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ATM

Help needed with thoughts and guesswork of 3 relatives - South Staffs, RFA & Yorkshire Regiment.

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ATM   
ATM

Hello, I wonder if anybody on here can help me out with a few things that are bothering me with some research I am doing with some of my relatives. They are:

 

Thomas Henry Green - 2nd Yorkshire Regiment - 33707/ 85th Training Battalion 62670 - Died 10th May 1918 buried at Esquelbecq Cemetery. (Great Great Great Uncle)

George Edwin Perry - South Staffordshire Regiment - 6185 - Survived war but blinded by gas. (Great Great Granddad)

Charles Henry Morgans - 5th "B" Reserve Brigade R.F.A. - 94081 - Died 12th December 1919 from effects of being gassed during war. (Great Great Uncle)

 

1.) I shall start with the first and biggest problem that I have run into which is researching Thomas Green. If the information that I have put above is correct it would mean that he was in the 2nd Green Howards/21st Brigade/30th Division.  However this is where I ran into whether this is correct as I have at home his medals, death plaque etc and 3 photos from the First World War. One is of a group of RE soldiers in a pose and unrelated (Though one is weirdly the spitting image of my Dad, born 56, have no idea who he is), one is of a grave with a wooden cross from the First World War era and the final one is of a young lad in his army uniform looking very proud of himself and with a cap badge of the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. I always had a feeling that the photo of the grave was Thomas Greens and the lad in uniform was Thomas Green himself. (I was told that it was Thomas Green by relatives but these same relatives can be wildly inaccurate with their recollections and I sometimes have to take what they say with a pinch of salt.)

 

I had a look at the photo the grave recently and although I can't read the inscription on the cross at all I noticed that the grave behind it, a more elaborate white one, has written on it died of wounds 10th May 1918. Coincidence? I assume not and have put it down that this is his grave and that those around him died at a similar time which fits in with the history of the cemetery. As for the photo of the lad with the KOYLI cap badge he has the right "family looks" and I wondered if it was a clerical error on his record and that maybe he was a member of the KOYLI rather than the Yorkshire regiment. after all Charles Henry Morgans is down as Charles Henry Morgan and although he was awarded the 1914/1915 star but on his MIC mentions only his service with a training formation back in the UK. So I conluded that it was a clerical error and really he was a member of 2nd KOYLI rather than 2nd Green Howards. After all it seemed too much of a coincidence that a lad from Wolverhampton ended up in the 2nd Yorkshire and we had a photo of a young lad who was wearing a KOYLI cap badge.

 

 Alas it seems that I am wrong as I looked at some of the other dead in the cemetery and those of the Yorkshire Regiment in there all seem to be of the 2nd Battalion too. Also I have seen that the 85th Training Battalion provided men to the Yorkshire Regiment. Finally while browsing for information about the cemetery I came across this thread on here:

 

If you go down to the photo of Serjeant Charles Brown Royal Engineers I think you can see the grave of Thomas Green behind to the left as Serjeant Charles Brown is positioned at II.B.4 and Thomas Green is buried at II.C.6 which (If I have read the map of the cemetery correctly) would put Thomas Greens grave roughly where the grave with the Green Howards looking badge is on that photo. (Or I may have got it completely wrong!)

 

Anyway. So what do you think people? Was Thomas Green in the 2nd Green Howards as it is officially or do you think he was in 2nd KOYLI? If he was in the Green Howards then is there anyway that he could have possibly have been in the KOYLI before he ended up in the 2nd Green Howards? After all, as I mentioned earlier, Charles Henry Morgans is mentioned as being only in 5th "B" Reserve Brigade RFA yet he had Pip, Squeak & Wilf and died of the effects of being gassed. So could this photo be of Thomas Green and he at some point was in the KOYLI before he was in the Yorkshire Regiment or do you think the chances are that I just have a photo of another unidentified relative or a complete stranger like that one I have of the unidentified RE who looks just like my dad?

 

OR AM I REALLY OVERTHINKING ALL OF THIS?!

 

2.) The second thing I need help with is with trying to roughly guess the likely route that George Perry would have taken. I recently discovered that he was a pre-war regular who joined up in 1903 in the South Staffordshire Regiment with the service number of 6185. I have found him on the 1911 census working as a "canal boat steerer" in Wolverhampton. On his MIC he is down as having served with the South Staffordshire Regiment and still has the service number of 6185.

 

As I haven't been able to find anything else out about him would this be a roughly correct assumption about his service?:

 

On outbreak of war George Perry has a commitment as a reservist still and is called back to the colours. As his service number doesn't change and he keeps his 4 digit number I assume that he serves in a regular battalion as I have seen regulars serving in regular battalions who have ended up transferred to service battalions and been given 5 digit regimental numbers. If this is the case I assume that he would have served in 2nd South Staffordshire/6th Brigade/2nd Division as this was serving at home as part of the original BEF and this would have been brought up to strength by reservists more than the 1st South Staffordshire which was brought back from overseas where it would have been virtually up to strength.

 

I know that a reservist could have ended up anywhere really and some were sent off to lend experience to the new army battalions but would those in the know believe my guess work to be roughly possibly accurate or do you think I am totally off? This really is guess work.

 

3.) Finally with regards to Charles Morgans, as I mentioned he is only recorded as having served in 5th "B" Reserve Brigade RFA even though he has the 1914/15 Star and died from the long term effects of being gassed. He also has a 5 digit service number. His enlistment date on his MIC is 9/2/15. Recently a relative mentioned that he was possibly in 46th North Midland Division which if correct would have made him a territorial. Again, some of what is said to me by relatives I have to take with a bit of skepticism. But if it were correct that he was in the RFA in the 46th North Midland Division then would he have had a 4 digit or 5 digit service number? Also if he transferred from one RFA unit seeing service in France to 5th "B" Reserve Brigade RFA would he have had a different service number or would he have kept his original number?

 

Thanks if you can help me with any of this. I am trying to make sense of it all and as you can probably tell from the length of this post I am having a bit of trouble putting the pieces together!

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Langdon   
Langdon

 

Just some passing thoughts on Charles Morgan without the 's'. His MIC doesn't have an enlistment date of 09.02.15 - the only date there is 02.06.15 - his entry into the France/Flanders theatre of war as a Driver. And I was wondering where you've got the 5th B Reserve info from? It's not on the Victory and British War Medals roll.

 

There's useful information from service records (Ancestry) with near numbers:

94080 James Matthews attested 27.08.14 Swindon 03.09.14 Woolwich; posted to 197th Battery 62nd Brigade 09.09.14; posted as Saddler to B Battery 22.05.15; France 30.05.15

94085  Jack Shaw attested 27.08.14 Swindon 28.08.14 Woolwich; posted to 197th 30.08.14; posted to D Battery 01.03.15 Driver; France 30.05.15

94086  Arthur Bond attested 27.08.14 Swindon 28.08.14 Woolwich; posted to 197th 31.08.14; posted to D Battery 30.01.15 Gunner; France 31.05.15

 

Mike

 

ps May I suggest that in future you don't combine three soldiers in one post in order to concentrate the members' minds...

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ATM   
ATM

Hello Langdon,thank you for replying.

 

This is where I get the 5th "B" Reserve Brigade from:

 

https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/394936/morgans,-charles-henry/

 

and also from a PDF I downloaded off of the Kew archives. I have tried to upload it on here but it keeps saying that there is a problem uploading it even though it is a PDF. I have noticed on it though his number is down as 90481 not 94081.

 

I had never thought of looking for similar numbers like that. That makes alot of sense especially as the 12th Eastern Division deployed to France over the same period as those other chaps and Charles Morgans.

 

I will try and send you the PDF in a message. Thank you for responding.

 

(PS I just found Charles Henry Morgans in the railway employment records on ancestry. apparently he quit his job on the railways in order to join the 16th Lancers!)

 

 

 

Edited by ATM

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Ron Clifton   
Ron Clifton

Hello ATM

 

5B Reserve Brigade was a depot formation at home, and he was probably sent there prior to being discharged. I don't think he could have been a Territorial as they were re-numbered with six-figure numbers in 1917.

 

Ron

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RaySearching   
RaySearching

Thomas Henry Green - 2nd Yorkshire Regiment - 33707/ 85th Training Battalion 62670 - Died 10th May 1918 buried at Esquelbecq Cemetery. (Great Great Great Uncle)

 

SDGW indicates Thomas served in the Lincolnshire reg  Prior to embarking for France with the 2nd Yorks

Name: Thomas Green
Birth Place: Wolverhampton
Death Date: 10 May 1918
Death Place: France and Flanders
Enlistment Place: Wolverhampton
Rank: Private
Regiment: Yorkshire Hussars (Alexandra, Princes of Wales' Own)
Battalion: 2nd Battalion
Regimental Number: 33707
Type of Casualty: Died of wounds
Theatre of War: Western European Theatre
Comments: Formerly 3/23746, Lincolnshire Regt.

 

Ray

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ATM   
ATM

Thanks very much for that.

 

Yes, by the looks of it Charles Morgans joined up in 1915 as a volunteer so the family myth of him being a territorial looks to be unfounded though I did find his brother last night having served with the Staffordshire Yeomanry (Percy Alfred Morgans though the S is once again missing). His brother had a 4 digit number so I am guessing that he was an actual territorial? So maybe that is where it came from.

 

As for Thomas Henry that is really helpful. Although it doesn't link him to the KOYLI it shows that he bounced around units as some soldiers seem to have done. Though it does puzzle me about the Yorkshire Hussars bit. Does that mean he was in the Yorkshire Hussars too or is it a clerical error? 

 

Thanks very much for the help.

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RaySearching   
RaySearching
41 minutes ago, ATM said:

As for Thomas Henry that is really helpful. Although it doesn't link him to the KOYLI it shows that he bounced around units as some soldiers seem to have done. Though it does puzzle me about the Yorkshire Hussars bit. Does that mean he was in the Yorkshire Hussars too or is it a clerical error? 

 

Ignore the Hussars bit'  Thomas served with the 2nd Bn Princess of Alexander of Wales Regiment (the Green Howards)

A excellent photo of his headstone  can be found here

 

Ray

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ATM   
ATM

Thank you so much for that. It has really made my day. I had been searching for a photo of his grave and saw a local person who was killing to take photos and I was thinking of asking him. Thank you so much.

 

Another question. would I be correct in believing that these lads all died as a result of wounds incurred during the battle of Lys?

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David Porter   
David Porter

For Charles Henry Morgan(s), it is his Silver War Badge entry that gives his enlistment date of February 9, 1915. As mentioned, he was given the wrong number on the SWB Roll which should be 94081, the second time the number was issued during the war. He was discharged on May 15, 1917 from 5B Reserve Brigade RFA suffering from shell shock. His date of entry points to him arriving in France with either 64th Brigade RFA or 12th Divisional Ammunition Column.

Edited by David Porter

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ATM   
ATM

Thank you, so that narrows down which unit in 12th division it could have been.

 

Putting pieces together I found his records on ancestry for working for the Great Western Railway. It says he left his job a couple of days before he enlisted with the intention of joining the 16th Lancers. It also mentions that while working for the Great Western a brake lever snapped and broke his arm and tore the muscle at some point (can't read the writing properly). I am not sure about the requirements for being in the 16th Lancers and being a driver in the RFA but I have a theory that he was rejected due to not meeting the requirements because of what sounds like a nasty injury in the past and he ends up joining the RFA because that is what he could get into. Just a hunch.

 

Thanks chaps, you have all been really helpful.

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ATM   
ATM

I downloaded the 2nd Yorkshire War Diary from Kew. Apparently there was an attack at Voormezeele on 8th May 1918. I am guessing that it was here that Thomas Green sustained his wounds and also all of those other 2nd Yorkshire lads in the same cemetery.

 

Thanks again.

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