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Understanding MIC

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Understanding MIC

Postby suec » Fri Aug 15, 2014 12:06 pm

Please can someone explain the code on my grandfather's MIC? I have looked it up on various sites such as the Long Long Trail but it doesn't make sense to me.
He was Francis Robert Spencer, number 33751, and his MIC states RFA 2a/2b, 156B. I understand is to be Royal Field Artillery 156 brigade, but I can't find a 156 brigade. Then I understood the 2a and 2b to mean service in the Balkans, but I know he served in France, in particular at Coltalmaison.
I hope this isn't too basic an enquiry, I have tried to work it out, but have ended up more confused.
Many thanks for any information.
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Re: Understanding MIC

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri Aug 15, 2014 5:16 pm

If those codes are halfway down the card, then they refer to the Medal Roll with the full entry (though the full entry may contain nothing more than what is on the Index Card). They do not tell you the Brigade. I'm not in a position to check the card myself right now so can't work it through just now.

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Re: Understanding MIC

Postby suec » Fri Aug 15, 2014 6:52 pm

Thank you Adrian, the codes are on the right hand side, top of the card
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Re: Understanding MIC

Postby junkers » Fri Aug 15, 2014 7:36 pm

The card says that he served in France (see further down the card) from July 1915 and that he reverted to Gunner at his own request.
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Re: Understanding MIC

Postby suec » Fri Aug 15, 2014 8:27 pm

Thank you Junkers. Can you tell me what the 2a/b refer to? And am I correct that he was in 156 brigade?
Thank you for your time
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Re: Understanding MIC

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:28 pm

Just my luck it's one of those sort of cards, so I was asking you the wrong question.

If you look at where the RFA references are, you should see that they are in a red box stamped on the card. At the top of that column above the RFA references is the word "Roll". That means the 2 references are the references of the Medal Rolls themselves. This is just the card that lets you get to the Rolls themselves.

The entry for his 14/15 Star is in Roll RFA / 2 A/B page 3045 and the combined entry for his War and Victory medals is on Roll RFA 156B page 1432.

Actually translating those Roll references (which come from the Army) into TNA piece numbers is an art that needed a bit of browsing when I last tried it. The bad news is that for the RFA the Medal Rolls tend not to have the brigade or battery number.

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Re: Understanding MIC

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:38 pm

And to be absolutely clear the 2 A/B have nothing to do with the theatre and 156B is not a brigade. Looks like you may need some other means of establishing his battery. It might be in the Medal Roll - it probably isn't. Casualty or newspaper reports? Absent Voters Lists?

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Re: Understanding MIC

Postby suec » Sat Aug 16, 2014 8:29 am

Thank you Adrian, no wonder I was confused. I shall probably let it rest now. We have a wonderful account of his part in action at Coltalmaison, (Voices and Images of the Great War...Lyn McDonald), I may have to be satisfied with that.
I really do appreciate your help, I have been going round in circles over those codes.
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Re: Understanding MIC

Postby suec » Sat Aug 16, 2014 8:34 am

Adrian, I forgot to say that I do know that he was in 152 brigade, C battery, which is one reason why the 156b on the MIC was confusing me so much.
Thank you for straightening me out on that point. I haven't been able to find out any info on 152 brigade.
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Re: Understanding MIC

Postby JaneyH » Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:34 pm

suec, have you looked at the 'Long, long trail' website, and the associated 'Great War Forum'? Over the last few months I've have some amazing assistance with various questions about some of my ancestors. You can just join by registering (no subscription). It's a very busy forum with lots of expertise, but just be careful to provide all the information you know at the outset and ask specific questions ... Much like here on WDYTYA in fact!


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