23 December 2014

Royal Engineers - Dorsetshire Fortress Company 1908-1914


Here's a taster from my Royal Engineers' database, a corps I've largely, and inadvertently, neglected on this blog due to concentrating on infantry and cavalry.

The Dorsetshire Fortress Company was tiny. Formed in 1908 it consisted of a single Territorial Force Electric Lights Company and was administered by the Dorsetshire County Association. Writing in 1909, Walter Richards, in His Majesty's Territorial Army, wrote of the Dorsetshire Fortress Company:

"It may claim a distinguished place amongst the corps called into existence by the Territorial Forces Act, having since May 1909 its strength up to establishment, 137 of all ranks and... possessing the complete equipment prescribed by regulation."

My database notes that 132 Robert Long joined on 25th May 1909 and 138 Charles Derrick joined on 25th June 1909. Thus number 137, referred to by Walter Richards must have joined a good three weeks before Charles Derrick who presumably had to wait until someone left the unit before he could attest as number 138.

Here are some regimental numbers and attestation dates for the Dorsetshire Fortress Company between 1908 and October 1914. Six digit numbers from the number block 516001 to 518000 which were issued in 1917 are also noted. The lowest six digit number was given to the longest serving man, the second lowest six digit number to the next longest serving man, and so on.

68 / 516007 issued on 30th November 1908
138 / 516013 issued on 25th June 1909
154 / 516017 issued on 7th November 1910
194 / 516021 issued on 17th August 1911
203 / 516034 issued on 4th July 1912
241 / 516052 issued on 23rd May 1913

By 1914 the Company was headquartered at Sidney Hall, Weymouth, with a drill station at Portland and formed part of the Southern Coast Defences.

516061 issued on 9th April 1914
286 / 516065 issued on 5th August 1914
297 / 516074 issued on 28th September 1914
328 / 516097 issued on 1st October 1914

This is my last post on this blog this year. My thanks to everyone who has visited these pages over the past year, a year of particular significance to those of us who hold dear the memory of the 1914-18 generation. My thanks too for visitors to this blog who have subsequently commissioned research. I look forward to undertaking more projects in 2015.

14 December 2014

Essex Regiment - PoW Other Ranks 1914


The following list of 44 Essex Regiment NCOs and men has been transcribed from the Imperial War Museum's collection, specifically item B.O.2 1/181 which is a three-page hand-written (as well as faded and undated) list of Essex Regiment men who became prisoners of war prior to 25th December 1914.  My full transcription of this collection (not reproduced here) also contains home addresses for most of the men.

Although it is not explicitly stated, all of these men must have been captured whilst serving with the 2nd Battalion, Essex Regiment as this was the only battalion of the Essex Regiment that was on the Western Front in 1914.

The full transcription is available for sale as a download or CD for £10. Contact me if you would like to purchase a copy.

The roll:

10167 Private J Barry
8594 Sergeant E Binnie
10072 Private G W Bull
8250 Private W Claxton
8166 Private Sidney Crozier
7375 Private J Donnelly
10172 Private J Edwards
10203 Private G Eley
7929 Private D Elliott
8535 Private J Ellis
7771 Private H J Gillson
10199 Private George Arthur Graham
9432 Private H Groom
8938 Private A Grover
8897 Private H Guy
8183 Private F Housden
9465 Private E E Jennings
9920 Lance-Corporal C E James
8151 Lance-Corporal A Jordan
10733 Private H Kemp
8375 Private F W Manning
8472 Lance-Corporal G R Marshall
8885 Private F Medcalf
8127 Private E Minett


Above, Christmas 1915, a card sent from Doberitz by Tom Morris, below

7186 Corporal Tom Morris
10030 Private P T Powell
7903 Private C Pratt
8105 Private M Radford
8434 Private E C Reynolds
8305 Private W Rawlings
10126 Private W A Richer
8214 Private W Rogers
7823 Private W H Ryan
10107 Private J W Sims
7864 Private P Smith
9573 Corporal J J Smyrk
7808 Private G Tarbun
7527 Private H A Taylor
9321 Private G M Took
8738 Private H Walsh
9198 Corporal J R H Warner
7732 Corporal E Whitwell
7977 Private W E White
4155 CQMS E T West

Read more about this data source on my 1914 PoWs page. The image on this post shows men of the 2nd Battalion, Essex Regiment in Norwich on the 10th August 1914. I will be happy to acknowledge the source of this image which is currently unknown to me.

Since publishing this post, I have been sent scans of a postcard which was sent back to the UK by one of the men listed above: 8250 Private W Claxton. His home address on B.O.2 1/181 is noted as 5 York Road, Barking and I presume that the Mr Lungley who he is writing to in Barking, is his employer. Private Claxton joined the Essex Regiment in 1904 and so had almost certainly been a reservist since 1911 or 1912 and was back in Civvy Street when Britain went to war in 1914. His medal index card records that he arrived in France on the 22nd August 1914. I am grateful to John Morgan for sending me the postcard images which I reproduce below.




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


7 December 2014

Irish Guards - PoW Other Ranks 1914


Here are some more PoWs; this time an edited list of 89 Irish Guards NCOs and men who became prisoners of war on or before 25th December 1914. Read more about this data source on my 1914 PoWs page.

This data has been transcribed from the Imperial War Museum's collection, specifically item B.O.2 1/140 which is a two-page typed list sent to Sir Ernest Goodhart by the officer in charge of Irish Guards records at Buckingham Gate and dated 29th January 1919. My full transcription of this Irish Guards PoW collection (not reproduced here) also contains the following information against some or all of the names:

Home address
Next of kin
Next of kin's address

The full transcription of the following roll is available for sale as a download or CD for £15. Contact me if you would like to purchase a copy.

3220 Guardsman B G Anderson.

1771 Guardsman C Baker, 1570 Lance-Corporal J Bracken, 4001 Guardsman E W Brown, 2160 Guardsman J P Burke, 2967 Guardsman J Burke, 2997 Guardsman W Burrows, 1446 Guardsman M Byrne.

3159 Lance-Corporal J Cannon, 3902 Guardsman P Cassley, 4187 Guardsman P Cavanagh, 3014 Guardsman T Cavanagh, 3857 Guardsman E Churchouse, 3707 Guardsman T Connolly, 2221 Guardsman W Connolly, 3675 Guardsman P Connelly, 4303 Guardsman J Cromwell.

4555 Guardsman Michael Deighan, 2172 Guardsman J Desmond, 4467 Lance-Corporal T Dolan, 3727 Guardsman W Donaldson, 2878 Guardsman C Donoghue, 3952 Guardsman J Doyle, 2933 Guardsman E Duggan, 1280 Guardsman J Dunne.

1920 Guardsman J Ellis.

2051 Guardsman J Farmer, 3476 Lance-Sergeant J Fay, 3922 Guardsman F J Ferman, 2681 Guardsman J Fitzpatrick, 3392 Sergeant J Flanagan, 2158 Guardsman P Fogarty.

593 Guardsman P Gilchrist, 4339 Guardsman R Glendon, 1069 CSM M Graham, 3252 Guardsman D Greene.

1524 Guardsman G Haslam, 3199 Guardsman J Hatton, 2107 Sergeant J Hayes, 4505 Guardsman P Hayes, 4393 Guardsman M Healy, 2440 Guardsman P Heslin, 3121 Guardsman P Holden.

2360 Guardsman S Irvine.

3479 Guardsman W Kerr, 4335 Lance-Corporal M Kilbride, 3208 Guardsman L Kilpatrick.

1696 Lance-Corporal W Linane, 3491 Guardsman W Leslie, 3286 Guardsman T Ludlow, 1026 Guardsman A Lynch.

58 Guardsman A Macaulay, 1945 Lance-Corporal J Mahoney, 3574 Guardsman M Mahoney, 3126 Guardsman T Mason, 1239 Guardsman C McKinley, 3612 Guardsman W McDonald, 460 Guardsman J McGrory, 1519 Guardsman T Meagher, 3377 Guardsman J Morris, 3658 Lance-Corporal P Morriss, 3840 Guardsman J Molloy, 2205 Guardsman J Muldoon, 972 Guardsman F Murray, 4391 Guardsman W Murray, 1537 Guardsman D Murphy, 2472 Guardsman J Murphy.

4184 Guardsman J O'Connell, 2475 Guardsman T O'Connell, 110 Lance-Corporal J O'Hare, 3528 Guardsman J O'Keefe, 2435 Guardsman P O'Reilly, 4413 Guardsman J O'Sullivan.

1527 Guardsman J Parrott.

1810 Guardsman M Quinn.

3295 Guardsman J Rooney, 2886 Guardsman J Roache, 3214 Guardsman D Rourke, 3557 Guardsman P Ryan.

2950 Guardsman P Sheridan, 2585 Guardsman F Shortall, 3302 Corporal F Stinson, 1795 Guardsman P Sullivan, 3749 Guardsman J Sullivan.

Guardsman J Strutt, 3749 Guardsman J Sullivan,2629 Guardsman J Welsh, 2510 Sergeant D Walsh, 3876 Guardsman E Ward, 3395 Guardsman J McWharters

Any errors in transcription are my own.

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