31 May 2018

Every medal index card tells a story

OK, so some stories are more interesting than others but the point is this: just because a service or pension record may not survive it doesn't mean that there isn't some information you can still glean.

I answered an email query today and I thought I'd share it with you, just as a case in point. My enquirer asked whether the number dated to August 1914 and why there was a second number as well.

In this case, the medal rolls helped out because the British war and Victory Medal roll noted that this man served with the 2/4th Royal Sussex regiment and latterly the 12th Battalion. My own databases show that the majority of men with regimental numbers between G/17755 and G/18006 (and possibly higher) transferred from the 3/4th or 2/4th Battalions of the Royal Sussex Regiment to service battalions of the same regiment, mostly to the 12th and 13th Battalions. The 12th and 13th Battalions had of course suffered heavy casualties at the Boers Head on the 30th June 1916 and I presume these men were still helping to make up the deficit some weeks later. All of these transfers took place in September 1916.

As for the earlier 2/4trh Battalion number, it dates to November 1915 when between 180 and 200 men joined the battalion in that month alone, quite an increase on the previous months which had seen around 130 men only joining the battalion between the 1st August and the 31st October 1915. As for the unfortunate Charles Pope whose card appears on this blog, he was KiA on the 15th August 1917.

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