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WW1, grandfather in India

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WW1, grandfather in India

Postby Singleton1922 » Fri Nov 18, 2016 5:34 pm

We are trying to find more information about my husband's grandfather and a photo of him in uniform is attached.
We have found a newspaper article from December 1918 about his brother that mentions that grandad was serving in India, MT, ASC. (presumably Army Service Corps, Mechanical transport).

There is no trace of a service record although we do have a copy of the medal card which shows the following:
BRITISH Roll RASC/101A page 19.'deleted from RASC/101A2 page 111 - Auth X@4A'
INDIA GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL/WAZN/NWFF, 1919/21 (Roll 17405-38)
WAZN has been hand-written with the printed word AFGN deleted. 1921 has also been added later.
Other hand-written additions - IGSM and CLASP, o i/c RASC Ricp(?) Woolwich fwd B104-117 dd 2/11/23.

Also on the card is AS(?)/RASC/644. Could this be the MT company number? (if so, 644 doesn't appear on the longlongtrail). However Heavy Repair workshop 644 ASC is mentioned on the KEWwebsite under 'War Diaries part 1; Egypt, Palestine & Syria.
My mother-in-law believes that her father served in Mesopotamia and he probably re-enlisted in 1919. His service in India may have included time at the Khyber Pass and we also believe he was 'mentioned in despatches' at some point.

Can anyone please help with the following:
1) Is it likely Grandad would have joined the (R)ASC directly or been transferred from another unit?
2) Does the attached photo confirm any of the above?
3) Concerning the movements of 644 MT is it likely he would have joined before 1918, been posted to Egypt/Iraq and then on to India/Khyber Pass returning to the UK in the 1920s?
4) Are there further clues from the Medal card we should pursue?

I look forward to receiving any ideas/comments, thank you.
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Re: WW1, grandfather in India

Postby midshipman » Fri Nov 18, 2016 5:57 pm

What was his full name? Do you know where he was born and when?

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Re: WW1, grandfather in India

Postby midshipman » Fri Nov 18, 2016 6:17 pm

The cap badge shown in the photo is for the Army Service Corps which became the Royal Army Service Corps in 1918. The I.G.S.M. is the Indian General Service Medal and will have the clasp Waziristan.

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Re: WW1, grandfather in India

Postby Singleton1922 » Fri Nov 18, 2016 6:49 pm

Thanks, that all makes sense so far.
His name is Edward Charles Henry Grant and he was born in Odstock/Salisbury in Wiltshire. DOB is 06/06/1888



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Re: WW1, grandfather in India

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri Nov 18, 2016 8:35 pm

Can you please tell us where the medal index card is, and what the details are to access it? Otherwise we're just guessing.
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Re: WW1, grandfather in India

Postby Singleton1922 » Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:53 pm

Yes Adrian, it's available free on Ancestry.
The details are under Edward Grant, regiment ASC, number M2/104006



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Re: WW1, grandfather in India

Postby midshipman » Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:58 pm

Was he awarded the Military Medal?

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Re: WW1, grandfather in India

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri Nov 18, 2016 11:43 pm

OK - for reference next time please, will people please note that if I ask "what the details are to access it", please don't write "ASC" when the regiment in the index is actually "Army Service Corps". The reason is that Army bureaucracy is like any bureaucracy - it abbreviates all over the shop and this entry could have been under "ASC" or "Army Service Corps" (or even "RASC", I guess...), so I'd really like to know which one to choose.

OK - in "British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920", what we see is a guy getting the British War Medal but not the Victory Medal. That means he was outside the UK during WW1 but not in a theatre of war. The classic explanation for that is that he was in India throughout WW1.

So, logically (and logic doesn't always work), he was in the Army Service Corps, went abroad during WW1, never went into a theatre of war (so never went to Egypt or Mesopotamia) and went to India during WW1. I'm slightly concerned about my saying "never went to Egypt" since if he started in the UK then going via Egypt is the logical way to get to India! Maybe just passing through Egypt doesn't count as serving in a theatre of war.

Based on his MIC, he was a sergeant at the end of WW1.

As mentioned above, he serves in Waziristan about 1919-1921.

The actual Medal Rolls themselves are in "UK, WWI Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920" on Ancestry. Oddly he's on two pages - looks like the clerks got in a bit of a knot and one page was cancelled (hence the "Deleted from" bit that you correctly noted). By this time (1920), the Medal Roll shows that he was an Acting(?) Warrant Officer Class 1. Not sure about the Acting bit - it only appears on one of the Medal Rolls so he might have been promoted between the 2, or there might have been a clerical error.

To try to answer your questions:
RASC/644 - could this be the MT Company number? No idea - it could as easily be just a file reference.

Would he have joined the ASC directly? - we'd just be guessing - there's no reason whatsoever why he wouldn't have joined directly, but transfers did happen. The one thing we can say is that if he was ever in another regiment or corps, it was in the UK else it would be on his Medal Index Card.

The photo? Two points. I can't see any rank insignia so this might be a photo taken on joining up, in which case he was ASC from the time of the photo. But also - look at the 2nd button down. It's fabric covered, where all the others are bright. I am really not certain of this but I have a feeling that this indicated he was in mourning for someone. (Anyone who want to tell me I'm wrong on this, please shout up!) But if this were indeed mourning, it might help to date the photo if it were a known relative rather than a unknown friend.

Movements? - see above. I suppose he might have left the Army and then rejoined to go to Waziristan. My wild guess would be that being out in India, coming home, then going back out again is not too likely. It's distinctly possible that he got notice of demob but was asked to stay on - they paid bonuses for this!

Any other clues? - the one thing I can think of, is to see if it is possible to work out which ASC units were in the Waziristan campaign. Normally lists were made (and held at TNA?) of what units had served in a campaign to ensure that campaign medals could be given out. That could help to locate him.
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Re: WW1, grandfather in India

Postby AdrianB38 » Sat Nov 19, 2016 12:01 am

One of these days I might remember this - if the word "India" appears, see the FIBIS pages.

http://wiki.fibis.org/index.php/Medal_Rolls lists where to find a lot of Medal Rolls relating to India. I think the important bit is:

WO 100/467-493 India General Service Medals 1920-1935, with advised subdivisions:
WO 100/476-483 Afghanistan/NWF 1919, Mahsud 1919-20 and Waziristan 1919-1921 to Other Ranks


That seems to match the exact years off the Medal Index Card. And if you look in TNA Discovery at those references in turn, you will find this one:
Reference: WO 100/481
Description: WO 100. Royal Army Service Corps (Verification), Royal Army Service Corps, Royal Army Medical Corps
Date: 1920 Jan 01 - 1935 Dec 31

This piece can be downloaded from TNA's Discovery for free. That might help if he's in there.
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Re: WW1, grandfather in India

Postby MaureenE » Sat Nov 19, 2016 12:58 am

The Medal downloads from the National Archives, mentioned by Adrian, are the same records as the medal rolls on Ancestry, so if you have access to Ancestry, there would be no additional information in TNA downloads.

As he was in Waziristan about 1919-1921 it is possible he would appear in the Enlistment book records from 1920 which are held through the RLC [Royal Logistic Corps] Digital Archive, a pay website.
http://www.rlcarchive.org/
More details on the FIBIS Fibiwiki page Royal Army Service Corps
http://wiki.fibis.org/index.php/Royal_A ... vice_Corps

The following FIBIS Fibiwiki page may be of interest
Operations in Waziristan 1919-1920
http://wiki.fibis.org/index.php/Operati ... _1919-1920

Cheers
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