Every day on the British Army Ancestors Facebook page I take time to commemorate a British soldier. This post will look at three of the men I have remembered recently; from left to right, Cyril Power, Harold Dobson and Bernard Salt
The man is Cyril Power and his details on British Army Ancestors show that he had two regimental numbers: 4864 and 884578.
Seeing a six-digit number is a good indication that the man was a member of the Territorial Force and that the number was issued to him when the TF underwent its re-numbering exercise in early 1917. Numbers were allocated in blocks and in the case of the Royal Field Artillery, the number block 880001 to 885000 was allocated to the 2nd East Anglian Brigade. A quick look at Cyril’s medal roll confirms that he served with the Territorial Force, and survived the First World War.
Harold Edward Dobson’s medal index card and medal roll entry for the British War and Victory Medal both state that he served with the Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment) and later, The Labour Corps. In this photo, however, taken in 1916, he is clearly wearing the cap badge of the East Surrey Regiment.
The medal index cards and the medal rolls had a specific purpose and that was to record medal entitlement. And you only received campaign medals if you served overseas. That means that, as a rule, you won’t find details of units a man served with BEFORE he set foot overseas. I say, as a rule, but there are plenty of examples where this ‘rule’ was not followed and also, conversely, examples of men who arrived overseas with a unit which, unaccountably, was not recorded in medal records. In such cases, the men concerned arrived overseas with unit A and – usually – quickly transferred to unit B, generally from an Infantry Base Depot at one of the French ports.
Harold Dobson survived the war, adding a couple of more cap badges to his collection before the Armistice was declared in November 1918.
Bernard John Salt who was born on the 9th September 1894 at Milton, Stoke on Trent, and baptised 21 days later. He was the son of John and Alice Salt of Sunnyside, Sun Street, Milton and during the First World War he served with the Royal Garrison Artillery, attesting under the Derby Scheme on the 10th December 1915 and being mobilised on the 1st May 1916.
Bernard, who has surviving papers in series WO 364, served overseas between August 1917 and March 1918 and was discharged on the 25th April 1918 as a result of sickness. He did not recover, and died on the 15th July 1918, pneumonia and influenza being given as the cause of death. He is buried in Milton, Staffordshire. RIP.
My thanks to the contributors. View recently added photos on the British Army Ancestors Gallery.