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Posted by: Howard Barkell {Email left}
Location: Lydford Devon
Date: Tuesday 4th October 2016 at 9:02 AM
Dear Alan

I hope you can give me some information about 19309 Richard Petherick Dorset Regt. Does the regimental number give any clue as to when he joined the Dorsets and what were 5 Dorsets doing when he became a casualty? Those are just two questions that occur to me!

Best wishes

Howard
Posted by: Judith Lowe {Email left}
Location: Merseyside
Date: Sunday 2nd October 2016 at 2:58 PM
Dear Alan
Thank you for your latest information about Private Nelson, it made interesting reading. All the soldiers that I have left have no numbers so I don't if any information about them will be found
The first two that I have looked for are
1.Gunner H Bradshaw of the RFA who was in Oakdene Hospital on 31st march 1916 and
2.Private J Gregory of the 2nd Battalion South West Lancashire Regiment who was in Oakdene on 1st September. He signed the book Orford Barracks, Warrington.
Will be interested to see if it is possible to discover anything about these men.
Regards
Judith
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 2nd October 2016 at 8:54 PM

Dear Judith,
“2nd Battalion South West Lancashire Regiment” is a misnomer. There was “The Prince of Wales’s Volunteers (South Lancashire Regiment)” and there were two “South East Lancashire” battalions (the 17th and 18th) of the Lancashire Fusiliers.
There was a private J. Gregory who served in the South Lancashire Regiment who is the most likely candidate to have been at Oakdene Hospital not only because he was wounded serving with the 2nd Battalion but also because his wife changed her address to move to Rainhill, and he was posted to Orford Barracks, Warrington, in 1915 pending discharge from the Army.
There were numerous men named John, Joseph or James Gregory who served in Lancashire Regiments including a John Gregory who served in the 2nd Battalion South Lancashire Regiment, but he did not see overseas service with them until 30th July 1918. The only J. Gregory who was a private soldier in a Lancashire regiment and appeared in a published casualty list in 1915 was James Gregory, regimental number 1902, 2nd Battalion South Lancashire Regiment who was listed as wounded in a casualty list dated April 1st 1915 published in the “Manchester Courier” on 19th April 1915 (© Local World Ltd.).
James Gregory had enlisted in the Special Reserve of the South Lancashire Regiment (S. Lan R.) on 14th April 1914. Special Reservists were part-time soldiers who undertook six months full-time training followed by a few weeks training every year for six years. James was 19 years old in April 1914, born at “Northwich, Lancashire” in about June 1895. Northwich is in Cheshire. James was a general labourer; 5ft 3ins tall; fair complexion; brown hair and blue eyes. After war was declared at 11 p.m. on August 4th 1914, Joseph was mobilized on August 8th 1914 while undergoing his training at the South Lancashire Regimental Depot which was Orford Barracks, Warrington. On 5th December 1914 he was posted to France as part of a draft of reinforcements to the 2nd Battalion South Lancashire Regiment which was serving in the 7th Infantry Brigade with the 3rd Division at Bailleul, France. A draft of 500 casualty replacements (following the First Battle of Ypres) arrived at Bailleul on 11th December 1914. The Battalion was out of the line and re-building itself at Bailleul. On Christmas Eve 1914, the Battalion went into the trenches east of Lindenhoek on the Lindenhoek – Wulverghem line in Flanders. On December 25th 1914 their war diary noted three men had been killed and two wounded on 24th - 25th December 1914; a further two sergeants were killed on the 26th December, so there was evidently no truce.
The Battalion was billeted mainly in Locre in the period December 1914 – March 1915 and spent periods of time in trenches at Lindenhoek; Kemmel and Dickebusch where the casualties were light. March was spent resting in billets at Locre for much of the time but “rest” usually involved working parties and the 2nd Battalion S. Lan R. provided road-mending and trench repairing parties at the end of the month. A likely time for James Gregory to have been wounded was during this period of working parties and it was noted that one man was wounded on Tuesday 30th March 1915 when a party of 100 men were repairing trenches at the front.
James Gregory was transferred to England on 10th April 1915, having had his right leg amputated after being hit by shrapnel or a bullet. On April 11th he arrived in England. He stated his wife, Maude, lived at an address in Birkenhead, but changed her address from Grange Mount, Birkenhead, to 4 Victoria Terrace, Rainhill, perhaps to be near him. His father was John Gregory who lived at 10 Park Street, Northwich (from his service record).
On 26th October 1915, James was posted to the Depot of the South Lancashire Regiment pending discharge from the army. The depot was Orford Barracks, Warrington. James Gregory was formally discharged on 16th November 1915. He qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He was granted a silver War Badge for being discharged, wounded.
After leaving the Army, James gave an address in Birkenhead. In 1920 he had moved to Alma Street, Atherton, Leigh, near Manchester, and in 1921 changed addresses to Bolton Old Road, Atherton; and Stanley Street, Atherton. Then in 1922, his address was Cunliffe Street, Mold, Flintshire, from where he applied for a replacement pay book as “my little house has caught fire.” (Letter to South Lancashire Regiment record office).
A search of the casualty lists published in the newspapers for late 1914 and early 1915 revealed no Gunner H. Bradshaw of the Royal Field Artillery. The Army medal rolls recorded some 86 men named H.; Henry, Harold; or Harry Bradshaw in the Royal Field Artillery so without a regimental number he will prove difficult to identify.
With kind regards,
Alan

Posted by: Leslie Jefferson {No contact email}
Location: Belfast
Date: Sunday 2nd October 2016 at 10:53 AM
Dear Alan
I'm looking for as much detail as I can get on the movements of my Father during WW1, George Fenning Jefferson Born 1st March 1896. My Mother was Margaret Anderson of 34 Tennent Street Belfast and to my knowledge when they married they lived at the same address. Joseph Leslie Jefferson (Me) was born at the same address on 4th March 1923. Alan, I always understood my Father was in The 9th Battalion 36Th Ulster Division in the RUR .. That is all that I know Alan , but would be very grateful if you can shed any light on more in-depth detail ref his service.
Thank you Kindly Sir
Leslie Jefferson
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 2nd October 2016 at 6:03 PM

Dear Leslie,
No individual service record has survived for George Fenning Jefferson, so it is not possible to state his service in detail. The Army medal rolls for a “George Fleming Jefferson” recorded he enlisted on 9th August 1914 and served with 9th Royal Irish Rifles as a private soldier numbered 14983. The 9th Battalion was raised in West Belfast in September 1914 from the Belfast Volunteers and trained at Ballykinlar until July 1915 when it moved to a tented camp at Seaford, Sussex, England. The Battalion went to France on 2nd October 1915. The 9th Royal Irish Rifles merged with the 8th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles on 29th August 1917 to become the 8th/9th Battalion. This battalion was disbanded in France on 7th February 1918. George Jefferson then transferred to the Army Service Corps on 1st March 1918 where he was allotted the new regimental number M/380350. It is not recorded where he served with the A.S.C.. George Jefferson was discharged on 6th February 1919. He qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He was granted a silver War Badge for being wounded.
The “Larne Times” of July 1st 1916 (© Johnston Press) recorded his name and number in a casualty list which would have been published in the weeks prior to July 1st 1916. However, it is not certain he returned to the U.K. for treatment.
The engagements of the 36th (Ulster) Division can be seen on Chris Baker’s website, The Long, Long Trail.
http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/order-of-battle-of-divisions/36th-ulster-division/
The two war diaries of the 9th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles can be downloaded for a fee of £3.45 each from:
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_q=%229+Battalion+royal+irish+rifles%22
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Leslie Jefferson
Date: Sunday 2nd October 2016 at 8:19 PM

Many thanks, Alan, for replying to my query so quickly. It really is appreciated.
Best wishes,
Leslie
Posted by: Judith Lowe {Email left}
Location: Merseyside
Date: Friday 30th September 2016 at 2:52 PM
Dear Alan
You got the correct Joe Bennett as I have just found out that his number was 9386. very well done.

We are now looking at Private H Nelson of the 6th east Yorkshire Regiment with a possible number of 11174 although I am not 1005 certain about this. Any ideas?

Regards Judy
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 30th September 2016 at 8:53 PM

Dear Judith,
Private H. Nelson was 11174 of the 6th Battalion The East Yorkshire Regiment. He was recorded consistently in the Army rolls as Harry Nelson. The War Badge roll recorded he enlisted on 31st August 1914.
The 6th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment was raised at Beverley for wartime service on 27th August 1914, so it is possible in that early stage of the war that Harry Nelson came from the Beverley area, but it has not proved possible to identify any biographical details for him. Harry underwent basic training at Belton Park camp, Belton House, Grantham, where the 6th Battalion joined the 32nd Infantry Brigade in the 11th Division. In December 1914, the 6th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment became the pioneer (labouring) battalion of the 11th Division. They became more used to picks and shovels rather than rifles but often had to work in dangerous circumstances. In April 1915, the 6th Battalion moved to Witley Camp, Godalming, Surrey. They sailed to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force from Avonmouth, the port of Bristol, on 1st July 1915 and arrived at Mudros, on the Greek island of Lemnos, in the Aegean on July 16th 1915.
The Battalion then landed unopposed at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli, on 7th August 1915. The strength of the Battalion was 775 although its war establishment was supposed to be 1008. By 3 a.m. the next morning they had got off “C” Beach and came under shellfire from the Turks at Lala Baba causing 12 casualties. Six hours later, at 9 a.m. on August 8th 1915, they were ordered to attack the enemy line Chocolate Hill – Sulajik. During this attack, Harry Nelson would have witnessed the ungentlemanly act of the Turks shooting at the East Yorkshiremen while they were drinking water from a well.
The next day, despite being in a state of extreme exhaustion and hunger, the 6th Battalion was ordered to support a Brigade attack Tekke Tepe. The attack went in rapidly but the speed of the advance had the effect of causing confusion and in the event the men had retired to an embankment by the evening of August 9th. In this attempt to get off the beach and gain some high ground, the 6th Battalion lost 20 men killed; 104 wounded; 28 known-wounded and missing; 183 missing. To get a foothold on the land, the Battalion suffered 335 casualties out of 775 men in the first 48 hours.
The 6th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment was the pioneer battalion for 11th Division and on August 10th 1915, Harry Nelson and his colleagues in “C” Company started the arduous task of digging entrenchments in soft sand with no trenching materials. The men were based at Nibrunsi Point where beach space was cramped so the men had to dig-in on the cliffs. Fatigue parties had to bring materiel ashore as the men worked at night in two shifts between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. to dig trenches south-east of Lala Baba. Men also had to dig a Divisional Headquarters. On August 12th they sank a second well to provide drinking water. Each well was guarded by a junior NCO and six men. Men were also employed on constructing terraces on the cliff to provide paths inland. The Battalion’s pioneer equipment eventually was landed on Sunday, August 15th. Consolidation continued until August 21st 1915 when the 6th Battalion was ordered into the attack to gain and occupy the Turkish front line trenches which were some 400 yards away. After severe fighting, the Battalion occupied the first line of Turkish trenches over a length of 300 yards but orders were received to retire to a ravine at Azmak Dere because of heavy casualties. By 10.30 p.m. on 22nd August, Harry Nelson and the Battalion were back in their own trenches at Nibrunsi Point despite having held the front line for some time during Turkish counter-attacks. The Battalion’s losses in the 31 hours of attack and withdrawal were 28 killed; 128 wounded; 49 missing. Two officers were killed and one wounded.
The next morning, as if nothing had changed, the men went about their digging duties. To avoid the heat of the day, they worked from 8.30 a.m. to noon and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m..
On 28th August the Battalion moved from Nibrunsi Point and took over lines at Suvla Point. For Harry Nelson, the two infantry attacks of August were to be the last of his fighting and he returned to the labouring tasks at hand with working parties of “C” Company, 50-men strong. The focus of their work now moved to road making. By the first week of September 1915, sickness and wounds had reduced by half the 6th Battalion, to just 395 men.
On September 21st 1915, fifty men of “C” Company 6th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment were working on the construction of a road leading to the North East of Suvla Bay, Gallipoli, towards 34th Brigade H.Q.. A weekly nominal roll of changes, dated 25th September 1915, recorded H. Nelson 11174, and four other men, had been wounded by shrapnel from a shell explosion on September 21st 1915 [probably whilst road building].
Harry would have been evacuated by boat from West Beach, Suvla Bay, and probably would have undertaken soon afterwards a week-long journey by ship to the hospital island of Malta 850 miles across the Mediterranean . From there he would have been returned to England.
Harry Nelson did not fight again and was discharged from the Army on March 20th 1916 because of wounds.
He qualified for the 1914-15 Star; the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
With kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Terry Turner {Email left}
Location: East Yorkshire
Date: Thursday 29th September 2016 at 8:58 PM
Dear Alan,
In 2012 you kindly traced my father's (John William Turner, service numbers, 2206/761293) WW1 whereabouts as a driver in The Royal Field Artillery. With this you told of how my father's 317 Brigade RFA had links with the 63rd (Royal Naval ) Division. When I looked at my own birth certificate from November 1943, I see my father's occupation is given as Leading Seaman Jx 331797, Royal Navy (dock labourer). Could the RN position in WW2 be connected to my father's RN links in WW1? I would appreciate your help in explaining this for me. For example, what was the role of the RN on the Hull docks during WW2? Would my father have been employed by the docks' authorities or by the Royal Navy? He continued working on the docks after the war until he left to work elsewhere about 1950.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 29th September 2016 at 9:37 PM

Dear Terry,
I don’t believe there would be any direct connection between John William Turner serving in the First World War with the Royal Field Artillery with the Royal Naval Division (63rd Division) and then serving in the Royal Navy in the Second World War, unless he had been personally influenced by the Navy’s culture in 1914-1918. I think it would be a coincidence that 317 Brigade RFA had served with 63rd Division in the Great War and your father had served in the Royal Navy two decades later on the docks at Hull.
If he had a Royal Navy official number in the Second World War he would have been employed by the Royal Navy. Dock workers serviced and loaded/unloaded the ships in port. The prefix JX to official numbers related to “seaman” (J) on a lower pay scale introduced in 1931 (x).
Royal Navy service records from the Second World War are not in the public domain and are held by the Ministry of Defence. The Ministry of Defence may release information to the next-of-kin for a fee. To apply see:
https://www.gov.uk/get-copy-military-service-records/apply-for-someone-elses-records
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Terry Turner
Date: Thursday 29th September 2016 at 9:48 PM

Many thanks, Alan, for replying to my query so quickly. It really is appreciated.
Best wishes,
Terry Turner
Posted by: Judith Lowe {Email left}
Location: Merseyside
Date: Thursday 29th September 2016 at 10:29 AM
Good Morning Alan

Thanks so much for your comments on Fletcher and Hatch. As soon as my friend returns from holiday I will get hold of the Autograph Book and have a closer look at the original writing.
Wondered if you could find anything out about
Private Joe Bennett
1st Battalion Cheshire Regiment
Chester Castle
Chester
Wounded at Ypres 11th March 1915
Regards
Judith Lowe
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 29th September 2016 at 7:49 PM

Dear Judith,
Joe is usually a short form of Joseph. There were at least four men named Joseph Bennett who served in the Cheshire Regiment, but not all could have been at Ypres in 1915. One went to France in 1918; Frederick Joseph Bennett served in France firstly with the Army Service Corps from April 2nd 1915; Joseph Bennett, 18372, of the Cheshire Regiment died at Marple, Stockport, on 14th August 1916.
Private Joseph Walter Bennett, 9386, Cheshire Regiment, served in France from 7th October 1914. The Army medal rolls showed he served with the 1st Battalion Cheshire Regiment and was later medically graded for garrison duties. As can be seen below, the casualty lists referred to him as both J.W. Bennett and Joe Bennett. It has not been possible to find any biographical information about him.
The 1st Battalion Cheshire Regiment was in Londonderry (Derry) Ireland at the outbreak of War where it was part of 15th Brigade in the 5th Division. The original Battalion went to France on 16th August 1914 and took part in the fighting at Mons, so Joe Bennett would have been part of a draft of reinforcements.
On 13th October 1914 the 1st Battalion Cheshire Regiment was engaged with enemy patrols at Festubert, France, and in the fighting up to that date many of their officers had become casualties.
On 16th October 1914 the Battalion was commanded by a Lieutenant and was in contact with enemy patrols at Festubert. In the afternoon Captain Mahony arrived to take command and brought with him 280 reinforcements, which was the first draft to arrive in October 1914. These would have included Joe Bennett who had arrived in France on October 7th 1914. They had arrived in the middle of a fire-fight with the Germans and the next day the Battalion occupied Violaines, a village between Festubert and La Bassée. Captain Mahony died in hospital on October 22nd after being in command for six days.
From November 5th to 20th Joe Bennett and the Battalion were in trenches at Ypres (1st Battle of Ypres). Their billets were at Locre. On 24th November 1914 they marched to Bailleul where they were attached to Second Army as Corps Troops until December 18th when they moved to the village of Neuve Eglise and half the Battalion at a time went into trenches at Wulvergem which was the front line in the Ploegsteert valley of Flanders. Whether Joe Bennett participated in a Christmas truce is uncertain. There was a truce in the area, but the Battalion war diary for December 25th 1914 has half a line saying “In trenches at Wulvergem”. They remained there in January 1915 and the first three weeks of February after which they went into reserve at Dranoutre. On March 4th 1915 Joe Bennett and the Battalion moved into trenches at Ypres with billets at Kruisstraat. On 16th March 1915 the Battalion moved into huts at Vlamertinghe and Joe would have taken advantage of the baths and laundry that were offered there. On March 22nd 1915 the Battalion moved into the line at Tuileries near Zillebeke, with quarters in the Infantry Barracks at Ypres. When in the trenches the companies organised patrols and on one occasion Battalion headquarters was shelled but no-one was wounded. It seems Joe Bennett was slightly wounded during this tour in the trenches and returned to duty as he was named as Joe Bennett, 9386, in a list of 34 wounded casualties dated March 30th and published in the Cheshire Observer on 3rd April 1915. This pre-dates the occasion when he was wounded and returned to England.
On 31st March 1915, the Battalion returned to huts at Vlamertinghe. From there they were in trenches on occasions during early April 1915, including April 5th 1915, until they moved to Zillebeke where they were entrenched during the Battle of Hill 60 (17–22 April and 1–7 May 1915).
On 9th April 1915 a casualty list notified at the Cheshire Regiment depot at Chester Castle included only nine names and they were all different to the list of March 30th except for J.W. Bennett, 9386, “wounded right hand and thigh”. This would have been the occasion he returned to the U.K.. The two lists confirmed that “Joe” and “J.W.” Bennett, 9386, referred to the one man.
It is unclear what happened to Joe Bennett after he had recovered from his wounds as the medal rolls stated only that he was with the Cheshire Regiment on garrison duties.
Joe Bennett qualified for the 1914 Star with dated clasp 5 Aug - 22 Nov 1914 for service at the Front in 1914 with the original British Expeditionary Force; the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
With kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Judith Lowe {Email left}
Location: Merseyside
Date: Tuesday 27th September 2016 at 3:46 PM
Afternoon Alan,
Wondering if you are able to find out any information about:-
Rifleman J
Fletcher 33 (1 or 9 or 5) 2, of 12th Battalion KR F?? B Coy.
Address
73 Dartmouth Street
Edgeworth Cottages
West Bromwich
Staffs
Sorry that the information is a bit vague but the writing is very faded.
Regards
Judith
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 27th September 2016 at 6:49 PM

Judith,
This is proving difficult. It couldn't be E. Trinder 3372 12th Battalion King's Royal Rifle Corps (KRCC) could it?
Alan
Reply from: Judith Lowe
Date: Wednesday 28th September 2016 at 10:03 AM

Morning Alan
I am really not sure. I only have a photocopy of the Autograph Book. The original book is in a friends safe and when they get back from holiday I will get it and have a proper look, particularly at the Regiment. This may help us a great deal. Will get back to you on this one.

We are now getting to the soldiers that are really hard to identify, mainly because they did not write their numbers and in some cases their regiments. The only clues are often where they were wounded.

I have a George S?? Hatch ?062 of the 1/10th Manchester Regiment. Wounded $th June Dardanelles.
Any thoughts on this one. Judith
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 28th September 2016 at 7:00 PM

Dear Judith,
There is no record of a George S Hatch serving in the Manchester Regiment. There were two apparently unrelated men named Hatch who served in The Manchester Regiment. One of them was named Samuel Hatch who served with the 1st/10th Battalion Manchester Regiment in the Dardanelles as a private soldier with the regimental number 2062. The “Manchester Courier” of 7th July 1915 listed “Hatch (2062), S.”; of the 10th Battalion Manchester Regiment on the casualty list issued the previous day (© Trinity Mirror via British Newspaper Archive).
The birth of Sam Hatch was recorded in the Stockport registration district in the first quarter of 1893. The 1901 census recorded Samuel Hatch as the eight-year-old son of James Hatch, a self-employed bootmaker, and his wife Elizabeth Lucy Hatch of 240 Chadderton Road, Oldham. Samuel’s birthplace was Heaton Mersey, part of Stockport. In the 1911 census Sam Hatch was recorded as a rope-maker, aged 17, living with his widowed mother and siblings at 7 Guildford Street, Oldham.
Sam Hatch worked at the rope-walk of Hardman and Ingham's “Diamond Rope Works” at Royton near Oldham. Seven men from the rope works served in the 10th Battalion Manchester Regiment which was a pre-war Territorial Army battalion with a headquarters at The Drill Hall, Rifle Street, Oldham. One of the directors of the Diamond Rope Works, the boss’s son Fred Hardman, was a Lieutenant in the 10th Battalion Manchester Regiment before the war. He was awarded the Military Cross and rose to Lieutenant-Colonel after the war. The 10th Battalion raised a sister battalion at the outbreak of war so the original battalion took the fractional title 1st/10th Battalion, while the new battalion became the 2nd/10th. Both battalions were separate from the “Oldham Comrades”, also called the “Oldham Pals”, that were raised by the Mayor and became the 24th Battalion Manchester Regiment.
Samuel Hatch enlisted on 31st August 1914 and would have undergone basic training with the newly-raised 2nd/10th Battalion Manchester Regiment at Oldham until he was sent abroad on 5th November 1914 as part of a draft of reinforcements to the 1st/10th Battalion who were already serving in Egypt on the defences of the Suez Canal, having arrived there in September 1914. The Battalion fought in the defence of the Canal during the brief Turkish assault on 3rd February 1915. In May 1915 the Battalion left for Mudros on the island of Lemnos which was the jumping-off point for sailing to Gallipoli where the Battalion landed about 10th May 1915 at Cape Helles where they took part in the various actions attempting to capture the dominating heights around the village of Krithia. Within a month, Sam was wounded and returned to England.
After he had recovered Sam Hatch was transferred to the 5th Battalion The Cheshire Regiment at some unspecified date. The 5th Battalion Cheshire Regiment was a pioneer battalion for 5th Division from 29th November 1915 and was then with 56th (London) Division from February 1916. The London Division fought on the Somme in 1916 and then The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line and the Battles of Arras in the Spring of 1917. Sam Hatch was apparently wounded again because he was returned to England and discharged from the Army, wounded, on 25th July 1917 (War Badge roll).
Sam Hatch qualified for the 1914-15 Star; the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He was granted a silver War Badge for being discharged wounded.
Samuel Hatch died at Oldham aged 71 in 1964.
The other man named Hatch in the Manchester Regiment was William Hatch of Manchester who served in the 22nd Battalion Manchester Regiment (7th Manchester Pals) and died of wounds in 1917.
With kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Michael Hardy {No contact email}
Location: Sheffield S Yorkshire
Date: Monday 26th September 2016 at 4:11 PM
Hi Alan, I'm trying to find out any information about an Anti Aircraft Gun site in Sheffield during WW1. The site is on a banking over looking Manor Cottage Farm on Manor Lane. In the Zeppelin raid in 1916, the guns didn't open fire due to the foggy weather, but a bomb landed 50ft from one of the guns. I'm trying to find out when the site was first constructed, which regiment was there and how many men were there. I know the guns were moved to Scotland in 1917 ,and during ww2 they never reused the site, but built a new AA site across the road. The WW1 site's massive earthworks were still intact a few years ago, but now has had a large area dug out and other parts filled in, only the circular gun pit still survives.

Thanks
Mick
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 26th September 2016 at 8:52 PM

Dear Mick,
The first Home Front anti-aircraft defences were administered by the Admiralty. In December 1914, the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve raised the Sheffield Anti-Aircraft Corps who established two positions at Wincobank, on the site of an Iron Age fort on the summit of a steep hill above the River Don at Sheffield in January 1915. These were known as East position and West position and each had nine officers and 32 other ranks.
As air defence became better established its control was handed over to the War Office who administered the Army. In June 1916, responsibility was passed to the Royal Garrison Artillery who, as its name suggests, provided gun defences at coastal garrisons to deter invasion by sea. To deter invasion by air fifty-three Anti-Aircraft Companies of the RGA were authorised to be raised in June 1916.
In Sheffield the RGA apparently closed the Wincobank position and operated anti-aircraft defences at Shiregreen (which seems to be near to Wincobank), High Storrs at Ecclesall Road, Intake and Manor Lane. These were operated by 29th Anti-Aircraft Company RGA at Sheffield as part of Nottingham (Zone Z) Anti – Aircraft Defence Command.
I don’t know the strength of the companies, but Chris Baker’s website, The Long, Long Trail, states those Anti-Aircraft companies that served in France had 43 men in total with two officers each commanding one of two gun detachments of 12 men each. Duties included two telephonists, a linesman, four height-finders, four Wilson-Dalby Detector Operators, two Height and Fuze Indicator men, an Order Board Setter, a Lookout man (Air sentry), an orderly and a cook.
Sheffield local studies library has published a list of wartime photographs and cites "Fleming. Lieut. Commander Sheffield anti-aircraft corps" in the Independent War Album part 9. The Sheffield Cit Archives have a printed booklet: "Defence of the city against hostile Aircraft" (SY/295/C1/18, 1916) which contains confidential instructions from J. Hall-Dalwood, the Chief Constable of Sheffield, to members of the City Police Force and ancillary officers regarding their duties in the event of an attack from the air. It is dated 7 February 1916. A 1917 version is held at the Local Studies Library in Local Pamphlets vol. 136 no. 5 042 S.
The National Archives at Kew, Surrey, holds “Provisional War Establishment Royal Garrison Artillery: personnel required to man fixed Anti-Aircraft guns” in Catalogue reference WO33/764.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Michael Hardy
Date: Tuesday 27th September 2016 at 7:56 PM

Thank you Alan for that information, its been a big help.

Mick
Posted by: Judith Lowe {Email left}
Location: Merseyside
Date: Monday 26th September 2016 at 10:19 AM
Dear Alan
Thank You so much for the information and confirmation of the name about Private G Stockley . Sometimes the writing in the autograph book is hard to read.
Our next soldier that I cannot find out anything about is :-
Private G Brown 7699, 13 NF wounded at Loos 26th September 1915. I don't know what the 13 NF means but he wrote two lovely poems in the Autograph Book.
Regards
Judith Lowe
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 26th September 2016 at 8:43 PM

Dear Judith,
13 NF would be 13th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers. The only private soldier named Brown with the regimental number 7699 in the Northumberland Fusiliers was named John Brown. There are no biographical details for him. The Army medal rolls showed he served first in the 13th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers and then the 2nd Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers. He survived the war.
John Brown went to France with the 13th Battalion on 9th September 1915. The Battalion had been raised at Newcastle-upon-Tyne in September 1914. They joined 21st Division and trained at Halton Park, Buckinghamshire, a tented camp set up in the grounds of Halton House which had been offered to the War Office by Alfred de Rothschild. On 14th November 1914 John Brown would have moved into winter billets in one of the towns in the Aylesbury area. He would then have returned with the 13th Battalion to Halton Park on 22nd May 1915 where, by then, huts had been constructed. Their next move was to Witley Camp on Witley Common, Surrey, in August 1915.
On the afternoon of September 9th 1915, John Brown marched out of Witley Camp to Milford railway station to join the troop train to Folkestone and then to Boulogne, arriving on the 10th September and moving into billets in Gandspette near Éperlecques. John Brown remained there for ten days undergoing field training and fitness marches. On 25th March 1915 the Battalion left Gandspette and spent five days route marching through Wittes, Ecquerdecques, and Lozingham to arrive at Noeux les Mines at 11.30 a.m. on September 25th. Before John and his colleagues could have any lunch rations brought forward they were informed they were to march via Noyelle les Vermelles to reach the Lens-Bethune Road and then march towards Lens. After dark they moved into trenches that had been captured that morning on the north side of the Lens - Bethune Road. During the night the trenches were shelled by the enemy firing high explosive and shrapnel. John Brown came under fire for the first time. He and his colleagues were then ordered out of the trenches and told to enter the village of Loos-en-Gohelle which was being continually shelled. The men were told to wait for further orders. In fact, the Battalion was to be used as support for an attack on Hill 70 if required.
At 11 p.m. John and his colleagues set off in the dark to meet up with a Scottish battalion of the 46th Infantry Brigade. “B” Company of the 13th Northumberland Fusiliers was immediately sent up to a trench on Hill 70. The remainder of the Battalion lay down in the rain and cold alongside the Loos – Hulloch road and waited for dawn, under rifle and machine-gun fire throughout the night.
The next morning, September 26th 1915, the 13th Battalion had still received no further orders. The officers knew they were to support an attack and only by seeing a copy of an order to the Highland Light Infantry stating the 13th Battalion would be in support of them did they send two more companies forward.
Later in the morning at 8.45 a.m. the saw a copy of another order to the Highland Light Infantry stating the attack would begin at 9 a.m. preceded by a British artillery bombardment lasting one hour from 8 a.m.. But it was too late. “This order was received too late and before the withdrawal could be ordered our shells were dropping amongst our own men who fell back of their own accord.” (War Diary WO95/2155/2)
From 10 a.m. on the 26th September to 2.30 p.m. the attacks swayed to and fro in Loos. Then the Battalion saw that the enemy was attacking Loos with one battalion and the left flank with two battalions. The left flank gave way and the 13th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers retired to a roadside where they mounted another attack before what was left of the fighting force retired back to the captured trenches of the previous day. They were a mixed group of men from many regiments who waited until dark in the trenches on the Lens - Bethune Road. “All that could be collected from the Battalion were withdrawn to “Quality Street” [a lane parallel to the Lens-Bethune road] and waited there until the morning of the 27th when they went to bivouac at Noyelle les Vermelles.
The 13th Battalion spent the next month re-fitting and did not return to the Front line until the end of October 1915. Their casualties on September 26th 1915 totalled 395 all ranks on their first day of battle after being rushed to the Front.
John Brown was among the wounded and he was sent home to England.
Once he had recovered, John was sent to the 2nd Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers. The 2nd Battalion fought at Salonika, on the Macedonian Front, with the 28th Division until June 1918 when the Battalion sailed for France. On 16th July 1918 at Martin Eglise the 2nd Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers joined the 50th (Northumbrian) Division which was being re-built after heavy losses in France. John would then have seen fighting at the Battles of the Hindenburg Line and the Final Advance in Picardy. The Division was at Solre le Chateau on 11th November 1918.
John Brown returned to England and was posted to the reserve on demobilization of the 50th Division which was completed in March 1919. He qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Judith Lowe
Date: Monday 26th September 2016 at 8:54 PM

I have spent the afternoon working on names found in the autograph book and your so swift reply about John Brown has just arrived. I really don't know how you do it. So much information and so quickly. Thank you so much.
Judith
Posted by: Joe Winslett {Email left}
Location: East Sussex
Date: Sunday 25th September 2016 at 11:19 AM
Hi Alan
My granddad William Joseph Goodsir who died in 1977 spoke about being at the Somme with his brother called Joseph. A very popular name. I have just discovered some more information about him.His regs no was 42678. Driver. RFA. Unit B 95th Bridade.He served from 1914 to 1919. Are you able to provide me with any addition information about him.
Thank you.
Joe Winslett.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 25th September 2016 at 8:25 PM

Dear Joe,
No individual service record has survived for William Joseph Goodsir, so it is not possible to state his service in detail. The Army medal rolls showed he first went to France on 10th September 1915.
The 95th Brigade Royal Field Artillery (XCV Brigade RFA in Roman numerals) served with 21 Division throughout the war. The Division’s engagements can be seen on Chris Baker’s website, The Long, Long Trail at:
http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/order-of-battle-of-divisions/21st-division/
“B” Battery remained consistent throughout the war. See:
http://www.1914-1918.net/rfa_units_95.html
William Joseph Goodsir qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
With kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Joe Winslett
Date: Sunday 25th September 2016 at 8:49 PM

Hi Alan.
Thank you so much for your very quick response. I will certainly look at the Webb sites you have recommended.
Kind regards
Joe
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 25th September 2016 at 9:45 PM

Dear Joe,
I forgot to say that the war diaries of 95 Brigade RFA are available to download from the National Archives for £3.45 each of 4 sections. see:
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_q=%2295+Brigade+royal+field+artillery%22
With kind regrads,
Alan
Reply from: Joe Winslett
Date: Monday 26th September 2016 at 10:02 AM

Thank you Alan for that additional information.
Kind regards
Joe

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