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Military enlistment help!

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Military enlistment help!

Postby lilyrrobertson1996 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 12:17 am

I have been researching my family history over the past few months and I’m struggling to find out much information about my great great grandfather and was wondering if anyone is able to understand the document I’ve found and hopefully help me get further into finding out more about him.
His name was Edward George Horace Lewis, I believe he was born around 1880 and died in about 1969. Unfortunately my grandmother didn’t know him so she’s been unable to give me much information about him.

I’ve managed to understand some of the document such as his wife and children’s names and dates of birth etc however as some of it is not in a great condition it makes it extremely difficult to read and I’m not too sure what some of the numbers and dates etc mean.

If anyone could let me know where he served or any other details about him it would be greatly appreciated!
Attachments
EF93A0E4-EFE9-472D-81AC-E6586E104D3F.jpeg
EF93A0E4-EFE9-472D-81AC-E6586E104D3F.jpeg (649.22 KiB) Viewed 456 times
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Re: Military enlistment help!

Postby peter kent » Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:37 am

I would say you know enough to press on with conventional family history research.

If you know who and when he married you can get his marriage certificate for a start. Also you should be able to find the family on the 1911 census.

Marriages Jun 1902
Lewis Edward George H Dartford 2a 918
Stringer Mary Ann Dartford 2a 918
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Re: Military enlistment help!

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 12:31 pm

1. Read up on how to research WW1 soldiers on https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/

2. He joined the Royal Garrison Artillery at Gosport on 26 Nov 1914, so he was a volunteer. He was given number 54098 in the RGA (according to the previous image on FMP) and the rank of Gunner - equivalent to a private in the infantry.

3. He was posted to an RGA company whose identity I can't read on 27 Feb 1915.

4. He was in France & Flanders (Belgium) 4 Sept 1915 to 30 Oct 1917 - which means that he was issued with 3 campaign medals - the 1914-15 Star, The British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

5. He was back in the UK until discharged on 26 Sep 1918 as no longer physically fit.

6. Further on in the images, he gets a weekly pension of 8s 3d for a year - after which it would be reviewed. Presumably this is on ill-health grounds.

7. Further on again in the FMP sequence, there's an Army Form B104 whose first line seems to say that in July 1917 he was suffering from "gas" before rejoining his unit on 22(?) July 1917.

That's all I can read - without an RGA Company or Battery number, it's impossible to say where he went. And even then it's hard work!
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Re: Military enlistment help!

Postby avaline » Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:37 pm

AdrianB38 wrote:7. Further on again in the FMP sequence, there's an Army Form B104 whose first line seems to say that in July 1917 he was suffering from "gas" before rejoining his unit on 22(?) July 1917.


He appeared in the war office Casualty List on the Daily List for 22 Aug 1917:
Lewis 54098 Gnr E (Dartford).

The casualty lists were generally published several weeks after the incident, so this would tie in with the date above.

His medal award roll shows that he was discharged 26 Sep 1918 under Paragraph 392 of King's Regulations, Sub-Paragraph xvi: No longer physically fit for war service, and that he served with the 27th Siege Battery RGA.

Because of his discharge he was in receipt of a silver war badge, and the rolls for that show that he enlisted 26 Nov 1914 and was with 13 Fire Command when discharged, aged 37 years & 305 days.
His badge No. was B15322.
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Re: Military enlistment help!

Postby ianbee » Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:53 pm

peter kent wrote:If you know who and when he married you can get his marriage certificate for a start.

Army record says 19/5/1902, Darenth
It's on CityArk (image 17 of 49)
https://tinyurl.com/y5269fxw

But smudgy!
Edward George Harris Lewis, 22
Father George Lewis, occupation Bargeman?
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Re: Military enlistment help!

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:10 pm

avaline wrote:... he served with the 27th Siege Battery RGA.
... was with 13 Fire Command when discharged, aged 37 years & 305 days.
...


Oh well found, Avaline. Firstly I have no idea what "13 Fire Command" might have been. A very quick Google seems to suggest that "Fire Command" is a phrase used with anti-aircraft during WW2 - but the earlier war? No idea. I would suggest joining the Great War Forum, explaining what you know and asking what "13 Fire Command" (presumably in the RGA) might have been in WW1. It's unusual to me, so possibly worth a go for interest's sake.

27th Siege Battery - that's on the British War Medal and Victory Medal Roll - I never bothered checking that roll for two (as I thought) good reasons - firstly I made the mistake of believing "27 S. Co." on his Statement of Services. I could find nothing about a "27 S Company" in the RGA, so gave up on that, assuming that I couldn't read it straight. Secondly, it is a "well known fact" that artillery medal rolls "never" give details of which unit someone served in. But many thanks to that RGA clerk!
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Re: Military enlistment help!

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:47 pm

The detailed allocations of 27 Siege Battery of the RGA are given in the free download from TNA of WO 95/5494 - part 4 in this case. See the attached image, courtesy of TNA, Kew. See also http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-royal-artillery-in-the-first-world-war/the-siege-batteries-of-the-royal-garrison-artillery/ for an intro to the Siege Batteries.

The battery went out to France on 4 Sept 1915 - that was when Edward went out, so that makes it pretty clear that 27 Siege Battery was his unit. The battery originally consisted of 4 six-inch howitzers, being made up to 6 in July 1917 - this was pretty typical - I understand that the smaller number of guns in a battery made it easier for the rapidly expanded Army to control. Once the officers and NCOs knew what they were doing, then the batteries were expanded in size.

The problem is (as I suggested beforehand) that knowing he was with 27 SB RGA doesn't actually get me very far - I can see from the attached image that 27 SB was with 27th Heavy Artillery Brigade (HAB) then 25th Heavy Artillery Group (HAG), then 13th HAG, then.... But where were they? And you may very well need to look at the War Diaries for 27 SB, 27 HAG, 25 HAG, etc, etc... to work that out - presumably at TNA Kew. I'm afraid that right now, I don't know any easier way of doing it - other than paying a researcher!
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Re: Military enlistment help!

Postby avaline » Sat Sep 07, 2019 12:41 am

lilyrrobertson1996 wrote:I have been researching my family history over the past few months and
His name was Edward George Horace Lewis, I believe he was born around 1880 and died in about 1969...... If anyone could let me know where he served or any other details about him it would be greatly appreciated!


From the information on the marriage certificate I think that this may be him:
Baptism at Holy Trinity, Maidstone
12 Oct 1881 Edward George s/o George Ernest & Lucy Lewis, 12 Union Street, Bargeman

LEWIS, EDWARD mmn LUCKHURST GRO Ref: 1880 M Quarter in MAIDSTONE Volume 02A Page 689

George Lewis married Lucy Luckhurst 1878, Maidstone (her father was named as Charles Wright, Sweep)

1881 Maidstone
John J? Lewis 72 widower Captain of Barge b Maidstone
Lucy Lewis 21 Sons wife b Maidstone
Charles Lewis 16 Son File Maker b Maidstone
Edward Lewis 1 Grandson b Maidstone

A tree on Ancestry says that George Ernest left for America and is in Boston in 1900 with new wife Mary & children, returning in 1905.

These are said to be Edwards full siblings:
LEWIS, GEORGE ALBERT CHARLES mmn LUCK GRO Ref: 1882 J Quarter MAIDSTONE Volume 02A Page 712
LEWIS, THOWA (Thurza) mmn LUCKHURST GRO Ref 1884 S Quarter MAIDSTONE Volume 02A Page 720

The next census sighting of Lucy is in 1911 as Lucy Fryer, married to William Fryer for 18 years, with 7 children born to the marriage, all still living.

In 1901 Edward Lewis is in St Augustine’s Prison in Canterbury alongside William Henry Fryer, although both names are crossed through.

In 1902 Thurza Lewis marries in Seal, Kent, and a witness is Lucy Lewis
In 1910 George Albert Charles Lewis marries (as Horace Albert George Lewis) in Rainham, Kent, having joined the marines in 1900 as George Fryer (later recorded as George Albert Charles Lewis alias Fryer), mother Lucy at Hops Huts, Seal Chart, Nr Sevenoaks.

Why both Edward and George decide to incorporate 'Horace' into their names, I've no idea!
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Re: Military enlistment help!

Postby avaline » Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:45 am

Sorry, I missed a sibling - looks like a twin to Thurza.

LEWIS, ALICE ALMA mmn LUCKHURST GRO Ref: 1884 S Quarter in MAIDSTONE Volume 02A Page 719

She married in Seal in 1904 as Alice Alma Fryer, and the witnesses were Edward Lewis & Elizabeth Lewis.
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Re: Military enlistment help!

Postby Lyndale » Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:31 am

To help you with locations of 27th Siege Battery in the latter part of WW1, note that at the Armistice 11-11-1918, 27th (Siege) Bty (part of 7th Heavy Group or Brigade, both terms are interchangeable) was under the HQ of the British First Army. The First Army front line was at that date 5 miles beyond Mons standing astride the Mons-Conde Canal in the centre of the 55-mile front of the British front line (BEF or British Expeditionary Force of five armies). Assuming 7th Heavy Group/Brigade was under First Army since July 1917, then the 27th (S) Bty supported the following battles with its stationary heavy long-range guns well behind the British line...Battle of Hill 70 (Aug 1917) First Arras (March 1918) Battles of the Lys (defence of the German spring March-April offensive, which drove the British line back 40 miles, April 1918) Advance to Victory in Flanders (Aug 1918) Second Arras (Aug-Sep 1918) Battles of the Hindenburg Line (Sep-Oct 1918) The Final Advance in Picardy/Battle of Artois (Oct-Nov 1918). Regards Lyndale.
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