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Remembered Today:

Alfred Roland Hill, RMLI HMS Neptune- any info?


Barney
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Good day,

I saw another post where attestation papers were available for Canadian soldiers of WW1. Are similar documents available for British soldiers of WW1? My grandad fought in the Royal Marines, Light Infantry (RMLI); stationed on the HMS Neptune for a least part of his nine years (I think). His name was Alfred Roland Hill of Leicester, England. Any help or suggestions is greatly appreciated.

Best regards to all,

Barney

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Barney

Do you know which Division he was in and any service number ? Posting that will help the search. There is a system of microfilms to trace your man's record but it needs these two pieces of information first.

If you can post this by Wednesday evening I will look for you.

Best wishes

Sotonmate

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I was able to retrieve the following additional information. He was Private Alfred Roland Hill, RMLI P.O. 18142. I do not know if that is a Division or a Service number, sorry. I do have some pictures if that would help any. I'll take a look to see if they will divulge any additional info. Thank you for trying!

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That is his RMLI Division and Register Number - Portsmouth/18142. His papers are available at Kew (ADM 157) but not on-line. His register number indicates that he enlisted (initially for 12 years limited engagement from age 18) on about 12 November 1914. If he only served about nine years he could have been invalided or he may have been discharged early as part of the run-down of the armed forces post-WW1. You need to obtain his record of service from Kew to find out.

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Thank you Horacio2,

My initial guess of 9 years service was a guess based on hearsay when I was younger, so he may or may not have done the full 12 years. I remember being told he actually lied about his age to join up. Being born in 1898 would have made him just turned 17 on the November 14, 1914 date you mentioned. I also remember being told this backfired on him when he was forced to retire early!

I have been searching through the ADM 157 for this referenced document and see no mention of a Nov 14, 1914 associated with an AR Hill names. I'd like to order the document but will need to figure out how to use the search features! I'll keep reading the online help files for more information on how to use the archives.

Thank you for all of you help!

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I believe the RMLI records are in ADM 157 (Attestations, which are, unhelpfully, filed by date of discharge) and ADM 159 (Records of Service filed by register number). [if I am incorrect, a GWF expert will correct me.]

There are many 'yarns' about enlisting under-age, a lot of which are to be ignored. If he was over 17 on enlistment, as you imply, he was of an age when he could sign on without parental consent. However, his man's time - that which counted towards his initial 12 years (or pension if he stayed on) - did not start until his 18th birthday.

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Barney

I have noted the info,we'll see what happens tomorrow ! ADM159/193.

Sotonmate

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Barney

You can ask for a copy of his record,it is on one sheet in microfilm ADM159/192-3 and appears on Fiche number 00187.and is under the service number 18142. There is quite a bit of data on it so it is best that you get an A3 size photocopy.

He was born in St Margaret's Leicester on 26.6.1886, enlisted in Nottingham on 12.11.1914 and appeared at RM Depot at Deal Kent the next day to start his training,transferring to Portsmouth Division of the RMLI on 21.4.1915. On the 26.7.1915 he was posted to HMS Neptune a Battleship which fought at Jutland. He was part of the Grand Fleet,and after Jutland's suppression of the German (surface) Navy had a quiet life on the ocean wave. Lucky he wasn't in a land-based RMLI unit ! Here a pic and profile of the ship:

http://www.worldwar1.co.uk/battleship/hms-neptune.html

His record goes on to show 2 short periods of attachment to:

6th RM Battalion for 3 months from July 1919,and,

8th RM Battalion for 6 months from June 1920.

He was demobbed to Reserve in 1922.

Best wishes

Sotonmate

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He served in two land-based units, albeit not in the trenches with the RND.

6th RM Battalion formed July 1919 and was sent to northern Russia. They were withdrawn in early October 1919. About twenty men were killed.

8th RM Battalion formed in June 1920 and were sent to Ireland. They were withdrawn in Spring 1922 and had sustained numerous casualties.

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You can find the war diary for the 6th RM Battalion in Russia at TNA under their reference ADM 137/3073. They also hold material with regard to the 8th Battalion in Ireland which you will be able to identify using the Indexes and Digests in ADM 12. There is material in ADM 178/38 (which appears to be Courts Martial material). I have looked at some of this material on the 8th Bn but can't find the references.

regards,

Bootneck

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You guys are fantastic! Thank you for all of your help with this. I especially like the birthday information....It would mean he was 50 years old when my my dad was born in 1935 and 54 when my aunt was born. Go Tiger! ;-) It would also mean he was 98 when he passed away in 1984. Again, a great many thank you's for all of your help!

Cheers,

Barney

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  • 3 weeks later...

Good morning, All

I went ahead and ordered a scan from the National Archives and they sent me the Service Record for a James Shakespeare - Register No. 17591. They sent me this based on my instructions request for the following:

"Copy of his record, it is on one sheet in microfilm ADM159/192-3 and appears on Fiche number 00187, and is under the service number 18142. There is quite a bit of data on it so it is best that you get an A3 size photocopy."

On the National Archive estimate there was even a "Comments from Staff" section that correctly states "Alfred Roland Hill" is the person about which I wanted the scanned documents. The scanned image I received was possibly from ADM 159/192-1, though I am not sure, and was for a man called James Shakespeare.

I have requested from the National Archives a new scan to see if I could get this corrected, but thought I would run it by you gents to see if I may have provided incomplete data to the Archives before I go ahead and pay for additional scanning from them.

Has anyone had issues with getting scans from the National Archives?

Kind regards,

Barney

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