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Wounded & Missing on Fold3

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Re: Wounded & Missing on Fold3

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:09 pm

coopernicola wrote:... N.B. He was regular army, called back to service in 1914. He had the same army number throughout 44615. He previously served in India, again other than a list of places in his army issue prayer book, we know nothing of his RFA service.


Regular? India? Oooh - does that help????

Do you know (maybe you do) that the 1911 gives where he was then? Ancestry doesn't seem to want to help because it just says that he's in India in 89th Battery RFA. But it does say it's Class: RG14; Piece: 34978, and the TNA Catalogue says that this piece starts with "Punjab, India, Jullundur, 89th Battery Royal Field Artillery". FIBIS tells you about Jullundur on https://wiki.fibis.org/w/Jullundur

Incidentally,is he really this guy in Ancestry's UK, Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services, 1848-1939????
Name: Walter Watson Fisher
Gender: Male
Birth Date: 8 Jul 1886
Birth Place: Hull, Yorks
First Service Date: 13 Oct 1904
First Ship Served On: Acheron
Last Service Date: 26 Sep 1908 <<<<< NO IT'S 1905 ON THE IMAGE
Last Ship Served On: Venerable
Service Number: 307884


Oh, this one was discharged via a court martial for theft :cry:

Unfortunately, muster lists weren't kept (or weren't kept permanently) by this time, so you can't track back in 89th Battery's lists to see who was in, when and where they came from. It even seems a pain in the posterior trying to find where the battery itself was. I know only that it can sometimes be done by finding where the battery is in the Army Lists. For instance, https://archive.org/stream/hartsannualarmy1910lond#page/236 shows that in the 1910 Army List, 89th Battery is based at Jullundur in XVI Brigade (16th Brigade). You have to look through the earlier Army lists to find similar entries. http://digital.nls.uk/british-military-lists/archive/100739612 may help you find them, though that sends you to the NLS versions, which I find harder to navigate once I'm in each book. So just for example, in 1906, http://digital.nls.uk/british-military-lists/archive/100663430 shows 89th Battery still in XVI Brigade but now at Potchefstroom - which is South Africa. Moving from SA to India would sound like a good reason I guess to get some new recruits???

So you might try linking the list of places - if it's India - to things like the Army Lists. A right pain in the amount of work and no help if he refers to a temporary out-base not in the Army List...

If he was called back in 1914, then he might very well have been put into one of the New Army batteries to act as an NCO (possibly acting, possibly temporary, possibly acting unpaid?, etc). The New Army batteries needed a core of guys who knew what they were doing and that might account for why it's 1915 before he's out in France.
Last edited by AdrianB38 on Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wounded & Missing on Fold3

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:36 pm

Took me a little longer to work out how to do it but (and again, you may know this) it looks like he joined the RFA in about November 1906.

If you search FindMyPast British Army Service Records, limit the series to Wo 97 - Chelsea Pensioners British Army Service Records 1760-1913 (the pre-WW1 papers), use a regiment of *Field* (to pick up Royal Field Artillery) and a service number of 446*, then you get several guys like Walter.
First name(s) Albert Edward
Last name Sammons
Birth year 1888
Birth parish Maidenhead
Birth town Maidenhead
Birth county Berkshire
Birth country England
Service number 44609
Regiment Royal Horse & Field Artillery
Attestation date 12 Nov 1906


irst name(s) Denis
Last name O'shea
Birth parish Ballyea
Birth town Ennis
Birth county Clare
Birth country Ireland
Service number 44610
Regiment Royal Horse & Field Artillery
Attestation date 12 Nov 1906


First name(s) Frederick James
Last name Strickland
Birth parish Sculcoates
Birth town Hull
Birth county Yorkshire
Birth country England
Service number 44616
Regiment Royal Horse & Field Artillery
Attestation date 14 Nov 1906


Now, conventional wisdom is that similar numbers in similar units are issued at similar times (clerks don't magic these things up out of nowhere). So, all three of those joined up in November 1906, so it's a good bet (but not a certainty) that's when he did.

And looking at Mr Strickland - he's 44616. Walter was 44615. And where was it Walter was born?
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Re: Wounded & Missing on Fold3

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:39 pm

AdrianB38 wrote:Took me a little longer to work out how to do it but (and again, you may know this) it looks like he joined the RFA in about November 1906. ...


Which would mean he wasn't court-martialled unless he's in the Army & Navy at the same time....

WRONG - he was discharged from the RN in 1905
Last edited by AdrianB38 on Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wounded & Missing on Fold3

Postby coopernicola » Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:49 pm

AdrianB38. Wow you did in a few hours what took me 3 years! TBF I worked mostly without the internet originally. He is the same guy who was court marshalled out of the navy. He ended up there via Industrial Ship Southampton, based in Hull. Sent as he was in trouble with the police. Possible DoB & PoB Hull 1886, he varies details and I’ve never found a birth certificate. His ‘parents’ did not marry until after his birth so it’s likely his actual surname was not Fisher. His army number does suggest he’d decided on Hull by then.
He was 89th battery in 1911, I got the 1911 census record when it was originally released. He spent some time in Devon (army training?) as that was where he met and married his wife, in Thoverton. He also appears in the Western Times with photographs of his wife’s four brothers as they were all serving during WWI.
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Re: Wounded & Missing on Fold3

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:39 pm

coopernicola wrote:AdrianB38. Wow you did in a few hours what took me 3 years! TBF I worked mostly without the internet originally. He is the same guy who was court marshalled out of the navy. ...

1. Apologies for saying it wasn't him - I read the Ancestry transcript (1908) but the image says 1905. So no issues with him being discharged from the Navy in 1905 and joining the Army in 1906. (I've edited my posts above.)

2. Well, this interweb thingy does help. Even suggestions from Ancestry and FMP, even though I keep saying "I can do it myself thank you!", can be very helpful... Knock-out helpful on occasions. So your sticking it all together without its help is impressive...

I'm really uncertain still of what that Fold3 thing refers to - I'd bet that it's no more than the casualty reports from the MoD as published in The Times or whatever. I just don't think there's anything of more detail surviving. Which might mean that it's somewhere in The Times online archive but "Fisher" has been OCR'd as "Flsber" or something daft.

It might be worth joining the Great War Forum - copy the Fold3 output into a query and ask if anyone can explain what it's come from and what 180 Battery means at that point in time?
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