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Remembered Today:

Serial Numbers, RE & RFA


Garron
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Hey Pals

These are the serial numbers for Richard E Webber, He would be my Great Great Uncle.

Royal Engineers 257665 Sapper

Royal Field Artillery 25373 Sapper

Royal Engineers WR269794 Sapper

I know that the WR prefix is for Waterways & Railways, which would make sence as he was a railway man by trade.

Do the numbers give any information such as transfer dates or an approx enlistment date?

Thanks

Gaz

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Looking at this,

Were there sappers in the RFA? I thought that was a RE rank

Gaz

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That problem often happens where a Star isn't qualified for. Only one Rank is required on the BWM/VM - the highest/last - hence Sapper rather than Private/Gunner/etc. is the only one needed on the MIC. That probably means the R.E. service was last. I assume the medals were issued from the R.E. Rolls?

The R.E. number 257665 is probably circa 1917 (possibly mid-ish?, but it's difficult to draw solid conclusions). The WR/269794 number is a 1918 number when the Railways and Waterways departments were split off from the main R.E. and new numbers issued. The WR/200000 numbers are consistent with Railways numbers, rather than Waterways.

A man with similar numbers - Henry Thomas Francis Barnes (Ex 17th & 16th Rifle Brigade (suffered shrapnel wounds to both legs on 3-9-1916), R.E. 257619, WR/269759, transferred to the R.E. 2-3-1917 and was posted to the Railway Operating Department. He was posted to 23rd Light Railway Miscellaneous Trades Coy, and went to France on 10-3-1917. He did not move companies thereafter and was transferred to Class Z on 21-5-1919. He was a "van guard" prior to enlisting. He lived at Caledonian Road, and joined the Army at St Pancras. I suspect the van guard trade was associated with the railways rather than the roads... {WO363}

There is the possiblity of a similar chain of events in your case, especially considering that the subsequent renumbering is also very close, but that can't be taken as read...

I'm not touching the RFA number with a barge pole! :)

Steve.

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Thanks for that Steve, Yes its from the RE roll, RE /102 B33 page 3352, if that means anything to anyone.

Yep he only qualifed for the VM & BWM. His MIC is petty plain, nothing of interest, doesnt mention anything about the theater he went into or date he entered it,

Thanks

Gaz

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