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This KRRC officer saved my father's life


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#1 annestormont

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 11:22 AM

This photograph belonged to my father who died in 1981. He was in the King's Royal Rifle Corp from 1917 to 1919 - I think! This officer saved my dad's life by going over the top in his place - dad was only 16 - he lied about his age as so many did. I long to know who this brave man was, Can any one help at all?

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#2 Stephen Barker

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 11:33 AM

Anne
Welcome to the Forum.

Do you know which battalion this amn and your father served in?

Please post as much info as you can.

He's a Second Lieutenant.

If you could post an enlargement of the cap badge it would help.

All the best with your research.

Stephen

#3 annestormont

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 11:59 AM

Thank you Stephen for such a fast response. I have my father's Army service record from 1920 to his demob in 1947, but very little prior to then - I guess the early records were lost in WW2. My father was Captain George James Drayton RASC his no. was 17859.

However, on a form B265 (questions put to the Recruit before Enlistment dated March 1920) there is the following - I am not sure of interpretation so I'll copy it as it is written.

question 11 reply states "568205. Rfm.London Regt. Q W R. Also KRR. Corps & TRB. 2 years 3 months Demob 16.12.19."

Sadly he was always reluctant to discuss WW1, saying it was too awful to remember - although he would chat about the last one. He came up through the ranks and got his commission when he was 40. I am very proud of his memory.

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#4 BeppoSapone

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 12:25 PM

The cap badge is the KRRC officers cap badge. This red corded boss is known within the 60th as the "Cherry".

Re the unknown officer. Was he killed? If he was you are in luck, even if he wasn't.

Try and gain access to late WW1 issues of the KRRC Chronicle. Officers probably get an obit, complete with their photo. This was the case in WW2, and I assume would also have been the case in WW1.

Hope this helps.

ps

QWR = Queens Westminster Rifles

#5 Graham Stewart

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 12:31 PM

Certainly is an officers cord-boss badge of a the Kings Royal Rifle's, but have you noticed something about it? The mouth piece of the horn is facing the wrong direction, as it should actually face to the right, this indicates that the photo may be reversed. The shoulder strap of his "Sam Browne", should also run from his right shoulder to left hip and not left to right.

Graham.

#6 Graham Stewart

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 12:37 PM

TRB = Training Reserve Battalion.

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#7 delta

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 12:46 PM

May be the picture has been reversed

#8 annestormont

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 01:46 PM

QUOTE (BeppoSapone @ Jul 27 2006, 01:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The cap badge is the KRRC officers cap badge. This red corded boss is known within the 60th as the "Cherry".

Re the unknown officer. Was he killed? If he was you are in luck, even if he wasn't.

Try and gain access to late WW1 issues of the KRRC Chronicle. Officers probably get an obit, complete with their photo. This was the case in WW2, and I assume would also have been the case in WW1.

Hope this helps.

ps

QWR = Queens Westminster Rifles



Thank you for all this - its great. Yes, the officer was killed. Please how do I access the KRRC Chronicle?

#9 steve fuller

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 01:51 PM

Just a quick suggestion; if you edit the title to include the regiment, it should attract some of the specialists on here and someone may well know who he is.

Worth a go ...

#10 BeppoSapone

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 03:30 PM

QUOTE (annestormont @ Jul 27 2006, 02:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thank you for all this - its great. Yes, the officer was killed. Please how do I access the KRRC Chronicle?



Anne

Try a search of this forum. Someone was asking about the KRRC Chronicle within the past week or two.

You would need to see the KRRC Chronicle for the late WW1 year in question. You could buy a copy second hand or, maybe, see it in a museum or library. However, being as you are not sure of the year in question, the best thing would be if someone who is a member of this forum would be kind enough to look and see if they recognise your officer.

I am sorry to say that I only have the KRRC Chronicles for WW2. However, it looks as if every officer killed in WW2 has an obit, complete with photo. Most of which are full page studio type pics. The KRRC was the regiment to belong to in order to be remembered, as long as you were an officer. The ORs just get their name and date of death.

#11 OxfordYeoman

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 10:18 AM

The phot os definately reversed as the Sam Browne shoulder strap should be over the right shoulder.

Yours aye
OxfordYeoman

#12 Jim Clay

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 10:30 AM

So this is how he should look:

Attached File  post_13874_1153999325.jpg   17.13KB   28 downloads

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#13 Graham Stewart

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 10:44 AM

Jim,
Perfect.

Graham.

#14 ian turner

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 10:50 AM

And I gave him a bit of clean-up!

Ian

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#15 annestormont

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 11:34 AM

QUOTE (ian turner @ Jul 28 2006, 11:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
And I gave him a bit of clean-up!

Ian



Thank you He looks so much better! I just need to find someone who has KRRC chronicle for 1917 and 1918 to see if he is listed there, with his photograph.

I really do appreciate all your help - wish I had found this site earlier!

Anne

#16 mwsmith

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 12:13 PM

QUOTE (annestormont @ Jul 28 2006, 12:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thank you He looks so much better! I just need to find someone who has KRRC chronicle for 1917 and 1918 to see if he is listed there, with his photograph.

I really do appreciate all your help - wish I had found this site earlier!

Anne

The Royal Greenjackets Museum in Winchester holds the KRRC Chronicles and may be able to help you. I have found them to be very helpful in the past. They are based at Peninsula Barracks and have a website to browse. i have 2KRRC war records with names of dead officewrs but no photos.

Best of luck.
Mike

#17 annestormont

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 02:55 PM

QUOTE (mwsmith @ Jul 31 2006, 01:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The Royal Greenjackets Museum in Winchester holds the KRRC Chronicles and may be able to help you. I have found them to be very helpful in the past. They are based at Peninsula Barracks and have a website to browse. i have 2KRRC war records with names of dead officewrs but no photos.

Best of luck.
Mike



Thank you Mike. You are the second person to suggest the RGJ as a possible answer. I will contact them.


Anne

#18 Clive Maier

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 09:08 PM

QUOTE (annestormont @ Jul 27 2006, 12:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
... This officer saved my dad's life by going over the top in his place - dad was only 16 - he lied about his age as so many did. ...


I have no doubt at all that this is a faithful account of a family legend but does it sound quite authentic? I can well imagine a compassionate officer sending the lad to the rear and safety for the time being, but it may be fanciful to say that the officer went in his place. Officers and Privates were not interchangeable. Far more likely that the officer was part of the attack force all along.

#19 annestormont

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 09:51 PM

QUOTE (Clive Maier @ Jul 31 2006, 10:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have no doubt at all that this is a faithful account of a family legend but does it sound quite authentic? I can well imagine a compassionate officer sending the lad to the rear and safety for the time being, but it may be fanciful to say that the officer went in his place. Officers and Privates were not interchangeable. Far more likely that the officer was part of the attack force all along.




You may be correct. I have to say that my father's comments about this officer are some of the very few he ever made about that time of his life. Even then he would not reveal any details of when, where or whom. He said "It was too awful to talk about" (referring to the whole experience of the war) Concerning the officer when I asked who he was he said "He saved my life and lost his. He went in front of me" End of conversation.

Of course I wished I had asked more but I didn't. He went on to serve 33 years and rose through the ranks to be a captain in the RASC. A less fanciful man you could not meet!

#20 Clive Maier

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 12:38 AM

I am in the same boat. I left it too late to ask my father about family matters. He never spoke one word to me about his brother Oscar who was killed in Delville Wood. He said almost nothing about it to my mother. I would not even know of Oscarís existence if my mother had not pointed out his name to me on the local memorial when I was about three years old. Incredibly, that was just about the last time he was mentioned during my fatherís lifetime.

Your fatherís words suggest a different picture to me; one in which he did take part in the attack. The officer led them out of the trench and was killed by a bullet that would otherwise have hit your father. If this was what happened it explains why your father said the officer had saved his life. If your father had simply been sent out of the battle, he could never have known whether or not his life had been saved because he might have come through the battle without a scratch.

I hope you are able to trace the officer.

Regards,
Clive Maier

#21 edwin astill

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 09:12 AM

Anne

Please keep us posted on the results of your research with the Greenjackets.

Edwin

#22 Andrew Hesketh

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 09:31 AM

I read this in pretty much the same way as Clive. One can almost imagine your Father's understandable fear and this Officer saying something along the lines of, '"It'll be alright. Just follow me and do as I do".

He doesn't look too much beyond 16 himself does he?

I also hope that you find out who he is, If you do, please let us know.

#23 annestormont

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 10:35 AM

I deeply appreciate the help and interest shown by the forum members. I have had a reply to my email from the curator at the RGJ museum, telling me to send the photograph. However, he isn't very hopeful unless I can be more exact about the battlion. I have my dad's service record and am attempting to decipher unfamiliar abreviations! It has to be guess work.

I will of course let people know when I find out who he is. Anne

#24 Andrew Hesketh

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 10:44 AM

QUOTE (annestormont @ Aug 2 2006, 11:35 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have my dad's service record and am attempting to decipher unfamiliar abreviations! It has to be guess work.


Don't hesitate to ask for help. I can just about guarantee that someone will explain things if you ask.

#25 annestormont

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 12:26 PM

Attached File  slide0001_image002.jpg   39.52KB   22 downloads
QUOTE (Andrew Hesketh @ Aug 2 2006, 11:44 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Don't hesitate to ask for help. I can just about guarantee that someone will explain things if you ask.

I have got my son to downsize the page in question. I think this is the relevant one.Does it mean he went to France in April 1918? Thank you Andrew for your interest.