Remembering Charles N Kidby, Royal Engineers

Posted on: 26, May, 2019
Charles N Kidby

I bought this postcard many years ago and whilst I sold the majority of my collection in 2010, I somehow hung onto this one. I am glad I did so. These men are all corporals serving with the Royal Engineers and the photo was taken when they were serving overseas; it’s one of my favourite cards.

On the reverse of this particular “carte postale” there are four names and so I know that the two men standing are “R French” and “The one and only” and that the two seated are “F Smith” and “Kidby C”. Kidby C is 133066 Pioneer Charles N Kidby, the only identifiable man of the four, but I don’t know whether he’s the man on the left or the right.

Charles N Kidby and the Great War

Charles Kidby arrived in France in November 1915 and he survived the war, being discharged to Class Z of the Army Reserve on the 10th February 1919. There is no surviving service record for this man and neither do his medal index card or medal roll entries add anything useful about the unit he served with. Helpfully though, there is a fragment that survives in WO 363, probably from Part II Orders. Dated 22nd September 1917 from RE Base Records. The document notes the 196th Land Drainage Company, Royal Engineers and records that Charles had overstayed his leave from 6.30am on the 23rd August 1917 until 4pm on the 24th August 1917. He was awarded 14 days’ Field Punishment No 2 and forfeited two days’ pay.

Howard Williamson notes that there were two land drainage companies: 196 and 197, the personnel for these companies recruited in the Fenlands of Lincoln and paid 3 shillings a day. 196 Land Drainage company served with the 1st Army at Vimy in 1917 and by November 1918 was serving with the 2nd and 5th Armies.

Charles N Kidby remembered

Little could Charles have realised that his petty misdemeanour would at least provide future generations of researchers – and potentially family – with the name of at least one unit he served with. It is the only surviving reference as far as I can see. Unfortunately, his three companions remain anonymous.

I post a daily photo of British Army Ancestors on my British Army Ancestors Facebook page.

Leave a Reply

Welcome to British Army Ancestors. This is a FREE site. It will always be a FREE site. The vision is one of our vast army of British Army Ancestors brought to life. Search for a soldier. Upload a photograph. Search for another soldier. Upload another photograph. In time, it is intended that this site will become THE place to come to when looking for images of British Army Ancestors.

Recent Posts



SEARCH for a soldier. UPLOAD a photograph. REMEMBER the person. So many people asked me how they could find a photograph of their British Army Ancestor that I decided to create this site. Now it's up to you.Help make British Army Ancestors THE PLACE to come to when looking for photos of British Army soldiers. There are millions of searchable names on this site. Help me put faces to them. SEARCH, UPLOAD, REMEMBER.


Previous Posts

Popular Posts

Labels



There are over 11 million searchable names on the British Army Ancestors website. Searching is easy and fast. Use the wildcard asterisk * to narrow your results. REGISTER in order to upload photographs and download existing images. That's all there is to it. This website will be regularly updated and new features announced via the blog. Thanks for supporting this initiative to put faces to the names of our British Army Ancestors.

Categories



HELP ME PLUG THE GAPS!

Do you own medal roll transcriptions from WO 100 or similar? I am seeking to plug known gaps in this database of British Army Ancestors by adding medal roll transcriptions and other databases to this site, thus adding to the 11m+ searchable names you will find here. Please drop me a line if you would like to contribute: paul@britisharmyancestors.co.uk.

Follow

There are currently 19921 photos of British Army soldiers published on this website