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Peter cottle

John A Belton

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Peter cottle

My grandfather served in the Bankers Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers. He survived the war despite being involved in several of the main conflicts. He was , as he said “just one of the lucky ones”. He had a long and successful career with the National Provincial Bank and also was a Major in the Home Guard during WW2. Very different to Captain Mainwaring! He was a great mentor to me and I still

miss him. He passed away in 1982.

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Langdon

 

Welcome to the Forum Peter.

The only RF John A Belton I've found on Ancestry served as Private then Acting Corporal GS/52011 in the 22nd (Kensington), 23rd (1st Sportsman's) and 24th (2nd Sportsman's) Battalions according to his Medal Roll (British War and Victory medals) - but the 26th (Bankers) Battalion is not included. If this John Alfred Belton is your grandfather, the medal roll shows dates of service in each of these battalion, so you would be able to follow his journey via the battalion war diaries.

It may be, of course, that I've missed a John Belton in the 26th...

Here are RF details in The Long, Long Trail.

I can't see a surviving service record.

 

Mike

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Peter cottle

Many thanks Mike for your prompt reply. He was indeed John Alfred so what you say is interesting. I do have a photo of him

somewhere with Corporal stripes so that’s also a match. But he always talked about the Bankers Battalion and from memory up to the 1970’s there was a memorial note in the Daily Telgraph in respect of the Battalion . He did say that after a certain battle the battalion was merged with another due to loss of so

many men, but I am unclear of the detail. 

I will see what else I can find out, but again thank you for your assistance. (Will post photo when I locate it)

Regards, Peter

 

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wbremner

To add to Mike's note, Pte. John Alfred Belton's service is listed as follows in his Award Rolls:

 

22/R. Fus., A/Cpl. G/52011      1.12.16 to 29.1.18

24/R. Fus.                                    30.1.18 to 17.3.19

23/R. Fus.                                    18.3.19 to 5.9.19

 

On the same page in the Rolls, other soldiers with proximate services numbers (e.g. G/52009, G/52010, and G/52012) started in the 22nd Royal Fusiliers at the same time. 

 

I can recommend G I S Inglis' book "Kensington Battalion: 'Never Lost a Yard of Trench" as a useful read on the 22nd RF. Interesting to note that one introduction to the book mentions your grandfather's profession: "Raised by the Mayor of Kensington, the 22nd Royal Fusiliers (the Kensington Battalion) were a strange mixture of social classes (bankers and stevedores, writers and laborers) with a strong sprinkling of irreverent colonials thrown in."

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Langdon

Looked at close numbers in the Silver War Badge records for an enlistment date;

51999   Albert Willins  08.12.15

52012   Charles Langford  08.12.15

52017   Arthur Taylor  11.12.15

 

Also looked at three servicemen with close numbers in the medal roll who were killed and came across links to the 10th Battalion (raised in 1914 - 1,600 members of the Stock Exchange formed the Stock Exchange Battalion, of which 400 were killed during the war):

52006   Charles Hackett KIA 03.05.17 formerly Stk/996, 10th Bn

52009   John Garvey KIA 17.02.17 formerly Stk/1696 31st Bn

52021   Percy Evans DoW 18.03.17 formerly Stk/2089 31st Bn

31st Battalion you'll see from The Long, Long Trail link was formed from depot companies of other RF battalions including the 10th.

There's this link also at the IWM.

 

Mike

 

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Peter cottle

Thank you both for the information much appreciated.

Peter

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Colin W Taylor

Peter,

 

To take the work above a little further the SWB entries above are reflected with more detail in Pension Records which would reflect John's service.  The enlistment dates would suggest Derby Scheme with attestation in at the dates above and mobilization six months later joining 31st Res Bn RF which became 107th Training Reserve Bn.  This would account for the year-long gap between enlistment dates and going to France in late 1916.

 

Willins - attested 8/12/15 - mobilized 26/5/16 - 31st Res Bn RF/107th TRB - France  30/11/16

 

Serving for two years without time away wounded or sick would suggest he was very lucky if he was serving in a rifle company. 

 

Regards

 

Colin

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Peter cottle

Many thanks Colin, that is very helpful.

Regards

Peter

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wbremner
On 11/10/2017 at 18:16, Langdon said:

51999   Albert Willins  08.12.15

1

 

On 11/11/2017 at 13:45, Colin W Taylor said:

Willins - attested 8/12/15 - mobilized 26/5/16 - 31st Res Bn RF/107th TRB - France  30/11/16

1

 

Looking at Willins' attestation, is that "Stk" above the number 2658? And if so, would that indicate he enlisted first with the Stockbroker's battalion in Dec 1915, but was mobilized 6 months later for training in 31RF (Reserves), before being placed in the Kensington battalion and transferred to the front line Nov/Dec 1916?

 

MIUK1914A_119207-01054.jpg.c6dea9513afda5b4786f9e1e13d66755.jpg

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Colin W Taylor

I would have thought that, certainly in WIllins' case (as his records survive), the service number would have been added on mobilization to the 31st Bn.  I may be wrong.  If he was enlisting directly to join the Stockbrokers' Bn would he not have been posted there directly after enlistment.  He could only have gone to 31st Res Bn as the 10th Bn was in France already.  As Belton has similar start and the same end dates it is likely that he had a similar route; attestation followed by mobilisation.  A direct enlistment would not account for the delay of a year from enlistment to going to France unless Belton was sick or injured during training which might be a possible alternative.

 

I would presume Willins and Belton  were sent from 107th TRB to France with a draft destined for 22nd RF on 30 Nov 16 and arrived in France the next day and likely didn't join 22nd RF for another two weeks.  By late summer 1916 31st Bn would no longer be directly feeding recruits to 10th Bn but all RF Bns, more so once it became a TRB. 

 

Without John Belton's service records it is difficult to know; this is my interpretation using information available.

 

Regards

 

Colin

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