Another help with an old family picture thread

In the first year of the war, such disjointed service occurred. Those who were part of the TF could elect to be 'embodied for Regular service' for a determined period. At the end of that period of service, the individual could be released or volunteer for further embodied service.

Also, certainly during the first 2 years of the war, the TF man would be called forward to his Bn/Coy HQ, documented, and then either proceed through the system or (if he was in what later became a reserved occupation or offered exceptional personal circumstances as to preclude him from front line service), be sent home with a proviso for recall at a later date.
So nobody could join the TF in the later stages of the War? They'd be shunted immediately into regular service?
 

1&12

LE
Recruitment straight into TF units was stopped at the end of 1915. A month or two later the TF soldiers choice of whether to opt in for overseas service was removed in that if he didn't volunteer for it he had to resign from the TF - and was then conscripted.
TF battalions had multiplied with the outbreak of war, men wanted to join their local unit but that would be oversubscribed so to keep the recruits coming the original, say, 4th (TF) battalion of a regiment would be redesignated the 1st/4th (TF) Bn, with multiples being formed - 2nd/4th (TF), 3rd/4th (TF) etc.
Some TF served overseas as complete units, other personnel were transferred to where they were needed in different regiments.
Apologies if I'm advising on egg sucking.
 
So nobody could join the TF in the later stages of the War? They'd be shunted immediately into regular service?

Yes.

. . . and, No. Coupled with a 'maybe'.

The Haldane Reform of 1907 brought together the various Militia and Volunteer units under one umbrella-the Territorial Force. But (much like the issues being confronted now with AR), the TF was never fully subscribed which led to the bulk of new equipment going to the Regular (Field) Army simply because there were never enough 'Terriers' to be trained on and utilise the new equipment.

Coupled with that, the initial scope of the TF was to provide trained units for, primarily, Home Defence in the event of any future general mobilisation. Those men who elected for a more general mobilisation (Imperial Service) would serve overseas: Territorial Force Imperial Service Badge - Wikipedia

In 1916, conscription was introduced, which threw up something of an anomaly. Under the scheme for Imperial Service, those who so volunteered, could elect to be discharged from the TF after 5 years service. Thus, those who volunteered pre-war could rightly leave just as the war was reaching critical points on all fronts. Those who had NOT elected for Imperial Service would then become eligible for conscription! The bulk of TF Bns still serving at Home would become the Service Bns and provide the training units for the deployed Bns. However, as the war progressed, many Service Bns found themselves embodied into the Field Army and sent to theatres of war.

Territorial Force - Wikipedia - even though it Wiki, it does provide a good potted history of the TF.
 

1&12

LE
Yes.

. . . and, No. Coupled with a 'maybe'.

The Haldane Reform of 1907 brought together the various Militia and Volunteer units under one umbrella-the Territorial Force. But (much like the issues being confronted now with AR), the TF was never fully subscribed which led to the bulk of new equipment going to the Regular (Field) Army simply because there were never enough 'Terriers' to be trained on and utilise the new equipment.

Coupled with that, the initial scope of the TF was to provide trained units for, primarily, Home Defence in the event of any future general mobilisation. Those men who elected for a more general mobilisation (Imperial Service) would serve overseas: Territorial Force Imperial Service Badge - Wikipedia

In 1916, conscription was introduced, which threw up something of an anomaly. Under the scheme for Imperial Service, those who so volunteered, could elect to be discharged from the TF after 5 years service. Thus, those who volunteered pre-war could rightly leave just as the war was reaching critical points on all fronts. Those who had NOT elected for Imperial Service would then become eligible for conscription! The bulk of TF Bns still serving at Home would become the Service Bns and provide the training units for the deployed Bns. However, as the war progressed, many Service Bns found themselves embodied into the Field Army and sent to theatres of war.

Territorial Force - Wikipedia - even though it Wiki, it does provide a good potted history of the TF.

It's fashionable to claim that Kitchener felt contempt for the TF as amateurs playing as soldiers, but I would think that his low opinion of them was also influenced practical concerns such as their failure to attract enough manpower and lack of training and equipment.
 
Oh, the joy of Military research.

Having spoken further with the OP and using the Service number he kindly provided, the chap now appears with an MIC and entries onto the Regimental Rolls for the British War and Victory Medals.

And all because of an 'E' and an 'O'.

'What's that?', I hear you say - 'Has the poor old soul taken to speaking in tongues?'.

Lemme explain.

Over the years, I've come across this many times before: during attestation, name recording or whatever, the man (obvs) states his name. The clerk (Gawd Bless 'im) will have written down what he heard. In this case (and as the OP has asked that the subject's surname be withheld from a wider audience), the slightly unique spelling of the surname has been recorded with and 'O' and not the 'E' which is how the subject's family spelled the name.

Probably because of the young man's age on enlistment, and him being mortal afeared of anything of a higher rank, he never challenged that mistake and, for the remainder of his service, bore the clerical error in silence.

For the wider military buffs amongst you, I can reveal that the subject served with the Queen's (Royal West Surrey) Regiment, initially with 3/4th Bn and latterly with the 7th Bn.

Interestingly, the Battalion War Diaries are available online here: 1st World War Diaries
 

1&12

LE
Nice work, the 3rd/4th west Surreys went to France August 1917 and were disbanded late 1918.
The 7th Bn went to France/Flanders 27/7/15.

Edited as I initially waffled about 1/4 not 3/4
 
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Bee Companeeee

Old-Salt
I have had some awesome assistance from a number of Arse members and am even now receiving information. I’ll update the thread and hopefully all will become clear.

As Four Zero Charlie said all because of an O instead of an E. Our surname is spelt with an E but for some reason people insist on spelling it with an O even to this day. I have a great story about the Bishop of London getting the spelling wrong but that’s for another day.
I’ll update the thread as soon as I get a free minute
Regards
 

Bee Companeeee

Old-Salt
Thread resurrection alert.

Thanks to the assistance of the ARRSE historians I have been able to discover quite a bit about my Grand Father, Alf and as promised i'd like to share what I've found.
I've also found some photographs both WW1 and WW2
WW1 Service.
Enlisted at Cambridge on 6/10/16 and assigned to The Queens Royal West Surrey Regt. (The Mutton Lancers). Following his training he arrived in France on 26/11/17 as part of the 3 / 4 Battalion.The Bn was broken up in early Feb 1918 to provide reinforcements to other Bns of the Regt. Thus on 13/2/18 Alf found himself transferred to the 7th Bn.
By all accounts both his Bns saw heavy fighting during his time with them and it is probably no surprise that he was wounded in action on the 24/8/18. The circumstances being that on the 23/8/18 his Bn (The 7th RWS) were involved in a large scale operation and sustained about 173 casualties. That evening his Coy, A Coy was tasked to support a further night operation. The 8th Bn Royal Berkshire Regiment and 7th Bn Royal West Kent Regiment who were to push forward to La Boiselle. A Coy, 7th Bn Queens Royal West Surrey Regiment were to push forward onto the road running ‘N from Albert (X.19.C.9.1) to La Boiselle and form a line of resistance on Tara Hill, on which assaulting battalions could withdraw if desired. The operation commenced at 0100hrs on 24/8/18 with a supporting barrage which drew slight response from the enemy. The operation appears to have been successful and A Coy was withdrawn at 0800. At some point Alf sustained a shrapnel injury to his left hand.
The casualty list as is common for the time only gives names for officers with other ranks (O.R.s) being recorded by number. Only one O.R. is recorded as being wounded on 24/8/18. In fact this is the only recorded casualty in the battalion on that day! Which is almost certainly Alf?
Alf departed France on 26/8/18, arrived at the Woburn Military Hospital, Bedfordshire on 27/8/18. Transferred to 1st Eastern General Hospital, Cambridge on 27/9/18. Transferred to 2nd Eastern General Hospital, Shoreham By Sea on 5/10/19 where he had 2 operations on his hand resulting in the first 2 joints of his little finger left hand being amputated. He was discharged to the Class Z reserve on 24/2/19
Without doubt he was a front line soldier.
WW2 Service.
I know he enlisted in The Cambridgeshire Regiment prior to WW2. This was a Territorial Regiment and he served with 1st Bn. A second Bn was subsequently raised but he remained with the 1st
By 7/6/40 he was a LCpl. I have photographs of him in his Cambridgeshire Regt uniform as both a Pte and a LCpl. This is service dress rather than Battle dress.
I have a letter dated 7/6/40. It is in affect a medical chit excusing him wearing a pack for anything other than parades as he has paralysis in his left shoulder resulting from surgery. It is probably as a result of this that he was transferred to the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, losing his stripe (much to his dismay as he was quite proud of it apparently) in the process, where he saw out the remainder of WW2. Because of this he did not travel to the Far East with the Cambridgeshires and thus avoided their fate following the fall of Singapore.
His Territorial Efficiency Medal shows his service as RAOC.
He married between the wars and had a son (who served in the RAF), three Grand Children and 6 Great Grand Children of whom I am one. He was a bookbinder by trade which he pursued following his discharge in 1919 until his retirement, apart form his WW2 service. Alf died in 9/3/83 in Cambridgeshire.
Fortunately the war diaries of the Royal West Surrey Regt have been digitised so I have been able to track his probable movements with a fair degree of confidence. It’s such a shame they had the fire at their museum.

WW1 Alf in uniform of The Royal West Surrey Regt about 1917. (Still no explanation for the Grenade badge on lower left sleeve but I did find another photo of a soldier wearing the same).
1569445510933.png


WW2 Alf in uniform of The Cambridgeshire Regt date unknown but likely 1938 - 1940
1569446348129.png


His medals

1569446269791.png
 
If his military service ended in 1919 and again in late 1945, it would suggest that he joined the TA before 1932 in order to serve 12 (continuous) years to qualify for the Efficiency Medal. Had he joined before 1926, he should have had a clasp to the medal. Give or take a year, depending on what month he joined.

That throws up another conundrum (in my mind anyway - perhaps somebody better versed in the inter-war TA can explain). You dont mention his year of birth but, unless he lied about his age, he must have been born before 1898 to join up in 1916. That would make him at least 41 at the outbreak of WW2. My understanding, based on the TA of much later years, is that 40 was the chucking-out age for junior ranks, particularly infantry. It wasn't until the outbreak of war (by which time he would likely have handed his kit in) that he might have been conscripted at the upper age limit of 41 or until 1943 that he could have been conscripted at up to age 51. Either way, this would have caused broken service which, to get the Efficiency Medal, would have required him to join the TA by age 27 (1925ish).

Being on the borderline age-wise for both WW1 and WW2 must make that medal group extremely rare.
 
@putteesinmyhands - not necessarily so, chap.

The EM wasn't instituted until 1930 and it covered (and superseded) several other Reserve and Militia medals, one of which was the Territorial EM. That beast had a life of 9 years only, from 1921 to 1930. Service accrued for that medal would be carried forward for the EM.

War service counted as 'double bubble' for the award of the EM: thus, an enlistment in 1938 would see the award issued by war's end.

However.

@Bee Companeeee 's photo, showing the old boy in pre-war Service dress, has him wearing the ribbons of a WWI pair, which is correct. I'm almost certain that, at a higher magnification, he has the ribbon of the EM tucked onto the left (our right, as we view it) of his group.

If such is the case, then he had qualified for the EM prior to WWII or at some immediate point after the beginning of the war (issues of Service Dress ceased during the war).
 

overopensights

ADC
Book Reviewer
Yes.

. . . and, No. Coupled with a 'maybe'.

The Haldane Reform of 1907 brought together the various Militia and Volunteer units under one umbrella-the Territorial Force. But (much like the issues being confronted now with AR), the TF was never fully subscribed which led to the bulk of new equipment going to the Regular (Field) Army simply because there were never enough 'Terriers' to be trained on and utilise the new equipment.

Coupled with that, the initial scope of the TF was to provide trained units for, primarily, Home Defence in the event of any future general mobilisation. Those men who elected for a more general mobilisation (Imperial Service) would serve overseas: Territorial Force Imperial Service Badge - Wikipedia

In 1916, conscription was introduced, which threw up something of an anomaly. Under the scheme for Imperial Service, those who so volunteered, could elect to be discharged from the TF after 5 years service. Thus, those who volunteered pre-war could rightly leave just as the war was reaching critical points on all fronts. Those who had NOT elected for Imperial Service would then become eligible for conscription! The bulk of TF Bns still serving at Home would become the Service Bns and provide the training units for the deployed Bns. However, as the war progressed, many Service Bns found themselves embodied into the Field Army and sent to theatres of war.

Territorial Force - Wikipedia - even though it Wiki, it does provide a good potted history of the TF.
The Grenadier cloth badge may be that he was in a 'Bombing squad' Infantry Companies had bombing squads as part of platoons. They did short courses with Mills Bombs behind the line to become proficient or trained. Part of their expertise was 'Bombing Raids' and bombing laterally left and right in newly captured trenches. They carried bags of bombs while riflemen carried only two.

PS In 1916 it came to the knowledge of the Gren Gds that mere infantry Bns had the audacity and were referring to their Bombers as Grenadiers. This was stopped at army level, they were thereafter referred to as 'Bombers'
 
@putteesinmyhands - not necessarily so, chap.

The EM wasn't instituted until 1930 and it covered (and superseded) several other Reserve and Militia medals, one of which was the Territorial EM. That beast had a life of 9 years only, from 1921 to 1930. Service accrued for that medal would be carried forward for the EM.

War service counted as 'double bubble' for the award of the EM: thus, an enlistment in 1938 would see the award issued by war's end.

However.

@Bee Companeeee 's photo, showing the old boy in pre-war Service dress, has him wearing the ribbons of a WWI pair, which is correct. I'm almost certain that, at a higher magnification, he has the ribbon of the EM tucked onto the left (our right, as we view it) of his group.

If such is the case, then he had qualified for the EM prior to WWII or at some immediate point after the beginning of the war (issues of Service Dress ceased during the war).
I hadn't realised that war service counted double (TA soldiers on early Telics didn't necessarily have their mobilised service counted toward their Efficiency Certificate, for example - a situation that caused quite a bit of resentment).

Even so, there must have been a break in TA service to avoid getting the clasp. Unless he never got round to applying for it and it's still at the Medal Office.
 
I hadn't realised that war service counted double (TA soldiers on early Telics didn't necessarily have their mobilised service counted toward their Efficiency Certificate, for example - a situation that caused quite a bit of resentment).

I'm not sure, but I think the previous system of active service time counting as double has long been removed: fr'instance, the VRSM criteria is 10 years straight, with no consideration for time spent deployed on Ops (though up to 5 years Regular service can be counted toward the 10 year total).

Even so, there must have been a break in TA service to avoid getting the clasp. Unless he never got round to applying for it and it's still at the Medal Office.

Indeed: those are my thoughts. The Reserve medal process during the first half of the 20th Century was a minefield of conflicting and contradictory criteria. As you say, it is quite possible that any entitlement to a clasp for the EM was overlooked or simply forgotten in the morass of War Department bureaucracy. A request for his full service papers might throw some light on the matter.
 
I'm not sure, but I think the previous system of active service time counting as double has long been removed: fr'instance, the VRSM criteria is 10 years straight, with no consideration for time spent deployed on Ops (though up to 5 years Regular service can be counted toward the 10 year total).

The point putties is getting at is that for those of us who were invited to go get a suntan didn't qualify for our certificates of efficiencies some people lost out on 2002-3 CoE and 2003-4 CoE, I was lucky I was already qualified for my CoE before I was called up I had done all my days my camp and my MATTs, 2003-4 however was a fight and half as I got back had my leave and was able to resume training at the end of the September completed all my MATTs apart from CBRN(as our CBRN Inst was in Iraq on telic 2) and did a course I then volunteered for another tour and deployed in the December by which time I had done 24 days, after my boss on tour got involved I got my bounty in july 04,
 

Bee Companeeee

Old-Salt
If his military service ended in 1919 and again in late 1945, it would suggest that he joined the TA before 1932 in order to serve 12 (continuous) years to qualify for the Efficiency Medal. Had he joined before 1926, he should have had a clasp to the medal. Give or take a year, depending on what month he joined.

That throws up another conundrum (in my mind anyway - perhaps somebody better versed in the inter-war TA can explain). You dont mention his year of birth but, unless he lied about his age, he must have been born before 1898 to join up in 1916. That would make him at least 41 at the outbreak of WW2. My understanding, based on the TA of much later years, is that 40 was the chucking-out age for junior ranks, particularly infantry. It wasn't until the outbreak of war (by which time he would likely have handed his kit in) that he might have been conscripted at the upper age limit of 41 or until 1943 that he could have been conscripted at up to age 51. Either way, this would have caused broken service which, to get the Efficiency Medal, would have required him to join the TA by age 27 (1925ish).

Being on the borderline age-wise for both WW1 and WW2 must make that medal group extremely rare.
putteesinmyhands - Thanks for taking an interest. He was born in 1898 so was 18 when called up in 1916. So yes he was 41 at the outbreak of WW2. That was probably considered ancient in 1939 but the Army reserve I believe will take you up to 52 today. I think the RAuxAF will take you at 55. I believe his age and injuries were the reason he was transferred from The Cambs Regt to the RAOC. As far as I can establish he served from 1938/39 to the 1945 so he earned the Efficiency Medal by dint of the war service counting double.
 

Bee Companeeee

Old-Salt
@putteesinmyhands - not necessarily so, chap.

The EM wasn't instituted until 1930 and it covered (and superseded) several other Reserve and Militia medals, one of which was the Territorial EM. That beast had a life of 9 years only, from 1921 to 1930. Service accrued for that medal would be carried forward for the EM.

War service counted as 'double bubble' for the award of the EM: thus, an enlistment in 1938 would see the award issued by war's end.

However.

@Bee Companeeee 's photo, showing the old boy in pre-war Service dress, has him wearing the ribbons of a WWI pair, which is correct. I'm almost certain that, at a higher magnification, he has the ribbon of the EM tucked onto the left (our right, as we view it) of his group.

If such is the case, then he had qualified for the EM prior to WWII or at some immediate point after the beginning of the war (issues of Service Dress ceased during the war).
FourZeroCharlie. On the original you can definitely see he is wearing just the WW1 pair. He never applied for his WW2 medals until the 70s. Because of the war service counting double he never realised he had qualified for the efficiency Medal so his son, my uncle, applied for it for him I believe in the about 1980/8.
 

Bee Companeeee

Old-Salt
The Grenadier cloth badge may be that he was in a 'Bombing squad' Infantry Companies had bombing squads as part of platoons. They did short courses with Mills Bombs behind the line to become proficient or trained. Part of their expertise was 'Bombing Raids' and bombing laterally left and right in newly captured trenches. They carried bags of bombs while riflemen carried only two.

PS In 1916 it came to the knowledge of the Gren Gds that mere infantry Bns had the audacity and were referring to their Bombers as Grenadiers. This was stopped at army level, they were thereafter referred to as 'Bombers'
Yes I've found reference to Trench Bombers. Apparently a couple of bombers would be supported by a team with buckets of Mills bombs and they would all be protected by a section of riflemen. Quite joined up tactics really and not the misconceived ideas of WW1 tactics that a lot of people have.
 

Bee Companeeee

Old-Salt
Yes.

. . . and, No. Coupled with a 'maybe'.

The Haldane Reform of 1907 brought together the various Militia and Volunteer units under one umbrella-the Territorial Force. But (much like the issues being confronted now with AR), the TF was never fully subscribed which led to the bulk of new equipment going to the Regular (Field) Army simply because there were never enough 'Terriers' to be trained on and utilise the new equipment..

Just reading your earlier post ref the TA missing out on the decent equipment.
My Grandfather remembered visiting his dad Alf at a TA camp in 1938/39 near where they lived possibly at Barton Road ranges just outside Cambridge. This was when Alf was in the Cambridgeshire Regt. Alf drove up in a 'Bren Gun' carrier to suprise them. Apparently the Cambridgeshires were very proud of their 'Bren Gun' carriers. Probably because they were very lucky to have them.
This picture was amongst others taken at that camp by Alf so he isn't in it although he is in some of the others.

1569506936426.png
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Yes I've found reference to Trench Bombers. Apparently a couple of bombers would be supported by a team with buckets of Mills bombs and they would all be protected by a section of riflemen. Quite joined up tactics really and not the misconceived ideas of WW1 tactics that a lot of people have.
Developed post the Battle of the Somme, introduced as all arms when we started to attack with tanks and aircraft from 1917 really. The infantry platoon was really by 1917 a section of riflemen (assault including grenade throwers0 a section with one or two Lewis gun teams, a section of rifle grenadiers to suppress indirectly allowing the lewis sections to suppress directly.
Not much changed apart from numbers even now.
 
putteesinmyhands - Thanks for taking an interest. He was born in 1898 so was 18 when called up in 1916. So yes he was 41 at the outbreak of WW2. That was probably considered ancient in 1939 but the Army reserve I believe will take you up to 52 today. I think the RAuxAF will take you at 55. I believe his age and injuries were the reason he was transferred from The Cambs Regt to the RAOC. As far as I can establish he served from 1938/39 to the 1945 so he earned the Efficiency Medal by dint of the war service counting double.
Something still not ringing right. I am of an era where, although I age-expired at 55, many of my erstwhile comrades were retired at age 40 (in the 80s and 90s). Even annual extensions to the age of 45 were primarily the province of SSgts and above. Add to that, the maximum joining age would have allowed for at least 5 years service (and 12 years brings a bell). While I don't know what the rules were in the inter-war years, I'd be very surprised if anybody other than officers could join if they were much older than 30.

I still think that you're missing the biggest chunk of your great granddad's service history.
 
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