WW1 Roll of Honour: Would soldier AWOL be included

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WW1 Roll of Honour: Would soldier AWOL be included

Postby g.genie » Mon Jul 30, 2007 6:09 pm

My great grandfather was in RGA, 2nd Siege Battery during WW1. Family lore is that he was absent without leave when he died at home in July 1918.

He is recorded on the Roll of Honour at CWGC and Scottish National War (RGA) Memorial, on the War Memorial of his home town, and buried in a grave marked with WarGrave headstone in the local cemetery.

His brother's wedding was planned, and took place on that day, (John died 5.00am, wedding probably sometime after 10.00am), I was hoping someone could comment on whether a soldier would have been given leave at that time for a family wedding, and also if he would have been on these rolls if he was in fact AWOL.

Thanks in advance for any comments/suggestions anyone can provide.

g.genie
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Re: WW1 Roll of Honour: Would soldier AWOL be included

Postby Rondeb43 » Sat Sep 22, 2007 9:36 pm

Hi There,

If you list some details such as full name and year of birth I can search the WW1 Pension records for his details.

Regards

Ron
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Re: WW1 Roll of Honour: Would soldier AWOL be included

Postby g.genie » Sat Oct 06, 2007 8:33 pm

Hello Ron

Thank you for your kind offer, and sorry for delay in getting back to the forum.

John Clenaghan was born in 1883, in Lanarkshire, he was a Gunner in RGA 2nd Seige Battery, died July 1918.

If it isn't too much trouble, could you also check for his brother William Clenaghan, born 1881, died 29 Jan 1916, France & Flanders.
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Re: WW1 Roll of Honour: Would soldier AWOL be included

Postby Rondeb43 » Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:10 pm

Hi

I have searched the ww1 pension records, CWGC site and National archives site and can only find possible mention of William on the National archive site medal records for ww1.

I wonder if you can confirm the spellings of their surnames as you mention your g g grandfather is on the cwgc site.

I did do a search on census records and they appear on there if there parents are John and Mary.

Hopefully if the service (pension record) can be identified then we may be able to confirm awol details and any leave granted.

Many thanks

Ron
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Re: WW1 Roll of Honour: Would soldier AWOL be included

Postby apowell » Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:02 pm

Hi,

I'm glad you responded to my email and as promised the information on John's service history which I'm pleased to say lays to rest the Family lore that he was absent without leave when he died at home in July 1918. This was untrue and his service records prove that he was on approved home leave when he died of Influenza which I think was called the Spanish flu and killed many during 1918. I found information that he was granted special leave because his child was seriously injured after being run over. I was unable to find a date on the telegram regarding his special home leave but this may have been the time he died sadly while visiting his sick child.

I hope this helps and please ask if you need any further help :grin:

Kind regards
Adrian

John Clenaghan's Service History

Personal Details
Name: John Clenaghan
DOB: (abt) 1883
Apparent age: 35 years
Height: Unreadable
Eyes: Unreadable
Hair: Unreadable
Weight: Unreadable
Girth when expanded: 36'
Distinctive marks: Tattoo on forearm and right thigh
Religion: Roman Catholic
Address: 15,Hamilton Place, Port Glasgow, Scotland
Wife: Mary Duffy (spinster)
married: 26th October 1903, Parish Church, Port Glasgow.
Children: Bridget 12th May 1906 born in Port Glasgow.
Catherine 24th May 1908 born in Port Glasgow.
Isabella 22nd May 1910 born in Port Glasgow.
Elizabeth 6th May 1912 born in Port Glasgow.
Wilimina 20th April 1914 born in Port Glasgow.
Patrick 21st May 1916 born in Port Glasgow.
Helen 21st May 1918 born in Port Glasgow.
Next of Kin: Mary Clenaghan (wife)
Trade or Calling: Coal Man (labourer)
Served in His Majesty's forces prior: No
Preference for any particular branch of service: Yes, (ASC) Army Service Corp

Attestation of Service
Attestation form: Unreadable
Enlistment Place: Port Glasgow
Enlistment date: 8th May 1916
Enlistment approved: Unreadable (medical A1, general service )
Mobilised: 8th May 1918
Regiment posting details: (RGA) Royal Garrison Artillery, Gunner, Reg No.216243

Statement of Service
Joined: 9th May 1918, (RGA) 91st Reception Depot (No.4 Depot)
Posted: 25th May 1918, (RGA) 2nd Siege Artillery Reserve Brigade (D Battery), Catterick, Yorkshire

Casualty Form-Active service
Telegram sent: 2nd Siege Artillery Reserve Brigade
Telegram received: Siege Artillery Reserve Brigade, Dover, Kent
Comment: Gunner Clenaghan 216243 has been granted special leave- child run over seriously injured.

Telegram sent: 3rd July 1918, Officer Commanding 2nd Siege Artillery Reserve Brigade
Gunner: John Clenaghan
Reg: 2nd Siege Artillery Reserve Brigade (D Battery)
Reg no: 216243
Comment: This man was on home leave and died from Influenza this morning at 15, Hamilton Place, Port Glasgow, Scotland.

Telegram received: 27th August 1918, 2nd Siege Artillery Reserve Brigade
Comment: Gunner Clenaghan was buried in Port Glasgow Cemetery. A Military funeral was provided by RGA from Fort Matilda, Glasgow.

Statement of all relatives and next of kin of the deceased
Wife: Mary Clenaghan(next of kin)

Children: Bridget 12th May 1906 born in Port Glasgow.
Catherine 24th May 1908 born in Port Glasgow.
Isabella 22nd May 1910 born in Port Glasgow
Elizabeth 6th May 1912 born in Port Glasgow.
Williamina 20th April 1914 born in Port Glasgow.
Patrick 21st May 1916 born in Port Glasgow.
Helen 21st May 1918 born in Port Glasgow.

Mother: Mary Clenaghan 19 Balfour Street, Port Glasgow.

Brothers: James 34 years old 15, Hamilton Place, Port Glasgow.
Patrick 29 years old 19 Balfour Street, Port Glasgow.
Henry 27 years old 19 Balfour Street, Port Glasgow.
Joseph 22 years old 19 Balfour Street, Port Glasgow.
Edward 16 years old 19 Balfour Street, Port Glasgow.

Sisters: Mary Clenaghan 19 years old 19 Balfour Street, Port Glasgow, Scotland

Mary Clenaghan signs document to confirm above details on the 31st May 1919 and the document is witnessed by George Stuart Catholic Priest of St John's church, Port Glasgow.

Pension Award
Mary was awarded a regular pension and 40/- for September 1918 for herself and 7 children.

Medals awarded
No medals awarded due to John not serving overseas but his details are listed on a number of Rolls of Honour including the CWGC and Memorial Roll Index (No.R/973).
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Re: WW1 Roll of Honour: Would soldier AWOL be included

Postby g.genie » Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:09 pm

Hello Adrian

Thank you so much for taking the time to provide this vast amount of information - wow!

I am wondering if there is an element of truth regarding the AWOL story that has survived for 90 years, the comment does suggest the army locally were aware very quickly that John had died that day, I wonder if he was due back either that day or in the preceding days, and the military authorities had sent someone to the family home to make enquiries??? Would that be feasible? Of course in the climate of war, the family may have had the presence of mind to send a message to the local army HQ. Such a sad time.

QUOTE
"Telegram sent: 3rd July 1918, Officer Commanding 2nd Siege Artillery Reserve Brigade
Gunner: John Clenaghan
Reg: 2nd Siege Artillery Reserve Brigade (D Battery)
Reg no: 216243
Comment: This man was on home leave and died from Influenza this morning at 15, Hamilton Place, Port Glasgow, Scotland."


Another piece to the puzzle, most welcome indeed, especially now just knowing he wasn't AWOL, for the family's sake, I am very pleased to have this news.
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Re: WW1 Roll of Honour: Would soldier AWOL be included

Postby apowell » Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:31 am

Hi,

I'm glad the information was helpful.

I don't think there was any truth to the family story of John's AWOL because I could find no recorded information contained within his service records regarding any AWOL charges. His records suggest he was a good soldier and his Regiment Conduct sheet was blank which I assume meant no charges were ever given.

I think the Doctor would have informed the local authorities in Port Glasgow of John's death who then would have been legally obliged to inform the army. I think the telegram sent to the Army informing them of his death was from the civil Coronary office not the Army which suggests the Army were not initially involved or aware.

All the best.
Adrian
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Re: WW1 Roll of Honour: Would soldier AWOL be included

Postby g.genie » Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:21 am

Hello Adrian

Thank you for explaining further, of course that makes perfect sense NOW, any death related to the influenza pandemic would have been notifiable to the health authorities, I had totally overlooked the doctor's role.

Also for the Regiment Conduct Sheet, another thank you, I would probably have overlooked recording anything that is blank , which, as you kindly point out, does tell us something in this case.

I'm just updating my Rootsmagic program with the new information, and could yet come back with another question or two, but you seem to have anticipated these before I am aware of them. Your help is most gratefully received, thank you Adrian.
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Re: WW1 Roll of Honour: Would soldier AWOL be included

Postby g.genie » Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:25 am

Hello Adrian

Thank you for all the facts you have already given to me, and I do hope you can explain some of the service notes that aren't quite clear to me, hope you don't mind.

I notice that John's date of enlistment is in May 1916, but not "mobilied" until 8 May 1918, does that mean he was living a civilian life for the 2 years in between?

When he was posted to a Reception Depot (No.4) and then Catterick, in May 1918, would both of these Depots be for training?

It is quite late in the war, did many people get mobilised at such a late stage, and would it be as a result of high casualty numbers at this time?

Telegram dated 27 August, to advise that John was buried, funeral being provided by Fort Matilda, I assume this would be just clearing up the outstanding paperwork, rather than an indication of the funeral taking place on that date, (his death being on 3 July), would I be correct in this assumption?

When it states "Funeral provided by Fort Matilda", do you know if this means financially provided or would there have been a military presence at the service?

On 31 May 1919 when Mary was asked to provide details of all John's living relatives, including his mother and siblings, was this connected to her receiving the 40/- + pension?

Why would she be asked to provide details about his birth family, rather than just about herself and their children?

It would be great to have an answer to any of these questions, if you can help, many thanks for help to date. The information is mind boggling as I try to get all of the facts into the relevant places in my family tree, but I'm almost there now, I think ......
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Re: WW1 Roll of Honour: Would soldier AWOL be included

Postby apowell » Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:58 am

Hi,

I'll try and answer the questions.

Q. I notice that John's date of enlistment is in May 1916, but not "mobilied" until 8 May 1918, does that mean he was living a civilian life for the 2 years in between?
A. Yes this wasn't uncommon for recruits to wait until mobilized and could have been for many different reasons but possible for John it may have been his age and his profession (coal man) which was deemed a priority job for the war effort. My X3 Grt Uncle also enlisted in 1916 but wasn't mobilized until 1918, he was born abt 1880 and worked in the Iron industry which was another industry essenstial for the war effort.

Q. When he was posted to a Reception Depot (No.4) and then Catterick, in May 1918, would both of these Depots be for training?
A. No the Depots would be the Administration centres for the whole Regiment and they would sort, organise and arrange for new recruits to join Battalions so ensuring all Battalions had the required supply of men. Once the recruits had joined the Battalion they would then receive training etc and in Johns case he would have received training at the Catterick camp.

Q. Telegram dated 27 August, to advise that John was buried, funeral being provided by Fort Matilda, I assume this would be just clearing up the outstanding paperwork, rather than an indication of the funeral taking place on that date, (his death being on 3 July), would I be correct in this assumption?
A. Yes correct.

Q. When it states "Funeral provided by Fort Matilda", do you know if this means financially provided or would there have been a military presence at the service?
A. I'm not 100% sure but I would confidently say that the Military would have provided all the financial costs and if wanted by the family also a full military funeral (which they did). This would have helped greatly Johns' family because the cost of the funeral would have been a great financial burden. The rights of funeral expenses etc was most likely covered in the Naval and Military War Pensions Act 1915 (Amended 1916, 1917 & 1918).

Q. On 31 May 1919 when Mary was asked to provide details of all John's living relatives, including his mother and siblings, was this connected to her receiving the 40/- + pension? Why would she be asked to provide details about his birth family, rather than just about herself and their children?
A. This I'm not sure about because the law regarding pensions etc was complex and the Naval and Military War Pensions Act 1915 would have covered all of this but the document is very comprehensive. I think these forms asked lots of questions because if a relative was disabled, had been dependent on the deceased then a pension would also have been paid. I have found a relative who was killed and his elderly mother also claimed a pension because he had provided her living costs prior to joining the Army. In Johns case the pension was calculated for his wife and children. If you search Military War Pensions Act 1915 on the net you get lots of information if you wanted to check further.

I hope this helps.

Regards
Adrian
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Re: WW1 Roll of Honour: Would soldier AWOL be included

Postby g.genie » Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:42 pm

Hi Adrian

Thank you so much, it has been a great help. It's all starting to make sense now, and I can add some notes where the dates are a bit confusing. Do you mind if I use your notes until I'm sure I am recording it correctly?

One last question, I promise, would the Reception Depot be based at Catterick too?
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Re: WW1 Roll of Honour: Would soldier AWOL be included

Postby apowell » Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:08 pm

Hi,

Yes of course you may use any notes I've posted if it helps in your research but remember I'm only a budding enthusiast so forgive me if I've made any mistakes :P

Q. One last question, I promise, would the Reception Depot be based at Catterick too?

A. No the No 4 Depot (Heavy and Siege) was based at Ripon, Yorkshire but not very far from Catterick.

All the best.
Adrian :wink:
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Re: WW1 Roll of Honour: Would soldier AWOL be included

Postby g.genie » Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:25 pm

Thanks Adrian, I've copied your notes and answers and will filter them through into their relevant places in my program, when I work out how they will best serve their purpose, and print out in context.

May I just say, for a budding enthusiast you are very well informed, and generous, which I am truly thankful for. All my questions have been answered, I shall get back to work on putting everything in it's place.

I notice the boards are being tidied, and a request made for Complete Topics, which does seems to cover this one now, I'm not sure what to do, can you advise please?
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Re: WW1 Roll of Honour: Would soldier AWOL be included

Postby Jimmy » Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:30 pm

Hi g.genie,
You will find a lot of people on here who are generous with their findings, that's what this site is all about.
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Re: WW1 Roll of Honour: Would soldier AWOL be included

Postby apowell » Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:12 am

Hi,

No worries I will archive the post but I tend to leave them for a few weeks just in case anyone adds anymore information or amends information already posted.

Kind regards
Adrian :P
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