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Kew look up request - Remount Service WW1

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Kew look up request - Remount Service WW1

Postby phsvm » Mon Aug 05, 2019 3:43 pm

I need to know what the Army Service records show for Lieutenant Leonard Ambrose Cundell, born 1897, Wiltshire. I know he was still a race horse trainer in 1916, that he was with the Remount Service and served in Egypt but other than that I have nothing (although plenty about his life outside the army).

I can't get to Kew but if anyone is going to be there and could have a look at his service record - WO 374/17233 - and let me know what it shows I'd be eternailly grateful.
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Re: Kew look up request - Remount Service WW1

Postby midshipman » Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:07 pm

Believe he was born 1879 and birth registered in Highworth.

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Re: Kew look up request - Remount Service WW1

Postby MoVidger » Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:19 pm

You've probably seen this already, but there is a brief London Gazette supplement mention for him:

"Leonard Ambrose Cundell to be a Remt. Officer, and to be temp. Lt. 31st July 1917".
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Re: Kew look up request - Remount Service WW1

Postby junkers » Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:46 pm

phsvm wrote:I need to know what the Army Service records show for Lieutenant Leonard Ambrose Cundell, born 1897, Wiltshire. I know he was still a race horse trainer in 1916, that he was with the Remount Service and served in Egypt but other than that I have nothing (although plenty about his life outside the army).

I can't get to Kew but if anyone is going to be there and could have a look at his service record - WO 374/17233 - and let me know what it shows I'd be eternailly grateful.


I'll see if I can have a look this week.
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Re: Kew look up request - Remount Service WW1

Postby phsvm » Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:09 pm

Many thanks Junkers.

I have plenty on his non-miitary service. There is a whole website dedicated largely to his famiy but it's his military experience that I need details of.
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Re: Kew look up request - Remount Service WW1

Postby junkers » Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:09 pm

There are literally only a few documents in his file, this is quite common as documents of short-term use would have been 'weeded' (destroyed). What I have found on WO 374/17233: 1918-1921: Lieutenant Leonard Ambrose CUNDELL. Special List is.

There are only a few papers in this file, including a summary of his medical history. He started as a Temporary Lieutenant and was in the No 3 Remount Division. He was born in 1879 and had served in Egypt. He embarked on 19 March 1918 at Southampton on the H.T. Caesarea, then embarked on 29 March 1918 at Taranto (Italy) and disembarked at Alexandria on 3 April 1918 per H.T. Kaiser-l-Hind. He was in Belbies (4 April 1918), transferred to the military hospital in Aden with tonsillitis and on 21 September 1918 he had diphtheria. He was discharged to the Remount Depot and re-joined on 22 September 2018. On 14 May 1919 he embarked at Alexandria per H.T. Thesus for Marseilles (described as “conducting duty”). He was demobilised on 23 June 1919 relinquishing his commission on completion of service and by this time he was a Lieutenant. Not a lot of information and I can't see a War Diary for the period at TNA.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Kew look up request - Remount Service WW1

Postby phsvm » Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:43 pm

Junkers - many thanks for this. It gives me more info than I had and fills in the gap

I have a book written about him by his daughter, he has a wikipedia entry, a Times Obit and a webiste with a whole section about him but none had any details of him miltary career beyond that he was in the Remount Service so this is a real help.
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Re: Kew look up request - Remount Service WW1

Postby Lyndale » Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:52 am

Dear PHSUM, the following are extracts from the Long Long Trail and Wikipedia websites and will assist in providing the background as to why Leonard Cundell volunteered (or was selected) for this type of work during WW1. Also, whilst 30-odd percent of WW1 soldiers records only survived the 1940 warehouse fire, 100% of all Army officer operational records were lost. The record for Cundell at TNA Kew was from a separate Army officer correspondence record set kept elsewhere in 1940, which dealt only with personal matters and, if lucky, might have copies of promotions, postings etc from the lost "Op File". This explains why so much medical history was evident. Extracts follow:
The Army Service Corps (ASC) Remounts Service was responsible for the provisioning of horses and mules to all other army units. It was not a large part of the Army Service Corps despite the huge numbers of animals produced. A Remount Squadron consisted of approximately 200 soldiers, who obtained and trained 500 horses. They were generally older, experienced soldiers. Animals were obtained during the war by compulsory purchase in the United Kingdom and by purchasing from North and South America, New Zealand, Spain, Portugal, India and China. As the army expanded, several more ASC Remount Squadrons were established at home and overseas. ASC Remounts personnel in the Middle East theatres were supplemented by similar units of the Indian Army.
The establishment of officers and men was also increased to cope with this number of animals, from 121 officers and 230 men in August 1914 to 423 officers and 20,560 men in 1917. Many of the Remount officers were drawn from the landed gentry, masters of fox hounds and others who had experience with horses in civilian life, thus avoiding withdrawing Army officers from their normal duties. Apart from France, depots were set up in Egypt and Salonika for the campaigns in those regions. Animals for these areas were originally obtained from Australia (horses) and North America (mules) although, owing to difficulties with transport, all animals were later supplied from Britain.
Over the course of the war, a total of 468,323 horses were purchased in the United Kingdom, 428,608 horses and 275,097 mules in North America, 6,000 horses and 1,500 mules came from South America, and 3,700 mules from Spain and Portugal. Between 1914 and 1920, the Remount Service spent £67.5 million on the purchase and training of these animals. Regards Lyndale.
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