22 June 2019

Don't always trust the MIC

This email had me scratching my head earlier in the week:

"I was interested in your series of numbers and enlistment dates on your website relating to the London Irish. On your site 3290 enlisted on 23 April 1915 and yet 4255, W M Torrington's medal record card shows that he went with the 1st Bn to France on 9/3/1915. Any thoughts?"

I checked the Medal index card (MIC), above, and the regimental number sequences for the 18th (County of London) Battalion, the London Regiment (London Irish). The MIC and my sequences are clearly at odds with each other and as far as I was concerned, 4255 could not date to any earlier than November 1915. Yet here was a man with that number who had, according to the medal index card and the 1914-15 Star medal roll arrived overseas on the 9th March 1915.

Fortunately this man - W M Forrington, rather than Torrington - has papers in WO 364 and these reveal (above) that he originally arrived overseas with a Territorial Force unit of the Army Service Corps, transferring to the 18th London Regiment on the 18th November 1915. Mystery solved, but only thanks to surviving service papers. The MIC and the medal roll suggest an entirely different, and puzzling story.

Contact me if you need help.

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