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Remembered Today:

Two uniforms, one George C Willett.


itsjohn.harris
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Hi.

This is all new to me but I wonder if anyone can help.

I have two photos of my Grandad in uniform.One is confirmed as a Sapper in the Royal Engineers dated 1917 and the other unknown,but some think its the Berkshires or The Ox and Bucks.I have search the national archive site and have found medal cards for a George Willett in the Royal Engineers and for George C Willett for the Royal Berkshires and the Royal Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.How can I tell which one if any belong to my Grandad? His full details are George Charles Willet, born in Duns Tew Oxfordshire in 1898 and at some time moved to Bedworth Warwickshire where he died in 1943. I have no Military details at all apart from the two photos.

Many thanks ,

John.

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Hi.

This is all new to me but I wonder if anyone can help.

I have two photos of my Grandad in uniform.One is confirmed as a Sapper in the Royal Engineers dated 1917 and the other unknown,but some think its the Berkshires or The Ox and Bucks.I have search the national archive site and have found medal cards for a George Willett in the Royal Engineers and for George C Willett for the Royal Berkshires and the Royal Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.How can I tell which one if any belong to my Grandad? His full details are George Charles Willet, born in Duns Tew Oxfordshire in 1898 and at some time moved to Bedworth Warwickshire where he died in 1943. I have no Military details at all apart from the two photos.

Many thanks ,

John.

Hi John,

Any chance you could post images of the photos?

Liam

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Hi John,

Any chance you could post images of the photos?

Liam

Liam

Not sure if I will do this right but I will try to post the photos

john

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The Royal Engineer photos looks post-WW1.

Did you say it was dated 1917?

Where does it say that?

Top photo is definately Royal Berkshires.

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The Royal Engineer photos looks post-WW1.

Did you say it was dated 1917?

Where does it say that?

Top photo is definately Royal Berkshires.

In the photo it is written that he is aged 19 and he was born in 1898 making it 1917 but you are correct that an actual year is not mention. I am only assuming it correct

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To save everyone the time of searching for the MICs, these are the two in question:

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documen...;resultcount=35

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documen...;resultcount=35

Hello John

What was your grandfather's date of birth? It may be my eyesight but I think he looks older in the Royal Berks than the RE photo.

regards

Mel

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To save everyone the time of searching for the MICs, these are the two in question:

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documen...;resultcount=35

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documen...;resultcount=35

Hello John

What was your grandfather's date of birth? It may be my eyesight but I think he looks older in the Royal Berks than the RE photo.

regards

Mel

Hello Mel

I don't have his actual date apart that he was born in 1898.sorry I can't be more helpful.

John

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John

The two MICs are for completely different men

The BWM Roll for the Royal Berks confirms service with the 2/1 Bn OBLI and 1st Bn R. Berks from which Medal Roll the BW and Victory medals were issued - there is absolutely no service with the RE.

Is that definitely your grandfather's handwriting on the RE photo and not that of another relative perhaps mistakenly describing him as nineteen?

Regards

Mel

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John

It did occur to me that it would be worthwhile your downloading the RE 5522 MIC (you will receive five other George's anyway) to see if the RE man has any Star entitlement with a date of entry.

The RE service number would seem to be very low for a conscript enlistment. If there is a Star entitlement with a date of entry then you can be fairly confident about eliminating him from the equation.

Let us know the details.

regards

Mel

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post-19738-1173813996.jpg

John

It did occur to me that it would be worthwhile your downloading the RE 5522 MIC (you will receive five other George's anyway) to see if the RE man has any Star entitlement with a date of entry.

The RE service number would seem to be very low for a conscript enlistment. If there is a Star entitlement with a date of entry then you can be fairly confident about eliminating him from the equation.

Let us know the details.

regards

Mel

Mel

Thanks for the help and I have downloaded the MIC for RE5522 and have posted it.However being new at this I struggle to understand it all. If you make any sense of it I would be grateful if you let me no. Have to go out so I will not be able to answer till tomorrow.

Thanks

John.

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Hello John

Thanks for posting the MIC.

The RE George was clearly a pre-war regular entitled to the 1914 (Mons) Star because of his date of entry into France & Flanders on 16th August 1914, The qualifying period was 5th August - 22nd November 1914.

The reference to the clasp is for the bar awarded to be worn on the medal ribbon by those in range of the enemy's mobile artillery in the said period.

This is clearly not your George given that he would have been 15/16 at the time.

Regards

Mel

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Hello John

I have had another look at all the relevant MICs and apart from the one that we can now discount, none of the other have any RE connection.

I now tend to agree with Owen's suggestion that the RE photograph is post war in spite of the inscription that may have been added many years later if, indeed, it is your grandfather's handwriting.

I am convinced that the George C of the OBLI and Royal Berks is your man. I cannot tell a great deal from his Royal Berks number about the date of transfer from 2/1 OBLI to 1st Berks. Blocks of 39xxx were allocated to the Base Depot in France to cover transfers from other regiments. There was a 39262 casualty on 29/4/17 and a 39198 casualty on 25/3/18.

George would not have been eligible for service at the front until the age of nineteen in 1917 (reduced to eighteen in April 1918). He could have been wounded with the OBLIs and then transferred upon recovery to the Royal Berks.

More likely, he was transferred to the Royal Berks to make good the losses either after Arras (April 1917) or Cambrai (November 1917) - I would go for the latter. In any event we know that he left the OBLI's no later than 22nd February 1918 because the 2/1st was disbanded at that point.

If you want to follow his war - at least from February 1918 - you can view the transcribed Battalion's war diary here:

http://www.thewardrobe.org.uk/wardiary.php3

Your next step is to secure a birth certificate and to establish whether George's service records still exist at the NA by either a personal visit or engaging a researcher.

regards

Mel

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Mel

Many thanks for your help.

I will be reading your link and taking your advice on Birth certificate and perhaps a visit to NA.The trouble is the distance I will have to make a day trip out.Once I have got further I will let you know the outcome. Again thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

John

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