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Remembered Today:

Understanding how he could be CQMS at 19


JOSTURM
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Whilst researching my grandfather, Rfn Joe Sturmer's service with the LRB, I discovered that he was one of 25 men in a platoon sent to join the 2/5th in France from the 3/5th in Dawlish Devon on 8th November 1917. 24 of the men were Riflemen all born in October 1898 mostly in south, east and north London and hence a 'Aiv platoon' of volunteers not Derby men of conscripts. The 25th man was Alan Bruce Tytler numbered at 304689 and also born in October 1898 in Toxteth Park in Liverpool. These men including Tytler were likely to have attested from August 1916 through to Spring 1917.

So if Tytler enlisted as a Rifleman aged 17 (nearly 18) in the Autumn of 1916 at Fovant, how did he get promoted all the way to CQMS by November 17 having not seen active service abroad. Maybe the CQMS rank which appears on the LRB BW&VM Roll was not his rank in Nov 17, but rather his rank on demob in 1919 ? What rank was used on the rolls ?

On the 27th October 1918, having been transferred with his 2/5th platoon to the 1/28th Londons (Artists) in January 18,

CQMS Tytler now aged 20, was awarded the MM for action at the canal du Nord (LG August 1919). Tytler survived the war, his WO363/4 papers are not available, I don't have a photo of him, and can't trace a marriage or death in the UK.

However his family is readily available on the 01 census.

Tytler still seems remarkably young to have been promoted from the ranks through LCpl, Cpl to Sgt, unless he had enlisted with some previous military experience, membership of a Liverpool school cadet corps, or some other leadership skill. It is also interesting that he was one of the few in the platoon to have not been a Londoner and may have been picked for this reason ?

Any pals care to comment, guide or advise me, please do.

A bit of a puzzle indeed ?

Josturm

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It's not that unusual to find a very young senior NCO like this. I have come across a regular army CSM who was only 18 years of age (former Territorial Force NCO) and countless other Sergeants and CSM's in their early 20's. Obviously these men would have been hand picked for their skills and soldierly qualities etc.. Obviously they were all quite remarkable young men...

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Hello Peter

The rank shown in the medal rolls for the BWM and the VM, and engraved on the medals themselves, was the rank eventually reached. I think the same applies to the 1914 and 1914-15 Stars.

Medals for gallantry such as the VC, DCM and MM showed the rank at the time of the award.

Ron

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Hello Peter

The rank shown in the medal rolls for the BWM and the VM, and engraved on the medals themselves, was the rank eventually reached. I think the same applies to the 1914 and 1914-15 Stars.

Medals for gallantry such as the VC, DCM and MM showed the rank at the time of the award.

Ron

Ron,

that would explain it then. His MM Index Cards records his rank as Corporal (Acting Sergeant). He was awarded his MM in 1919 for October 18 action.

His standard medal index card records his rank as 'Corporal'. I assume he enlisted with his platoon all the same age, and he was recognised early on for promotion first to LCpl then to Cpl. He is likely to have been Cpl on going to France in November 17 and raised to Sgt a year later. It may well have been in the period after the armistice, when he was engaged in organisational and supply issues, that he was made up to CQMS, maybe influenced by his MM attainment.

Thanks

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