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Gallipoli. Turkey Or Italy?

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Gallipoli. Turkey Or Italy?

Postby Gene-al » Thu Nov 19, 2015 12:26 pm

My grandfather, Frederick George Philpott served with the RGA (134370 - Medal Rolls and 134470 - WWI Service Records) in WWI and, he alleged, served in Gallipoli. However, I can find no evidence for this but he returned speaking good Italian. He even renamed his house, Casa Mia (My Home). I have not found any Italian involvment in that campaign or could he have been stationed in an Italian Gallipoli in Lecce Province, Apulia, South Eastern Italy facing the Adriatic? Is there another explanation or have I missed something??
Last edited by Gene-al on Thu Nov 19, 2015 12:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gallipoli. Turkey Or Italy?

Postby madducks » Thu Nov 19, 2015 12:29 pm

Could he not have served in both places? Have you had a look at medal cards on ancestry?
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Re: Gallipoli. Turkey Or Italy?

Postby Gene-al » Thu Nov 19, 2015 12:59 pm

Thanks. I was editing the post when you replied as I found I had two service records for him and had to check both! I cannot find any reference to that campaign wherever I looked but perhaps I am not looking in the right place - a common fault if one cannot find a record!
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Re: Gallipoli. Turkey Or Italy?

Postby brunes08 » Thu Nov 19, 2015 1:12 pm

Does your grandfather's record show what Company in the RGA he served in? I googled 'RGA British Army 1WW'. If you do this, you should find a link to a page on the 1914-1918 site/The long long trail. On the site I found a complete list of the different companies of the RGA indicating where they were based. This might help unravel a little of your mystery.
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Re: Gallipoli. Turkey Or Italy?

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:22 pm

Well, he certainly never served in the Gallipoli campaign - anyone who did so, would be issued with the 1914-15 or 1914 Star campaign medal, and his Medal Index Card shows just the Victory and War Medals. The Medal Roll itself just shows "Base D[e]t[ai]ls RGA", so no clue on there about his exact unit within the RGA.

As you say, there is an Italian place named Gallipoli in Apulia, in southern Italy. (I learn something every day!) It's right down on the end of the stiletto heel of the Italian "boot".

Re his service papers - the number is 134370 on them - it's just that Ancestry indexes the front sheet and I suspect that, with all the scribbling on it, they couldn't read it. (Neither could I! I looked at the other pages.)

His service is not very clear due to water damage(?) but I have tried to piece it together, referring to the Ancestry image numbers. The FMP images are marginally better but I have quoted Ancestry image numbers under the impression that's what you were working with.

6591 - He attested 11 December 1915 (this will have been under the Derby Scheme, so he would then have gone back home to wait to be called up).
6593 - "Statement of the Services" at the top shows:
- Attested 11-12-15 (as above) - he then goes into the Army Reserve the next day, waiting call-up;
- Mobilized 30-5-16 - and then told to go home again!!! (i.e. back into the Reserve);
- Remobilized 2-12-16.

6591 - Fully joined up 8 Dec 1916 at Rugeley, Staffs.

6592 - "Campaigns" on Military History Sheet is empty - oh bother.
6592 - "Medals" on Military History Sheet says War Medal and Victory Medal - just like the Medal Roll and Medal Index Card.

There are many dates that through water damage(?) are illegible or have no readable text with them but include (from various images):
6595 - RGA Weymouth 3-1-17
6595 - Depot AAC (?Anti-Aircraft Command? Companies?) 20-1-17. (There is a stamp for 16 Company RGA against this - according to the Long, Long Trail, 16 Co. was "Weymouth. Southern Coast Defences")
6593 - 48 AA Copy (i.e. 48 Anti-Aircraft Company) 27-2-17

6593 - "Statement of Service" at bottom shows:
Home 30-5-16 to 30-9-18 (i.e. UK)
[B?]EF 1-10-18 to 18-11-19 (I am really not sure this is BEF but I don't know if the British used any other EF designations - did we have an IEF for Italian EF?)
Emb[arked] for UK 19-11-19 to 30-11-19
??? 1-12-19

So, where was he 1-10-18 to 18-11-19?
6599 - note dated 20-11-18: Admitted to Hospital? Italy. Admitted on ?29-10-18? Beware confusion between the date of the event (on the right) and the date of the note recording the event (on the left).
I think he was posted somewhere later that month but can't read where.
6599 - noted dated ?-11-18 "Joined from ?Arquala?"
6616 - Mentions "Arquata Italy" - see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arquata_Scrivia - this is a commune in Northern Italy, right at the top of the "Italian boot".
6617 - mentions "Rivalta" - very much in the same area as Arquata.

Apologies for using the cliche of the map of Italy looking like a boot, but it seemed to convey the geography a bit better than "top" or "bottom".
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Re: Gallipoli. Turkey Or Italy?

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:31 pm

A full ORBAT for the Italian campaign by the British Army is on http://www.1914-1918.net/italy.htm - it includes a number of Anti-Aircraft units. You might see if any appear on your GF's papers.
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Re: Gallipoli. Turkey Or Italy?

Postby jeffward » Sun Nov 22, 2015 4:35 pm

I don't know if its relevant but the Apulia region of Italy was used as a rest area for British troops serving in the Salonika campaign. There were several rest camps there, as well as Base Hospitals and stores depots .So its possible he was with a unit serving in a defensive role. Regards Jeff Ward.
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