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Help with understanding military record

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Help with understanding military record

Postby moonlustie » Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:15 pm

My Grandfather joined the Royal Artillery at Dover Castle in 1891. I understand he went to India in 1896. I'm trying to get a better understanding of his time at "Home" - I know nothing of army set-up and despite visiting the museum at Woolwich, the gentlemen showed me some war diaries which were a few pages with no information of any use on them, I came away as confused as when I went. posting.php?mode=post&f=148&sid=110b22b31756ff77e60eb61340968905#

I have attached the section I would like to understand better (particularly the two left-hand columns) - if anyone could explain any more of the "shorthand" terms written on the record I would be very grateful.

Thanks so much.
Sue
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WFW RA 1891-1896.JPG
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Re: Help with understanding military record

Postby junkers » Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:52 pm

What it says is that:-
He joined the Eastern Division at the Depot on 31.8.1891 at a Boy;
He mustered as a Driver on 1.12.1893;
on 31.8.1893 he was granted a Good Conduct Pay of 1 Penny;
He joined the Field Artillery on 15.12.1893 as a Driver where he was transferred;
He was posted as a Driver (it appears in the Royal Artillery at Woolwich) on 1.4.1894;
He was appointed as a Bombardier on 4.10.1894

Hope this helps.
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Re: Help with understanding military record

Postby moonlustie » Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:06 pm

Thanks but what does 1/1 mean? What does D2/19054 mean and what does RA/Wool/27159 mean?

Thanks
Sue
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Re: Help with understanding military record

Postby Sylcec » Sat Oct 05, 2013 1:36 am

Sue, I think that 1/1 indicates that he was in the 1st Company, 1st Brigade RA
RA/Wool/27059: RA = Royal Artillery; Wool = Woolwich. Not sure about the number but was it his Regimental number?
Don't know about the D2/19054 - but you will have noted that it is linked with a sort of asterisk to a couple of other entries where he was mustered and transferred as a Driver. It may simply be an order or direction number, but one of the military experts may be able to explain this.
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Re: Help with understanding military record

Postby moonlustie » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:34 am

Thanks so much Sylec :)

Now having that info (1st Company, 1st Brigade) I found a historical document that says after 1825 all Companies were renamed Batteries and the term field battery were used in relation to equipment, drivers, artificers and horses - so that totally explains Field 1/1 and it also tells me they were in Leeds from 1889-1896 - thank you again.

Hopefully the other part will come to light in due course - now I have to disect his India service from 1896 to when he left in 1906.

Regards
Sue
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Re: Help with understanding military record

Postby Sylcec » Sun Oct 06, 2013 3:21 am

Happy to help - if I can - with India service - often specific locations show up on the medical history sheet. I have sort of immersed myself in Colonial India research over the past 16 or so years so have a degree of familiarity with some place names (though imperfect of course!)
Cheers, Sylvia
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Re: Help with understanding military record

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:56 pm

Belated comment:
Column one will contain "who" (i.e. which body of the organisation) plus file references. The chances are those 5-digit numbers are meaningless file-references.

I am unsure that "Field" means Royal Field Artillery. While that's the obvious explanation, I've seen the term elsewhere where it just means "something that happens out in the field" rather than "something managed from the Regimental depot office". And I've just found Wikipedia references to RFA, RHA and RGA only being created in 1899, a few years after this transfer. But whether the terms were used informally before then, I don't know.

Whether 1/1 means 1st Battery / 1st Brigade, I don't know - you'd need a contemporary organisational structure to confirm that 1/1 meant something like that then. It might even be the case that "transferred" means he was transferred from one sub-part of 1 Battery to another sub-part of 1 Battery. (Or Brigade) - but I am just guessing because I don't feel we've got the full story yet.
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