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Remembered Today:

6th Border Regiment


Diane Alden
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Dear All,

Over the last two weeks I have had so much help from the members of the Forum and I am so grateful for the time and patience of everybody who has helped me piece together the whereabouts, fighting and final resting place of my Grandfather George Benjamin Hawkins.

Ian very kindly looked up his records at Kew and found that they existed in the burnt copy which he very kindly copied down for me. h

Here lies my questions and hope that somebody could again help me.

He enlisted in Norwich into the Norfolk Regiment on 20.1.1915. Then he went to Malton on 28.1.1915 until 14.5.1915 and then to Colchester. This is where the movements ended. Also in the burnt copy it says "he embarked for the bef on 29.3.1916 from Ballah Alex" I thought that he joined the Border Regiment in June 1916 in France when they arrived from Egypt and the rest of the story members of the forum kindly helped me piece together with war diary details, trench maps etc. I have now got several questions. These being:-

1. Did he fight in Egypt?

2. What were his movements between approx May 1915 and end of March 1916?

3. His movements from 29th March 1916 until June 1916?

4. Did he go over to Egypt with the Norfolk Regiment and then joined the Border's in France 1916 or was he in the Border Regiment when he went over?

5. Could he have gone over to Egypt with the 10th Border Regiment?

His Border Regiment no was 21221 and his Norfolk Regiment no was 18371. On his soldier's " Small Book" Norfolk Regiment and number is crossed out and it says 10th Border Regiment on the top but he was with the 6th Border when he died.

I had no idea about this middle east part of his career and am now confused so if anybody can again help me I would really appreciate it.

Thank you so much

Diane

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The 6th Borders did not fight in Egypt. they patrolled the Suez Canal. They were in the area of ballah bridgehead and Ballybunnion. All the battalions of the 33rd Brigade were over manned during the period.

It looks as though he was moved to France (BEF) on 29/3/1916 - leaving from Ballah / Alexandria. Train from ballah and then ship from Alex.

It looks a possibility that he was in the Norfolk's, 6th Borders, 10th Borders and 6th Borders when they arrived in France July 1916. Replacements were sent in December and January to cover the large losses on Gallipoli.

On 1st Jan 1916 the 6th Borders had 21 officers and 385 men - 2 weeks later all Battalions except the Borders recieved drafts. This may mean he joined them in late January and left in late March.

The brigade moved to Ballah West on 8th March 1916 which would tie in with him leaving there on 29th March.

Ballah East and west were Bridgehead defences on the Suez Canal.

Hopefully someone reserching the Border's can be more precise.

stevem

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The 6th Borders did not fight in Egypt. they patrolled the Suez Canal. They were in the area of ballah bridgehead and Ballybunnion. All the battalions of the 33rd Brigade were over manned during the period.

It looks as though he was moved to France (BEF) on 29/3/1916 - leaving from Ballah / Alexandria. Train from ballah and then ship from Alex.

It looks a possibility that he was in the Norfolk's, 6th Borders, 10th Borders and 6th Borders when they arrived in France July 1916. Replacements were sent in December and January to cover the large losses on Gallipoli.

On 1st Jan 1916 the 6th Borders had 21 officers and 385 men - 2 weeks later all Battalions except the Borders recieved drafts. This may mean he joined them in late January and left in late March.

The brigade moved to Ballah West on 8th March 1916 which would tie in with him leaving there on 29th March.

Ballah East and west were Bridgehead defences on the Suez Canal.

Hopefully someone reserching the Border's can be more precise.

stevem

Once more Steve thank you for this explaination. I really appreciate it.

Diane

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Pleased that i could help.

I think I have some maps of ballah somewhere. PM me and when i get back from belgium (20th) I will did them out for you.

a lady contacted me today and her realtive was in 6th Borders. he won MC at Poelcapelle.

stevem

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Pleased that i could help.

I think I have some maps of ballah somewhere. PM me and when i get back from belgium (20th) I will did them out for you.

a lady contacted me today and her realtive was in 6th Borders. he won MC at Poelcapelle.

stevem

Thanks Steve. PM on it's way. How lovely for the ladies relative to have won the MC. She must be very proud.

All best wishes

Diane

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According to the book- The Border Regiment in the Great War- the 10th Battalion were formed in October 1914, stationed at Southend, then Billericay. In 1915 it was made into a Reserve Training Battalion ( perhaps when your grandfather was transferred there) and eventually became a Young Soldiers Battalion under a different number( I dod not know what these formations were exactly- maybe someone else on forum can explain in more detail). After that the 10th are mentioned no more.

As for the 6th Battalion- they went to Gallipoli on July 1st 1915 with the 33rd brigade,11th Division serving at Helles at the end of July and Suvla from 6th August. The losses at Suvla necessitated the battalion temporarily amalgamating with the Lincolns, until a draft of 100 men joined 13th September 1915 and 150 on 11th October ( maybe your grandfather was in one of these drafts from the 10th Batt). They embarked for Imbros 18th December and stayed there until 27th Jan 1916 when they sailed for Alexandria, arriving 1st Feb and proceeding to Ramleh and then on to the camp at Sidi Bishr. they were then deployed upon the Suez Canal defences for several months until they entrained for and sailed from Alexandria

on the 30th June 1916, reaching Marseille by July 6th 1916 and proceeding to Arras with the 11th Division, arriving 17th July 1916.

Sorry I can't be more precise- hope some of this helps.....

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According to the book- The Border Regiment in the Great War- the 10th Battalion were formed in October 1914, stationed at Southend, then Billericay. In 1915 it was made into a Reserve Training Battalion ( perhaps when your grandfather was transferred there) and eventually became a Young Soldiers Battalion under a different number( I dod not know what these formations were exactly- maybe someone else on forum can explain in more detail). After that the 10th are mentioned no more.

As for the 6th Battalion- they went to Gallipoli on July 1st 1915 with the 33rd brigade,11th Division serving at Helles at the end of July and Suvla from 6th August. The losses at Suvla necessitated the battalion temporarily amalgamating with the Lincolns, until a draft of 100 men joined 13th September 1915 and 150 on 11th October ( maybe your grandfather was in one of these drafts from the 10th Batt). They embarked for Imbros 18th December and stayed there until 27th Jan 1916 when they sailed for Alexandria, arriving 1st Feb and proceeding to Ramleh and then on to the camp at Sidi Bishr. they were then deployed upon the Suez Canal defences for several months until they entrained for and sailed from Alexandria

on the 30th June 1916, reaching Marseille by July 6th 1916 and proceeding to Arras with the 11th Division, arriving 17th July 1916.

Sorry I can't be more precise- hope some of this helps.....

This certainly does help thank you although I must admit to still being a bit confused!! <

He was in Colchester from May 1915 until ? when he then embarked for bef from Ballah and Alex at the end of March 1916 ( all from his 'burnt copy' records)

So.........could this possibly mean that from May 1915 until Sept / Oct 1915 he could have been in Colchester and then went out to Gallipoli in Sept / Oct 1915 and then on to Imbros, Ramleh and then El Ballah sometime after Feb 1916? He would then have been deployed somewhere on the Suez Canal defences from Feb 1916 until he left for the bef from Alex at the end of March 1916?

If the rest of the 6th Border Regiment didn't arrive in France until July 1916 where was he from end of March 1916 when he left for bef until July 1916? We have a letter written on June 3rd 1916 but with no indication as to where he was other than "I have lost Walter's address.....I don't suppose I shall see him as we are in a funny place - you know what I mean"

I have e-mailed the Regimental Museum to try and see if they can tell me when he went overseas by his service number ( 21221). Is there a possibility that he was at Gallipoli at the end of the campaign and if so would there be any evidence somewhere other than his service record?

I have his medal card but that doesn't give any details other than Private 21221 Border Regiment and his entitlement of the British and Victory medals which we have.

I guess this is something I will probably never know but I would like to find out if at all possible.

Again thank you for all these details it is very much appreciated

Diane

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Perhaps he was still with the Norfolks during the period March-June/July 1916 and was part of a draft post-Somme to the 6th Borders in France- maybe the Norfolk Regiment Battalion he was enlisted in are worth checking on....

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Perhaps he was still with the Norfolks during the period March-June/July 1916 and was part of a draft post-Somme to the 6th Borders in France- maybe the Norfolk Regiment Battalion he was enlisted in are worth checking on....

Opps....silly me hadn't thought about that! We have a very good Norfolk Regiment Museum in Norwich about 12 miles from where I live so will certainly check with them and see what I can find. Thanks very much

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