Wednesday 29 February 2012

Manchester City Battalions online

Find My Past has just added the Manchester City Battalions to its fast-growing military database.  Originally published in 1916, the Manchester Roll of Honour comprises a roll call of the men who served with the Manchester Pals battalions - the 16th to 23rd Battalions - giving details of platoons and companies served in.  Group photos are also included although these do not identify individuals by name.

The second part of the Manchester Roll of Honour is a listing of over 63,000 men and their employers. The detail provided in each of the rolls varies considerably. A small number of men are identified by last name only and many more only by last name and initials. There are also entries, however, in which the ranks, service numbers and regiments of each man are identified. A number of men are identified as killed or missing in action and a small number are recorded as having been rejected as unfit for service.

Monday 20 February 2012

54 Years with the 1st Devon Militia

My thanks to one of my correspondents, Black Sapper, who has provided extracts from the above publication which was written by William Shepherd in 1907 and subsequently transcribed by Helen Barlow (date unknown).  Helen Barlow's full transcription can be viewed online here as a PDF file on the Open University website.

1853 – Exeter Castle noted as HQ

18.12.1854 – Regiment was Embodied for Permanent Duty on account of the Crimean War; At that time the Regiment had 10 Companies (Grenadier Coy, 8 others & a Light Coy)

26.02.1855 – Left half of Regiment moved to Newport, Monmouthshire.

27.02.1855 – Right half, HQ & Band moved to Newport via Bristol.

Regiment stayed at the Barracks on the Hill, Newport; They recruited hard for the Crimean War;
Regiment stayed at Newport until middle of December 1855.

December 1855 - Regiment moved to Limerick in Ireland via Birkenhead, Liverpool, Mersey &amp Kingston, Ireland; Then train to Dublin & eventually stationed at Boherbuoy Barracks, Limerick.

05.06.1856 Regiment left Limerick for Cork, stationed at the Barracks on the Hill for 7/8 days before being ordered to England.

After an eventful journey by sea they arrived in Portland & Weymouth Barracks probably on 17.07.1856.

New colours issued on 22.07.1856.

The Regiment marched for home on 25.07.1856 via Dorchester, then Bridport, Axminster, Honiton on 30.07.1856 a final march into Exeter.

1858 – Training at Topsham Barracks. The Regimental strength was 778, there were 261 Absentees; battalion billeted at various Inns in Exeter.

1859 – Regimental strength was 512, there were 275 Absentees; battalion billeted at Topsham Barracks.

Regiment stayed throughout the 60’s at Topsham Barracks.

1860 – Regimental strength was 590; battalion billeted at Topsham Barracks.

1861 – Regimental strength was 629; battalion billeted at Topsham Barracks.

1861 – Death of their late Colonel Hugh Earl Fortescue on 14.09.1861.

1862 – Regimental strength was 715; battalion billeted at Topsham Barracks.

1863 – Regimental strength was 754; battalion billeted at Topsham Barracks.

1864 – Regimental strength was 759; battalion billeted at Topsham Barracks.

1865 – Regimental strength was 658; battalion billeted at Topsham Barracks.

1866 – Regimental strength was 663; battalion billeted at Topsham Barracks.

1867 – Regimental strength was 693; battalion billeted at Topsham Barracks.

1868 – In consequence of the Fenian Scare full guard was mounted day &amp night over the Ward in St Thomas.

1869 – Regimental strength was 828 & Billeted at Topsham Barracks.

1869 – Regiment were in Plymouth for a Brigade Field Day at Devonport, returning the same day by train.

1870 – Billets were in St Thomas at Public, but with a strength of 802, part were in Cavalry Barracks the remainder in the billets.

1871 – Regimental strength was 803, Billeted in Inns & Private Lodgings; The Crown took Command of Militia Units from the County Authorities.

From this year it is noted that Topsham Barracks were denuded of regular troops for many years.

1872 – Regiment under canvas for the first time since 1812, at Exmouth & their strength was 882.

31.03.1873 – Recruits were assembled at the Ward & proceeded to Raglan Barracks at Devonport, returning on 11.05.1873 before being dismissed.

14.07.1873 – 428 men were called up to forma Battalion for Maneuvers on Dartmoor for up to 6 weeks – 2 weeks at Egg Buckland & 1 month with the Flying Column; They returned to Exeter on 22.08.1873 & were dismissed.

1874 – Regiment was 765 strong & encamped for Training at Dawlish.

1875 – (& for a few years after) Regiment was Billeted in St Thomas at Public.

In 1881 when the Regiment was 628 strong the 1st & 2nd Devons & the 1st & 2nd Devon Militia were formed into the Devonshire Regiment

1888 – Regiment moved from St Thomas to the Higher Barracks & then the Camp Field behind Topsham Barracks; New colours were issued about this time.

1890 – Training in the Camp at Barnstaple.

1891 to 1898 – Training was carried out in the Old Camp Field, Topsham.

1899 – Training was at Honiton in a camp on the Exeter Road.

11.05.1900 – Regiment was up for Permanent Duty on account of the South African War & went to Salisbury Plain, via Queen Street Station &amp Porton Station until arrival at Bulford Camp; They stayed here for 3 months before moving to another Camp at Parkhouse some 2 to 3 miles away; Camp Parkhouse was mostly Volunteers.

16.10.1900 Regiment left Camp Parkhouse for Jersey, Channel Islands via Grately Station, Andover, Southampton; They arrived in Jersey on 17.10.1900 & marched to St Peter’s Barracks.

At this time the 3rd Devon Regiment was embarking for Plymouth & the 1/4th were billeted at Fort Regent, St Hellier.

14.07.1901 the Regiment left Jersey for home but the Band remained in Jersey until at least 30.09.1901 when they returned to England via Weymouth & Exeter.

1902 – there was no Regimental Training.

1903 – Regiment training at Honiton.

1904 – Training at Honiton.

1905 – Training at Honiton.

1906 – Training in "a big field" at Honiton with 3rd Somersets.

Saturday 18 February 2012

12th Hampshire Regiment - officers and sergeants

Officers of the 12th Hampshire Regiment

I've just posted on numbering in the 1st & 2nd Hampshire Regiment over on the Army Service Numbers blog and whilst searching for an image to use in my Hampshire Regiment folder, came across these two photos of the 12th Hampshire Regiment published in the Illustrated War News on the 30th June 1915.

The Illustrated War News can be a great source for photos such as these, often showing not just the photos, but publishing a list of the subjects as well. 

According to The Long, Long Trail website, the 12th (Service) Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment was formed at Winchester in October 1914 and attached to the 79th Brigade in the 26th Division. It moved to Codford but by November 1914 was in billets in Basingstoke. In March 1915 it move to Bath and then on to Sutton Veny in May. The photos published here were probably taken around this time.

The battalion landed in France in September 1915 but was sent to Salonika shortly afterwards, arriving on the 25th November 1915.

Sergeants of the 12th Hampshire Regiment

Sunday 5 February 2012

New look CWGC website

Somewhat belatedly (because I've only just noticed) I see that the Commonwealth War Graves Commission has revamped its website, including the search functionality.

Not before time, visitors can now search by rank, service number, regiment, secondary regiment and honours and awards.  Furthermore, it is now possible to search solely on a term without having to key in other information. So for instance, one can see that there are 377 casualties who hold the Victoria Cross, 3658 holders of the Distinguished Conduct Medal (3346 of these holders dying during the First World War), and 2057 men with the rank of lieutenant colonel (which I must say, surprised me that there were quite so many).  Incredibly, there's also one casualty, Major General Charles Edward Dutton Budworth CB, CMG, MVO who was ten times Mentioned in Dispatches.  He is commemorated on the Kirkee War Memorial at Pune in India.

When results are returned it is possible, as it was before, to organise each column in ascending or descending order and now also possible to export data as a CSV file (although exports do not include the additional information field).  The ability to search by keyword, and thus pick up information in the Additional Information section would have been the icing on the cake, but I see that work is under way to include this. Even so, the new-look CWGC site is a vast improvement on the older site and can only assist family and military historians alike.