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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Lt. Conrad Thomas Price


Trenchrat

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Hi,

I recently acquired a photopostcard of Lt. Conrad Thomas Price, MC. He originally enlisted in the 7th East Surreys in August of 1914. In April of 1915, he was appointed 2nd Lt. in the 3rd Norfolk. It is my understanding that the 3rd Battalion was a stay at home battalion so to speak, whose job was to send officers and men to other battalions out in the field. Is this essentially correct?

Later in 1915, he appears to have briefly served with the 5th Norfolk until he had his appendix removed. Then, at the end of his service in 1919, it seems he was in the 2nd Norfolk. The problem I'm having is at the top of the record sheet that says he's being sent home for discharge, it states he's with 3rd Battalion. Off to one side of that same sheet that is basically listing what he did while in the service is where it says he was being discharged from the 2nd Norfolk.

I think I know what happened to him,but would like the opinion of my fellow forum members as to whether my theory makes sense or not. Here's the theory: Conrad enlists in the 7th East Surrey's. Then he gets appointed to the rank of 2nd Lt. and is transferred to the 3rd Norfolk. By the fall of 1915, the 3rd Norfolk has found a spot for him in the 5th Norfolk,but before he can join that unit, Conrad has his appendix out. The 5th Battalion can't wait for him and so when he recovers from his operation, he's sent from 3rd Norfolk to the 2nd Norfolk for combat duty. After the war is over he's sent back home and is temporarily assigned to the 3rd Norfolk till he can be formally discharged from the service.

Like I said this is only my theory and I'll yield my opinion to those more knowledgeable than myself. In his service record he was awarded the Military Cross on June 1, 1918. It was awarded to him for bravely leading his battalion to and then across a river ford while under machine gun fire and then being swept away by the current. Obviously he either swam to shore or was picked up since he wasn't discharged till March of 1919. So would he have been with the 2nd or 3rd Battalion of the Norfolk Regiment at that time?

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The 3rd Norfolks didnt go overseas

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Well I got something right then. I didn't think the 3rd Norfolk went over there. So Conrad would have had to have been with the 2nd Norfolk right?

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You'll often see (in "Officers Died", for example) things like "3rd Battalion, attached 1st Battalion". I believe that officers tended to be commissioned into the regiment and held on the strngth of 'a' battalion; if they were then posted to another, they were 'attached'. Yes, your man was commissioned into the reserve 3rd Battalion, but went out to the 2nd.

Also, as botht he 2nd and the 1/5th were 'out east', the chances are he went out to the Middle East as a reinforcement, and was posted to the Norfolk battalion most in need.

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Hi Steven,

Thanks for the reply. That's kind of what I thought happened. From Chris Baker's history of the Norfolk regiment during the war, I learned they didn't have a 5th battalion as such,but rather a 1/5th Battalion. I assume that this was the battalion he was assigned to when he had his appendix operation. When he recovered from his operation, it doesn't say why he didn't stay with the 1/5th.

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I'm confused now. I've just read the 2nd Norfolk was captured at The Siege of Kut. Since there is no mention of Conrad being captured, was another 2nd Battalion formed to replace the captured battalion?

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Until the 2nd Bn could be reformed there was a composite bn of drafts from the Norfolks & Dorsets known as the NORSETS - this unit was in action in April 1916

Chris

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Trenchrat

Most line infantry regiments pre-war had two regular battalions (1 and 2), a reserve batallion (3) whose function was to remain in the depot and train replacements for the two regular battalions, and two first line Territorial batallions (1/4th and 1/5th), usually referred to as 4th and 5th Battalions. As the war progressed even the Territorial units obtained second line battalions that stayed at home to provide reinforcements for their parent units i.e. the 2/4th would provide replacements to the 1/4th etc.

Your man Price was most probably placed in 3rd Norfolks for administrative reasons prior to posting to an active unit because as has been mentioned before the 3rd Battalion was a stay at home unit and didn't deploy anywhere.

Some units even had 3rd line Territorial units later in the war when their second line battalions deployed overseas. It can get a bit confusing if your'e not au fait with the system of the time.

Greg

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Hi Greg,

Thanks for your information. I felt that's what the 3rd Battalion's job was after reading some of the other posts. Conrad arrived in Basra on May 31,1916, but didn't report to 2nd Battalion till Jan 28, 1917. I assume that's about the time the 2nd Battalion was reformed and while he waited for that to happen, Conrad would have been in the Norsets(the composite battalion Chris spoke of in his post). Would the Norsets been used for patrols or just garrison type guard duty? By the way Conrad was from Homeside, Walton on Thames where he worked as a gas chemist or engineer, he used both the word chemist and engineer as a job description. Any of my English friends familiar with that town? Anyone have any idea what a gas chemist or engineer would actually do back then? Interestingly enough I received his records back on Friday, April 13th.

What's interesting is that April 13th was Conrad's birthday, he would have been 113 years old having been born on April 13, 1894.

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Hi Trenchrat

The Norsets were formed on 4th Feb 1916 from drafts of the 2nd Norfolks and 2nd Dorsets that were headed for those battalions. At the time both battalions were bottled up in Kut and therefore unable to accept the replacements. The garrison there surrendered on 29th April. The Norsets were disbanded on 21st July and the two battalions reformed from their own members within the Norsets.

What Conrad would have been up to in the interim is anybody's guess.

I'm afraid I don't have much information on operations conducted by the Norsets, hopefully somebody else will pick up on this thread and educate us both.

Greg

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The NORSETs were definetly in action as my great uncle (see signature) was killed in action whilst serving with them

Chris

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Chris

Might your great uncle have been killed while actually with the 2nd Battalion at Kut? My understanding is that the Norsets had already been formed by then from a few odds and sods of the 2nd Battalion and mostly from drafts just out from the UK who were destined for the battalion but, because they were besieged at Kut, were unable to join them. The 2nd Battalion were in existance at the same time as the Norsets.

One of my lads was also killed while with the 2nd Battalion and he was at Kut.

Greg

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Greg

My great uncle was killed in action during one of the battles to relieve Kut - I cant lay my hand on the relevant page of the regimental history as it is with my mum at the moment, but this confirms the NORSETS were in action in an attempt to releive Kut

Chris

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This is very interesting. So Conrad was probably with the Norsets from the time of his arrial in Basra on May 31, till July 21, and then there seems to be a six month gap in which he's in country,but seemingly not with the battalion. Perhaps he was helping get the reformed 2nd Battalion back in shape before they were sent into action once again? Any ideas as to what battles the reformed 2nd Norfolk were in? This would be for the period of January 1917, until the end of the war. As I believe I mentioned he was awarded his MC on June 1, 1918, so I'd be interested to know what his battalion was doing at around that time.

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Hi Trenchrat

The reformed 2nd Battalion were moved to 14 Indian Division in Feb 1917 and stayed in theatre until the armistice on Oct 31st 1918. The division was involved in several actions in 1917 but I can find nothing on them for 1918. They must have been used somewhere but I have a gap in my research that has been found out at the wrong time!

Is the date of his MC award the date of his winning action or the date it was gazetted? As you probably know the two dates could be months apart.

Can't see this helping much but it's all I've got at the moment.

Greg

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Hi Greg,

The date listed for the award,June 1,1918,is I assume the date of the winning action. It only mentions his being gazetted twice. Once on February 15, 1918, when he was promoted to Lieutenant. This promotion apparently dated from July 1, 1917. The second time he was gazetted was on August 23, 1918, when he was mentioned in dispatches by Lt. Gen. W. R. Marshall, C in C Mesopotamia Expeditionary Force, as being deserving of special mention for Distinguished and Gallant Service and Devotion to duty. The mention of the MC award has only the date of June 1, 1918, and gives the reason for the award and that he received it from the C in C Mesopotamia Expeditionary Force. If the winning action date was earlier than June 1, 1918, Conrad's records don't give that date.

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  • 1 year later...

All

Interesting co-incidence with seperate thread on Henry Carroll who apparently commanded the Norsets. Does anyone have anymoe info than posted in this thread. Details between 4th Feb and 21st July 1916 sketchy as are people involved.

regards

Dave

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Sorry forgot to mention Norsets in action in the marshes at Sanniyat 22nd April. Losses stated at 22 wounded and a further 22 missing.

Regards

Dave

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  • 9 years later...

I apologise for revisiting such an old thread, but i recently came into possession of a 1914 field service pocket book which was part of the IWM inventory. The name on the inside front cover is of a C. Price of the 3rd Norfolks but I`m not sure what the second initial is (either a J or a T ?) No rank unfortunately, could it be the same man ?

 

3rd.jpg

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  • 9 months later...

Apologies for bumping such an old thread but this is fascinating. 

 

I'm the Great-Grandson of Conrad Thomas Price - does his service pocket book contain any information? I'd very much like to read some of it.

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Apologies for bumping such an old thread but this is fascinating. 

 

I'm the Great-Grandson of Conrad Thomas Price - does his service pocket book contain any information? I'd very much like to read some of it.

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  • 8 months later...

Hi Henry,

sorry for the late reply. There are no other writings in the pocketbook unfortunately, just the name in the front. I did find this pic of the chap on the IWM website.....    https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205027435

 

And I`m not sure if you`ve seen the other thread....  

 

Edited by slick63
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