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Trekking the steps of my gramps in WW1

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Trekking the steps of my gramps in WW1

Postby carolejs » Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:42 am

My grandfather joined up in 1916 and according to records was a member of the Royal Marines Light Infantry Plymouth Division joining up in January 1916. I know that he was sent to the Front where he was quite badly wounded during battle. He recovered and was about to be sent back when he caught measles and was quarantined. By the end of the war I thought he said that he was sent to Ireland. This would place his Western Front service around 1916 to 1917 My childhood memories record him trying to pronounce the name of the battle place which may have been Arras but unfortunately I cannot be sure. In addition, is it possible that his training would have been over by the time of the Somme in November 1916 and that therefore he was wounded at the Somme. However, checking websites on this subject has revealed no information in regard to the Plymouth Division - rather it seems to focus on soldies who enlisted in Scarborough. My sister and I would like to visit the WW1 battlefields and especially the place where he may have fought. Can anyone enlighten me as to whether the Royal Marines Light Infantry Plymouth Division were involved in the Somme or subsequently in any of the Battles of Arras or any other battles for that matter?
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Re: Trekking the steps of my gramps in WW1

Postby Sylcec » Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:22 am

Although it doesn't specifically refer to the Plymouth Division, I think that this page on the Long Long Trail might help you: The Plymouth Division had gone to Gallipoli, but note the mention
By the end of the Division's part in the Gallipoli campaign, very few men with sea service remained. The Division transferred from the authority of the Admiralty to the War Office on 29 April 1916 and was redesignated as the 63rd (Royal Naval) Division on 19 July 1916.

So, it may be that although your grandfather joined the RM in the Plymouth Division, that this designation was not retained after Gallipoli. Certainly though you will see that the 63rd (RN) Division were involved in the Arras Offensive. You would probably get additional assistance by subscribing and posting to The Great War Forum

Good hunting! Sylvia
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Re: Trekking the steps of my gramps in WW1

Postby carolejs » Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:47 am

Thank you, Sylvia, it certainly helps us to narrow things down a bit. We have also been searching for a source of medical records for him as that may tell us exactly when he was wounded; however, although I have located a couple of possible information sources, they are very patchy and I am not sure where to direct my efforts next. I know that he was a stretcher case as he remembers this clearly being so at the clearing station. I sort of remember him saying that he arrived home in Bristol on a train for the wounded and that his mother met the train but whether he was going through convalescence by that time I don't know and I don't know where to begin looking for possible military hospitals in the area. What a wonderful conundrum this all is and how I wish I had sat him down and written all of this up while he was still alive!
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Re: Trekking the steps of my gramps in WW1

Postby ColinB » Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:20 am

You may already be aware that service records for the RMLI are available from the National Archives and can be downloaded for a small fee . If you don't already have it I would recommend that you get a copy. I also wonder whether the Royal Marines Museum might be able to help you :

The website has a section on researching family history and they seem to invite enquiries.

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