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Am I missing anything?

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Am I missing anything?

Postby ermin79 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:17 am

I am double checking I have all the details I can find on my 2 x great uncle Jesse Hewis's time in the army from Ancestry and Findmypast (medal roll, medal index card, soldiers effects, soldiers who died in the great war) and a copy of his will from the UK probate site.

Jesse Hewis
Corporal - Royal Berkshire Regiment (3rd battalion)
Number 21685
Enlisted London
Died Dublin 7 November 1918
Received the War and Victory medals.

Now from these and what I can find online about the battalion I am assuming the following:

Jesse served at home (i.e. Ireland,not in Europe). He enlisted in 1915 or later as he did not receive the 1914-15 Star.

It appears his enlistment papers were amongst the ones destroyed in WW2 and I can find no mention of Jesse in the search feature of the London Gazette or in the collections search of the Royal Berkshire regiment (thewardrobe.org.uk). I realise I can also check the regiments war diaries although individual soldiers are unlikely to be mentioned.

Am I missing any other possible sources of information or have I interpreted anything incorrectly?
As always many thanks for any help you can offer
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Re: Am I missing anything?

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:24 am

The British War Medal and Victory Medal were issued to servicemen who served outside the UK, in a theatre of war, during WW1. If they only served at Home then they received nothing. There are very, very odd exceptions to the above. Remember also that the UK at this point included Ireland, so "Home" should be interpreted as the UK (including Ireland) and not as the soldier's home country.

The lack of the 1914-15 Star doesn't mean anything about when he enlisted - it means that he didn't serve outside the UK until after the end of 1915. He could have enlisted in 1914 and been given an assignment inside the UK until 1918, to take an extreme and unlikely case.

The fact that he was in the 3rd Battalion in Dublin when he died suggests that he joined up on date currently unknown, went into a theatre of war outside the UK at some point in 1915-18, and potentially was wounded (guesswork here!) before being sent to the 3rd Battalion for garrison service (maybe!) in Ireland.

Have you checked for the issue of a Silver War Badge on Ancestry? I'm afraid I've got complete brain fade over whether the SWB was ever issued to the relatives of deceased soldiers. Logically there was no reason to do so because the SWB was meant to be worn by ex-soldiers who'd done their bit and been discharged, in order to stop them being hounded by the disgusting white feather brigade. However, in the back of my mind I thought that I'd recently seen its issue to the relatives of a deceased soldier. I think it unlikely, but I have been wrong, so worth checking.



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Re: Am I missing anything?

Postby MaureenE » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:47 pm

If he was still in the Army when he died, I do not think he would be eligible for a Silver War Badge, which was awarded to soldiers who had been honourably discharged due to wounds or sickness from military service

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_War_Badge
Wikipedia. Silver War Badge

Cheers
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Re: Am I missing anything?

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:06 am

Thanks Maureen - I don't think that he was eligible either (it would have been pointless anyway) but a double check is easy enough to do.

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Re: Am I missing anything?

Postby ermin79 » Sun Apr 29, 2018 3:26 pm

Thank you very much Adrian and Maureen. I have checked the Silver War Badges and one was not issued. I also didn't realise the 1914 - 15 Star was solely for service abroad. In this case I think I have likely exhausted all avenues for Jesse's army service now.
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Re: Am I missing anything?

Postby peter kent » Thu May 03, 2018 8:29 am

Please see the actual medal rolls.

They show that he had been in both the 1st and 2nd battalions before ending up in the 3rd. This probably accounts for the medal eligibility.
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Re: Am I missing anything?

Postby ermin79 » Thu May 03, 2018 9:34 am

Thank you Peter, I thought i had seen the medal rolls (as they are on ancestry) but when I am home tonight and can get the on a computer I will take another look.

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Re: Am I missing anything?

Postby D-F » Thu May 03, 2018 3:48 pm

For WW1 military records, the Long Long Trail is worth a look:
http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/reg ... 3744084291

Gives the following information:

Princess Charlotte of Wales’s (Royal Berkshire Regiment)
Battalions of the Regular Army


1st Battalion
August 1914 : in Aldershot. Under command of 6th Brigade in 2nd Division.
13 August 1914 : landed at Rouen.
13 December 1915 : transferred to 99th Brigade in same Division.

2nd Battalion
August 1914 : in Jhansi, India. Returned to England, landing 22 October 1914.
October 1914 : moved to Winchester and placed under command of 25th Brigade in 8th Division.
5 November 1914 : landed at Le Havre.

3rd (Reserve) Battalion
August 1914 : in Reading. A depot/training unit, it moved on mobilisation to Portsmouth. Moved to Ireland in 1917 and known to be at Dublin by the end of 1918.

The same site has pages for the various divisions indicating where they were fighting and the (dated) make up for the various brigades etc. (The "Order of Battle") E.G.

http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/ord ... 3737546131

Thus you can work out which battles a specific battalion was involved in.

Likewise there are pages for the various battles.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Am I missing anything?

Postby ermin79 » Thu May 03, 2018 9:07 pm

Thank you Peter, having had a look at the medal roll online and my old paper records I had already noted that Jesse was in the 1st and 2nd Royal Berkshire's prior to his death with 3rd Battalion, but had clearly not tranferred that detail to my computer records.

I would appreciate some clarification about the 8 columns in the middle of the form under the heading 'Theatres of war in which served' though please. The entries above are a cross in the first column then a tick in the second, however Jesse Hewis and the entry above him have an O in the first column and something written in the second. Jesse Hewis's looks like SCG? the entry above (Jesse Hewins) looks like EOB. They then have a tick in the third column. I have attached Jesse's entry to illustrate. Is there an explanatory note somewhere that I have not located? I realise the tick may just be an administrator ticking off each entry as it was dealt with.

And thank you D-F for the link to the Long Long Trail site. I think that the location of the 1st and 2nd Battalions coupled with the lack of 14-15 Star suggests that Jesse did not enlist until near the end of 1914 or start of 1915, but combined with information from the 'theatres of war' columns above might clarify the situation further.
Attachments
Jesse Hewis Medal Roll.jpg
Jesse Hewis Medal Roll.jpg (63.85 KiB) Viewed 2043 times
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Re: Am I missing anything?

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu May 03, 2018 9:41 pm

I have always regarded those columns as internal-use-only with hieroglyphics known only to the clerk in question. It certainly appears to have nothing to do with any Theatres of War.

(I shall no doubt be proved wrong by Mr Murphy and his Law, but if it's necessary for me to get egg on my face in order to advance, then fair enough!)
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