RootsChat.Com

General => Armed Forces => World War One => Topic started by: Flowed on Friday 09 March 18 03:05 GMT (UK)

Title: Service numbers
Post by: Flowed on Friday 09 March 18 03:05 GMT (UK)
Hi everyone. I've had no joy finding records of my grandfather's war service, however on photos he always wears the same badge. A relative messages me that it has the number 102146 on it. Is this a service number? I can't make out what the badge actually looks like or says. His name is William King though. Help.
Title: Re: Service numbers
Post by: Flowed on Friday 09 March 18 03:09 GMT (UK)
Oh, and I should have said that he would have been with British forces in WW1.
Title: Re: Service numbers
Post by: rosie99 on Friday 09 March 18 08:42 GMT (UK)
Over 50% of WW1 service records were destroyed in WW2 so you may never find anything for him

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/pathways/firstworldwar/service_records/sr_soldiers.htm
Title: Re: Service numbers
Post by: MaxD on Friday 09 March 18 09:17 GMT (UK)
 It certainly looks like a service number but of the 17 men with a service number 102146 for whom some record survives, none are your man.  Rosie is absolutely right, it is a needle in an unknown haystack at the moment!

Might be worth posting a clip of the badge which someone may be able to identify.  If it is a medal, then it would be engraved around the edge if round or on the back if a star.  If it is a unit badge then they didn't have numbers (except regiment numbers sometimes).  Presumably he s in uniform when wearing the badge, that may be identifiable, can we see that?

MaxD
Title: Re: Service numbers
Post by: jim1 on Friday 09 March 18 10:48 GMT (UK)
If it's a badge it may also be the SWB. If he's in civvies.
Title: Re: Service numbers
Post by: MaxD on Friday 09 March 18 11:52 GMT (UK)
Didn't find a Silver War Badge with that service number Jim although some with 2 regiments shown so could be the "other" number.

MaxD
Title: Re: Service numbers
Post by: Gwil on Friday 09 March 18 18:00 GMT (UK)
There is a Silver War Badge for a William King (shown as Wm) 2147 in 8th Manchesters. It has that badge number quoted in post one.
Enlisted 9 3 1914 and discharged wounded 30 5 1916.
No records apparent.

Landed Egypt 25 9 1914.

Wounded in Gallipoli most likely.

1/8th (Ardwick) Battalion
August 1914 : in Ardwick. Part of Manchester Brigade, East Lancashire Division.
Record same as 1/5th Bn.
19 february 1918 : transferred to 126th Brigade in same Division.

1/5th Battalion
August 1914 : in Bank Chambers, Wigan. Part of Manchester Brigade, East Lancashire Division. Moved to near Rochdale.
25 September 1914 : landed at Alexandria in Egypt.
6 May 1915 : landed on Gallipoli.
26 May 1915 : formation became 127th Brigade, 42nd (East Lancashire) Division.
28 December 1915 : evacuated from Gallipoli, landed on Mudros and proceeded to Egypt.
2March 1917 : landed Marseilles and proceeded to the Western Front.
Title: Re: Service numbers
Post by: MaxD on Friday 09 March 18 18:49 GMT (UK)
Good spot Gwil, must have a word with my optician!

MaxD
Title: Re: Service numbers
Post by: Flowed on Friday 09 March 18 22:37 GMT (UK)
YOU FOLK ARE TOTALLY AMAZING!!! And Gwil I strongly suspect you have found the right man as William was from Ardwick, Manchester and I always thought he'd been in Gallipoli but can't pinpoint where or when I heard that; just random information which has floated up through the passage of time.
One question which has me puzzled....If William was discharged injured on 30 May 1916 why would he be arriving at the Western Front in March 1917? Called up again? If so then I can see that we as a family were extremely fortunate to get him back a second time, and that we are all here today as a result. I can remember him showing me his war-wounds...very deep scars where chunks of flesh had disappeared.

Oh, and what does a Silver Badge represent? I am still waiting for a nephew to send me a photo of the badge but he does say that from memory words on it say something about Britain and Returned Soldiers.

I'm arriving in England in September to do what I'm calling The Grandad Trail, visiting sites where I know he was and lived/worked etc, so I am SO SO thrilled to have the gap of his war years very likely filled in  :D THANKS AGAIN


Title: Re: Service numbers
Post by: Gwil on Friday 09 March 18 22:48 GMT (UK)
Here's some info about the Silver War Badge
http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/soldiers/how-to-research-a-soldier/campaign-medal-records/records-of-the-silver-war-badge/

In my post above I pasted the activity of the battalion for the war in it's entirety. William would not have been part of that activity after his discharged date. I was not suggesting he re enlisted.
Title: Re: Service numbers
Post by: Flowed on Friday 09 March 18 22:52 GMT (UK)
Ok. Understood. Thanks Gwil. I've just found out that the badge reads For King and Country. Services Rendered.
Title: Re: Service numbers
Post by: MaxD on Saturday 10 March 18 09:31 GMT (UK)
In addition to his SWB, his service entitled him to the 194-1915 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.  They are all recorded on his medal card attached.  The card gives the date he went overseas on the way to Gallipoli which accords with this account which will be of interest http://www.themanchesters.org/8th%20batt.htm. The war diaries referred to are those for the later deployment in France.  The war diary for the Gallipoli period is included in the brigade diary at
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C4557469 which has unfortunately not been digitised.

MaxD
Title: Re: Service numbers
Post by: Flowed on Saturday 10 March 18 11:30 GMT (UK)
WOW....thanks A LOT MaxD for the info and the research addresses. I had no idea any medals were involved. That's awesome to know.
Thanks so much for your interest and help everybody. I am so much further ahead than I was this time yesterday. And the young man in our family who has inherited Grandad's SWB is overwhelmed to know the precious history behind it.
Title: Re: Service numbers
Post by: Flowed on Tuesday 13 March 18 10:42 GMT (UK)
Hi again. I realise I may not be able to get a definitive answer to the following questions, but here goes. Best guess is fine.

I've done some digging since the last posting, and when I add the findings to the info you gave me I find that granddads brigade :-
         --took part in the 3rd Battle of Krithia (6-13 Aug 1915) and thereafter and for the rest of the Gallipoli campaign they were involved in trench warfare including around Fusilier Bluff.
         --Evacuation from Gallipoli ...28th Dec.1915
         --Returned to Egypt via Mudros (on Island of Lemnos)...January 1916 where they were      employed in defence of the Suez Canal.
         --Grandad discharged from the army, wounded, 4 months later on 30 May, 3 months short of the battle at Ramani against the Ottoman empire on the Sinai Peninsula (so wounds were not inflicted there).

I'm assuming then that his wounds may have been inflicted at Gallipoli, and my question is....was it common then for injured men to remain in overseas hospitals for that length of time before being discharged or sent home? Did most recovery time happen while still overseas? And at what point were men usually discharged.....when deemed unable to continue as a soldier, or on arrival back in the homeland?




Title: Re: Service numbers
Post by: MaxD on Tuesday 13 March 18 11:24 GMT (UK)
Starting at the end, discharge took place in UK but knowing how long he spent in hospital overseas and how long at home I would not like to guess, much would depend on the severity of the wounding.   There are all sorts of scenarios, each probably as valid as the rest:
Wounded at Gallipoli, evacuated by hospital ship to Egypt while Gallipoli still going on, evacuated to England, discharge.
Wounded on the Suez Canal (there were minor engagements before Romani, there didn't have to be a named battle going on for folk to be wounded), hospital there and later back home.
The length of time between the end of the Gallipoli campaign and his discharge suggests either severe wounding there that took a long time to treat or wounding after Gallipoli at who knows where/when.
Not really a best guess, just some ramblings!  Proof of any scenario- unlikely, I lean to the after Gallipoli scenario.

MaxD


Title: Re: Service numbers
Post by: Flowed on Tuesday 13 March 18 11:35 GMT (UK)
Thought so. Good to get a second opinion. Many thanks  :D