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Only a BWM for Basra?


eviltaxman
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Hi folks,

I've previously posted a thread looking for info on Pte Joseph E Chaplin, 203412, Dorset Reg and learned that his number is a territorial number - belonged to the 1/4th Dorsets. Although his MIC shows that he was also in the Essex Regiment for a while, the only MIC I've been able to find indicates that his entitlement is solely the BWM.

Anyone got any idea why it's only the BWM? I've seen sets to other men that have only served in the Basra/Mesopotamia area that recieved the normal pair.

His MIC is below - I haven't gone blind. I'm not missing anything am I?

Thanks in advance,

Les.

chaplindi5.jpg

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Are you sure he served in Mesopotamia - how sure? This situation usually arises because the man reached the Depot in India but did not get to Mesopotamia at all or not in time to qualify. If you know he actually served there he should have a Victory Medal too.

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The 1/4th Btn were in India from Nov 14 til they arrived in Mesopot 23 Feb 16. They left there Nov 19. I'm assuming this chap went direct as his MIC is a post 1/1/16 - no theatre shown. The MIC shows that he saw some service with the Essex Reg, but where I don't know... I haven't been able to suss out the serial number to a Btn yet.

The 1/4th was the main Territorial Btn for the Dorsets so I'm assuming (again) that this is the correct Btn. It also ties in with the "India" connection I've been given by the daughter.

Here's a link to the other thread I've started --> Other thread clicky here

Les.

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Les

The 1/4th were the only Dorset battalion I can trace that were in India. There was also only one from the Essex Regt, the 2nd Garrison battalion and they were there from Mar 1916 - Nov 1918. Could he have transferred in theatre?

My first theory was that he may have somehow died en route to Mespot from India and thus not qualify for the VM as he never set foot in a hostile area but he doesn't appear on the CWGC site so I'm assuming he survived the war.

Greg

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Les

The 1/4th were the only Dorset battalion I can trace that were in India. There was also only one from the Essex Regt, the 2nd Garrison battalion and they were there from Mar 1916 - Nov 1918. Could he have transferred in theatre?

My first theory was that he may have somehow died en route to Mespot from India and thus not qualify for the VM as he never set foot in a hostile area but he doesn't appear on the CWGC site so I'm assuming he survived the war.

Greg

From the little book that I use the 2nd, 1/4th & 2/4th Btns all served in India at some point. The 2nd came from India in Nov 1914 to Mespot then on to Egypt in April 1918. The 1/4th were in India until Feb 1916 then Mespot and the 2/4th was India Jan 1915 and on to Egypt Aug 1917. I didn't realise the 2nd Essex Gar Btn was different from the 2nd Btn proper...... so there is that possibility.

So it may seem that he was 2/4th not 1/4th. Would you agree?

He did survive the war as the daughter was born in the 1920's.

Les.

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His term with the Dorsets commenced on or after 1st January 1917, if thats any help.

Roop

Thanks Roop. That helps pin him down with a better timeline. I can assume therefore he was in the Essex Reg after Jan 1916 and transferred to the Dorsets in 1917 or possibly 1918. I just need to confirm the Essex Reg serial number (date wise) to confirm the India/Dorsets connection.

I can only assume that the joined the Essex Reg as part of the New Army, otherwise any earlier he would have been more than likely been with a local Regiment - Glosters or Somersets.

Les

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Les - have you actually looked him up on the medal roll? If not, then saying he was 1/4th Dorsets is at best speculation. You may find he went in a draft and joined the Essex Regiment in a non-operational theatre without having ever served with any active battalion of the Dorsets. I have a number of BWMs named to Royal Sussex Regiment who went overseas and joined other units in India, and were not entitled to a VM. Their Sussex service ended upon arrival in India, when they were posted to other units. However, as they arrived in a Sussex draft then their medals were named as such.

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This seems similar to many men who joined the TF 1/4th Lincolns and ended up in the North Staffs within weeks.

His first enlistment would be to the Dorsets as the recruiting unit, he would then be transferred as draft or reinforcement to the Essex Reg, (Division ?).

Roop

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Paul,

1/4th is pure speculation. As yet I've not had the roll confirmed as

i) I can't get to the NA to check and

ii) no ones replied to my request for a roll look up - here. :unsure:

Fingers crossed some one can check, even if it shoots my theories down in flames :blush:

Les.

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This seems similar to many men who joined the TF 1/4th Lincolns and ended up in the North Staffs within weeks.

His first enlistment would be to the Dorsets as the recruiting unit, he would then be transferred as draft or reinforcement to the Essex Reg, (Division ?).

Roop

So his service could have been even shorter? Rather than post-Jan 1916 --> end of the war, it could well be (as prev mentioned re the Dorsets number) post-Jan 1917 and all spent in India.

Les

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I actually suspect he never went near Mespot or India having first joined the 3/4th Battalion Dorsets and transferring to the 3rd Reserve Battalion Essex regiment, hence no second medal.

Roop

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The BWM has the Dorsets on it. If he was in the 3/4th, which never left the country, I would have thought another Reg/Corp would show around the rim.

The plot thickens! :lol:

Les

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I have a number of Sussex groups to men who were in 3/6th Bn or 6th (Reserve) Bn Royal Sussex, a unit that never left UK, yet their medals are named to the Sussex. One man has a pair plus TEM named to the 6th yet his entire overseas service was actually with the King's African Rifles!

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