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General => Armed Forces => Topic started by: maggbill on Thursday 28 October 21 06:18 BST (UK)

Title: Gordon Highlanders enlistments WW1
Post by: maggbill on Thursday 28 October 21 06:18 BST (UK)
Have done lots of research on my OH's grandfather Donald Stewart b. 1885, have him in Scottish census 1891, fail to find in 1901 census.  He was killed in Belgium, March 1916 with the Gordon Highlanders, military number  3/5398, 1st Battalion. An Aberdeen Express article, dated 27 March 1916 said that he was "in the Gordon Highlanders from age of 14" which would equal 1899.
I have  lots of info including his Medal Roll Index, his UK Register of Soldiers effects, his WW1 pension granted to his wife Johanna McKay but have not found enlistment.
So, the questions I would like  to answer are -  when did Donald enlist with the Gordon Highlanders? 1899 age 14?  The only place I find an "enlistment date" is on a  FindMyPast transcription page which states "Place of Enlistment Aberdeen, Year 1916".  This is definitely wrong. Anyone have any ideas of "early enlistment" records for Gordon Highlanders"??
Would he have been with The Gordon Highlanders in the 1901 census?  Should still find him surely?  Or could they have been out of Scotland?  Any ideas very welcome
Title: Re: Gordon Highlanders enlistments WW1
Post by: maggbill on Thursday 28 October 21 06:30 BST (UK)
Wooops  - have resurrected old post of 2011.. how time flies...  and I see the suggestion was made to contact "Family Research Enquiries Gordon Highlanders museum Aberdeen. museum@gordonhighlanders.com  Not sure - vague memory of the museum being contacted and not able to help.  Will try again, though old email might not be appropriate after all this time... 
Title: Re: Gordon Highlanders enlistments WW1
Post by: maggbill on Thursday 28 October 21 06:52 BST (UK)
Again replying to my own post!  On checking Donalds wedding info to Johanna McKay in 1914, he states he is a "Shore Labourer (Private 3rd Battalion Gordon Highlanders Special Reserve)" - didn't remember these details.  Puts a different light on story - could have been in the Reserve from age 14 - but still not answering question of enlistment and why not finding in 1901 census.  Have just emailed the Gordon Highlanders Museum - so will let you know if any response.  .... Have just received automated reply - Museum up and functioning... so here's keeping fingers crossed.
Title: Re: Gordon Highlanders enlistments WW1
Post by: tonepad on Thursday 28 October 21 07:00 BST (UK)
There are two Private Donald Stewart's in the 3rd Gordon Highlanders for the 1901 census:

Born abt 1882
Aldershot Military in Stanhope and Wellington Lines, Hampshire, England 1901

No service number recorded and place of birth only Scotland


Tony
Title: Re: Gordon Highlanders enlistments WW1
Post by: Neale1961 on Thursday 28 October 21 07:41 BST (UK)
Do you know where he was born? Ancestry has the following 3 possible enlistments:

Name:   Donald Stewart
Gender:   Male
Marital status:   Single
Age:   18
Birth Year:   abt 1884
Birth Place:   Jeraermie, Jeraermie, Aberdeen, Scotland
Enlistment Date:   21 Jan 1902
Enlistment Place:   Aberdeen Scotland
Regiment:   75th Foot (Gordon Highlanders)
Service Number:   3698

Name:   Donald Stewart
Gender:   Male
Marital status:   Single
Age:   18
Birth Year:   abt 1882
Birth Place:   Fraserburgh, Fraserbrugh, Aberdeen, Scotland
Enlistment Date:   20 Jan 1900
Enlistment Place:   Old Deer Scotland
Regiment:   75th Foot (Gordon Highlanders)
Service Number:   3262

Name:   Donald Stewart
Gender:   Male
Marital status:   Single
Age:   17
Birth Year:   abt 1881
Birth Place:   Daviot, Inverarie, Aberdeen, Scotland
Enlistment Date:   30 Nov 1898
Enlistment Place:   Aberdeen Scotland
Regiment:   75th Foot (Gordon Highlanders)
Service Number:   3098
Title: Re: Gordon Highlanders enlistments WW1
Post by: maggbill on Thursday 28 October 21 07:56 BST (UK)
Thank you very much for the info Neale and Tonepad.

Neale - dont think it is any of those 3.  Although my Donald was of the "Aberdeen Stewarts" - he was born in Barvas Isle of Lewis in 1885.  Interesting, I had never seen the Gordon Highlanders listed as 75th Foot.. Don't know much about the military history.

Tonepad - Can't remember way back when i did most of my research, if I tried to do the English census - so focused on Scotlandspeople.  Again the birth of the one in Aldershot is a bit out, both in place and year. 
Will be intereting to see if the Gord. Highlanders museum have any hints.
Title: Re: Gordon Highlanders enlistments WW1
Post by: jim1 on Thursday 28 October 21 17:06 BST (UK)
First thing to say is that 1/GH were in S. Africa in 1899
which might account for you not finding him in 1901.
The prefix "3" was applied to men joining the Special Reserve (6 years)
with the understanding they could be called up to full time service in
the event of a national emergency.
However the S. Reserve wasn't formed until 1908.
If he was in the S.R. his number indicates an attestation of 1911-12.
The 1st. Btn. didn't use the "3" prefix so an anomaly I need to look at.
His war gratuity (red box) states his widow received 6 10s.
The calculation is 5 for the 1st. year + 10s. per month thereafter meaning
he had 1 year & 3 months service up to his time of death in Mar. 1916.
This gives an attestation date of around Xmas 1914.
Title: Re: Gordon Highlanders enlistments WW1
Post by: CraigM63 on Thursday 28 October 21 18:02 BST (UK)
His entry in the 1914 Star roll, however, gives his initial date of entry into a theatre of war as 11 November 1914, so he couldn't have enlisted around Christmas 1915, or even Christmas 1914.

There are a total of five D Stewart's in the South Africa - Second Boer War campaign medal rolls serving with the 1st Battalion of the Gordon Highlanders. Unfortunately beyond giving their service numbers, there is very little additional information:
 

Looking at Paul Nixon's army service numbers site produces a range of possible enlistment dates for the above service numbers:

https://armyservicenumbers.blogspot.com/2009/10/gordon-highlanders-1st-2nd-battalions.html (https://armyservicenumbers.blogspot.com/2009/10/gordon-highlanders-1st-2nd-battalions.html)

As far as the 3rd Battalion goes, his service number would indicate an enlistment sometime between the following dates:

https://armyservicenumbers.blogspot.com/2019/02/3rd-special-reserve-battalion-gordon.html (https://armyservicenumbers.blogspot.com/2019/02/3rd-special-reserve-battalion-gordon.html)
Title: Re: Gordon Highlanders enlistments WW1
Post by: CraigM63 on Thursday 28 October 21 20:47 BST (UK)
One useful way of narrowing down enlistment dates is to have a look at the Silver War Badge records, as these record the date that a soldier first enlisted. Looking through these records, and searching for anyone who was serving with a regiment with Gordon in the title, and a service number starting with 3/ produces the following:

Unfortunately there is a dearth of service numbers starting with 3/53, and if you're searching on Ancestry don't search for the Gordon Highlanders, as whoever indexed most of the Gordon Highlander records has recorded them as the Gordon Hussars. So best guess is he enlisted in the 3rd Battalion sometime in mid-1909. 
Title: Re: Gordon Highlanders enlistments WW1
Post by: maggbill on Thursday 28 October 21 22:20 BST (UK)
Wow everyone, and Thank you

Trust Rootshchatters to be so knowledgeable, and generous with time and effort.  Not quite 8 a.m. here in Australia, and just getting organised to set off to my volunteer job (Not genealogy!) - Will need some time to assimilate and mull over all your info.  Will get back to you!
Title: Re: Gordon Highlanders enlistments WW1
Post by: maggbill on Friday 29 October 21 11:02 BST (UK)
Hi again friends,

Busy day for me, and still have to "take in" all the info given.  Have received very nice reply from Gordon Highlanders museum... as they are all volunteers, it might quite some weeks before they find anything of help...  In the meantime I have just done a "google" wander and have found the following website which is very very interesting... Not sure if you know of it... it is http://gordonhighlanders.carolynmorrisey.com/BattalionRoll.htm
?? Relevancy?  Very interesting.. Will get more into it all tomorrow.
Title: Re: Gordon Highlanders enlistments WW1
Post by: maggbill on Monday 01 November 21 06:19 GMT (UK)
Hi again,
Still working on the information you all very kindly found for me.  Still not found Donalds attestation, nor 1901 census, might never - but in the meantime I am learning so much more about military stuff.  The Gordon Highlanders Museum might in the future come up with something for me - who knows.
I am a bit limited, not having Anc. full membership - so haven't checked out English 1901 census.  (vague thought being Donald was down South, with the regiment or some sort of training???)  Not found him on Family Search UK census... Had a look at armyservicenumbers - not found him on FindMyPast service records.  Most of his children born after 1903 were in Aberdeen(shire) ... it is those damn earlier years which are so elusive.  So, even if with all your info we think his attestation with Gordons was somewhere between 1908 and 1910.. linking it with births  - He and Johanna McKay his wife had various childen before their marriage in 1914 - they had twins in 1907  - he is listed as father - then two other children in 1908 and 1910 - these two listed as "illegitimate - mother Johanna McKay" - no father.  I believe that if the father of the illegitimate child presented at the registration he could be named, otherwise not.  So is this more evidence to his attestation/ some sort of military training at this time?   
Anyway - again I am very thankful for your help - Tony - Jim1, CraigM63, - will await the Gordons Museum info - but have already learnt a lot more!
Title: Re: Gordon Highlanders enlistments WW1
Post by: middlesbrough on Monday 01 November 21 08:50 GMT (UK)
The newspaper article says he left six children. Was he or she previously married because he was only married for two years?
Title: Re: Gordon Highlanders enlistments WW1
Post by: maggbill on Monday 01 November 21 21:02 GMT (UK)
Hiya middlesborough

No, Donald wasn't previously married, nor was Johanna.  They were forerunners of todays young people inasmuch as they weren't great ones for the formality of marriage!  Donald in particular was a Highland Traveller, who were too busy surviving to bother about things like that.  They did in fact get married in 1914, just before Donald went off to war.  Let's face it, in those days there wasn't a social welfare system, and it was an insurance policy in case he didn't survive (died in fact in Belgium 1916) - so at least they knew that she would get a War Pension to help raise the children.