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Welsh Regiment in India 1917?

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#1 brodie



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Posted 16 October 2008 - 09:30 pm

I need a little help to sort this one out. I found a Pension Record via Ancestry for Pte John Hughes, Royal Welsh Fusiliers (No 13174) - it shows he joined up in 1914 but was discharged after a month as 'unlikely to become an efficient soldier'. His mother's address in Flint, Wales is shown on the record, so I know he is the man I am researching.

A local newspaper report from Flint in 1917 says that the same man has been reported to have died of fever - it talks about him rejoining his regiment just a short time before. So he must have re-enlisted and been accepted. The family have a date of death for him of 20th July 1917 and the story passed down is that he died of malaria.

CWGC record show a Pte John Hughes of the Welsh Regiment died on that date and that he is commemorated on the Kirkee Memorial, India. Service number is given as 58706. The medal index card for 58706 shows he only got a War Medal - no Victory Medal. No service record as yet online.

It seems to me that this guy was accepted back into the Army when they were getting a little less fussy but was given some job which meant he never saw action (probably deliberately because he wasn't capable of fighting). Does that sound logical to you? My main question is, what would the Welsh Regiment and my man have been doing in India in 1917? I know Kirkee commemorates soldiers who died all over India and Pakistan during WW1 because their original graves were lost / unmaintained. Would the regiment just have been on garrison duty or something?

#2 LST_164



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Posted 16 October 2008 - 11:29 pm

Hi brodie,
briefly, yes it's quite possible for men previously discharged to be taken back and to serve again. I know of a few cases of this -eg. the notable RWF Chaplain mentioned in Dunn's "The War the Infantry Knew" as virtually throwing his life away in France in 1918 has now been found to be a former Private with the regt. wounded earlier in the War and discharged (papers on Ancestry as such), trained as a Minister & accepted for service again.

As to what all these units were doing out in India - some were on garrison duty just keeping the peace, and others were more actively engaged in policing & fighting on the North-West Frontier. Their presence out there as a handy source of reinforcements led to many of the fitter men finding themselves drafted out to other units in Mesopotamia etc.


#3 hywyn



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Posted 25 October 2008 - 03:57 pm


SDGW gives 58706 John Hughes as born and enlisted Flint. Previously 54667 Cheshire Regiment.


#4 KateH



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Posted 02 November 2011 - 06:04 am

Hi there
Possibly a patient or working at the 34th Welsh General Hospital, Deolali.

cheers Kirsty

#5 SteveJ



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Posted 02 November 2011 - 10:44 am

It looks like some hospitals in India were used to treat men wounded in Mesopotamia. The 8th Welsh, 8th RWF and 4th SWB were three Welsh units who fought there attached to the 13th Division, and there are quite a few of them commemorated on the Kirkee Memorial, so I'd guess that John Hughes was brought to India, either ill of wounded, and died there.


#6 hywyn



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Posted 02 November 2011 - 05:38 pm

Brodie hasn't been on the Forum since Aug 2010 and so may not get these messages.It's not certain whether he got the first lot.

John Hughes has papers under the Cheshire No I gave above from SDGW.Confirms it's the same man as 13174 RWF

He died of Malaria at Deccan Britisha War Hosp, Kirkee,Poona. He is shown as B Coy, 8th Welsh Pioneers.

Even though the SDGW shows died Mespotamia the papers states Welch Regt, India Feb 1917 and then D (epot), Kirkee on 7 5 1917, died two months later. No actual Mespotamia service hence why he only got the War Medal. I haven't read all of his papers.


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