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.