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The World War 1 Forum (Page 3)

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Posted by: Joe Freaney {No contact email}
Location: Ireland
Date: Tuesday 13th December 2016 at 7:12 AM
Hi Alan

Looking for information on William Stewart who served with the 10th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.


Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 13th December 2016 at 9:01 PM

Dear Joe,
At least four men named William Stewart served in the 10th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers during the First World War so you will need the man’s regimental number before he can be identified.
With kind regards,

Posted by: Brian Renshall {Email left}
Location: Rainhill Merseyside
Date: Friday 9th December 2016 at 7:50 PM
Alan, could you in providing details on Pte 11970 John Pailthorpe of the Cheshire Regiment,particularly how he died.

Thank you.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 9th December 2016 at 11:33 PM

Dear Brian,
John Pailthorpe was born in about 1878 and lived in Stalybridge where he became a bobbin carrier at a cotton mill. He had served in the South Africa War (1899-1902) before joining the Cheshire Regiment at the outbreak of war in 1914. He was posted as part of a draft of reinforcements to the 1st Battalion Cheshire Regiment and spent some time attached to the HQ of 10th Corps. He might have been wounded because he was later posted through an infantry base depot in France to the 10th Battalion Cheshire Regiment. He died of pneumonia at Oakdene Auxiliary Hospital, Rainhill, on 8th July 1918. He was the husband of Mary Jane Pailthorpe of 6, Back Desmesne Street, Stalybridge. His death was reported in the Manchester Evening News on Wednesday 10th July 1918 (via British Newspaper Archive).
He qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Brian Renshall
Date: Saturday 10th December 2016 at 2:59 PM

Another one put to bed ! Thank you Alan
Posted by: Young Buzzard {Email left}
Location: Newton Abott
Date: Thursday 8th December 2016 at 11:05 AM
Good Morning Alan,
Today I need help in tracing the service during the Great War of Anthony Cornish Tucker Barrable a Private in the Royal Army Medical Corps No 1946. I know he was living in Widecombe in 1911 (as per census) and that he was listed as an "absent service voter" in 1919, but this is the sum total of my knowledge . I look forward to receiving any further information you can ascertain. Thank You.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 9th December 2016 at 7:18 PM

Dear David,
The only record for a private soldier in the R.A.M.C. with the regimental number 1946 related to Alfred Cyril Barrable who enlisted on 23rd November 1914, aged 20, and was discharged no longer physically fit on 16th July 1919, aged 25. He was born at Seaton, Devon, in July-September 1894, the son of Alfred Joseph and Lilian Dolores Barrable. In the 1911 census the family lived at 39 Gore Road, Raynes Park, Surrey, where Alfred Cyril was recorded as a window cleaner.
In 1917 Alfred’s regimental number was changed to 536187 R.A.M.C. That number was allotted to the 5th London Field Ambulance which served with 47th Division in France and Flanders. He qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, but not the 1914-15 Star, indicating he did not serve overseas until some date after January 1st 1916.

Anthony Cornish Tucker Barrable was born at Exmouth in 1877 and in 1911 was a farm bailiff, married, aged 34, at the farm of Herbert Miles Fowler at Great Cator, Widecombe. There is no military record in Anthony Barrable’s name.
With kind regards,
Posted by: Young Buzzard {Email left}
Location: Newton Abbot
Date: Tuesday 6th December 2016 at 10:52 AM
Good Morning Alan,
Can you help please in piecing together the service history of Willam Pengilly 32312 Devonshire Regiment and of R.A.S.C. EMT/63949. I would like to know especially which part of the RASC he served with and when. I am also interested in his date of demobilisation. Thanks in advance for your continuing assistance.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 6th December 2016 at 5:04 PM

Dear David,
William Pengilly qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. As he did not qualify for the 1914-15 Star for service before December 31st 1915, he would not have gone overseas until some date after January 1st 1916. His regimental number 32312 was a wartime number and during his war service he served overseas as part of a draft of reinforcements to the 2nd Battalion the Devonshire Regiment which had served in France and Flanders with the 8th Division from November 1914. Their engagements can be seen on Chris Baker’s website, The Long, Long Trail. See:
William would have been discharged early in 1919.
In 1920, the post-war Army ran a recruiting campaign in order to bring it up to strength with men who had experience. The “Western Gazette” of Friday 23rd January ran a large column headed: “Opportunities in H.M. Army. Experience counts – a few years with the Army fits a man to go anywhere or do anything.” The article went on to state that the Royal Army Service Corps (Mechanical Transport) had opportunities for some 26 trades ranging from driving to cleaning. Skilled workers could earn from three shillings to sixteen shillings a day depending on rank. Suitable single men aged between 19 and 35 would be taught motor driving (© Local World/ Trinity Mirror via British Newspaper Archive).
The Army medal rolls recorded William Pengilly re-enlisted in the R.A.S.C. on February 23rd 1920 and served until his “service was no longer required” on 25th July 1922. The prefix to his regimental number, EMT, stood for post-war enlistment, mechanical transport.
The British Army of 1920 served at Home, in Ireland and with the Armies of Occupation as well as continuing the clearing of battlefields and salvaging of war materiel.
With kind regards,
Posted by: Gwendolyn Howard {Email left}
Location: Halstead Co91td No 23
Date: Thursday 1st December 2016 at 5:17 PM
Dear Alan,I am trying to find details of the death of my grandfather Gnr James Hayes 1401759 who having served through WW1 was discharged 26-3-1919 but re-enlisted in the Royal Artillery 24-7-1919.
He was posted to India and then on to Basra,Mesopotamia where he met his death of "suffocation by drowning" on 4-5-1922. I have a letter from The War Office stating that his death "was not directly attributable to service and his widow was not eligible for a pension".
I can only assume that he was off duty at the time of his death but would like to know the actual details.
I cannot find any evidence of an official enquiry.
I also have found that he was buried at Basra Mekina RAF cemetery Row A Grave 2 but can you find the further details I seek so that I can close this part of the Family History?
I will of course make a donation to The Royal British Legion.

Kind Regards,
Mrs Gwendolyn Howard.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 1st December 2016 at 7:29 PM

Dear Gwendolyn,
Service records for men who were in the Forces in 1922 are not in the public domain. You can apply to the UK Ministry of Defence who will conduct a search of the records for a fee of £30. See:
With kind regards,
Reply from: Mrs Gwendolyn Howard
Date: Friday 2nd December 2016 at 11:00 AM

Dear Alan,Thank you for your prompt reply and address for further information. I have already contacted this section of the Ministry of Defence and is the source of most of the information sent in my original request. What I couldn't find was the actual cicumstances of my grandfather's death and no evidence of an official enquiry.
My hope was that with your experience of these things you might know of a different route by which this information could be obtained. I still hope that you or another researcher might be able to suggest yet another route I could try.
Kind regards,
Reply from: Ian Willden
Date: Friday 27th January 2017 at 11:34 PM


Posted by: Pete {Email left}
Location: E Yorks
Date: Tuesday 29th November 2016 at 10:50 PM
Hello Alan,
In 2011 you were very kind to help me with William Henry Walker. I am now trying to find information about is nephew Joseph Alfred Walker born 14 May 1880 in Hull. I have found a record showing he joined the UK, Royal Naval Reserve Service, but I am not sure when this took place or what led up to it.
Please may I ask if you can help me once more, if not to give me some information, perhaps you can tell me where my next search should be? Joseph died in September 1941. In the 1939 register he is shown to be incapacitated, crippled and of feeble mind.

Kind regards, Pete
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 30th November 2016 at 12:44 AM

Dear Pete,
You can purchase Joseph Alfred Walker’s service record to download from The National Archives at:
Information from the 1939 Register is copyright of the Findmypast.co.uk website and should not be reproduced on the internet on a forum such as this, because that contravenes the terms and conditions of your access to the Findmypast website.
We have to tell you that in order to protect this forum from copyright infringement.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Pete
Date: Wednesday 30th November 2016 at 8:45 PM

Apologies Alan for commenting on the 1939 Register, it has quite slipped my memory in my eagerness to find Joseph, - so easily done. Thank you for reminding me.

Posted by: Jennifer {No contact email}
Location: Yorkshire
Date: Tuesday 29th November 2016 at 5:45 PM
This is a very long shot indeed but you were recently kind enough to help my friend with some very useful information. I am doing my best, without much success, to research a distant ancestor born in the Bradford area around 1889 into very poor circumstances. By the age of ten he was wandering the county on his own, eventually being apprehended by the police and admitted to the industrial training school ship Southampton, which was based in Hull. He was ordered to be kept there until he was 16. After that, the trail begins to grow cold although it is family legend that he served in WW1. However, admittedly with our limited experience, we have been unable to find out if this is true. The Navy would seem the best bet in view of the training ship, but so far we have drawn a complete blank. If you can help, or are able to give any helpful suggestions about our possible means of research, we would be most grateful. thank you for your time. Jenny and family.
Reply from: Jennifer
Date: Tuesday 29th November 2016 at 5:48 PM

Sorry, I have just realised that I have missed out the name of the above. His name was Elijah Cecil Harrison.
Reply from: Pete
Date: Tuesday 29th November 2016 at 11:19 PM

Hello Jennifer
Just saw your request when sending mine (above) and as I live near Hull, I thought I would see if I could find anything for you.
It looks as though Elijah went to live and married in Canada, and there is a great deal of information about him on Ancestry.com
I cannot access this for you but you will require Ancestry word wide. If you do not have it, then perhaps a library near you does. Worth a try. Happy searching
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 29th November 2016 at 11:29 PM

Dear Jennifer,
There is no obvious First World War record for Elijah Cecil Harrison. Few records that would provide biographical details have survived and many records used a man’s initials only, so it can be difficult if not impossible to search by name only.
His birth was registered in 1889 at Bradford, as Elijah Cecil W. Harrison. He was the son of John W. Harrison apparently born at Laisterdyke, Bradford, and his wife Annie, born at Leeds.
Their marriage would probably have been John William Harrison to Annie Whitwell of Stanningley, Leeds, in September 1888 at Tong, Bradford. In 1891 they lived at 97 Rochester Street, Bradford, Yorkshire. John W. Harrison’s occupation was “extractor of drip from bones”.
In 1900, Elijah Cecil Harrison, a “Keighley lad” and son of a widow was convicted of stealing a pony from a field. In 1901, Elijah Cecil was listed as Cecil Elijah.
Annie Harrison, widow, 35, appears to have married Lister Hunter, bachelor aged 27, (died 1910) on 19th May 1902, at Holbeck, Leeds, Yorkshire.
With kind regards,
Reply from: Jennifer
Date: Wednesday 30th November 2016 at 7:40 PM

I am grateful to you both, Alan and Pete, for providing further insight into Elijah's life on my behalf. I am always amazed by the kindness of strangers.

I don't have access to Ancestry, Pete, but I can certainly visit a library to see if the Canadian Elijah is one and the same. That's a new line of research. Again, thank you both.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 30th November 2016 at 7:48 PM

Dear Jennifer,
Canadian vital records are free and available online from the Candian National Archives known as Library and Archives Canada (LAC). Visit:
With kind regards,
Posted by: Gordon Mackett {Email left}
Location: Crowthorne
Date: Tuesday 29th November 2016 at 11:33 AM
Dear Alan, you once did some WW1 research about my grandfather Robert Matchett, and would appreciate
your doing the same for another family relative William James Shaw. He enlisted on the 24th Augusr 1914
and died on the 24th October 1914. He was a Regiment called Household Cavalry and Cavalry of the Line.
Battalion (Old) 6th Reserve Calvalry Regiment (5th and 12th Lancers). He was born in 1886 in Chelsea
and his service number was 6458 and he is buried in Grangegorman Military Cemetery Dublin.I would
line to know where in France he fought ? My own research says he died at home, so I can only assume
he was badly wounded and died in Dublin, possible King George 5th hospital? Is that correct.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 29th November 2016 at 8:01 PM

Dear Gordon,
There is no record of William James Shaw having served overseas. There is no entry for him in the Army medal rolls for service in a theatre of war. The 6th Reserve Regiment of Cavalry was formed in August 1914 at Dublin, Ireland. It was a reserve regiment which trained recruits for the 5th (Royal Irish) Lancers and the 12th (Prince of Wales’s Royal) Lancers from 1914 to 1917. It was stationed at Marlborough Barracks.
William James Shaw enlisted at Fulham, London, on 24th August 1914. He was born at Chelsea and was a plumber’s mate. He died at King George V Hospital, Dublin, on 24th October 1914.
His death certificate is probably the Irish civilian death registration: William James Shaw, age 25, birth year 1889, death year 1914 October – December; registration district Dublin North; county: Dublin; Vol 2; page 383. Photocopies cost €4. See:
With kind regards,
Posted by: Judith Lowe {Email left}
Location: Prescot
Date: Sunday 27th November 2016 at 9:22 PM
Dear Alan,
Thank you so much for the information provided on Private Laws and Corporal Woolnough . I have one more request and this is for a good friend of mine who is trying to find some information out about her Father. He was:
Percy Herbert Mc Donnell 65251 of the Lancashire Fusiliers.
Anything that you can find out about him would make her a very happy this Christmas
I think that we are at the end of the soldiers who signed the Autograph Book now and after, Christmas we will be meeting to discuss our next move. I will be in contact again soon. Thank you so much for all your help
Kind regards
Judith Lowe
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 28th November 2016 at 6:25 PM

Dear Judith,
No individual service record has survived for Percy Herbert McDonnell so it is not possible to state his wartime service. An Army medal roll recorded he had served as an acting corporal with the 17th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers and qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. As he did not qualify for the 1914-15 Star he did not go overseas until some date after January 1st 1916. The 17th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers was raised at Bury in December 1914 and went to France on 29th January 1916, but there is no record to show whether Percy McDonnell was with them from the beginning or was part of a later draft of reinforcements. The Battalion served with 35th Division. Their engagements can be seen on Chris Baker’s website, The Long, Long Trail:
The Battalion’s war diary can be downloaded (£3.45) from:
With kind regards,
Posted by: Judith Lowe {Email left}
Location: Prescot
Date: Friday 25th November 2016 at 11:00 AM
Dear Alan,
We are nearly there now with I think only three more soldiers that we can hope to find any information about:
The first two are:
1. Private W Laws - 2nd Durham Light Infantry
2. Captain W Woolnough - Royal Irish Fusiliers
Both these men were in Rainhill in May 1915

Thank you so much for the information on Blades and Tulip, it made interesting reading.


Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 25th November 2016 at 5:23 PM

Dear Judith,
There is no record of a Captain W. Woolnough. In 1915 it would have been wholly inappropriate for a commissioned officer to be treated alongside other ranks. W. Woolnough was Corporal Wallace Wentworth Woolnough, 9558, a Regular Army soldier with the 2nd Battalion Princess Victoria’s Royal Irish Fusiliers. He enlisted on 8th January 1907 aged 17. The 2nd Battalion was serving at Firozpur in India in 1907. At the outbreak of war, the Battalion was at Quetta and sailed for England in October 1914 to join 27th Division at Winchester on 20th November 1914. Wallace landed in France on 19th December 1914 and moved with the Battalion to the Ypres sector in Flanders. They took part in the action at St Eloi (14th - 15th March 1915) and the Second Battle of Ypres. Wallace was wounded in the battle for Hill 60.
He was discharged from the Army because of his wounds on 17th December 1915.
Wallace Woolnough qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He was granted a silver War Badge for being wounded.
Wallace Woolnough was born in Chelsea in 1889, the son of a house-painter and paper-hanger, William Woolnough and his wife, Elizabeth. In the 1901 census the family was recorded at Stanley Road, Fulham.
It has not been possible to identify a W. Laws in the 2nd Battalion Durham Light Infantry. However, there was a Private M. Laws, 8382, who served in the 2nd Battalion Durham Light Infantry who was wounded in 1915. This was Matthew Laws, who enlisted on 16th October 1903 as a Regular Army soldier. During the war he went to France with the 2nd D.L.I. on 8th September 1914, landing at St Nazaire on the Loire River estuary. The Battalion served with the 6th Division and was first engaged in the actions on the Aisne heights on 20th September 1914 before moving to Flanders and the ensuing stalemate in the trenches. They were heavily involved at Hooge near Ypres during the Second Battle of Ypres (22 April – 25 May 1915).
After convalescing, Matthew Laws was transferred to the Northumberland Fusiliers, 30670. He was discharged from the Army through sickness on 14th December 1918. He was aged 37 in 1918. It has not been possible to positively identify him, although a Matthew Laws born on 8th December 1914 died in County Durham in 1975, aged 94.
With kind regards,

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