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WW1 Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1920*Completed*

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WW1 Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1920*Completed*

Postby doddie » Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:04 am

I have just viewed my late grandfather's details that are contained in the newly released WW1 Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1920. There is not a great deal of additional information but new documents are always interesting to see. There is however one strange discrepancy. My grandfather served with the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders (Reg No. S/32166). In his service record it states clearly in two seperate instances that he was with the 6th Battalion. There is also a reference in his service record (in a disciplinary document) to an officer who was definitely in the the 6th Battalion. In the newly released rolls it states under the 'previous units' section that my grandfather was with '1/Cam. Hrs. S/32166'. I am puzzled. Could this reference possibly refer to the fact that when he was first posted to the Expeditionary Force his Battalion/Division was the 1st before transferring to the 6th Battalion Q.O.C.H. several days late? All feedback much appreciated.

Regards

Doddie
Last edited by doddie on Mon Nov 17, 2014 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Newly released WW1 Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-19

Postby AdrianB38 » Sat Nov 15, 2014 1:34 pm

Any chance you can confirm his name and how to find the papers?

Thanks

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Re: Newly released WW1 Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-19

Postby AdrianB38 » Sat Nov 15, 2014 6:32 pm

Can you please confirm that your GF is George J Stewart, S/32166 of the Cameron Highlanders?

My problem is that I don't yet have enough experience of Medal Rolls to have any feeling what to expect on them but my initial reaction was that I didn't have any problem whatsoever with 1st Battalion appearing on the Roll. Medal Index Cards have every regiment / corps that the soldier was in while overseas, and if the Index Cards are a summary of the Medal Rolls, then every overseas regiment / corps would appear on the Roll and so, if battalions appeared - why not every one? And certainly the first overseas unit has importance so I'd expect to see the first battalion he served in overseas, if battalions are there.

The curiosity to me is not that the 1st Bn appears but the 6th Bn doesn't! (Assuming I've got the right person. Incidentally, I had to go to FMP for his service papers.)

When I asked on the Great War Forum some time ago, what unit and what rank appeared on the medals in the event of transfers, the reply was that theoretically the 1st overseas unit and the highest rank were used. However, it was evident that there were frequent exceptions.

I suspect that this may simply be a case of a clerk following his own interpretation of the rules rather than that applicable in the 21st century! I think he's just saved space by recording only the first battalion in the Camerons. Whereas my maternal GF in the Cheshires gets 8 lines with a battalion appearing in the Cheshire - weirder still it's 8 repeats of the 7th Bn! And my G-uncle, who was in two Cheshire R battalions overseas (13th then 10th) only has the 10th (the second one) in his Roll.

So, there's nothing like consistency - and this is nothing like consistency....

The thing is that there is a reason for the 1st Bn to appear and I guess the other was just omitted for reasons of space.

Then just to cap it all, looking at what I presume is his Medal Index Card, this puts him down as "Depot" for the Camerons - i.e. not in a battalion. Strictly speaking that's a legit unit because he transferred to Depot one day before returning home. But (a) it's hardly his first unit and (b) it means the Index Card doesn't summarise the BWM/VM Roll! (Though I believe this format of Index Card is used when a Silver War Badge is involved, so the SWB might have determined its content rather than the BWM/VM Medal Roll.)
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Re: Newly released WW1 Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-19

Postby doddie » Sun Nov 16, 2014 12:25 pm

Thank you for the swift replies. I can confirm that my grandfather was George J(ackson) Stewart from Argyllshire, born 1898 and departed for France in April of 1918. His regiment number was S/32166. Before the Cameron Highlanders he was with the Lovat Scouts. I have cross referenced the details of some other soldiers that my grandfather encountered during his overseas services - names that are mentioned in his service record - and they are listed as having served in the 6th Battalion in their entries in the Service Medal and Award Rolls. It seems that it is just my grandfather who is listed as having been with the 1st Battalion. I have managed to establish my grandfather's service timeline in some detail and there is no mention of him having ever been in the 1st Battalion Cameron Highlanders.

Regards

Doddie
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Re: Newly released WW1 Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-19

Postby brunes08 » Sun Nov 16, 2014 1:59 pm

For what its worth, my philosophy when stuck is to see what there may be on the internet. I have just entered Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders 6th Btn. Lots of sites come up - there is always a possibility that you may find something of use.
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Re: Newly released WW1 Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-19

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun Nov 16, 2014 3:51 pm

doddie wrote:... I have managed to establish my grandfather's service timeline in some detail and there is no mention of him having ever been in the 1st Battalion Cameron Highlanders.
...


Hang on - I'm confused now. Are we talking at cross-purposes? You said in your first post "when he was first posted to the Expeditionary Force his Battalion/Division was the 1st before transferring to the 6th Battalion Q.O.C.H. several days late"

And looking at his service papers on FindMyPast, the "Statement of Services" starts with him being posted to the Lovat Scouts on 15.3.17 then
  • posted to 1st Yeo Cycl. Regt (probably the "1st (Lovat's Scouts) Yeomanry Cyclist Regiment", a 1916 merger of the 2/1st and 2/2nd Lovat's Scouts) on 22.3.17
  • compulsorily transferred to Cameron Highlanders as a private on 13.4.18
  • posted to 1 Battalion EF (Expeditionary Force?) Camerons as a private on 13.4.18 (my italics)
  • posted to 6 Battalion Camerons as a private on 21.4.18
  • posted to ??D(H)?? as a private on 5.7.18

NB - apparently there is a difference between "posted" and "transferred" - but I've forgotten what it is.

My suggestion is that the posting on 13.4.18 to 1st Battalion Camerons (a) counts as the first overseas posting (so is of interest to the medal roll clerk) and (b) that clerk has only recorded the first battalion in the Camerons as the 2nd made no difference to the medal entitlement as far as he was concerned. (It would be interesting to know what's on the physical BWM and VM if you have access to them).
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Re: Newly released WW1 Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-19

Postby brunes08 » Sun Nov 16, 2014 5:54 pm

If I remember rightly, posted means where the person was sent for training, for example, when he had enlisted. Then he would be posted with his regiment/battalion, for example, to a base in France. Many soldiers were transferred between or to other units. For example, an ancestor of mine started off in an infantry regiment but later transferred to the Machine Gun Corps. Sometimes units were amalgamated and battalion numbers were changed which confuses the issue.
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Re: Newly released WW1 Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-19

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun Nov 16, 2014 10:18 pm

Yes - it must be something like that. Transfer is between regiments or corps. Posting is within regiment or corps. I think. And I have an idea that the 3rd option is attachment where the move is only temporary and the administration does not change. Or something like that. ...

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Re: Newly released WW1 Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-19

Postby mike4182w » Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:00 am

It may have been different in those days, but during my time in the Army, the difference I understand between posted and transferred in this:

A posting would see a soldier sent to a different unit but still under the umbrella of his parent unit, for example where a medic may be posted an Artillery unit.

A transfer is where that person would have changed units, where the said medic may have changed jobs to be a gunner.

Might go some way to explain the unit attachment/description confliction? Hopefully.


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Re: Newly released WW1 Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-19

Postby doddie » Mon Nov 17, 2014 1:27 pm

Apologies. Adrian, I must have looked at some parts of my grandfather's sevice papers too quickly. It didn't click with me that the reference to the 1 Battalion Expeditionary Force referred to 1 Battalion of the Camerons whilst part of the E.F. I do feel a bit sheepish. In conjucntion with the further explanations in the thread I feel things have been clarified. Many thanks for all the help.

Regards

Doddie
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