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William Ernest Scrivener - Royal Artillery in India

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William Ernest Scrivener - Royal Artillery in India

Postby plf99 » Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:01 pm

I have just received the service records for my great grandfather. According to these he served in the 58th Battery and the 24th Brigade of the Royal Artillery between 1920 and 1924 and was stationed in Rawalpindi. According to a user on another forum, those stationed at Rawalpindi during this period were either engaged in one of the Waziristan campaigns (either 1919-21 or 1921-24) or the Mahsud campaign (1919-20). However, according to the service records he was not engaged in a campaign, nor dd he receive a medal. Could this have been accidental/an oversight? Were the 58th Battery involved in any of these campaigns?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Many thanks!

Tom
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Re: William Ernest Scrivener - Royal Artillery in India

Postby peter kent » Wed Apr 20, 2016 4:26 pm

Best to believe the evidence of your own eyes rather than "a user on another forum".
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Re: William Ernest Scrivener - Royal Artillery in India

Postby Sylcec » Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:30 pm

Agree with Peter. There is always someone left back in barracks, sick or seconded to other duties. If you are confident you have the correct service record and have managed to analyse all its contents, then you need to believe it. Understandably though you would have questions about why he did not receive an India General Service medal.
Hopefully Adrian will weigh into this question.....
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Re: William Ernest Scrivener - Royal Artillery in India

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Apr 21, 2016 12:23 pm

Not sure that I can be of any help! I'd never heard of the India General Service Medal (IGSM) until today so everything I say is based on a very little learning.

Firstly, to reinforce what's been said already, it is highly unlikely that Rawalpindi was emptied to send everyone up to the Waziristan and Mahsud areas. That would seem a hostage to fortune.

As for the IGSM, it's simple to find out the basics of what it was - I'd really like to know what it wasn't, though! Re. what it was: If you fought in one of several campaigns, you were issued with the IGSM (which itself comes in several variants - we are concerned with the 1909 IGSM) along with the appropriate clasp for that campaign.

As for what it wasn't: So far as I could see, it was only issued to people in those campaigns. It was not issued to people just for being in the Forces in India. At least, that's the way that I read it. So anyone based in Rawalpindi who did not get shipped up-country to fight in those campaigns, would not be issued with an IGSM. In support of my conclusion (and remember today is the first day I've ever read about this) I would point out that my one and only edition of the Medal Year Book (for 2012) prices up IGSMs with different clasps but there is no price for a 1909 IGSM without clasps, implying the 1909 IGSM was only issued with the clasps for fighting in those actual campaigns, and it wasn't issued just for service in India.

I did try to see if I could see anything in Ancestry's UK, Military Campaign Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1949 but didn't get very far. All the Artillery people that I could spot (and there were lots to wade through - so I couldn't read more than a sample) seemed to be issued with the IGSM with the clasp "Afghanistan North West Frontier 1919". I'm not suggesting that the RFA wasn't involved in Waziristan or Mahsud, simply that if they were, it starts to look like they got a Afghanistan NWF 1919 clasp. The page that I've just been looking at, records the number of the exact Army Order authorising the issue and there are a number of such awards suggesting quite specific criteria.

If anyone can contradict me, please shout up, because this is all based on logic and bureaucracy isn't always logical.

As for what William's Battery did - and bear in mind that he's not guaranteed to be with it all the time - I've no idea - maybe the Artillery museum, Firepower, can direct you to their career at that time.
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Re: William Ernest Scrivener - Royal Artillery in India

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Apr 21, 2016 12:38 pm

There is a simple rule I have - only after you hit the enter key, will you remember what else to check. In my case the excellent North East Medals site was what I missed. See http://www.northeastmedals.co.uk/britishguide/india_general_service_1908_award.htm for the exact eligibility for each IGSM clasp.

And it even says, on http://www.northeastmedals.co.uk/britishguide/india_general_service_1908.htm that the IGSM was "Instituted 1st January 1909 for campaign service on the Indian frontiers and elsewhere as defined by the bars awarded below. The medal was not issued without a bar. " My italics and note that bar = clasp.

So William would have needed to satisfy those precise criteria for one of the clasps.
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Re: William Ernest Scrivener - Royal Artillery in India

Postby plf99 » Thu Apr 21, 2016 2:57 pm

Thanks very much for the responses guys. I felt I had to clarify the issue as Rawalpindi was the base for the British Army during the aforementioned campaigns. Six years away from home in a foreign country from the age of 18, and not a thing to shout about for him it seems.

Incidentally, I did try contacting the Artillery Museum, but they are closing in a few days and I was advised that they were unable to respond to my query unfortunately.
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Re: William Ernest Scrivener - Royal Artillery in India

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Apr 21, 2016 4:12 pm

Campaign medals are, I guess, meant to be for active participation in campaigns, not for garrison duty. They cause enough problems as it is with controversy over whether something should have been included or not, and don't get me started on the differences between Army and Royal Navy campaign medal criteria!

Sent from my MotoG3
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Re: William Ernest Scrivener - Royal Artillery in India

Postby plf99 » Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:19 am

You could say that, although his grandfather-in-law served in the Indian Mutiny as part of the Central Indian Campaign. He was denied a medal as he was a member of the 33rd Regiment of Foot who were divided all over the place and weren't classed as a collective regiment during that campaign.
Last edited by plf99 on Fri Apr 22, 2016 12:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: William Ernest Scrivener - Royal Artillery in India

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri Apr 22, 2016 12:22 pm

Bit of a bummer that one for the 33rd. I can understand that rule for battle honours - if the different companies fight in 4 different battles, it's odd to give the regiment 4 battle honours. Not necessarily wrong but certainly odd. But soldiers ought to be assessed on an individual basis.

Sort of like I said - there need to be rules but any rule can create anomalies.

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Re: William Ernest Scrivener - Royal Artillery in India

Postby MaureenE » Sat Apr 23, 2016 12:41 am

The FIBIS Fibiwiki page Rawalpindi has links to some articles, photographs etc
http://wiki.fibis.org/index.php/Rawalpindi

Includes an article about the The Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment who were there 1926-1930, so probably William Ernest Scrivener would have experienced something similar.

Cheers
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