17 February 2018

1911 census revelations

Some while ago I wrote a post called Unpicking the 1911 census in which I demonstrated how men of the 2nd Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment had been enumerated. I continue to unpick the 1911 census myself and have set myself the task this year of completing a full transcription of all men serving overseas in 1911. I began this project some while ago, one of several uncompleted transcription or editing tasks that I aim to complete in 2018.

The 1911 census of the British Army is important because it is a virtual census of a large portion of the 1914 British Expeditionary Force. Men enumerated in 1911 would, for the most part, still be serving - or on the Army Reserve - in August 1914, and understanding how the census was compiled can add useful information about soldiers for whom no service record now survives.

For the most part, and talking about infantry only for the time being, men tended to be enumerated in two main ways: by company, or in order of longevity or seniority. Officers may or may not be enumerated separately.

In the screen shot below, I have added regimental numbers by searching for the men on my British Army Ancestors website. It's  a very easy process. I looked for the man with most unusual name - in this case, DULIEU - and typed in WILLIAM DULIEU RIFLES. That gave me his regimental number 3573. I then typed DERMODY RIFLES which gave me that man's number, 4430.

You can see that I have also added regimental numbers for some other men; the point being that I wanted to prove my theory correct, that these men had been enumerated in order of seniority, or longevity, or regimental number order; call it what you will, they all amount to the same thing. 

I had thought this regimental number precedence probably was the system in play when I noticed senior NCOs interspersed with privates, and so I'm feeling rather smug that I proved myself correct.  Better still, some of these men have surviving service records in WO 97 (and WO 363 and WO 364). 4487 Hugh Bonar is a case in point here. He joined the Cameronians in 1892 and was discharged as Time Expired in 1913 having completed 21 years exactly. He was appointed lance-corporal in March 1905 but reverted to private in November that year at his own request.

The photo above shows officers of the 2nd Battalion, Cameronains in Malta in 1913.

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10 February 2018

North Staffordshire Regiment - PoW Other Ranks 1914

There is only a single entry in the 'Princess Mary tin' prisoner of war collection that I found and that is 8501 Private George Raven of the 1st Battalion who was captured in October 1914. The entry additionally adds that his home address was 221 Windmill Street, Carlton Hill, Nottingham and that he returned to his home on the 6th November 1918.

Between September 1914 and February 1914, 352 non-fatal North Staffordshire Regiment casualties, officers and men, were reported in The Times casualty lists. I know this because I have transcribed all 78,460 non-fatal casualties reported up until the 27th February 1915. 

George Raven was recorded as J Raven and reported missing in a War Office list published on the 2nd November 1914 and then reported in The Times on the 4th December 1914. In the same issue, 6780 Pte H Appleby (recorded as J Appleby) was also reported missing:

Harry Appleby must have subsequently turned up, almost certainly wounded, as he was discharged in April 1916. I couldn't find a record for him in the ICRC collection and there is no indication on his medal index card that he was a prisoner of war.

There are two officer casualties who were reported as wounded and prisoners of war but George Raven appears to be the only North Staffordshire other rank who was captured by the Germans before Christmas 1914. The ICRC website records that he arrived at Hull as a repatriated prisoner of war on the 27th November 1918 (which sounds more plausible than the 6th November date on the Princess Mary tin list.

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29 January 2018

Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) - Other rank PoWs 1914

The 32 men on this roll call of Scottish Rifles soldiers captured by the German on or before Christmas Day 1914 appears on two lists now catalogued and held by the Imperial War Museum:

  • B.O.2 1/294 is a three-page typed list, compiler and date unknown.
  • B.O.2 1/296 is a three-page handwritten letter and list from the Prisoners of War Relief, The Cameronians, dated 27th December 1918. 

8447 Lance-Corporal Henry Ash 
8448 Sergeant Alfred Ash 
9519 Private H G Austin 
6102 Private R Beats 
8522 Private T Blackwell 
10669 Private G Brooks 
Sergeant George Buckley 
8498 Sergeant E J Buss 
10871 Private P Byrne 
8383 Private W F Carey 
7732 Private J Conroy 
11132 Private D Cruickshank 
8745 Private F G Dawson 
8287 Private J Fergus 
10948 Private J B Galvin 
7689 Private D W Gilchrist 
9209 Private/Piper C Gullan 
8592 Private H Leavens 
7744 Private Alfred George Mackie 
8512 Private E Mann 
10865 Private J Mason 
13286 G B McGuire 
9653 Private R Murphy 
11083 Private R Neild 
8190 Private W Potter 
10879 Private J C Roberts 
8669 Private E Smith 
7629 Private J Stewart 
7193 Colour-Sergeant D Taylor 
9530 Private S Wood 
10803 Private J Wray 
9530 A B Wray

The first two men on this list, Alfred and Henry Ash, were presumably brothers who enlisted together, were possibly captured together, and may have been incarcerated together as well. There's probably a decent research project there for someone, and I'm sure that the ICRC website has more details on when they were captured and where they were held. Any errors in the transcription of these banes are mine.

I also offer a comprehensive, fast and cost-effective military history research service. Follow the link for more information. 

23 January 2018

Gloucestershire Regiment - PoWs 1914

The Gloucestershire Regiment men in the list which follows were all captured by the Germans on or before Christmas Day 1914. Those who survived the many years in captivity, would belatedly be sent Princess Mary's gift tin once they had returned to England. Most, if not all of these men should also have records on the International Committee of the Red Cross site.

Today, this list is catalogued at the Imperial War Museum under B.O.2 1/175 and B.O.2 1/176 and for most men also includes their date of capture and home address. The full transcription is available for sale as a download or CD for £20. Contact me if you would like to purchase a copy.

2120 Private W H Allen 
9186 Private F Apperley 
6708 Private F Aston 
7862 Private Cyril Benfield 
6513 Private H F Bennett 
386 Private W Bond 
6088 Private T Bridge 
7272 Private A Chapman 
9411 Private F Chappell 
9895 Private Bernard H W Chittenden 
6577 Private J Cole 
7688 Private G Cook 
7975 Private George H J Cook 
1266 Lance-Corporal H W Cross 
9710 Private W M Davis 
9591 Private Francis Charles Day 
7810 Private J Ellaway 
9845 Private T A Gardener 
7203 Private E W Green 
6067 Private J A Hanson 
2597 Private James Hartland 
6427 Private W Hatherall 
7005 Private Alfred Hobbs 
8313 Private John Hooper 
7658 Private F W Howell 
21 Private R H Jay 
623 Private J Keveren 
7853 Private J Kingscote 
8061 Private T Lawrence 
9829 Private A H Legg 
8028 Private Harry Leonard 
9657 Private J Monaghan 
6245 Private E Monk 
9587 Private W H Morgan 
7222 Private C Portlock 
7860 Private H Robins 
9059 Private T E Rolf 
9665 Private Frederick Saunders 
8119 Private J Simpkins 
7279 Private M Sullivan 
6634 Private George Thompson 
7865 Private John Trump 
8482 Private C Venn 
6714 Private J T Windridge 
588 Private E Woodland

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13 January 2018

Are regimental numbers unique?

Are regimental numbers unique? I am asked this question often enough to unapologetically publish another post on this topic. The short answer is No, regimental numbers are not unique. As I wrote last September, 

"A typical line infantry county regiment [pre 1908] could expect to administer one regimental number series for its regular battalions, and a separate number series for each militia battalion. Volunteer Force battalions also each had a separate regimental number series and later, so too would EACH Territorial Force battalion... and with some battalions running multiple number series to boot."

You can see this very clearly demonstrated if you run a simple number search on my new British Army Ancestors website. The site is free to use but if you want to view any of the returned results - usually a service record or a medal index card - you'll need to pay The National Archives or Findmypast.

Running a search of 1234 Essex Reg* (use the wildcard to widen or indeed restrict results) returns eight results, all for different men with the regimental number 1234 who served with the Essex Regiment.  There are Territorial Force men here, militia men, career soldiers; all serving with the regimental number 1234 which would have been issued from different number series or number blocks at different times.

Queen's & King's Regulations

For the majority of line infantry regiments, regimental numbering started at 1 on the 1st July 1881. The regimental number was issued to the man when he presented himself at the regimental depot, and he kept this regimental number at the depot and if he was posted between regular battalions (usually the 1st and 2nd Battalions). 

Infantry regiments were to number to 9999 and, when they approached this number, were to to seek permission from the Adjutant General to commence a new series. The extract above is from Queen's Regulations 1884.  In 1904 the rules changed and infantry regiments were told they could number to 19999 before seeking permission to start a new series. This was further relaxed by Army Order 453 of 1914 which gave line infantry regiments permission to number to 39999, which was just as well with the influx of men to the colours from August that year. 

But the point is that as well as seeing duplicates across the various battalions in a regiment - and my 60 second regimental numbering overview goes into more detail here - duplicates also occur because of this need to start new number series. The Essex Regiment was a fairly typical steady recruiter of regular soldiers, an average of around 320 men signing up each year between 1881 and 1911. It only used the number 1234 once for a regular enlistment and that was in January 1884.  Regiments with more than two regular battalions though, got through their allotted numbers more quickly and thus we see, for instance, the Northumberland Fusiliers reaching 9999 on the 2nd December 1903 and commencing a new number series starting with 1. For this regiment's regular battalions, the number 1234 makes an appearance in December 1885 and again, nearly twenty years later, in May 1905.

The image on this page shows Private Dore, 2nd Battalion, Devonshire Regiment; winner of the Rifle Championship Cup at Aldershot in 1899. Judging by the three chevrons on his lower left sleeve he had been in the army for at least 12 years when this photograph was taken. The photo was published in Navy & Army Illustrated on the 2nd September 1899.

I research soldiers! Contact me if you need help with your military ancestor.

5 January 2018

Naval & Military Press - Winter Sale

Make the most of this seasonal offering from Naval and Military Press with their traditional winter sale - 20% off everything and the facility to spread payments over four or twelve months. I have bought many books from Naval & Military Press over the years and can be very easily tempted to buy more. View the full range by clicking on the links above or the image.

31 December 2017

3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

This post will look at regimental numbering in the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion of the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI). Thanks to AHJ for planting the suggestion.

The Special Reserve was formed in 1908, replacing the militia. Serving militiamen were given the option to join the Special Reserve, remain as militiamen or take a free discharge. Men transferring to the militia were given a bounty of £2 rendering them liable for foreign service in a time of emergency. These men also retained their original militia numbers.

Thus, for example, Daniel Firth was given the number 9546 when he originally joined the 3rd (Militia) Battalion on the 25th June 1906. He opted to transfer to the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion in June 1908 and retained his old number, 9546.  Men joining the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion for the first time were given new numbers beginning at 1 which were prefixed with the number 3/. This prefix was inconsistently used, as it was in other regiments, for that matter.

By March 1909 number 3/353 had been issued; 3/594 by February 1910, 3/727 by June 1911, 3/907 by March 1912, 3/1237 by July 1913, and 3/1369 by March 1914.

Recruitment into this battalion increased dramatically by August 1914 and so we see 3/1567 issued on the 15th August and 3/2149 issued on the 2nd September. By the end of the month, over a thousand men had joined the battalion with the number 3/3204 issued on the 26th September 1914.

The regimental number series continued to be used well into 1915. For instance, 3/3683 was issued on the 26th October 1915 and 3/3691 on the 20th November 1915. This is the highest number I have come across in this series although do beware other numbers masquerading as 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion numbers. 

For example, 18849 Harry Bennett joined the KOYLI on the 30th August 1914. This regimental number belonged to the series which had originally been the preserve of the two regular battalions. Harry was originally posted to the regimental depot on the 30th August and then to the 3rd Battalion on the 27th October 1914. His regimental number on his attestation papers includes the number 3/ prefix and yet this number does not belong to the 3rd Battalion series which, as noted above, may not have made it beyond 3/4000.

I research soldiers! Contact me if you need help with your military ancestor.

24 December 2017

A 2017 retrospective

As another year draws to a close, here's what I achieved in 2017.

In addition to the blogging and the tweeting (I'm not sure how I can easily count the number of tweets I sent) and the research enquiries, I also continued with my own research projects. Having already transcribed all non-fatal casualties reported in The Times newspaper for September and October 1914, I set myself a target to complete the months November 1914 to February 1915 inclusive. A week ago I finished this stage of the project and now have a database of over 75,000 names. I will probably transcribe March 1915 in 2018 but with then call it a day on this particular project - perhaps.

I acquired several hundred books, - necessitating the purchase of another five bookcases - and which included some very useful runs of chronicles and annuals to the Rifle Brigade, King's Royal Rifle Corps and Sherwood Foresters. I still have some gaps though and I shall be looking to fill these in 2018. 

So what else is in store for 2018?

I see more of the same on the blogging and research fronts, with the focus on British Army Ancestors. I will also be continuing my transcription work on the British Army in 1911 (UK and Irish census returns) and looking at other sources of information on the BEF of 1914. I also have two other smaller indexing projects which I hope to complete.

In October 2018 I will lay a wreath at The Menin Gate Memorial for my great uncle, John Frederick Nixon whose 100th death anniversary occurs on the 3rd October.

For now though, I wish all my readers a very Happy Christmas and I look forward to continuing the work in 2018.

The photograph on this post shows men of H Company, 1st Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) rugby team in India in 1910, one of many photographs of the British Army acquired this year.

12 December 2017

10th Middlesex footballers 1917

Here's another football team from the 10th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment; this time with a date. .

The names on the reverse of the card read:

Wilson, Popple, Birks, Lyon, Manning, Magnoni, Sharp
Elson, Mitchell, Buttery, Nichollson
Stubbs, Popple

I searched for these men using my British Army Ancestors search engine and come up with the following results:

Wilson [not positively identified]
1976, later 290399 Pte John Popple or 2018, later 290420 Pte William Popple
Possibly 290376 Pte Albert Birks (formerly 113719 Pte, MGC)
1413, later 290165 Pte Charles S Lyon
2305 L-Cpl, later 290597 Pte Arthur R Manning OR 2472, later 290713 Cpl Leonard D Manning
2178, later 290508 L-Cpl Bertram G Magnoni
2354, later 290628 Pte Albert G C Sharp

Elson  [not positively identified]
2050, later 290437 Pte Charles Mark Mitchell
Buttery  [not positively identified]
1331, later 290117 L-Cpl Ernest M Nicholson

2648, later 290824 Pte Alfred W Stubbs
1976, later 290399 Pte John Popple or 2018, later 290420 Pte William Popple

The 10th Battalion was in Lucknow between June and October 1917. A partial service record exists for Charles Mitchell which gives his stations as follows:

In the cases of the men above, I used their six-digit Middlesex Regiment numbers to identify them. Numbers in the range 290001 to 315000 were issued to men in this battalion in early 1917 and so they are easy to find in a search of service records and medal index cards (and all of these men would have been entitled to receive medals). For instant results, go to British Army Ancestors  and simply type 290* middlesex* in the search box. Over a thousand results are returned, the vast majority of these being men from the 10th Middlesex Regiment.

3 December 2017

10th Middlesex footballers

I picked this photo up on eBay in the week. It's undated but the reverse gives some great detail which has enabled me to identify most of the men. Here's the reverse:

So clearly these are men from a detachment of the 1/10th Middlesex Regiment in Chakrata. My guess is that this photos dates to 1917 onwards and the 10th Middlesex Regiment - a Territorial Force battalion - was re-numbered in 1917 with numbers in the range 290001 to 315000. It stands to reason then that these men would have regimental numbers beginning with 290. And so it turned out. Here's my transcription and follow-up research:

Pte Gilham (D), L-Cpl Tindall (B), Cpl Bullen (B), Pte Cave (D)
Pte Fairbrother (B), L-Cpl Buttery (A), Sgt Hurford (C)
Pte Brocks (B), Pte Ruel (B), Pte Scales (B), Pte Brothwell (D)

Pte Gouge (B), L-Cpl Dale (A)

2527, later 290755 Pte Albert J Gilham/Gillham (D Coy)
L-Cpl Tindall (B Coy)
290720 Sgt Edward William Bullen (B Coy)
1309, later 290104 Pte Alfred Cave (D Coy)

2565, later 290783 Pte William J Fairbrother (B Coy)
1510, later 290197 Sgt Edwin Buttery (A Coy)
2299, later 290592 Sgt George Hurford (C Coy)

2513, later 290746 Pte William J Brocks (B Coy),
2476, later 290716 Pte Edward F Ruel OR 1055, later 290064 Pte William C D Ruel (B Coy)
Pte Scales (B Coy)
1632, later 290240 Pte Arthur Brothwell (D Coy)

1649, later 290253 Pte Richard Gouge (B Coy)
1726, later 290292 L-Cpl Raymond Dale (A Coy)

So apart from Tindall and Scales I have identified all of the men on this card and, what's more, I've added faces to the names on my British Army Ancestors website. I also used the site to search for them in the first place, typing in their names, a partial regimental number and the regiment name, like this:

This search criteria then returned the result I was looking for, and enabled me to upload the photo:

To me the photo is also interesting in that it demonstrates the powerful part that fate could play in an infantryman's life. Whilst this group was posing with their football in north India, thousands of others were dying on the battlefields of the Western Front.

21 November 2017

2nd Dragoon Guards - Other Rank PoWs 1914

There are only twenty men from the 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen's Bays) who appear on a list of men from that regiment captured on or before the 25th December 1914. The Imperial War Museum reference is B.O.2 1/46 and the complete details are listed below; useful in that for the most part you get the date of capture and the home address.

7891 Private A G Ash; 2nd September 1914; Butkins Cottage, Luppitt, Near Honiton, Devon 
4298 Private J A Beresford; 23rd August 1914; 135 Salcott Road, Battersea, London SW 
4255 Private W T Bull; 29th August 1914; 63 Evelyn Street, Deptford, London SE 
2670 Corporal T L Burke; 26th August 1914; 39 Rainham Road, Chatham 
6028 Lance-Corporal G H Burton; 29th August 1914; 25 Alexandra Road, Aldershot 
2366 Private F W Garrick; 2nd September 1914; The Bungalow, Levens, Westmoreland 
6408 Private A Holmes; 26th August 1914; 23 Walker Street, Sheffield 
7322 Private E B Justice; 26th August 1914; Fir Lodge, The Ridges, Finchampstead, Wokingham 
7513 Private E Kent; 31st October 1914; 33 West Bank, Seamer, Scarborough 
7712 Private S King; 26th August 1914; 16 East Hill, Colchester 
6540 Private E Lawty; 26th August 1914; 107 Cline Road, Guildford 
3713 Private E P May; 1st September 1914; 253 Sandycombe Road, Richmond, Surrey 
4816 Cpl Frank Myson
5065 Private H D O'Keefe; 26th August 1914; 9 Elm Terrace, Cobham Road, Strood, Kent 
4898 Private E W Reynolds; 23rd August 1914; 10 Ewart Road, Milton, Weston-Super-Mare 
7041 Private T Riley; 31st October 1914; 10 Theaker lane, Town Street, Armley, Leeds
6423 Lance-Corporal P Rocker;  301 Barking Road, Plaistow, London E 
8090 Private J Ronayne; 31st October 1914; 3 Bryanstone Road, Leicester Dyke, Bradford, Yorks 
5162 Lance-Corporal G C Steward;  9 St James's Road, Lower Edmonton, London N

Read more about this data source on my 1914 PoWs page.

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9 November 2017

It's that time of year again...

Findmypast has opened up its military record collection free of charge for the Remembrance Weekend. Actually, the records all became FREE yesterday and the promotion will run until next Tuesday 12th. That's what you call a long weekend! Follow this FREE MILITARY RECORDS link to register.

What this means is that you'll be able to search ALL military records free, gratis and for nothing; and remember too that here, on Findmypast, you'll find indexes and images of military records all under the same roof and all easily searchable.  To get the best results on searches USE THE WILDCARD. This is one of THE best search facilities and you'll find it on Findmypast, The National Archives and my new British Army Ancestors' website.

To give you an idea of the importance of wildcard searching, if you were to enter Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders in the regiment field, you would only see records returned where the regiment has been transcribed exactly as Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. That would mean you'd miss out on all the records which have been transcribed as Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and Princess Louise's Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. And one of those missing records might just be the record you're looking for.

So save yourself the hassle (not to mention the unnecessary keystrokes) and just type *Arg*. That will return all the records you want.  Try it - and try it for FREE.

5 November 2017

The militia reserve, a curious beast

Writing in 1899 in The British Army (subsequently re-published by Greenhill Books as Scarlet into Khaki), Lieutenant Colonel James Moncrieff Grierson writes, 

"The militia reserve is not, what its name seems to imply, a reserve for the militia, but for the regular army. It consists of militia-men whose number must not exceed a quarter of the establishment of a battalion of infantry, or a third of a battalion of garrison artillery, and who bind themselves, in return for a bounty of £1 a year, to remain with the militia either six years or the whole time of their service. In case of war they enter the regular army on the same terms as the army reserve men and can be employed in every quarter of the world. On entering the militia reserve the men must be between 19 and 34 years of age, and must have passed through two drill periods of the militia; they are liable to be called out to a yearly drill practice of 56 days. Service in the militia reserve cannot be extended beyond the age of 34. If called out on continuous service they are to be regarded as regular soldiers, and are discharged earlier or later on the same terms as the men of the army reserve. In times of peace the men of the militia reserve stand on the same footing as the other militia men and join in the yearly practice of their militia district."

The italics in the paragraph above are mine and explain why some oddities in regimental numbering can appear in Second Anglo-South African War (Boer War) medal rolls (when the militia had been mobilised). Take this example from the 2nd Hampshire Regiment Queen's South Africa Medal roll:

The regimental numbers for 2212 Lynch and 9548 Leary are not Hampshire Regiment numbers at all, they're the men's militia reserve numbers for the 5th Leinster and 4th East Surrey Regiment respectively. 

Section 14 (2) of the Reserve Forces Act of 1882 deals with the Militia Reserve and explains how this apparent anomaly in regimental numbering arises:

"A man called out on permanent service shall during his service form part of the regular forces and be subject to the Army Act 1881, accordingly, and the competent military authority within the meaning of Part Two of that Act may, if it seems proper, appoint him to any corps as a soldier of the regular forces..."

Again, the italics are mine. So both men were called out on permanent service and both appointed to a different regiment from the regiments they'd served with up to this point - "any corps" to use the language of the Reserve Forces Act - retaining their original militia reserve numbers in the process. 

22 October 2017

British Army Ancestors - Search, Upload, Remember

British Army Ancestors

I'm going to use this post to shamelessly promote my new British Army Ancestors website.

Some while ago, responding for the umpteenth time to a query about trying to find a photo of a British Army soldier, it occurred to me that setting up a website where people could search for photos or upload their own images, might not be such a bad idea. I wrote a post on my Army Ancestry Research blog about the steps I would take to try and find a photo and then set about working on a bespoke site. The result is British Army Ancestors.

There must be millions, literally millions, of photos of British Army soldiers in private collections and in museums. A quick search on ebay just now reveals 1100 photos from the 19th century and nearly 5,000 from the period 1914-1945. The vast majority of these will be of unnamed individuals but there will be some which do have the person's name scribbled on the front or reverse.

I know from personal experience how important a photo can be. I have been researching the community of Chailey in Sussex for the past 35 years, on and off, and as a result of the information I have posted on my Chailey 1914-1918 blog, people have come forward over the years and offered photos which I have gladly published. My simple belief is that our British Army Ancestors deserve to be remembered and that the world wide web is the best place to do so because of the access it provides. I quickly reasoned, when pulling together the research for my Chailey site, that if I chose to publish it in book form, it would quickly become out-dated. Publishing online allows me to add new information as it becomes available.

This blog is all about army numbers; about using regimental numbers to help piece together a man's army career; understanding when he enlisted, when he transferred, and working out when he might have arrived overseas; the battalion or unit he might have served with. I've spent the last fifteen years digging deep into British Army regimental numbers - and I've not finished yet - and I also appreciate that for many people, finding a photograph of their British Army Ancestor can be the icing on the cake.  

At the moment, a couple of  weeks after launch, British Army Ancestors is a database of millions of names and a few photographs. This is entirely as expected. But it's great to see people registering, and hugely satisfying to see photos being uploaded. Even though I say so myself, I'm impressed with the search functionality, and it's dead easy to upload a photo. There will be enhancements that I will be adding over the coming months - a gallery of recent additions; the ability to add comments; the ability to connect with other registered users - but at the moment it is very much in promotion mode; posting on Facebook and Twitter, going out to a wider audience, and of course, uploading photos.

So I encourage you to get involved: search for a soldier, upload a photo, remember our British Army ancestors. And if, in the meantime, you need help with research, drop me a line.

15 October 2017

Every roll tells a story

The following list of Northumberland Fusiliers men wounded in action was published in The Times on the 6th February 1915. Apart from knowing that these casualties were reported to the War Office on the 6th December 1914 (because The Times tell us so) what else can we glean from this information?

8049 L-Cpl Joseph Atkinson 
892 Pte H Brown 
145 Pte H Causon 
682 L-Cpl S Cooper 
767 Pte W Craze 
8732 Pte E Deeming 
1491 Sgt J Drayson 
8755 Pte T Forrest 
3519 Pte J Foster 
8184 Pte B Ginn 
2013 Pte J Glynn 
2303 Cpl J F Jordan 
2199 Pte J E Langford 
219 Pte C E Loughman 
3616 Pte Tom Lumb 
554 L-Cpl J Marlow 
9636 Pte J Purdy 
9597 Pte B Ryley 
1068 Pte W Schofield 
1096 Pte P Shoosmith 
545 Pte T E Smith 
8663 Pte C E Turton 

There is broad range of regimental numbers here and below I have sorted these into the order in which they would have been issued. The Northumberland Fusiliers reached the number 9999 on the 2nd December 1903 and them commenced a new number series beginning at 1. 

Search 11.5m British Army records on my new website: British Army Ancestors
Searching is FREE and fast - and you can upload photos too.

Assuming that all of the men here were regular, career soldiers, here's that same list organised in the order in which these regimental numbers would have been issued.

8049 L-Cpl Joseph Atkinson 
8184 Pte B Ginn 
8663 Pte C E Turton 
8732 Pte E Deeming 
8755 Pte T Forrest 
9597 Pte B Ryley 
9636 Pte J Purdy 
145 Pte H Causon 
219 Pte C E Loughman 
545 Pte T E Smith 
554 L-Cpl J Marlow 
682 L-Cpl S Cooper 
767 Pte W Craze 
892 Pte H Brown 
1068 Pte W Schofield 
1096 Pte P Shoosmith 
1491 Sgt J Drayson 
2013 Pte J Glynn 
2199 Pte J E Langford 
2303 Cpl J F Jordan 
3519 Pte J Foster 
3616 Pte Tom Lumb

Lance-Corporal Joseph Atkinson's number dates to June 1901 whereas Privates Joseph Foster and Tom Lumb were recent recruits from 1913.

In 1904, King's Regulations regarding regimental number series were revised so that infantry regiments could number to 19,999 before they needed to apply to commence a new series beginning from 1.

I also offer a comprehensive, fast and cost-effective military history research service. Follow the link for more information. 

5 October 2017

South Staffordshire Regt - Other Rank PoWs 1914

There are 282 South Staffordshire Regiment men listed in this prisoner of war roll-call; men who between them had solid soldiering experience at home and abroad, and some of whom had seen service against the Boers two monarchs ago. Their experience, close to three companies' worth under the old infantry company establishment, would be sorely missed by their King and Country.

These men's names appear in two lists now catalogued by the Imperial War Museum:

B.O.2 1/265 is an eight-page typed and handwritten list of South Staffordshire Regiment Prisoners of War, sent on 1st January 1919 by the South Staffordshire Regiment Prisoners of War Care Committee
B.O.2 1/266 is a nine-page typed and handwritten list of South Staffordshire Regiment Prisoners of War.  The date and sender are unknown but this list appears to pre-date B.O.2 1/265.  

I have just reproduced basic details in my roll-call below, but my full transcription also includes - for the most part - date of capture and home address. Some records have additional notes. The full transcription is available for sale as a download or CD for £20. Contact me if you would like to purchase a copy. For more information on the PoWs of 1914, follow the link.

I also offer a fast, efficient and cost-effective military research service

6903 Private S Abley 
9061 Private E Adams 
8766 Private F Adams 
9310 Private W M Allen 
8889 Private H C Anderson 
8440 Private E E Andrews 
8248 Corporal H Appleby 
8188 Private E Argent 
9252 Lance-Corporal V H Arkle 
9024 Private G Bagnall 
8961 Pte Arthur Baker 
8848 Private J Baker 
8456 Private J W Baker 
9096 Private T G Baker 
8850 Private R Ball
8705 Private T H Banbury 
8363 Private G H Barker 
8308 Private W Barnbrook 
7918 Private Bertram Barnett 
7038 Private W Barton 
8801 Private G Bate 
9029 Private T Bateman 
8786 Private C Beckett 
9330 Private W Beckett 
5763 Private J Beebee 
9724 Private H N Beer 
8928 Private T Beesley 
8774 Lance-Corporal T H Bellerson 
7911 Private A Benton 
8454 Private J W Bishop 
8594 Private G Blackwell 
9203 Private T Bloomfield 
8523 Private R Bood 
9146 Pte William Bromley 
8891 Private G Brooks 
8898 Private G Brooks 
7692 Private T Brown 
8381 Private E Bucknall 
7745 Private J Bullock 
8616 Private O Burke 
8871 Private A Burns 
8583 Private A Busby 
8153 Private J Butler 
8972 Private G Caley 
8628 Private W Carlisle 
8699 Private T Carnelley 
8783 Lance-Corporal J Cartwright 
7589 Sergeant J Castleford 
7765 Private H Chambers 
8907 Lance-Corporal D Choyce 
4861 Private C Clansey 
8980 Private J Clarke 
8877 Private J T Clarke 
6983 CQMS A Clay 
9308 Private J T Clee 
8790 Private A Cook 
7463 Private G Cooke 
8724 Private A Coulson 
8462 Private G Cox 
8970 Lance-Corporal O Cox 
8390 Private F Davies 
9154 Private J Davies 
9175 Private R Davies 
9247 Private W Davies 
8275 Private G Dawson 
8323 Private W Dean 
7014 Private J Denham 
8512 Private H Denson 
6688 Pte Edward Drinkwater 
7085 Corporal T Dryden 
9118 Private A F Dunn 
7326 Private G H Earp 
6068 Private G Ellis 
7754 Private W Evans 
6177 Sergeant T Farmer 
8838 Private W Farmer 
8644 Corporal W T Farmer 
8897 Private J Faulkner 
8242 Pte Joseph E Faulkner 
9301 Pte George Fellows 
9243 Private W Ferns 
7785 Corporal N Field 
7907 Private A Fisher 
8513 Private E Fisher 
7994 Lance-Corporal N Fitzpatrick 
7548 Private T Flanagan 
9170 Private L Flavell 
7859 Private T R Ford 
8835 Private W H Foster 
8532 Private H Freeman 
7733 Sergeant H Frost 
8855 Private C Fryer 
8869 Private J Fulford 
9179 Private C Godwin 
8313 Private C Gough 
8600 Private A Gould 
7436 Sergeant J C Greaves 
8282 Private J Green 
7510 Corporal W Green 
8536 Corporal W Griffiths 
9382 Private H Hagger 
8570 Private F W Hancox 
8574 Private J Handley 
7882 Corporal C H Handy 
8501 Pte Thomas Hawkes 
8300 Private H Haynes 
8654 Corporal H J Heath 
7685 Private W Hiden 
9050 Lance-Corporal A Higgins 
7744 Private J T Highfield 
8756 Private J Hill 
7081 Private G Hinde 
8800 Private J Holden 
8318 Bandsman T G Hollington 
9065 Lance-Corporal J Holmes 
8937 Private Cecil Hoseason 
7830 Private J Howell 
8108 Private J H Howell 
8472 Private J Howles 
8228 Private A Hughes 
8563 Private J Hyden 
5285 CSM G A James 
9230 Private E Jarvis 
8442 Private W Johnson 
7790 Private David Jones 
9140 Private E Jones 
7604 Private E Jones 
8273 Private G A Jones 
8959 Private R Jones 
9093 Private G A Jordan 
5245 Sergeant T Joyce 
8713 Private W Kane 
8781 Private D Keeble 
8151 Private C J Kendrick 
9514 Sergeant J W Kick
8841 Sergeant T King 
8661 Private J Kirkham 
7612 Private J Knight 
8070 Private H Lacey 
7217 Sergeant Percy Sydney Harold Lamb 
8865 Drummer Vincent H Lamb 
8515 Private W G Langrish 
8914 Lance-Corporal Frederick J Law 
7481 Private W Law 
8923 Private H Lee 
8690 Private G Lewis 
8146 Private W Lewis 
7986 Corporal Thomas William Lindsay 
7845 Private R V Linton 
9188 Private S Loftus 
8265 Private P Lowe 
8846 Private A Luke 
7818 Private G Maddocks 
9363 Private J Marchant 
8989 Private J Marsh 
8561 Private S Marsh 
8773 Private Joseph D Mason 
8673 Private J Matthews 
8244 Private N Matthews 
9144 Private J H Mawer 
9398 Lance-Corporal J H Mayfield 
9300 Lance-Corporal W McHugh 
7252 Private R McLeed 
8448 Private P McNally 
9223 Private J Meanley 
9173 Private W E Medhurst 
8098 Corporal J W Middleton 
8581 Private B Molineux 
7739 Lance-Corporal J Moody 
8833 Private Alfred Moorman 
9408 Private J Morley 
5591 Private J Morris 
9368 Private A W Mumford 
8592 Private S E Mumford 
8287 Private F B Newman 
9125 Lance-Corporal R Northover 
5643 Sergeant J W Oakley 
7827 Private R Oakley 
8767 Private J O'Donnell 
9402 Private H Page 
8360 Lance-Corporal A Painting 
8235 Corporal J Parker 
9005 Private P Parkes 
8687 Private J Peakman 
8494 Private W Pearce 
7460 Private G H Pitt 
8518 Private G Poole 
8174 Private A Potts 
6645 Private C Potts 
9141 Private F Powell 
8740 Private F Price 
5963 Private H Price 
9043 Private J Price 
9311 Private J S Price 
8913 Private J W Price 
8218 Private J Priest 
7844 Lance-Corporal W Pritchard 
9002 Pte Thomas Henry Pugh 
8338 Private G Rawlings 
7531 Lance-Corporal R S C Ray 
9062 Private L Reade 
8991 L/Cpl James S Reeves 
9010 Private F T Reynolds 
8964 Private F Rhead 
9049 Private T Ritter 
8238 Corporal C Roberts 
8223 Private C J Robins 
8081 Private W Rochell 
8618 Private G Rogers 
6148 Private J Rollason 
6879 Private A Ruskin 
9370 Private Frederick W Russon 
8487 Private G Sankey 
9342 Private E Sant 
8224 Lance-Corporal A H Saunders 
9133 Private E Saunders 
8272 Private W L Sayfritz 
8587 Lance-Corporal W G Scott 
7962 Private R Shaw 
4035 Private I Shepherd 
8867 Private D Sheppard 
8160 Private W Sheppard 
7871 Private A J Simcox 
6689 Private G Sketchley 
7972 Corporal J H Slater 
8672 Private T Smallman 
8118 Private A Smith 
8706 Driver S Smith 
5663 Sergeant W Spink
9079 Private E Steadman
8716 Private J Steele 
8247 Private W Stevens 
8595 Private W Stone 
9212 Private A Taylor 
8481 Driver F C Taylor 
8384 Private J Taylor
8490 Corporal A Terry 
8015 Private A E Thomas 
8922 Private H Thomas 
8486 Private A Thompson 
7850 Private Harry Thornton 
9121 Private A Thorpe 
9100 Private T H Titley 
8824 Corporal W Tombs 
8230 Private C Toomer 
8986 Lance-Corporal A C Townend 
9295 Private H W Tranter 
8203 Private G B Tristram 
7399 Private H Turner 
8471 Private J Turner 
9091 Private A Turton 
9148 Private W Unitt 
8679 Private E Upton 
6243 CQMS W Wall 
6109 Private W Walton 
7123 Private H Warburton 
7872 Private H Warrilow 
8671 Lance-Corporal E Watkins 
8215 Private F S Weaver 
8353 Private H Webb 
9282 Private H Wells 
8996 Private Edward White 
9325 Private H Whitehead 
9235 Private H Whitehead 
7903 Private J W Whitehouse 
7594 Private J W Wickson 
8674 Private R A Wilding 
9201 Lance-Corporal A Wilkes 
8129 Private G H Williams 
9143 Private G Wilson 
8738 Pte R Wilson 
8619 Private C R Winfield 
8369 Private F E Witts 
7824 Private A W Wood 
8393 Private C Wood 
9343 Lance-Corporal S Wood 
8310 Lance-Corporal C Woollett 
9023 Lance-Corporal A W Woolley 
8209 Private T Worley 
8449 Private T H Worton 
9184 Private H Wright 
9117 Private W Wright