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.

15 May 2018

15th Hussars - other rank PoWs 1914

All of these men became prisoners of the Germans in 1914, their names appearing in a list now held by The Imperial War Museum under catalogue reference, B.O.2 1/161. This is a five-page hand-written letter  and comprises two lists with many identical details but some unique information against some men. The list is dated 13th Jan 1919. 

Amongst the unfortunate number below, the majority of whom would languish - if that's the right word - in German prison camps for the next four years - was 7368 Corporal Charles Garforth who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his valour on the 23rd August 1914 and who would later be immortalised on various editions of cigarette cards.

3401 Corporal F Abbott 
728 Lance-Corporal F Aspinall 
4502 Private W Atkins 
7323 Private W Baker 
8640 Lance-Corporal G Ball 
 123 Private F G Batt 
10189 Private J Blake 
2342 Private F A Butler 
4562 Private W Cameron 
7318 Private G Causey 
7476 Private M Crow 
7362 Private E Dallard 
4742 Trumpeter Day 
8308 Private H Edwards 
8607 Private H Fudge 

7368 Corporal Charles Ernest Garforth (above)
4774 Lance-Corporal Charles Gogarty 
746 Trumpeter G Goode 
5968 Private H Grant 
7403 Private G Hill 
656 Private A Johnson 
2494 Lance-Corporal F Johnson 
496 Private F W Johnson 
4507 Lance-Corporal A Lyons 
4412 Saddler D McDonald 
4710 Private A McFarlane 
4475 Private W S Nicholson 
124 Private F Painter 
3564 Private W Parsons 
3211 Private F Pearce 
3172 Private W Pearce 
1836 Private J Phillips 
4501 Corporal W Roffey 
4725 Private J Rooke 
998 Private G Slack 
1055 Saddler C Stunt 
2616 Private G J Trump 
1033 Private W Webb 
5450 Private H Wells 
7231 Trumpeter Whitmore 
7332 Private G Wingrove
4756 Sergeant Ernest V Winyard 
566 Private A Young

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