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Francis Edward Parfett Royal Berkshire Regt

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Francis Edward Parfett Royal Berkshire Regt

Postby meekhcs » Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:49 pm

Hello Everyone
I have also posted this query on The Great War Forum in the hope of some info and guidance.
My GT Grandfather Francis Edward Parfett died July 16th 1917. I think this was the 1st day of the 3rd Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele). He is buried at Kandahar Farm Cemetery, Heuvelland Province, a few miles south of Ypres (or Ieper to give it it's modern name).
Unfortunately I do not think his service records have survived, or if they have I haven't found them. I do have the medal cards and burial details from Ancestry/FMP/TNA and the details from the CWGC site.
He served in the Princess Charlotte of Wales (Royal Berkshire) Regt service no.35660 and the Labour Corps service no. 96757.
Because of the lack of service records I do not know which Battalions/Divisions etc he servedwith in the above.
I have searched the War Diaries on Ancestry without success.
Can anyone suggest any further avenues of investigation which may be open to me or find any info. I may have missed.
Regards Sally
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Re: Francis Edward Parfett Royal Berkshire Regt

Postby meekhcs » Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:51 pm

PS I have all his info from the UK up to and including the 1911 census.
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Re: Francis Edward Parfett Royal Berkshire Regt

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri Apr 24, 2015 6:17 pm

Have you checked the Medal Rolls on Ancestry? Infantry Rolls do often give the battalion - no idea about Labour Corps but Murphy's Law day they won't go down to that level of detail either for the Labour Corps itself or for any predecessors. Still, you must check - just in case.

The other possibility is that the Medal Index Card says when he first entered a theatre of war and that this might be matched to his regiment's moves and diary.

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Re: Francis Edward Parfett Royal Berkshire Regt

Postby meekhcs » Fri Apr 24, 2015 7:06 pm

Thank you, unfortunately neither index yields any extra info.

However I have spent the afternoon trawling through the internet and revisiting records I have already viewed and came up with some more info.

A record I hadn't picked up before on Ancestry was the Army Register of Soldiers Effects, this recorded his unit details at time of death as 165th Co Labour Corps. Looking at other websites members of the 13th (Labour) Battn Royal Berkshire Reg formed the 165 Coy so given the following paragraph I am tempted tothink this is an error.

I revisited the CWGC site for the first time in years and they have added info. His first Unit was the 12th (Labour Battn) Royal Berkshire Regiment with a transfer to the 162nd Coy Labour Corp but no dates as to when.

Reading up on the internet it transpires that very few if any of the Labour Battalions kept War Diaries. I also discovered that on the day he died there was no Allied action. Given where he was buried I suspect he was either involved in the "clearing up" after the Battle of Messines or the "preparation" for the 3rd Battle of Ypres. Looking at the casualty lists for Kandahar Cemetery it would appear he was the only member of his Company to be buried there.

I suspect that I am not going to find out anything else unless there is an "expert" on the Labour Corps who stumbles across this post.

Sally
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Re: Francis Edward Parfett Royal Berkshire Regt

Postby AdrianB38 » Sat Apr 25, 2015 6:32 am

I'm glad you got a result there, Sally. I had forgotten about the Soldier's Effects - it's newish so clearly hasn't sunk into my consciousness yet.

I am intrigued by the fact that you say that the CWGC has new information - was this part of the normal commemoration text or on the new images of background documentation?

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Re: Francis Edward Parfett Royal Berkshire Regt

Postby meekhcs » Sat Apr 25, 2015 6:48 am

Adrian

I originally found details of my Gt GF's death on the CWGC site way back at a WDYTYA show when I was just starting my Family History research. Having concentrated on my Husband's side for years I have only recently started to flesh out my FH beyond the basic BMD's census records etc that I gleaned from Ancestry/FMP years ago. We are a pretty boring lot, both sides having lived in Hampshire as far back as I have researched!! So that extra info may have been on the CWGC site for a long time or from the outset but as I hadn't found anything on Ancestry etc regarding his service records I hadn't looked further. I am only now beginning to dig deeper.

Thanks Sally
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Re: Francis Edward Parfett Royal Berkshire Regt

Postby peter kent » Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:44 am

His first Unit was the 12th (Labour Battn) Royal Berkshire Regiment with a transfer to the 162nd Coy Labour Corp but no dates as to when.


He wasn't transferred. The 12th Labour Battalion became the 162nd and 163rd Labour Companies of the Labour Corps in April 1917.
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Re: Francis Edward Parfett Royal Berkshire Regt

Postby meekhcs » Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:51 am

My husband will hate me this weekend because I have really got my teeth into this now!!
I also posted this query on The Great War Forum and a member came up with the fact that he was originally in The Devonshire Regt. service no. 60673. I was very sceptical of this because Francis was born and lived his life in the Andover area of Hampshire.
I put 60673 Devonshire Regiment into the google search engine and that threw up The Hampshire War Memorial project and I discovered that Francis is listed on the War Memorials for Andover(birth) and Stockbridge (last Residence). The detail reads reg no 96757 162nd Coy Labour Corp, formerley 60673 Devonshire Regiment and 35660 12th (Labour) Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment.
I was still a little sceptical of the Devonshire Regt connection but google again came to the rescue and it appears that when people were signed up to Labour/Works Battalions they could be assigned to any Regiments.
Incidentally also listed on the the War Memorial for Andover was Harry Parfitt, Francis's Uncle, and another Family member for whom I had originally drawn a blank!!

Sally
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Re: Francis Edward Parfett Royal Berkshire Regt

Postby meekhcs » Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:52 am

Thank you Peter
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Re: Francis Edward Parfett Royal Berkshire Regt

Postby timbo58 » Sat Apr 25, 2015 7:47 pm

As you probably know by now, it wasn't at all unusual for a man to join a non local regiment.
Especially after 1914, men were simply placed into regiments etc that needed them rather than being formed up into new regiments/companies for the local regiment.



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