Author Topic: Labour Corps Soldier  (Read 338 times)

Offline nrsclark

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Labour Corps Soldier
« on: Monday 30 November 20 19:04 GMT (UK) »
My great grandfather served altogether between 1915 and 1917. This is what I know:-
 
Name - Clark, John Edgar
Enlisted 17.5.1909
Regimental Number - 1189 6th Essex Regiment (TF), Private
Labour Corps 89182 (149th Company ex 3rd Lancs FA or possibly 3rd Lon FA, also 491 Labour Corps ex E Yorks)
Discharged 21.12.1917
 
There is another number 204294 mentioned on his Medal Roll Index card, in the top right hand corner.
 
He was initially deployed with the Essex Regiment at Gallipoli (24.7.1915 from Devonport).
On October 2nd 1915 hospitalised on Malta (note sent home from Warley office)
 
After his hospitalisation date, I have no knowledge of what became of him except that at some point he transferred into the Labour Corps, and was there at his time of discharge, due to sickness. And that he did survive the war.
 
His medal cards state that the Balkans was his first theatre of war which tallies with Gallipoli. He also received the Victory Medal, British Medal and 15 Star according to Ancestry. Nothing else to go on except his Labour Corps service number. It would be great to know something more of his service.

Offline tonepad

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Re: Labour Corps Soldier
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 01 December 20 09:10 GMT (UK) »
Welcome to RootsChat :)

As your great grandfather enlisted in 1909, he should be on the 1911 Census as serving in the army.
Do you have his date and place of birth?


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 jim1

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Re: Labour Corps Soldier
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 01 December 20 11:05 GMT (UK) »
 
Quote
he should be on the 1911 Census as serving in the army
He was TF.
His 6 digit number is as a result of the TF re-organisation early 1917 when
they were re-numbered.
His LC number puts him in (what was) the 11th. Infantry Labour Coy. Northants. Regt.
Warks:Ashford;Cadby;Clarke;Clifford;Cooke Copage;Easthope;
Edmonds;Felton;Colledge;Lutwyche;Mander(s);May;Poole;Withers.
Staffs.Edmonds;Addison;Duffield;Webb;Fisher;Archer
Salop:Easthope,Eddowes,Hoorde,Oteley,Vernon,Talbot,De Neville.
Notts.Clarke;Redfearne;Treece.
Som.May;Perriman;Cox
India Kane;Felton;Cadby
London.Haysom.
Lancs.Gay.
Worcs.Coley;Mander;Sawyer.
Kings of Wessex & Scotland
Census information is Crown copyright,from
www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/


Offline nrsclark

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Re: Labour Corps Soldier
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 01 December 20 11:45 GMT (UK) »
Hi Tony
His DOB was 17.12.1885 in Bermondsey. His initial elistment in 1909 was in the Territorial Force, so in the 1911 census his occupation was a typewriter mechanic, not listed as a full time soldier. I assume this what the 6th Essex Regiment (service number 1189 refers to).
On. his Army Form B 2067 it states
- Territorial Force 5 years, 80 days, so this covers 17/5/1909 through to 5/8/1914 which was the start of WW1.
The form also states 3 years and 139 days having previously served in The Essex, Middlesex, Cheshire Regiments and Royal Field Artillery. And the Labour Corps which was his final assignment. This period covers from 5/8/1914 through to 21/12/1917.
There is a further breakdown of his service.
- Mediterranean Expeditionary Force - 278 days
- Expeditionary Force France - 223 days
And then finally Discharge on 21/12/1917.
I would like to learn more of his actual movements if that's possible. For instance, does the MEF period start on 5/8/1914 or on 8/7/1915 when he was called up to be sent to Gallipoli. Did the soldiers at Gallipoli get sent to Salonika, Egypt or elsewhere after the withdrawal.

His War Badge Form for the 149th Company Labour Corps mentions the 3rd London Royal Filed Artillery.

Thanks in advance for any info you can provide. Nick

Offline MaxD

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Re: Labour Corps Soldier
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 02 December 20 10:35 GMT (UK) »
It would help to see the original document you cite which I should be able to find but have not been successful, can you post a link?  The dates of each unit are necessary to make a coherent story, particularly with the number of units you list and none ahow the battalion.

Some minor points can be unravelled.

Answering whether a unit stayed in the Middle East after Gallipoli depends on knowing which unit.  He went with 6 Essex as you know.  The battalion stayed in Egypt after Gallipoli for the rest of the war so he patently didn't. His 278 days in the MEF started 24 July 1915 (1914/1915 Star roll) which suggests he left theatre about May 1916.  If there is no "home"  between MEF and BEF then he went straight to France but not with 6 Essex.

I don't believe the SWB form says Field Artillery,  Although it was the Royal Field Artillery, units did not have titles such as appears there.  The Lancs RFA units were either East Lancs or West Lancs, same thing applies to the Lancs Field Ambulances.
 I believe here that FA stands here for Field Ambulance, the record is badly amended as you know and his SWB card which is clearer gives 3rd Lond (for London) FA http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D1811580.

149 Company Labour Corps did not receive that title until May 1917,  If he had joined them earlier when, as Jim1 says, they were called 11 Infantry Labour Company Northants then we would expect to see the Northants Regiment in the lists.

His 204294 number is, again as Jim1 says, the new number allocated in the general TF 1917 renumbering, his shows his initial unit when he joined was 4 Essex which makes sense.

Sight of what you have may clarify this further.

MaxD

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

Offline nrsclark

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Re: Labour Corps Soldier
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday 02 December 20 11:35 GMT (UK) »
Hi MaxD
I am attaching the 2 most useful documents I have for JE Clark.
Army Form B 2067 - 3 pages
Form B 104-80A - 1 page
Thanks a lot for any assistance you might be able to provide.
Nick

Offline MaxD

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Re: Labour Corps Soldier
« Reply #6 on: Wednesday 02 December 20 20:12 GMT (UK) »
You have faithfully reproduced the figures as they appear on these discharge documents.  These have been taken from his service record which appears not to have survived (60% or so were lost to bombing in WW2).

The documents throw no further light on the sequence/dates of his Great War service, indeed they add more confusion.  The Labour Corps was not formed until April 1917 and as he was discharged in Dec 1917 he could not have served 3 years 139 days in the Labour Corps.  The "5 years 80 days" total doesn't add up.  It may be that these figures are his 1909-1914 and then his 1914-1917 service periods, 5 Aug 14 to 21 Dec 17 is 3 years 138 days by my counting.

  There is no detail of the sequence in which he served in the regiments mentioned or the battalions of the regiments in which he served (except 6 Essex which we have from medal records).  His medal award roll entry which should mention those regiments he served with overseas have Labour Corps and Essex Regiment only. The confusion with Field Artillery or Field Ambulance may be replicated here with the listing of the RFA.

The (to me ) obvious errors in extracting his service figures from his records simply make the rest of it much less easy to trust and I'd prefer not to add guesswork to such shaky foundations.

You have many jigsaw pieces but the box with the picture is missing.  You do have the fixed points of Great War service
To Gallipoli with 6 Essex 24 July 1915 (leaving UK)
Hospital in Malta Oct 1915
total of 278 days MEF so left that theatre early May 1916 (6 Essex were in Egypt)
7 months plus in France but start and finish dates unknown and battalions unknown
Last unit the France based 149 Company Labour Corps joining after May 1917.

 Not sure much else can be teased out.

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

Offline nrsclark

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Re: Labour Corps Soldier
« Reply #7 on: Wednesday 09 December 20 13:18 GMT (UK) »
Thanks for the further feedback. Would the following be reasonable assumptions?

5 years 80 represents his Territorial Force service - 17/5/1909 (enlistment) to 5/8/1914 (the start of WW1
3 years 139 days represents his total WW1 service - 5/8/1914 to 22/12/1917

278 days Mediterranean Expeditionary Force - this covers 8/7/1915 (mobilisation) to 11/4/1916 - Gallipoli and then service elsewhere, possibly Egypt

223 days Expeditionary Force France - this covers 21/12/1917 back 223 days = 12/5/1917
Which then means 11/4/1916 to 12/5/1917 inbetween these 2 forces remains unaccounted for.

If there is no known record for him being in a particular theatre (Med, France, etc), is the only other possibility that he was back in the UK recovering from injury or illness for that time?
Also, do we know that the latter 223 days was all Labour Corps, or could that have included those other regiments?
Is there a way to find out where that Labour Corps branch that we was in, served in France?

Thanks, Nick

Offline MaxD

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Re: Labour Corps Soldier
« Reply #8 on: Wednesday 09 December 20 15:54 GMT (UK) »
5 years 80 days pre-war part time service in the Territorial Force yes

3 years 139 days war service - he was still a Territorial but now the TF was full time.

278 days MEF count from the day he entered the Balkan theatre of war which as we know was with 6 Essex started from 24 July 1915 and thus included Gallipoli and Egypt thereafter.

I'd agree with the count back that leaves Apr 16 to May 17 unaccounted for.   

There are too many unknowns.  Are the 278 and 223 days each unbroken or has the clerk totalled them from shorter periods.   Was there a period or periods that on his record should have appeared as "home" during which he may have been hospitalised for part of the time.  The discharge record doesn't cover all his war service, the period between embodiment in Aug 1914 and arrival in the Balkan theatre covered almost a year in itself.  Service with the other regiments does not appear on his medal record so were not overseas. 
Your 12/05/1917 would coincide nicely with the formation of his Labour Corps unit in France.

Labour Corps companies were not required to maintain war diaries except where specifically directed  and there is no diary for 149 Company.  I have found no reference to its service.

I'm afraid the middle part of his service will remain a mystery unless some other family evidence turns up, there is nothing in surviving military records.


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