Author Topic: Soldier attached to Machine Gun Corps - which War Diary do I need?  (Read 306 times)

Offline Matt R

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Soldier attached to Machine Gun Corps - which War Diary do I need?
« on: Tuesday 18 September 18 18:24 BST (UK) »
Hello all,

I hope that someone may be able to add some clarity to a problem I have researching an ancestor of mine who fought in the First World War.

The man I am researching is my great, great grandfather, Sergeant 15471 Thomas James Griffiths, who served with 5th (Pioneer) Battalion South Wales Borderers from 1915 and was demobbed in 1919. According to the medal rolls compiled in 1920, he is listed as being 'attached to 19th Machine Gun Corps'.

So here's the issue I have: Thomas' service record does not survive so I am relying on a medal card to give me the date he went overseas and the war diaries of the 5/SWB. But because he is listed as being attached to the Machine Gun Corps, I am confused as to precisely which war diary I need to look at.

A brief look at the war diary for the 5th Bn SWB tells me there was indeed a machine gun section in the battalion which occasionally conducted duties away from the bulk of the battalion, but what I really would appreciate some clarity on is whether I rely on the SWB war diaries for Sgt Griffiths' movements or is there a MGC diary somewhere that I need to find instead/as well?

Any help that any of you awesome people could provide on this would be warmly welcomed; it's difficult not having his service record and as a result I am relying heavily on war diaries, and so I'm obviously keen to get his movements correct.

Thanks for reading this post and in anticipation,
Matt.
UK Census info. Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

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Offline MaxD

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Re: Soldier attached to Machine Gun Corps - which War Diary do I need?
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 18 September 18 19:38 BST (UK) »
The use of initials MGC indicates Machine Gun Corps rather than the MG sections in his SWB Battalion.  5 SWB was in 19 Division in which, in March 1918, 19 Battalion Machine Gun Corps was formed.
He kept his SWB number and is described as attached so not posted to 19 Bn MGC but working with them at the end of the war. Given that 19 Bn MGC didn't exist before March 1918, you shoud look at the one diary;
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7353031
He may have been attached before that date to one of the three MGC Companies that were themselves formed in Feb 1916 but I'd suggest not as it would have been likely for him to have been posted rather than attached.

Start with the Bn diary which is on Ancestry if you have a sub.  https://www.ancestry.co.uk/interactive/60779/43112_2071_0-00272?pid=362967&backurl=https://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?_phsrc%3DJdV8016%26_phstart%3DsuccessSource%26usePUBJs%3Dtrue%26indiv%3D1%26db%3Dukwardiarieswwi%26cp%3D0%26gskw%3D2071/2%26new%3D1%26rank%3D1%26redir%3Dfalse%26uidh%3D6x5%26gss%3Dangs-d%26pcat%3D39%26fh%3D31%26h%3D362967%26recoff%3D%26fsk%3DBELFl5wIgADtawADMNY-61-%26bsk%3D%26pgoff%3D%26ml_rpos%3D32&treeid=&personid=&hintid=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=JdV8016&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true#?imageId=43112_2071_0-00379

Read also the later part of 5 SWB diary, you may find reference to men moving to 19 Bn MGC

MaxD

PS  The 5 SWB diary and the 19 Bn MGC are in the same set so for 5 SWB start at the beginning of the diary linked above
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Offline MaxD

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Re: Soldier attached to Machine Gun Corps - which War Diary do I need?
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 20 September 18 15:56 BST (UK) »
Matt

I hope the info is of use.

MaxD
Double  Essex/Suffolk
Randle/Millington Warwicks
Sokser/Klingler Austria/Croatia