Author Topic: Help needed with soldier who was later private in RFC and RAF in WWI  (Read 419 times)

Offline deejayEn

  • RootsChat Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 139
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Help needed with soldier who was later private in RFC and RAF in WWI
« on: Monday 23 November 20 21:43 GMT (UK) »
Help needed with soldier who was later private in RFC and RAF in WWI

I have been looking into my great uncle William (Bill) Henry Grant (born 1880 Soho, London). I know that he was a soldier in the Royal West Kent regiment from 1899 and have his attestation papers. In the Royal West Kent he rose to be a sergeant and was a PT instructor. A later search revealed that towards the end of his military career, after fighting in The Somme in 1916, he joined the RFC, the Royal Flying Corps and later the RAF. Weknew nothing about this. I can understand some of the words and abbreviations on the forms but can anyone translate what the various abbreviations and number mean from the clipping below. I can identify the School of Air Pilotage which I believe was in Wilshire but I can't work out what all the other abbrevations are. Another page lists the medals he received which are The British War and Victory medals I assume, but can someone tell me what the writing after they are listed, in two lines, means. Also can anyone tell me how/why were soldiers picked to join the RAF and why Bill was a private in the RAF while he had aben in sergeant in the army? Also the best place to find out more information about the RFC/RAF during this period of WWI.

Also I have two photographs of Bill in the army shown below. Can anyone tell me what the two medals he is wearing in the first photo are likely to be (Bill is second right, second row from bottomn, with another soldier's hand on his soldier). I think this photo dates from before WWI, possibly as early as 1901. And tell me anything about the unform and which regiment her might be in in the second picture which was taken years later when he was clearly much older.

Thanks.

Offline tonepad

  • RootsChat Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 674
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Help needed with soldier who was later private in RFC and RAF in WWI
« Reply #1 on: Monday 23 November 20 22:14 GMT (UK) »
In the last photo the cap badge looks like the RFC:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/153877789934?var=0

and he has corporal stripes on his tunic.


Tony
Aucock/Aukett~Kent/Sussex, Bing~Kent, Broadway~Oxfordshire, Danks~Warwickshire, Fenn~Kent/Norfolk, Goatham~Kent, Hunt~Kent, Parker~Middlesex, Sellers~Kent/Yorkshire, Sladden~Kent, Wright~Kent/Essex

Offline tonepad

  • RootsChat Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 674
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Help needed with soldier who was later private in RFC and RAF in WWI
« Reply #2 on: Monday 23 November 20 22:33 GMT (UK) »
The RAF was founded on 1st April 1918 by amalgamating the RFC and RNAS. Men already in the RFC were automatically transferred to the RAF on that date, as noted in the records you have posted.


Tony
Aucock/Aukett~Kent/Sussex, Bing~Kent, Broadway~Oxfordshire, Danks~Warwickshire, Fenn~Kent/Norfolk, Goatham~Kent, Hunt~Kent, Parker~Middlesex, Sellers~Kent/Yorkshire, Sladden~Kent, Wright~Kent/Essex


Offline philipsearching

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 3,906
  • Rootschat panto 2020
    • View Profile
Re: Help needed with soldier who was later private in RFC and RAF in WWI
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 24 November 20 01:47 GMT (UK) »
Can anyone tell me what the two medals he is wearing in the first photo are likely to be (Bill is second right, second row from bottomn, with another soldier's hand on his soldier). I think this photo dates from before WWI, possibly as early as 1901.

I can't get a clear image of the medals, but I think they are most likely to be the Queen's South Africa Medal and the King's South Africa Medal.

Philip
Please help me to help you by citing sources for information.

Census information is Crown Copyright http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline macwil

  • RootsChat Senior
  • ****
  • Posts: 402
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Help needed with soldier who was later private in RFC and RAF in WWI
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 24 November 20 02:57 GMT (UK) »
I concur with Philip, the medals are almost certainly the two SA medals. The photo would therefore be late 1902 at the earliest as the KSA medal was not issue before June 1902 and was never awarded alone, it was always awarded with QSA medal as recipients had to have served at least 18 months in SA to be eligible, ergo they were serving before Victoria died.
Active links are now (after 13/04/2018) indicated by bold red italics. Just click on them.
The only stupid question is the one not asked

WILSON; Lancs, Lanrks.
BERRY; Lancs.
BORASTON; Salop, Worcs,
TYLER; Salop, Herefords.

Offline ShaunJ

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 19,331
    • View Profile
Re: Help needed with soldier who was later private in RFC and RAF in WWI
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 24 November 20 08:54 GMT (UK) »
Quote
why Bill was a private in the RAF while he had aben in sergeant in the army?

The WW1 medal rolls show that he had been a Private in the Royal West Kents (regimental number 40) and subsequently a Private in the Labour Corps (318701).

He was a Private when he was wounded in July 1916 and taken to 14th Field Ambulance.
UK Census info. Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline tonepad

  • RootsChat Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 674
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Help needed with soldier who was later private in RFC and RAF in WWI
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 24 November 20 09:19 GMT (UK) »
The Labour Corps depot was in Nottingham.

That is why there is O i/c Recs Notts (Officer In Charge Records Notts) after B.W & V Medals.
The Medal Roll is stamped 18 Aug 1922.


Tony
Aucock/Aukett~Kent/Sussex, Bing~Kent, Broadway~Oxfordshire, Danks~Warwickshire, Fenn~Kent/Norfolk, Goatham~Kent, Hunt~Kent, Parker~Middlesex, Sellers~Kent/Yorkshire, Sladden~Kent, Wright~Kent/Essex

Offline deejayEn

  • RootsChat Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 139
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Help needed with soldier who was later private in RFC and RAF in WWI
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 24 November 20 12:25 GMT (UK) »
Thanks to all of you, this is fascinating stuff. The second photo came from another member of the family recently and we had never seen it before. Very interesting to know that Bill was in the RFC at that point.

Regarding the abbreviations on the form what does (what looks like) E B S of J mean? And is RL the Labour Corps? And the next line reads (from) RL (to) I $ No - what do the initials mean here?

The last two lines seem to say Cent Fly Sch and which I asume is the Central Flying School and School of Air Pilotage. I have looked these up and see they were in Andover and Upavon in Wiltshire. And I assume Sap is short for School (of) Air Pilotage. Is there a good source of information about these two bases where I can find out more with perhaps some photos?

Which part here references the field ambulance where he was wounded?

Also the stamp referenceing Census 32 Jan 1920, what does that refer to? Surely the national census was in 1921 not 1920.

Offline ShaunJ

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 19,331
    • View Profile
Re: Help needed with soldier who was later private in RFC and RAF in WWI
« Reply #8 on: Tuesday 24 November 20 12:46 GMT (UK) »
The 1916 medical record is on FindMyPast. https://www.findmypast.co.uk/transcript?id=GBM%2FMH106%2F325097
UK Census info. Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk