5 October 2011

George Henry Johnson

I've received an enquiry asking for any information about George Henry Johnson of The Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghmashire and Derbyshire Regiment) who died in Flanders in 1917.

Soldiers Died in The Great War notes two men of this name who died whilst serving with this regiment, one in 1916 and one in 1917. The man who died in 1917 was killed in action on the 28th November 1917. He was born in Farndon, Nottinghamshire and enlisted at Newark. At the time of his death he was serving with the 1/6th Battalion, a Territorial Force Battalion and had the number 242600. He was entitled to the British War and Victory medals.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission notes that he was the husband of H Johnson of 20 George Street, Newark, Notts. He is buried in Philosophe British Cemetery in Mazingarbe; grave reference III.A.40 (see map above).

George's number is a mystery to me. I had suggested that his original number -20007 - noted on his medal index card, suggested enlistment into a service battalion in 1914. However, Stuart, in a comment on this post (below) has put me right. He writes:

"This particular number, 20007, is not an original enlistment number, which explains your difficulty in pinning it down. The N&D territorials used the 20*** series of numbers for inter-TF battalion transfers during 1915 and 1916. In this particular case, with the man residing and enlisting in Newark, he would almost certainly have enlisted originally with the 8th Bn (original TF number unknown) and at a later date was posted to the 6th Bn, with subsequent change of number. Unfortunately, the Notts and Derby Regt usually work in alphabetical order (rather than original TF number order), so it is very difficult to work out the original numbers."

Stuart, thank you very much for that.

George's six-digit number certainly belongs within the range of numbers allocated to the 6th Battalion when the Territorial Force was re-numbered in 1917. The fact that he was only entitled to the British War and Victory medals means that he certainly didn't arrive overseas until 1st January 1916 or later. No service record appears to survive for this man.

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4 comments:

kevin said...

Many thanks for this info, Is there anyway of tracing medals? What would have happened to the victory medal as he wouldent have been alive to recieve it?

Paul Nixon said...

Kevin, you're welcome. As for the medals, these would have been sent to his wife. She would also have received a memorial plaque and certificate.

Stuart said...

Hi Paul,

This particular number, 20007, is not an original enlistment number, which explains your difficulty in pinning it down. The N&D territorials used the 20*** series of numbers for inter-TF battalion transfers during 1915 and 1916. In this particular case, with the man residing and enlisting in Newark, he would almost certainly have enlisted originally with the 8th Bn (original TF number unknown) and at a later date was posted to the 6th Bn, with subsequent change of number. Unfortunately, the N&D Regt usually work in alphabetical order (rather than original TF number order), so it is very difficult to work out the original numbers.

(I haven't been in touch for a while - hope all is well with you and yours).

Cheers,

Stuart

Paul Nixon said...

Stuart, thanks very much for clearing that up. I'm going to add that information to the bottom of the post; very helpful of you and I suspected that there might have been more to that number than met the eye.

All well thanks very much, trust the same with you.

Paul