Non Combatant Corps

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by Paul Reed, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. Drayton

    Drayton Senior Member

    BBC - Radio 4 Open Country - 30/08/2012

    Richmond Castle NCC (Absolutists) WW1 - BBC 'Open Country' at 6 minutes 40 in

    The reference is slightly confused. The original broadcast at 6.40 am was on Sunday 26 August. The repeat was on Thursday afternoon, 30 August.

    All of the "Richmond 16", as they are generally known, were among the 35 WW1 COs later formally sentenced to death, but reprieved.
     
  2. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    The reference is slightly confused. The original broadcast at 6.40 am was on Sunday 26 August. The repeat was on Thursday afternoon, 30 August. Broadcast again this AM the link is the BBCs link.
     
  3. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    Thanks for this, very helpful.

    The two who went on to bomb disposal work would have been attached to the RE, but would have remained members of the NCC. That was the official and only way of retaining their conscientious objector status.

    It would be useful to know who was the other one, besides Butcher, to go into bomb disposal, and also to know the forenames of Butcher's father and uncle as apparently members of the WW1 NCC.

    Hi,
    I dont think Butchers relatives had been NCC, the uncle was in the Infantry but cant recall about the father, however whatever scars they brought back (mental and physical) seem to have convinced him to apply for consciencious objector status - I'll try dig again as when I looked before on ancestry I think I managed to work out who the were.

    McKew's book bears the stamp of "45 Italian Labour Bn" - I was thinking this may have been an RE unit that he transfered to, but it seems likely this was a Pioneer Corps administered unit and he could have been attached.

    Black's book has a slip at the front describing his Rank as Sapper and unit as RE, so he does seem to have transfered rather than just being attached - I guess that may mean he lost his CO status.

    Regards

    Alistair
     
  4. Drayton

    Drayton Senior Member

    Thanks for the info.

    I understand the clarification about the WW1 service of the Butcher family; your previous entry could be read either way.

    I agree that the McKew reference sounds like a Pioneer Corps attachment. NCC members often worked with Italians, as did the Pioneers.

    Black certainly seems to have formally transferred to the RE. We shall probably never know quite how this came about, but one factor may have been that NCC bomb disposal work came to an end in 1943, with the cessation of heavy bombing raids on Britain; the RE had enough men of its own to deal with any bombs that did arise.

    Some of the NCC bomb disposal men transferred their attachment to the RAMC and joined the Parachute Field Ambulance units, but Black may have preferred to stay with the RE, despite losing his CO status.
     
  5. ChrisR

    ChrisR Senior Member

    I have been doing a bit of research lately into the Non Combatant Corps volunteers for bomb disposal. Sources vary but it has been said that 350 to 400 conscientious objectors volunteered for bomb disposal work. Below I have listed just over 100 names of NCC volunteers that I have so far found.
    Research is still on going, but I can find nothing definite regarding casualties of conscientious objectors while serving in bomb disposal sections.
    Bristow, as mentioned earlier, was attached to the Royal Engineers but his death certificate has come through and doesn’t provide anything conclusive. The ex-librarian died in Luton and Dunstable Hospital with cause of death being ‘due to war operations’. His address stated as Oxford (The CWGC has St Johns Wood for family and buried Ilford).
    Forster I believe was with a BD Section when he died, possibly of injuries received when beaten up.
    Gilmour died in hospital as a result of illness while serving in a BD section in Bedfordshire.
    Harden died in Frazakerley Hospital, Liverpool, age 21. His company for the three weeks or so prior to his death had been on bomb disposal duties in Liverpool every night. I’m still looking into this one.

    It would be good to establish if Walter Black, mentioned earlier, had ended up in the Royal Engineers through NCC BD.

    If anyone has evidence of any other NCC BD volunteers names that I’ve omitted from the list below, please let me know. Also, if anyone is trying to research any of the names I’ve mentioned please send me a pm or e-mail if you want to know the source of info for that individual. Got a few Christian names without surnames but with a few other details about them that might make them recognisable to a relative - Denis, Nobby, George, Bob (Robert), Stan and Tom L…….

    Thanks
    Chris Ransted

    Agar F. 97000877
    Allan J. 97005030
    Appleyard G.A. 97000651
    Apps R.J 97001135
    Argent D.W. 97000866
    Barnes J. 97000705
    Bassy A.S. 97000861
    Beach O.H. 97000755
    Bennett C.J.D. 97000829
    Bernard L.
    Boon B.G. 97000716
    Brown A.R. 97000656
    Butcher H.F. 97001007
    Byrom J.
    Carter R.H. 97000721
    Cartwright W.G. 97000803
    Clark R.A. 97000660
    Clark S.E. 97000661
    Coney F.C. 97002408
    Cook P.B. 97000896
    Cudby G.H. 97000663
    Cullen E. 97002477
    Davies G. 97001051
    Dorn C.K. 97000827
    Dorn G.H. 97002409
    Douglas A.J. 97000848
    Dowling P.C. 97000699
    Draisey S. 97000790
    Dunn A. 97004661
    Eaton P.
    Egleton H. 97000727
    Etheridge L.C. 97000754
    Finnigan R. 97000825
    Forster A. 97001908
    Forster J. 97000766
    Fox L.G. 97003080
    Gilmour J.J. 97001643
    Hall C.G.E. 97000756
    Hallett G.D. 97000669
    Harden P.J. 97003963
    Hassall F. 97003089
    Hayes S.C.J. 97002086
    Hitchcock H.
    Hughes K.G. 97000911
    Hughes P.J. 975019
    Hurdle R.H. 97000735
    Johnson G. 97001841
    Jones J.W. 97000674
    Kimpton L. 97004484
    Knight H.S. 97001064
    Laih I.E. 97000677
    Lawrence S. 97004013
    Leigh F.R. 97004957
    Lewis R.G. 97000679
    Llewellyn D. 97001069
    Marsden A.J. 97000773
    Marshall A.E 97000738
    Marshall F.L. 97000828
    Marshall T.E. 97000851
    Mason H(?).A. 97000682
    Middleton A.R. 97001843
    Moore E.
    Morton W.T. 97001093
    Newcombe V.N.
    Norman G. 97000871
    Peake M.
    Pettit W. 97004490
    Phillips D.J. 97000802
    Pollard F. 97004492
    Pursey E. 97000935
    Reeves W.A. 97000686
    Rickman S.
    Roche H. 97004640
    Rowe W.
    Ryder J.S. 97000687
    Saunders C.
    Smith F. 97001077
    Smith R. 97004512
    Spouge J. 97004613
    Spring E. 97005910
    Spring K.
    Stone D.B. 97001078
    Stride E.R. 97000875
    Sykes W. 97004205
    Thatcher A. 97004517
    Town N.B.
    Trunks W. 97004519
    Verney R. 97004521
    Wads V. 97004524
    Wallace A.M. 6020541
    Warner H. 97004537
    Watts D. 97004539
    Westcott W. 97004551
    White A.
    Williams F.
    Wilson E.F.W. 97000747
    Worth A. 97004564
    Wren C.
    Wright H. 97004617
    Yair J. 97004594
     
  6. Drayton

    Drayton Senior Member

    Thanks very much for this, a most useful piece of work, which I will follow up by contact after comparison with what information I have.

    For the moment I can only comment that Bristow's death clearly leaves a question mark. Although the WW2 CO movement paid tribute to the men who volunteered for bomb dispoal work, there is no report at the time of a CO having died as a result of his contribution. One would have thought that a reference "due to war operations" would have meant a death arising from work on a bomb; if it was not that, what else? A traffic accident while being moved by military transport?
     
  7. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Test (giving it a while to see if the googlebots pick up the list without formatting):

    Agar F. 97000877
    Allan J. 97005030
    Appleyard G.A. 97000651
    Apps R.J 97001135
    Argent D.W. 97000866
    Barnes J. 97000705
    Bassy A.S. 97000861
    Beach O.H. 97000755
    Bennett C.J.D. 97000829
    Bernard L.
    Boon B.G. 97000716
    Brown A.R. 97000656
    Butcher H.F. 97001007
    Byrom J.
    Carter R.H. 97000721
    Cartwright W.G. 97000803
    Clark R.A. 97000660
    Clark S.E. 97000661
    Coney F.C. 97002408
    Cook P.B. 97000896
    Cudby G.H. 97000663
    Cullen E. 97002477
    Davies G. 97001051
    Dorn C.K. 97000827
    Dorn G.H. 97002409
    Douglas A.J. 97000848
    Dowling P.C. 97000699
    Draisey S. 97000790
    Dunn A. 97004661
    Eaton P.
    Egleton H. 97000727
    Etheridge L.C. 97000754
    Finnigan R. 97000825
    Forster A. 97001908
    Forster J. 97000766
    Fox L.G. 97003080
    Gilmour J.J. 97001643
    Hall C.G.E. 97000756
    Hallett G.D. 97000669
    Harden P.J. 97003963
    Hassall F. 97003089
    Hayes S.C.J. 97002086
    Hitchcock H.
    Hughes K.G. 97000911
    Hughes P.J. 975019
    Hurdle R.H. 97000735
    Johnson G. 97001841
    Jones J.W. 97000674
    Kimpton L. 97004484
    Knight H.S. 97001064
    Laih I.E. 97000677
    Lawrence S. 97004013
    Leigh F.R. 97004957
    Lewis R.G. 97000679
    Llewellyn D. 97001069
    Marsden A.J. 97000773
    Marshall A.E 97000738
    Marshall F.L. 97000828
    Marshall T.E. 97000851
    Mason H(?).A. 97000682
    Middleton A.R. 97001843
    Moore E.
    Morton W.T. 97001093
    Newcombe V.N.
    Norman G. 97000871
    Peake M.
    Pettit W. 97004490
    Phillips D.J. 97000802
    Pollard F. 97004492
    Pursey E. 97000935
    Reeves W.A. 97000686
    Rickman S.
    Roche H. 97004640
    Rowe W.
    Ryder J.S. 97000687
    Saunders C.
    Smith F. 97001077
    Smith R. 97004512
    Spouge J. 97004613
    Spring E. 97005910
    Spring K.
    Stone D.B. 97001078
    Stride E.R. 97000875
    Sykes W. 97004205
    Thatcher A. 97004517
    Town N.B.
    Trunks W. 97004519
    Verney R. 97004521
    Wads V. 97004524
    Wallace A.M. 6020541
    Warner H. 97004537
    Watts D. 97004539
    Westcott W. 97004551
    White A.
    Williams F.
    Wilson E.F.W. 97000747
    Worth A. 97004564
    Wren C.
    Wright H. 97004617
    Yair J. 97004594
     
  8. Drayton

    Drayton Senior Member

    Having now checked my own notes, I find I have the following seven NCC volunteers for Bomb Disposal not listed by ChrisR:

    Fletcher, Harry
    Gill, John Marsden
    Hiller, Arthur
    Jones, Arthur
    Pritchard, C Hardinge
    West, Geoffrey
    Wray, Bernard

    I note also that although in most cases Army numbers are cited by Chris, there are some numbers evidently not traced. It is possible that in three cases this is due to discrepancies over the name, as under:

    Byrom, J: was originally Bramwell, James Guy, but changed his surname
    Hitchcock, H: was actually Hitchcock, Raymond, but was generally known as Hitchcock, Harold
    Newcombe, V N: according to my best evidence, he was Newcomb [no final E], Victor Noel
     
  9. ChrisR

    ChrisR Senior Member

    Thanks for that information - much appreciated.
    I've not investigated the service numbers, just quoted the numbers I found with the names in the source material.
    I have three more names to add -
    Chantrell T.
    Greenwood
    Melville W.

    Thanks again.
    Chris
     
  10. Drayton

    Drayton Senior Member

    A few further thoughts:

    RA Clark and SE Clark have consecutive numbers. Is there any evidence to support my speculation that they might be twins, called up on the same day.

    Arising from that also, I am wondering whether the nickname Nobby mentioned is actually a misspelling of Knobby, which was commonly the standard nickname for anyone named Clark or Clarke. Nobby makes little sense, whereas Knobby (derived from knob for head, as in 'use your knob') was a tribute to the supposed acumen of clerks, and followed the pattern of other standard surname-nicknames, such as 'Dusty' Miller, 'Spud' Murphy or 'Chalky' White. If I am right, then [K]Nobby might be one of the Clarks.

    S Rickman was Stan Rickman, so the 'Stan' might be he.
     
  11. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    A few further thoughts:

    RA Clark and SE Clark have consecutive numbers. Is there any evidence to support my speculation that they might be twins, called up on the same day.

    Arising from that also, I am wondering whether the nickname Nobby mentioned is actually a misspelling of Knobby, which was commonly the standard nickname for anyone named Clark or Clarke. Nobby makes little sense, whereas Knobby (derived from knob for head, as in 'use your knob') was a tribute to the supposed acumen of clerks, and followed the pattern of other standard surname-nicknames, such as 'Dusty' Miller, 'Spud' Murphy or 'Chalky' White. If I am right, then [K]Nobby might be one of the Clarks.

    S Rickman was Stan Rickman, so the 'Stan' might be he.

    Hello Drayton

    Nobby is commonly used.


    regards
    Clive
     
  12. Papa

    Papa Junior Member

    Anyone have any information about how this chap died. Being non combatant I am assuming that he was a conscientious objector but got killed anyway.

    Forster, Alec, 25, 20th July 1943, Non Combatant Corps., 97001908, Private, Son of Richard C. Forster and Alice E. Forster, of Newport, Mon., NEWPORT (ST. WOOLOS) CEMETERY, Block 83. Grave 77.
     
  13. Papa

    Papa Junior Member

    When I posted the above message in a new thread I hadn't realised that there was already a thread on the NCC until the Mod moved it.
    Going through the posts I read the likely result of how Alec Forster died which answers my question.
    However this is his grave in Newport.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. MyPast

    MyPast New Member

    Perhaps your Stan is my father Stanley Hurrell 97003238. I've just found a photo with his number and 'NCC Bomb Disposal' written on the back. If I attach the photo successfully he is on the far left of the back row.
    I was always under the impression that his wartime was spent doing bomb disposal as a RE sapper. I don't know where he was based but I think a lot of time was spent in the east of England. Certainly he told a tale of digging for a UXB in the fens, finding it as it got dark and having to leave it til next day. Next day it had disappeared, sunk further into the fens so day 2 was a repeat of day 1. I think it was only at the end of day 3 that they thought to put a rope around it before leaving and finished the job on day 4.

    BTW Have you seen a post by Capt Bill in the Concientious Objectors forum where he makes mention of Pte G M Jamieson RAMC
     

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  15. Drayton

    Drayton Senior Member

    As Stan was a fairly common name at that time, it can for the moment only remain speculation whether the Stan mentioned was your father or another person I suggested.

    On the general point of NCC members serving in Bomb Disposal, as I have tried to make clear earlier in the thread, although they were attached to the RE, they remained in the NCC, and your father's note on the back of the photo illustrates the point. It is a pity that he did not add any location or date for the photo, let alone names of the others, but there it is.

    My informed guess is that the photo is of a NCC group undergoing training for Bomb Disposal under the tutelage of the RE, and the officer in the middle of the front row was the RE officer in charge of the course.

    May I suggest that you contact the Archivist of the Peace Pledge Union - archives@ppu.org.uk - who is compiling a database of all British COs of whom the PPU has any trace (10,000 names to date, and counting), to see whether Stan Hurrell is already known, and, if not, to get his name added.
     
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  16. MyPast

    MyPast New Member

    Thanks for your post Drayton. I'll get in touch with the Peace Pledge Union not only with the above but also about a Special Order I have found. It is as follows:-

    NO 9 COMPANY MON-COMBATANT CORPS

    Special Order

    The Officer Commanding, Officers, Warrant Officer and N.C.O.s of the Pioneer Corps attached to this company
    wish to extend their congratulations to the u/m menwho have volunteered for bomb disposl duty and to wish
    them good fortune in this new task which they are voluntarily undertaking.

    97003492 Pte Cuming, G.
    97003503 Pte Elston, G.
    97003440 Pte Evans, D.
    97003213 Pte Fowkes-Smith, R.
    97003539 Pte Griggs, F.J.
    97003307 Pte Harkness, V.
    97003223 Pte Harris, R.M.
    97003234 Pte Holley, R.
    97003520 Pte Howlett, W.
    97003238 Pte Hurrell, S.
    97003179 Pte Jackson, A.
    97003773 Pte Kemp, J.
    97003244 Pte Knott, A.
    97003462 Pte Leach, J.
    97003403 Pte Lees, W.
    97003249 Pte Lewis, W
    97003530 Pte Liddell, D.
    97003531 Pte Lilley, T.
    97003310 Pte Lomax, W.
    97003313 Pte McMain, B.
    97003539 Pte Mowat, ?J.
    97003453 Pte Parry, O.
    97003465 Pte Prentis, I.
    97003548 Pte Sedgeman, N,
    97003291 Pte Schoolheifer, W.
    97003550 Pte Smith, R.
    97003557 Pte Tomkinson, R.
    97003408 Pte Wells, H.



    signed T ? Blandford
    Major
    Pioneer Corps
    O.C. No.9 N.C.C. Company

    dated 30 Apr 1941


    The sharp eyed will notice that Griggs and Mowat both have the same number, but they reflect accurately the original document.
     
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  17. ChrisR

    ChrisR Senior Member

    Can someone please confirm that it was only registered Conscientious Objectors that had service numbers beginning with 9700?
    I'm guessing that if you 'changed your mind later' you would still keep the same service number that was originally allocated?
     
  18. Drayton

    Drayton Senior Member

    Although I have done much work conscientious objectors both within and outwith the NCC, I have not hitherto paid much attention to Army enlistment numbers, which, in any case, are rarely mentioned in press reports, books ad other sources for COs.

    It would have made sense for the Army to have reserved a special series of numbers for those enlisted specifically as non-combatants, to minimise the chance of wrongful allocation of duties, since there were a few such men enlisted in units other than the NCC, such as the RAMC and, I believe, in one case, the Pay Corps.

    That policy would be be vitiated if a man kept the same number on volunteering for transfer to a unit not guaranteed as wholly non-combatant. There were relatively few such cases, but I simply do not know the answer.
     
  19. ChrisR

    ChrisR Senior Member

    I was looking through 6 Bomb Disposal Company's war diary today, (WO 166/3998), for something unrelated, but noticed some names of conscientious objectors who were serving with that Company. All but one are not on the lists above, so to help anyone researching the subject I'll add them below.
    I was in a rush, so there may be a couple of names I have missed from the diary, but the ones below will help add to the known list.
    (These 13 men all survived the war according to a CWGC website search.)

    Cracknell R.F. 97003345
    Gillham J. 97003946
    Isaacs G.C. 97003990
    McKay W.D. 97004028
    Melbourne E. 97002857
    Ollerenshaw J. 97003807
    Pritchard C.H. 97002741
    Roberts G. 97001848
    Shirley J. 97003592
    Steedman 97003429
    Stuffins J.L. 97002157
    Tyler L.E. 97004162
    Wilkie J.H.97004338
     
  20. ChrisR

    ChrisR Senior Member

    Had a chance to go through WO 166/3998 a bit more thoroughly and can update the list aboveto include the following: -

    Cracknell R.F. 97003345
    Gillham J. 97003946
    Hamley.CW. 97003960
    Henstock J.A.N. 97003804
    Isaacs G.C. 97003990
    McKay W.D. 97004028
    Melbourne E. 97002857 Enlisted in RE after discharge from NCC - 5/9/41
    Monger M.L. 97003724
    Ollerenshaw J. 97003807
    Pritchard C.H. 97002741
    Pudney W.J. 97004093
    Pugh P.G. 97004094
    Roberts G. 97001848
    Roe R.G.D. 97002752
    Sanderson W.R. 97003741
    Sharpe A. 97003745 Enlisted in RE after discharge from NCC - 5/9/41
    Shirley J. 97003592
    Steedman 97003429
    Stuffins J.L. 97002157
    Tyler L.E. 97004162
    Wilkie J.H. 97004338
     

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