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Help identifying Rank & Regiment [WW1]

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Help identifying Rank & Regiment [WW1]

Postby DanTaylor77 » Thu Sep 04, 2014 3:56 pm

Hello all,

First time poster....

I would very much like to find the Rank & Regiment of my Great Grand Uncle Robert Henry Paul (1887-1948). I know that he served in the Great War but cannot determine what his rank nor regiment was. I have two photographs, both with a horse present. I would think either Cavalry or maybe Horse Artillery?

My Uncle, via email said he was a Lt. Cprl...now I'm fairly sure this is not an actual rank. Uncle has Robert's medals, but I have yet to see them. Robert was born and raised in Devon, my Uncle also.

There are a number of Robert H Paul's on the Medal Index for Devon, so I do need to narrow down my seach parametres!

Maybe some of you more experienced members can help point me in the right direction or even with 'Eagle Eyes' provide me with more detailed information.

I'd really appreciate it.
Attachments
Lt. Cprl R.H.Paul (Great Uncle Bob).jpg
Lt. Cprl R.H.Paul (Great Uncle Bob).jpg (118.9 KiB) Viewed 3089 times
Robert Paul taken Sept. 1914.jpg
Robert Paul taken Sept. 1914.jpg (209.67 KiB) Viewed 3089 times
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Re: Help identifying Rank & Regiment [WW1]

Postby coopernicola » Thu Sep 04, 2014 6:17 pm

I'm not at all experienced in WWI uniform badges etc, but I cannot see a cap badge on the mounted photograph! I have found a R H Paul (Robert Henry) in the medal rolls on Ancestry. This man appears to have started out with the Kings Rifles company (Sgt major) and then transferred to the Royal Berkshire regiment (Captain). Have you considered him?
Also, and I may be wrong here, but do the medals have the regimental numbers engraved on the edges?
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Re: Help identifying Rank & Regiment [WW1]

Postby DanTaylor77 » Thu Sep 04, 2014 6:31 pm

Sadly I have seen the medal to which you refer to and I can rule it out soley on the address. Its an essex address, to my knowledge Robert Paul only lived in Germansweek & Halwill in Devon.

I have emailed my Uncle, (he is getting on in years), hopefully he will provide me with medal information.

Thank you though!
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Re: Help identifying Rank & Regiment [WW1]

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Sep 04, 2014 6:39 pm

Single chevron on the upper arm, as per first picture, is lance corporal.

It will save an infinity of work if you get the details off the medals. Given that you know where they are, anything else is a waste of your time. Round the edge or on the rear (depending on the medal) will be the name, rank, unit and number within the unit (sort of). I'm not sure but the rank may well read "private" (or equivalent) even if he was a lance corporal, as a lance corporal is strictly speaking an appointment not a rank.

By the way, remember that mounted soldiers appear in all sorts of units even including the infantry for special purposes.

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Re: Help identifying Rank & Regiment [WW1]

Postby coopernicola » Thu Sep 04, 2014 6:58 pm

Should you need it, you never know, the RH Paul I found has a number A1188.
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Re: Help identifying Rank & Regiment [WW1]

Postby DanTaylor77 » Fri Sep 05, 2014 5:26 pm

Thanks all for your replies,

AdrianB38 wrote:Single chevron on the upper arm, as per first picture, is lance corporal.


This clears up the rank in these pictures.

I've been sifting through medal card indexes on Ancestry. I think I have found the most likely one,

Its is the Meritious Service Medal card. It had Somerset Horse Artillery crossed out & R.F.A put in red pen.
Regimental number: 620110, Rank: RSM
It also has; Date of Gazette: Peace Gazette
Registered Paper: 0137/5606

If correct, it could show his 'promotion'. Somerset is close to where he would have lived, so that fits (ish).

What do we think?
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Re: Help identifying Rank & Regiment [WW1]

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:10 pm

All will be revealed when you get the details off the medals. ...

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Re: Help identifying Rank & Regiment [WW1]

Postby DanTaylor77 » Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:17 am

I will be seeing my a Uncle for his wedding in two weeks. Hopefully there shall be opportunity to see them.
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Re: Help identifying Rank & Regiment [WW1]

Postby jeffward » Sun Sep 07, 2014 7:44 am

The fact that he is wearing leather buskins on his legs points to a yeomanry regiment.These were part of the territorial army or reservists. The regular army cavalry wore cloth putties.Members of yeomanry regiments were required to provide their own horse and saddle. Also buskins were classic riding gear for farmers of this period. I would suggest the first photo is as much about the horse as the man and his uniform. He is clearly proud of both. The rural background suggests it was taken near his home and not in barracks. The yeomanry were required to attend a training camp for 24 days of the year. The tents in the background of the second photo suggest such a camp. The Cardiff address on the photo may be significant as the training camps were usually held in the home county, as transporting horses any distance presented a logistics problem . But photographers can travel and Cadiff is not far from North Devon. Regards Jeff Ward.
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Re: Help identifying Rank & Regiment [WW1]

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:34 pm

I find one of those photos (the one without the tents) interesting. It's not that I can't recognise the badge on the cap - rather I'm pretty sure that there isn't a badge. And what has he got in his right hand?

My initial reaction would be that the two photos were of different people. You may recognise the people and know I'm wrong. Perhaps the badge-less chap hasn't joined up properly yet so hasn't got his insignia, only his uniform?

Interesting about the puttees and buskins - I shall look out for that.

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