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BridgetM

Capt. C K Merewether, 4th Wiltshire Regt.

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BridgetM

I am putting together information about each of North Bradley Parish’s men who died in the Great War. On the Sunday nearest the centenary of each death, I give a brief talk about the man and we put up a named poppy on our temporary memorial. The next man is the first Army Officer I have researched, so I would welcome some guidance. I had hoped to visit TNA before now, to see records not available online (e.g. Officers’ Records), but I am too far away to go there for a single record – it will take too long and cost too much to order a copy.

The man in question is Captain Christopher Ken Merewether, 1/4th Wiltshire Regiment, who died in Port Said 19th or 20th December 1917 of wounds received in the attack on El Mesmiyeh on 13th November 1917.

From school and college Rolls of Honour and a Times obituary (so could be second- or third-hand information) it seems he was with his unit from the earliest days of the war, having been in the OTC and held a commission in the Wiltshire Territorials. The 1/4th Wiltshires were sent to India in October 1914 and moved to Egypt in September 1917. I need help to understand how this ties up with the following entries in the London Gazette, listed in order of entry date:

 

REGULAR FORCES. COMMANDS AND STAFF.  [appointments] Personal Staff. Aides-de-Camp Lieutenant C. K. Merewether, 4th. Battalion, The Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment), Territorial Force, vice Lieutenant J. N. Carson. 1914. Dated 27th October 1914

 

Lieutenant Christopher K. Merewether is seconded, under the conditions of Paragraph 112, Territorial Force Regulations. Dated 27th October, 1914.

 

TERRITORIAL FORCE. Wiltshire Regt.—Lt. (temp. Capt.) C. K. Merewether is restored to the establishment. 22nd Nov. 1914.

 

TERRITORIAL FORCE. Wiltshire Regt.

The undermentioned Lts. to be temp. Capts.: — C. K. Merewether, and to remain seconded. 3rd Nov. 1915.

 

TERRITORIAL FORCE. INFANTRY. Wiltshire Regt
Lt. (temp. Capt.) C. K. Merewether to be Capt., with precedence as from 1st June 1916. 20th Apr. 1917

 

Many thanks for any help to clear a fuzzy picture of what he was doing!

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BridgetM

Thanks HarryBrook, I didn't look back before the war.

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daggers

Bridget

CKM is among those members of the Liverpool Cricket Club and Liverpool Football Club (RU) commemorated in the cricket pavilion at Aigburth in LIverpool.

When researching the names a few years ago I found his CWGC entry which you will surely have, and the following, from various sources.

LCC member.  Played Minor Counties cricket for Wiltshire.

Died of wounds received in action [on 13 Nov: Times]; qualified for Territorial Force War Medal, British War and Victory medals [medal card].

Regimental museum says his wooden cross was taken from Cairo and placed in Salisbury Cathedral cloisters.  It also says he served in India in 1916 and at Gaza in 1917.  His death was from wounds received in Palestine.

Army List 1911:  Lieut, Wiltshire Regt., 17/3/10.

 

London Gazette:  19/01/15 - 4th Battalion, The Duke of Edinburgh's(Wiltshire Regiment); Lieutenant Christopher K. Merewether is seconded, under the conditions of Paragraph 112, Territorial Force Regulations. Dated 27th October, 1914.  11/01/15 -Aides de camp - Lieutenant C. K. Merewether, 4th. Battalion, The Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment), Territorial Force,  22/09/16 - C. K. Merewether, and to remain seconded. 3rd Nov. 1915  14/11/16 - Wiltshire Regt.—Lt. (temp. Capt.) C. K. Merewether is restored to the establishment. 22nd Nov 1914  17/04/17 - Lt (temp. Capt.) C. K. Merewether to be Capt., with precedence as from 1st June 1916. 20th Apr. 1917.

 

Times obit: 29 Dec 1917:  Winchester College (OTC); Oriel College, Oxford (Hockey Blue 1913), member of Vincents club & Authentics CC.  Commanded Bradford-on-Avon half-company of Wiltshires, TF.  

 

Joined White Star Line [Liverpool] for training as an assistant manager. Left to join up on outbreak of war. 

A photograph appeared in the Illustrated London News but I am afraid I did not record the date.

I hope this helps

Daggers

 

 

 

 

 

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BridgetM

Thanks for that, daggers, I did know most of that, but didn't post everything to try to focus on the specific part of the research I need help with.

 

I am trying to understand how what I have found ties up with the entries in the London Gazette which I posted. 

 

I guess he would have been an Aide de Camp as part of the organising to go to India. Presumably his secondment is also to do with that. Can anyone clarify further?

In the 22nd Nov 1914 dated entry he is 'restored to the establishment' - does this mean he is sent back to his usual role in his unit, in India by then?

The 3rd Nov 1915 entry says he is 'to remain seconded' - but that would make no sense of my interpretation of the 22 Nov 1914 - any ideas?

20th April 1917 entry - what does 'with precedence' mean? Why not 'with effect from'?

 

I hope this makes my queries clearer.

 

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voltaire60

  I will try to look out the officer file for him at Kew on next visit (now prob. Thursday)

 

Captain Christopher Ken MEREWETHER. The Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment).

War Office: Officers' Services, First World War, personal files (alphabetical). Captain Christopher Ken MEREWETHER. The Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment).

Held by: The National Archives - War Office, Armed Forces, Judge Advocate General, and related bodies
Date: 1917 - 1921
Reference: WO 374/47392
Subjects:

Armed Forces (General Administration) | Army | Conflict | Operations, battles and campaigns

 

 

"with effect from" v "with precedence from".     WEF= when he started doing the job offivcially, even though he may actually have started earlier or later.

 

With precedence from-  gives him a date in the order of seniority of officers , on which promotions were normally based.  Thus, unofficially doing a job before officially "wef" could be rewarded by a" with precedence from" in the Army List.

 

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BridgetM

Very many thanks, voltaire60 - I had not expected anyone to look up the file for me, very grateful for the attempt, successful or not. 

Also the explanation regarding WEF/precedence makes sense for me now.

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BridgetM
On 11/21/2017 at 13:00, HarryBrook said:

Christopher Ken Merewether was gazetted 2nd Lt. into 4th Bn. Wiltshire Regt. on 19 January 1909

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/28230/page/1758

and promoted to Lt. 17 March 1910

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/28389/page/4492

Having spent some time on other things, I am trying again to get a clearer picture of CK Merewether's life.

First, I have to say I find The Gazette's search very odd and I would not have found these without the posted URLs, so thank you again.

Also, I wonder how he managed his commitments to the Territorials, since he was said to be at Winchester College until 1909, going up to Oxford later the same year. While the train services may have been more frequent then, he must surely have been excused attendance at each end of the line at various times. Not really relevant to his War service, but says something about him.

Edited by BridgetM

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voltaire60

     Service file at Kew read today- the thinnest file I have ever seen.   The only information in it is:

 

    died 31 General Hospital, Port Said

 

Embarked from Bombay, 15th September 1917

Landed at Suez  26th September 1917

 

13th November 1917- wounded

14th November 1917 - to 146 Field Ambulance- GSW shoulder

20th November 1917- to 31 General Hospital  GSW spine. bullet had penetrated casuing paralysis. Dangerously ill

 

    And that's it!!!

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BridgetM

Thank you for looking this out. What a disappointment! Possibly because he was Territorial?

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Perth Digger

Not necessarily because he was a Territorial, Bridget, for only parts of officers' service records have survived, other parts having been destroyed during WW2 and/or through weeding in the 1930s or 1950s. The surviving part usually relates to finance and issues of death, but that said, most files have a lot more in them too. My experience is that Territorial officers' records are less likely to have survived than the Regular Army's and they normally have much less in them.

 

Good luck with your research. 

 

Mike

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BridgetM

Many thanks, Mike. I guess we just won't know any detail of his army service, beyond the Gazette entries.

 

I see you are interested in stained glass window memorials - may be not your thing, but you might like to know that Capt. Merewether is remembered, along with his parents, on a window in St Nicholas Church, North Bradley. I don't have a photo of the whole thing, but have put a photo of the dedication on the window on his Life Story here: https://livesofthefirstworldwar.org/lifestory/3012624#images . I have a photo of the description on a board by the window, if you would like it. I haven't filled out Capt. Merewether's Life Story yet, hoping to get at least some of it done later today.

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Perth Digger

Thanks for putting me on to the link, Bridget. I don't suppose he was any relation of John Alworth Merewether, Rifle Brigade, KIA 15/9/1916?

 

Mike

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MickLeeds

You probably have this photo ?

 

Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News 19 January 1918.

image.png.a2915a19cbb70d2003e61ef0a1f29ce2.png

 

Mick.

 

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BridgetM

Mike, he is sure to be a relation, probably first cousin. his father had at least two brothers, I think more (I researched the direct line mostly). One of those uncles was Henry Alworth Fellowes Merewether, both grandfather and great-grandfather were named Henry Alworth Merewether.  

 

 

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BridgetM

Mick, yes, that portrait seems to have been used in a few places. Somebody else had already added a copy to the link I posted above.

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edwin astill

You might try looking at George Blick's "The 1/4th Battalion the Wiltshire Regiment 1914-1919"    Not a book to be found easily, but the Regimental Museum in Salisbury will have a copy.

 

Edwin

Edited by edwin astill
typo

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BridgetM

Anyone with an interest in cricket - I have seen one or two statements that Capt Merewether played cricket for Wiltshire on two occasions (including daggers, above). I know zilch about cricket, but had heard of Wisden, so looked up the online Wisden obituary for him, which says only "MEREWETHER, CAPT. CHRISTOPHER KEN (Wiltshire Regt.) born at North Bradley Vicarage, 1890; died of wounds December 12. Oriel College (Ox.) XI; Oxford Authentics. An old Wykehamist. Hockey ½-blue for Oxford.” I would have expected playing for the County to appear there, but perhaps it was such a minor occasion it was dropped for lack of space.

 I have emailed the Secretary of Wiltshire Cricket, to ask if they can confirm, but not yet had a reply. 

Discovery (which covers Wiltshire History Centre's holdings) turns up a small selection of Wiltshire Cricket records - with a gap 1899 to 1925.

Far from vital, but I do hate to get details wrong!

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BridgetM

Thanks Edwin, The Wardrobe does have a copy of that book. Unfortunately, I need to get his story together asap, if not sooner! Today has gone in sorting out some other stories I thought would be done in an hour or two.

We shall be putting up a poppy for Christopher Ken Merewether on our Centenary Memorial next Sunday, the closest to the centenary of Capt Merewether's death.

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stiletto_33853

Bridget,

 

I am sure that you are aware that his father was also an old Wykehamist and went to Oriel as well??. In the cricket eleven at Winchester 1870 & 71 and at Oxford.

 

Mike, the 9th RB Merewether record shows a mother called Mary, no father named. Resided in Stock, Essex. I have not chased the rest of his family down as yet.

 

Andy

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Perth Digger

I've sent you a message, Andy.

 

Mike

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BridgetM

Thanks Andy, I knew Christopher followed his father to Winchester and Oriel, also that he was a cricketer, but no detail on the cricket.

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stiletto_33853

Bridget,

 

I am sure that you are aware that his father was also an old Wykehamist and went to Oriel as well

 

Bridget,

 

1870 - 1 Winchester cricket, let me know if these are of interest and I will dig out the match write up, also the 1871 match and look through the Oxford files and pictures to see if we have pictures and scores.

 

Andt

img933.jpg

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stiletto_33853

img936.jpg

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BridgetM

Thank you Andy, nice to see old team photos, complete with names! I have to keep detail for Christopher himself - the talk I do is short, although I sometimes add a bit more on the Lives of the First World War 'Life Story' for individuals. I am researching all the men of the parish, plus any who served and survived who I discover, and I really, really, want to complete researching the crew of HM Submarine E24, plus some others, so I do have to focus to get everything done. And the talk on Captain Merewether is tomorrow now, plus I am doing an 'extra' about an autograph book/ a couple who served and survived - I haven't got my notes together yet!

  

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