Moderator Control Panel ]

Scots Greys 2nd Battalion?

Having trouble tracking down a wartime ancestor? Share your queries – and help fellow researchers – here

Scots Greys 2nd Battalion?

Postby suzy100 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:40 pm

Hi

I am researching my friends grandfather and I have found a newspaper article where it states that he was a deserter from the Scots Greys 2nd Battalion, it is dated 1927. I am not sure how true this was as he was basically a criminal and was in court charged with theft and trying to stab a police officer. He was born in 1901 which again does not really fit with when he would have been in the Scots Greys. I have obviously searched the obvious web sites - Ancestry, Find my past, Forces war, but again am at a loss.
I have a time line for him and in 1917 he was bound over for stealing a bike.
In 1918 he was sent to Borstal for 3 years charged with 'being a suspect'
1924 married
1925 1 months hard labour for deserting his wife and child
1926 21 days hard labour for obstructing the police
So I cannot see when he had the time to join the army!! Also he seems too young to have been in the 1st ww.

Where do i go from here to find out if he actually was in the Scots Greys.

Thanks
suzy100
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:33 pm

Re: Scots Greys 2nd Battalion?

Postby ianbee » Sun Sep 03, 2017 2:09 pm

suzy100 wrote:I have found a newspaper article where it states that he was a deserter from the Scots Greys 2nd Battalion, it is dated 1927.

This will be Percy Clarence Wheeler.
Report is in the West London Observer, 11 February 1927
ianbee
 
Posts: 2378
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:51 pm

Re: Scots Greys 2nd Battalion?

Postby suzy100 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 2:35 pm

Hi Yes silly me I did not put his name!! Percy Clarence Wheeler born 1901
suzy100
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:33 pm

Re: Scots Greys 2nd Battalion?

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 2:40 pm

Because (so far as I can see) it's post 1920, his service records remain with the Ministry of Defence. See https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/requests-for-personal-data-and-service-records for how to apply.

That is the only definitive list of who was in the Army.

There are a couple of things that spring to mind.

1. You need a death certificate to apply. That isn't normally a problem but who knows here!

2. Your friend would need to be the one to apply (well, the one to sign the paper) and even then, they would need to be the next of kin to get all the data.

3. You need to just consider if he gave any false details to the recruiting officer when he joined up. Again, not normally a problem but if he's trying to disappear, he might very well have done so. In which case, you might never be granted access if he's given a false name or date of birth.

I think that you are right to be wary of taking things at face value. If the article says that he's a deserter, he probably is, but maybe he deserted years ago and they've only just caught up with him - I've not seen the text of the article that Ian quotes. Alternatively, he could have very recently tried to get away from his family by joining up, realised that it wasn't going to work and done a runner after just weeks.

Sent from my MotoG3 using WDYTYA Forum mobile app
Adrian
AdrianB38
 
Posts: 2653
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:07 pm

Re: Scots Greys 2nd Battalion?

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:08 pm

OK, having looked at the article now, he's described in the article as a painter, and he admits to being a deserter, suggesting that he's deserted further back than the last week or so. And, of course, he could even be trying to put them off the scent!

While there are two WW1 soldiers in the Medal Index cards named Percy C Wheeler, both are in service in 1914 or 1915 so, as you say, can't be your chap who, in any case, seems highly unlikely to have got into action during WW1 - though I can never remember the exact cut-off age for when someone was allowed to go abroad.
Adrian
AdrianB38
 
Posts: 2653
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:07 pm

Re: Scots Greys 2nd Battalion?

Postby suzy100 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:43 pm

Hi Adrian

Well that is what I thought re WW1 as he would have been 13 when war broke out but of course he could have enlisted in 1917 and lied about his age. As you say he could have said that he was a deserter just to throw them, but it is a bit of a random thing to say! And why the Scots Greys! I am loath to start paying for his records if they do not exist, also at the moment I cannot find a death for him either. He went by the name Percy only and whilst I have sent off for a death in the 1940's in Bromley I am not sure it is him yet. I thought maybe there was a web site listing all of the Scots Greys! Obviously not lol.
Sue
suzy100
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:33 pm

Re: Scots Greys 2nd Battalion?

Postby brunes08 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:07 pm

A cousin of my grandfather lied about his age when he enlisted in the army in 1915. He was only 15 yrs. It was several months before he was found out and discharged. He was able to re-enlist a year later but sadly died of injuries received just before he was 18 years. I think there were a lot of young men did the same and tried to enlist under age.
brunes08
 
Posts: 1059
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2013 4:49 pm

Re: Scots Greys 2nd Battalion?

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:08 pm

It takes a bit to work through the brain but....

The newspaper report refers to him admitting being a deserter from "the 2nd Battalion Scots Greys". There is, I am pretty certain, no such unit. Tracing units between WW1 and WW2 is tricky but there is an essential flaw in that description. The Royal Scots Greys were a cavalry unit and Battalion is an infantry term. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Scots_Greys

Now, the first thing to say is that the error might lie in the newspaper, because what the Scots Greys were was the "Royal Scots Greys (2nd Dragoons)". Allowing for people dropping the "Royal" and reordering words, our Percy might very well have said "the 2nd Dragoons, Scots Greys" and that got twisted round a bit with the reporter mis-hearing "Dragoons" as "Battalion". On the other hand....

The only other thing that I can think of is that regiments did keep what are variously referred to as Recruitment Registers / Attestation Registers / Attestation Books. These are post-1920 documents covering anyone who was in service in 1920 or after. FindMyPast have them for the Royal Artillery, for instance, where you can see that the early info is useful, the later virtually no more than name and number. For some strange reason, these were in the hands of the National Archives who passed them on to regimental or county museums. I cannot find what happened to any cavalry Recruitment Registers, never mind the RSG. (One suggestion is that the disposal of these books was not dictated by the MoD so some units just pulped them.) If those books survive for the RSG then someone could sit down and just look through. That could be an even bigger job, in fact, because a worse possibility is that such books were kept by the Corps of Dragoons and contained records for all Dragoons, not just the RSG.

And even if the Dragoons / RSG Recruitment Registers did survive somewhere, there must be a good chance that Percy was conscripted about 1918 and deserted before 1920 in which case he wouldn't be in the Dragoons / RSG Recruitment Registers.

My last possible suggestion is that you try and contact the regimental museum to see if they have any records that might help. Eventually I worked out that the relevant museum is The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Museum in Edinburgh https://www.scotsdgmuseum.com/. They don't hold service records, but they may well hold lists of names, possibly with who knows what details. At least it just might, might, might, be possible to know if a Percy Wheeler (under that name) ever served with the RSG.
Adrian
AdrianB38
 
Posts: 2653
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:07 pm

Re: Scots Greys 2nd Battalion?

Postby suzy100 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:15 pm

Thank you so much much Adrian this has been most helpful.

Sue
suzy100
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:33 pm


Return to Military help


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests