R.A.F.

sirbhp

LE
Book Reviewer
#1
Rank and File .
I am going through the war diary's of the 6th Dorsetshire regiment at the Somme , some 800 plus pages.
I have noticed that in the casualty reports the O.R.s do not get a name check just killed 3 wounded 2 etc . Yet the officers get the full monty , was this usual in ww1.
The O.R.s only get mentioned by name when they get dicked for some odd duty or other .
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#2
Rank and File .
I am going through the war diary's of the 6th Dorsetshire regiment at the Somme , some 800 plus pages.
I have noticed that in the casualty reports the O.R.s do not get a name check just killed 3 wounded 2 etc . Yet the officers get the full monty , was this usual in ww1.
The O.R.s only get mentioned by name when they get dicked for some odd duty or other .
For the time and long after WW1 that was the normal way of reporting. As you say ORs only got a name check if there was anything unusual or they picked up a gong. Believe me, the mind set still sits with some officers, but is slowly changing.
 
#3
Rank and File .
I am going through the war diary's of the 6th Dorsetshire regiment at the Somme , some 800 plus pages.
I have noticed that in the casualty reports the O.R.s do not get a name check just killed 3 wounded 2 etc . Yet the officers get the full monty , was this usual in ww1.
The O.R.s only get mentioned by name when they get dicked for some odd duty or other .
Military efficiency and doctrine, perhaps. Names below officer rank weren't usually entered in Unit War Diaries, which isn't necessarily a sleight nor ignorance though one could suspect 'class' in there somewhere.

Unit war diaries - First World War portal
  1. to provide an accurate record of operations for preparing the official history of the war
  2. to collect information that would help make improvements in preparing the army for war
Unit Diarists didn't record the names, actions and casualties of every soldier in their unit. War Diaries are different to Service records. Also personal diaries from the Tommies mention names and they're often far more personal.

There are sometimes OR's names in Diaries for significant events, raids, awards etc. Because there were far fewer officers than soldiers in units, and officers led or commanded: their details were useful to the top brass.
 
#4
Was thinking Royal Air Force, not OR's. Meh!
 
#5
Apropos on nothing really but in 2003 my Sqn went to have a shufty at the Commonwealth War Memorial outside Basra. I was struck by the fact that the British regiments listed every casualty by name as one sees on the big memorials in France etc. The Indian regiments on the other hand only named the British officers, the ORs would get a 2 Havildars and 534 Sepoys.

I know the past is a foreign country and all but that did strike me as a little, well, jack. Unless record keeping wasn't all it could be in the Indian Army. Which, thinking about it, now makes me wonder how NOTICAS would have worked on the sub-continent.
 
#6
Apropos on nothing really but in 2003 my Sqn went to have a shufty at the Commonwealth War Memorial outside Basra. I was struck by the fact that the British regiments listed every casualty by name as one sees on the big memorials in France etc. The Indian regiments on the other hand only named the British officers, the ORs would get a 2 Havildars and 534 Sepoys.

I know the past is a foreign country and all but that did strike me as a little, well, jack. Unless record keeping wasn't all it could be in the Indian Army. Which, thinking about it, now makes me wonder how NOTICAS would have worked on the sub-continent.


There is probably a prosaic reason for the lack of names on Indian Army war memorials - perhaps cost or something.

Record-keeping in Imperial India seems to have been obsessive, and it carries on into the modern state. I imagine that the same culture would have existed in the Indian Army.

If you look at Imperial record-keeping in India, it was extremely pedantic and thorough. Indian institutions, churches and organisations still have ledgers dating back to the eighteenth century, A railway station I went to in Gujarat area had every single train movement recorded (in hand writing) since the line was opened in about 1910!
 
Last edited:
#7
There is probably a prosaic reason for the lack of names on Indian Army war memorials - perhaps cost or something.

Record-keeping in Imperial India seems to have been onsessive, and it carries on into the modern state. I imagine that the same culture would have existed in the Indian Army.

If you look at Imperial record-keeping in India, it was extremely pedantic and thorough. Indian institutions, churches and organisations still have ledgers dating back to the eighteenth century, A railway station I went to in Gujarat area had every single train movement recorded (in hand writing) since the line was opened in about 1910!
Yeah like you I would be astonished if the names of the Sepoys weren't meticulously recorded. Which makes it even more jack that they weren't listed on memorials as per the British troops.

I wonder if there's the same ancestry interest from Indian descendants that there is in this country?
 
#9
Took a while, but this is the best image I could find. It's the "265 Indian Soldiers" bit on the memorial I was referring to.


Linky
 

Trilby

Clanker
Book Reviewer
#10
Rank and File .
I am going through the war diary's of the 6th Dorsetshire regiment at the Somme , some 800 plus pages.
I have noticed that in the casualty reports the O.R.s do not get a name check just killed 3 wounded 2 etc . Yet the officers get the full monty , was this usual in ww1.
The O.R.s only get mentioned by name when they get dicked for some odd duty or other .
Yes, this was very common. You sometimes see that service battalion war diaries start off by particularising Other Rank casualties by name but I have noticed that where it does happen it usually tails off after a few months in the line. Beyond that, ORs tend only to be mentioned for special acts of gallantry or devotion to duty, awards of medals, or - occasionally - accidental injuries and deaths.
 
#11
As I mentioned on another thread. My Grandfathers Service Records were destroyed in the Blitz. So went to 7th Northants War Records. As mentioned if you weren’t a Rupert, just a number. We’ve being trying to find where “Pop” got badly wounded. If we had a date, we’ll be laughing. Without a date for his injury, I don’t see what more I can do.
 

Trilby

Clanker
Book Reviewer
#12
As I mentioned on another thread. My Grandfathers Service Records were destroyed in the Blitz. So went to 7th Northants War Records. As mentioned if you weren’t a Rupert, just a number. We’ve being trying to find where “Pop” got badly wounded. If we had a date, we’ll be laughing. Without a date for his injury, I don’t see what more I can do.
Does he have an entry on the War Office daily casualty lists? If so, that would give you an indication that he was wounded very roughly a month prior to that date. There's also a chance that he features in the preserved hospital records that are searchable via Find My Past and Forces War Records.
 
#13
Does he have an entry on the War Office daily casualty lists? If so, that would give you an indication that he was wounded very roughly a month prior to that date. There's also a chance that he features in the preserved hospital records that are searchable via Find My Past and Forces War Records.
WW1 Casualty Lists-Finding and Using them in your Research

Casualty lists from The Genealogist – The Long, Long Trail

Medical records are available for CCS, Field Ambulances, a hospital ship and an ambulance train. Yet they are only representative.

The so-called First World War Representative Medical Records of Servicemen (TNA MH 106) are a selection of several types of medical records, from various theatres of war. They're helpfully discussed at ScarletFinders, and there are very few hospital and contemporary 'GP' records in existence.

Again: the ScarletFinders page is most helpful.
Medical units admission and discharge registers are at The National Archives, and "only about 2% of the original records have survived".
There are 2078 of these registers, and the number includes some operation books, and miscellaneous registers. They cover units in most theatres – the Western Front, Egypt, Salonika, Serbia, and North Russia in 1919
Piece numbers - Scarlet Finders

The National Archives reference is PRO 57/2158 (document not digitised and cannot be downloaded).

https://arrse.co.uk/wiki/Family_Research

@robinrocket111
 

Trilby

Clanker
Book Reviewer
#16
it it a free site ? i tried to sign up but it bounces .
I believe they do a fortnight's free trial, after which it is payable. I'm not sure what the monthly rate is but I think the annual is about £49 as standard. I tend to pay about £39 pa and given the way I use it, that feels like good value for money. It's one of three pay sites I use, Ancestry and Lives of the First World War being the other two. Between them they give fairly good coverage of digitised WW1 records.
 

Trilby

Clanker
Book Reviewer
#17
robinrocket111 - one final possibility, I have just found details of a man I was researching via the British Newspaper Archive. He is presumably in the War Office daily casualty lists but doesn't seem to have been picked up by the indexing done by either Find My Past or Forces War Records. Instead I found him via a surname and regimental number search in a Casualty list of members of Yorkshire regiments compiled (presumably from the abovementioned source) by the Leeds Mercury. The Reading Mercury appears to have done the same for Berkshiremen and the Scotsman, etc. You may be able to get free access via your local library.
 

New Posts

Latest Threads

Top