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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

GRADUATED BATTALIONS


Greg Bloomfield
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Pals

I need some help please on these battalions. I have the medals to a soldier who served in 52nd Graduated Battalion (Devons) but who later fetched up in the Royal Berkshires. Would anybody know if drafts were taken from these training units to plug gaps as and where required or would they have gone into a Devons battalion and been transferred at a later date?

He was in the 52nd (Graduated Bn.) in March 1918, at a time when the army was incurring massive losses because of the German breakthrough and many units would have needed reinforcing so this might possibly have influenced events.

Any pointers would be appreciated.

Greg

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Thanks mate but I already had that. I can't find any reference anywhere though as to whether or not these lads stayed within their regimental systems before being re-cap badged or were moved from the Graduated battalions directly to other regiments (as I suspect they were).

Greg

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Greg

There were only 23 regiments which had Graduated and Young Soldier battalions so a high proportion of Graduated men would have been sent to other regiments. This was especially true in terms of the 1918 Spring offensives. "Cap-badging" was pretty nominal in these cases.

Ron

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Thanks Ron

I had suspected as much. He was later wounded with the Berkshires, somewhere around Le Cateau so family rumour has it, and then went to Ireland with the 2nd battalion in 1919 where he met his wife, so a happy ending.

Greg

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Hi,

Did the graduated battalions keep diaries? I've been trying to access 53rd Royal Sussex's diary but with no luck.

Thanks,

John

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Pals

I need some help please on these battalions. I have the medals to a soldier who served in 52nd Graduated Battalion (Devons) but who later fetched up in the Royal Berkshires. Would anybody know if drafts were taken from these training units to plug gaps as and where required or would they have gone into a Devons battalion and been transferred at a later date?

He was in the 52nd (Graduated Bn.) in March 1918, at a time when the army was incurring massive losses because of the German breakthrough and many units would have needed reinforcing so this might possibly have influenced events.

Any pointers would be appreciated.

Greg

Hello Greg

Coincidently I'm a Plymothian and have a great uncle who was called up into the Devons in 1918! He was part of a large draft taken around June 1918 into the 5th Berkshires. He was regrettably killed on August 24th 1918 a couple of days after the 5th Battalion the Berkshires successfully assaulted the village of Meulte and just before the Battalion assualted a wood just to the north of the Peronne road with very heavy casualties.In fact he was one of only 3 casualties that day.

I was able to buy a private history of the 5 th Berkshires whist visiting the Somme about 5 years ago. It is very much in the form of a battallion diary and list all casualties and actions in 1918. Do you think it it may be of some help to you in your research ?

regards

Malcolm

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Malcolm

There's every chance it could if he was in the 5th Battalion at that time. His name was Pte W E Stevens, 11446. He was shot in the hand on one occassion but only superficially and cracked on. He was secondly shot in the leg and this caused him to be evacuated. I'm afraid that Le Cateau is the only place name the family can remember him mentioning but that's not a million miles away from there.

If you can come up with anything it would be hugely appreciated. What was you Great Uncle's service number by the way?

Greg

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Malcolm

There's every chance it could if he was in the 5th Battalion at that time. His name was Pte W E Stevens, 11446. He was shot in the hand on one occassion but only superficially and cracked on. He was secondly shot in the leg and this caused him to be evacuated. I'm afraid that Le Cateau is the only place name the family can remember him mentioning but that's not a million miles away from there.

If you can come up with anything it would be hugely appreciated. What was you Great Uncle's service number by the way?

Greg

Hello Greg

My great uncle William Reginald Giles was given a new service number (43893) when he was drafted to the 5th Royal Berkshires.

My book covers the territorial Battalions of the Royal Berkshires in 1918 (5, 6 and 8th Battalions). I was interested only in the 5th where my great uncle served. However I got the book out last night and can confirm that the clue from family members about Le Cateau is correct - the 8th Battalion Royal Berkshires attacked from there (against L'Eveque Wood on 23 October 1918) as part of the larger preparations for the assualt on the Forest of Mormal. Casualties were Officers: 1 Killed and 4 Wounded(including the Medical Officer) Other Ranks 19 Killed ,1 died of wounds , 67 wounded and 3 missing.

Was your mans number the original one that he had in the Devonshire Regiment?

You are very welcome to borrow the book for a couple of weeks if you want to copy anything for your research. Send me an E mail and we'll sort it out.

regards

Malcolm

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Malcolm

PM on it's way.

Greg

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