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Records don't match - confused!


redorchestra
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Hello,

I've just come back from the National Archives, from what I hoped would be an enlightening trip. However as is so often the case in these circles, it's just made the waters even muddier.

My relatives medal index card said that he served first with the 12th Royal Fusiliers, and then transferred to 5th Royal Fusiliers. However, upon consulting the actual medal roll, it said this:

12/R Fus - 6/10/15 to 25/7/16

20/R Fus 26/7/16 to 29/1/18

2/R Fus 30/1/18 to 3/8/18 .

So it appears that he was never in the 5th at all! Also I'm surprised and amused to find him in the 20th Public Schools Battalion. By all accounts he was a rough old geezer!

So what should I trust? Which is the more reliable source do you think?

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Hello

I would regard the actual roll as a better source than the index card. He may have served in 5/R Fus as well, but as they never served abroad (they were a Special Reserve battalion) service with them would not have medal entitlement.

20/R Fus was raised as a Public Schools battalion but many of its original members were subsequently commissioned (for obvious reasons). The ranks were filled up with men who had not been at Public Schools.

Ron

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Hi redorchestra

Its hard to say which is the more reliable source, I have seen mistakes in the medals, I can't comment on the index cards as I have not looked at many. Over the last few months I have been downloading loads of soldiers service papers (about a 1000 or so) and have noticed many a mistake, and I evan came across an official note with one chaps papers stating that there where mistakes in his papers and that it was not surprising that mistakes occured because of the work load the clarkes were under in the early days of the war. Sorry the above does not help you much :(

Annette

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Just seen Ron's post

He may have served in 5/R Fus as well, but as they never served abroad (they were a Special Reserve battalion) service with them would not have medal entitlement.

A chap's medal roll only record the units he served with abroad and not home base units he trained with ect, well at any rate I have not seen any recorded on a medal roll others may say different.

Annette

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In this instance I'd suggest you trust both. Your relative's Medal Roll shows continuous overseas service with the Royal Fusiliers from 6/10/15 to 3/8/18 (12th, 20th and 2nd Battalions). What it doesn't show is that he was subsequently transferred to the 5th Battalion Royal Fusiliers which, as Ron has already stated were a Reserve Battalion and never left these shores and which, as a result, would not be noted on the Medal Roll itself. The MIC however does make note of this as I am assuming his 1914/15 Star was awarded off the 5th Battalion's Medal Roll (WO329/2630).

I've got many men (of the 25th Battalion) being posted to the 5th Battalion prior to being discharged from the Army for whatever reason and they are all listed on the 5th's Medal Roll but again there is no reference to this battalion on the relevant BWM & Victory Medal Roll which details the overseas service.

The same goes for the Royal Fusiliers' Depot, put that into the NA online MIC search and you'll get in excess of 600 hits. The depot was in Hounslow but medals were issued off the Depot's Medal Roll.

Hope that all makes sense.

Steve

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In this instance I'd suggest you trust both. Your relative's Medal Roll shows continuous overseas service with the Royal Fusiliers from 6/10/15 to 3/8/18 (12th, 20th and 2nd Battalions). What it doesn't show is that he was subsequently transferred to the 5th Battalion Royal Fusiliers which, as Ron has already stated were a Reserve Battalion and never left these shores and which, as a result, would not be noted on the Medal Roll itself. The MIC however does make note of this as I am assuming his 1914/15 Star was awarded off the 5th Battalion's Medal Roll (WO329/2630).

I've got many men (of the 25th Battalion) being posted to the 5th Battalion prior to being discharged from the Army for whatever reason and they are all listed on the 5th's Medal Roll but again there is no reference to this battalion on the relevant BWM & Victory Medal Roll which details the overseas service.

The same goes for the Royal Fusiliers' Depot, put that into the NA online MIC search and you'll get in excess of 600 hits. The depot was in Hounslow but medals were issued off the Depot's Medal Roll.

Hope that all makes sense.

Steve

Yes that would make sense. His 1915 star has a difference reference number and I couldnt find it in the medal roll index. I guess that would explain why. I will look again next time. Cheers!

I am pleased with what I found out anyway as it shows that he was on active service for most of the war. I was never sure when he transferred to the 5th battalion, as far as I knew he could've been wounded in his first action and sent back. Looks like he was there for the whole shebang though. I was always told that he got gassed, so perhaps that is what happened in August 1918. I will have to try and do some more digging around..

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