Author Topic: Arthur Morgan - WWI - Help with War Records  (Read 215 times)

Offline cam12

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Arthur Morgan - WWI - Help with War Records
« on: Thursday 26 November 20 19:39 GMT (UK) »
Hello - I would appreciate any input or comments regarding the following about a great uncle of mine who served (and died) during WWI.

My great grandfather, John Morgan, married Bridget Grimes in Clontibret, Co. Monaghan, Ireland in 1896, then moved to Staffordshire, England to work in the coal mines.  The family grew with the birth of: Arthur (1898), Bridget Mary (who went by the name of "Cissie" in the family), Margaret, & John. My great grandmother died about 1908, & after the 1911 England & Wales Census, the remaining family returned to Clontibret, Ireland.

My questions are in regard to the WWI service of the eldest son, Arthur Morgan, who was 13 at the time of the 1911 England & Wales Census, which shows him being born: Butts Lane, Audley, Staffordshire

Based on family oral history, Arthur served and died (in France) & the family still has the Memorial Plaque (Dead Man's Penny?) - but no paperwork.

I have been able to substantiate this history via several records:

UK World War One Pension Ledgers & Index Cards: Arthur Morgan, Rank: Private; Death Date: 15 August 1917; Death Place: France; Service Number: 5418; Regiment: R. Irish C & H.

Ireland's Memorial Records 1914 - 1918 page 204 it states: "Morgan, Arthur. Reg. No. 5418. Rank, Private, Royal Irish Regiment, 6th Batt.; died of wounds, France, August 10, 1917; born Audley, Staffordshire."

Arthurís burial records show: Private Morgan #5418 Royal Irish Regiment d: 10 August 1917; buried: Brandhoek New Military Cemetery VI.B.3

The last piece of convincing evidence that this is indeed my great uncle is his handwritten Will in his service file which states that he wished to leave money to "my sisters Maggie & Cissie Morgan, Drumnart, Clontibret ... his brother John ... and anything remaining to his father, John Morgan...".

The mystery is that I have ALSO found on Ancestry UK British Army World War One Pension Records 1914 - 1920 - "Proceedings on Discharge #14638" what appears to be the very SAME Arthur Morgan ... who enlisted ... but was then discharged after 210 days of service, at age 19 years, on 8 July 1916 as considered medically unfit to serve (due to poor eyesight, which he suffered from birth and not something the result of Military Service).

Here Arthur Morgan is shown as: No. 5272 Rank: Private; Royal Irish Rifles, 3rd Bat. Place of Discharge: Dublin. On Page 7 of the report it shows his next of kin as James Morgan, Drumnart, Clontibret, Father (should have said "John") but importantly is Place of Birth: "Butt Lane North Staff."

It appears to me that these are the very same Arthur Morgan who seems to have enlisted in late 1915 ... been discharged in July 1916 as Medically Unfit to serve ... and then presumably re-enlisted, only to die in France less than a year later, in August 1917.

I have been unable to find Arthur's Enlistment Papers for his 2nd round of service - I was hoping they might provide some insight as to why he joined up again ... OR ... is this something that often happened, as the war progressed, and perhaps more soldiers were needed.

Any comments would be appreciated.  Thanks, in advance, for your help. 
Regards from Canada

Online AllanUK

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Re: Arthur Morgan - WWI - Help with War Records
« Reply #1 on: Friday 27 November 20 10:52 GMT (UK) »

Have you considered that there were 2 Arthur Morgans born in the 1890's?

The civil registrations show an Arthur Morgan who's birth was registered in the September quarter 1895 and also an Arthur Morgan in the December quarter of 1898. Both births were registered in the same registration district.

The one born in 1895 would have been just over 19 years old in December 1915, the date of attestation on the WW1 Pension Record that you found. This Arthur enlisted into the 3rd Battalion of the RIR (service number 3/5272) and was invalided out the following year. More importantly, this Arthur received a Silver War Badge which was issued to him on the 15 September 1921 (see attached image, courtesy of Find My Past). As far as I am aware, Silver War Badges were only issued to men who had been invalided out and who were alive. There is also the discrepancy of the name of the father of this Arthur.

It maybe that you will have to purchase the birth certificate of the Arthur born in 1895 to prove that the name of the father was James.

Offline jim1

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Re: Arthur Morgan - WWI - Help with War Records
« Reply #2 on: Friday 27 November 20 14:52 GMT (UK) »
When you get this kind of confusion the thing to do is try & debunk it.
As AllanUk said is there another Arthur Morgan born c. 1897 Butt Lane with father James, well if there is I can't find him.
In fact I can't find an Arthur with this DOB with father James anywhere in Staffs.
So a high probability you are correct in your assumption.
As conscription had just been introduced there may have been a changing of minds as he fitted the criteria
for the first intake.
He would have stated on his attestation that he had previously served in the RIR & he'd been discharged
but post Somme Offensive this probably fell on deaf ears.
The date of issue I believe is incorrect. That date is when the records were compiled as post 1919 the SWB became surplus to requirements.
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Offline cam12

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Re: Arthur Morgan - WWI - Help with War Records
« Reply #3 on: Monday 30 November 20 21:06 GMT (UK) »
AllanUK & Jim1 - thank you both for your input ... it is always good to get a fresh set of eyes on these things.  I bumped into this conflicting information about 6 years ago, & then just set it aside ... but I have always wondered.

I too started off assuming that these were probably 2 different Arthur Morgans ... but the fact that my great grandparents did not even marry until 1896 in Clontibret, and by all accounts did not even leave Ireland to go to Staffordshire until after that, made it seem unlikely to me that the Arthur Morgan born in Staffordshire in 1895 was related.

Also, the year-of-birth of 1898 is consistent with the correct Morgan family in both the 1901 & 1911 England & Wales census ... both of which show Arthur born in Butts Lane. The fact that the Arthur Morgan #5272, who was medically discharged ALSO said that he was born specifically in Butts Lane, Staffordshire ... and that his father (albeit referred to as James versus John) is from Clontibret, Drumnart, Ireland ... just seems like an awfully big coincidence to me.

I feel VERY confident that the Arthur Morgan who died (#5418) is definitely my great-uncle, especially after I found the copy of his Will ... with the very specific mention of his siblings & father by name (and who but someone close to the family would know that his sister, "Bridget Mary", went by the nickname of "Cissie" ... who was my Grandmother, BTW).

I did not know about the Silver War Badge awarded to Arthur Morgan #5272 ... so I will look into that further  - thanks!

And I am still hoping that if I can find Arthur's papers when he re-enlisted ...  as you pointed out ... it may refer to his earlier service ... which would give definitive proof that these Arthur Morgans are one-in-the-same.

If they still exist, maybe I can contact the Royal Irish Regiment directly - I will check into that.

Thanks again for your comments & taking the time to look into this!! Stay safe & well!