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Samuel Howarth (1907-1980) - Royal Artillery

Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:51 pm

Samuel Howarth was born 20 Dec 1907 in Baildon, West Yorks to parents Francis & Clara Howarth.

His 1925 Royal Artillery Attestation record on FMP indicates the following:
Number: 765434
Attested: 24 Oct 1925 Bradford, Territorial Force, 4 years
Trade upon Enlistment: riveter
Re-enlisted: 16 June 1926 into West Yorkshire Regiment (gunner)
Serial number: 21972 198/1463

What intrigues me are these two UK, Incoming Passenger Lists on Ancestry for Samuel:

Name Samuel Howarth
Birth Date abt 1907
Age 23
Port of Departure Talacahuano, Chile
Arrival Date 13 Nov 1930
Port of Arrival Liverpool, England
Ports of Voyage Plymouth
Ship Name Orcoma
Shipping Line Pacific Steam Navigation Co
Official Number 127920

Name Samuel Howarth
Birth Date abt 1910
Age 27
Port of Departure San Antonio, Chile
Arrival Date 21 Feb 1937
Port of Arrival Liverpool, England
Ship Name Orbita
Shipping Line Pacific Steam Navigation Co
Official Number 137467

Question: What was Samuel doing in Chile during the 1930s? I've tried googling the Royal Artillery and Chile for that period, but can't really find anything. Being a riveter by trade, I wonder if he was involved with any military-related engineering work in Chile?

FMP also have Royal Artillery records for Samuel from 1938 to 1940. It appears he was discharged in 1954. Moreover, I have located him in the 1939 Register, staying with his mother Clara in Shipley. Oddly enough, he is described as a "sheet metal worker" (not soldier). I hope the chap in Chile isn't another Samuel Howarth! :o

Any thoughts or answers will be greatly received and appreciated!

Re: Samuel Howarth (1907-1980) - Royal Artillery

Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:30 am

Do the Ancestry passenger records indicate that he was a British Army soldier?

If not, I think it is much more likely that he had left the Army and was working as a civilian in Chile, on engineering works such as railway, bridge or similar construction.


Re: Samuel Howarth (1907-1980) - Royal Artillery

Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:17 am

Maybe I'm missing something with what you've done but there are several Samuel Howarths in FreeBMD being born in the same era so it's not clear to me how you've matched them up. And I guess that you are indeed worried about that.

I don't even know if we can say that the ones in the RA are the same, though I've not checked each image to see if there's anything to link them.

Bear in mind also that he started as a Territorial so he'd be holding down a civilian job at that time and even if he joined the West Yorkshire, it might have been as a Territorial. Ironically elements of the West Yorkshire ended up back in the RA in the Anti Aircraft role. But those later entries contain very little to identify anyone - though, as I said, I've not checked them all.

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Re: Samuel Howarth (1907-1980) - Royal Artillery

Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:20 am

Also - it would be weird for someone in the TA not to have it mentioned on the right-hand page of the 1939 Register. I think.

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Re: Samuel Howarth (1907-1980) - Royal Artillery

Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:20 pm

The 1930 passenger records for Samuel Howarth states:

"Military Draft" (handwritten heading)
Samuel Howarth
Proposed UK address: 21 Joseph Street, Shipley
Rank: Private

I'm not familiar with Joseph Street, but my Samuel's family definitely lived in Baildon and Shipley for years. In fact, they are living at 12 Park Street, Shipley in 1939. That's why I think the fellow listed in the 1930 record could be my Samuel.

After inspecting the 1937 passenger record image, I will disregard it. Looks like that Samuel was with the RAF.

In the 1925 RA attestation record on FMP, it states Samuel was from Baildon -- which checks out. So is he also the chap in the 1930 passenger record? If so, what was the RA doing in Chile at the time?

Re: Samuel Howarth (1907-1980) - Royal Artillery

Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:41 pm

Update from above: the 1930 passenger record is definitely my Samuel Howarth. I've just found the 1929 West Yorkshire Electoral Record for his step-father William Walker. Address is 21 Joseph Street, Shipley (same as Samuel's proposed UK address in the 1930 image).

Re: Samuel Howarth (1907-1980) - Royal Artillery

Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:02 pm

You never said that it said "Military Draft" on the passenger list! :-)

Hmm - interesting. What was the British Army doing there? However, remember that the guy could be just transiting through Chile. But from where? That idea's no real help.

The only thing that I could find as a vague, remote possibility is noted on http://www.country-data.com/cgi-bin/query/r-2528.html

That link should take you to an article mentioning the creation in 1930 of the Chilean Air Force. It must be a possibility that the UK provided advisors to Chile for this and the role of any artillery related units might be advising and training in anti aircraft guns.

It's all a bit (a lot) speculative. And there's no guarantee that any of the later guys with the same name are him. But there are interesting possibilities. He might have been in the Army (Regulars or TA) for a while, left, and then been re-recruited after the 1939 Register. Maybe. Possibly.

The answer should lie in his MoD service records. But even that depends on the Army linking the broken service (if that's what happened).

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Re: Samuel Howarth (1907-1980) - Royal Artillery

Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:44 pm

Thanks for the info and the link Adrian. You're right -- those 1938 to 1942 Samuel Howarth records on FMP could be for another fellow or two.

In his 1930 passenger record, the image also indicates:
Port of Embarkation: Bermuda
Whence arrived: Talcahuano, Chile
Last Port: La Pallice

Considering that Samuel's number is 765434 (as per 1925 attestation record), could it have changed during his TA career? In the Remarks column on said record, it indicates: Serial No. 21972 198/1463

Here are the (brief) details from the various 1938 to 1942 FMP images:

1938 RA Attestations 1883-1942
Army number: 1559929
Name: Samuel Howarth
Transferred to Pioneer Corps 25/3/1942

1940 RA Attestations 1883-1942
Army number: 1763280
Name: Sam Howarth
1954 Discharged age limit Z/T.Res.6-1-46-P/II 5

1940 RA Attestations 1883-1942
Army number: 1592313
Name: Samuel Howarth
Transfer notes column: 2/T Res/117/21.5.46

1942 RA Attestations 1883-1942
Army number: 11427145
Name: Samuel Howarth
Transferred to RAOC 4/3/1943 181 (M) HAA Rgt 35/43

I'm leaning toward the 1940 record (1954 discharged age limit) being my Samuel. In the 1911 census and 1939 Register, he is recorded as "Sam Howarth".

Re: Samuel Howarth (1907-1980) - Royal Artillery

Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:01 pm

Yes, as you point out, Chile actually has nothing to do with 1930 Sam, now I look. The ship is presumably going Chile to Liverpool - I've not checked all the pages. Sam has joined the ship, along with the rest of the Military Draft, at Bermuda, and they disembarked at Plymouth. So, they will have been part of (what was left of) the British Army's Bermuda Garrison - see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bermuda_Garrison.

As for the numbers - at some point about 1920-ish, everyone was renumbered (oh what fun that must have been). The new numbers were allocated in ranges per regiment etc but thereafter you kept that number, even if transferred between regiments.

I do not understand what this means:
Serial No. 21972

21972 is not a typical post-1920 number - the rest looks more like a correspondence reference, being on the next line. Now, 21972 could have been a post-1920 number - the first numbers were allocated to the Royal Army Service Corps, but then if Sam had been in the RASC first, he would have kept that RASC number, as I understand it. So I really, really am baffled there. The only time I've seen this column used before it contained the guy's pre-1920 number but that was labelled "Former Regimental Number".

Re: Samuel Howarth (1907-1980) - Royal Artillery

Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:26 pm

Adrian - many thanks for the extra help and link provided. It's interesting to know that Sam had been stationed in Bermuda, rather than Chile. Given that he was only 17 when he enlisted with the RA, I would imagine he had no prior military service, even though his attestation record mentions that mysterious 21972 serial number. I'll leave that little 'mystery' for another day...
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