27 April 2017

Irish regiments - enlistment registers 1920-1922

The National Army Museum has published the enlistment records of nearly 12,000 men who joined Irish regiments between 1920 and 1922. This from the NAM website:

"The Connaught Rangers, the Leinster Regiment, the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, the Royal Irish Regiment and the Royal Munster Fusiliers were units of the British Army, which were disbanded following the establishment of the independent Irish Free State in 1922. The enlistment books contain records of soldiers serving in these regiments in the period 1920-22."

To search the Irish Soldiers' Records, follow the link. Helpfully, the search box allows you to search on any indexed field, which means you can search on the man's home address, for instance, as well as his name or regimental number. Many of the men have prior service recorded but unfortunately this information has not been indexed. Now there's a potential project for someone...

Leinster Regiment Image taken from the NAM website.

17 April 2017

Dorset Regiment - Missing 1914

I've already published a list of Dorsetshire Regiment NCOs and men who were taken prisoner of war in 1914 and so I suppose you'd have to consider this post to be a companion piece. I think it's useful however, because as well as  serving to illustrate the errors that are to be found in newspaper lists, it also highlights the additional information that you can glean if you read between the lines.

On the 8th December 1914, The Times included a list of 201 missing Dorsetshire Regiment men in its daily casualty list. The men were reported under the date 4th November 1914 and the information printed in The Times included the man's regimental number, rank, forename initial and last name. I have expanded this list to include full name - where possible - subsequent status (eg KiA, PoW etc) and anomalies. Here are their names:

7330 L-Cpl John Abbott; SWB
7746 Pte Albert Andrews; KiA 13 Oct 1914
6960 Pte John James Anthony; KiA 13 Oct 1914
7999 Pte George A Armstrong; PoW
9036 Cpl Alfred Arnell; KiA 13 Oct 1914
5967 Pte Edward R H Banbur;y PoW
5898 Pte John William Barnes; PoW
6223 L-Cpl Francis Alfred Barnett; KiA 13 Oct 1914
7716 Pte George W Barrett; PoW. Times gives forename initials E W
8002 Pte Charles Beale; PoW
8630 A-Sgt Frank Bear; PoW. Times gives forename initial M
8843 Pte Walter Beer; PoW
6339 Pte John W Belcher; PoW
3/6520 Pte John William Bishop; PoW. Times gives forename initials G W. Times omits 3/ prefix.
6913 Cpl Robert C Boorer; KiA 13 Oct 1914
9544 Pte Henry E Bowen; PoW
9525 Pte Alfred J Bown; PoW
7455 Pte William J Bray; PoW
9228 L-Cpl William Bricker; KiA 13 Oct 1914
8386 Pte Frederick Robert Burt; KiA 13 Oct 1914
8273 Pte George M Cailes; PoW
9453 Pte Christopher Cales; PoW
7698 Pte Frederick Calley; PoW
9541 Pte Percy Carr;  PoW
7211 Pte Albert Carter; PoW
3/6048 Pte Frederick Cave; PoW
7059 Pte James Chrystal; PoW
6633 Pte Herbert Clare; PoW
7743 Dmr William E Clarke; PoW
9411 L-Cpl Horace Collier; KiA 13 Oct 1914
6985 Pte Albert G Collieson; PoW
7701 L-Cpl Albert Constable; PoW
7517 Pte Percy J Couch; PoW
8041 Pte John R Cox; PoW
7515 L-Cpl Alfred F Creasey; PoW
8020 Pte Walter Cripps; PoW
6456 Pte Thomas Crook; KiA 13 Oct 1914
3/5747 L-Cpl Lawrence Dalton; PoW. Times omits 3/ prefix.
7261 Pte Edwin Day; KiA 13 Oct 1914
3/5533 Pte Albert Dethridg;e PoW
9343 Pte John W Dewson; KiA 13 Oct 1914
5837 Pte Sidney Dicker; PoW
8079 Pte William Dimes; KiA 13 Oct 1914
6666 Pte George W S Dodd; PoW
6991 L-Cpl Archibald S Douglas; PoW
7384 Pte Bertram Drake; PoW
9597 Pte Alphonse Drumond; KiA 13 Oct 1914
7568 Pte Edward Early; PoW
6908 Pte Thomas W E Edwards; PoW
7799 Pte William V Elford; PoW
6821 Pte Jesse A Ely; PoW. Times gives forename intials A J
3/6355 Pte William Fee; PoW. Times omits 3/ prefix.
9707 Pte Albert H Fletcher; PoW
9501 Pte William G Forse; PoW
7998 Pte Albert B Frampton; PoW
7493 Pte William Charles Francis; KiA 18 Oct 1914
7348 L-Cpl Charles E Franklin; PoW. Times gives FRANKLYN
6626 Pte Richard M Gale; PoW
3/5523 L-Cpl George Garrett; PoW. Times omits 3/ prefix.
7288 Pte George Garrod; PoW
6151 Pte Ernest E Gatehouse; PoW. Times gives forename intials E F
4312 Pte Walter Gawler; PoW
7179 L-Cpl James Gibbons; PoW
8474 L-Cpl John W Gough; PoW
8029 Pte William Goulding KiA 13 Oct 1914
7275 Pte Harry J Grace; PoW
6547 Pte Frederick Gray; PoW
3/5529 L-Cpl Walter Grew; PoW. Times omits 3/ prefix.
7196 Pte Harry N Griggs; PoW
8204 Pte Ernest Groves; PoW 7143 Pte John H Gurnett PoW
7197 Pte Walter H Guy; PoW
6399 Pte James Harding; PoW
7929 Pte Albert H Harris; PoW. Times gives forename intials A F
3/5494 Cpl Edward Hart;  PoW 8021 Pte Harry Harvey PoW. Times omits 3/ prefix.
8382 Sgt Henry J Hatton; PoW
7618 Pte Albert Hawkins; PoW
6836 Pte Alfred Hayles; PoW
7495 Pte Fred Hayward; PoW
7747 Pte Arthur Hewitt; PoW
8059 Pte Henry Hillman; KiA 13 Oct 1914
7636 Pte Herbert H Hodges; PoW
5653 Pte Percy James Holyoake; KiA 13 Oct 1914
6034 L-Cpl Frederick Charles Holt; KiA 13 Oct 1914
6276 Pte Frederick Hooper; PoW
6341 Pte James Houghton; PoW
7988 Pte Harry E House; PoW
5871 Pte Samuel I House; PoW
8028 Pte William A Hunt; PoW
9222 Pte Herbert George Hurley; KiA 13 Oct 1914
7317 Pte George Hussey; KiA 13 Oct 1914
 6592 Pte Benjamin Hyde; KiA 13 Oct 1914
6889 Pte Henry Irving; PoW
7571 Pte Herbert George Jacomb; KiA 13 Oct 1914
8479 Pte Frank Herbert Jeans; KiA 13 Oct 1914
7413 Pte Walter R Jessop; PoW
6807 Pte Edward L Johnson; PoW
6996 Pte Jack Keech; KiA 13 Oct 1914
8042 Pte Bertie O Keel; PoW. Times gives forename initial E
8643 Pte William H Kellow; PoW
7140 A-Sgt Daniel Kenny; PoW
9403 Pte G King; PoW
9339 Pte Alfred E Kingswell; PoW
6456 Pte Ernest Lambert; PoW. Times gives regimental number 6546
3/5563 Pte Frank T Lawer; PoW. Times omits 3/ prefix.
9446 Pte Arthur F Le Huquet; PoW. Times gives forename intitials A S
6199 Pte Bernard Linham; PoW. Times gives forename initial, E. This man has a report in WO 161
7246 Pte Walter Henry Linham; KiA 13 Oct 1914
9558 L-Cpl James Lawrence Edward Lock; PoW. Times gives forename intitials H J E
8416 L-Cpl Thomas Low; PoW
5472 Cpl Henry Lowe; PoW
5513 Pte Fred Lusty; KiA 13 Oct 1914
7875 Pte William Thomas McKenzie; KiA 13 Oct 1914
7512 Pte Charles Macey; MIC not found
8606 L-Cpl Harry Main; PoW
9575 Pte William T Maney; PoW. Times gives forename intitials W J
8013 Pte Joseph T T Maple; PoW. Times gives forename intitial T
7542 Pte Silas Martin; PoW
7507 A-Sgt William J Matcham; PoW
6347 Pte Arthur Louis Mear; KiA 13 Oct 1914
6559 Pte Frederick G Meech; PoW. Times gives forename intitials G F
7271 L-Cpl Sidney C Mockridge; PoW
6375 Pte Thomas Morey; PoW
5346 Pte William Murphy; PoW
7409 Pte Alfred Myerson; PoW
7729 Pte John Naylor; KiA 13 Oct 1914
7104 L-Cpl Harry Needle; PoW
8178 Pte George Newman; PoW
6938 Pte George J Newman; PoW
7808 Pte George Newman; PoW
9517 Pte John O Newton; PoW
7302 Pte Thomas Nichols; PoW
6874 Pte Herbert H Norman; PoW. Times gives forename initials H A
8009 Pte Thomas Norman; PoW
6851 Pte F Norris; PoW
7181 Pte R J Northover; PoW
9622 Pte F Northover; PoW
6374 Pte Clarence William Orchard; KiA 13 Oct 1914
7155 Pte George A Parker; PoW
7206 L-Cpl George Pearce; KiA 13 Oct 1914
6881 Pte Henry Pearce; PoW
7948 L-Cpl John E Pearcey; PoW. Times gives forename initial E.
9572 Pte George Walter Penfold; KiA 13 Oct 1914
6549 Pte George F Perry; PoW
8863 Pte Charles George Peskett; PoW
6234 Pte John Pike; PoW
8099 Pte Arthur Pink; KiA 13 Oct 1914
9545 Pte Charles Edmund Prestwick; KiA 13 Oct 1914
7663 Sgt Reginald Quinton; PoW
6854 Pte Arthur Rabbitt; PoW
8145 L-Cpl George Raisey; KiA 13 Oct 1914
7128 Pte Samuel Reed; PoW
5987 Pte Frederick Rideout; KiA 13 Oct 1914
7687 Pte Henry J Riggs; PoW
7564 Pte Walter J Riggs; PoW. Times gives forename inititials W T
7293 Pte William S Robins;  PoW
6662 Pte George H Rowe; PoW. Times gives regimental number 6663
6516 Pte William Richard Salisbury; KiA 13 Oct 1914
5977 Pte Sidney Thomas Sandford; KiA 13 Oct 1914
3/6000 Pte William C Sargeant; PoW. Times omits 3/ prefix.
7759 Sgt John Scott; PoW
9566 Pte Robert E Sewell; PoW
9550 Pte Harry S Seymour; PoW
8532 Pte Frank Sharp; PoW
7135 Pte Frank J Sharpe; KiA 13 Oct 1914
3/5538 L-Cpl John Shepherd PoW
8373 Pte Arthur Shiner; PoW
7494 Pte Arthur Slade; KiA 13 Oct 1914
3/6345 Pte William H Smith; PoW. Times omits 3/ prefix.
7754 Pte Gerald Snook; PoW
9174 L-Cpl Arthur E Soane; PoW
6340 Pte William G Spear; PoW
6306 Pte James Sperinck PoW. Times gives SPERNICK
9170 L-Cpl Frank Squibb; PoW
8075 Pte John Starmer; KiA 13 Oct 1914
7276 Pte George Sullivan; PoW
6970 Pte John Sullivan; KiA 13 Oct 1914
7738 Pte Ralph Swatridge; PoW
6585 Pte Richard Tarrant; KiA 3 May 1915
7319 Pte Frank Tilley; PoW
6994 Pte Henry Tompkins; PoW
4719 Pte Albert Toohey; PoW
3/7692 Pte Charles Tuck; PoW. Times omits 3/ prefix.
6950 Pte William Charles Uttridge; KiA 13 Oct 1914
8333 Cpl William Vansittart; KiA 13 Oct 1914
7588 Pte Thomas Ward; KiA 13 Oct 1914
7567 Pte Arthur Watton; PoW
7979 Pte Herbert James Watts; KiA 13 Oct 1914
8097 Pte Arthur F Weeks; PoW. Times gives forename initials A S
6860 Pte Alfred L Welch; PoW. Times gives forename initials A O
6964 Pte Albert G Westoby; PoW
7677 Pte Charles J White; PoW
9479 Pte Clarence J White; PoW
8366 Pte Sidney Wilkins; PoW
8493 Pte George O Williams; PoW
6707 L-Cpl Robert T Wills; PoW
7448 Sgt G Wilson; PoW
9417 Pte John W E Wood;  PoW
7857 Pte George Woodrow; PoW
7723 Pte William Zebedee; PoW

The first thing to note, I suppose, is that the vast majority of the men had either been taken prisoner or killed in action. There were only two men I could see who did not fit that category, one of these being discharged in 1915 and subsequently awarded a silver war badge; another man returning to his regiment only to be KiA in 1915.

The second point to note is the date on which the men were killed: 13th October 1914 (with the exception of just two men). This suggest that those men who were captured were also captured on the 13th October 1914, Bernard Linham certainly was because he was subsequently interviewed and has a report in WO 161 which notes that he was wounded and captured on that date.

The third point to note is the number of discrepancies: incorrect initials recorded, typos in the surnames, digits in regimental numbers transposed, regimental number prefixes omitted, and so on. Given that The Times published these list daily, and given the volume of names reported, it's hardly surprising that there would be errors, and I have noticed - as I have been trawling through the casualty lists, transcribing all non-fatal casualties for 1914 - that Irish Regiments are particularly prone to erroneous reporting, The Royal Irish Rifles reported as the Royal Irish Regiment, and vice versa, and the Royal Irish Fusiliers and even Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers incorrectly recorded when the correct regiment should be the Royal Irish Rifles or Royal Irish Regiment. These regiments are all being corrected in my transcribed list which, hopefully, will be complete by 2018.

Nevertheless, these newspaper lists are enormously helpful and in many cases are the only surviving source that will tell you if a man was wounded (which is the reason I am so keen on the non-fatal casualties). Furthermore, if you have access to a local library, you may well find that the library in question can provide you with FREE online access to The Times Archive.  And even if it doesn't, there's always a back-up with Findmypast which, through its partnership with the British Newspaper Archive - has published The Scotsman newspaper for the war years (and more), and within which you can find the same daily casualty lists (albeit with Scottish casualties reported first).

Remember, I research soldiers!

9 April 2017

Contemptible Little PoWs - The BEF incarcerated

Here's the slide-deck from the talk I gave on behalf of Findmypast at yesterday's WDYTYA session at the NEC in Birmingham. To all those who attended, thank you for coming.

Searching from the home page is only a realistic option if you are looking for an individual with an uncommon name. I have referred to Vernon Swatman in two posts on my Army Forms and Attestations blog. Here's one of those: Vernon Swatman's medical chart.

The documents you can typically expect to see returned in search results are transcriptions, images and PDFs.

From the home page select the search option and then choose whether to search across all records, search by category, or use the A-Z search (below).

The importance of wildcard searching cannot be under-stated. It is an extremely flexible and useful tool and you should use it with abandon. Failing to do so can seriously limit the results you can expect to see returned. The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders example below is a good example of this. Use the wildcard asterisk * with as many or as few letters as you like - and use it before and after text.

There are a number of stand-out series in Findmypast's Prisoners of War collection which covers the period 1715 to 1945. I drew attention to the records in WO 161 at The National Archives which is a series of PoW interviews conducted before the Armistice with men who had been interned, repatriated, or who had escaped. I have posted separately on Prisoner of War reports in WO 161 and included copies of the questions that were asked. This is a TERRIFIC series, worthy of serious study (not to mention further indexing).

The arrows in the image indicate the PoWs British Army cap badges and their tin badges which bear their PoW numbers.

It is common to see "P of W" written on the cards of many men who were captured in 1914; less common to see this on cards of men who were captured later than 1914. The number in the top left hand corner is an anachronistic reference to the regiment of foot; in this case the 50th regiment of Foot which was the pre July 1881 designation of the Royal West Kent Regiment.

A good example of a man with records in WO 364 (on the left) and WO 363 (the so-called "burnt documents"). The images below and in the slide after that, are Crown Copyright, The National Archives.

The images in the next two slides are also Crown Copyright, The National Archives.

The ICRC PoW collection is important but challenging to use. This is a site that would certainly benefit from improved indexing.

Some images give a wealth of information.  In the example above, in the space of three short lines, we are told date of birth, next of kin, date of capture, place of capture, the fact that the man was unwounded, and the company he was serving in. Terrific information.

This is not my image and I apologise for any infringement of copyright.

The screen grab above is from the auctioneers, Spink & Son.

Libraries probably hold out the nest hope of getting access to the Gale Cengage data. It is here that you will find images (albeit poor quality) of those lists of men who had become PoWs on or before 25th December 1914. Read more about this on my 1914 PoWs page. 

The Great War Forum is a great resource, as is The Long, Long Trail website and the Western Front Association site.

As well as the book above, also check out the British Red Cross and Order of St John Enquiry lists which are held by the IWM and which have been re-published by N&MP.

You are welcome to use and refer to these slides for your own non-commercial usage but I retain the copyright in the content and soldier images unless otherwise stated. 

And remember, I research soldiers!

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