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Churchill's Secret War WIth Lenin: British and Commonwealth Military Intervention in the Russian Civil War, 1918-20

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RFT   
RFT

Thanks Damien for the use of the photos of Lieut Mercer.

 

17 Squadron photo - The officer second from top (against the wall) looks very much to me like Norman Greenslade.  I don't believe Sidney Frogley appears in this group.

 

Couldn't find this officer in your 'Roll of Australians known to have served in Russia 1918-20' and thought you might be interested:-

 

Lieut Arthur Clive Watson

Home Address: Robert Street, St Kilda, Victoria, Australia

RAF Russia 13/7/19

From "A" Squadron to HQ RAF 2/10/19

From HQ RAF to "A" Squadron 8/10/19

"A" Det. Training Mission South Russia to HQ Taganrog 17/10/19

Constantinople 12/4/20

Embarked for UK 8/7/20

6/12/20 Repatriated to Australia and struck off strength on termination of Standardised Voyage 30/12/20

 

Rob

Edited by RFT
Lieut A C Watson added.

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wrightdw   
wrightdw
15 hours ago, Waggoner said:

Damien,

 

Thank you for this information. Apparently, there was also a Lieut. Eyford who was also a Canadian. I haven't looked him up yet.

http://www.canadiangreatwarproject.com/searches/soldierDetail.asp?Id=153627

 

Edit: had a look and found his CEF Service Record - http://central.bac-lac.gc.ca/.item/?op=pdf&app=CEF&id=B2967-S040

 

He was released from the CSEF in Siberia for a commission in the BMRM.

 

All the best,

 

Gary

 

Thanks Gary, I should have finished my previous comment about Capt. Brian Horrocks, MC, Middlesex Regiment, taken prisoner with the Railway Mission at Krasnoyarsk, he later competed as an athlete at the 1924 Paris Olympics and commanded XXX Corps during the Market-Garden operations in 1944 and was played by Edward Fox in the movie "A Bridge Too Far".

 

 

 

 

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Felix C   
Felix C

Congrats. Looks excellent

 

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Terry_Reeves   
Terry_Reeves

Damien

 

I too have your book and although I am only part way through it I am finding  it very informative. Well done. 

 

With regard to your interlocutor Richard, I note that most of his research appears to come from internet sources. There is nothing wrong with that, but his lack of other sources leaves me wondering.

 

TR

Edited by Terry_Reeves

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wrightdw   
wrightdw
On 07/07/2017 at 03:50, RFT said:

Thanks Damien for the use of the photos of Lieut Mercer.

 

17 Squadron photo - The officer second from top (against the wall) looks very much to me like Norman Greenslade.  I don't believe Sidney Frogley appears in this group.

 

Couldn't find this officer in your 'Roll of Australians known to have served in Russia 1918-20' and thought you might be interested:-

 

Lieut Arthur Clive Watson

Home Address: Robert Street, St Kilda, Victoria, Australia

RAF Russia 13/7/19

From "A" Squadron to HQ RAF 2/10/19

From HQ RAF to "A" Squadron 8/10/19

"A" Det. Training Mission South Russia to HQ Taganrog 17/10/19

Constantinople 12/4/20

Embarked for UK 8/7/20

6/12/20 Repatriated to Australia and struck off strength on termination of Standardised Voyage 30/12/20

 

Rob

 

Hi Rob, Fantastic, thanks for this, I will add him for the second edition.

 

I see he was 1561, Pte. AAMC before discharge to join an RFC commission, perhaps an unusual progression from medical service to RFC.

 

There was a "Lieutenant A. Watson, RAF" who was awarded an Imperial Russian Order of St. Stanislaus, 3rd Class with Swords, I wonder if this is him?

 

Watson also suffered a GSW right leg in France, 3rd September 1916.

 

 

 

 

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RFT   
RFT

Thanks Damien for the additional info -  This was news to me!

 

Lieut A. Watson awarded St Stanislaus 3rd Class with Swords but service record for A C Watson makes no reference to this!  Likely he is the Watson referred to but, to be sure, more research required.  Still one of my things to do!!!!

More info on A C Watson:-

 

2nd Lt 12th AFA  A.T.F.

 

11/4/17  2/Lt On Prob. R.F.C. S.R. 17/3/17

5/9/17    2/Lt F.O.  12/7/1721/9/17  

2/Lt Confirmed in rank [no date]

 

Medical Board

Fit G.S. in warm climate e.g. Egypt, failing that H.S. not over 3000ft.  11/11/17

Fit G.S. in a warm climate or fit H.S. as unit in Elementary flying.  27/2/18

 

Special Qualifications

Census/  Since joining R.F.C.

Machines flown M.F.S.H. Avro BE2C, 2E, BE12, FE2B, FE2D,

RE8  Passed School of Gunnery

Aboukir & Turnberry

 

From Egypt to 47 Squadron  17/9/18

From 47 Squadron to to Hospital  [no date]

From Hospital to 47 Squadron 16th Wing  9/12/18

R.A.F. Russia 13/7/19

 

47 Squadron Records (South Russia)

Arrived South Russia from Salonika per S.S. War Celt 3/6/19

From Rostov 12/10/19

To Taganrog, 17/10/19

Embarked Russia  28/3/20

 

Rob

 

Edited by RFT

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ForeignGong   
ForeignGong

Hi Rob

 

The Foreign Office file for him only has initial not first name

 

"File: WO 388/4  Decorations awarded to, and received from, Russia & Serbia  1915-17 & 1915-20"

 

States

 

"Watson, Lt A, St Stanislas, 3rd with swords & bow, RAF"

 

Peter

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RFT   
RFT

Hi Peter,

 

"3rd Class with Bow" - Thanks for taking the time to look him up.  Much appreciated.

 

Rob

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Crab   
Crab

Damien

In researching the limited military history of my cousin, who served with the 2nd Battalion, King's Royal Rifle Corps, I discovered in his Medal Roll dated 1919, a reference to "Russian Relief Force."

I understand that the KRRC formed No. 1 Special Company KRRC at the Rifle Depot, Winchester on 5 Apr 1919, comprising 7 officers and 212 other ranks.

My question therefore is, what part did No. 1 Special Coy play, if any, in the Syren Force or indeed any other Russian campaign that your book details?

My cousin's details are 46420 Pte WOOLMORE William D and the Medal Roll entry is the only reference I can find of William's military service.

While your book is on order, I can't wait for it to arrive in Middle Earth!

 

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The Scorer   
The Scorer

I've received my copy ... now to find the time to read it!

 

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wrightdw   
wrightdw

Hi Crab, I don't have anything specific on WOOLWORE however the operations of No 1. Special Company, KRRC and their sister unit No. 1 Special Company, Middlesex Regiment are covered in detail in my book.

 

For interest the KRRC Company had four platoons, three KRRC and one on attachment from Rifle Brigade.

 

I have attached a page from my book for your interest.

 

Hi Scorer, at 576 pages it should take you a long time to get through it! Thanks for buying a copy.

page.jpg

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stiletto_33853   
stiletto_33853

Hi Damien,

 

Best of luck with the book.

 

 "In March 1919, a Company of Riflemen was formed at the Rifle Depot for service in Murmansk in northern Russia. This Company was ordered to be formed entirely of men of the KRRC, but owing to there not being sufficient men of that Corps at the Depot, it was found necessary to form one Platoon from the Rifle Brigade."

 

 

There is an article in one of The Rifle Brigade Chronicles concerning this Company and it's activities if you would care for a copy.

 

Andy

Edited by stiletto_33853

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wrightdw   
wrightdw

Hi Andy,

 

Thanks for your comment. I have a copy of the RB Chronicle for North Russia and East Africa which I was lucky to pick up on ebay some years ago quite cheaply.

 

From memory there were some discrepancies with the dates in the chronicle article, I think one of the discrepancies was that the Company did not disembark on the day that they arrived at Murmansk.

 

I am not convinced by the statement in the Chronicle that the fourth (RB) platoon was added to the Company to make up for not enough KRRC men at the Depot, their sister unit, No. 1 Special Company, Middlesex Regiment comprised only three platoons. Both units were formed at the same time under the same War Office directive.

 

My hypothesis is that the RB platoon was added to the KRRC Company by virtue of both regiments sharing the Depot at Winchester. Many of the units sent to North Russia in spring/summer 1919 were composite.

 

Both "Special Company's" were formed at the same time as drafts of men from dozens of regiments were being drafted into 1st (Grogan's) Brigade, North Russia Relief Force.


This graph gives some indication of the number of drafts which made up 2nd Bn., Hampshire Regiment in North Russia, these men were not volunteers, they were drafted from their regimental depots for service in North Russia despite assurances from the British government that only volunteers were being sent to Russia:

 

Officers and Other Ranks serving with 2nd Bn., Hampshire Regiment on disembarkation in England after service in North Russia, October 1919.

 

 

 

 

 

Officers:

 

Other Ranks:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hampshire Regiment

24

154

South African Scottish

1

 

 

Somerset Light Infantry

5

70

Dorset Regiment

9

118

Wiltshire Regiment

8

184

King’s Liverpool Regiment

 

 

1

Northampton Regiment

 

 

3

Royal Scots Fusiliers

 

 

40

Royal Sussex Regiment

 

 

6

Leicester Regiment

 

 

10

Royal Irish Fusiliers

 

 

22

East Kent Regiment

 

 

4

Devon Regiment

 

 

1

East Surrey Regiment

 

 

13

Grenadier Guards

 

 

17

Coldstream Guards

 

 

17

Irish Guards

 

 

3

Leinster Regiment

 

 

18

Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers

 

 

16

Essex Regiment

 

 

10

Royal Fusiliers

 

 

28

Royal Muster Fusiliers

 

 

4

Royal West Surrey Regiment

 

 

27

Royal Irish Regiment

 

 

20

Norfolk Regiment

 

 

19

Connaught Rangers

 

 

39

Suffolk Regiment

 

 

6

Middlesex Regiment

 

 

15

Army Ordnance Corps

 

 

1

RAMC (Medical Officer)

1

 

 

Chaplain to the Forces

1

 

 

Tank Corps (Interpreter)

1

 

 

 

 

TOTAL:                                                         50                                                   866

 

 

Other than casualties which are not included in these totals, the original battalion CO South African Lieut.-Col. Jack Sherwood Kelly, VC, CMG, DSO is not included in these figures, being relieved of command in North Russia and Court Martialled on his return to England for writing letters to the press critical of the conduct of the campaign.

 

He was relieved of command in the field by General Ironside and replaced by another South African, Lieut.-Col. D.M. McLeod, DSO, MC, DCM, 4th South African Inf.

 

There were so many representatives from drafts from Scottish regiments in the Hampshires sister battalion in North Russia, 1st Oxs and Bucks Light Infantry, that they nicknames themselves the "Oxs and Jocks".

 

Slightly tangential but interesting none the less.

 

 

Edited by wrightdw

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The Scorer   
The Scorer
On ‎23‎/‎07‎/‎2017 at 04:44, wrightdw said:

Hi Scorer, at 576 pages it should take you a long time to get through it! Thanks for buying a copy.

 

That's no problem .... but it's the old, old story - "So many books, so little time!".

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stiletto_33853   
stiletto_33853

Hi Damien,

 

1st Oxs and Bucks Light Infantry, that they nicknames themselves the "Oxs and Jocks".

 

Yes, after the war my grandfather transferred from the 2nd Life Guards to the 2nd Scots Guard (1923), he and others used to call them the Jockney Guards as there were so many East Londoners in the Regiment. In his own words "You would have had difficulty finding a Scotsman at all."

 

A few other differences in the article, not so sure as the Depot kept very limited numbers at Winchester, around the 120/150 mark I seem to recall, mainly involved in clerical duties, keeping Rifle Records etc. Most went to the 5th, 6th or Southern Command Depots, many records I have come across called the Depot the Southern Command Depot with their records noting as such. 

 

However Russia is an area I have very limited knowledge about as it is outside of my main sphere of interest, hence your research is by far more knowledgeable than my own.

 

Andy

Edited by stiletto_33853

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alf mcm   
alf mcm

Hello Damian,

  I am half way through reading your book, and am finding it extremely interesting. I became interested in the Russian campaign because the 10th Royal Scots were the local Battalion here in what was then Linlithgowshire {mainly now known as West Lothian}.

 The part played by the 2/10 Royal Scots is well covered in your book. It may be of interest that the first Royal Scot casualty, L/Cpl Ernest Henry Bardell from Bedford died as the result of an accident, when he fell into the hold of the S.S. City of Cairo. Ironically, he was helping to put a cover over the hold to stop anyone falling in! Ernest died at 11.15 in the evening on 27th August 1918. An inquiry was held into his death 2 days later, and he was found to have died “as the result of an accident, not arising out of his own negligence, whilst on duty.”

  It is clear that Ernest died on 27th August, although the CWGC states 30th August. So does SDGW and the Scottish National War Memorial. The Register of Soldiers Effects does get the date right.

  I am also interested local Doctor John Boyd Michie, G.P. at Whitburn. He reported for duty with the R.A.M.C. at Blackpool on 29th October 1918, and sailed for Russia soon after the Armistice. He died in Russia on 30th December 1918.

  I was wondering if your research uncovered any details about Lt. Michie, such as how and where he died, and which R.A.M.C. unit he was attached to.

Regards,

Alf McM

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wrightdw   
wrightdw

Hi Alf,

 

Thanks for your information on Bardell, I have added it to my notes.

 

It is funny how CWGC can get things wrong, in my book I write about the curious case of L./Cpl. John Ferries, a Royal Scot serving with 1st Bn., Oxs and Bucks Light Infantry detailed in the attached snippet from my book.

 

I don't have anything additional on Michie, I suspect given his date of death that he died of sickness, Canadian Capt. Royce Dyer, DCM, MM and Bar commanding 1st Bn. Slavo-British Legion died of illness on the same day. I can't say which unit he was with although it is more likely that it was with one of the stationary hospitals.

 

 

Ferries.jpg

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alf mcm   
alf mcm

Hello Damien,

 

  CWGC’s date of death for Ernest Bardell is a bit baffling. {There are more details on his accident in his service records, available on Ancestry}. John Ferries’ name on CWGC is even more of a mystery. He is not mentioned on SDGW, or the Register of Soldiers Effects, or the Scottish National War Memorial.

 

  Thanks for looking for information on Lt. Michie. I also think that he probably died of illness, or injury. Incidentally, it was recorded in the local newspaper that he was willing to serve in the R.A.M.C., but did not want to be sent to Mesopotamia or Russia!

 

Regards,

 

Alf McM

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Sanai Burak Turna   
Sanai Burak Turna

Hi Damian,

 

It is a very interesting subject that I wanted to get into deeper. Did you include any information regarding the British chemical weapon attacks in Russia during this war? 

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wrightdw   
wrightdw
On 9/3/2017 at 09:34, Sanai Burak Turna said:

Hi Damian,

 

It is a very interesting subject that I wanted to get into deeper. Did you include any information regarding the British chemical weapon attacks in Russia during this war? 

 

Hi, Yes there is quite a bit on the development and use of the 'M' aerial gas bombs designed locally at Archangel. Their design and development was led by a Tasmanian mining engineer serving with the Royal Engineers, Major Thomas Davies, DSO, MC, RE. On returning to Australia after the war Davies became a Tasmanian Member of Parliament.

 

I have attached a couple of pages from my book for your interest.

 

 

219.jpg

159.jpg

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