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F JONES - Sapper 523073 -

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F JONES - Sapper 523073 -

Postby Emteefinder » Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:08 pm

I am trying to find out about an oval bracelet/tag app 3cm across inscribed Sapper F(rederick) JONES 523073 R.E. linked to a chain making it about 19cm in circumference. I can find no military record of this man in any of the subscriptions sites nor in TNA. I sent photos to the RE Museum but the curator did not recognise this and could shed no light. Staff at Stratford Armouries, a local museum, did not recognise it and suggested that he may have commissioned the piece himself. TNA said the bracelet does not appear to be of a standard military issue and that 60% of WW1 soldiers documents were lost. JONES also had in his possession a swagger stick, not something a Sapper would have had. He was born in 1876 and died in 1931, living in the Birmingham area all his life, latterly in Castle Bromwich. He was a labourer and bricklayer. Can anyone shed any light of this on this or how I can find out more of this artefact? Thanks, Margaret Smith
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Re: F JONES - Sapper 523073 -

Postby AdrianB38 » Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:43 pm

1. Swagger stick: According to Wikipedia (URL http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swagger_stick ) these were "carried by all other ranks when off duty, as part of their walking out uniform". In other words, they are ornamental. Although the full version of the link implies this was pre-WW1, I have a photo of my granddad on his training in the Cheshire Regiment mid-WW1 and he's carrying such a stick. As his is brother in the King's Shropshire Light Infantry. Of course, they could have been photographer's props. So, unless anyone can make a more definitive statement, I don't see anything unusual about that.

2. I can't find 523073 on the TNA web-site's catalogue implying he's not in the Medal Index Cards. That would imply he never served outside the UK - possibly not surprising, given his age.

That service number is a post-Feb-1917 renumber. See http://www.1914-1918.net/TF_renumbering_re.htm - this shows he was in the Territorial Force and, to be precise, number range 522001 to 524000 was allocated to 1 East Anglian Field Company. On URL http://www.1914-1918.net/re.htm we see that 483rd Field Company was originally the 1st (East Anglian) Field Company TF, and it joined 2nd Division in January 1915. Which doesn't mean that everyone went overseas, I guess.

(Grateful thanks to The Long, Long Trail for these snippets.)

3. The item will surely be an id tag (a.k.a. "dog tag"). It's not an official issue one but seems to be privately made - a not uncommon event. See Western Front Association URL http://www.westernfrontassociation.com/great-war-on-land/weapons-equipment-uniform/1033-identifying-dead-short-study-identification-tags-1914-1918.html for all the details you could ever want to know on these. Although, of course, as these were unofficial designs of any shape, I could be wrong and this could be a label for hanging round a bottle of port. Well, maybe not! :)
Adrian
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Re: F JONES - Sapper 523073 -

Postby Emteefinder » Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:50 am

Hello AdrianB38, Many thanks for your comprehensive answer and research on my query, and for the links to various sites. Like you I couldn't find the regimental number so concluded he didn't receive a Medal but hadn't thought that this was maybe only because he didn't serve overseas. I had discovered a little about the post-1917 renumbering, so your comments on this too is very useful. But why he would have been associated with an East Anglian company I have no idea. The swagger stick info is interesting too - I hadn't found that. I'd only been told that officers and above would have had them. As for the tag, I must admit hanging it round a bottle had crossed my mind too!! It really is too small to go around a man's wrist, but could have been on a cap I suppose. There is no photo of him in uniform unfortunately. Thanks again, Margaret
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Re: F JONES - Sapper 523073 -

Postby AdrianB38 » Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:22 pm

I confess I hadn't realised how small it was - yes, I know you uploaded the image against the rule (excellent idea) but I think I must have gone into "reply mode" too soon because then you can't see anything other than a fraction of each image on this site.

I wonder if it's been converted? Maybe it started out as a high-quality, privately bought, id tag, and was then converted to a bracelet for a lady as it was too good to discard? So far as I can see a watch chain should have a bar or something on the opposite end to the small loop, the bar fitting inside a button hole - though there are several sorts. So that seems unlikely.

If someone was conscripted, they would be sent wherever manpower was needed.
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Re: F JONES - Sapper 523073 -

Postby g w aldous » Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:35 am

My wrist is about 8 inches so it is quite possible it is an ID bracelet.
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Re: F JONES - Sapper 523073 -

Postby Emteefinder » Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:44 am

Oops, didn't mean to go against the rules but there is an Upload Attachment button so I used it!! I must admit the images came out rather large but using the sliders I can see all of it. It is possible it was converted to suit a lady's wrist as it does seem as though it's silver (although there's no hallmark) and it's not aluminium. At 18cm it only just goes round my wrist but then I'm perhaps a bit bigger than the women back then!! I will research more, but thanks for all your comments. Margaret.
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Re: F JONES - Sapper 523073 -

Postby AdrianB38 » Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:07 pm

Oops from me. When I said "against the rule", I meant sitting against the measuring tape, I.e. the rule(r)! You did OK with those images.

Sent from my GT-I8190N
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Re: F JONES - Sapper 523073 -

Postby Emteefinder » Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:19 pm

'rule' 'rules' 'ruler' - back to school!!!
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