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Hywyn

Wrong year on CWGC? Pte 5977 Robert Williams 1st RWF

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Hywyn

May I put forward the following as a possible typo in the online CWGC register. Year given is 1916 whereas it should be 1915.

1.Local newpapers(June 1915) give an account of Private Robert Williams killed at Festubert on 16th May 1915 whilst serving with 1st RWF. He was 38 years old.

2. RWF Roll of Honour (Dudley Ward) has Private 5977 Robert Williams kia France 16/5/15.

3. SDGW has Pte 5977 Robert Williams 1st RWF kia 16/5/15.

4 CWGC online has Pte 5977 Robert Williams as kia 16/5/16 aged 37 yrs and is on Thiepval.

Hywyn

Note.

1st RWF had 7 R Williams' killed in WW1. I can account for the others but it would complicate this request which, hopefully , will turn out to be a typo.

I emailed the above to CWGC last Aug( prior to this excellent subforum) but I now suspect that my email has gone astray.

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Terry Denham

It's in hand.

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Terry Denham

Hywyn

Not so straightforward.

Both the men below have separate death certificate references at GRO. Which is the right man - or are they two different men?

Any Ideas?

Name: WILLIAMS, ROBERT

Initials: R

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: Royal Welsh Fusiliers

Unit Text: 1st Bn.

Age: 37

Date of Death: 16/05/1916

Service No: 5977

Additional information: Son of the late Mrs. Margaret Sennar.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 4 A.

Memorial: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

Name: WILLIAMS, JOHN

Initials: J

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: Royal Welsh Fusiliers

Unit Text: 1st Bn.

Date of Death: 16/05/1915

Service No: 5977

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 13 and 14.

Memorial: LE TOURET MEMORIAL

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Hywyn

Terry

And I thought I was confused enough already!

The RWF Roll of Honour has both men in it with the same number and both kia 16/5/15.

John born Swansea and Robert born Liverpool.

Medal Index has a card for each.I've not downloaded them but will do if it's deemed necessary to provided for CWGC/MOD. Possibly the

I'll PM Bernard to see if he can shed any light on a John Williams 1st RWF on any Swansea memorials

Can I presume that the GRO reference is the overseas one and that both are for the relevant quarter in 1915?

Hywyn

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Terry Denham

Hywyn

The GRO Overseas Death Index only gives a year and not quarters.

Also, it gives 1916 for John and not 1915!!!!

It gives 1915 for Robert and not 1916.

Hence further confusion.

We need some concrete evidence here that these were two different people and exactly who died when!

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Hywyn

Thanks Terry

I've got the newspaper report re Robert being killed in 1915 but I appreciate that this is not to the standard of proof required.

How about I download the MIC's and or obtain the Death Certificates.

My line of thinking being that the MIC is a document which has info placed on it at various times ( and hopefully will be different references)

I'm not sure what the DC's would 'prove' I've only seen one and that did not contain much more than name, rank, no and Regt.

Hywyn

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Terry Denham

Hywyn

The Death Certificates will be needed here as they will be taken as confirmation of date of death. The Index is typed from the original records and may contain typos in relation to the year - though I have not discovered such an error in the lists before.

If there are two death certs with different dates, we can at least amend the dates on CWGC if necessary. Copies of the newspaper cutting will help back up the information. If the death certs show the same date, then the conundrum remains.

At the moment CWGC is sticking by these being two men who died on the dates given due to lack of official evidence otherwise.

I am no service number expert but I always thought it impossible to have two men with the same number in the same battalion of the same regiment at the same time (Is this assumption correct?). This would be the case if these are two men and their service numbers are correct and they died on the same day!

The DC reference numbers are...

John Williams I.28.53

Robert Williams I.28.22

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kevin

Terry

I have come across two numbers been the same in the same battalion before, one been a TF number and the other been Regular. As these numbers to the Williams lads are 4 digt it could well be the case here, but i am no expert on the RWF number or regiment.

Regards Kevin

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Terry Denham

Kevin

Is that at the same time? Would the TF number not have a TF prefix?

As I said I am no expert in this area and just seeking enlightenment.

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kevin

Terry

Thats a yes, both at the same time,(West Yorkshire) also have come across on the CWGC where various prefix numbers have been dropped, so maybe? there was a prefix to one of these numbers. A look at Medal Rolls is required to clear this up. Will keep an eye on this thread and see where it leads.

Regards Kevin

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Terry Denham

Thanks, Kevin

So my assumption is correct. The numbers should be different if only by the addition of a prefix to one of them.

I know that many prefixes are missing from the details supplied to CWGC. You may be right in that this could be an example.

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Hywyn

Terry

I will send for both Certificates and report back as and when I get them.

I have convinced myself that the CWGC details are the wrong way round.

Kevin

Thanks for the input. I'll download the MICs if I have no joy with the DCs

Hywyn

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Muerrisch

No! Why didn't you send for me?

RWF did not use prefixes .... well, hardly ever!

This from my article in ST! some time ago, which pointed out that 2RWF went to France well before 1RWF, and the latter were brought to War Establishment from the SR.

Many Special Reserve battalions used, as ordered, a prefix ‘ 3/ ’ before soldiers’ regimental numbers but the Royal Welch Fusiliers did not. Thus, some duplication of regimental numbers in the Line battalions was likely once special reservists were used in their ranks.

The evidence of take-up of special reservists by the Line battalions: pairs of numbers.

It was theoretically impossible for any two regular soldiers in any regiment to share the same number …… by the time the series was exhausted [that is, ran from 1 to 19999 and started again] all the veterans would not only have completed their Colour service, but would have completed their Regular Reserve or their extended service to pension at 21 years. Soldiers on the Regular Reserve retained their service number. Not surprisingly, there is only one pair of identical numbers on the 2RWF roll of the 1914 star. This is 8088. Other than possibly a clerical error, no explanation is offered. By contrast there are at least 29 pairs of identical numbers on the 1RWF roll, running from 4458 to 6345, so the total range detected [both Line battalions, and excluding the anomalous 8088] is 4458 to 6345.

There are also six pairings of numbers between 1RWF and 2RWF, probably caused by the presence of special reservists. Of these:

4943 is a 2RWF Company Quartermaster Sergeant, a typical number for a senior Line NCO, so the 1RWF man is probably ex-3RWF,

5670 has a 2RWF disembarkation of 13th August whereas the 1RWF one is in November and therefore favourite to be a special reservist,

6217 has the 1RWF man arrive much later and he is probably the ex-3RWF man,

6284 also has the 1RWF man arriving later.

6210 and 6241 have nothing to provide a clue one way or the other.

It is an unkind stroke of fate that, in the very zone where regulars’ numbers more or less start [say, 5000 and upwards] the numbers of the specials were reaching their pre-war peak. This has caused a great difficulty in analysis.

The chances are that one Williams or the other was a Special Reservist.

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Terry Denham

Thought you were AWOL! :D

Thanks for clarifying that, Grumps. So it looks like two men with possibly confused DoDs.

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Muerrisch

was that quick or was that quick!?

I have found little on the site of interest recently: this topic was a nice change.

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kevin

Terry

An example

Name: BUNTING, JOHN HENRY

Initials: J H

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own)

Unit Text: 1st Bn.

Age: 27

Date of Death: 20/09/1914

Service No: 8153

Additional information: Son of Mr. and Mrs. Bunting, of 32, Chancery Lane, Beckenham, Kent. Also served in the North-west Frontier Campaign, 1908.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Memorial: LA FERTE-SOUS-JOUARRE MEMORIAL

Name: BRUNNING, MILTON

Initials: M

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own)

Unit Text: 1st Bn.

Age: 21

Date of Death: 03/05/1918

Service No: 8153

Additional information: Son of Thomas William and Harriet Brunning, of Sowerby Bridge, Yorks; husband of Maud Brunning, of 26, Herschell St., Redcar, Yorks.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: X. A. 5.

Cemetery: NIEDERZWEHREN CEMETERY

The last chap as a 4/ prefix missing, there is a large amount in the West Yorkshire Lads with prefix's missing.

Here's a link to the Medal Index Cards

Regards Kevin

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Hywyn

Thank you all for taking an interest in this confusion.

I don't know how this may fit in but the newspaper article refered to the fact that Robert Williams had enlisted at the begining of the war but had made four attempts to enlist before he was succesfull.

Hywyn

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Bernard_Lewis

Apologies for delay but I only got back from holiday today.

Not much help really. The RWF is not my area and I'm not trying to cover ALL Swansea men. However, I have been given a transcript of the names on the Swansea Cenotaph and this shows a John and a Jack Williams with the RWF. No battalion on the type script though I seem to recall that they are grouped in bns on the panels. No service numbers though. I'll try and pop along there in the next week or two and check - if that will assist; if it won't please let me know.

Bernard

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Hywyn

Hello Bernard

No problems. Thought you might have been away...hope you had a well desreved rest!

Since I PM'd you the thread grew and I/we have come to the conclusion that I need the DCs' for both men which I will sort out soon.

I PMd you just in case you had him in your database/newspaper reports etc.

Re the Cenotaph, I can't see how it will progress anything. Thanks for offering.

Hywyn

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