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nanokitten
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Hi, I'd be greatful for some help interpreting this medal card.

In particular I am keen to know if RJP was in the 1/15 or 2/15 london reg,

what TP 15/120 B?/17 means,

And if it is possible to tell when he was promoted or transfered.

Many thanks in advance

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Guest KevinEndon

the TP 15/120 B?/17 are references to the medal rolls which are at the National Archives at Kew.

As for finding out when he was promoted there may well be something on him on the London Gazette. That may also tell you if it was 1/15 or 2/15.

Kevin

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As for finding out when he was promoted there may well be something on him on the London Gazette. That may also tell you if it was 1/15 or 2/15.

Doesn't I'm afraid, London Gazette (#29489, 25 February 1916) entry for his commission as Second Lieutenant simply states London Regiment.

REGULAR FORCES.

The undermentioned Non-Commissioned Officers and men to be temporary Second Lieutenants. Dated 23rd January, 1916: —

INFANTRY.

The Northamptonshire Regiment.

Company Serjeant-Major J. B. Oldfield. (Dated 11th January, 1916.)

Private R. J. Palmer, from The London Regiment, Territorial Force.

Link to the Gazette is Here

Steve

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He was commissioned on 23-1-1916:

London Gazette 25-2-1916

War Office,

25th February, 1916.

REGULAR FORCES.

The undermentioned Non-Commissioned Officers and men to be temporary Second Lieutenants. Dated 23rd January, 1916:

The Northamptonshire Regiment.

Company Serjeant-Major J. B. Oldfield. (Dated 11th January, 1916.)

Private R. J. Palmer, from The London Regiment, Territorial Force.

http://www.gazettesonline.co.uk/ViewPDF.as...t=&similar=

Steve.

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Palmer is an officer that I can't place from memory, but I shall check and see what the 2nd battalion War Diary has too say, if anything, later.

Can you post the rest of the Gazette stuff, Steve? Copy/Paste is playing up for me.

The date to France would suggest the 1/15th (County of London) Battalion TF (Prince of Wales' Own Civil Service Rifles), London Regiment to me...

Providing that it was the 15th, he would have enlisted circa August 1914.

Steve.

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Can you post the rest of the Gazette stuff, Steve? Copy/Paste is playing up for me.

Didn't look any further than what I'd posted :huh: but I'll go and see what I can find......

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There is the relinquishment of his commission in 1919, plus 2 RAF appointments that are probably not him.

Steve.

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1. Promoted to Lieutenant

Can't find this, can you Steve??

2. Relinquished Commission (LG#31487, 1 August 1919)

North'n R.

Temp. Capt. E. G. Passmore, M.C., relinquishes the appt. of Adjt, 7th Bn. 25 June 1919.

Temp. Lt. R. J. Palmer relinquishes his commission on completion of service, 22 June 1919, and retains the rank of Lt.

Link to Gazette is Here

Steve

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Wow thanks guys, that's brilliant.

I'm transcribing Palmers war diary at the moment.

At some point I would like to try and compare what he has written with the 'official' (regimantal etc) diaries to try and track his position as, for obvious reasons, he could never give details of where he was.

What is the best way of finding this kind of information?

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I might be able to help with the 2nd Northamptons War diary.....

Also there are 2 published unit histories - the Northamptonshire Regiment 1914-1918 (reprinted by Naval and Military Press in 2005) and the History of the 8th Division - with which the 2nd Northamptons spent most of the war - (also reprinted, I believe by N&M Press). I have the former, but not the latter.

And I think I've got a copy of the original Civil Services Rifles history somewhere, too.

Steve.

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We can follow Reginald Palmer through the Army Lists:

{Army List date, Rank, Battalion (* = Temporary commission), name, date of seniority in rank, other notes}

January 1916 and February 1916, No entry.

March 1916 to February 1918, 2/Lt, 2 * Palmer, R J, 23 January 1916

March 1918 to June 1918, Lt., 2 * Palmer, R J, 23 July 1917

July 1918 to November 1918, Lt., 2 * Palmer, R J, 23 July 1917, Employed Ministry of Munitions

Army Lists can be sometimes misleading to read, but we can probably draw some partial conclusions:

- Commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Northamptonshire Regiment, 23rd January 1916.

- Probably shipped out fairly quickly to France to join 2nd Battalion.

- Promoted to Lieutenant, with a date of Seniority as 23rd July 1917, but not changed on the Army Lists until March 1918, so possibly a backdated promotion.

- Employed with the Ministry of Munitions from somewhere around June 1918, possibly even connected with his promotion to Lieutenant.

He was probably convalescing in England for some time through late 1916, perhaps into 1917 and maybe even later.

He was wounded at Peake Wood near Contalmaison on 7th July 1916. From the War Diary of the 2nd Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment, July 1916:

24th BRIGADE, 23rd DIVISION, III Corps.

1.7.16

Move

Arrived in billets in HENECOURT WOOD at 3.30pm. Men quite comfortable in huts. No billetting arrangements made.

2.7.16

Billets

Nothing to report. The 24th F.A. from the 8th Division were established in the wood.

3.7.16

Billets

Physical training parades, men ordered to rest as much as possible. Mens great coats were returned late in ????

4.7.16

Move

The battalion moved out of the wood and marched by BUIRE to billets at DERNANCOURT at 6am arriving at 9 a.m. passed through 21st battalion entraining after their action of yesterday to rest by AMIENS.

5.7.16

Billets

No parades during the day in order to keep the men fit and fresh should the battalion be ordered to move during the evening.

6.7.16

Move

The Battalion moved off at 5.30 p.m. to go into action and arrived at FRICOURT at 9.30 p.m. The night was spent near the old German Support line.

7.7.16

Action

At 9 a.m. the Battalion moved from bivouac to the following positions. A & B Companies to CRUCIFIX TRENCH under Major William. C & D Companies to LOZENGE TRENCH with Battalion Headquarters.

A & B Companies then moved up - the latter being ordered to advance and occupy the square in CONTALMAISON. Meanwhile C Coy had moved up to BIRCH ALLEY and SHELTER ALLEY to support the Worcestershire Regt. Major William being in command.

A Company then advanced in extended order along the SUNKEN ROAD making for the village. Owing to the very heavy Machine Gun fire the Company made for PEAKE ALLEY and treid to advance along the trench.

The enemy then got his artillery to work and the people in the trench suffered many casualties from shrapnel and H.E. "D" Coy followed "A" Coy into the trench and also suffered heavily. At the same time both "B" & "C" Companies were also very severely knocked about and many casualties occurred. During this time, Lt Col. Buckle, Capt. Parker, 2/Lt Palmer (R. J.) & 2/Lt Fergusson were wounded and Lt. Selby & 2/Lt. Jarvis were killed.

When "B" Coy reached PEAKE WOOD, they encountered a Company of the 2nd South Lancs. Regt. retiring very quickly. Many efforts were made to stop them, but of no avail. Lt. FALBY & CSM PIQUET of the East Lancs. did especially good work in rallying their retiring Company and joined "B" Coy in PEAKE WOOD. Owing to the enemy barrage no one could make any further advance towards the village. Eventually all the Battalion was pushed back into BIRCH ALLEY - more by the retiring regiments than by our own retirement. On reaching BIRCH ALLEY the remainder of the battalion was organsied and manned the parapet under Capt. Carritt - he with several sub-alterns managed to restore a little order out of the chaos and held the line strongly. Rifles were very dirty owing to the mud & the rain but the men managed to clean them. One of our Lewis guns was also smashed up. The Battalion eventually formed up at LONELY COPSE at about 5 p.m. and at 8.30 p.m. set out to dig a trench from PEAKE WOOD to X.16.C.3.0.

Steve.

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Have dug out RJP's version of events.

Sounds like he had a pretty rough time getting medical attention.

I suppose tales like this are not unusual but it sounded pretty awful.

L.

---------------------------------------------------------------

8 G.N. Hos. Roueu, 31.7.1916

Dearest Mother & Lee,

I know you will be glad to get a letter written by me so feeling quite fit. I will try to explain things a bit. First of all when did you hear I was hurt and how did they describe my condition?

I can see my writing is a bit shaky but that's because my right shoulder is hurt – something broken – still am using that arm and hence the shakiness. Now I will describe to you how I got wounded and how I managed to get out of that trench. First Of all I got it very badly – as you may have guessed + it is only due I think and so the doctors and sisters to my tremendous reserves of strength. Have got one hole in my right side & lung that would surprise you.

I'm not going to give you dimensions but they would make you think the other holes are compared to it insignificant. The wounds in my leg and arm are healing wonderfull. The skin is appearing on the arm one although at first it was an inch deep & could see the muscles, The leg is nearly as well but was a bigger thing. They just managed to save it the doctor said the piece they got out – you will be able to see it – was one of the largest they had ever seen I may say it weighs some 5 ozs. Well those are the wounds. They are going on very well & may temperature & pulse are going down. Temp this am 99º up to the last 2 or 3 days it has always been well over 100.

Well The Story

On July 7th I was sent up with three more of the second in command to reconnoitre the trenches towards Contalmaison. It was an interesting but dangerous job, after doing that we came back & waited for the battln. to come up. We slept in the open for the night or until the bombardment started & that "Strafe" was the finest, or one of the finest I have ever seen. After getting orders to move I was sent for and told to go to the attacking battalions HQ & report as liaison officer, otherwise was to send back all the information RE the attack I could to my own Battalion HQ. & had two orderlies for the job. They moved up the HQ to a rotten trench they were shelling heavily with 8" gents. Of course it was pouring with rain so the trench was in an awful state.

Now comes the Business. They had been gradually getting nearer with their shells + then one landed on the parapet. Another almost immediately got right in the trench. The explosion was terrific + the fumes almost poisoned one. I felt a sudden numbing of my right side + knew it was serious, also a violent blow in the arm & the deadening of the last two fingers _ which are a little better, lastly another sharp pain and spurt of blood in my leg which suddenly seemed to stop – the leg wound was a marvellous escape from compound fracture.

Of course all this happened instantaneously. My next thought was of you and Lee and what would happen, that went off and I started to struggle back calling for a S.B.'s [stretcher bearers] luckily I got one quite quickly otherwise I should have collapsed in the floor of trench. Now comes a 5 hour journey on the stretcher. It was a nightmare a crowded trench with men shouting to push on one way or the chaos in the trench was awful & no one was very steady as they were shelling us heavily.

At last some fool of an officer said "drop the stretcher cases and let the others pass", so I was dropped in a foot of mud & water & a crowd of panic stricken men rushed over me slipping, standing + covering me with dirt. I was already wet through & the stretcher was soaked In mud. At last an R.A.M.C., Oh no! During the waiting they shelled this part of the trench (by the road) terrifically when suddenly the S.B. at my feet who was sitting to get out of the way, uttered a groan turned whitish yellow and died within 15 seconds. He had got a piece right through his chest and I watched it spurt out & him fade away. I was very sorry as he had worked so hard with me. "God have mercy on him I say".

At last an RNMC doctor came and got them to lift me on the road. After that I soon got to the motor ambulance. My haversack was pressing on my back all the time & the pain was well annoying . This lasted until I got to the casualty clearing station when they soon dressed me & put me to bed. The first 4 or 5 nights were horrible nightmares the dreams were awful but I sleep better now.

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Wow. He certainly was a lucky man - both from surviving his injuries in the first place and then surviving the journey back!

I'm not sure how much of that detail his mother would really want to know....

Steve.

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