The World War Forum (Page 11)

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Posted by: Kez {No contact email}
Location: Australia
Date: Thursday 10th November 2016 at 12:07 AM
Morning Alan,
I need some advice please. I am researching Internees at Trial Bay Gaol, South West Rocks NSW during 1915-1919 WW1. Most of them were German. Even if Naturalized they were still interned.
They were there from 1915-1919 after which most of them were 'shipped back to Germany' on either the 'Kursk' 29.05.1919 or the 'Rio Negro' 20.08.1919
I have found some aboard the 'Rio Negro' were 'escorted' by AIF to London, arriving 27.10.1919
Could you suggest who then 'took them over? Would the English Army then have 'escorted' them to Germany or the AIF?
Just not sure where to look,
many thanks Alan, cheers Kez
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 10th November 2016 at 6:48 PM

Dear Kez,
The steamer Rio Negro (Black River) sailed from Australia on Wednesday 20th August 1919 destined for the port of Rotterdam in The Netherlands where the German deportees disembarked. The ship’s Captain was Henry Daniel D.S.C. from Penzance, Cornwall. The agents were W. Leaman and Co. for the Orient Line (The Orient Steam Navigation Company). The Rio Negro carried some 593 “enemy subjects” and 80 officers and men of the A.I.F. who had escorted the men from Holdsworthy Camp earlier in the day. This was the largest internment camp in Australia at Holdsworthy (later spelt Holsworthy), near Liverpool on the outskirts of Sydney. The Rio Negro sailed from a wharf at Pyrmont, Sydney, New South Wales, and passed into the Darling Harbour at 4 p.m. 20th August (‘Sydney Morning Herald’ 21st August 1919).
Rotterdam was a neutral port on the North Sea with direct river and overland links to the Dutch-German border. The shorter sea routes across the English Channel were being used in 1919 by vessels carrying a quarter of a million German POWs who were being repatriated from Britain.
The Rio Negro called briefly at Plymouth, Devon, on Thursday 23rd October 1919, to allow some members of the armed guard who had fallen sick during the voyage to be taken off at Millbay Docks and taken to the Military Hospital at Plymouth. The Rio Negro then sailed onwards for Rotterdam the same afternoon.
While at Plymouth the arrival attracted the curiosity of a newspaper reporter who wrote in the ‘Western Morning News’ on 24th October 1919 that during the voyage one man had fled the ship at Durban but was captured after an energetic pursuit. On board were “600 German men, women and children who were being deported from Australia to Germany even though many of them were born in Australia and did not even speak German.”
“The disinclination of the fugitive to return to the Fatherland seemed to be shared by a number of his compatriots on board. Many of them are unable to speak a word of German and are Australian born.”
A 72-year-old deportee had lived in Australia for 35 years and most who had settled in the Antipodes seemed to wish to remain there. Some openly boasted that they would return to Australia within a matter of months (© Trinity Mirror via British Newspaper Archive).
A number of the passengers were stated to be well-known wool buyers in Australia.
The Rio Negro was originally a German vessel which in 1914 had operated in the South Atlantic out of Brazil and been handed over by Germany on March 29, 1919 to sail under a British flag with the Orient Line in accordance with the terms of surrender to the U.K.. In 1920 she was taken over by Ellerman Lines who used the Rio Negro as a refugee transport taking Russian refugees from the Black Sea ports into the Mediterranean. In January 1921, Ellerman Lines bought the ship and renamed her City of Palermo.
It October 1919 Rio Negro sailed under a British flag into the port of Rotterdam where her 600 German detainees disembarked.
The Australian armed guards were on special service with the A.I.F. and they returned to Australia early in 1920 on board the vessel SS Friedrichsruh. This was the former German liner initially named Fürst Bismarck built at Glasgow by the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company for the Hamburg America Line in 1905 and surrendered in 1919. The Friedrichsruh sailed from Plymouth, England, on January 22nd 1920 and called at Freemantle on February 28th 1920 before arriving at Melbourne on March 8th 1920.
There is a photograph of most of the A.I.F. guards at:
Some 74 of the guards’ names were signed on a souvenir photograph : H. Bruce; J. Abbey; W. A. Stevenson; W. Roberts; H. J. Laws; J. Ross; H. McPherson; V. Floyd; A. C. Bell; P. Hampson; A. C. Parry; K. L. Morris; B. De Riser; Sergeant G. Potter; J. Wood; Chas Richardson; Robt Jones; J. Adams; H. C. Harper; B. Fuller; R. S. Dall; H. Francis; R. E. Larolis; J. J. McKew; F. W. Mare; H. Pescut; W. R. Adams; W. L. Morris; Charles Curtis; O. W. Bulmer; Harold Edwards; G. Crago; W. B. Regan; Joseph Lee; Marc Gray; W. J. Piggott; E. A. Jones; James Dalton; L. M. S. Dean; T. Igoe; A. Perry; N. L. Bradley; E. Downick; J. G. Sherringham; T. W. Howard; C. C. Walker; G. T. Adair; E. Ivers; A. H. Donaldson; W. W. Clark; J. A. Dunn; T. J. Haydon; E. Dowling; J. A. Fahey; G. Thwaites; J. Hogg; C. G. Wilkinson; P. M. Solomon; Maurice Michenay; H. Steele; Eric A. Peisley; H. Swickfalls; A. Kieron; R. T. Humphreys; Lieutenant J. Young; Lieutenant D. H. Ross; Lieutenant Colonel G. H. Knox; Alex A. Flaherty; Lieutenant J. H. Dee; Lieutenant Jim Smith; Chaplain M. J. Smith; Captain E. S. Dann; Captain Arthur J. Day.
The card was probably signed at the end of the voyage of the Rio Negro and the missing half-dozen names would be those sick A.I.F. men taken off at Plymouth.
See the photograph held by the Australian War Memorial at:
There is a list of names of some 92 German prisoners of war from the South Australian 4th Military District at Torrens Island who were repatriated on Rio Negro, shown at:
So it was Australians who escorted the deportees to Rotterdam. By 1919 the German authorities were co-operating with the Inter-Allied agencies in repatriating both German detainees and prisoners of war.
Apparently, conditions on the Friedrichsruh on the voyage home were very bad. See the article in the ‘Perth Daily News’ dated March 1st 1920: “Transport Discomforts” at:
With kind regards,

Note: the shipping departures and arrivals have been taken from contemporary local newspapers and not from primary sources.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 10th November 2016 at 11:05 PM

Correction: The line reading: There is a photograph of most of the A.I.F. guards at:
should read:
There is a photograph of a group of the A.I.F. guards at:
Reply from: Kez
Date: Thursday 10th November 2016 at 11:12 PM

My goodness me Alan! Thank, thank you for all that information, I REALLY appreciate it.
Cheers Kez
Posted by: Gordon Wilson {No contact email}
Location: Northern Ireland
Date: Wednesday 9th November 2016 at 3:16 PM
Dear Alan
I'm trying to seek as much information as I can about my Fathers War Service but finding things very difficult in doing so , a friend recommended yourself so I'm hoping you can shed some light on this for me . I would be grateful for any such information at all , all I have is the following info .

Robert Wilson served 7th battalion KOSB HQ company number was 3194180 don't know rank Or where he joined part of first airborne division at Arnhem. He never ever really talked about his service in the war.

Many Thanks Alan
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 9th November 2016 at 4:40 PM

Dear Gordon,
I do not research the Second World War. Service records for soldiers who fought in the Second World War are not in the public domain and are held by the U.K. Ministry of Defence. The MoD will release certain amounts of information to the next-of-kin for a fee. See:
The 7th (Galloway) Battalion The King's Own Scottish Borderers (K.O.S.B.) was raised in 1939 and was employed on coastal defences from Essex to the Shetlands until 1943. In November 1943 the battalion moved to Lincolnshire as part of 1st Airlanding Brigade of 1st Airborne Division, where it trained with Horsa gliders.
The war diary of 7th (Galloway) Battalion King’s Own Scottish Borderers is at:
With kind regards,

Posted by: Andy Roberts {Email left}
Location: Lymington Hants
Date: Tuesday 8th November 2016 at 8:12 PM
George Medal: Can anyone help please, I have my grandfathers George Medal from the First World War and I believe there must be a citation somewhere detailing the circumstances which led to his award. My parents and grandparents have all passed away so I may have left it to late. I never knew my grandfather, he died before I was born. The inscription on the side of the medal reads " 21146 SJT A. Page 23/Coy MGC ". I'll happily make an extra donation to the British Legion for any help
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 8th November 2016 at 11:15 PM

Dear Andy,
The George Medal didn’t exist in the First World War. It was a civilian award instigated in 1940.
In 1917, a Sjt. A. Page, 21146, M.G.C. was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field (London Gazette 6th July 1917). Citations for the Military Medal were not published nationally and were given to the soldier with the medal. The London Gazette promulgated the awards some months after the event. See:
The National Archives has no record of a 23 Company M.G.C. so it might be worth checking the medal again. For a list of known M.G.C. companies see:
With kind regards,
Reply from: Andy Roberts
Date: Wednesday 9th November 2016 at 12:08 AM

Dear Alan,
Thank you so much for your message, I'll act on your suggestions and get back to you, once again many thanks and best regards, what a great job you're doing!
Posted by: Brian Renshall {Email left}
Location: Rainhill Merseyside
Date: Tuesday 8th November 2016 at 7:58 PM
Alan,Rainhill Civic Society have a postcard photo of a Sgt Tom Houghton(no service number I'm afraid) dressed in a Scottish Uniform (Beret,Kilt,Socks etc.,) The postcard id sent from E Wing, e.c.c.(could be c.c.c.) Brannshott,Hants

In it he says his Regiment "have all gone away" but he has to stay for a few weeks and has been transferred to the Pay Corps.

have you any from the address what his regiment might be ?

The post card was written on 18th,April 1919
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 8th November 2016 at 11:14 PM

Dear Howard,
The address is a valuable clue.
Bramshott (with an ‘m’) in Hampshire was home to a large Canadian camp. ‘C.C.C.’ stood for Canadian Concentration Camp where Canadians who had served in France were mustered in England before sailing home to Canada in 1919. The lettered Wings of the camp each dealt with processing the paperwork for battalions and groups of soldiers waiting to be sent home in drafts at the war’s end. In April 1919, “‘E Wing’ C.C.C. Bramshott” certainly housed the 15th Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force who had arrived at Bramshott on 16th March 1919 and sailed for Canada on board SS “Balric” of the White Star Line on 29th April 1919. ‘E’ Wing could have dealt with other units as well, and it is possible Thomas Houghton might have been employed at ‘E’ Wing, Bramshott with the Pay Corps.
Library and Archives Canada (L.A.C.) records only one Great War soldier specifically named “Tom” Houghton who had enlisted with the 36th Battalion C.E.F. on 31st May 1915. He was Tom Hadley Houghton born 31st December 1889, of Niagara on The Lake, Ontario. The 36th Battalion was disbanded on 15th September 1917 and the men posted to other battalions, so it is possible he could have ended the war with the 15th Battalion. However, there were a further six men named Thomas Houghton who served with the C.E.F., so it is not possible to positively identify an individual from the L.A.C. online records which are generally records of enlistment (the attestation paper) and not of continuous service. From photographs it can be shown men of the 15th Battalion did wear Highland uniform but so did many other Canadian regiments affiliated to the Scottish homeland.
More promising was a search of passenger lists outbound for Canada in 1919 which returned one Acting Sergeant Thomas Gleve Houghton, 63993, formerly 23rd Reserve C.E.F. who sailed for Canada on May 18th 1919 on board SS “Aquitania”. His name was included on Dispersal Draft K72 with 19 men of No 1 Det CAPC – No. 1 Detachment Canadian Army Pay Corps. His intended residence was Montreal.
In civilian life, Thomas Gleve Houghton was a bookkeeper of 265 Prince Arthur Street, Montreal. He stated he had been born on 2nd April 1885 at Liverpool, England. The English G.R.O. has an entry in his full name for the year 1884 at West Derby, Lancashire. His next-of-kin was his father, Samuel. As a child, Thomas had lived at Monk Street, Everton, West Derby, Lancashire. In 1891, his father was a widower when Thomas was aged seven.
Thomas had previously served part-time in the 5th Battalion The King’s Liverpool Regiment, for seven years with the Territorial Army. He also served 4 years as a sergeant with the 5th Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) which would probably have been in Canada with The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada which was designated on 1st October 1906 as the 5th Regiment "Royal Highlanders of Canada".
When he enlisted for war service in Canada on 28th October 1914 he was 29 years old; 5ft 8ins; fair complexion; blue eyes; brown hair. He was eventually posted to the 232nd Battalion C.E.F.. That Battalion arrived in England in April 1917, but was quickly absorbed into the 15th Reserve Battalion on June 9th 1917 and the men were dispersed to provide reinforcements for the Canadian Corps in the field in France.
For the duration of the war, the 23rd Reserve Battalion, which was based in England, also had trained and provided reinforcements for Canadian infantry units fighting in France. So, it is not clear in which Battalion Thomas Houghton might have seen active service in France before being transferred to the Pay Corps in England. It appears he was with 23rd Reserve Battalion in England in 1919 prior to being posted to the Pay Corps and it is possible, having been a book-keeper before the war, that the Pay Corps employed him at ‘E’ Wing” at Bramshott as a clerk processing soldiers from other battalions, before he himself returned home.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Brian Renshall
Date: Wednesday 9th November 2016 at 8:36 PM

Thanks Alan for your usual comprehensive reply. I will speak to Toms relative and impart your information
Reply from: Brian Renshall
Date: Friday 11th November 2016 at 7:36 PM

Alan,further to your earlier information,I have just noticed that Tom Has signed the photo and underneath his signature I can make out the the word Canadian.There is a number in front of it and I think it could be 15th. If so it looks like Thomas Gleve Houghton is our man.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 11th November 2016 at 11:57 PM

Dear Brian,
Hopefully then we have got the right man.
Reply from: Brian Renshall
Date: Wednesday 16th November 2016 at 7:38 PM

Alan, Tom Houghtons relative confirmed he is the right man. 'Gleve' is a family name. Thanks for your help.
Posted by: Denise Marsden {Email left}
Location: Manchester
Date: Friday 4th November 2016 at 3:53 PM
Dear Alan ....I just wondered if I can have a message displayed or his name read out somewhere . It is for my Great Uncle Private Thomas Lloyd . Manchester Regiment .2nd bn ....Reg no. 41488... He was killed on the 17th November the day before his 19 th birthday . I have the original scroll sent to me Great Grandmother and signed by Kind George the v ...As it is a 100 years it would be so nice to commemerate him in some way ....

Really appreciate any help you could give me ...Thank you very much ..Denise x
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 4th November 2016 at 4:26 PM

Dear Denise,
You can make a commemoration at:
and at
With kind regards,

Posted by: Jonathan O Donovan {Email left}
Location: Ireland
Date: Thursday 3rd November 2016 at 12:28 AM
Hi Alan,

After many years of searching, I recently found a document which stated that my granduncle, Maurice Donovan (Gunner, Royal Garrison Artillery - Service No. 120906) was a member of the 20th Heavy Battery during WWI. I was wondering if you could tell me anything about this battery such as where it was stationed, battles it would've been involved in, war diary etc. Any information, no matter how small would be of great assistance to me as I try to piece together Maurice's wartime service.

Thanking you,

Jonathan O'Donovan.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 3rd November 2016 at 4:58 PM

Dear Jonathan,
The Army medal rolls show Gunner Maurice Donovan, 120906 Royal Garrison Artillery, qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. As he did not qualify for the 1914-15 Star he did not serve abroad until some date after January 1st 1916. He would therefore have been part of a draft of reinforcements.
20th Heavy Battery R.G.A. went to France and Flanders on 7th August 1915 and later moved to Salonika, Greece. The war diaries are not available online and area held at The National Archives at Kew. The National Archives do not accept orders for copies of war diaries. See:
20th Heavy Battery was with X Corps and attached to 51st Division in August 1915 before moving to VII Corps and joining 21st Heavy Artillery Group in October 1915 before sailing from Marseilles on 28th November for Salonika to join 22nd Division, arriving 5th December 1915. Then in February 1916 they joined 37th Heavy Brigade in XII Corps. In September 1916 they joined 61st Heavy Artillery Group until joining 75th Heavy Artillery Group in January 1917. In August 1917 they joined 37th Heavy Artillery Group. In October 1918 they came under 20th Heavy Artillery Group. Fighting on the Macedonian front ceased at noon on 30th September 1918 when the ceasefire between Bulgaria and the Allies came into effect. There is a section on the Salonika Campaign on Chris Baker’s website, The Long, Long Trail at:
With kind regards,
Reply from: Jonathan O Donovan
Date: Friday 4th November 2016 at 12:00 AM

Hi Alan,

Many thanks for your detailed reply. It's certainly given me plenty to investigate. One last thing, I've seen on other sites that Heavy Batteries were sometimes called Siege Batteries. Is that true, were the titles interchangeable? Were they one and the same?


Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 4th November 2016 at 1:07 PM

Dear Jonathan,
Siege and Heavy batteries were different. A Heavy Battery was more mobile with heavy guns that could be moved by horse transport. Siege Batteries were usually more fixed, often requiring concrete or fixed platforms.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Jonathan O Donovan
Date: Friday 4th November 2016 at 2:07 PM

Thanks Alan. Much appreciated.

Best Wishes,

Posted by: Judith Lowe {Email left}
Location: Prescot
Date: Wednesday 2nd November 2016 at 8:40 AM
Good Morning Alan
Thank you for your swift reply last night. I am meeting with my group and the Autograph Book next week and we will look at carefully and discuss those men whose writing we cannot clearly read. If there are any differences to the names, initials that gave you I will come back to you with new ideas. Hope that will be ok.
Meanwhile almost the last two names of soldiers that are worth looking at are:
1. G (possibly T) Holmes 17th Brigade R F ??,29th Division M.E. F.
2. Private J D Evans. 3/3 Welsh F'd Am...... January 1916

Kind regards
Judith Lowe
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 2nd November 2016 at 8:24 PM

Dear Judith,
The 29th Division arrived in Alexandria about 1st April 1915 so a gunner in the Royal Artillery would have qualified for the 1914-15 Star. Searching for Holmes G or T in the Royal Artillery medal rolls provided one result with a date of disembarkation as 1st April 1915. He was Gunner Thomas Holmes, 90624, Royal Field Artillery.
Thomas Henry Holmes was born in Sheffield on 15th December 1879, the son of Henry Holmes, a drayman, and his wife Sarah. Thomas had married Clara White at St Simon’s Church, Eyre Street, Sheffield, on July 31st 1898. The couple had three children: Clara Ellen; Harry and Florence. Thomas was a carter for the Sheffield Forge and Rolling Mills and he was also a part-time special reservist in the 1st Division Royal Field Artillery Regiment. He would have been expert at handling heavy horses. He was 5ft 6ins tall and had brown hair and brown eyes.
The family lived at 2 court, house No. 8, Newton Lane, Sheffield.
At the age of 35, on 30th August 1914 Thomas Holmes re-joined the 1st Division Royal Field Artillery Regiment for one year’s service (or duration of war) in Sheffield. He was immediately posted to 3 Reserve Battery R.F.A. which was in 1A Reserve Brigade R.F.A. at Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Reserve units were training and holding units in the U.K..
On 21st January 1915, Thomas was posted to the 29th Divisional artillery stationed in Warwickshire where he joined 17th Brigade’s ammunition column which delivered ammunition to the guns. The 17th Brigade (more correctly XVII Brigade in Roman numerals) embarked at Avonmouth 17th March 1915 and sailed to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (M.E.F.) at Alexandria, Egypt, where it landed on April 1st 1915. The Brigade left Alexandria on 17th April 1915 and sailed via Mudros to land at Cape Helles on the Gallipoli peninsula on 30th April 1915. On May 23rd Thomas injured his left wrist but returned to duty on the same day as it was only badly bruised and not broken.
On 4th September 1915, Thomas fell victim to the local conditions and was admitted to hospital suffering from dysentery. He was removed to England where, on 23rd September 1915, he was admitted to “W. Lancs. VAD 40 Hospital, Oakdene”.
Thomas probably slipped home for a week in October 1915 as he was absent without leave from 17th to 24th October 1915.
On 1st November 1915, Thomas was moved to Woolwich in the 4A Reserve Battery R.F.A. before being posted to France on 6th November 1915 where he joined No 64 Battery in the 5th Brigade (V Brigade) Royal Field Artillery. In January 1916 Thomas was mustered as a [horse] driver. V Brigade came under command of the 3rd Canadian Division between March and July 1916 and was in action at The Battle of Mount Sorrel and on the Somme. The Brigade transferred to 4th Canadian Division in September 1916, fighting at Vimy Ridge and at The Battle of Arras. In July 1917, V Brigade R.F.A. became an Army Brigade and served with Second Army in October 1917; Third Army in December 1917; First Army in February 1918; Fifth Army in July 1918 and Fourth Army in October 1918.
Thomas was slightly wounded in action on 3rd June 1916, and he suffered influenza in December 1916 but was quickly back with his Battery. He was granted leave to the U.K. in January 1917 and January 1918. In December 1918 he was granted leave for Christmas in the U.K. and Thomas was demobilized at Purfleet on 5th January 1919. He qualified for the 1914-15 Star; British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He died at Sheffield aged 64 in March 1943.
There were two men named J. D. Evans serving in the Royal Army Medical Corps. One was an officer who served in France from November 1915 so that eliminated his name. The 3rd Welsh Field Ambulance was a Territorial Force unit and it was likely a Territorial soldier would have a four-digit regimental number rather than a five-digit general service number. A search of the medal rolls returned Private J.D. Evans, 2197, Royal Army Medical Corps. This was John David Evans and a War Badge nominal roll confirmed he served with 3rd Welsh Field Ambulance.
The 3rd/3rd Welsh Field Ambulance was a reserve unit of the 1st/3rd Welsh Field Ambulance. The 1st/3rd Welsh Field Ambulance was raised in 1908 at Swansea and was part of 53rd (Welsh) Division which served at Gallipoli in 1915. At the outbreak of war, the Territorial units raised second and third line units to provide reinforcements to the parent unit.
John David Evans enlisted in the R.A.M.C. on 3rd June 1916 and disembarked at Gallipoli on 9th October 1915 so would have been part of a draft of reinforcements to the 3rd Welsh Field Ambulance in the Suvla Bay area. The fighting; sanitary conditions and a blizzard reduced the Welsh Division to about 15 percent of its operational strength. On the night of 11th – 12th December 1915, the Division was evacuated to Mudros and then sailed to Alexandria, where it began to arrive from 20th December 1915.
Private Evans succumbed to disease; returned to the U.K. and was discharged from the Army on 23rd May 1916.
He qualified for the 1914-15 Star, The British War Medal and the Victory Medal and was granted a silver War Badge.
With kind regards,
Posted by: Peter {Email left}
Location: Billingham
Date: Tuesday 1st November 2016 at 2:25 PM
Dear Alan. Can you please look at this man
Edward Thomas Roberts Born 1879 Died 1957. Lived at 13 Nolan Street Stockton on Tees Co Durham.
Territorial Army Labour Corps Service No 425764.
Regards Peter.
Thanks for the reply to my last man. I will Donate to the Royal British Legion
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 1st November 2016 at 10:16 PM

Dear Peter,
Thank you for donating to the Royal British Legion.
Edward Thomas Roberts was born at Thornaby-on-Tees in 1880. He was a long-serving rifleman in the Durham Light Infantry Volunteers, enlisting in about 1901. The volunteers at Stockton first came about in 1797 as the Stockton Independent Volunteers. In 1859 Stockton raised the Durham Rifle Volunteer Corps which, in 1880, became the 1st Volunteer Battalion Durham Light Infantry. In the 1908 reforms the Battalion was re-named 5th Battalion Durham Light Infantry (D.L.I.) and was the senior Territorial Army battalion in the D.L.I. with its headquarters at Stockton-on-Tees. The 5th Battalion held its annual camps at Scarborough, 1908; Richmond 1909 and 1910; Haltwhistle 1911 and Scarborough 1912.
In 1913, Edward Roberts was awarded the Territorial Efficiency Medal for at least 12 years’ service. His regimental number was 131 which was a very early number, considering a battalion would have about a thousand men.
At the declaration of war in 1914, the 5th D.L.I. were mobilised at the Drill Hall, Stockton-on-Tees. They moved to their war stations for coastal defence at the Hartlepools on 10th August 1914 and on 5th September 1914 they joined the York and Durham Brigade camp at Ravensworth Park near Gateshead. In October 1914 they moved to Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
The Battalion sailed for France and landed at Boulogne on 18th April 1915 where they became part of the 150th Infantry Brigade in the 50th (Northumbrian) Division. Within days the Division was in the Ypres sector when the Germans attacked using chlorine gas and the men went into battle immediately. They then fought in the Second Battle of Ypres at St Julien; The Battle of Frezenburg Ridge and The Battle of Bellewaarde Ridge.
Edward Roberts was gassed in May 1915 and was listed in a “previously unpublished” casualty list dated 24th September 1915 (“Newcastle Journal”; Friday 24th September 1915 © Trinity Mirror via British Newspaper Archive). He remained in France but was later treated in hospital in England for bronchitis in 1916. In January 1917 he was re-numbered 201279 in the 5th D.L.I. when all Territorial soldiers were re-numbered. He later returned to France where he was transferred to the Labour Corps in 1917 where he served with 29th Labour Company. In 1918 he served with 198 Armed Labour Company which was probably guarding prisoners of war. He was demobilized in February 1919 and re-joined the peacetime 5th Battalion D.L.I. with the post-war number 4438167. He was awarded a bar to his Efficiency Medal in 1927.
In addition to the T.E.M. Edward qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
With kind regards,
Posted by: Judith Lowe {Email left}
Location: Prescot
Date: Tuesday 1st November 2016 at 9:50 AM
Good Morning Alan
Thank you for the work done on Amos and the information about soldier Hitchcox.
We are getting very near the end of the soldiers who wrote in the Autograph book now and some have little information to identify them by. But here goes with two more
1. R Maxwell. Royal Irish Guards. R M CSM 1916
2. H Thomas 2nd The Buffs. Wounded at Ypres 2nd May 1915
As always any information that you can find will be gratefully received.
Judith Lowe
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 1st November 2016 at 10:21 PM

Dear Judith,
It has not proved possible to positively identify R. Maxwell. There was no regiment named “Royal Irish Guards”. There were the Irish Guards; the Royal Irish Rifles; Royal Irish Regiment and Royal Irish Fusiliers and consequently there were numerous men named R. Maxwell. Perhaps we should add him to the names that need clarification from the original book.
H. Thomas of The Buffs initially proved elusive. A 1915 casualty list with an H. Thomas of The Buffs had the regimental number “8907”. That number did not appear elsewhere. However, the regimental number 6907 was allotted in 1903 to a Henry Thomas – who was wounded with the 2nd Battalion The Buffs on 3rd (sic) May 1915.
This Henry Thomas was born at Bredgar near Sittingbourne in Kent in about 1881, the son of William and Susanna Thomas. At the stated age of 17 years and eleven months he joined the Royal West Kent Militia on 2nd November 1898 at Maidstone, and underwent 49 days’ basic training. On 11th December 1899 Henry Thomas was mobilised for service in Malta to replace regular army troops being sent to the war in South Africa. He served at Malta garrison with the militia from 4th January 1900 until 9th June 1901.
On 25th April 1902, Henry enlisted in the regular army and joined the 2nd Battalion Royal West Kent Regiment in South Africa from 25th April 1902. The war in South Africa ended on 31st May 1902. Henry remained in South Africa until November 1902 when he moved to Ceylon until the end of March 1903. Between 1796 and 1948, Ceylon was a British crown colony. It is now Sri Lanka.
On 28th March 1903 Henry was transferred to 1st Battalion The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) in India where he remained until 9th December 1904 when he returned to the U.K.. He left The Buffs and was transferred to the Reserve in March 1910.
When Britain declared war on Germany on the night of 4th August 1914 the Reserves were mobilised and Henry was recalled to the depot of The Buffs at Canterbury. He remained with the 3rd Battalion The Buffs at Dover until 26th December 1914 when he was posted to the 2nd Buffs who had just arrived in England after sailing home from Madras. The 2nd Battalion joined 85th Infantry Brigade in the 28th Division at Winchester, and on 17th January 1915 embarked at Southampton for Havre, France. Henry was appointed a Lance-corporal in April 1915. The 2nd Buffs fought in the Second Battle of Ypres, and Henry Thomas was recorded as being wounded on 3rd May 1915 by gun-shot wounds to the head and breast. He was transferred to England on 11th May 1915. After hospital treatment he was posted to the 3rd Buffs at Dover on 25th August 1915.
On 11th May 1917 Henry was transferred to the Labour Corps, Lance-corporal 126725, when he joined 301 Reserve Labour Company before being posted to France. He went to France on 3rd July 1917 and after passing through the Labour Corps Base Depot at Boulogne on 5th July 1917 he was posted to 186 Labour Company in France. He was promoted to Sergeant in the 186 Labour Company where he remained until 26th January 1919. He then returned to the U.K. and was demobilized on 25th February 1919.
Henry Thomas qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
His military conduct was “exemplary”.
With kind regards,
Posted by: Judith Lowe {Email left}
Location: Merseyside
Date: Sunday 30th October 2016 at 8:39 PM
Hi Alan, thanks for your efforts in looking at Crowther and Ingram. I will get someone to look at the initials more carefully with me and get back to you. Hope this is ok.
Two more soldiers you may be able to help with are
1. Private P G Amos. 2?/4 Buffs. In Oakdene 7th October 1915
2. E-cm. J Hitchcox. 337or maybe 5 or 9. 12th Battalion KR? B Coy. Dartmouth Street, Edgeworth Cottages
West Bromwich
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 31st October 2016 at 6:30 PM

Dear Judith,
It has not been possible to identify P.G. Amos. There were up to eight men named Amos in The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) who were wounded, but mainly after 1915 and there is no obvious P.G. Amos.
J. Hitchcox was James Jacob Hitchcox, one of at least nine children of John and Emila (correct) Hitchcox of 73, Dartmouth Street, West Bromwich. James was born on 15th January 1894. He was employed as an iron dresser in an iron foundry. He was 5ft 7ins tall; with blue eyes and brown hair when, aged 20, he enlisted on 5th September 1914 and joined the King’s Royal Rifle Corps at their depot in Winchester as a rifleman, 3352. For ten days he served with the 9th Battalion K.R.R.C. at Winchester but he was soon posted to the 12th Battalion on 21st September 1914, the date the 12th Battalion was formed. He underwent his training with them at Cowshot, Bisley, then at Blackdown from November 1914; then the Battalion was in billets at Hindhead, Surrey, from 17th February 1915 until it moved to Larkhill, Salisbury Plain, on 10th April 1915. James was with the 12th Battalion K.R.R.C. when it landed in France on 23rd July 1915 with the 60th Infantry Brigade in the 20th (Light) Division. James qualified as a “bomber” i.e. a grenade thrower.
During the daily trench routine James was wounded and was soon afterwards returned to the U.K. on November 23rd 1915. From 11th January 1916 he spent some time with the 15th Reserve Battalion K.R.R.C. at Seaford before going back to France and re-joining the 12th Battalion as a Lance-corporal on 25th April 1916. While fighting at Delville Wood on August 9th 1916, James received a bullet wound to the forehead. He was treated at No. 23 General Hospital R.A.M.C. at Etaples. He remained in France with the 12th Battalion fighting on the Somme in 1916 and at the Third Battle of Ypres in 1917. On 17th August 1917 he received a bullet or shrapnel wound in the left knee while fighting in The Battle of Langemarck (16th –18th August 1917) and he was treated at No. 55 General Hospital at Wimereux near Boulogne. He was sent to England where he arrived on 23rd August 1917 and remained until 30th October 1917. After medical treatment he spent a week with the 6th Reserve Battalion K.R.R.C. at Queenborough (Thames and Medway) before going back to France on 31st October 1917. On 25th March 1918, James was shot again, this time in the left arm. He was treated at the 1st South African General Hospital at Abbeville before returning to England on 21st April 1918. On 21st July 1918 he came under the administration of the Depot at Winchester and was posted to the 6th Battalion K.R.R.C. on 20th August 1918.
On 5th September 1918, James was transferred to the Labour Corps as a Corporal where he passed through 301 Reserve Labour Company to join 383 Home Service Labour Company on 22nd November 1918. He remained in England and was discharged from Clipstone Camp on 26th February 1919.
James qualified for the 1914-15 Star, The British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
James married Lenora Wythes (born 1897) at West Bromwich in 1919. The couple had six children. James died at West Bromwich in 1956, aged 62. His widow died in 1959.
With kind regards,

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