19 November 2010

Ox & Bucks Light Infantry - 4th Battalion


I chanced upon the plaque above when I was in the village of Writtle in Essex recently. It was screwed to a wooden bench next to the bus stop and reads:

T4
OXF & BUCKS
PRESENTED TO THE PARISH OF WRITTLE
BY THE 1/4TH OXF & BUCKS LT INFTY
OLD COMRADES ASSOCIATION IN APPRECIATION
OF THE HOSPITALITY SHOWN BY THE
PEOPLE OF WRITTLE TO THE BATTALION
WHILST BILLETTED THERE FROM
AUGUST 1914 TO MARCH 1915

I have no idea when the plaque was presented but I would imagine it has outlived several wooden benches and may indeed have originally been sited somewhere else. I've also rotated the photograph. If you're in Writtle and you want to read the original, you'll have to tilt your head ninety degrees to the right.

All of the following information comes from service papers in WO 363 and WO 364 - and all of which are accessible via Ancestry.

535 joined on 9th April 1908
764 joined on 19th February 1909
1224 joined on Christmas Day 1910
1253 joined on 3rd February 1911
1529 joined on 12th March 1912
1735 joined on 10th January 1913
2082 joined on 5th March 1914
2381 joined on 30th August 1914
2624 joined on 1st September 1914
3441 joined on 6th October 1914
3630 joined on 30th November 1914

In October 1914 it appears that men from the Oxfordshire National Reserve were drafted in to the 2/4th Battalion to form supernumerary companies. From the research I have done, these men mostly appear to have been in their 40s and 50s (and possibly even 60s), and most of them had prior service, either as Volunteers or regulars.

It looks to me as though the block of numbers 3700 to at least 3929 was set aside for these supernumerary men, and their attestation papers - those that I have come across at least - are all remarkably similiar in that:

1. They are all stamped: Oxfordshire National Reserve, followed by the Company number
2. They all signed up for one year's service in the United Kingdom
3. They were all posted to the 4th (Reserve) Battalion [ie the 2/4th], with the word "Supernumerary" stamped below this.

The lowest number that I have come across for these supernumerary men is 3705 who joined on the 2nd October 1914, and the highest, as I have mentioned before, 3929 on the 19th November 1914. Within this grouping it looks as though the earliest recruits formed No 1 Company, the next batch Number 2 Company, and the later enlistments, Number 3 Company. I have not come across anybody in a No 4 Company - but I wouldn't bet against it either.

By the time we get to the 18th January 1915, 4088 is also joining the 2/4th Battalion, not as a supernumerary man however, rather another eager recruit to line up against the enemy overseas. All of which explains why there appears to be such a surge in recruiting in the 4th Ox and Bucks between the issue of number 3630 on 30th November, and number 4088 in January 1915. There was a surge, but over 200 of these men were supernumerary men, and all had been numbered between 3705 and 3929 before number 3630 even presented himself.

As always, I'd be interested to learn more from an Ox and Bucks expert. I'm certainly not one; more of an army numbers geek.

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

39 comments:

Mister S said...

Really pleased to find your Blog: I am trying to pin down my Gt Gt Grandad, an Ox & Bucks Sjt in WW1, with a full regular career behind him as Regtl No 681 in 4th KRRC inc. the Boer War. (No. is on a qualification Certificate showing him as Sjt in 1895, passing a small-arms course at Hythe), and I think he was born in 1864.

His Ox & Bucks No. was 9582 - which would seem to put him in the National Reserve, from from some time in 1912.

Since his WW1 records were destroyed in the Blitz, and neither his his medal card nor his medal (1914-18 medal only) identify his Battn, and I'm struggling to figure out how to ascertain who he served with 2nd time around.

The only other clue I have, is a picture of him, sporting Sjt's stripes, wearing a uniform made of what looks like Khaki Drill (not wool serge), with leather bandolier and ammo belt, plus a rifle that seems to be a Lee-Metford, not an SMLE:
http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p30/Stonker_album/GtGrandadAnsell.jpg?t=1290602872

Any thoughts?
=====
I shall be repeatedly back to your pages - I am researching the names on my local War Memorial, and the penny only dropped yesterday that with the right info, Regtl Nos would date a man's enlistment, in the absence of any other record.

Felt a bit dim about that - after all, I was a Regular Army man for just under 30 years!!

Paul Nixon said...

Mister S

Thanks for your interesting comment and the great photo. Looks as though that was taken overseas, the sergeant's stripes being easily removed so that the shirt could be beaten to death on a rock by a dhobi whallah :)

In this case, number 681 for the KRRC dates to between the 17th and 22nd February 1883.

9582 for the Ox and Bucks could be a regular enlistment in 1912 (highly unlikely though because of his age then) but it coukld also be a Special Reserve enlistment from late September or early October 1914. I think this is more likely given his previous service. The medal rolls at the National Archives may give you a battalion, but as I say, it looks form the photo that he was somewhere hot.

Mister S said...

Thanks for that, Medal Roll entry is no help - unless (unlikely, I suspect) his Bn assignment is given on the reverse, which should be visible via the Medal Roll database at Ancestry.co (I'm trying to find a library service where they have paid for access to that database: Milton Keynes haven't, mebbe Bucks have . . . )

I think I can now safely rule out any OBLI Bns who fought on the Western Front, since he has no gong for France/Flanders, but I'm one step closer, anyway.

I have about 2 dozen other OBLI names that I am trying to research (along with some 70 others) from our local war memorial. Only a handful are pre-war enlistees, so they fall outside the 1883-1914 time bracket of your page on here. Numbers range from 317 to 267020, and a couple are sequential (2 Cousins, they lived doors apart, joined up together, and were killed a day apart, at the Somme, with 2/1 OBLI)

Can I ask if you are likely to add more information about Numbers for the 1914-18 Ox & Bucks - it would really help me to put dates on all of them.

If not, do you know of any other resource[s] I could consult (if only every Regiment had published a Calendar of Regtl Numbers, like the KRRC did, in their Roll of Honour, which I found as a free download a couple of days ago - I'll track down the source, and post it as a comment on your KRRC page - if it is not already there)

Paul Nixon said...

Mister S

Post the numbers here in another comment - or several comments - and I'll do my best to narrow down the dates for you. My database covers all regiments and all battalions within regiments with the exception of ASC and Labour Corps. What I publish here is just a fraction of the information I have.

Re the medal rolls, don't confuse the rolls with what Ancestry has published which are the medal index cards (MICs). The reference numbers on the MICs refer to the original rolls which are still held by The National Archives in Kew.

BTW, what was your great great grandfather's full name. I have subs to Find My Past and Ancestry and will be happy to look him up.

Mister S said...

That is exceptionally kind. I have posted below all my OBLI numbers, with best guess enlistment dates where I have them.

I have no doubt I'll be back asking for help with other cap badges - OBLI are just the largest contingent. There are 45 others on the Memorial - from ASC to Worcesters, and including RN, RAF, Australians and Canadians!

As to my Gt Gt Granddad, he was Morris Ansell (b. 1864, I think, in London). No middle name.

Here are the OBLI - have fun, and thanks:

OBLI WW1 Nos Buckingham Memorial
Number - Date

5076 - Mid 1895
7437 - 1903
8207 - 24/04/06
317 - Early 1907?
1822 - Early 1913?
2290 - Aug 1914?
3125 - Sep 1914?
3527 - Oct-Nov 14?
4167 - 12/14-01/15?
4303 - 16/02/15
4304 - 16/02/15
4309 - 02/15
5178 - 04/16
10380
12584
15819
17300
22136
25823
28390
203130
203840
265252
265264
265265
265356
265462
266009
266622
266728
266805
267020

Mister S said...

I think I omitted 2 numbers from that OBLI list. They both belong to the same bloke, who was attached to KRRC and went missing in the March 1918 German offensive, and later presumed dead - but actually he was made a PoW.

He was crippled whilst working in a mine during his captivity, then repatriated and re-numbered at Armistice, before dying at home in 1919.

Brock 2993 (initial enlistment) and 26009 (on repatriation)

Paul Nixon said...

I'm going to assume your four digit numbers are all 4th Bn

2290 - Aug 1914
3125 - Sep 1914
3527 - Oct 1914
4167 - Jan 1915
4303 - 16/02/15
4304 - 16/02/15
4309 - Feb 1915
5178 - Not sure, but no later than Oct 1915
10380 - Aug 1914
12584 - Aug/Sep 1914
15819 - Oct 1914
17300 - Jan 1915
22136 - Dec 1915 (possibly)
25823 - Jul/Aug 1916
28390 - Poss post Sep 1916
203130 - Don't Know
203840 - Don't Know
265252 - Jan / Feb 1914
265264 - Feb / Mar 1914
265265 - Ditto
265356 - Not sure, between Feb & Aug 1914
265462 - Aug 1914
266009 - Sep / Oct 1914
266622 - Not sure, post Sep 1914
266728 - Ditto
266805 - Ditto
267020 - Ditto

Paul Nixon said...

2993 for 4th Bn is Sep 1914. Not sure on the KRRC transfer date.

Paul

Mister S said...

I am sorry - I had mistakenly assumed numbers were allocated as a block to the Ox & Bucks as a Regiment, so I omitted the battalions to whihc each man belonged.

My reasoning was that (based on identifying Regtl Nos 4303, 4304 (cousins in 2/1 OBLI, signed up I think, in Buckingham) and 4305 (2/1 signed up in Oxford), and 4319 (4 OBLI, signed up in Warwick) that the Regt would issue each of its recruiters with a unique block of numbers, from the War Office[?] allotment to the regiment, and they would do the rounds - one day in Buckingham, next in Banbury, then on to Warwick, back to Oxford - ticking off the numbers as they in turn allocated them to individuals.

Does your 'assumption' of 4th Bn as the baseline for estimating dates fit with that picture of the way it worked?

Or are you saying that the same number might be duplicated in 2 Bns of the OBLI, and - if so - would your estimates change if I told you the Bns these chaps belonged to?

Also, I may yet find more information about them, I will be sure to pass on any dates I may find for those of whom you are uncertain.

Mister S said...

I could have been more clear about Brock - he was not transferred to KRRC, he was att'd, so retained his original OBLI number (2993) until he was presumed dead.

The second number (26009) is also OBLI, but allotted to the now "resurrected" soldier, sometime after 11/11/18, when he came back from captivity, I would have thought.

Mister S said...

I was mistaken in an earlier comment - the Roll of Honour to which I referred relates to the Artist's Rifles, not the KRRC. I have put a link in the comments on the page of this blog that deals with them.

Paul Nixon said...

There would have been different number series for:

Regular Battns (1st & 2nd)
3rd (Special Reserve) Bn
4th (TF) Bn
1st Bucks Bn

The service Bns used the series that the regulars had used. All numbers issued at the depot when the men turned up there having attested. So yes, numbers certainly were repeated in the other series and I was guessing 4th Bn but they could just as easily have been 1st Bucks Bn. They're really too low though to be 1st, 2nd or 3rd Bns.

Paul

Paul Nixon said...

Mister S - I'll publish some more Ox and Bucks numbers here on separate posts. I reckon your correspondence warrants it!

Paul Nixon said...

Incidentally, the 265*** 266*** and 267*** numbers are all 4th (TF) Bn and the holders of these numbers woukd originally have had lower numbers from the original 4th Bn number series.

Mister S said...

I have snow to dig - so I can't take time out to look at it now, but I'll test your point about Battalions of origin on my full list as soon as I can

As a summary, their records on CWGC (or own documents give the following totals of soldiers against the following Bns:

Bn - No of names
2 - 6
5 - 2
6 - 1
7 - 7
8 - 8
1/1 - 9
2/1 - 7
1/4 - 1
2/4 - 4
Not Known - Brock (1/1, I'd guess)

Mister S said...

I have done what I prob'ly shoulda done in the first place, and mapped my OBLI numbers to the Battns ascribed to their owners, in whatever records I have (CWGC, I think - I have not yet unearthed a single full service record for anyone who died as an OBLI man), and aligned them with your assessments from yesterday.

Bn - No - Date
2 - 5076 - Mid 1895
2 - 7437 - 1903
2 - 8207 - 24/04/06
2 - 22136 - Dec 1915 (possibly)
2 - 25823 - Jul/Aug 16

5 - 10380 - Aug 1914
5 - 12584 - Aug/Sep 1914

6 - 28390 - >Sep 16?

7 - 17300 - Jan 1915

8 - 15819 - Oct 1914

1/1 - 317 - Early 1907?
1/1 - 1822 - Early 1913?
1/1 - 3125 - Sep 1914
1/1 - 265264 - Feb/Mar 14
1/1 - 265356 - Between Feb & Aug 1914
1/1 - 265462 - Aug 1914
1/1 - 266728 - Post Sep 1914
1/1 - 266805 - Post Sep 1914
1/1 - 267020 - Post Sep 1914

2/1 - 2290 - Aug 1914
2/1 - 3527 - Oct 1914
2/1 - 4303 - 16/02/15
2/1 - 4304 - 16/02/15
2/1 - 4309 - Feb 1915
2/1 - 265265 - Feb/Mar 14
2/1 - 266622 - Post Sep 1914

1/4 - 5178 (2532) - NLT 10/15

2/4 - 4167 - Jan 1915
2/4 - 203130 - NK
2/4 - 203840 - NK
2/4 - 265252 - Jan/Feb 14

NK - 2993 (266009) - Sep/Oct 14 (Brock - 1/1?)

Mister S said...

In addition, in that list is one lad who volunteered and enrolled in 1914, but was discharged after 3 days, for one defective eye, only then to be later conscripted under a different number. His pension record gives:
31/08/14 Percy Gaunt, enlisted in 4 OBLI as 2532
02/09/14 Discharged - Service of 3 Days only.
19/11/1916 Killed at the Somme, as 5178, with 1/4 OBLI

And here's a boy with a whole collection of Regimental Numbers for you:

Erbach FW
From his Record of Service

04/04/16 Mobilised, at Buckingham. Joined the Bucks Bn (1/1) OBLI as 5099 (or poss 5077) - the number originally written to the left of his name on enrolment could be 5077, or 5099 - it has been partly obscured by striking out. The number 5099 is stamped in the upper right corner.

The following numbers appear in clear handwriting on his enrolment paper, but are struck through: 30531 and 96898

His Service record then gives:
07/04/16 Posted to the Bucks Bn OBLI
29/07/16 Transferred to 13th Lab Bn R Berks Regt, (as 30531? I'm guessing)
09/05/17 Transferred to Lab Corps, 164th Coy, (as 96898? I'm guessing)
14/07/17 Transferred to RE: L (Signal) Bn, as 252807 (CWGC record)
07/11/18 Died of influenza (4 days before Armistice)

Poor sod.

I'm not sure if Alfred was bounced about like that because his Dad was a naturalised German (living in an Australian Seaman's Institute at the time of his death, before the 'flu took his boy), or because he was a 'dunce', or because he had special skills - he gave his his pre-war trade as "Fitter".

Very perplexing.

Mister S said...

Just compared your comment:
"the 265*** 266*** and 267*** numbers are all 4th (TF) Bn and the holders of these numbers woukd originally have had lower numbers from the original 4th Bn number series."

to 'my' names - nearly all the numbers in that series in my sample belong to soldiers from 1/1 (total of 6, mebbe 7, if it includes Brock), or 2/1 (total of 2). Only one - 266252 - is identified as 2/4 OBLI.

I know it's a small sample, but - in the absence of other evidence to the contrary (and at great risk of demonstrating my own limited understanding) - I wonder if it doesn't suggest that the TF Battns of the OBLI were on a common/standardised numbering system in 1914?

Paul Nixon said...

My mistake, the 265***, 266*** and 267*** numbers were from the 1st Bucks Bn, NOT the 4th OBLI. The 4th OBLI was re-numbered in the series 240001 to 265000. The 1st Bucks Bn was re-numbered within the series 265001 to 290000. My apologies for confusing the issue by looking at the worng line on my spreadsheet!

Paul Nixon said...

Thos revised dates for the 1/1 and 2/1 Bns:

1/1 - 317 - Late Apr / early |May 1908
1/1 - 1822 - Probably early Aug 1914
1/1 - 3125 - Nov 1914
1/1 - 265264 - Feb/Mar 14
1/1 - 265356 - Between Feb & Aug 1914
1/1 - 265462 - Aug 1914
1/1 - 266728 - Post Sep 1914
1/1 - 266805 - Post Sep 1914
1/1 - 267020 - Post Sep 1914

2/1 - 2290 - Sep 1914
2/1 - 3527 - Apr/May 1915
2/1 - 4303 - Nov 1915
2/1 - 4304 - Nov 1915
2/1 - 4309 - Nov 1915
2/1 - 265265 - Feb/Mar 14
2/1 - 266622 - Post Sep 1914

Paul

Paul Nixon said...

Re Gaunt, what was his date of re-attestation with the 4th OBLI? I'd have put it as June or July 1916.

Erbach did move around a lot, you're right, and you'll generally find that those overseas transfers into line infantry regiments generally through sequential numbering all over the place becuase numbers were issued from separate blocks. I've writtne about this on an earlier post.

Mister S said...

"Re Gaunt, what was his date of re-attestation with the 4th OBLI? I'd have put it as June or July 1916."

I'm afraid Gaunt's second/full set of records were destroyed - I have only his initial date of enrolment, and his date of death (19/11/16).

Does the interval between being mobilised in June 1916, and killed 5 months later look about right for that stage in the war? If so, then either (a) his training was pretty dam' short, or (b) his life in the line was pitifully brief, or perhaps (c) Both of the above.

If I can find the appropriate War Diary for 1/4, I might be able to stab at when he arrived in France, but it would prob'ly only be a guess.

Do you think it would be worth my while looking for Service Records under Regtl Numbers either side of his?

Mister S said...

I have just applied your revised dates to 'my men' from 1/1 and 2/1, and they look believable .

I'm still wondering about 2993 Brock.

What happens to your assessed date of enlistment if you try to date 2993 as a number from 1/1 or 2/1 OBLI, rather than 4th Bn: would that make any sense? (You put him at Sep 1914)

Paul Nixon said...

2993 for the 1st Buckinghamshire Bn is between Oct and Dec 1914.

Paul Nixon said...

Yes, five to six months is feasible between joining up and being out there long enough to be killed. Definitely worth checking nunbers close to his.

Mister S said...

I have figured out the 2 numbers associated with my former PoW Pte Brock

I did a search of the Medal Rolls using the key words:
1/1st Buckinghamshire Battalion

and got over 270 names, many of whom, on closer examination turn out to have had multiple Regimental numbers, most of whom remained with 1/1 OBLI until they were killed or discharged. I copied the summary details of the soldiers, from each of the 28 pages of the initial search, pasted them into a spreadsheet, then sorted them by Regimental number. Then I went back to the Medal Rolls search, and dip-sampled to get details of selected individuals, and from the dip-sample, I cross-referred to the CWGC register any individuals who stayed with 1/1st OBLI but whose 4 digit numbers were unchanged.

As an example, I got the following sequences

Name - Unit - Reg No - Date Died
Abbott, W - 1/1 OBLI - 2990 - KIA 23/08/2016
Gibbard, T - 1/1 OBLI - 2991 - KIA 04/12/2016

Name - Unit 1 - 1st Reg No - Unit 2 - 2nd Reg No
Day, A - 1/1 OBLI - 2998 - OBLI - 266014
Clark, S - 1/1 OBLI - 3007 - OBLI - 266021

Brock, the paraplegic former PoW was numbered:
Name - Unit 1 - 1st Reg No - Unit 2 - 2nd Reg No
Brock, T - 1/1 OBLI - 2993 - 1/1 OBLI - 266009

So (although the intervals between old and new numbers are not an exact match (partly because of losses in the interim, and/or because this is a system maintained by people, not automata, presumably ) Brock's 2993 fits neatly after the numbers issued to Abbot and Gibbard (both killed in 1916) , and is 5 less than Day's 2998, whose later number 266014 is also exactly 5 higher than Brock's later 266009.

I learn from another source that newspapers reports of the time placed Brock with the KRRC at the time of the March 1918 offensive, when our front lines were breached - which dates his capture as early March 1918.

I am now confident that:

a. Both Brock's numbers were issued by 1/1 OBLI, and that:
b. All soldiers serving in 1/1 OBLI - inc Brock, before he was captured - were renumbered sometime after December 1916 (I can't pin down the
exact month in 1917 when new numbering for OBLI TF units began, but the Artist's Rifles book tells me that the process actually began for them, in Jan - see picture : http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p30/Stonker_album/ArtistsNumbersCalendar.jpg )

I have just now done a similar Medal Rolls database search using the text:
1/4th Oxfordshire

which pulled 256 names. At some point, I will look more closely at these, to see if it helps me to move forward with the work on my War Memorial, and a final (long) search using the text:

Buck* Batt*

which reports 1063 records, but the search function only allows you to see summaries of 1000 results frorm a single search - I have managed to get 1012 of them, but have yet to figure out how I get hold of the remainder (probably a search using the same string, but supplemented with first two letters of surnames or forenames, with 'wildcard' asterisks . . . ) You are welcome to my spreadsheet, if you want a copy.

The 1/1st OBLI nominal roll for WOs and below who served with them in WW1, on the other hand - names a total of 2756 men (sadly, with no regimental numbers!!!) – so I will be back to ask about 1/1st OBLI numbers in a while, if that is OK.

Mister S said...

Part 1 of 2
I have figured out the 2 numbers associated with my former PoW Pte Brock

I did a search of the Medal Rolls using the key words:
1/1st Buckinghamshire Battalion

and got over 270 names, many of whom, on closer examination turn out to have had multiple Regimental numbers, most of whom remained with 1/1 OBLI until they were killed or discharged. I copied the summary details of the soldiers, from each of the 28 pages of the initial search, pasted them into a spreadsheet, then sorted them by Regimental number. Then I went back to the Medal Rolls search, and dip-sampled to get details of selected individuals, and from the dip-sample, I cross-referred to the CWGC register any individuals who stayed with 1/1st OBLI but whose 4 digit numbers were unchanged.

As an example, I got the following sequences

Name - Unit - Reg No - Date Died
Abbott, W - 1/1 OBLI - 2990 - KIA 23/08/2016
Gibbard, T - 1/1 OBLI - 2991 - KIA 04/12/2016

Name - Unit 1 - 1st Reg No - Unit 2 - 2nd Reg No
Day, A - 1/1 OBLI - 2998 - OBLI - 266014
Clark, S - 1/1 OBLI - 3007 - OBLI - 266021

Brock, the paraplegic former PoW was numbered:
Name - Unit 1 - 1st Reg No - Unit 2 - 2nd Reg No
Brock, T - 1/1 OBLI - 2993 - 1/1 OBLI - 266009

So (although the intervals between old and new numbers are not an exact match (partly because of losses in the interim, and/or because this is a system maintained by people, not automata, presumably ) Brock's 2993 fits neatly after the numbers issued to Abbot and Gibbard (both killed in 1916) , and is 5 less than Day's 2998, whose later number 266014 is also exactly 5 higher than Brock's later 266009.

I learn from another source that newspapers reports of the time placed Brock with the KRRC at the time of the March 1918 offensive, when our front lines were breached - which dates his capture as early March 1918.

TBC

Mister S said...

Part 2 of 2
I am now confident that:

a. Both Brock's numbers were issued by 1/1 OBLI, and that:
b. All soldiers serving in 1/1 OBLI - inc Brock, before he was captured - were renumbered sometime after December 1916 (I can't pin down the exact month in 1917 when new numbering for OBLI TF units began, but the Artist's Rifles book tells me that the process actually began for them, in Jan - see picture : http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p30/Stonker_album/ArtistsNumbersCalendar.jpg )

I have just now done a similar Medal Rolls database search using the text:
1/4th Oxfordshire

which pulled 256 names. At some point, I will look more closely at these, to see if it helps me to move forward with the work on my War Memorial, and a final (long) search using the text:

Buck* Batt*

which reports 1063 records, but the search function only allows you to see summaries of 1000 results frorm a single search - I have managed to get 1012 of them, but have yet to figure out how I get hold of the remainder (probably a search using the same string, but supplemented with first two letters of surnames or forenames, with 'wildcard' asterisks . . . ) You are welcome to my spreadsheet, if you want a copy.

The 1/1st OBLI nominal roll for WOs and below who served with them in WW1, on the other hand - names a total of 2756 men (sadly, with no regimental numbers!!!) – so I will be back to ask about 1/1st OBLI numbers in a while.

End

Anonymous said...

My Grandfather's regimental number was 10215 in the 3rd Kings Own Hussars. Would any of his records show when and where he voluntarily joined?
If you can help I'd appreciate it.
Regards
David Marshall
glengyle09@btinternet.com

Paul Nixon said...

David, the number dates to around June 1913. His medal index card is quite detailed, have you seen it? I've not checked to see if there's a surviving service record.

Paul

David Marshall said...

I'm trying to find my grandfathers history prior to WW1. I know he joined the 3rd Kings Own Hussars on the 16th August 1914. Regiment No. 10215. His assumed name was Thompson. If I could find out where he joined it would give me a starting point as I now know his real name and birth date.
Any help would be appreciated.
Regards
David

Paul Nixon said...

Dear David

I presume you got the date from his medal index card. This is the date he arrived overseas, as a private. He was later promoted to acting sergeant and this rank appears on his British War and Victory medals. He would have joined the 3rd Hussars in late July or early August 1913 although without a surviving service record it would be difficult to say where he joined. Hope this helps a little.

Paul

Mister S said...

Way back in November 2010 I introduced myself to this blog with a question about the war service of my Gt-Grandad, 9512 Morris Ansell [Ox & Bucks LI], and you were very helpful.

Just recently, I was exchanging emails with the wesbite of the Soldiers Of Oxford trust (http://www.sofo.org.uk), on the trail of more info about names on our local memorial, and I asked them in passing about Gt Grandad Ansell.

To my surprise, and delight, they promptly replied to tell me as much as they could (not much, but hey - it is 100% of what they could offer!)

They confirm your assessment of 2 years ago. Specifically, in WW1, Morris Ansell initially joined the 3rd Reserve Battalion of the Ox & Bucks and was later posted to India with the 1st Garrison Battalion. Sadly, they confess to holding very little info on the Garrison Battalion, and that is all they could tell me. They have no record of dates.

As it happens, through FindMyPast.com (making the very most of a 14-day free trial, and finding it much easier, more accurate, much more productive and helpful to use than Ancestry, which I also free-trialled for the previous fortnight), I thereafter unearthed a number of other records of the old boy - including an 1881 record of him in banged up in HMP Lewes as a teenager, and 20yrs later a 1901 census record of him in the Portsmouth Barracks of 1st Royal Rifle Reserve Regiment and 4th Oxfordshire Light Infantry Battalions (I'm not - yet - sure which of the two Battalions he was with, nor does the census record Regimental numbers, I'm afraid), but it seems to rule out the family legend of him going to S Africa to fight Boers.

Incidentally, in that [penultimate] military incarnation the census sheet for his part of the barracks (25 names, 22 of them Private soldiers, 16 of them married men, none of whom younger than 33yrs, with the oldest aged 45yrs) gives the old boy's supposed but undoubtedly false age as 40 (b: 1864, I suspect may have fibbed about his age on first joining KRRC so as to go to India before he was properly old enough)

Not sure any of this add value to your work around Army Numbers, but I thought you'd nevertheless be curious .

Paul Nixon said...

Interesting update, thanks for that.

The normal route for an infantryman on enlisting was that he would spent around 10 weeks at the Depot of his regiment before being posted to whatever the home battalion was at the time. After a period of training with that battalion, normally between 18 months and two years, he would then be posted to the battalion serving overseas. Men were not supposed to serve in India before the age of 20.

Good luck with your continuing research.

Mister S said...

Still worrying away at OBLI numbers and their associated enlistment dates, I recently dug up a set of documents for 'my' paraplegic ex-POW, 266009 [originally 2993] Pte Brock of 1/1 OBLI, from the Pension Records collection in Ancestry.co.uk

These include a copy of his Army Form B 103, detailing his service, although it does not look as though it was compiled contemporaneously: the handwriting is that of a single author, for one thing.

You originally estimated his enlistment date as Sep 1914.

AF B 103 shows his enlisted date rather later - on 16/11/1914, for a 4 year engagement (these words in manuscript, 'for the duration of the war' having been struck out in ink)

It also shows his original No (2993) struck out, and replaced by the later 266009 (which means he was not re-numbered on re-patriation (as I had thought), but at some point before he was captured.

I'm inclined therefore to revise your estimates for the remaining 266*** series numbers, above, and push them into late Dec 1914, or Jan 1915. Does that make sense to you?


By The Way -

I also discovered that (contrary to his declaration on attestation in WW1) young Brock had served for 2 yrs before the war.

He enlisted as 9830, in the Essex Regt, at Stratford on 1 Nov 1911, for 7yrs + 5.

He was then posted fm Depot to 1 Essex on 9/2/1912, where (on 15/5/1914) he was found guilty of 2 charges of stealing from an Officer and sentenced to 56 days prison, followed by discharge with ignominy from the service, on 23/6/1914.

Paul Nixon said...

Yes, I'd concur that 299* fits in with my pattern of numbers for the 1/1st (Buckinghamshire) Bn but not for the 1/4th. You must be nearly there with your nominal roll. Any thoughts of publishing it, either commercially or free of charge?

Mister S said...

My only thoughts at the moment, are centred on how to recover the work I have done since the new year, on a laptop whose 'D' drive (where the work is saved) corrupted itself yesterday, just in time to prevent me making a backup.

I need now to take stock of how much ground I will need to re-cover.

As far as the basic data is concerned, I'm inclined to share it pretty freely: I am tempted something more than just collate - there's a story to be told, but I dunno if It's a commercial proposition.

colin green said...

Hi Paul

The following site http://oxfordandbucks.co.uk/Roll_of_Honour.htm, contains service nos, when enlisted etc from a number of sources. If you would like an excel spreadsheet please use the contact form on the site

Regards

Colin

Paul Nixon said...

Colin, many thanks for the tip. I'll promote your site on my Army Ancestry blog.

Congratulations on putting this together.

Paul