Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Private Frederick George Nason


Mike Nason
 Share

Recommended Posts

Frederick NASON died 16th August 1917 at the opening of the Battle of Langemarck, Private 202784, 1/4th Dorsets. He was conscripted into the 3/5th Beds in June 1916 and was later transferred to the Dorsets, possibly in Oct 1916.

I have been unable to ascertain with any certainty his experiences between June 1916 and his death and have had to make some presumptions. However, recently a letter written by him on the 29 January 1917 has come to light. In the letter, written under the printed heading of ‘The Church Army Recreation Hut’, he gives his address as:

Pte. F.G. Nason,

19618D – Draft 1st Dorset Rgmt

No 31** I.B.D.

BEF France.

Can anyone explain what the address means, in particular the significance of '19618D', and what it may reveal about my grandfather’s progress with the Dorsets?

I have written a biography of him but can’t be sure when I can reliably assume that he would have participated in the events described in the Dorsets’ War Diary, although the letter now confirms that he was in France by 29th January 1917.

I will be grateful for any advice and guidance that would help me completing the story.

Mike Nason.

**the ‘1’ is rather shorter than the ‘1’ in '1st Dorsets Rgmt' and may in fact be some sort of a dash.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mike

There is something very odd with your grandfather's service number.

The CWGC has him killed with the 5th Service Battalion of the Dorsets (not the 1/4th):

http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_detail...casualty=831951

and yet he is recorded with a six figure TF service number that was introduced March/April 1917 but none of the Dorset TF Battalions served in F&F.

The 198618 D? if it is a service number was already held by another man:

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documen...p;resultcount=1

Very peculiar.

Do you have a copy of the MIC that you can post?

Regards

Mel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As far as I know a T.F. man who had been renumbered in 1917 to 6-digits, and then transferred to a Regular/New Army battalion would KEEP his 6-digit number.

So perhaps a 3/4th battalion man whilst in the UK until 1917, and then transferred to the 5th battalion in mid-1917.

He is only listed on the MICs with a post 1917 number:

Medal card of Nason, Frederick G

Corps Regiment No Rank

Dorsetshire Regiment 202784 Private

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documen...;resultcount=79

Could the 18D also be I.B.D. = Infantry Base Depot?

Steve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steve

I would agree with that analysis but for the fact that there is confirmation of him being in France before March 1917 - the letter dated 29 January 1917.

So unless he was kicking his heels in the Infantry Base Depot for a couple of months waiting for his six figure renumbering then he should have a service Battalion number and there would have been no need for a six figure number at all.

Regards

Mel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It does seem rather odd, doesn't it?

I seem to remember having seen a WO364 doc that had a 6-digit number on it before March 1917 (but only a couple of months). But, I can't remember where I saw it!

I'll see if I made a "follow up" note anywhere.

Steve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steve

I think it may well just have been a cock up by the Base Depot in allocating a service battalion number that was a duplicate of an existing one. The mistake was probably identified after the death and resolved by providing a six figure renumbering. This could explain why no other service number appears on the MIC.

In any event from Mike's point of view, his grandfather clearly arrived in France in late January 1917 and was initially part of a draft reinforcement for the 1st Battalion and was subsequently transferred to the 5th definitely before August 1917 but probably in preparation for Messines.

Regards

Mel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From Mike Nason.

Thank you for your various replies. I would be pleased to share the biography in full with you but here attach a relevant excerpt:

'Frederick George’s military records were destroyed by enemy action during the Second World War. The Medal Rolls and Volume 43 of

Soldiers Who Died in the Great War show that 202784 Private Nason F.G. 5th Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment was born in Ettington,

Warwickshire, enlisted 1915 in St Albans and previously served as No. 7257 in the Bedfordshire Regiment. His military experience,

however, can be partially reconstructed from other sources . . . .

Frederick George’s history in the Bedfordshire Regiment is unrecorded, although some light can be shed on his progress there

by information found in records relating to the Dorsetshire Regiment. Frederick George’s Dorsetshire No. was to be 202784. The records

for Nos. 202785 and 202786 have partially survived and they show that both of these men were transferred from the 1/5th Battalion to

the 4/5th Battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment on dates early in 1916.

A War Office telegram dated 18th October 1916 transferred both men to the 1/4th Dorsets on 24th October. The subsequent history of these

men was very different to Frederick George’s. They were sent to join the 1/4th Dorsets in India. They both had been wounded in the 1915

campaigns in France and it is surmised that they were sent out to a relatively easy garrison posting, being unfit for other service.

The names and numbers which surround Frederick George in the Dorset list are in alpha-numeric order and many have a connection

with the Bedfordshire Regiment, evidence that he could have been one of a block of men transferred to the Dorsets from the Bedfordshire

Regiment at the same time.'

It would seem, from the recently found letter, that in January 1917 he was not yet on active service. The war diaries mention the acquisition of new men at various times but no entry is specific enough to indicate when Frederick Nason joined.

Thank you.

Mike Nason

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just a further item which may be of significance . . . .

In a letter dated 20th August 1917, written to Frederick Nason's widow, Lt Le Cornu names him as Pte 202784 Nason F., which would suggest that the number had been issued some time previously.

Given that Frederick Nason was otherwise numbered in January 1917, when he was part of a draft of soldiers, what would be a likely date when he would have participated in the actions detailed in the war diaries?

Thanks,

Mike Nason

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...