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Researching a Soldier in the 2/22nd London Regiment


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#1 Kristine

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 12:06 PM

I'm searching for details about my Grandad, HORACE CLIFFORD GUEST, who appears to have been in the 2/22nd London Regiment. His number was
2688512 (or possibly just 688512).
I know he served in Alexandria, Egypt, and was also in Jerusalem/Bethlehem; I also believe he was in France at some point in the Great War.
Also I can't understand why he would have been in the London Regiment, when he was born and bred in Blackheath, West Midlands.
Could anyone enlighten me please - I would be most grateful.
Thank you


#2 Michelle Young

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 01:52 PM

Certainly early in the war men did have some choice where they were posted; later on, they went where needed, so not neccessarily the local regiment.

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#3 Suddery

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 03:29 PM

Hi

I've had a quick sweep through Medal information Cards etc but drawn a blank. Not necessarily a cause for despondency as this can quite often be the case; someone else may strike lucky using different variables


What I can confirm is that the places cited are correct for the 2/22nd (Queens) London Regiment. As a battalion of 181 Brigade, 60th (2/2 London) Division he would quite likely have served as follows:

France - Salonika - Egypt - Palestine / Trans Jordan - France

The Battalion was initially raised in Aug 1914 in Bermondsey (about the same time as Kitchener's first Army was being signed up), and those who were recruited into the 2/22nd Queen's at this time were more likely to be Londoners. Looking at the service number you have given (probably a 200,000 series) it is likely that either he was a much later recruit (in which case what Michelle says is certainly true) or else he had an earlier service number that was later renumbered in common with other territorials (around 1916-17 I think).

Even if he was an early 2/22nd it is not as unlikely as it may seem. There are many records of people enlisting to all manner of regiments simply because they fancied a long train journey, a 'holiday' or simply just fancied a change. If my memory serves me one chap from the Potteries signed up for the Northumberland Fusiliers for just such reasons. Strange formations were also made. The 8th (Reserve) Btn Northamptonshire were formed in Weymouth and initially camped around Penzance. They had applications from all over the place wishing to take the 'Riviera' air. My own G.Grandfather went out to India a London Cyclist and returned to England a Somerset Light Infantryman - a county he'd never seen before the war and steadfastly never visited in a long and happy post war life.

Simply put, perhaps your Grandad fancied an adventure in London.

Best of luck with your search and I hope somebody finds some details for you.

Suddery

#4 sotonmate

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 09:14 PM

K

The 1917 re-numbering of 22 London Regt was in the number block 680001 to 700000,so your man is likely to have been 688512. He may or may not have had an earlier number prior to re-numbering,or he might simply have not joined until the new numbers were in use.
As Suddery says there is no readily apparent Medal Index Card to be seen. It will show the numbers he had been allocated from the outset of his service.I have tried various ways of teasing it out but I have had no success either. No alternatives to the surname have been tried,though forename mixes have. These are occasionally successful. If one cannot be found it might mean that no overseas war service was undertaken.
No hits have been made on a service record either,no surprise in itself as over 70% were destroyed in 1940.

Sotonmate

#5 Kristine

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 09:45 AM

Hi

I've had a quick sweep through Medal information Cards etc but drawn a blank. Not necessarily a cause for despondency as this can quite often be the case; someone else may strike lucky using different variables


What I can confirm is that the places cited are correct for the 2/22nd (Queens) London Regiment. As a battalion of 181 Brigade, 60th (2/2 London) Division he would quite likely have served as follows:

France - Salonika - Egypt - Palestine / Trans Jordan - France

The Battalion was initially raised in Aug 1914 in Bermondsey (about the same time as Kitchener's first Army was being signed up), and those who were recruited into the 2/22nd Queen's at this time were more likely to be Londoners. Looking at the service number you have given (probably a 200,000 series) it is likely that either he was a much later recruit (in which case what Michelle says is certainly true) or else he had an earlier service number that was later renumbered in common with other territorials (around 1916-17 I think).

Even if he was an early 2/22nd it is not as unlikely as it may seem. There are many records of people enlisting to all manner of regiments simply because they fancied a long train journey, a 'holiday' or simply just fancied a change. If my memory serves me one chap from the Potteries signed up for the Northumberland Fusiliers for just such reasons. Strange formations were also made. The 8th (Reserve) Btn Northamptonshire were formed in Weymouth and initially camped around Penzance. They had applications from all over the place wishing to take the 'Riviera' air. My own G.Grandfather went out to India a London Cyclist and returned to England a Somerset Light Infantryman - a county he'd never seen before the war and steadfastly never visited in a long and happy post war life.

Simply put, perhaps your Grandad fancied an adventure in London.

Best of luck with your search and I hope somebody finds some details for you.

Suddery



#6 Kristine

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 09:59 AM

Thanks for your help Suddery, which is much appreciated.

The mystery deepens as one of my uncles apparently believes that my Grandad was in the 10th Essex!
I know for a fact that he served in the 2/22nd London Rgmnt because we have a wallet in which he penned his name and regiment, but I have also read on the Long Long Trail
that the Essex Regt was at some point attached to the London Regiment
.

One more question, if I were to write to the National Archives at Kew (or visit personally) would they be able to provide me with his complete war record?

How I wish I had listened to all his wartime stories when I was much younger, and he was around to tell them.

Many thanks.




#7 Suddery

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 11:13 AM

='Kristine' timestamp='1336211942' post='1748111']
Thanks for your help Suddery, which is much appreciated.

The mystery deepens as one of my uncles apparently believes that my Grandad was in the 10th Essex!
I know for a fact that he served in the 2/22nd London Rgmnt because we have a wallet in which he penned his name and regiment, but I have also read on the Long Long Trail
that the Essex Regt was at some point attached to the London Regiment
.

One more question, if I were to write to the National Archives at Kew (or visit personally) would they be able to provide me with his complete war record?

How I wish I had listened to all his wartime stories when I was much younger, and he was around to tell them.

Many thanks.



[/quote]

Hi

Very quick post as I'm just off on an errand. I did find an H C Guest (or thereabouts) serving with the Essex regt when I was searching for the 2/22. I'll have a look and answer your other questions this evening when I'm back if no one else has hopped in and filled the breech in the meantime. One point, Sotonmate is spot on with his comments about the service record; if we can't find it it is highly likely it was lost inthe WW2 bombing.

Suddery

#8 Suddery

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 03:50 PM

Found a Medal information card for the following:

H C Guest

S/N 44798

Victory and British Medals awarded.

No address and no details of service in another regiment are on the card. The award of Victory & British medals confirms he served overseas but not where, they also suggest he went overseas in 1916 or later. Can find no service or pension record almost certainly for the reasons mentioned by Sotonmate. This could be your Grandfather. What is now needed is someone experienced in Essex service numbers to trundle along and tell you (if possible) to which Essex battalion these numbers were appropriate.

I will try a few other searches but for now my beloved Chelsea await and after a few anticipated electric soups I doubt I'll make much sense until the sun rises.

Suddery

#9 River97

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 08:21 AM

Just to throw another spanner into the works, your grand father could have been one of the 3,000 soldiers who were transferred to the battalions of the London Regiment, within the 60th London Division.

They occurred in May 1916, being part of the Derby Scheme. These volunteers came mainly from Yorkshire and the midlands.

Now, if he was in the battalion, this would have been where he went:

France - June 1916 to December 1916,
Salonika - December 1916 to June 1917, and
Egypt and Palestine - June 1918 to end of hostilities.

The 2/22nd Battalion was one of the few who were not returned to France after the German Spring Offensive. They stayed as the original battalion in the 181st (2/6th) Infantry Brigade.

Not a lot, but it's a start.

Cheers Andy.

#10 Suddery

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 10:08 AM

I've tried to make some sense of H.C. Guest's Essex Service number but have only arrived at a series of "ifs and buts". The following site has always proved useful to me in checking Service Numbers and you may find it of some use:

My link

Should have checked it myself before giving you a bit of duff info about 2/22nd in post 3.

I'm afraid I've now pretty much hit the ceiling of my search limitations. More information (a photo of your Grandfather in uniform would be really helpful if you have one) or more expert knowledge on serial numbers may help, beyond that I'm afraid I've stalled.

Best of luck

Suddery

#11 Suddery

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 10:15 AM

Just to throw another spanner into the works, your grand father could have been one of the 3,000 soldiers who were transferred to the battalions of the London Regiment, within the 60th London Division.

They occurred in May 1916, being part of the Derby Scheme. These volunteers came mainly from Yorkshire and the midlands.

Now, if he was in the battalion, this would have been where he went:

France - June 1916 to December 1916,
Salonika - December 1916 to June 1917, and
Egypt and Palestine - June 1918 to end of hostilities.

The 2/22nd Battalion was one of the few who were not returned to France after the German Spring Offensive. They stayed as the original battalion in the 181st (2/6th) Infantry Brigade.

Not a lot, but it's a start.

Cheers Andy.


Hi Andy,

I've a particular interest in the 60th and was not aware of Derby drafts going to the 2nd line Londons, en-masse, within it. If at all possible would you be kind enough to let me know a source so I can 'swot' up on it. I'm anxious not to hijack Kristina's thread so perhaps you could PM me if you are able to help.

Best regards
Suddery

#12 Kristine

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 08:39 PM

Thanks to everyone for your help - I'm gradually piecing together all the information provided. Also I'm in the process of trying to track down a photograph
of my Grandad in uniform - if I can find one I shall certainly post it on this thread.

(Suddery: Congratulations - the electric soup obviously did the trick!)

Kristine


#13 owen4256

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 03:04 PM

At the risk of confusing matters further. 44798 Pte H C Guest was reported wounded in the War Office Weekly Casualty list of 22nd October 1918 whilst serving with the Essex Regiment. His service number looks to be part of a large draft of men from the Notts and Derbys to the 10th Essex sometime in 1918. Date of list indicates casualties from September 1918.

Can't work out the timing of the 22nd London connection. I have researched a previous transfer from 2/6th Notts and Derbys to 22nd London 686218 who I believe transfered to the Londons in March 1918.

Clive

#14 Suddery

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 11:22 AM

Thanks to everyone for your help - I'm gradually piecing together all the information provided. Also I'm in the process of trying to track down a photograph
of my Grandad in uniform - if I can find one I shall certainly post it on this thread.

(Suddery: Congratulations - the electric soup obviously did the trick!)

Kristine


Kristine

The thought suddenly occurred to me that someone in your family should (hopefully) have your Grandfather's medals; likely to be the British War and Victory medals given the information in the first posting. This being the case his regiment and number will be engraved on the rim.

(No E soup last night and a Chelsea loss - surely no connection !)

Suddery

#15 River97

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 11:35 AM

Suddery,

Appologies for the late reply. i have not forgotten about the request above, just rather busy. I will dig the books out at the weekend. If you notice my signature you will see why.

I have the 60th London's history, that you are reading. I also have the histories for the 13th, 14th, 15th, 19th, 20th, 21st, and 23rd Battalions of the London Regiment. If they were in the same division then your Grand Father and my Great Grand Pa stomped the same dirt. Thats awesome.

Cheers Andy.

#16 Phil Evans

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 01:25 PM

Kristine,

I did a quick check of service numbers from about 688400 - 688600 and there are only about half a dozen medal index cards for that range. Given that some of them may be for SWB (I don't have Ancestry, so can't confirm it), it suggests two possibilities. Either they were late issue numbers and outside thequalifying date for BW & VM, or, they transferred alsewhere before going overseas and therefore the number doesn't appear on their medal index cards.

Also, running the series through SDGW and Geoff's Search Engine does not pick up significant casualties until you get down to 684*** numbers.

Phil

#17 Suddery

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 11:08 AM

Suddery,

Appologies for the late reply. i have not forgotten about the request above, just rather busy. I will dig the books out at the weekend. If you notice my signature you will see why.

I have the 60th London's history, that you are reading. I also have the histories for the 13th, 14th, 15th, 19th, 20th, 21st, and 23rd Battalions of the London Regiment. If they were in the same division then your Grand Father and my Great Grand Pa stomped the same dirt. Thats awesome.

Cheers Andy.


Hi Andy - I found the info in the link I mention in Post 10 (well worth a look). Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. I did have a Great Uncle in the 23rd but he didn't make it past France. My interest in the 60th is part of a broader interest in the middle-eastern campaign where I had relatives serving in Egypt, Palestine, Mesopotamia and on to India.
Many thanks
Suddery

If picking up thread at this point please go back to post 16 for Kristine's enquiry - above comment is incidental

#18 Kristine

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 06:49 PM

Many thanks to everyone for your information - have been called away from my computer for a few days so apologies for the delayed thanks, but delighted to find more replies to my post.

SUDDERY: Have now seen his Medal Index Card for S/N 44798 Essex Regiment, and your suggestion that he went overseas in 1916 or later bears out because he was born 1900.

ANDY: Thanks too for yr reply - I'm still trying to shed light on the 2/22nd London connection but your note that this Reg one of the few not returned to France loosely coincides with a letter I have located written by my Grandad to his mother and dated March 1920. He says that at last they have started being shipped home, so he is (quote)"hoping soon to be out of this hell-hole" (unquote) - unforunately no details of where written from - I assume due to censorship.

CLIVE: Thanks. How can I access War Office Weekly Casualty Lists for this period? - my Grandad did receive shrapnel wounds in the legs but not serious enough to be sent home, as mentioned above. Your note about transfers from Notts & Derbys to Londons in 1918 very useful but can't understand why Londons not shown on his MIC.

PHIL: Thanks. Piecing together everyone's information my tentative theory is that he joined the 2/22nd London with the group
of 3000 Notts and Derbys soldiers between 1916 and 1918, under the "Derby Scheme" but did not see active service (hence no MIC record of 2/22nd Londons). Then later transferred to Essex Reg. where he was posted to France, Alexandria, Palestine etc, wounded by shrapnel but not serious enough to be sent home; remained in active service with the Essex Reg until Spring 1920 then sent home (BWM & VM with Essex Reg on his MIC).

Many thanks to all for information - I shall now post a separate thread to try to follow up my Grandad's action with the Essex Regiment, and the details from you guys has given me a great start.

Kristine

#19 mikebriggs

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 07:38 AM

Can't work out the timing of the 22nd London connection. I have researched a previous transfer from 2/6th Notts and Derbys to 22nd London 686218 who I believe transfered to the Londons in March 1918.

Clive


Clive,

There was a transfer of several 100 men from the 2/6th Notts and Derby (and possible other Battalions of that Brigade) on 25th August 1918. Men went to the 1/24th and 22nd London Regt for "benefit of the service"

cheers
Mike