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I have been searching for the WW1 records for my gt grandfather George Richardson born 1879 but have had no luck. At the time of the war he lived on Earsham St, Sheffield. I have a photo of him in uniform and the badge on his cap suggests he was in the KOYLI but I do not have an army number for him. I have searched on Ancestry and FMP without success. Any suggestions please?
Unfortunately about 60% of the soldiers’ Service Records were irretrievably damaged or lost completely as a result of enemy bombing in 1940 during the Second World War. The exact number of serving British soldiers is not known because of the loss of the records.
I am presuming your grandfather survived WW1 and would have been eligible for a pension. I am not sure if those records were lost but worth a try.
Have you been in touch with the KOYLI museum? They maybe able to make suggestions for you.
Elaine in Ottawa.
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Sue, every person who served in WW1 has a medal card and they are freely available on Ancestry, without subscription. Unfortunately George Richardson is a common name so there are many to plough through. Therefore any extra titbit of info may help to get to a solution. Happy to help you find him but need to know more. Does he have a middle name?
Is it certain that the cap badge is KOYLI?. If the picture is clear then it can be checked out.
Is there any information on the front or back of the photo ?
Is he showing any stripes on his arm?
Is there any info from your family history which would hint at when he joined?
Was he drafted or did he volunteer?
Are you aware whether he went abroad?
He would have been 35 when the war started, and he would have been 37 when the draft was introduced. That is quite old for joining up, and particularly going into the infantry. When did he marry, when were his children born, when did he die?
I have had a close look at the medal cards index on Ancestry. There is a strong contender for your grandfather. He is George Richardson, 12601 KOYLI, 418682 Labour Corps. This man volunteered at the very beginning of the war and went into KOYLI.
At some later date he transferred to the labour corps. That would be consistent with an older man.
With some effort in the same file it may be possible to interpolate when he transferred.
There is clearly an original error in the medal card index because there are 2 separate medal cards for him. Both cards come up when you search for Labour corps 418682 under George Richardson. The differences between the 2 cards are that one was KOYLI 12601 and did not get the 15 star and the other is KO Lancaster regiment 12601 and did get the 15 star.
Good thinking Dave and very good logic.
Elaine in Ottawa.
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Thanks Dave for your help. I will have a look at the records on Ancestry and see if I can find him. The badge on his hat is definitely the trumpet shape. His wife was called Clara and had children Clara, Harry and Willie and they lived on Earsham Street in 1911 until his death in 1945. Regards, sue
I have a similar problem tracing my grandfather's service record/medal card.
My grandfather Albert Norton was born 07.09.1900 so only just made it into WW1 but, he did serve, I have a photo of him in his uniform.
I always thought he'd told me he was in the KOYLI but, someone identified his sleeve badge as Duke of Wellington's so obviously they did change.
I have no problem finding lots of information about his older brother Harold who was killed in WW1 but, nothing about Albert.
Don't know if this helps Sue with this KOYLI confusion.
Marlene, by 1918 the army was organised more centrally. Your grandfather will have been called up on or soon after his 18th birthday and probably would have been asked to go to the nearest barracks. However from there he would be very quickly assigned to almost anywhere. I assume he would hardly complete his training before the war ended.
My grandfather served overseas "on the Rhine" assisting with the Military Police, this was at the end of and after hostilities which is why I thought he'd have had some war record.
I thought it may help Sue to know that my grandfather's sleeve insignia looks like one regiment but, could be another (KOYLI or Duke of Wellington).
Just to add my two cents worth.
One of my Sheffield grandfathers after being in the 3rd Kings Own Yorkshire Milita (Reserve)
was attested in 1907 to the Royal Inniskilling 2nd Battalion and was sent to Ireland.
He then bought himself out but re enlisted in 1914 and was sent to the 6th or 2nd Btn 24th Northamptonshire Infantry. As units became depleted he seems to have moved around.
He ended up as a Sergent in the Machine Gun Corps.
Rather confusing keeping tabs on which unit he was in.
Was your grandfather in the Military Police? Then you could delete that from any further inquiries.
Elaine in Ottawa.
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Sue, just to complete the picture.
A George Richardson volunteered towards the end of August 1914. He got the number 12601 in KOYLI
He served in France (one of the medal cards shows the day he arrived in France in 1915.)It should be possible to identify which batallion he was in from the Regimental Records using his date of arrival in France.
At some stage he became less than A1 fit so was transferred to the Labour Corps and given a new number.
This sort of transfer was quite common. Reasons for becoming less than A1 fit, and therefore unsuitable for the front line, may be anything from a minor injury,or deterioration in eyesight, or simply age (and I am sure many other reasons).
The Labour Corps did not come into existence till February 1917 so he must have served with KOYLI until at least then. Your George was 38 by then.
Unfortunately there is no guarantee that he was your George, but I think there is a very high probability.
Hello there Marlene an email sent.
Thanks for the e-mail to which I've replied.
Hi Dave, thanks for your help and information. Can you tell me where to look to find the information you have mentioned. As you say there is no actual evidence to say its my george but I do have a good feeling about it. Again many thanks, sue
Sue, you will find the info in the Medal Rolls free index on Ancestry.
You may need to sign in but you do not need a current subscription. Just go into SEARCH the choose Military then down the right hand side choose Medal Rolls index(free).
Because you are not familiar I should explain how you squeeze all the info fromthe Medal Cards.
Suggest you fill in the search form with George Richardson , in the Regiment section put Labour Corps and in the Number field put his Labour Corps number (I gave you that. It is the number beginning with 4. You will then get a list of answers and the first 2 are the ones you want. As I said there are clearly 2 medal cards for the same person. There is no way that 2 different George Richardsons joined up in 2 different Kings own regiments and both received the same number then both transferred later to the Labour Corps and both were given the same new number. That is asking too much of coincidence.
You can now view and copy both medal cards.
One of the cards shows date of entry into France.
To find when he joined up you need to look at other medal cards for the numbers close to his. Go back to the search form and search for:
Name must be blank
Regiment Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
Regimental Number 12602.
If a named person comes to the top of the list of answers with that number, look at the medal card and see what you get. You now need to repeat for 12603 etc. It is a bit tedious but eventually you will see an answer come up where the person was discharged prematurely. On that card it shows when he signed up. You do the same trick for numbers counting down from 12599 and you will again find a man who was discharged early so you get his date of sign up. Now you know that George was signed up between the two dates. I seem to remember it was between 24th August and 3rd Sept 1914.
Note that some numbers do not come up. That is because sometimes someone signed up but then failed the medical. Their sign up number was then simply lost.
It is a bit tedious, but free
Ps any problems with that, please let me know