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Remembered Today:

William Greenlees


pandabean
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I know I have posted about my great great uncle before but I am wanting to know more about him with regards to his service history. I already have a Btn photo, newspaper article and a War Diary Entry (not by name though). I have also looked through the unburnt records on microfilm and found nothing, and as far as I remember someone had a look at the burnt records but there was no mention ofhim there either.

What I am wanting to know this time round is why he moved from the Manchester Regiment (23rd Bn) to the Army Cyclist Corps and then Back to the Manchester's? I also want to know if there was a way to find information on the cyclist corp in terms of a War Diary or Btn Photo taken around late 1915 to early 1916. he died on the 8th of April 1916.

On his MIC the above transfers include his service number which goes from 22601 to 9027 and back to 22601. Was this common to keep the same service number?

Also looking at the MIC I also notice that the medals are recorded in Roll # and page #. Would these tell me anything extra such as who they were sent to? I have a fair idea that they were sent to his mother, Sarah Davidson Greenlees.

Regards,

Andy

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On his MIC the above transfers include his service number which goes from 22601 to 9027 and back to 22601. Was this common to keep the same service number?

Andy

In my experience, it would be quite uncommon to revert back to an original number.

Does the MIC give any clue as to dates that would confirm that there was a transfer to the ACC and back again to the Mancs? You may need to look up the actual Roll at Kew.

As I think you know, he's listed in the Manchester City Battalions Book of Honour as a member of the 23rd. So it would seem likely that he went overseas with the Battalion around Jan /Feb 1916. It would then seem an odd very short transfer to the Cyclists and then back again before he was killed in the April. I think you need to eliminate the possibility that there's an error and that his original unit was the ACC and he then transferred to the Mancs.

John

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Possibly just ATTACHED to Cyclist corp for a short while. Maybe they were short of NCO's at the time or he had a speciality, or even just had his own pump.

Neil

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I have had another look at the MIC and no dates are given for a transfer. ohn, you mention that he is in the Roll of Honour? I have had a look at a version online but I have never found him. Does it say much about him?

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Does it say much about him?

Absolutely zilch - apart from confirming that he's somewhere on the photo for 2 Platoon, A Company.

As you know, you can access this on-line at "spinning the web" (or whatever its name is)

You probably need to plough through the early months of the battalion's war diary to see if there's any reference to a bunch of blokes being loaned to the cyclists.

As another possible route to explore, I've had another look at Soldiers Died. It shows that during 1916, 3 men, inc. William, were killed with 23/manc and are shown as "formerly" ACC. They are 22904 W Betty and 21601 A King. Possibly their MIC have info or their service papers exist at Kew. King wiould be the interesting one as his ACC service number is only 2 digits away from William at 9027.

As an aside< i also looked at ACC deaths in 1916 - whilst there are nearly 120 men who "formerly " served with another unit, none were Mancs. I only offer this as further, very tentative, information perhaps supprting that his original unit was ACC and then he moved to the Mancs.(not the there are bacn idea which the MIC tends to indicate).

John

John

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Thanks John, I have looked at that photo and that is the only photo that I have of him. If there numbers are close together does that mean they would have been moved together?

I will see if I can get hold of copies of the war diaries to have a look through. Hopefully it will mention it.

Also I was hoping that I would be able to search through photos of the 23rd Manchesters but I dont know where to search.

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I think it reasonable to work on the basis that William and King are going to be linked.

In terms of photos, I don't know what the Regimetnal Archives might hold, but it would be worth a phone call (but, don't hold your breath for anything overly useful).

John

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I will see what I can find on King and see if he tells me anything.

I was also wondering if the Manchester Pals covers the 23rd Btn? I found an older book on it that mentions btns 17 to 23 but I cant find any mention of the 23rd in the recent book.

I am trying to work out where they were around early April and it seems that they marched from Saully.

"The Batt march from SAULLY and look? after from the 19th Batt. ................ trenches N 10.1 including N 10.5 ....... The 17th June first march over right and the 16th by dark on the left."

This is all I can make out from the WD. I cannot make out the name on the left hand side of the WD. ---RCAM (------ 26)

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23rd is definately a Pals Battalion.

I'm presuming the book you mention is Stedman's "Manchester Pals", recently republished. Mine is the original edition which, as you say, has references to the 23rd. I thought that the new edition was simply a reprint in a physically smaller format but that the content would be the same. Havnt checked though.

John

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Is it worth getting the book just for the 23rd Btn? Is there much on them? When I did a search for the Manchester Pals on Google it did not seem to include the 23rd Btn.

I just placed an order for the Cheshire Bantams as William's brother was in the 15th Btn of the Cheshires. So I am hoping to get an idea for the bantam regts.

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Frankly I'd save your momney on the Stedman book.There's very little about the 23rd. However, the Regimental Archives holds an unpublished battalion history and I'd certainly recommend you contacting them and trying to sweet-talk them into doing you a photocopy (they are very helpful so I wouldnt imagine there'll be a problem - particularly if you mention the family connection).

As you had a relative with 15th Cheshire, I'm sure you'll find "Bantams" it interesting - although, I'm afraid , I found it an awfully irritating book (see my commetns in "book reviews").

John

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Thanks John, I have indeed read your review of the book and I am sure that I can put up with the small inconsitencies as I am mainly interested in their history and how they were formed and even where they were. :) But I really doubt my John Greenlees will be mentioned in the book.

I may try and contact the Regimental Archives again. I think that is who i contacted before regarding William but they did not have much on him except the Btn Photo that I already have.

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I have went through a past email and it suggests that William was in the Cyclist Btn with the Royal Scots:

"checked the 'soldiers who died' CD and found that William was born in Fisherrow, Midlothian and was formerly Private 9027 in the Army Cyclist Corps. This could possibly have been with 1/10th (cyclist Battalion) The Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment), who have now become the Royal Regiment of Scotland"

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it suggests that William was in the Cyclist Btn with the Royal Scots:

The 1/10th never went overseas. So, we could have a situation where he had originally joined that, but when the Bantams were formed he moved across to be "in the action".

This would make perfect sense and a much more likely scenario than he was in the 23rd, then moved the the Cyclists,then back to the 23rd. Although you shouldnt entirely dismiss the possibility that this is what happened.

John

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I was wondering if anyone could tell me from either of his service numbers when he signed up and/or volunteered or was conscripted?

Mancs Number - 22601

Cyclist - 9027

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Mancs service numbers are hard to pin down. But we know he's in the City Battalion's Book of Honour. The photos were taken mid-1915 whilst they were still in training. In itself that confirms he was a volunteer (conscription not coming in until the following year).

John

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Thanks John, that just adds some extra information to what I have. :)

I am currently trying to right up about the three brothers in the War just for myself and for my family.

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