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Royal Field Artillery - WW1

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Royal Field Artillery - WW1

Postby Doris » Thu Jul 30, 2015 8:35 pm

Hi everyone,

I appreciate that this is probably a long shot but I was wondering if anyone knew if it was possible to trace which Battalion of the Royal Field Artillery my 2 x great grandfather was in during WW1?

I have obtained his medal card which confirms that he served in the RFA and that he received the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. His service number was 163976 and he was living in Birmingham in 1911.

I would really appreciate any suggestions as I would love to find out a bit more about what he did and where he was during the War. Many thanks :)


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Re: Royal Field Artillery - WW1

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Jul 30, 2015 9:54 pm

Unfortunately, the artillery was notorious for not putting the lower level units (actually, brigades or batteries, rather than battalions) on their medal rolls or even on the medals themselves.

Your best bet is to find him in the Absent Voters Lists for the Birmingham area as these usually give someone's unit and number details. Ancestry has "Midlands, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1955" and I've just looked at a 1919 list for Duddeston (it just happened to be at the top) and it does show unit and number. I'm guessing that the AVLs are for 1918, 1919 and 1920 at most. Certainly no earlier.
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Re: Royal Field Artillery - WW1

Postby peter kent » Fri Jul 31, 2015 9:48 am

You haven't told us his name or his date of birth or his place of birth! All these would help to identify him as would something a bit more precise than just "Birmingham in 1911"!

As already suggested try absent voters lists. Also make sure you have all relevant BMD certificates for the period of the war - for example if he married or fathered any children during the war.
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Re: Royal Field Artillery - WW1

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri Jul 31, 2015 6:18 pm

Oh, and double check that he doesn't appear on any other medal rolls such as the Silver War Badge (if he was invalided out) or even a gallantry medal. They did a better job filling in the full details on a Military Medal (say).

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Re: Royal Field Artillery - WW1

Postby Doris » Tue Aug 04, 2015 7:48 pm

Many thanks for your suggestions.

My 2 x Great Grandfathers name was Joseph William Reckless who was born in 1896 Duddeston Birmingham. To make matters more confusing, when he enlisted he went under the name Joseph Allen for some reason (his fathers 'registered' surname was Reckless and was born illegitimately, his mother then married George Allen and seemed to flit between the two surnames, it seems his son Joseph has done the same, maybe due to the stigma the name 'Reckless' may caused when fighting in a war!!)

I'm not sure if it my inexperience but I am having trouble coming up with anything from the absent voters lists, I would be very grateful for any tips or pointers!!

Many thanks [SMILING FACE WITH SMILING EYES]


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Re: Royal Field Artillery - WW1

Postby peter kent » Wed Aug 05, 2015 9:08 am

I'm not sure if it my inexperience but I am having trouble coming up with anything from the absent voters lists, I would be very grateful for any tips or pointers!!


You may find it better to use the browse facility instead of searching by name.
You need the list for where his home address was. The list may not have survived. Do you know which constituency his home was in and his address?
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