Family Military Photos

verticalgyro

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DirtyBAT
I've spent a bit more time researching Thomas, the RMLI Bandsman. As Portsmouth "Division" which was actually a Battalion size and later named such, he would have been at Gallipoli. Portsmouth Battalion disembarked at Gaba Tepe on 25th April 1915.

After the evacuation of Gallipoli, the Naval Division them came under Army control and in 1916 moved to France as the 63rd (Royal Naval) Division. Around the same time Portsmouth Bn were renamed 2 Bn RMLI and the Division then took part in the Battle of Ancre - their first engagement on the Western Front in Nov 1916.

After their transfer to Army Command it's much simpler for me to track his Bn.
 
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Ravers

LE
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Another 2 from the wife’s side.

Through her Mum’s Mum, she’s descended from the Macpherson Clan. Her Great Great Grandfather was the Clan Chief. It’s quite interesting if you follow that family line and look at the women they married. Most we’re daughters of other Clan Chiefs and tracing this line I’ve worked out that my kid’s 6x great grandfather is Simon Fraser AKA Lord Lovat who was beheaded at the Tower of London. Many other ancestors fought at Culloden. They’re descended from the Cameron’s, McDonalds and pretty much all the other Highland clans if you go far enough back.

She also has a couple of 3x Great Grandfathers who fought against each other at the Battle of Clifton Moor. One on the English Side and one on the Scottish.

Anyway I digress. The missus has quite a lot of porridge wog ancestry.

Found these two pics. No idea who they are. I know they’re Gordon Highlanders because the frames have Gordon Highlander tartan and the cap badge at the top.

Other than that not much to go on.

Guessing late Victorian or Edwardian era. Probably Macphersons, sons of the clan chief and thus my wife’s great or great great uncles. I know it’s not her great grandfather as he was in the RN and they look too young to be her great great grandfather and a brother (the clan chief), unless I’m way off on the ageing of the pics and they’re much earlier.

Apols for poor quality and glass reflections. The frames are very old and fragile and I don’t want to open them.

Edit: just been through the family tree and can find no one who fits the age of these two who served in the Gordon Highlanders.

69946323-79BE-4564-B067-A5B645202DAF.jpeg
28F8062A-1969-4D8A-BA46-A6101A97DCF4.jpeg
 
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Auld-Yin

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Another 2 from the wife’s side.

Through her Mum’s Mum, she’s descended from the Macpherson Clan. Her Great Great Grandfather was the Clan Chief. It’s quite interesting if you follow that family line and look at the women they married. Most we’re daughters of other Clan Chiefs and tracing this line I’ve worked out that my kid’s 6x great grandfather is Simon Fraser AKA Lord Lovat who was beheaded at the Tower of London. Many other ancestors fought at Culloden. They’re descended from the Cameron’s, McDonalds and pretty much all the other Highland clans if you go far enough back.

She also has a couple of 3x Great Grandfathers who fought against each other at the Battle of Clifton Moor. One on the English Side and one on the Scottish.

Anyway I digress. The missus has quite a lot of porridge wog ancestry.

Found these two pics. No idea who they are. I know they’re Gordon Highlanders because the frames have Gordon Highlander tartan and the cap badge at the top.

Other than that not much to go on.

Guessing late Victorian or Edwardian era. Probably Macphersons, sons of the clan chief and thus my wife’s great or great great uncles. I know it’s not her great grandfather as he was in the RN and they look too young to be her great great grandfather and a brother (the clan chief), unless I’m way off on the ageing of the pics and they’re much earlier.

Apols for poor quality and glass reflections. The frames are very old and fragile and I don’t want to open them.

Edit: just been through the family tree and can find no one who fits the age of these two who served in the Gordon Highlanders.

View attachment 392546View attachment 392547
Try the Gordon's RHQ/Museum they may know and have the same pics.
 

overopensights

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May well have been, if you can find anything please let me know. He enlisted RMLI in 1908 and was subsequently discharged 1921 at the age of 40.
The 63rd Royal Naval Division had a very unpopular Div Commander, (General Shute) His main crime was to ban all naval expressions and traditions within the Naval Division. One of his Staff officers produced a poem which I show here below. He was even worse thought of in a Welsh Div which he later commanded. He was also instrumental in stopping the rum ration for troops in the Line! A nice popular fellow!
The General inspecting the trenches
Exclaimed with a horrified shout
'I refuse to command a division
Which leaves its excreta about.'
But nobody took any notice
No one was prepared to refute,
That the presence of shit was congenial
Compared to the presence of Shute.
And certain responsible critics
Made haste to reply to his words
Observing that his staff advisors
Consisted entirely of turds.
For shit may be shot at odd corners
And paper supplied there to suit,
But a shit would be shot without mourners
If someone shot that shit Shute.
 
May well have been, if you can find anything please let me know. He enlisted RMLI in 1908 and was subsequently discharged 1921 at the age of 40.
Given what we talked about a few weeks ago, I've finally tracked something down ref Thomas: he appears as PO 15084 in the RM Roll for WWI medals as a Musician and was entitled to a pair (BWM and VM). The entry carries the note 'S', which signifies that they were sent to him as he'd been discharged.

There is also a TNA link to ADM 159/187/15084 (Register of Service) that should tell you more about him-gonna cost you £3.50 to download a copy.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
RIP
The 63rd Royal Naval Division had a very unpopular Div Commander, (General Shute) His main crime was to ban all naval expressions and traditions within the Naval Division. One of his Staff officers produced a poem which I show here below. He was even worse thought of in a Welsh Div which he later commanded. He was also instrumental in stopping the rum ration for troops in the Line! A nice popular fellow!
The General inspecting the trenches
Exclaimed with a horrified shout
'I refuse to command a division
Which leaves its excreta about.'
But nobody took any notice
No one was prepared to refute,
That the presence of shit was congenial
Compared to the presence of Shute.
And certain responsible critics
Made haste to reply to his words
Observing that his staff advisors
Consisted entirely of turds.
For shit may be shot at odd corners
And paper supplied there to suit,
But a shit would be shot without mourners
If someone shot that shit Shute.
Written by A P Herbert.
 

overopensights

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verticalgyro

MIA
DirtyBAT
Given what we talked about a few weeks ago, I've finally tracked something down ref Thomas: he appears as PO 15084 in the RM Roll for WWI medals as a Musician and was entitled to a pair (BWM and VM). The entry carries the note 'S', which signifies that they were sent to him as he'd been discharged.

There is also a TNA link to ADM 159/187/15084 (Register of Service) that should tell you more about him-gonna cost you £3.50 to download a copy.
Cheers mate!
 
I've been carrying out a wee bit of research on another member of his family for @verticalgyro - this chap served with 9 KOYLI during WWI.

As a part of that research, I dropped onto the Bn War Diary for the relevant period covering that chap's death in action in 1918.

The thing that struck me as I read the Diary, which covers a period of not more than 36 hours, is that 9 KOYLI went from a full Bn (I assume) of probably 600 men to a muster of 11 functioning ORs under the command of the Adj, a Captain. Whilst this number would have increased throughout the next 24 hours as stragglers and detached pockets of men returned to the Bn Lines, it is still very much a WT actual F moment.

More sobering is that this was the second time in 2 years that the Bn was, to all intents and purposes, wiped out: the poor buggers went through it during The First Day of The Somme, 1 July 1916. Below is a contemporary recollection by Lt Lancelot Spicer KOYLI:

At about 6pm on June 28th all officers received a summons to go to Battalion HQ for a final drink before going into action. We assembled, glasses were put into our hands, drinks were passed round and we drank quietly to one another – everyone was naturally feeling strained. The Adjutant and Second-in-command were away on some course, so the Acting Adjutant, Keay, was in charge. Lynch came into the room and was given a glass. Keay went up to Haswell, the senior Captain, and said quietly to him,

‘I think you should propose the CO’s health!’

‘I’m damned if I will’, said Haswell ‘I don’t wish him good health and am not prepared to be insincere on this occasion.’

‘You must’, said Keay.

‘I won’t.’, said Haswell.

For a few moments they argued, and then Haswell stepped forward and raising his glass said:

‘Gentlemen, I give you the toast of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, and in particular the 9th Battalion of the Regiment’ – a slight pause – ‘Gentleman, when the barrage lifts…’

We emptied our glasses and were silent. Dramatically, Haswell had avoided an unpleasant scene, and the toast has never been forgotten.

Of those present, twenty-four went into action next day in the attack on Fricourt. Six were in reserve. Of the twenty-four, twelve were killed, including Lynch and Haswell. Three died of wounds afterwards, eight were wounded, one slightly and only one left untouched.

Spicer survived the Somme and the war.
 

overopensights

ADC
Book Reviewer
I've been carrying out a wee bit of research on another member of his family for @verticalgyro - this chap served with 9 KOYLI during WWI.

As a part of that research, I dropped onto the Bn War Diary for the relevant period covering that chap's death in action in 1918.

The thing that struck me as I read the Diary, which covers a period of not more than 36 hours, is that 9 KOYLI went from a full Bn (I assume) of probably 600 men to a muster of 11 functioning ORs under the command of the Adj, a Captain. Whilst this number would have increased throughout the next 24 hours as stragglers and detached pockets of men returned to the Bn Lines, it is still very much a WT actual F moment.

More sobering is that this was the second time in 2 years that the Bn was, to all intents and purposes, wiped out: the poor buggers went through it during The First Day of The Somme, 1 July 1916. Below is a contemporary recollection by Lt Lancelot Spicer KOYLI:

At about 6pm on June 28th all officers received a summons to go to Battalion HQ for a final drink before going into action. We assembled, glasses were put into our hands, drinks were passed round and we drank quietly to one another – everyone was naturally feeling strained. The Adjutant and Second-in-command were away on some course, so the Acting Adjutant, Keay, was in charge. Lynch came into the room and was given a glass. Keay went up to Haswell, the senior Captain, and said quietly to him,

‘I think you should propose the CO’s health!’

‘I’m damned if I will’, said Haswell ‘I don’t wish him good health and am not prepared to be insincere on this occasion.’

‘You must’, said Keay.

‘I won’t.’, said Haswell.

For a few moments they argued, and then Haswell stepped forward and raising his glass said:

‘Gentlemen, I give you the toast of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, and in particular the 9th Battalion of the Regiment’ – a slight pause – ‘Gentleman, when the barrage lifts…’

We emptied our glasses and were silent. Dramatically, Haswell had avoided an unpleasant scene, and the toast has never been forgotten.

Of those present, twenty-four went into action next day in the attack on Fricourt. Six were in reserve. Of the twenty-four, twelve were killed, including Lynch and Haswell. Three died of wounds afterwards, eight were wounded, one slightly and only one left untouched.

Spicer survived the Somme and the war.
I gladly gave you a like for the good Yorkshire men involved, and for your research.
 

overopensights

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verticalgyro

MIA
DirtyBAT
I've been carrying out a wee bit of research on another member of his family for @verticalgyro - this chap served with 9 KOYLI during WWI.

As a part of that research, I dropped onto the Bn War Diary for the relevant period covering that chap's death in action in 1918.

The thing that struck me as I read the Diary, which covers a period of not more than 36 hours, is that 9 KOYLI went from a full Bn (I assume) of probably 600 men to a muster of 11 functioning ORs under the command of the Adj, a Captain. Whilst this number would have increased throughout the next 24 hours as stragglers and detached pockets of men returned to the Bn Lines, it is still very much a WT actual F moment.

More sobering is that this was the second time in 2 years that the Bn was, to all intents and purposes, wiped out: the poor buggers went through it during The First Day of The Somme, 1 July 1916. Below is a contemporary recollection by Lt Lancelot Spicer KOYLI:

At about 6pm on June 28th all officers received a summons to go to Battalion HQ for a final drink before going into action. We assembled, glasses were put into our hands, drinks were passed round and we drank quietly to one another – everyone was naturally feeling strained. The Adjutant and Second-in-command were away on some course, so the Acting Adjutant, Keay, was in charge. Lynch came into the room and was given a glass. Keay went up to Haswell, the senior Captain, and said quietly to him,

‘I think you should propose the CO’s health!’

‘I’m damned if I will’, said Haswell ‘I don’t wish him good health and am not prepared to be insincere on this occasion.’

‘You must’, said Keay.

‘I won’t.’, said Haswell.

For a few moments they argued, and then Haswell stepped forward and raising his glass said:

‘Gentlemen, I give you the toast of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, and in particular the 9th Battalion of the Regiment’ – a slight pause – ‘Gentleman, when the barrage lifts…’

We emptied our glasses and were silent. Dramatically, Haswell had avoided an unpleasant scene, and the toast has never been forgotten.

Of those present, twenty-four went into action next day in the attack on Fricourt. Six were in reserve. Of the twenty-four, twelve were killed, including Lynch and Haswell. Three died of wounds afterwards, eight were wounded, one slightly and only one left untouched.

Spicer survived the Somme and the war.
Thanks once again to @FourZeroCharlie for all his help.

It's a harrowing yet fascinating tale. With the 8 brothers and one brother-in-law on my paternal Great Grandfathers side, and my maternal Great Great Grandfather, I have a massive amount of information to sift through. The story will take us from a 15 year old joining up in 1896 who went to South Africa and the Boer War, the Battle of Modder River in 1899, to the mobilisation of the Territorial Bns and Kitchener's New Army, the first use of Chlorine Gas, then the first use of Phosgene Gas, to Gallipoli, the first day of the Somme, Ypres 1, 2 & 3, the Italian Front, stopping by 180th Tunnelling Company RE and a Military Medal, 10 recorded wounds of various severity including 2 discharges on invalidity grounds, one death as described above, the Armistice, the Irish War of Independence and then out to India into the 1930s, following up with a side helping of Thomas, a real life LCpl Jones from Dads' Army who tipped up at the Mobilisation Centre in Gosport at the outbreak of WW2 asking to be re-enlisted in the Royal Marines at the age of 58 (they didn't accept him, I'm really hoping to find some Home Guard records).

Thorpe_Family_1919 - Named.jpg


Then of course I can begin the work on researching my Grandfather who served in WW2 and was a casualty at the 2nd Battle of El Alamein.

Once it's all done I'll probably start a new thread with their individual stories in separate posts. I'll get a tonne of photos in the next couple of weeks, I'm spending the Whit Weekend in Picardy with my dad and lad, and we're going to visit many of the points of interest to build up a picture.
 
That's an easy one, mate. Back in the day, Generals were graded just like the lesser ranks. To wit:

Serjeant-Major General
Lieutenant General
Captain General
Colonel General

Over time, Serjeant-Major General evolved into Major General. For some reason the Brits sneaked in a Brigadier General at the bottom but dispensed with the higher two. And for that, somewhere, a Colonel made General.

Cheers,
Dan.
Apart from the Royal Marines, who still have a Captain General.
 
Worth more than a like it needs a Brilliant.!!!
I'm really looking forward to reading all your Family's Military history. It really will be a snapshot of this country's 20th Century military through one family.
The fact that most of the family came home is more poiniant, ie You wouldn't be writing your family history and I wouldn't be writing this now.
My Grandfather only survived by the pure luck of visiting American Surgeon, he stopped the British surgeon lopping off one arm and a leg.
Keep going mucker.
 

verticalgyro

MIA
DirtyBAT
There's a couple of little gaps which prevent an "unbroken" line of Service from 1896 to 2018.

1930-1939
1946-1972 (National Service seems to have skipped my family, the WW2 Generation came home and had children, who were then too young to do National Service)

I actually served in a Brigade that my Great Great Uncle John served in, I served in Bosnia whilst part of 24X, he did the Western Front. I suspect I had a slightly easier time.
 

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