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westkent78

23rd (County of London) Battalion, the London Regiment

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westkent78
Hi Matthew,

In reply to your request for the 23rd London regiment, I wonder if you can throw any light on a family mystery that has existed since 1918. My Great Uncle, Ernest Pullen enlisted in the 2/ 23rd London Regiment, his number was originally 5904 later 702605 pte. He survived the war, I know this because I have a field post card posted home after the 11th November 1918, but he himself never returned and was never heard of again, depite various searches at the time.

I have a copy of his medal record which I would like to send to you if possible (although I have not been able to upload it as the file size is too large), which throws up a couple of questions that you may be able to answer. One of which is that in the remarks column it states RETD. (1743KR), does this mean Kings Regulations and if so which one?

Hoping that you can help with my problem but anyway you have another recruit for your database.

Best Wishes

Eddie Pullen

Hello Eddie,

I have a copy of the medal index card. I think that Retd. (1743 KR) 7956 ADT refers to them being unable to contact him at the address they had and his medals consequently being destroyed at a later date, but you might consider starting a thread with that as the title as I know there are some King's Regulation experts on the forum.

I have a strong suspicion that he originally joined the 9th London and was transferred to 2/23rd on 6th June 1916 to bulk them up before they went to France on 26th June. Once with 2/23rd he appears to have followed the usual pattern of service for a 2nd Bn man. I don't have an idea what his 9th London number might have been, but most of the men in the draft from the 9th to 2/23rd seem to have enlisted around August 1915.

France & Flanders: 26 Jun 1916 - 3rd Dec 1916

Salonika: 14th Dec 1916 - 15th Jun 1917

Egypt & Palestine: 18th Jun 1917 - 23rd Jun 1918

Med: 30th Jun 1918 - 3rd Jul 1918

France & Flanders: 4th Jul 1918 - being shipped home. It looks like he was shipped to England on 29th Jan 1919. All this information comes from his medal roll entry to which the card you have refers.

Have you found him in the 1901 & 1911 census yet, or know when he was born. If so I'd like to know where he was from, etc for the database.

I hope this is of some help to you.

Best regards,

Matthew

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eddie pullen

Hi Matthew,

Thank you for the information and the quick reply.

Ernest was born 1884 in Chichester, West Sussex, I have strong suspicions that in 1901 he was a domestic manservant at Bishops Croft Cottage, Guildford St Nicholas, Guildford and in 1911 he was a footman at 97 Eaton Square, Westminster and he was registered single. The field postcards I mentioned earlier were posted to my Grandfather in Bognor Regis where he also lived.

Many Thanks

Eddie

Hello Eddie,

I have a copy of the medal index card. I think that Retd. (1743 KR) 7956 ADT refers to them being unable to contact him at the address they had and his medals consequently being destroyed at a later date, but you might consider starting a thread with that as the title as I know there are some King's Regulation experts on the forum.

I have a strong suspicion that he originally joined the 9th London and was transferred to 2/23rd on 6th June 1916 to bulk them up before they went to France on 26th June. Once with 2/23rd he appears to have followed the usual pattern of service for a 2nd Bn man. I don't have an idea what his 9th London number might have been, but most of the men in the draft from the 9th to 2/23rd seem to have enlisted around August 1915.

France & Flanders: 26 Jun 1916 - 3rd Dec 1916

Salonika: 14th Dec 1916 - 15th Jun 1917

Egypt & Palestine: 18th Jun 1917 - 23rd Jun 1918

Med: 30th Jun 1918 - 3rd Jul 1918

France & Flanders: 4th Jul 1918 - being shipped home. It looks like he was shipped to England on 29th Jan 1919. All this information comes from his medal roll entry to which the card you have refers.

Have you found him in the 1901 & 1911 census yet, or know when he was born. If so I'd like to know where he was from, etc for the database.

I hope this is of some help to you.

Best regards,

Matthew

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R4949
Some of you may be aware of this, but for those who aren't, I am compiling a database of all the men who joined the 23rd Londons in the Great War.

Any information, however insignificant it may seem, is gratefully received.

I am also in a position to undertake look-ups in the war diary, regimental history and 47th Division History.

Matthew

Hi Matthew - I have several photographs of my grandfather (L/Corporal G A Rose) and various group shots of the 23rd - (Section 3 H Company; Mess Stewards; 23rd Route March, South Mimms; etc) - also shots of him and his friend Trafford Matthews - they were billeted together at the house of a Dr Vincent, Bat Cottage, Falmouth.

My grandfather's entire war seems to have been a grand tour of South of England! I have several post cards sent by him to my grandmother from places like Cornwall, asking if she got the clotted cream! His three brothers all served in France, one being killed in action with the 6th London, Nov 1915.

Is George Albert Rose on your list?

David

post-52289-1262445655.jpg

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westkent78
Hi Matthew - I have several photographs of my grandfather (L/Corporal G A Rose) and various group shots of the 23rd - (Section 3 H Company; Mess Stewards; 23rd Route March, South Mimms; etc) - also shots of him and his friend Trafford Matthews - they were billeted together at the house of a Dr Vincent, Bat Cottage, Falmouth.

My grandfather's entire war seems to have been a grand tour of South of England! I have several post cards sent by him to my grandmother from places like Cornwall, asking if she got the clotted cream! His three brothers all served in France, one being killed in action with the 6th London, Nov 1915.

Is George Albert Rose on your list?

David

Hello David,

He wasn't on my list as these men who never went overseas are hard to track down, so this inquiry is very welcome. He's now on my list and I can confirm that his papers have survived, assuming he lived on Denmark Road, Camberwell and was married to Amy Edith Rose. Looks like he was a pre war territorial with the 21st London, time expired in 1913, re-enlisted in 23rd London in Sept 1914 and later ended up with 30th London.

Trafford Matthews is also new to me, assuming he's a 23rd man also. Looks like he was commissioned into the Wiltshire Regt. and then transferred to the Machine Gun Corps.

Have to run now but I'll be in touch soon with more details.

Best regards,

Matthew

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westkent78

David,

Couldn't pm you for some reason but sent you an email instead.

Best regards,

Matthew

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Guest RKG

Hi Matthew

2190 Pte Archibald James Tallin was born on 15 January 1891. On 19 August 1914 he was living at 21 Campion Rd, Putney when he joined 23 London Regt. He trained as a machine gunner with the Regiment in the UK and left for France via Southampton and Le Havre on 14 March 1915. He served in 6 Pl, B Coy, 1 Bn 23 London Regiment. He took part in the attack at Givenchy on 25 May 1915, where he was killed. He is commemorated at Le Touret cemetery along with many other members of the battalion.

He joined up with a friend, PG Heath, who by 5 March 1915 was commissioned into 8 East Surrey Regt. He went to France with his battalion on 27 July 1915, is mentioned in that Bn War Diary on the first day of the Somme and is not listed by CWGC so presumably he survived the war.

Archie's sister Ruby May Tallin was a friend of my grandmother's, with whom she subsequently shared the house in Putney. I have a collection of about 30 letters and post cards written by Archie between joining in August 1914 and his death in May 1915, and a newspaper cutting from the South Western Star (London) of 11 June 1915 giving some accounts of the 23 London Regiment action and casualties at Givenchy. I also have Archie's 3 medals, some photos (including Kitchener reviewing the battalion in September 1914) and other letters from the Battalion. His sister tried hard to find out how he died and she corresponded with other surviving members of the battalion. If you would like to look through any of these sources at some point I would be happy to arrange that.

I have downloaded a copy of the May 1915 1/23 Bn War Diary with Appendix 1, which is the CO's report of the Givenchy attack (where the battalion sustained an unimaginable 200 killed and 304 wounded, according to a letter from the Adjutant). However the online Appendix is only a single page and I suspect there is at least one more page of the original report that has not been scanned. Do you have access to the whole of the original CO's Report as I would like to know more about the Givenchy action?

Hope this might be of interest.

Richard

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westkent78

Hello Richard,

Thank you for getting in touch.

That's quite an archive you have been bequeathed. Glad to hear that it's all been kept together and survived the transition of time and family. I'm very eager to have a look through all those primary documents and photos because I suspect that there can't be too many of those 'time capsules' concerning the regiment still surviving, but I fear that it's unlikely to happen in person as I live in the U.S. and only get home to the UK infrequently now. Thanks for the offer. Is there any possibility that you could take digital photos of them, or at least a portion?

Phillip George Heath appears to have made it to Captain with the East Surreys and won the Military Cross. He seems to have survived and 'retired' to Milan, Italy. It's good to know that he was a former 23rd London man as the men who were commissioned out of the regiment before going overseas are difficult to identify. Another research project for the pile.

Unfortunately, I only have that imperfect scan of the war diary as well. On my next visit to the National Archives I plan on asking to see the original diary because of this reason, so hopefully we'll see what's on page two. Sadly the 142nd Bde war diary doesn't include the original copy that the 1/23rd sent them either. The Adjutant may have been under-representing the scale of casualties as the 142nd Bde diary lists almost 600 men. I'm still trying to pin down the exact number by sifting through the medal rolls, Times Casualty lists and the surviving service papers, but so far I've identified over 200 KIA alone.

As for understanding more about Givenchy, I'd suggest either purchasing or using a library to get the Regimental History, as it has a good chapter dealing with the attack. I'm currently away from my library so can't tell you too much more about what B Coy was doingThat should hopefully tide you over until I get round to writing my own history of the regiment. If you want the diaries for the other months that Archibald was in France then I can send them to you if you pm me your email address.

Best Regards,

Matthew

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Ken Wayman

Hi Matthew

I have info on Fred Genders of Pelsall (Staffs). If you PM me your email address I'll send on my research notes.

Ken

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Guest RKG

Thanks Matthew, I feel strangely elated that PG Heath survived even though I know little about him. A&B Coys were in reserve at Givenchy but the next day they were amalgamated into a single company according to the War Diary, as losses were so high. I am sure there is more to the War Diary Appendix as in the opening paragraph the CO refers to bringing names to the attention of the Brig/Div Cdr, but none are actually mentioned on that (first) page. Any details of the Regimental History that you refer to would be welcome so I can borrow/buy a copy. Will the Queen's Royal Surrey Regt Museum have a copy perhaps: I think they are the current successors to the 23rd? I had wondered about offering them Archie's papers etc in due course.

I have tried PMing you but I don't seem to be allowed to: my address is gysel at manxdotnet if you send me your details. I am away for a couple of weeks tomorrow but I will then scan some pictures and let you have them. The personal letters are really too long to do them all but I will check them for names of other 23 CL Regt men and other info for your records. If you do come to the UK let me know and we'll see if we can meet.

Best wishes

Richard

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westkent78

Richard,

I've emailed you. Hopefully you received the information.

Best regards,

Matthew

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Yves Le Cuziat, MBE

Dear Matthew,

I research information about 2081 Pte John Tate, 23rd London Regiment, later M.G.C. numbered 147962. ( I have his 1914-15 Star, War Medal and Victory Medal)

Than you !

Yves

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Yves Le Cuziat, MBE
Hi, I'm delighted to have come across this forum. I've been researching may family for some time, but had very little to go on on my late father's side. He'd lost both parents by the age of 20 and I had no relatives and few documents to consult. All I knew was that my grandfather was William Mumford who came from London, was in the army in the Great War, was gassed, married and settled in Luton. I found out a great deal more through the usual resources but had pretty much drawn a blank finding out anything about his military service. In the last few days I went through everything I could find and came to the conclusion that he was in 23rd London, as I think his brother Richard Henry was. With that information I did a google search and quickly found this forum.

The details you have provided are fascinating and seeing the post from Yves about the medal quite thrilling. Matthew, I don't know what sort of information you would like about William, but I now have quite a bit. I can tell you that his family were indeed from Fulham, previous generations having lived in Ealing, Chiswick, Hammersmith etc. He was born in 1888 and was married in Luton on 26th January 1918, my grandmother's family having moved up to Luton from the East End in about 1913. I don't know if he was involved in the Peace day riots in Luton where the town hall was burned down, but it's a great story. He went on to work at the Laporte chemical works in Luton. He had three children and died in 1948 in Luton. Please let me know if there's other information you'd like. I only have one photo of him, probably from the 1940s.

I would be very grateful indeed for further information, I'd love to know when he may have been gassed and whether there might have been any significance to him marrying in 1918. My father used to say that William wasn't expected to live long having been gassed, which affected his pension in some way, but I don't fully understand this. If there might be more photos I would love to see them of course.

As for the medal, I would love to hear more from Yves about this, a real gem for me.

Thanks for the great job being done on this forum,

Alison

Dear Alison,

I am happy that my researches concerning William Mumbford, DCM, help you to have some information about your Grand Dad!

Thank you for the information that you sent to us. You said that you have a picture of William Mumford. Could you please to send a copy by e-mail? lecuziat.yves@neuf.fr. Thank you.

Best wishes

Yves

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shaymen

Hi Matthew

I am currently looking into this chap

Name: WOOLDRIDGE, FRED

Initials: F

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: London Regiment

Unit Text: 1st/23rd Bn.

Date of Death: 29/08/1918

Service No: 700890

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 10.

Memorial: VIS-EN-ARTOIS MEMORIAL

Not got much on him at the mo but when I have I will let you know. Just found him as a name from a local memorial I am looking into.

Now what can you tell me about him and can you PLEASE let me have details of the actions he was killed in.

Thanks mate

Glyn

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westkent78
Dear Matthew,

I research information about 2081 Pte John Tate, 23rd London Regiment, later M.G.C. numbered 147962. ( I have his 1914-15 Star, War Medal and Victory Medal)

Than you !

Yves

Hello Yves,

Can't tell you much about Tate I'm afraid as I don't have the MGC rolls (not that they're very detailed anyway). From his number it looks like he joined 10th-11th August 1914, and obviously transferred to the MGC from 1/23rd prior to January 1917 as no 6-digit number was allocated to him for the 23rd London.

Best regards,

Matthew

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westkent78
Hi Matthew

I am currently looking into this chap

Name: WOOLDRIDGE, FRED

Initials: F

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: London Regiment

Unit Text: 1st/23rd Bn.

Date of Death: 29/08/1918

Service No: 700890

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 10.

Memorial: VIS-EN-ARTOIS MEMORIAL

Not got much on him at the mo but when I have I will let you know. Just found him as a name from a local memorial I am looking into.

Now what can you tell me about him and can you PLEASE let me have details of the actions he was killed in.

Thanks mate

Glyn

Hello Glyn,

You're in luck. His papers appear to have survived and are in the "Burnt Series" on Ancestry. Seems he had quite an eventful war, starting out with 2/23rd London but only lasting a couple of weeks once they went overseas before being wounded. On his return he transferred to 1/23rd but was posted to 1st Entrenching Bn for a while as he was a carpenter, before returning to 1/23rd. He missed all of the 1918 retreat by being in England but it looks like he may have been in the draft that joined the 1/23rd on the 27th August 1918 and was involved in the advance near Mametz on 29th-30th.

The war diary here indicates that some of the casualties on 29th-30th may have actually been caused by the accidental explosion of a German shell/bomb which was lying around (or was it a boobytrap?). I've noted 3 men "killed in action" on the 29th.

PM me if you're unable to access Ancestry.

Which memorial is he listed on?

Best regards,

Matthew

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shaymen

Thanks Matthew

Yep got the ancestry stuff....still need to look through it all.

He is named on the Bishop's Stortford (Herts) memorial. Haven't come across him in the local papers yet but if I do I will let you know.

It was through the service records that I (well this forum) managed to link him back to B.S. Up till then I couldn't add him as a definite.

Ooops can't seem to access your war diary link !!!

Glyn

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westkent78

Glyn,

Try this and navigate from 1/23rd.

Fingers crossed for a photo in the local papers.

Matthew

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shaymen

Mmm Matthew, still not happening - get this message -

THE QUEEN'S ROYAL REGIMENT - MAP ARCHIVE :: ERROR

An error occurred processing your request:

Either your session has expired or you have not logged in.

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westkent78

Glyn,

Strange. They worked fine for me yesterday, but not today.

Google qrrarchive and a few entries down you'll see the "The Great War Diaries". Select East Surrey Regiment and then you should be on your way.

Matthew

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shaymen

Matthew

Thanks mate...all good now

Glyn

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nf3996

Matthew,

I'm new to military research and I'm trying to work out my grandfather's WW1 service. In looking through some old family photographs I've come across a seemingly unrelated formal studio photograph of Drummer E H Shepherd of the 23rd (County of London) Battalion. On the back is written 'March 1915, St Albans'. Is there anything you can tell me about this man from your own research?

I'm not aware of any link to my grandfather (Thomas George Alexander, 1897-1994), unless maybe they were friends. However, I do have a Queens Regiment cap badge of my grandfather's - I'd assumed this to be the Royal West Surrey regiment, but as he lived in Wandsworth it now seems more likely it's from the 22nd or 24th (County of London) Battalion instead. Strangely the only photo of my grandfather wearing the badge dates from 1919, where he's wearing his BWM and VM stripes. To add to the confusion, I have earlier photos of him (and his badges) in the Army Ordnance Corps, plus some Royal West Kent shoulder badges of his and several photos of someone who looks very much like him in RFA uniform too!

Alan

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high wood

Matthew,

do you have any information on a 23rd London Regiment soldier with the surname Pitman? I have his photograph and I am trying to find his Christian name and service number. Any information gratefully received.

Simon.

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westkent78
Matthew,

do you have any information on a 23rd London Regiment soldier with the surname Pitman? I have his photograph and I am trying to find his Christian name and service number. Any information gratefully received.

Simon.

Hello Simon,

I think you probably have a picture of 2603 Sidney Frank Pitman. He never made it overseas, being transferred to 108th Provisional Bn, then 32nd London (840055) and 29th London (782519), making CQMS by his discharge. He appears to have been slightly miffed that he wasn't entitled to any medals for his service. He was a Battersea man, enlisting on 6th September 1914 and his WO363 is online. Let me know if you don't have access.

Is there any chance of you posting the picture or emailing me a copy please.

Best regards,

Matthew

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westkent78
Matthew,

I'm new to military research and I'm trying to work out my grandfather's WW1 service. In looking through some old family photographs I've come across a seemingly unrelated formal studio photograph of Drummer E H Shepherd of the 23rd (County of London) Battalion. On the back is written 'March 1915, St Albans'. Is there anything you can tell me about this man from your own research?

I'm not aware of any link to my grandfather (Thomas George Alexander, 1897-1994), unless maybe they were friends. However, I do have a Queens Regiment cap badge of my grandfather's - I'd assumed this to be the Royal West Surrey regiment, but as he lived in Wandsworth it now seems more likely it's from the 22nd or 24th (County of London) Battalion instead. Strangely the only photo of my grandfather wearing the badge dates from 1919, where he's wearing his BWM and VM stripes. To add to the confusion, I have earlier photos of him (and his badges) in the Army Ordnance Corps, plus some Royal West Kent shoulder badges of his and several photos of someone who looks very much like him in RFA uniform too!

Alan

Hello Alan,

The subject of your photo is Edward Horace Shepherd. He enlisted in the 23rd London as #2583 on 5th September 1914. He was from Wandsworth (address may be 35 Borrodaile Road). Looks like the photo must have been taken just before he went to France on 14th March 1915.

He was wounded on 26th May 1915 by a gunshot wound to the right thigh and was sent back to England on 28th March. Having recovered he returned to the battalion in October 1915 only to be wounded by a shrapnel wound to the head on 16th September 1916. This wound ended his active service and he went back to England on 1st October 1916. He was discharged on 16th Oct 1917.

His pension records survive and are on Ancestry. Let me know if you don't have access.

I'll have a look and see if I can find anything about your grandfather.

I'd be very interested in getting a copy of that photo of Shepherd if you're able to, as I have a particular interest in the men who were casualties on 16th September- my grandfather being one of them.

Best regards,

Matthew

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high wood

Matthew,

many thanks for the information regarding Sidney Pitman. Here is a poor quality photograph taken this morning in poor light. If you pm your email address I will send a high resolution copy.

Do you have any information on your database on William (Billy) Vance or Cpl George Norris? George Norris may have transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Simon.

post-6480-1266392606.jpg

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