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