Hello, I have just found this website and it looks great with a lot of knowledge and useful information.
I have just joined so still learning how this all works.
I am researching my ancestor Pt. Thomas Fleming 9777 who was in the Royal Irish Regiment.
I am from County Wexford, Ireland.
I have some questions below - maybe someone could be kind enough to help me with some answers?
I have visited the National Archives at Kew twice but have not found any information - probably because I am looking in the wrong place!, get stressed & run out of time!! I also have some information from a handwritten notebook by Thomas's father who kept some notes on Thomas's progress and career in the war. So here is all the information that i have:Summary:
Pte. Thomas Fleming, born 7/12/1891 at Maudlin Street Kilkenny, enlisted in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers in Naas Depot on 25/07/1908 - 3rd Battalion, number 4840. His family then moved to Carlow.
He later transferred to the Royal Irish Regiment and served for a time in India from 1910.
He went to France in August 1914 at the outbreak of the war and was killed at Hooge near Ieper, Belgium on May 7th 1915. He is commemorated on the Menin Gate, Ieper.
~~~~~~~~Private Thomas Fleming - War Certificate
This is to certify that Thomas Fleming of Carlow, entered on active service to defend the liberty of his country in August 1914, Private 1st Royal Irish Regiment, Killed in Action at Hooger 7th May 1915
: 9777, Private Thomas Fleming
1st Battalion, Royal Irish Regiment,
Killed in action, France & Flanders, 07/05/1915
Born: St. Johns, Kilkenny, Enlisted: Carlow
~~~~~~~~~Postcard/Picture with Thomas
in the centre of the picture
at the bottom it says "2nd Battln "THE ROYAL IRISH REGT" raised in Ireland in 1684"
~~~~~~~~~Address in his fathers notebook:
9777 A Company
Thos Fleming, 2nd Royal Irish Regiment
Blackdown, Hants, England
~~~~~~~~~Note from his fathers Notebook:
My son Thomas sailed for India on 19/11/1910 on board his majesty's ship S.S. Gondola.
Address in India was: No 9777, Pte T Fleming, 1 Batt Royal Irish Regt, Agra, Newmich, India.
~~~~~~~~~Note from his fathers Notebook:
My son Thomas killed at Hooge near Ypres in action on the 7th May 1915, RIP got notified from War Office 10th June 1915
1) Thomas joined the Royal Dublin Fusiliers in 1908 3rd battalion. Was this a reserve battalion? Would he have trained at Naas, Co. Kildare and then be shipped to England for futher training? or what would have happened next?
2) Why would he have transferrred into the Royal Irish Regiment? Did Royal Irish Regt need more men?
3) Thomas has two army numbers 4840 (RDFusiliers), 9777 (RIRegt) - is it common for a soldier to have more than 1 army number?
4) Anyone know what was happening in India in 1910? Why did the royal irish regiment go there? When did they come back?
5) Anyone got any pictures of or heard of the steam ship SS Gondola?
6) Thomas is given as serving in the "A" company, and also 1st and 2nd battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment at different times. Would he have moved between the two at different times? Why? Was it manpower?
7) I take it Thomas was a regular soldier; having joined up before 1914, so I would assume he had reasonable training and expertise. He was shipped to the front in August 1914. died in May 1915, so he would have taken part is some battles/action until his death. Would he have experienced the first gas attacks?
8) The 1st battalion is given as landing at Le Harve on 20 dec 1914. Then the 2nd battalion on the 14th March 1915 transferred to the 12th Brigade 4th division. Given that Thomas died on the 7th May - exactly what battalion would he have been in?
9) Does anyone have any war diary information from around the 5th-10th May 1915 or just prior to this?
10) What action had the regiment seen? Did they experience gas attacks? Could Thomas have taken part in the Battle of St Julian (25th April-4th May) or Battle of Frezenberg Ridge (8th-13th May); it says he was killed in action - but I don't see any battles happening on the 7th May so:
a) he was hurt from another battle and died of wounds
killed in action e.g by a sniper or something
c) took part in a skirmish/battle and died or
Not too sure if the dates are 100% accurate given the war was happening and everything so possibly the war office just gave the 7th of May as the date on the certificate with the real date of death being a few days later or earlier.
11) Address of Blackdown, Hants, England - was this an army depot/training camp?
Lot of questions here - any help/direction/information is greatly appreciated!
Wishing you all a pleasant & peaceful new year.
Thanks Gerard Fleming (Grand nephew of Thomas)