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gill2000

I would be so pleased if anyone could provide me with further information about my Grandfather during WW1. I have his enlistment papers which give me basic details about him, but if anyone could pad-out for me I would truly appreciate it.

 

Michael Sheehan was born in Cork, Ireland in 1877.

He enlisted on 5/01/1899 with Royal Engineers/3rd Battalion. (Service number 2641)

From 1901 until 1905 he was in Hong Kong.

From 1905 until 1914 he was "Home"

From 2/11/1914 until 31/12/1915 he was with BEF.

He was medically discharged on 4/1/1916. Unfit for any form of service.

I would love to know more about his 15 years of army service. Filling in the gaps would be wonderful.

Many thanks, Gill

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MaxD

Gill

 

The period up to the start of the Great War may best be chased via the Royal Engineers Museum on the basis that on line documentation for the pre-war period is almost non -existent The medical form early in his records will give you some idea of where he was at various times.

 

His overseas service during the Great War is a little more simple.  He served with 59 Field Company who were in the 5th Division and he went to France in November 1914.  While it may not mention him by name, the war diary of the company can be downloaded from the National Archives for £3.50 here:

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7352217

that at least will give you some idea of his war.  He seems to have plied his trade as blacksmith throughout.  To give some context, any history of 5th Division will help., you can read this one on line (clic the pages) https://archive.org/details/fifthdivisioning00huss/page/n8

 

Max

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brianmorris547

Gill 

I do not have him on my RE index and my notes tell me that the 1916 WDs for 59 FC and the 5 Div Commander RE do not name other ranks. I have not checked 1915.

Another Casualty List today: HA 16650 - November 1917 - France. 

bm 391 001 (2).JPG

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clk
Posted (edited)

Hi Gill,

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

7 hours ago, gill2000 said:

He was medically discharged on 4/1/1916. Unfit for any form of service.

 

Interestingly his service file seems to read as if he was originally discharged as he had come to the end of his 'contract'. That appears to have been crossed through and replaced by  "...physically unfit for any form of Military Service..." in November 1923.

 

image.png.d1d12543a3c87690c4bf7a8764aec252.png

Image sourced from Ancestry.co.uk

 

I might have missed it, but I didn't see anything obvious in his file such as a serious illness/wounding to explain away a medical discharge which coincided with the end of his second period of engagement.

 

I don't have a subscription, but Fold3 (who do offer free trials) appear to have some kind of pension record for Michael. It might tell you something?

image.png.3f561493c410b414455870a2f39e58ec.png

Image sourced from Fold3

 

5 hours ago, MaxD said:

He served with 59 Field Company who were in the 5th Division and he went to France in November 1914.  While it may not mention him by name, the war diary of the company can be downloaded from the National Archives for £3.50 here:

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7352217

 

If you have access to Ancestry, the diary is also available from here. The diary for the Commander Royal Engineers, 5 Division starts here.

 

Good luck with your research.

 

Regards

Chris

 

 

Edited by clk

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MaxD

Like Chris, I find the entries relating to his discharge puzzling.  The second entry appears to have been authorised by the 1923 letter from the higher RE authority but quite what would prompt that change 7 years after the event I don't know?

 

Max

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gill2000

Many thanks for your replies to my post.

I am led to believe from sparse remaining family that Michael was discharged having suffered serious effects from gas. I find it odd that there is no referral to this on his discharge notes. Could anyone tell me where in France his unit might have been in action during the time he spent there ? 

My sincere thanks for previous replies, Gill

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clk
Posted (edited)

Hi Gill,

 

1 hour ago, gill2000 said:

I am led to believe from sparse remaining family that Michael was discharged having suffered serious effects from gas...Could anyone tell me where in France his unit might have been in action during the time he spent there ? 

 

If it is him (which it probably is, as I searched by using 'Sheehan 2641'), the pension record from Fold3 should hopefully note the debility/reason for Michael's claim/award. For example, in the following case the man was awarded a pension based on ongoing ill health as a result of multiple 'GSWs' (gun shot or shrapnel wounds) attributed to his war service.

Arnold_1.JPG.0ba3285ab559229bdad400890c5e2f2f.JPG

Image sourced from Fold3

 

The unit war diary is linked in post #927 (from the National Archives) which Max made, or in #929 (from Ancestry). It will give a brief day by day account of what the unit were doing, and where they were. Higher level diaries such as that of the Commander Royal Engineers 5 Division, and 5 Division Headquarters (General Staff) would give more of an overview to the unit war diary, and give it more context as they often include things such as orders, reports on operations, and maps that aren't included in the lower level unit diary. The National Archives general search page is linked here, and the Ancestry page here. The diaries are far easier to download from the National Archives (albeit for a fee) as they come as a 'chunk' in each download, whereas from Ancestry you have to download a single page at a time.

 

Regards

Chris

 

 

Edited by clk

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MaxD

Gill

 

Gas poisoning was often experienced and the majority of men, contrary to popular belief, did recover reasonably well.  It did however often leave effects that plagued men for the rest of their lives so it may have been an build up of effects rather than the result of one specific gas attack.  Looking at the dates, I wonder whether he was diagnosed some time after discharge as suffering from the long term effects of gas and made a successful claim for a pension, perhaps around the 1923 date - Chris you may have a view??

 

As Chris has said, the diary may refer to gas but again, perhaps difficult to believe, war diaries didn't always record incoming shell and gas attacks as, depending on where the men were working, they were a "normal" occurrence.  A brief look at the diary from August to dec 1915 has no record of any shell fire or gas attacks.  However, as they were working much of the time on the trenches it is highly unlikely that they didn't experience any during that time.

 

As to where they were.  The diary is quite good in recording the names of the areas they were working in.   As befits the Royal Engineers whose motto is Ubique (everywhere) you really have to look at the diary with a map of Belgium and France to know where they were throughout his time with them.  As an example, in October 1915 they were in Couvrelles, near to Soissons while in the last week of December 1915, the company was 85 miles north of there based in the neighbourhood of Suzanne, a village on the Somme, with sections working in different places up towards Maricourt. This link shows the area in question:

https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/side-by-side/#zoom=14&lat=49.9681&lon=2.8034&layers=101465287&right=BingHyb

 

Max

 

 

 

 

 

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brianmorris547
Posted (edited)

List H B 5608 - France - April 1917.

I am trying to reconcile the names in the Times Official Casualty Lists 1916 (under RE Wounded) with the names on these casualty lists and the names in the 1916 RE War Diaries. It's not easy. For example on this list 45412 Sgt Owen W is most likely 454152 Sgt William Owen (with a 454 number like Spr Kennedy). My notes tell me that O/Rs are not named in the 1916 WD of 556 ATC (WO 95/330/3). Nor can I find 228496 Spr E Bradbury, the nearest I can get is 228573 Ernest Bradbury who was later given IWT number WR 504723. 

I post 1917 lists because some show Special Brigade men which Terry picks up on.

Brian

001.JPG

Edited by brianmorris547
additional info

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stevebecker

Mate,

 

Sorry I have never seen these documents, but we also have the same in the AIF.

 

Mate they should be seen as a guide, not gosphel.

 

Mistakes you found are just the start, as corrections also appear at later dates when an entry was found to be wrong?

 

Names or spellings and number mistakes are just the start.

 

They are good to double check but should double checked with other sources.

 

Cheers


S.B

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brianmorris547
8 hours ago, stevebecker said:

Mate,

 

Sorry I have never seen these documents, but we also have the same in the AIF.

 

Mate they should be seen as a guide, not gosphel.

 

Mistakes you found are just the start, as corrections also appear at later dates when an entry was found to be wrong?

 

Names or spellings and number mistakes are just the start.

 

They are good to double check but should double checked with other sources.

 

Cheers


S.B

Steve

Yes I agree, I have a golden rule about corroboration, which is why I check them.

These lists turn up at random in various service and pension records as re used bits of paper. HB 5608 can be found in the service record of 195223 John Harvey. I now regard it as a basic check to run the service number through FMP to see if there are any casualty lists or hospital admissions.

Thanks

Brian

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Terry_Reeves
Posted (edited)

Just out of interest, I have research about Cpl Wheatley of  No 2 Mortar Company of the Special Brigade. but did not know his company until now, which is where Brian's lists are so useful. He does not appear in the unit war diary:

 

Leslie John Douglas Wheatley.1892-1967 SWB Student teacher (Primary) 1911. Bn 16.5.1892, Witherley Leicestershire. Enlist 8.9.14 as 265 RWR. Disemb 14.9.15. .Disch 13.3.18 (W) (25) M 1920 Ethel Topham.1939 Register Residing Berry Hill, High St, Carrisbrooke. IoW. Headmaster Grammar School and Clerk in Holy Orders. (C of E). Noted as ex-serviceman (disabled). Wife Ethel School Secretary and asst teacher. Died 7 July,1967 at St Mary’s Hospital, Newport IoW. Effects to widow Ethel £712.

 

Just a point about gas injuries.  You need to be careful about attributing illnesses in later life to this simply because of the lack of  evidence to . Admission cards to Casualty Clearing Stations  were largely destroyed in 1919, resulting in severe difficulties in determining the number of theses types of casualties. There were also other causes of respiratory  conditions in later life such as smoking for instance.

 

Thanks Brian.

 

TR

Edited by Terry_Reeves

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stiletto_33853
Posted (edited)

Terry makes a very valid point re. gas injuries.

One point that should be noted that in some lists, such as post 167,173 and other posts, these lists are in some way corroborated in a small way. However, they have been very useful in tracing certain individuals where war diaries make no note of casualty names, just numbers. Having checked what ones I can where records survive they seem to be useful.

 

Andy

Edited by stiletto_33853

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brianmorris547

H A 14594 - France - September 1917.

 

001.JPG

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jlang

The National Library of Scotland has put online British First World War Weekly Casualty Lists from 1917-1919 which were published in four volumes by His Majesty's Stationery Office. These lists contained the names of British service personnel who were reported as wounded, missing, taken prisoner of war, or killed in action.  See https://digital.nls.uk/british-military-lists/archive/144481815

 

Now to start searching them!

Jim

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Maureene

Thank you for advising . This is a great free resource.

 

I note List No 63, October 1918 is missing from the National Library of Scotland database, but I think it is included in the editions available on the pay websites findmypast  and the British Newspaper Archives. 

 

Cheers

Maureen

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brianmorris547
Posted (edited)

Jim

Thanks for the heads up. My research is 1916 RE wounded but I will find this useful. I am also searching for men with County Palatine RE numbers, who originally enlisted into the CPRE (30 Div) in 1915. 

Brian

Edited by brianmorris547

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brianmorris547

H 6605 - Med - Feb 1916

001.JPG

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Jim Strawbridge

image.png

Edited by Jim Strawbridge

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stiletto_33853

Ahhhh,

The marvels of the TNA. Found in an officers file listed as Royal Welsh Fusiliers, no sign of RWF service, September 1914 into KOYLI, injured later. Injured again when the Leinster went down with Immersion Shock.

List of Yorkshire Regiment, strange goings on in the TNA.

 

 

DSC00981.jpg

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RobertBr

I have just searched The National Library of Scotland Weekly Casualty Lists 36 (28th March) for my Grandfather who was wounded (gassed) on 28th March 1918, but failed to find him. I extended the search through to List 39 without success.

 

He was in hospital in Warrington on the 1st April, so I expected to find him.

 

Does anyone know how reliable these lists were?

 

Bob

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clk
13 hours ago, RobertBr said:

have just searched The National Library of Scotland Weekly Casualty Lists 36 (28th March) for my Grandfather who was wounded (gassed) on 28th March 1918, but failed to find him. I extended the search through to List 39 without success.

 

Hi Bob,

 

I think that you'll need to look later than that. Not quite the same thing, but for example a group of men I'm interested in were taken PoW on 21st March 1918, but only appeared on the weekly list of 14th May (daily list of 8th May). If it helps, the way I tend to use the NLS search page is to use the name of the regiment, surname, and service number. Hopefully that would narrow it down to just a few hits.

 

Regards

Chris

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charlie962

Is anyone keeping an index of the Casualty Sick and wounded Lists? The other day I came across the right hand side with an H number, and it may well be that the lefthand side has also survived elsewhere. The LH has the names and gets indexed by FMP but the RH, without names, would not be. But it contains interesting info.

 

 I didn't know where to post a copy and now I've forgotten whose file I saw it in. But next time ?

 

Charlie

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brianmorris547
5 hours ago, charlie962 said:

Is anyone keeping an index of the Casualty Sick and wounded Lists? The other day I came across the right hand side with an H number, and it may well be that the lefthand side has also survived elsewhere. The LH has the names and gets indexed by FMP but the RH, without names, would not be. But it contains interesting info.

 

 I didn't know where to post a copy and now I've forgotten whose file I saw it in. But next time ?

 

Charlie

Charlie

I am indexing the RE names on the lists I post. What was the H number and I will tell you if I have it.

Brian

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charlie962
29 minutes ago, brianmorris547 said:

I am indexing the RE names on the lists I post. What was the H number and I will tell you if I have it.

Brian, I've long followed your thread and I know, but as I said I've forgotten where I saw it. I just wondered if there is a thread where I should note such finds, irrespective of Regiment/Corps.

 

Charlie

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