Soldiers

In this section we want to add the stories of soldiers who served in the Birmingham Battalions. If you would like to submit a story for inclusion on these pages, please let us know.

172 Responses to Soldiers

  1. Ruby and Dylan Dicks says:

    Hi Pauline,
    Many thanks for your research it is very much appreciated. That is definately him. We have talked to our great great uncle Ron his son, who it has army form B2067 and B2079 for Walter Westley Peers, (sorry, should have perhaps asked him in the first place…)

    He was in the Royal Warwickshire Regt,
    No. 1625
    Private,
    Specialist qualification – Bomber
    Chevrons Blue -Four,
    Wound Stripes -Two
    1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
    Enlisted in Birmingham on 6th August 1914
    Served – Four Years 232 Days with the Colours and One Year 133 Days with the Reserve.
    Date of Discharge 5th August 1920
    Faint Scar on forehead,
    Character has Been Very Good

    The signatures seem to be Lieut. Colonel Reeves Infantry Records Officer Warwick on the discharge certificate and Lieut. Colonel J Cheadle on the good conduct one.

    Sadly there is no mention of which battalion he was in on the forms. Would 6th August 1914 been too early for him to have been in the Pals. There are no photographs of Walter anywhere, so we had been hoping his company might have been photographed in the Birmingham Post, if he was in the Pals.
    Betty Macdonald (nee Peers) our great great Aunt, who has sadly just passed away remembers her mother saying that Walter was gassed and buried and had to be dug out by his comrades.
    We will contact the http://www.warwickfusilers.co.uk and see if they CAN HELP.
    Thank you very much again,
    Best Wishes Ruby and Dylan Dicks

    • Ruby and Dylan Dicks says:

      On his medal card index it states that he landed in France 1 on the 9-2-15

    • Pauline says:

      Dear Ruby & Dylan,

      Good to see all the info you have now got. Its good of you to let me know. People don’t normally let me know how they get on, quite rightly they can’t spend their time
      necessarily, but it’s nice to know about one of the men I looked for information for. You do feel an interest in the men.

      Best of luck with your further researches,
      Pauline

      • Gail Reynoldson says:

        Dear Pauline,

        I do hope this is the correct way to contact you as I am interested to know if you can find any information on my grandfather. From my mother’s keepsakes (she died recently) I have a certificate of discharge. No 201107 Pte Will Francis Newman of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment served with honour and was disabled in the Great War and Honourably discharged on 22nd March 1919. I know my grandparents lived in the Hockley area of Birmingham so I am thinking that he may well have been in one of the Birmingham divisions although this is not detailed on the papers I have. I have tried searching the archives but cannot find any return for a Will Newman in the Royal Warks Regiment. I would like to know what my grandfather did during the war years. I know he was discharged and I recall being told as a child (6) that he had shrapnel in his head which was why he didn’t speak very well.

        Any information you might be able to find would be very much appreciated.

        Regards,

        Gail

        • Pauline says:

          Dear Gail,
          Firstly, my apologies for taking so long to answer your query. Will’s WWI medal index card is under the name William F Newman. Since you had his regimental number I have been able to be sure that this is the correct man. I will send a copy of it to you, it has to go by separate email from Ancestry. As evidenced by his high regimental number & the fact that Will wasn’t awarded the 1915 star means that he didn’t join up as early as the Pals Regiments were being formed. The medal card also stated that he was given SWB. this is the silver war badge, given to men who had served their country and had succumbed to illness or been injured in such a way as to make it impossible for them to serve further. There was such feeling in the country about men being lost & perceived cowardice in men who seemed fit enough to be fighting, that the government issued the SWBs for these men like your grandfather to wear. If you search on google, there is information on the SWBs online.
          I discovered yesterday that the actual medal rolls were online, I must have missed that somewhere along the line. These show that Will was in the 2/5 battalion RWR. This would have been a territorial regiment. Will may have been in the territorials before the war, but most likely he joined at the start of the war. These were often men too old or too young to serve at the time. The following website lists the RWR battalions & if you scroll down to the 2/5 it gives some info on them, & the Division they were in. At the top right of this page is a list of these divisions & by going into the appropriate one you can see where they served.
          I will also send you by email the medal roll & the SWB roll.
          Best wishes,
          Pauline

          • Gail Reynoldson says:

            Dear Pauline, What a lovely surprise to hear from you. I was only telling friends that I had made enquiries about my grandad when I visited the moving display of poppies at the Tower last weekend. We were one of the lucky families where our family member returned home. I have received 3 messages from Michael with links to the records held on Will. I saw from the records that he enlisted on 16th Jan 1915 and was discharged on 22nd March 1919 (wounds aged 23). As I said, as a young child I was told that he had shrapnel in his head from the war which had been the cause of the stroke he suffered in later life. I can see from the records that he served overseas. Is there a way for me to discover where he served? I wonder whether there is a record of the movements of the Battalion for the period when he served? I am going to take great delight in passing this information on to my 4 siblings and Will’s great grandchildren. Regards, Gail

          • Gail Reynoldson says:

            Sorry Pauline, I hadn’t read your e-mail properly and on visiting the RWR website I can indeed see where the 2/5 Battalion served. It makes very interesting reading. If I should be looking for anything else I am sure you will point me in the right direction. Regards, Gail

  2. josephine truelove says:

    hi pauline
    two of my great uncles died in WWI they where both in the royal warwickshire regiment
    charles concannen died 26th nov 1916 he was in the 1/6 battalion his no is 1773 he is buried in france (flanders )
    francis gorden betts was a serjeant in ” c” coy 1st battalion he died 25 nov 1918 and is buried in torquay cemetery can you tell me if there are any group photos of the said battalions and if the two men would have been in the birmingham pals would be gratful for any information josie

  3. josephine truelove says:

    sorry didnt put francis gorden service no it is 9473

  4. brummiegem says:

    hi all i am currently researching my family history and have a few members of the Warwicks . i am currently looking at my great grandfather Frank T Jackson . who served as a private regimental no 121. born 1885 in aston and lived most of his life in upper highgate street working as a coachbuilder where is the best place to look many thanks brummiegem

    • Pauline says:

      Dear brummiegem,

      I haven’t been able to find Frank in my list of Birmingham Pals, although there are some men who joined the battalions later. However, because of the date he was in France I think ot more likely that he was in one of the regular regiments. I suggest you see if they have any information in the museum. http://www.warwickfusiliers.co.uk/

      Best wishes,
      Pauline

      • brummigem says:

        hi paline thanks for reply i will look there ,i think he was in france 1915 on . i also have a relative joseph william harwood 1/6 terrotorial royal warwicks killed in action 1917 aged 19 buried epehy wood farm [i believe the somme] regards nick

  5. Norman Bartlam says:

    I’d be interested to hear from anyone who has details of any ‘ under age’ or teenager soldiers from the Birmingham area that served in the Great War, casualities or survivors.
    Norman Bartlam Ladywood History Group.

  6. BAEF says:

    Hi Pauline,
    Pte. Alfred William BRIGGS was born in Birmingham in 1897. Alfred’s Medal Card states that he was with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment (no mention of a battalion). It gives his Regimental number as 1647. The award of Victory and British War Medals, and not the 1914/15 Star, indicates that he entered a theatre of war sometime after January 1916.

    It has been passed down through the family that while serving in Northern France, Alfred was captured by the German Army and became prisoner of war at Arras in 1916. He escaped twice before the end of the war. The second time he was free at the time of the Armistice. He was repatriated earlier than most (because he was free) and was returned home on a Danish ship. He was en route home on Christmas Day, 1918.

    Some years ago a researcher examined the relevant roll (WO 329/738) for the Victory and British Medal, which I guess, is what is described as the Roll (L/104B5) and Page (943) and found that Alfred “only served in one battalion of the Warwickshire Regiment, the 15th”.

    The CD titled “Birmingham City Battalions Book of Honour, 1920” and has been unsuccessfully searched for Alfred’s Battalion. Alfred’s service papers are not available on Ancestry indicating that they did not survive the 1940 fire. As well as this website, I have been greatly been enjoying reading Terry Carters book, titled “Birmingham PALS”.

    Even though the Medal Card itself does not give any indication of which Battalion a soldier might have belonged to, according to the researcher, the Medal Rolls themselves do? Could this be correct?

    • Pauline says:

      Hello BAEF,

      You seem to know a great deal about Alfred, much more than most of us ever know. I have looked at hi smedal index card on Ancestry & have also checked the Birmingham Battalions Book, just to make sure. His name is not in that book, but from his medal card you can see that he wasn’t awarded the 14 or 15 star, so he joined later than that which would account for him not being in those lists. He must have been transd=ferred in as they lost men in the fighting. I can’t say whether his entry on the medal roll would say that he was in the 15th. The information in the medal rolls often doesn’t tell you any more than you knew in the first place. The index cards don’t tell you the battalion, just the regiment. There is no reason to assume that your researcher got his information wrong when he said that the rolls state that he was in the 15th, but the only way to be absolutely sure would be for you or someone else were able to check the roll themselves. If you did go to the National Archives it might be worth looking at the relevant war diary. I think there might be mention of Alfred if he was taken prisoner. It would depend on whether the commander knew at that time, & how many were taken at the same time.

      Hope this helps,
      Best wishes,
      Pauline

  7. brummiegem says:

    Hi i am researching my family ancestry my great grandfather was Frank t jackson serving with the warwicks in france , i dont know which regiment he served i believe his service no was 121 and i think i have found his medal card, he was born in aston around 1885 and lived mainly in the upper highgate street area and worked as a coach builder , his father charles being a stonemason who worked at aston cemetery, i do have a picture of him where you can make out the warwicks badge ,can anyone advise the best way of finding anything about his service time, many thanks regards nick

  8. darcyrice says:

    I am tracing any information about my Grandfathers war record and would appreciate guidance as where to best source information. William George Leonard Rice, born in 1895. His medal card (which I have downloaded from the National Archives) indicates he was a Serjeant in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment (Regt number 836), and he was subsequently commissioned into the Worcestershire Regiment in August 1917. He also served in WW2 so I believe I am not able to get access to his officer records yet?

    I do have some of his brass cap and shoulder badges with 1 Birmingham Battalion, R Warwickshire so I presume this was the 14th (Service) Battalion (1st Birmingham), and I believe he was wounded at some stage in France during that period, but would like to find out where he actually served, and which company or battalion/battles (if any).

    Any help is greatly appreciated. I have just bought the Birmingham Pals book by Terry Carter as an initial reference point.

    Many thanks

    • Pauline says:

      Dear Darcy,
      have received your email with address & will try to get the info to you in the next week,

      Best wishes,
      Pauline

  9. caroline gee says:

    Hello, great website. I am looking for any information or a photo of my grand uncle. His details are as follows:

    2nd Lieutenant Alan Edward Palfrey Joseph (will be under either palfrey or joseph)
    14th battalion royal warwickshire regiment
    Died of wounds in battle in France 10th May 1917.

    Is there any information you may be able to give me or point me in the right direction.

    Kindest regards and thank you for your time.

    Caroline x

    • Pauline says:

      Dear Caroline,

      I have looked up the medal index card for A E P Joseph on Ancestry. I have never seen a medal index card with so much information on it. Apart from his father’s address, it has the 2 regiments he was in, & the date of his commissioning. He was originally in the 19th regiment of fusiliers. Have you seen the following website? It says that this regiment was formed by men from public schools. http://www.wartimememoriesproject.com/greatwar/allied/royalfusiliers19-gw.php

      Alan would have been transferred to the RWR when he was commissioned. I dopn’t have him in my list of Pals, but that will be because he was transferred into the regiment later. I wonder if the regimental museum has photos of commissioned men? This is their web address. http://www.warwickfusiliers.co.uk/

      Hope this helps ypou get further,
      Best wishes,
      Pauline

  10. Leo Donkersley says:

    Re: Private Walter J Rowan – 14 Battalion RWR No. 14/1414. Killed in action, 23rd July 1916.

    Hello,

    Firstly…what a great site!

    I wonder if you could confirm whether Walter Rowan was a soldier in the Pals Regiment? If so, would there be any way of finding out what date he enlisted, or is it safe to assume he would be one of the soldiers following the training and deployment detailed in your write-up?

    Finally, do you know where his battalion were fighting on the fateful day? The story in the family goes that he was killed by incoming artillery.

    Kind regards,

    Leo

  11. Brian says:

    Hello ,
    I hope you can shed light on my query,I am trying to find any reference to Clarence Smith 16th Royal Warwichshires number 16/1555. (my uncle).
    He is listed as being in B coy Royal Warwickshires during the 1st World War.
    I am trying to find what Platoon he was In.I have been to the regiments museum at Warwick and have photocopies of platoons 5-6-7-8 but he is not there.His father was Company Sergeant Major Alfred Smith (my grandad)who is on all the photographs but his son is not.
    Did they have different Photo’s at different times?
    Clarence was Killed In Action on the 27/07/1916 but was never found.
    P.s.
    I do have some Information on a comment on here ‘in confidence’ via private email if you are Interested,just a Family story passed down.

  12. Gill says:

    Hello

    I am looking for information on my Grandfather, Frederick Howard Clark, born July 1882, Sergeant in the 14th Warwicks injured at the Somme. Lived in Villa Road Aston and later Clifton Road, Balsall Heath

  13. Mary says:

    Dear Pauline,
    My Great Uncle was in the Royal Warwickshire regiment in WW1.

    He was KIA 27/09/1918 and is commemorated on panel 3 at the Vis En Artois Memorial.
    He was:

    34951 Private Sydney Morris
    Formerly 286469 Q.O Oxford Hussars.

    His medal card does not show the Theatre of war first served in. (nor any mention of the Oxford Hussars).

    I have him on the 1911 census (spelt Sidney) in Wolverton, Bucks, aged 12 with his parents and siblings. He was born in Stratfor, Bucks in 1898.

    Is there possibly anything else you can tell me about him? And why he would have gone from the Hussars to the R.W.R?

    Thanks in advance!

    MaryMc

  14. steve grizzell says:

    Hi Pauline

    I’m hoping to find some information about my Grandfather, Oliver Tomlins, I know he was in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Was a Sergeant spelt Sarjeant on his medal card listing in some archives, and that his number was 200500 but this is all I have found.
    I’d love to hear from you if you have anything on him.

    Best Wishes
    Steve Grizzell

    • Pauline says:

      Dear Steve,

      You have found the RWR regimental number for Oliver as 200500. This is not a number associated with the Birmingham Pals who signed up early on in the war, & because of that I don’t have any information as to battalion, photo etc.

      Do you have any other information yourself on Oliver, apart from that on the medal card? I ask this because Oliver’s medal card shows that he didn’t receive the star, & was therefore not in a theatre of war before 1916.

      There is another medal card, for a private O Tomlins in the RWR. This man had the regimental number 2471. He was first in a theatre of war on 22 March 1915, in France, & he only received the star. On his medal card are the letters Dis, which I presume mean dismissed. Dismissal could be for all sorts of reasons, not necessarily bad ones. Men frequently signed up again if they had been dismissed on health grounds, for example. I have looked up to see which RWR battalion(s) were deployed to France on that date & as far as I can see there was only one, & that was the 1/8 Battalion. This was a Territorial Battalion, which means that this man was in the Territorials either before the war, or having joined the Territorials after war was declared.

      I may be completely wrong but I wonder whether these 2 men are in fact the same Oliver Tomlins, who went out to France in 1915, went out of service & rejoined later, possibly without saying that he had been in service before. He would not be the only man to do this. He would in that instance be given a new number.

      I have also checked the 1911 census for the Birmingham area and there is only one person on there named Oliver Tomlin. I have also checked to see if there were any with just an initial, but there weren’t. This isn’t conclusive because men didn’t necessarily join the regiment in the area they lived in, particularly later on in the war when men were sent to those regiments which had the most need of men at the time. However I think it is worth a thought that they may be the same person.

      Unfortunately there are no records surviving for any O, or Oliver Tomlins. However, especially since the man of the O Tomlins medal card was in the Territorials, there may be some information in the RWR regimental museum. Their web address is http://www.warwickfusiliers.co.uk/

      Hope this proves to be of some help.
      Pauline

  15. Cameron Rodgers says:

    Hi Pauline
    I was hoping you coulld help me sort out a mystery I have with regards to a Officer of the 16th Battalion (3rd Birmingham).
    His name was Bernard Gossell Holt….I found in the London Gazette 17th March 1915 where he is to be a temporary Second Lieutenant but that is about it. I located his MIC but it states that he was A/Captain and that theatre of war first seerved was India?
    I was hoping you may have a bit of information that could clear this up.
    Kind Regards
    Cam

    • Pauline says:

      Dear Cam,
      My apologies for the time it has taken me to reply. B G Holt was a 2nd Lieutenant in the 16th RWR when the Pals Regiments were newly formed. I have a book called the Birmingham Battalions book of honour which was a tribute to the men & was put together by subscription. The ordinary soldiers in there all have very low regimental numbers so this does indicate that at least at that time he was a 2nd Lt. There is a list of him with his fellow officers & will see if I can copy this & email it to you. There is a photo as well but unfortunately he wasn’t present when it was taken.
      His medal index card says he was a Lt., & then acting Captain. I don’t understand a lot of what it says on that card, but he has no apparent medals for WWI, but definitely has the India general service medal & clasp, & as you say his first theatre of war was India. It also appears he was in an Afghan war. Have you contacted the British Army in India Society? http://www.fibis.org/tag/british-army
      I have tried other military records online to no avail, & then did a google search which gave me the following web address http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C1079003 This is for a record held by the National Archives (TNA) in Kew, but as the record isn’t digitised you have to send for it.
      I was also going to suggest that if you could, it might be worth your going to the TNA to look at the medal records themselves. These are what the numbers refer to on the medal index card. In most cases these don’t tell you anything you don’t already know but I think that in your case they might, & in any case there may be someone there with some expertise in this area.
      The following site shows where the different RWR regiments were during the war http://www.1914-1918.net/warwicks.htm The 16th certainly never went to India but it might be possible to find out from this site which RWR regiments did. His transfer could have happened at about the time you see the reference to him being temporary Lt, as he could at first have been standing in for someone. I wonder if he was born, or had served in India before, for them to transfer him out there.
      Hope this helps,
      Pauline

  16. Paul Bennett says:

    Looking for my Grandfather Albert William Downes wife Rose Hannah born 1882 served in the Royal Warwick regiment lived in Birmingham
    Reg No 2751 I have His medal roll index card for 1915 1916 it states theatre of war France Passed away 1967 can any one help with more info,

    • Pauline says:

      Dear Paul,
      My apologies for the delay in replying. I am only just beginning to catch up on these comments.
      I looked up Albert’s medal index card & came up with a discharge card in the name of William Downes, same reg no. This indicates that he enlisted on 2.9.14 & was discharged 2.6.16. It also says AO291/18 2a. This refers to Army Order 291 para 2a. This is the regulations for the qualification for the Silver War Badge. This badge was given to men who had served their country but were now not able to do so. It was so that they weren’t victimised by people thinking they were cowards. The para 2a says:
      2. Under the amended conditions the badge will, subject in every case to the approval of the Army Council, be issued to the individuals specified below, who served with the Colours for at least seven days subsequent to the 4th August, 1914:
      (a) Disabled men who have served during the present war outside the British Islands, or have served in the field in any previous war.
      Albert must have been injured or otherwise hurt to the point at which he could no longer function fully as a soldier. He must have been affected badly because it must have taken at least til after the end of the war to recover or they would have signed him up again. It is possible he did sign up again, there are several William Downes, but unfortunately his military record hasn’t survived so there is no way of knowing this. In case you don’t have it I will send by separate email the copy of the record mentioned above.
      On the National Archives site they have Albert in twice, once as William, which I think must be the card I mentioned above, & then an A William Downes which is the same man. I went back to Ancestry & they have that card indexed as A Williard Downes. Although Albert doesn’t seem to have been in the army long before he was discharged, he served long enough to be given all three medals, plus the war badge. I am so sorry I have been so long replying, & also that I have been able to give you a limited amount of information.
      Albert enlisted not long after Kitchener gave his call to men to do their duty & enlist. In spite of this Albert has a higher than expected regimental number, so I think he may have joined one of the regular regiments of the RWR. The museum my be able to help in this. http://www.warwickfusiliers.co.uk/
      Best wishes,
      Pauline

  17. Colin Dennis Perry says:

    Hi,
    I am researching my family past, in particular my paternal Grandfather, is it possible you could help me with my quest. The information I have concerning him is as follows, his name was Joseph Perry, and as far as I’m aware he was killed in action in the battle of ‘The Somme’ he was attached to the 11th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, his army number being 14505 with the rank of private, would this be the Regiment known as ‘The Birmingham Pals’
    Any information concerning his death would be much appreciated, although a long shot, is there any organisation I could contact with regards to photographs of him,
    Thank you for your time.
    Colin Dennis Perry.

    • Pauline says:

      Dear Colin,

      Firstly, my apologies for such a late reply, I have been out of action in this respect for a while.

      The 11th wasn’t a Pals Regiment, but a regular regiment. Joseph didn’t receive the 14-15 star, so he must have joined the army a little later than that. Unfortunately the medal index cards of these men don’t say when they first entered a field of battle. the medal index cards are on Ancestry, & as you don’t mention it I will email you a copy in case you haven’t seen it. I have no idea whether there are photos of men joining the regiments later on in the war, although I think it unlikely as they were so short of resources at that time. The museum might know. http://www.warwickfusiliers.co.uk/

      I have looked him up on the war graves site – you are fortunate there that the family gave a lot of information, even including his address, which not often the case. I don’t have any information myself on the 11th but if you look at the following site http://www.1914-1918.net/warwicks.htm
      This link is for the Warwicks on this site. If you scroll down it tells you which division the 11th was in, then on the right near the top of the page is the list of divisions. This link will take you to a page telling you when the division was formed, & where they were deployed. I have just done all that to make sure it worked & then scrolled down to find that actually, the 11th RWR was attached for a brief period, 6th July – 22Aug to the 34th Division. This was the period during which your grandfather was killed. The following is the link for this period http://www.1914-1918.net/34div.htm
      The following gives some information on the 34th on the 1st day of the Somme.http://www.westernfrontassociation.com/great-war-on-land/battlefields/972-la-boisselle-battle-somme-1-july-1916.html
      You might also find the following interesting http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwone/nonflash_map.shtml
      At one point it says ‘The fighting in that sector cost them over 28,000 men between 19 July and 5 September.’

      Hope this is of some help,
      Best wishes,
      Pauline

  18. Colin Dennis Perry says:

    Hi,
    An earlier post I made asked a question concerning ‘The Birmingham Pals, I asked if the Regiment my Grandad was attached to was in fact known as ‘The Pals’ this I’m sure should have read, was the BATTALION he was attached to known as ‘The Birmingham Pals’
    Thanks for any help you may provide, Colin Dennis Perry.

  19. Charles Felton says:

    Hi
    I am trying to find some information about my grandfather Private William Bough 21096 14th Bn Royal Warwickshire Regiment who was killed on Sunday 14th April 1918.
    I don’t know how or where he was killed and never seen a photo of him,
    Do you have any info.
    Kind Regards

  20. Adam says:

    Hi Pauline,

    I’m hoping to find some information about my great great Grandfather, David Willis, I know he was in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment 15/1903. He was a private and born in West Bromwich.

    I’d love to hear from you if you have anything on him.

    Thank you,
    Adam

    • Pauline says:

      Dear Adam,
      I presume you got the above information from David’s WWI medal index card. I confess I don’t understand the significance of the double regimental number, but this wasn’t a number that would have been given to a man in one of the Pals Regiments. The museum might be able to tell you which recruits had this type of number. http://www.warwickfusiliers.co.uk/

      The card shows that for some reason David was medically unfit for military service. The Kings Regulations under which he was discharged relate to this. I haven’t seen them myself but an online forum states that King’s Regulations Para 392(III)cc AO/29/19 refer to:
      A]Recruits with more than three months’ service considered medically unfit for further military service.
      B]men with between three and six months’ service who in the opinion of the deputy director of medical services, an assistant director of medical services, or a medical inspector of recruits, are unlikely to
      become efficient soldiers may be discharged.

      David was discharged after 7mths but there was probably some leeway there. The card also states that he was awarded a badge but no medals. This will be the Silver War Badge which was given to men who had served, even if not overseas, so that people wouldn’t harass them, thinking them cowards. There is some information online about Silver War Badges.

      It is impossible to know what sort of medical issues caused him to be unfit for service. A lot of men were found to be unfit, the government was appalled at the poor condition of many people, obviously not aware of the toll that hard working conditions for poor wages was having on people. One man in our family who had the SWB had had polio as a child and although they accepted him as a recruit in spite of the fact that he had one leg shorter than the other, but the training made him so unwell he ended up on hospital. Men wouldn’t have wanted to admit they couldn’t manage and pushed themselves beyond the limit I expect. I have looked on the military records online but David’s wasn’t one of those to survive.

      In all the queries I have looked up for people, & our own research, yours is only the second occasion that an address has been given on a card. Have you tried to find him on the 1911 census, it is likely he was at that address then, & his occupation might give an idea as to why he might be unfit.

      Best wishes,
      Pauline

  21. Dave Bramwell says:

    Good evening!

    Thank you for the site.

    I’m trying to find information about my father’s maternal grandfather, William Lane, born 1861 in Aston Manor, died 1951 in Birmingham. I used to have his WW 1 medals (3 of them) but they seem to have gone AWOL….. I remember he was listed as a Private Royal Warwicks, sadly I don’t remember his number.

    I’d also like to trace my Great Uncle David Bramwell, born 1884, died in 1941, both in Birmingham. I have his “Peace” watch with all the Allied flags on it, so I suppose he was involved, but I have no more information than that.

    Look forward to hearing any ideas you may have!

    Regards

    Dave

    • Pauline says:

      Dear Dave,
      Sorry for the delay. I have looked up William Lane on my list of Birmingham Pals but he isn’t there. I have also looked him up on the WWI medal index cards. There is one William Lane, 2 Wm A Lanes, 1 Wm Albert, & 1 Wm Josiah. Oddly, none of these was awarded the three medals, & 2 of them were discharged due to sickness. I have tried the military records but non of them survive for a William Lane, so no clue there. I also looked him up on the 1911 census to see if there was a clue there. I think he must be the one whose wife is Annie. Do you know if this is correct? If it is there is no clue there. William would have been 53 when the war started, & he must have joined up early on if he had 3 medal as the 14-15 star was only awarded to these people. He would have been at least 57 when discharged. This was old for someone who hadn’t been in the military before. Do you have any relatives who might have any more clues? My only other suggestion would be to contact the museum & see if they can help. http://www.warwickfusiliers.co.uk/

      There is a David Bramwell in the Royal Warwicks, he was awarded 3 medals. If you think this might be your man let me know & I will send you a copy of his medal index card. There is also a David Bramwell who was in the Notts & Derby Regiment & one in the RAMC/2AT. None of these men has a surviving military record. There isn’t a David Bramwell in my list of Birmingham Pals although sometimes men were transferred into these regiments later on. If you contact the museum you could ask about him as well as there was definitely one David Bramwell in the RWR.

      Sorry I can’t be of more help
      Best wishes,
      Pauline

      • Dave Bramwell says:

        Hi Pauline,

        Thanks for the answer & for takung the trouble tocopy the answer to my email!
        OK…
        a) Gt Grandad was a military man- on his daughter’s birth certificate he puts himself down as “Royal Reserves” & on the other side gives his profession a “Pearl Button Turner”. There used to be family legends that he had gone to the Khyber pass – apparently 5 “Lane”s went up, he was the only one who came down…. The legends also have him signing on on the first day of WW1, and then again on first day of WW2 when he was told he was too old(!) so he went home & started the Home Guard….
        b) I have him on the 1911 census, living at 47 Inkerman St – where they still lived in the 40s and 50s – with wife & 6 daughters (maybe that was why he signed up so quickly!!)
        c) As regards my uncle David, all I know of him is his watch which I mentioned before. Sadly, he had died about the time I came on the scene. We have him on the 1911 census living with his wife Louie in Barford St, where he was working as a wire drawer…..

        Many, many thanks for your help!!!!!!

        I’ll see in the Fusiliers can help!

        Dave

  22. Rosemary says:

    Dear Pauline,
    I’m shortly to go on a tour to theThiepval Memorial to find my great uncle Private Alfred William Stokes 14/1689 Royal Warwick Regiment killed 3/9/16. When I was young and spending my holidays at my aunts his photograph in his uniform always adorned the bedroom wall. Apart from him being at Warwick University when he enlisted I know nothing more! so I would be most grateful if you have any other details in your data file.
    Rosemary

    • Pauline says:

      Dear Rosemary,
      I am sorry to have been so long answering your enquiry. I hope you found your tour helpful, & I am sorry I didn’t read your query before you went. Your Great Uncle didn’t go to war until after the first Birmingham Battalions were formed. Unfortunately I cant tell you exactly when he did go to war. I have looked up his WWI medal index card which shows he wasn’t awarded the 14-15 star, which is partly how I know he was later on the field of battle, & also his regimental number is a little higher than it would have been had he joined at first. I don’t have any information on the men who came into the battalion later. However I do have two books about the 14th RWR & if you send me your postal address to my personal email I will photocopy the section about the time surrounding your great uncle’s death. Do you have the photo still?
      I will send a copy of his medal index card by email in case you don’t already have it.
      Best wishes,
      Pauline

  23. Joe T says:

    Hi Pauline
    I was wondering if you have any information on F B Whittall who is on the FindMyPast Birmingham City Battalions Transcription:- No. 286, 15th Bn.?
    The notes say that he was among the names of men who were given commissions, and give the date 16/7/1915.
    The F B Whittall I am interested in was commissioned into the Gloucester Regiment on that same date according to the London Gazette. He was eventually taken prisoner and ended the war in the Citadel at Mainz. Do you have anything that might help identify them as the same man?
    I noted there was an H S Whittall, No. 287, 15th Bn. on the list, and guess they may be related to have joined up together, but I have no information on him.
    Any help would be much appreciated. I have Terry Carter’s book from the library, what a fantastic wealth of detail, photos and personal stories!
    Thanks, Joe

    • Pauline says:

      Dear Joe,
      Firstly, my apologies for not replying earlier. This one is a puzzle. I have a copy of the Birmingham City Battalions book, hard back, and on CD. I can confirm that they have him in the commission list, & for the date you state. I have searched both these items and he isn’t in the lists of men in the 15th (or 14th or 16th, the other Pals regiment). I have looked up the Medal Index cards and he doesn’t appear there either, although I am not certain that officers do. I have looked up under the full details, just his name, just his surname, & just the regiment name & number. This last produces two individuals (not Whittall),with the same number, both of whom went to France in 1915 and were alive long enough to receive all three medals, so that is another puzzle!
      I have looked up the WWI military records but his isn’t one of those that survived.
      I put his name into Google & came up with the following on Genes reunited http://www.genesreunited.co.uk/search/results?sourcecategory=armed%20forces%20%2526%20conflict&lastname=whittall&firstname=frederick&firstname_variants=true
      This says he was a Lieutenant & was taken prisoner in 1918.
      Officers don’t have regimental numbers so it is possible that Mr Whittall joined up to the RWR, was commissioned almost straight away, & transferred to another regiment as they were more in need of officers at the time.
      I then put Whittall, Gloucestershire Regiment into Google & came up with the following http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C1091191?descriptiontype=Full&ref=WO+339/37292 which as you can see is the National Archives site. It gives his full name & states that the record isn’t digitised so you have to send for a copy for which you have to pay. I have done this before & it isn’t expensive & seems the best bet for finding out some more.
      The following is the web page for the Glos Reg Museum which might give you something more http://soldiersofglos.com/
      Best wishes,
      Pauline

  24. Carol Bell says:

    Hi Pauline,

    Trust it isn’t inappropriate to ask for help in this way.

    I am trying to establish which Medal Card refers to Albert George Lincoln,. b. 1898, South London (then in Surrey). Family story is that he signed up under-age, and was brought back to England on a stretcher after The Somme. He also served at Ypres.

    The only Albert G. Lincoln listed served in the RWR No. 34394, and then in the Labour Corps. The only other, plain Albert Lincoln, who survived the War served in the RGA. Both received the Victory and British Medals, but neither card mentions service in France/Belgium.

    Neither has service papers on Ancestry so could not have survived the Blitz.

    Is it feasible that a lad from South London would have been signed up to the Royal Warwickshires, as I have the impression that recruitment was very localised.

    Any guidance would be gratefully received.

    All good wishes,
    Carol

    • Pauline says:

      Dear Carol,
      I am sorry to take a while to answer your query. I haven’t been able to find any definitive answer to your question unfortunately. You have done all the right things, and you may never find the answer. I have looked at the medal index cards myself, & as you say there are only two possibilities. I have found that for men who signed up later on in the war, as these two men did didn’t have a date of entry to the theatre of war on their medal cards, presumably because they entered it too late to receive the star so for the purposes of the medal records it didn’t matter.
      I have also looked up the 1911 census to see if that gave any clue. There is no Albert George listed in the index, but two Alberts, of the same age, 12, at the time who were born in the London area. The registration county for both in 1911 was London. One was born in Finsbury, & one in Walworth. Nothing on either of these records gives any clue as to the reason why either of them should have joined a particular unit. I also checked the 1901 census in case there was an Albert G but there wasn’t.
      I don’t suppose anyone in your family would have his medals? The WWI ones have the man’s name engraved on them.
      This is just my personal opinion, and I don’t know whether you will ever find an absolute answer to this. I would favour the one with the G initial.
      a] I haven’t been able to find an Albert G or George on the census so it is likely that there wasn’t another Albert G born around the same time. Men did join units that were away from their home area. I have members of my own Birmingham family who joined regiments other than the Warwicks. Regiments didn’t only recruit in their home areas. The other issue is that as the war went on some regiments became more depleted than others so they were more in need & men were transferred from regiment to regiment at times.
      b] You have family information passed down in the respect of him coming home on a stretcher, and belonging to the artillery wasn’t the normal lot of a soldier in WWI so I would have expected that if Albert was in the artillery that also would have been known.
      c] Men who were injured or were ill may have recovered to the extent of being able to go back out to rejoin their regiments, or sometimes another regiment. If men recovered, but not sufficiently to be able to fight in the trenches they were enlisted in the labour corps. There is information about the labour corps online http://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/units/3095/labour-corps/ and http://www.1914-1918.net/labour.htm They dug trenches, laid railway tracks, & all sorts of labouring work which, while necessary, didn’t mean you had to be as fit as no one’s life depended on you responding quickly etc.
      As I said, this is only my opinion & could be wrong & I put it forward only as a probability.
      If you put ‘labour corps records’ into google it comes up with a list that includes some that indicate they may have records so that might be worth looking into.
      Best wishes, Pauline

      • Carol Bell says:

        Dear Pauline,

        I am overwhelmed by the care, thought and time you have given to my query. My sincere thanks.

        To answer a point you raise, the Medals do not appear to have survived. Albert George had two children: neither side of the family has Medals, nor unfortunately a photo of him in WW1 uniform, which certainly would have helped.

        I had noticed an Albert G. getting married in Birmingham in 1926, but was able to eliminate him, through Ancestry Bham baptisms and a Public Tree, as Albert George born October 1900, married 1926.

        I got to Kew and looked at the Medal Rolls, which showed that Albert G. of the RWR was in fact Albert George.

        I travelled to Southwark Local Archives and looked at the absent voters list. Unfortunately, Albert George was it seems too young for his details to be included. As a consolation, however, it did give me his Father and an elder Brother.

        In the South London Weekly Press, July 1916-1918, I trawled through lists of men wounded, without success, but they were not reported consistently. I did notice however that a number of other wounded from that area were with the RWR.

        Am certainly inclining towards Albert George in Royal Warwickshires. To prove, or otherwise, It is just possible he may appear in the lists of wounded on The Genealogist – but that sub will have to wait for a while.

        I am truly grateful for your kind and considered response, and the suggested websites to explore.

        All good wishes,
        Carol.

  25. Ruth Carty says:

    Hello- I am researching two relatives who were killed within months of each other in 1916. They were William George Carty and his younger brother Bertram Samuel Carty. I know that William served with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and died on 25.3.16. His father applied for the 1915 star on his behalf. He served with the 13th battalion – does that mean he wasn’t a Birmingham Pal? He was a temporary 2nd Lieutenant on his death. I know where he he buried but I would love to have a photo and hope that there are existing regimental photos? Any info would be appreciated

    His brother Bertram had been a lad clerk for GWR and signed up to the Warwickshire Yeomanry as private 2134, but was a Sherwood Forester on his death. (12th battalion). He died on 25.8.1916. Again, I would love to locate a photo.

    Any hep you might be able to give would be much appreciated.

    • Pauline says:

      Dear Ruth,
      To begin with Bertram; you must have looked up the CWGC site & the medal index cards for these two men as you have all that information. I have looked up the medal roll itself & the states that he was killed in action on25.8.16, so you know that he was injured on that particular day. If the war diary isn’t yet online from the National Archives [TNA] you can look at it in the TNA & that will tell you what the unit was involved in & if you are lucky, maybe mention him by name, especially as he was a 2nd Lt. If you look at the following website you can to some extent follow where he served. http://www.1914-1918.net/notts.htm You go down to the Bn, which tells you which division it was part of, the divisions are at the top right of the page & you can click on to find out where they went. Your only chance of finding a photo would be to contact the Sherwood foresters regimental museum I would think. They may have something.
      Now to William, & you must have the same info as you have for Bertram. William’s medal roll also says he was killed in action, so again, if you are able to look at the Regimental Diary you should be able to get the same info listed above. The long long trail site will show you where William served, the RWR page is at http://www.1914-1918.net/warwicks.htm
      Unfortunately he was at the time of his death seconded to the 10th Bn but there is no info on when this was, so it will be more difficult to follow where he served.
      Those poor parents to lose 2 sons like that in such a short time. As to a photo, again I can only suggest contacting the museum, which is at http://www.warwickfusiliers.co.uk/
      Best wishes,
      Pauline

  26. Sandra Confrey says:

    Hi

    I wondered if you could shed any light on my Grandad. His name was George Henry Layton born 1884 in Birmingham. I know that he was with the Warwicks in Indea also. Nan met him he was wearing a red jacket. I think he may also have been in the Territorial force when war broke out and went to France with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in 1914. I have found his medal card in which his regimental number is 191. He had the 14/15 Star so I know he was out there early. Hes proving really difficult to find and I think his records may have been destroyed by the bombings in WW2. I would love to find anything I can on him or his regiment and where they were. There are a few stories of him being in trouble and his Major, for whom he was a batman in India, having to step in to stop action against him. I know that this Major was part of a family who owned a factory called Tonks I think in Birmingham. Im piecing all bits together that I can remember my mom telling me. If you cant help can you tell me if I can obtain any information from anywhere else. Possible regimental photos or records. I know the PRO has the RWR diaries which I have viewed at Kew. Many thanks for your assistance. Hope you can help

    • Pauline says:

      Dear Sandra,
      I have looked up George’s medal index card, & also the medal rolls. They show him to be in the 1st Battalion RWR. As you say, his military records seem to have lost so there is probably no way of finding out the details of his service. You are fortunate that your mother talked about him, we knew nothing about our family, & our parents died when we still had very young children & at that time we didn’t ask the questions. He has a very low Regimental number so I think it is unlikely he joined up just to fight the Germans. If he had been in the Territorals & then gone out with them to France it would, I think have been later, and the number of his battalion would have been different. You talk about India etc. Do you think he could have been in the army before the war. Not necessarily just before the war, but have been done some service previously? He was a Lance Corporal when he was awarded the star, & a private later on. For him to have gone in in 1914 as a L Cpl, he must have had some experience. I think it likely that as the war unfolded and became more difficult he was perhaps not experienced enough in those conditions to have the same rank. On the other hand it could be some infringement of rules that got him demoted. Being found with a diary was one thing. The authorities were very afraid that if someone with a diary was captured it could give away information dangerous for our troops. You can see the point. He was also discharged on 4.9.17, so he was only in the war 3 years. There is no indication he was dishonourably discharged, & he was given all his medals. The only other man I have come across that was discharged without being wounded was a man who had already served in the Territorials for several years & was only asked to serve a limited time during the war.
      The museum might give you some information. The red jacket would have been dress uniform. Do you know when he married your Nan as that might give you an indication of when he might have previously been in the RWR. He was 30 when he went to war so he could quite easily have had 5 years or so in the army before. The museum website is http://www.warwickfusiliers.co.uk/ I don’t know if they would have a record or a photo.
      It doesn’t sound as if you have the medal rolls so I will send them to you by email.
      Now you know which Bn he was in it will also be easier to follow his unit in the war diaries.
      Hope this helps you gain a bit more knowledge.
      Best wishes,
      Pauline

      To find out where the 1st Bn was during the war go to http://www.1914-1918.net/warwicks.htm Scroll down to the 1st, this tells you the basics, & also which division that battallion was in. The divisions are listed top right of that page & by clicking on the relevant one it tells you where they were during the war.

  27. Christine Wedge says:

    I am trying to find any information on my husbands grandfather – Name – Sargent Edward Wedge- 130 1st Bat Royal Warwickshire Regiment – died in action on 31st March 1918 – Buried – Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery Souchez. Age 31. Bat Details 4.8.1914 Shorncliffe- 10th Bde 4th Div. Landed in France 22.8.14, We have been to the Warwickshire Museum, who were very helpful , we don,t seem to be able to get any further forward, we know he was killed in action trying to help one of his solders who was wounded, and was then killed. Do you think you could come up with any more information for us. I have spoken to on of the Birmingham Pals at a WW1 demonsation at Cannock Chase this weeknd 17th August, he thought if we found his officer we may be able to find out a little more,. Thank you

    • Pauline says:

      Dear Christine,
      Firstly, my apologies for taking a while to answer your query. I have looked up both the medal index card, & the CWGC index. The CWGC states that Edward was in the 1st RWR. The 1st RWR was a regular regiment, & this is why he was in France in 1914, earlier than any of the Pals Regiments. However, the medal rolls, which are online for Edward, show that he was in the 1st as a pte, & the 14th as a sgt. These are on Ancestry & I will send them to you but they have to go by separate email. (It is more confusing as the 14th Bn was also the 1st Birmingham Pals Regiment – but not the 1st RWR Reg.) Edward still has the regimental number 130 from his time in the 1st, but he is shown on the rolls with the same number when he was in the 14th. I have a list if the men who originally enlisted in the Pals battalions, and there is another man there with the regimental number 130.
      This makes it difficult to know exactly when he was with which battalion, which I realise is not as simple as it seemed at first. Men were transferred regularly from battalion to battalion, even from regiment to regiment as so many were lost. There is no question, I don’t think that Edward was in the 1st Bn originally, as a private, this is when he earned his star, & you can see from the MIC that the ink used is the same for the award as for his rank & Bn. By the same token he is listed as sgt when he was awarded the other medals. From the medal roll it is more difficult, although they do list the 1st, & then the 14th; you can’t tell which one the sgt relates to. On the other hand there is the question of him being listed as in the 1st at his death, but also as a sgt. I have recently come across an instance where a man was seconded to another Bn, & I wonder if this is what happened here, meaning that he was always on the strength of the 1st Bn. Alternatively he could have transferred back to the 1st before his death. I am not trying to make this confusing & I hope I have managed to set it out reasonably well, but I know that when you just thought he was in the 1st it was much less complicated & I have added to your questions instead of answering them.
      Unfortunately the 1st & the 14th weren’t in the same division.
      It could be a lot of work, but I think the only way of (perhaps) finding out which Bn he was with when, is to look at the war diaries in the National Archives in Kew. I think it likely they would record a sergeant being transferred, but as you don’t know when…. Since he was killed in action he was wounded on the day of his death so that would be the place to start in the diaries, & see if there is anything relevant recorded on that date. It will depend partly on how many were killed whether you get information on an individual.
      I will email the medal roll copies after I have sent this.
      Best wishes,
      Pauline

  28. Alison Allen says:

    Hello can you tell me if alfred George Fairbrother, his brother joe and brother in law Reginald Hercules Allen were pals regt please? I know Alfred was royal warwicks and Kia in 1917 plus there is a medal card for him. I have done some research into his last hours and included it on ancestry. Thank you

    • Pauline says:

      Dear Alison,
      Firstly, my apologies for not answering your query sooner. Alfred G Fairbrother is recorded by the CWGC as being in the 11th RWR, this is not a Pals Battalion but a regular Bn. The entry for him in the medal rolls states that he was in the 11th and the 1st, & it appears if he was in the 1st later than the 11th. (the 1st is also a regular Bn.) I have had two occasions recently when this has happened & in the 1st case it was known that the man had been seconded to the second Bn listed, & so was presumably still counted as part of his original Bn, & I think this is likely to be what happened here. I will send you a copy of the medal roll.
      Now for Joseph. It has been very difficult searching for joseph, because depending how you word your search you get different results. It does appear that there are 2 Joseph Fairbrothers in the RWR & I don’t know which one is yours. One Joseph has the regimental number 266729. His entry is on the same page of the medal roll as Alfred. On this entry his Bn is given as 2/7 which is a Territorial regiment. On his medal index card it states that he received the Silver war badge. This was given to men who had been discharged for sickness or wounds, to wear to show they had served, as there was so much feeling in the country against perceived cowards. On his SWB entry it says this Joseph was discharged from the 7th Bn. The Kings Regulation under which he was discharged says that it was because the man was no longer fit for active service.
      The other Joseph had the number 11284. He doesn’t have a medal award, but does have a SWB. It says he was discharged from the RWR due to sickness. I been back & tpo between all these records & I have wondered if it is the same man. Apart from both having the SWB nothing seems to overlap. Men did get discharged & then recover sufficiently to go back out. My father in law did just that, & then got discharged again. This is only speculation though. Maybe you have something that will help you decide.
      Reginald Hercules M M Allen was in the 6th Dorset Regiment, his medal roll entry is online. In order to find him I had to do a general military search. I presume this is your man. Having got his number I was then able to see which Reginald H Allen’s medal index card was his. I will send you all these documents.
      Hope this has helped.
      Best wishes,
      Pauline
      The other Joseph, Regimental No 11284, was also awarded the SWB, discharged because of sickness.

  29. John Perrow says:

    Hello Pauline

    I am researching the death of Private William Wallis Perrow who died of wounds on 28 October 1917 at the age of 21.
    As far as I know he was not a member of the pals as he was a native of Newport in South Wales.
    His service number with the RWR was 32734.
    According to the CWGC records he is buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery Grave reference XXI – G – 7A.
    He was a member of the 15th Bn. Royal Warwickshire Regiment at the time of his death although he had formerly been with the 3rd Dragoons regiment. His service number with the dragoons was 9617
    The information given on his Medal Record card tells us that he went to France on 18 May 1915
    The CWGC records tells us that he was also wounded at Hooge in June, 1915.
    According to my research it seems that the 15th battalion went into the line for the October 26 attack on Polderhoek Chateau. This would coincide with his dying of wounds 2 days later.
    I have found a very good account of the 14th battalions involvement in the battle but not a lot on the 15th’s involvement.
    I would be very grateful for any information on the action in which he was killed and any other information that you might have on the background of his battalion.

    Best wishes

    John Perrow

    • Pauline says:

      Dear John,
      Have you read the account in Terry Carter’s book? This does seem to mainly recount the 14th & 16th, but the 15th were in the same assault. I also have a book written about the 15th, by Major C A Bill. This is ‘ordinary’ hardback size so the amount of detail on each event isn’t great, but he does write about this attack. He was wounded himself & writes an account of his journey to the dressing station etc which might be of interest to you. If you send me your postal address to my personal email, I will photocopy the relevant parts of one or both these books.
      You are fortunate in that his family supplied so much information to the CWGC, mostly it is just the bare facts of the death & burial.
      Have you looked at the Long Long Trail site? It tells you where the various troops went to during the war. I have looked at the 3rd dragoons as well, & they don’t seem to have been to Mesopotamia during the war. They were part of the 3rd Cavalry Division who served on the western front throughout the war. However the 3rd Dragoon Guards were in Egypt before the war. The following site gives a short history.
      http://www.nam.ac.uk/research/famous-units/3rd-dragoon-guards-prince-wales An extract says – The regiment was deployed to the Boer War from 1901 to 1903, then back to Ireland, England and Egypt. It then deployed to the Western Front of the First World War in October 1914, where it remained for the rest of the war, taking part in the first and second battles of Ypres and the battle of Cambrai. It is an odd thing that the 3rd Dragoons went to France in 1914 but Williams war service is reckoned from 1915. I wonder whether the 3 years he spent in the Dragoons was partly before the war & he maybe was discharged from them, but after it was seen how the war was going he rejoined his old regiment, & was subsequently transferred to the RWR, which was a Pals regiment. Men were regularly transferred as men were lost in great numbers from some battalions. I wonder if his horse was lost, there can’t have been many spares.
      The Long Long trail page for the RWR is at http://www.1914-1918.net/warwicks.htm The Bns are down the page & then the Division they were part of at the top right.
      Best wishes,
      Pauline

  30. Sian Tanner says:

    Dear Pauline,
    My great uncle Harry James Wilson was a private in the RWR and appears to have joined up at the start of the war and survived almost to the end, dying on 26 March 1918 in the hospital at Le Treport, northern France. He is buried at Mt Huon Cemetery, Le Treport and I have visited his grave a couple of times. He was older than many of his fellow soldiers, having been born in 1876 and I would be very interested to know if he was in the Pals.

    I am also trying to find out any information about his brother Charles Robert Wilson as I have little information about him in any family records. He was born in 1880, married in 1903, parents were James Wilson and Celine Julie Vauclair Wilson. I have found a record in the RWR that could be him: C. Wilson 11286, Lance Corporal in 1917, Serjeant in 1919. Is there any way of finding out more of his background to check if he is the right C. Wilson? Are his parents mentioned on any of his records?

    Any information about either great uncle would be much appreciated.

    Sian Tanner

    • Pauline says:

      Dear Sian,
      I see from the CWGC site that Harry was attached to a trench mortar battery, & wondered if you had seen this web page http://www.1914-1918.net/trenchmortars.htm Harry was in the 10th Bn which wasn’t a Pals regiment. Have you seen his medal index card, which is online? If not, let me know & I will email you a copy. It says he first entered a theatre of war on 18.7.15 Harry’s entry in the medal roll itself is also online. They don’t tell you anything you didn’t already know, but if you would like them for completeness I will email them as well.
      The following page is on the same site I referred you to before, but is the page for the RWR. If yoy scroll down to the 10th Bn it tells you when it was formed etc. It also says they formed part of the 57th Division, so Harry was attached to the mortar battery of his original Division. On the top right of this web page it gives the divisions & from there you can find out where that division was during the war. http://www.1914-1918.net/warwicks.htm
      Harry’s military record hasn’t survived, but he is listed in the National Roll of Honour. This was a series of books, on a regional basis, but not every soldier who was killed was in it. I must try and find out some time how the names were collected, & whether families had to pay for this. This is also online now & as I think you may not have seen it I will email it to you.

      I have looked up Charles on the Medal index cards & there is a Charles Robert in the machine gun corps, which is a possibility as men from all over would join them, one of my grandfather’s nephews was in the MGC & he was from Birmingham. There was also a Charles Robert in the labour corps, & I am sure you have seen this. Apart from that there are lots of C R Wilsons & even more C Wilsons. As you say, there is one C Wilson in the RWR, a decorated soldier, but this man’s entry in the medal roll itself shows him as Charles W Wilson unfortunately. It looks as if Charles wasn’t in the Warwicks, but unless you can find some other information, from family maybe, it will be impossible to tell which man he is, Wilson is just too common a name. I have tried my list of Birmingham Pals & I have tried the WWI service records but his doesn’t survive, so at the moment I have nowhere else to look.
      Sorry I can’t be of more help,
      Paulinne

      • Sian Tanner says:

        Dear Pauline,
        Thank you so much for your kind and very well-researched reply. All the information about Harry Wilson is of great interest and I will certainly follow up any new leads, as you suggest. I am only sorry that I cannot claim the decorated RWR soldier C. W. Wilson as a relative but I am sure his own relatives are very proud of him. I will try to discover any more info about my uncle Charles Wilson from family records.
        Many thanks for your time and interest.
        Sian

  31. Sian Tanner says:

    Dear Pauline,

    Ref: my earlier posting about Harry J Wilson, 12932. I have just read through some of the earlier postings on your site and your very helpful replies and now understand that, as Harry was in the 10th Battalion, he will not have been in the Pals. However, I have ordered a copy of the book about the Pals and have followed some of your excellent advice about other sites with information about RWR.

    Any information you have about Charles Wilson 11286 would still be appreciated although, if the numbers are in any way sequential, he may have joined up very early as well.

    Sian

  32. John Jones says:

    Hello Pauline,
    Came across photo of wife’s great grandfather/mother Thomas and Eliza Everton edged with their eight sons all serving in armed services dated 1915. Centre piece is a letter from the King stating his appreciation and loyalty from one family.
    The family came from Bordesley Green, word of mouth many years ago is that the brothers enlisted in the Birmingham Pals Regiments. We have tried to research what happened to the sons, we know Frederick Everton survived but alas cannot find evidence for other seven. Thomas born (b) 1877, Francis b.1879, Edwin b.1880, Frederick b. 1886, Albert b.1891, Howard b. 1892, George b. 1894, Ernest b. ??
    Without knowledge of regiments / service numbers at a loss to narrow a factual search.
    Any ideas,
    Many thanks John.

    • Pauline says:

      Dear John,
      I have had mixed results with your family. I tried the medal index cards first (MIC), but there are more Evertons than you would think. I then went to the 1911, then 1901, then 1899 censuses to see if they had any other names. They were Howard James, George Herbert, Frederick A, Albert E J, Thomas W, Edwin C, & Francis.
      1]Howard – Howard J is on the MIC, & although there are no other Howards I couldn’t be sure it was him til I found his military record had escaped destruction in WWII, & his father is next of kin & the address is right. He was in the Duke of Cornwalls Light Infantry, & then the Dublin fusiliers. I am sending you copies of his records by email. I found all this information on Ancestry.co.uk They allow you to send copies of documents but they aren’t nearly as clear as on the screen & since they have been through fire due to WWII you can see that they are not always clear. If you are really interested in these men it would be useful for you to take out a short term subs to ancestry. If you do, do makle sure that you tell then=m when you want it to stop. We got caught once when we took out a months cheap subscription to a site & found that unless you told them, they started taking out full subs for the next month & so on.
      2]George – there are several Georges, but only one George H & he is in the Manchester Regiment. No Mil. Rec. though so can’t be sure George gave his second initial on enlisting.
      3]Fred A – Only one Fred A & he is in the Royal Engineers. He was injured or ill to the point where he couldn’t be in the military any more & was given the silver war badge. There is quite a lot online about this these days. There is also a Frederick Everton, also in the Royal engineers. I did wonder if this was the same man & he re-joined but it can’t be. It is likely that your man is the Fred A, but I couldn’t prove this.
      4]There are several Alberts, but only one ALbert E J (He is down as Albert Edward John on the actual medal roll which in his case is online.)Albert E J is in the 1st Bn RWR (The Bn is listed in the actual medal roll, not the MIC.)
      5]Again, there are lots of Thomas Evertons, but only one Thomas W, in the 2nd Bn RWR. As with Albert no way of proving he is the right one.
      6]There is only one Edwin Everton listed. He was in the Royal Berks, & then the labour corps. As with those above, no Mil. Rec. to prove this is the right man.
      7]Francis – only one Francis Everton listed, in the Royal Garrison of Artillery. His Mil. Rec. has also survived but as he was married his next of kin was his wife, & the address wasn’t the family home so nothing to prove he is your man, though I would say this is likely. I couldn’t find him on the 1901 or 1911 census to see what his occupation was. This is given as paviour on his Mil Rec. & there were other paviours in the family.
      The best place to look up about all these different regiments is ‘the long long trail’ website, but there is quite a lot of information on the different regiments online these days. It wasn’t unusual for men to join regiments that were apparently out of their area. In any case regiments often routinely recruited outside the area they were named after. Also, men entering the war later on were often drafted to where there was the greatest shortage. It was in any case not a good idea for brothers all to be in the same regiment & therefore in the same place at the same time.
      Best wishes,
      Pauline

  33. Chris Evans says:

    Dear Pauline,
    I have been trying to do some research on my uncle, Harold Hugh Titley, born 1898 in Smethwick, Staffs. I knew he served in WW1 and survived but couldn’t find anything about him for a long time. Then I realised that there was another Harold Titley from Smethwick who was killed in Arras in 1916 which was causing confusion. I have been trying to find Harold’s regiment so that I can get the war diaries for it. I had assumed it was the North Staffs but now have more information and it seems that it may have been the Birmingham Pals in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, although I think he may have been transferred to the Worcester Section/Regiment later. He joined up on the 10th September 1914 in the Birmingham Battalion (number 57145) as Harold Tetley aged 19, but he was actually born in 1898 which made him 16. I am a little confused about Royal Warwickshire, Worcester and Birmingham Pals and wonder if you can help me and advise me on which war diaries to order. Can you confirm he was in the Birmingham Pals. Also he joined up with a friend whose surname was, I believe, Sheldon – have you any information on him in Birmingham Pals? His enlistment sheet was signed by Lieut-Colonal Barnsley, although the handwriting is unclear so it may be Baumsley. Harold was discharged on 27th November 1919 and died in 1931. My mother said it was the effects of gas on his lungs and he also returned from the war as an alcoholic as a result of being given whisky/rum to go ‘over the top’. I think he was sent home wounded for a while with a gunshot wound to his face, although this was never mentioned in the family.
    I found this website very interesting and hope you can help me!
    Best wishes,
    Chris

  34. Roy Gunns says:

    I am researching a family member on my wife`s side of the family who served in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment during WW1. All I have is a ref. to Campaign Medal Index Cards and Silver War Badge Cards. I would appreciate any help.

    His name: Ernest Harry Dunn
    Soldier Number: 3/3467, Rank: Private, Corps: Royal Warwickshire Regiment
    Archive Ref
    WO372/6
    Does the digit 3 before his service number refer to him being in the 3rd Birmingham?

  35. Howard Myers says:

    Hi guys: any and all information regarding Harold Bernard Bevan, Private 2635 – 32 Royal Warwickshire Regiment, died on 27/07/16 would be most gratefully received. The only information I have so far are from the CWGC web site that includes a home address in Birmingham. Then from our family archives there we have a photograph. Things I am most interested in: DOB, where born, siblings (if known), postings, deployments, last known battle engagement and any deocrations. Thanking you most sincerely in anticipation and with kindest regards. Howard

  36. Emily Morris says:

    Hello there! I’m trying to track down any information I can about William Henry Morris of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment (who also trained the Pals in the run-up to and early days of WWI). I’d imagine since he trained the Pals there might be some photos of him around somewhere…? I’ve only been able to find one very blurry picture of him so far so I’d love to actually get to know his face, if that makes any sense at all.

    Here’s what information I have so far, based mainly on his obituary and what little research I’ve been able to do so far. His life seems to have been utterly fascinating and I’d love to learn more, particularly about his early career with the Warwicks and Pals. Also, his first two sons were born in Malta and Ireland. I assume that was something to do with military service? Was it common for wives to travel with their husbands in those days?

    Any help or advice you could offer would be most welcome. Military records are a tad overwhelming and cryptic for this civilian!

    Thanks in advance,
    Milly

    – Born 1970 (Sheffield)
    – 1888 – enlisted with the Royal Scots. He went on to serve in the South Africa campaign and was mentioned in Lord Roberts’ despatch
    – 1894/5 – retired to civilian life. By this time he’d reached the rank of sergeant.
    – 1896 – Changed his mind and re-enlisted, this time with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment
    – 1898 – Again promoted to sergeant
    – 1902 – In Chatham, Kent (where he married Florence Mannerings, the daughter of a fairly wealthy local tavern-owner with a deeply dubious family!)
    – 1903 – Was in Malta (where his first son, John Edward Morris, is registered as having been born)
    – 1905 – His second son is born in Ireland. The family had no ties to this area that I know of at that time, so I assume that this would have been something to do with the military. All his other children were born in Warwickshire.
    – 1907 – Transferred to the permanent staff at Warwick (by then a colour-sergeant). Is later moved to Coventry and finally to Leamington
    – 1914 – Having been refused active service due to his age, he engaged in ‘rigorous training’ and became associated with the ‘Pals’, which he later trained.
    – 1916 – Became Lieutenant in the 2/4th Royal Berkshire Regiment and was mentioned in Earl Haig’s dispatch. Went to fight in France
    – 1919 – Survives the war, is made Captain and awarded an M.B.E. and is sent to Egypt to deal with rioting there
    – 1922 – Retired from service due to shellshock. He never returned home, instead residing in ‘various institutions’ for treatment until his death in 1930.

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