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Found my (RGA) Grandfather! Would like assistance please


keggy65

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I posted a query quite some time ago about my grandfather in "soldiers" and was given some very helpful advice. As a consequence, I have (finally) managed to get to Kew (scary place for a complete novice) and couldn't believe it when I found my grandfather's WW1 papers. However, now that I've had a wee while to read through them, I'd like to ask for more assistance please.

As I'm no expert and don't know the right questions to ask, I would like to tell you what they say and ask for comments about places, dates, names, brigades, batteries, places etc - anything at all, in fact, that might help me piece together his time in the RGA. Sorry if it seems overly long. Here goes (I've set the details out in date order):

In "Statement of the Services of ... "Enlisted - took the oath at Barrow in Furness on 11/12/1915.

Attested on 11/12/1915

Sent to Army Reserve 12/12/1915

Mobilised .. unreadable

Posted ... unreadable

Joined 26/3/1917

Attested (again?) 31/3/1917 at Fort Brockhurst, Gosport

Papers signed by Lt Col Cox(head?), CO No 2 Depot RGA

Posted 3 Res Batty 14/4/1917

"Campaigns" - Home Br, Unit T/I SARB (?) 26/3/17 - 14/7/17

(Unreadable) Basrah, 15/7/1917

Basrah (Ashar), 18/8/1917

177 Hvy Btty, (which, according to the Long, Long Trail site is with the 2nd Bgde) 16/2/18

MEF 15/7/1918 (?)

Home (unreadable) Posted 1/2/1919

Transferred to Class "Z" Army Reserve on demobilisation 11/4/1919.

On what looks like a medical report it says "Southampton 15/7/1917" then

Ashar, 18/8/17 - SS Briton

Makina 5/9/1917

22.7.1918 - "Granted PRO (?) Pay Cl:I (N.R.) (?) Field 29/9/1917 Vide A.O... of 1918

7/9/18 - 5 Ind Div (under "From Whom Received", Granted. Working pay whilst employed as Bricklayer with RE Works on 31 days at 6 annas per diem

There is also included in the bundle of papers, something called "Protection Certificate of Identity" and it's stamped "No 1 Dispersal Unit , Heaton Park, 16/3/1919. Also includes "Theatre of War, Castan".

As a final mention (thank goodness, I hear you say), I was given a HUGE bonus. His papers included the names and dates of birth of his children one of whom was born in N Ireland. (You may or may not know but trying to find records of Irish ancestors is incredibly difficult - especially from the UK). I knew about my Uncle as he is buried in a CWGC plot in Egypt having died in WW2 but never knew where he came "in the pecking order" - now I do. I can't tell you what a thrill it was to find these papers as I went to Kew with little expectation because of the volume of records destroyed during the Blitz.

If anyone can put a little flesh on the details above, I would be forever grateful.

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Hello Mabel

I will start the ball rolling until the jargon busters arrive.

it looks very much as if your grandfather attested on 11/12/15 under the Derby Scheme.

The details of the scheme can be found on the main site here:

http://www.1914-1918.net/derbyscheme.html

He was then called from the Reserve on 26/3/17 to be processed and trained before posting overseas - presumably to Mesopotamia.

Regards

Mel

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Ok Mabel, nobody else is nibbling at the moment so here goes

26/3/17 Called up to No 2 RGA Depot at Fort Brockhurst, Gosport

31/3/17 paperwork signed off by CO and presumably allocated service number

26/3/17 Posted to 3rd Reserve Battery for training

14/7/17 Completed training

15/7/17 Medical examination upon shipping to Basra from Southampton

18/8/17 Arrives at Ashar and then onto Makina

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Hello Mabel

I will start the ball rolling until the jargon busters arrive.

it looks very much as if your grandfather attested on 11/12/15 under the Derby Scheme.

The details of the scheme can be found on the main site here:

http://www.1914-1918.net/derbyscheme.html

He was then called from the Reserve on 26/3/17 to be processed and trained before posting overseas - presumably to Mesopotamia.

Regards

Mel

Many thanks Mel for starting the ball rolling - I hope it will continue and am very much looking forward to any further input (rflory maybe?)

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16/2/18 -15/7/18 allocated to the 177th Heavy Battery, 2nd Brigade, Mespopotamian Expeditionary Force

(possibly involved in Battle of Tikrit)

7/9/18 Attached to 5th Indian Division for 31 days for bricklaying under RE supervision

1/2/19 Shipped home from Mesopotamia (Iraq)

11/4/19 Discharged to Class Z Reserves (lowest reserve - abolished in 1920)

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Fantastic that you found your grandfathers records. Is this William McKegg? Was his no. 15049? This seems very low for a Derby man, from the few I have seen.

I cannot add anything to Mel's comments. You may be interested in a thread I started  and I would be interested if there are any other no.s on his Short Service form.

Kevin

 

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Fantastic that you found your grandfathers records. Is this William McKegg? Was his no. 15049? This seems very low for a Derby man, from the few I have seen.

I cannot add anything to Mel's comments. You may be interested in a thread I started at http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/i...c=67265&hl= , and I would be interested if there are any other no.s on his Short Service form.

Kevin

Yes, I thought it was fantastic too and indeed, it is William McKegg (how did you know - or am I being stupid?). His number was 154093 and, as far as I can see there are no other no's (some of the writing is very faint and not readable I'm afraid.) I am intrigued to know what the Unit T/I (I/I?) SARB means.

My thanks for what info I've gleaned so far.

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Mabel

I am absolutely not an expert on the jargon but my guess would be something along the lines of

Training/Instruction S Artillery R Battery.

Why not treat yourself to a copy of the Battles on the Tigris by Ron Wilcox through the main site to get a flavour of the campaign in Mesopotamia?

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

Regards

Mel

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Kevin,

Having read your other thread, I understand why you are interested in "other" numbers and I've looked again at the records I printed off yesterday but I can't find any others - sorry. As I said, some of the writing is very faint and some unreadable but the 154093 number seems to follow through what material I have. The other papers refer to his initial medical etc - I'm delighted to learn that he had "blue eyes"!

Mabel

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Mabel

As always most things have already been asked on this forum. A quick search gives and thanks to Roop (Kondoa) SARB is Seige Artillery Reserve Brigade.

I am beginning to think that in the RGA the men were given their no.s on attestation, not when mobilised.

Kevin

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Mabel

Whilst in Mespot 177 Heavy were part of 74 HAG (Brigade) a diary for them is available at Kew under ref:-

WO95/4995 May - Oct 1918. Hopefully this will give you some idea of where and what they were invoved in.

Stuart

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Again, many, many thanks to all contributors - it will certainly be interesting to read the Diary once I pluck up the energy to get to Kew again (nearly 7 hours travelling in total).

I have one addition to my original post:

My grandfather was about 38 yo when he attested and 41 when mobilised. I have looked again at his papers and seen that on his Short Service paper which gives the date of his attestation (11/12/1915) but also certifies "that the attestion of the above-named Recruit is correct ...." and "accordingly approve and appoint to the Royal Regiment of Artillery (RGA)..." dated March 31 1917 has a star on the top right hand corner.

I was reading "Call-To-Arms: The British Army 1914-1918" by Charles Messenger last night and he says (regarding the Derby Scheme) that "The details of every man aged between 18 and 41 were then transferred to a pink form, with those engaged in essential war work marked with a black star to signify that they were exempt from military service. These became known as 'starred'occupations."

Would this be the equivalent of the 'Reserved Occupation' of WW2?

I know he worked in/around the ship building industry and on the above papers gives his trade as (I think) "Smith". Any thoughts on how would this qualify him for a starred occupation?

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Mabel,

The "starred" was similar to the "reserved occupation" in WW2. He would also have been grouped, see main site http://www.1914-1918.net/derbyscheme.html , and would have been in group 44 I think.

I found your grandfathers name from your earlier thread. In that you mentioned he may have been in the Boar War. It may be worth trying to see whether this was true by looking at discharge records under WO 97/5426. You could ask for a quote for the diaries and discharge papers on the main site. May be cheaper than a trip to Kew.

I would be very interested to have a copy of his Short Service form, B2512, if you can scan it.

Kevin

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Kevin

I have always been led to believe that he was in the Boer War but on Form B 2512 it says "Have you ever served in any branch of His Majesty's Forces, naval or military, if so, which?" And the response was "No" so I'm left wondering.

Will attempt to scan. I had to put the film machine's print control at Kew to just about as dark as it would go in order to be able to see any of the writing at all - can I ask why you would like a copy.

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Kevin: (From Post 6 on ...)

I'm really sorry, I got my fingers muddled up - his number was 150493. Hope that's not confused things too much.

mabel

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I am beginning to think that in the RGA the men were given their no.s on attestation, not when mobilised.

Hi Kevin,

Not neccessarily the case. My granddad and his cousin (both RGA men) had consecutive numbers although they attested at different times (almost a month apart). From their service papers it seems they were both mobilised on the same day, suggesting their numbers were consecutive because they were allocated them on mobilisation.

cheers

Steve

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Mabel

I will PM you. It's certainly not important but I am trying to make some sense of this numbering business in the RGA. You have given what details you can see.

Steve

Quote," From their service papers it seems they were both mobilised on the same day, suggesting their numbers were consecutive because they were allocated them on mobilisation." One cannot argue with that.

It is because I was once advised that my grandfather han enlisted at the end of 1915, but later discovered that that was the time of attestation not mobilisation. Yesterday I received a copy of a page from the SWB roll for the RGA. Unfortunely it only has two columns, enlistment and discharge. One of the soldiers I know was a Derby man and shows his "enlisment" as 23 Nov 1915, no. 68841.

I am now wondering whether it depended on which Depot the men was mobilised to, and what numbers the depot were allocated. I would be grateful for the dates of attestation, mobilisation and service numbers of your grandfather and his cousin, and where they were processed.

Regards Kevin

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Mabel

I will PM you. It's certainly not important but I am trying to make some sense of this numbering business in the RGA. You have given what details you can see.

Steve

Quote," From their service papers it seems they were both mobilised on the same day, suggesting their numbers were consecutive because they were allocated them on mobilisation." One cannot argue with that.

It is because I was once advised that my grandfather han enlisted at the end of 1915, but later discovered that that was the time of attestation not mobilisation. Yesterday I received a copy of a page from the SWB roll for the RGA. Unfortunely it only has two columns, enlistment and discharge. One of the soldiers I know was a Derby man and shows his "enlisment" as 23 Nov 1915, no. 68841.

I am now wondering whether it depended on which Depot the men was mobilised to, and what numbers the depot were allocated. I would be grateful for the dates of attestation, mobilisation and service numbers of your grandfather and his cousin, and where they were processed.

Regards Kevin

Hi Kevin,

Sorry (on 2 counts). I read and answered your PM before reading this post. I'm not sure how to explain this but will give it a 'go'.

I don't have the 'original' attestation papers from 1915 - what I DO have are 2 copies of Army Form B 2512! They appear to contain the same information but are in different handwriting, even the signatures - one apears to have been signed with my Grandfather's name in the same handwriting as the Witness! (The address of my Grandfather on both versions is the same.) The name of the witness on the A4 version is different from that on the A3 version (and both my Grandfather's and Witness' signatures are in different handwriting.

Both forms are dated March 31, 1917 and have a panel in both headed "Certificate of Magistrate or Attesting Officer" on which (the A3 version) the date is virtually unreadable but appears to be 11 Dec 1915, the other (the A4) version definitely states 11 Dec 1915. I printed one off on A3 (because it was fairly illegible and hoped it might improve on printing) and the other on A4 which is readable. I have tried scanning but they are not very good.

I hope you understand this - it seems as clear as mud to me as I can't think why there'd be two versions but, having said that, I'd be happy to post you a copy of both (if you want to PM me your address).

Mabel

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Mabel

Like you I have two. One has a stamp on the top "Original", and similarly the second has been mainly filled out by a different hand. However my grandfathers signiture and parts of Certificate or Attesting Officer and Certificate of Approving Officer appear the same.

I suggest that this is the form, and copy, that was used when a man went to attest. The bottom, Certificate of Approving Officer", would only be filled in and signed when the man was mobilised.

Is this important? Not at all. I am just interested in the mechanics of how they organised it.

Regards Kevin

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Hi Kevin

One of mine has no "star" the other has. The signatures in each of the "Certificate of Magistrate or Attesting Officer" appears to be different. In fact, on the (A3) version - unstarred - it seems to be the same writing all the way through (including my G'father's signature). I have (tried) to attach a scan of the A4 version - fingers crossed.

I'm still hapy to send you copies if you think it'll help with your research. Let me know.

Mabel

No, it doesn't seem to have worked - sorry. Will try again.

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Hi Mabel

One would have to say not much different to any other soldier, depending on what they were doing.

I posted a group picture on

Thanks for copy of Short Service page.

Regards kevin

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