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WW1 relatives in uniform

jukebox

Engineer Brummie
Granddad Blackhall, Royal Horse Artillery

25 Granddad.jpg

Grandad resumed his banking career after the war and when he retired in 1949 was manager of Lloyds Bank in Sparkbrook. I remember that he said that during WW2 he was a 'firewatcher' in B'ham but I haven't any further details of this.
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
hi jukebox how lucky you are as well..can not be certain but i think i heard or read that about 2 thirds of the ww1 records were destroyed by enemy bombings during ww2..i got my grandad records off ancestry..read them first to make sure i had the correct person ...saved the to my pc then just printed them off...also lucky to have my gt grandfathers service records he joined in the1880s

lyn
 

sospiri

Ex-pat Brummie
Here you are Lyn, from the National Archives site:-

Unfortunately, more than half of their service records were destroyed in September 1940, when a German bombing raid struck the War Office repository in Arnside Street, London. However, an estimated 2.8 million service records survived the bombing or were reconstructed from the records of the Ministry of Pensions. This means that there is a roughly 40% chance of finding the service record of a soldier who was discharged at some time between 1914 and 1920.

Maurice
 

Radiorails

master brummie
Only 40%. So the ancestry tv ads are a little less than honest maybe? There is no suggestion that you have a less than 50% chance of finding someone.
 

Eric Gibson

master brummie
Here's my granddad Charles Coughlin, he was in the South Staffs Regiment, went out in 1914 with the BEF, discharged in 1917 but I don't know much more, he was in the Home Guard in WW2Charles Coughlin South Staffs..jpg
 

Eric Gibson

master brummie
His medals went missing and neither my cousin or I could find what happened to them and to be honest I'm not clear what they were.
 

Lady Penelope

master brummie
This photo is of Graham's grandfather, Alfred John Pritchett. He's the one in the middle wheelchair. He was with the Royal Berkshires and acted as a stretcher bearer and received the Military Medal. He was wounded in the legs and gassed.

Can anyone tell me what the men in the back row with the white lapels are wearing please? I haven't seen this sort of uniform before.
 

Attachments

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
It’s a convalescence suit (or hospital blues uniform) Lady P. Here’s a description:

The Hospital Blues uniform was worn by those patients who could get out of bed. They were a flannel type material of Oxford blue hue with a single breasted suit and trousers. Each had a white lining. The tie would have been red and the shirt white. Regimental caps were worn and medals were displayed on the left breast. Those with missing limbs would have had their arms and trouser legs of the missing limbs carefully folded up and pinned back. Those lucky enough to still have feet, wore either both boots, highly polished or just a sad lonely one.

The Hospital Blues uniform were also known as the blue invalid uniform, convalescent blues or hospital undress. Sizing could be hit or miss and this is why in some photographs the inner linings can be seen.


Image below to show the uniform in colour. Viv.
 

Attachments

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
I mentioned my father-in-law in an earlier post. This is a description of one minor engagement which he left behind, written possibly in the 1920s or 1930s. He visited the battlefilelds during the 1920s and was disconcerted to find out that he had to pay to get into the trenches he had once fought in!

Chris

EXTRACT FROM DESCRIPTION WRITTEN BY CORPORAL EDWIN SHELDON, SHERWOOD FORESTERS, OF AN ATTEMPTED ATTACK ON ENEMY POSITIONS ON THE WESTERN FRONT IN OCTOBER 1917

A minor incident during the Battle of Passchendaele, at night, October 1917

"......we gathered our equipment and assembled outside the pillbox. We were to take a Lewis gun on this occasion as it would be useful in consolidating our post if successful.

Our party numbered sixteen including our officer, Mr. Pettigrew, who had volunteered to take charge of the party and who was a man of remarkable courage and coolness. The sector that our battalion of the Sherwood Foresters was then holding was part of the Ypres salient and was in front of Menin which the Germans were then occupying. For days there had been continual artillery bombardments by both sides which made it extremely dangerous for troops on the move. Casualties usually occurred whilst battalions relieved one another. There had been fighting in this area for some considerable time so that the ground was covered with shell holes. For miles and miles everything had been levelled down and not even a blade of grass existed but here and there a tree stump showed itself. Excepting the pill boxes there was hardly cover for a mouse.

We started off and followed the white tape up to the front line as best we could, picking our way amongst the shell holes as the night was fairly dark. Almost as soon as we set off Fritz opened out a heavy artillery bombardment on the pill boxes that our battalion was occupying. Unfortunately one of our men in the rear of the party was hit by a piece of shrapnel and had to be taken back by one of our stretcher bearers. The rest of the party proceeded as fast as possible and very soon the shells were dropping right over us.

We got to the front line and there we stopped until it was time to start out on our dangerous task. We had a few hours to go and during this time we kept up our spirits as best we could and tried not to let our thoughts dwell on what was before us. Our officer and I went out to reconnoitre so that we should know the best way to take our party.

We were to take up positions around the two pill boxes whilst it was dark. Now the Germans had a strong point called Lewis House just to the right of these pill boxes where they had several machine guns and in the event of an attack would have turned them on us. However at 6.45 a.m. a battery of our guns was to open up for about five minutes on the strong point and this was thought sufficient to smash it up; after this we were to make our attack. We were also told not to be disturbed by a preparatory barrage put up by our artillery at 6 o'clock. This barrage had been kept up for some days as a division was going over the top three days following.

The officer and I after reconnoitring for some time rejoined our party and shortly after we set out. Our objectives lay to the right of the Menin Road which we followed for some little way. Then the officer gave the order to lie down there and he and I went on ahead. We reached a point about 30 yards from the two strong points and he then sent me back to guide our Lewis gun team up which were placed in one shell hole. Then I returned for about four other men who were placed in another shell hole.

It was some minutes after 6.00 then and the artillery barrage had started at six. I had gone back to fetch the remainder of the party and had to stop several times on account of Very lights going up. The ground here was literally covered with dead bodies in all positions and every now and again I would sink into the swampy ground. I remember it now as a nightmare.

So far everything had gone well but the artillery barrage had evidently made the enemy more on the alert as unfortunately for us they sent up several Very lights at the same time which lit up the ground all around. Although the party concealed themselves as much as possible they saw us and then the fun began. First of all they threw bombs at us and our men threw some too. Seeing that we hadn't a chance our officer gave the word to retire. The Lewis gun was abandoned. I fired one shot and then found that I couldn't reload on account of the breech being covered with mud which had got there whilst I was crawling backwards and forwards. Several machine guns were then opened out upon the party who were then running down the Menin road. Crossing one shell hole whilst endeavouring to join them one of my legs sank into the soft mud; however after a short time I managed to extricate myself and join the party on the road.

By this time dawn was creeping in and the machine gun bullets were going dangerously near us. There must have been not less than three machine guns firing at us. However we reached the front line trench not having lost a man whilst retiring down the Menin road. Here we called the roll and found one man missing. He it was discovered afterwards was wounded in the first attack probably by a bomb and taken prisoner.

It was really wonderful how we escaped being wiped out whilst retiring down the Menin road. However after I got in the trench I discovered that I had had a bullet cut my belt and take a piece out of my bayonet. Another fellow had a bullet pass through the canteen which was strapped on the back of his belt. Two very narrow shaves. However a miss is as good as a mile......"

Footnote:
Lt. Pettigrew was killed a day or two later by a shell burst. The writer of this memoir was at his side at that time and was wounded. After repatriation he recovered and lived until his 90th year.
 

maypolebaz

master brummie
Granddad Blackhall, Royal Horse Artillery

View attachment 128632

Grandad resumed his banking career after the war and when he retired in 1949 was manager of Lloyds Bank in Sparkbrook. I remember that he said that during WW2 he was a 'firewatcher' in B'ham but I haven't any further details of this.
These blokes were so proud of their horses.
Across all the many books I've read about the Great War, the overriding sorrow that the soldiers had was for the dreadful things that happened to
the poor animals that were caught up in the slaughter.
 

pink-woody

proper brummie kid
What a smashing thread Janice. Brilliant idea!

My uncle, Samuel Woolley, fought in WW1 and it affected him badly. I'm not sure off-hand which regiment he was in to start with but he was transferred to another where he wore a kilt and apparently when the material got wet and froze it cut their legs to ribbons.

First picture is Samuel by what looks like a train. He's in the back row on the right. Second picture is after he was transferred. Third is William, on the right, Sam's younger brother who ran away and joined the army. He was too young so they brought him back! He waited for his birthday and joined the navy and was a radio operator. Last picture is them both together, at the beginning of the war I imagine.

I have a Samuel Woolley in my family tree also. X
 

Dave89

master brummie
These blokes were so proud of their horses.
Across all the many books I've read about the Great War, the overriding sorrow that the soldiers had was for the dreadful things that happened to
the poor animals that were caught up in the slaughter.
Hi,

My Granddad was a shoeing smith in the Royal Horse Artillery.
Sadly I never met him, as he died at the age of 54 in 1938.

Kind regards
Dave
 

maypolebaz

master brummie
Hi,

My Granddad was a shoeing smith in the Royal Horse Artillery.
Sadly I never met him, as he died at the age of 54 in 1938.

Kind regards
Dave
When I was in the army, the RHA were allways considered a "cut above" the rest of the Gunners.
 
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