Author Topic: Grandad was a Royal Fusilier  (Read 5029 times)

Offline wbremner

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Re: Grandad was a Royal Fusilier
« Reply #18 on: Saturday 20 December 14 00:02 GMT (UK) »
Hi - I absolutely love the picture of your grandfather + friend. Were you able to find out anything else about his time with the BEF since you last posted on him?

I realize it has been a while, but I have been researching the Sportsman's Battalions, and other records of that time indicate that he would have enlisted with the 30th Battalion Royal Fusiliers sometime in early October 1915 (SPTS/4097 - George Percy Garnett, for example, enlisted October 5th). The 30th was a reserve unit for the 23rd and 24th Battalions.

Your grandfather was probably in training for about 5-6 months in England (Romford, Leamington, and Oxford), then went over to France some time in spring of 1916, was transferred to the 23rd Battalion, and most likely spent about a month "At Base" in Etaples before going "Up The Line".

The photo could have been taken in 1917 or 1918. I say this because his colleague is wearing a "good conduct" chevron on his left arm and the general consensus I have seen is that this was given after two years of service. Of course, his colleague might have enlisted in 1914, but let's say for the sake of argument they enlisted at the same time, then it is probably 1918.
 
My cousin Fergus Mackain (SPTS/4299 - enlisted November 2nd) drew a series of postcards about his experiences in the 30th and then the 23rd. You can see them here: Fergus Mackain's Wartime Sketches. The website with my research on the Sportsman's Battalion can be found here: Sportsman's Gazette.

Quite why they are dressed differently (one smarter than the other) is almost impossible to tell. Perhaps it was a humorous form of role reversal, or just reflects what was going on at the time the photo was taken. Have a look at the cards in the "Out on Rest" series - there are various levels of smartness displayed!

Hopefully this is useful in some way!

I have found a photo of Granddad in WW1! He is the one standing,it seems strange he is so casual when the man next to him is so very tidy(granddad was usually so pristine in his dress). I have no idea who the man with him is. I presume the photo was taken in France because it is in the form of a postcard with French writing on the reverse. There is no message or address so it wasn't posted. I thought Granddad had destroyed all the photos etc. I found this while I was sorting through my mum's belongings, also with this photo was a letter from granddad's sister Alice on the occasion of my mum's 21st. She recalled how granddad had celebrated his 21st in wartime and had asked for a razor!She had sent him one "big enough to frighten the Germans! I think I can remember my granddad showing it to me when I was little.
Regards
LInda

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Offline molar

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Re: Grandad was a Royal Fusilier
« Reply #19 on: Saturday 27 December 14 16:45 GMT (UK) »
Many thanks wbremnar.
I haven't managed to find any more info about granddad so your info is much appreciated.
Like so many of his generation my granddad did not talk about his experiences.I was 13 when granddad died and I am proud to say he was a very special person who suffered very difficult times.
Shortly before granddad died he sorted out his drawer in the sideboard, I can remember fancy postcards and his medals being in this drawer. There was also a letter from the mother of a young boy granddad had been with when he joined up/served. This young lad was under age and was very scared, granddad wrote to his parents to inform them where he was and they were able to get him home.The letter from his mother was thanking granddad. I believe the under age boy came from the Moss Side are of Manchester. Granddad burnt the contents of his drawer (apart from the medals) because he said no one would be interested ! How I wish I could tell him how interested I am!!
In the photo of granddad, is the other person a Royal Fusilier?  Just wondering if it could have been one of his brothers?  His mother counted herself lucky, she had 3 sons who went to war and returned home, her next door neighbour had 3 sons who did not return.
Allison:Atkinson:Cooper:Forster:Greenway:Grieves:Hickman(also Staffs):Mason:Reed:Tennent:Waggott: Nothumberland/Durham.
Armitage:Balam:Bowden:Dean:Etchells: Farney: Stockport /Manchester
Pollitt: Failsworth.
McVeety: Melia: Ireland/Manchester.
Wathen: Bristol
Voigt: Germany/Bristol/Manchester.
Census information is Crown Copyright,from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

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Offline wbremner

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Re: Grandad was a Royal Fusilier
« Reply #20 on: Tuesday 30 December 14 18:13 GMT (UK) »
I'm not surprised to hear about the young chap from Manchester. Unlike the 23rd and 24th Battalions, which recruited mostly from the South East, South West, Midlands, and Scotland, the 30th (Reserve) Battalion your grandfather enlisted in recruited heavily from Manchester. I suppose that this is not so strange given that the Battalion had by then moved its HQ from Hornchurch in Essex to Leamington Spa, which is closer to the Northern cities. But then why very few from Liverpool, or Leeds or Sheffield?

Yes, the other person in the photo is a Fusilier. You can tell by the cap badge. What were the names of his brothers? I can do a look-up to see if they are connected through service in the colours.

Offline molar

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Re: Grandad was a Royal Fusilier
« Reply #21 on: Tuesday 30 December 14 18:48 GMT (UK) »
Granddads brothers were Fred and Jack ( their parents gave them the the shortened version of their names). I believe granddad was the younger of the brothers. There was another, Clifford who was brought up as their brother but was in fact their nephew but I think he would have been too young to serve.
regards
Linda
Allison:Atkinson:Cooper:Forster:Greenway:Grieves:Hickman(also Staffs):Mason:Reed:Tennent:Waggott: Nothumberland/Durham.
Armitage:Balam:Bowden:Dean:Etchells: Farney: Stockport /Manchester
Pollitt: Failsworth.
McVeety: Melia: Ireland/Manchester.
Wathen: Bristol
Voigt: Germany/Bristol/Manchester.
Census information is Crown Copyright,from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline wbremner

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Re: Grandad was a Royal Fusilier
« Reply #22 on: Tuesday 30 December 14 19:58 GMT (UK) »
Were their parents William and Hannah?

Offline molar

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Re: Grandad was a Royal Fusilier
« Reply #23 on: Tuesday 30 December 14 20:02 GMT (UK) »
Yes that's correct. Originally from Newton (Newton Heath ) area and later Failsworth.
Allison:Atkinson:Cooper:Forster:Greenway:Grieves:Hickman(also Staffs):Mason:Reed:Tennent:Waggott: Nothumberland/Durham.
Armitage:Balam:Bowden:Dean:Etchells: Farney: Stockport /Manchester
Pollitt: Failsworth.
McVeety: Melia: Ireland/Manchester.
Wathen: Bristol
Voigt: Germany/Bristol/Manchester.
Census information is Crown Copyright,from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline wbremner

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Re: Grandad was a Royal Fusilier
« Reply #24 on: Tuesday 30 December 14 20:41 GMT (UK) »
This is from the 1911 census... plus  I added their ages in 1915 (in parentheses).

HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS:   
NAME   AGE  (1915)
William Dean   43
Hannah Dean   43
Fred Dean   23  (27)
Alice Ann Dean   22
William Dean   19  (23)
John Dean   17 (21)
Tom Dean   15 (19)

I'm assuming that Jack and John were the same person, but were William and Clifford the same person?

I found a John Dean who also served in 23rd RF, his number was 4377, so quite similar to Tom, but probably not his brother as he died in 1917, and I think you said that they all survived the war.

A broader search reveals there were various Fred Deans (and other John Deans) who served with various battalions in the Fusiliers regiment but I suspect it would take a lot more effort to research them all and try and tie them back to Tom. So I guess it is possible to say that the other soldier in the photograph could be Tom's brother, and they could have met up in France while serving in the Fusiliers.

I hope that is helpful...

Offline Rourkous

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Re: Grandad was a Royal Fusilier
« Reply #25 on: Tuesday 06 January 15 23:42 GMT (UK) »
Hi Linda - Keep on with this one - if You think it is him. I was a tennis player in my "TIME" but my grandkids wouldn't know that! So maybe your Grandad was an avid sportsman in his young days and You just haven't heard that!! All the best! Rourkous!