at any time after that, depending on how old the bag is.

It could be therefore that he was in a Signals Company. All signals personnel belonged to the mounted branch.

I checked SDGW to see if we could eliminate any of the 6 men but no Thomas McCann seems to have died!

Best of luck

stevem

Or it could be the saddle :D Can you pick out the shoulder badge? If it is only RE, then i think we can rule out Signal and Railway Companies which both had their designation under the RE.

s

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post-18970-1171707050.jpgI did my best to enhance the photo of the shoulder boards to no avail. Or at least not to a point where I thought they were any more distinquishable than before.

Regarding the shoulderbag or saddle blanket, I am attaching a larger view. It seems to me to be under the saddle but I'm a city girl and not qualified in any way to comment!

Anyway, thanks very much to all who replied for your help. In only a few days, I know more than I was able to find out in years. You've all been wonderful. post-18970-1171707071.jpg

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