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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Sapper Joseph Mills 107975


millscato
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I hope I'm not timewasting here? My husband's grandad was a Sapper throughout the Great War and, like many others, said little about his experiences. In the Summer we hope to tour some of the battlefields in memory of him and three of my great-uncles who never came back.

We have some of his medals, hence his number, but not the France Star - we've no idea why not as we know he served there. Is it possible to replace it? His war records were lost in WW2; is there any way of finding out where he served? We also know that he joined up in Leek, Staffs, when he was 17 but was sent round the block to "Come back a year older" and that he was in 'the army football team' (whatever that means? he was not then at the front and didn't join in the usual training) in 1914, possibly some of 1915 too.

Thanks for reading this - we were sent here by a friend who has been helped by a forum member.

Liz Mills

for Sapper Joseph Mills 107975

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Hi Liz,

To qualify for the Star he had to see service France and Flanders from 23 November 1914 to 31 December 1915, or see service in any other operational theatre from 5 August 1914 to 31 December 1915 (see this page: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documen...line/medals.asp ).

His MIC does not record the issuing of the Star.

Doug

post-23198-1205143825.jpg

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Thank you so much for the speedy reply! We have seen one of his record cards online but it had several other names on as well as his, so was not the one you have sent. It did record "Theatre of Operation" as France. Please can you tell us how to find out where he did serve? We don't even know who he served with except that it was the Royal Engineers.

Liz and John

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Hi Liz,

I am sure one of the R E experts will be able to add more information.

Are you sure that the other card you saw was the same person? Did he have another number on that card? I should point out I found this on Ancestry and they do not have all the cards loaded as yet.

Doug

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I've just done a check on the National Archives site and these are the only two Joseph Mills Sapper:

Medal card of Mills, Joseph

Corps: Royal Engineers

Regiment No: 107975

Rank: Sapper

Medal card of Mills, Joseph

Corps: Royal Engineers

Regiment No: 522226

Rank: Sapper

This is the MIC for the second man - it appears he also did not qualify for the Star if i am reading it correctly.

Doug

post-23198-1205145242.jpg

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Liz

If you download a copy of the card that you have found someone will probably help you, otherwise you should look at http://www.1914-1918.net which is the mothersite to this forum. On the right hand side there is a heading "How to read a medal card".

Myrtle

Edit: The link wasn't working but is now !

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The National Archives versions of the Medal cards (Black and white PDF files) have six different men on them. The only one you want to be looking at is the one with his correct number on it.

Steve.

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For comparison (and these men's postings aren't necessarily Joseph's):

No. 107969 Walter Crump, enlisted 13-12-1915, Posted to 283rd Army Troops Company, 1-1-1916. To France, 8-5-1916. To 258th Company, 28-5-1916.

No. 107971 George Adlard, enlisted 13-12-1915, Posted to 281st Army Troops Company 29-12-1915, to France 16-4-1916, awarded British War Medal and Victory Medal - No 1914-15 Star.

No. 107985 Percy Bartle, enlisted 11-12-1915, posting unknown.

No. 107989 Horace Coxon, 14-12-1915, employed at Engineers Training Centre, Newark - did not serve overseas.

These men appear to be skilled clerks.

So he probably enlisted in December 1915, and MAY have been employed as a clerk with an Army Troops Company. However, the circumstantial evidence can be described as weak. For example, he may have stayed in the UK for many months or years before going to France (or even elsewhere) with a completely different R.E. company. Both the men above who were with Army Troops Companies went overseas with the initial contingent of their unit in April/May 1916.

Even though he enlisted/transferred into the R.E. in December 1915 he would have required some (extra?) training in his duties before being shipped overseas.

As for the Army footbal team, he may well have been in the team whilst in the Army with a different number, and then transferred to the Royal Engineers and trained for the Front.

Steve.

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Thanks to all of you for the help so far. We always thought he joined up at the beginning of the war, will talk to his 86 year old son tomorrow. We'd no idea he could have had a different number when in the football team - so perhaps he DID join in 1914 and that was his new number, when he was trained for/sent to the front? I can see that you need to think round things here, it's not always simple is it? we've not even started on the other three yet as there's nobody alive to ask!

Liz

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