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mhifle

3rd Battalion, The Connaught Rangers

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tullybrone

Hi,

 

It’s difficult to search for his Medal Index Card with just a Regiment and Regimental Number as  Ancestry gives 12,000+. A name would help.

 

In respect of his motivation it can only be guesswork but if we discount feelings of patriotism perhaps he was a young man with a sense of danger who saw wartime military service in the British Army as an escape from his possibly mundane life or poor home and employment conditions?

 

It would be possible to get some figures on the number of men who were born and  lived in the United States and enlisted in the British Army in the United Kingdom from the data in the Soldiers Died in The Great War CD Rom. I don’t have mine to hand. You need to bear in mind that later in the war there was an officially sanctioned U.K. recruitment drive in the U S A.

 

Good Luck

 

Steve

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archangel9

Hi Mr T,

 

As Steve said a name would help to narrow him down. The service number 4892 for a Connaught Ranger has no match in the medal index cards database - 

 

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/british-army-medal-index-cards-1914-1920/

 

Are you sure that number is correct? If so that would indicate no overseas service during the Great War. This is possible as 3rd Bn. Connaught Rangers were a a reserve battalion stationed in Ireland and England for the entire war. But most men went to the reserve first before being posted to the overseas battalions after training.

 

As for his motivation there could be many factors so might be almost impossible to ascertain. I wonder if previous service might have been a factor? There were at least two US born men in the 1st Battalion 1911 census - Daniel Collins born in New York and Michael Connolly born in Chicago. 

 

John

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Mr. T

Here's a better write up ... His name was Foster James Trainor (Trainer), born 11 July 1897 as an American-born citizen (Plattsburgh, NY) and lived in Schenectady, NY, when he joined the Connaught Rangers in 1914. He was in the 3rd Battalion, D Company. He signed up in St. Pancras, London and discharged as a Private in Kinsale, Ireland. His service number was 4892. He is of Irish decent as his grandfather was born in Dublin and died in 1882 in Montreal, Canada. His father was born in U.S. and employed as a machinist at the General Electric Company in Schenectady, NY.  What would have been the motivation for him to join the British Army and was it common for American citizens during WW1 to join the British Army (Connaught Rangers)?

 

On the Short Service Attestation form below he answered, Yes, to are you a British Subject. Not sure what that means. Looks also, he may not have been truthful about his age.

 

Foster James Trainer

 in the British Army WWI Pension Records 1914-1920

Name: Foster James Trainer
Gender: Male
Birth Date: abt 1895
Age: 19
Document Year: 1914
Residence Place: Saxton Home, Wells St Whitechapel E
Regimental Number: 4892
Regiment Name: Connaught Rangers
Form Title: Short Service Attestation

 

 

MIUK1914A_118715-00796 (1).jpg

Edited by Mr. T

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tullybrone

Hi,

 

I still can’t see him on the Medal Index Cards.

 

His occupation is noted as seaman so I expect his “home” address was a seaman’s hostel in the east end of London near the docks.

 

He clearly had a sense of adventure as indicated in his choice of occupation. My father’s best friend when he joined the British Army in 1937 was an Australian seaman who had “jumped” ship in London and joined up.

 

There was no requirement for potential recruits to prove any of the assertions they made on their enlistment form - it was all accepted as the truth - but if any discrepancies were discovered later the recruit could be disciplined for making a false declaration.

 

Steve

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clk

Hi Mr T,

 

1 hour ago, tullybrone said:

I still can’t see him on the Medal Index Cards.

His service record shows that he was discharged before seeing any service overseas.

 

1 hour ago, tullybrone said:

His occupation is noted as seaman so I expect his “home” address was a seaman’s hostel in the east end of London near the docks.

The record appears to read as Sailors Home, Wells [?] St., Whitechapel E.

 

1 hour ago, tullybrone said:

There was no requirement for potential recruits to prove any of the assertions they made on their enlistment form - it was all accepted as the truth - but if any discrepancies were discovered later the recruit could be disciplined for making a false declaration.

He was discharged on 21st March 1915 (intended place of residence 306 Avenue 'B', Schenelady [?], New York, USA under para 392 (ii) of the King's Regulations -  'having been irregularly enlisted'. On his attestation it shows that he claimed to have been a British Subject. A false declaration could lead to discharge under para 392 (viii) -  'having made a false answer on attestation'. Might he have been able to argue the point on the basis of his grandfathers birth place? I don't know what the rules were to claim/apply for being a British Subject at the time.   

 

3 hours ago, Mr. T said:

His name was Foster James Trainor (Trainer), born 11 July 1897

 

That being the case he wouldn't have been 19 years and 2 months old (per his attestation) when he attested in November 1914. So, also a false statement, which could presumably also have resulted  in discharge under para 392 (vi) - 'having made a mis-statement as to age on enlistment'. He signed up for General Service for the duration of the war. In 1914 the minimum age for overseas service was 19. When he signed up he would have only been 17.

 

Regards

Chris

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Mr. T

I erred and posted this in wrong forum.

 

On the back of this WW1 British soldier's (Jack Spencer) photo are what appears to be references to military campaigns. It looks like from the photo he is a member of The Queen's (Royal West Surrey) Regiment, 4th Battalion. Can anyone shed some light on this?IMG_3545.jpg.03393d92378cbae94bf4ec39d7be3f5a.jpg

FullSizeRender.jpg

IMG_3547.jpg

Edited by Mr. T

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