Author Topic: Regimental number,,, help please  (Read 240 times)

Offline auntynet

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Regimental number,,, help please
« on: Monday 12 November 18 00:36 GMT (UK) »
Hi today my cousin asked if I had found out anymore about her paternal grandfather as she had been asked 'what did he in do WW1', and the family know nothing except he served in France.

The chap in question is Frederick James Friend born 1879 in (Wickham) Suffolk.  I believe I have found him with the Suffolk regiment with the regimental number 9380.  I believe this number to be from when he joined up (unknown date) but is with Suffolk Regiment on the 1901 census and is at the Regiment depot in Ipswich.  He marries in 1903 and is not in the army in 1911.

From WW1  Medal index  cards, Suffolk Regiment is noted and reg number 9380, also listed is that he is a pioneer with the Royal Engineers with reg number 34894.  From the medal and award rolls where he is listed as Fredk J Friend with the same reg numbers his rank is A/Cpl .  Frederick received the British War Medal and the  Vctory medal

This is all I have military wise and I have access to both well known genealogy sites  and have gone through them with a fine toothcomb .  There are no other military records I can see for him.

I know which Suffolk Battalions were in France, but I don't know which one he was with and if he even was with The Suffolks.  Would he have gone out with the Suffolks and then transferred to RE or just served with RE.  Is the regimental number any use to me in research as I have been looking this evening to find out which regiment it was issued to, but can't find anything.

It would be nice for my cousins family if I could find out which battalion he served with as I could give them information from the War Diaries.


Many thanks if anyone can help would be greatly appreciated.

Jeanette




London
Mack
Scotland Fife
Johnston, Niven, Thomson, Laing, Burt, Mitchell, Ritchie, Hynd

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Offline MaxD

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Re: Regimental number,,, help please
« Reply #1 on: Monday 12 November 18 10:14 GMT (UK) »
As you've seen, there appears to be no service record for him (presumably lost in WW2).

The fact that both regiments are on his medal card indicates he did serve overseas with both.  Clutching at straws, the medal roll has a pencil alteration which seems to suggest he was with 1st Battalion Suffolks who were in France from Nov 14 to Oct 15 and then went to Salonika.  However, he hasn't got the 1914 or 1914/1915 Star which means he didn't go overseas until after 1915 so if it was 1st Bn then he went to Salonika or he served with another battalion in France and served with the RE in France.  The unknown vital fact is when did he transfer to the Royal Engineers.  I don't think his number is going to help and RE men with the rank of Pioneer were in almost all RE units (they were the lesser skilled ones).

My feeling is that you have done as much as is possible given the fact that only 40% of service records survived.

MaxD


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

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Offline auntynet

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Re: Regimental number,,, help please
« Reply #2 on: Monday 12 November 18 14:27 GMT (UK) »
Thanks for your reply Max.

I thought as much that would be as far as I could go with this.
On the medal and award rolls for the RE, there is a man from the Suffolk regiment who follows Frederick with the reg number 34895.

I know that there is information out there on regimental numbers and when and who issued, so I may pursue that line.

If not I will just try and get as much information about Pioneers in RE units and pass that onto the family.

Many thanks for your help
Jeanette
London
Mack
Scotland Fife
Johnston, Niven, Thomson, Laing, Burt, Mitchell, Ritchie, Hynd

Offline MaxD

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Re: Regimental number,,, help please
« Reply #3 on: Monday 12 November 18 15:25 GMT (UK) »
I think you may be thinking of http://armyservicenumbers.blogspot.com/ although it doesn't cover the RE.  There is unfortunately no logic that will identify an RE unit from a man's number except with the post 1917 Territorial Force re-numbering but there you need to know which unit a man was in before renumbering.  Examples:

The man with the 34895 number transferred from the training battalion of the Suffolks in UK which he joined in August 1914 to 3rd Division Signals Company RE in France in November 1914.  Your man though didn't serve in France until after 1915.
34897 joined up in 1900 in the Seaforth Highlanders and transferred to  4 Div Signals Coy.
34893 transferred from the South Irish Horse and served in 8 Signals Coy. 

If I may just add, the RE rank of Pioneer is not to be confused with the private soldiers in infantry pioneer battalions who were Privates.

Good luck
MaxD



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

Offline auntynet

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Re: Regimental number,,, help please
« Reply #4 on: Monday 12 November 18 15:57 GMT (UK) »
Thank you Max, very helpful.

Jeanette
London
Mack
Scotland Fife
Johnston, Niven, Thomson, Laing, Burt, Mitchell, Ritchie, Hynd