Unknown Serjeant of the West India Regiment.

Discussion in 'Prewar' started by Hoody321, Mar 8, 2020.

  1. Hoody321

    Hoody321 Active Member

    Hi guys, I’m working at Tyne Cot Cemetery and Memorial for a while and due to this have ended up researching a few of the men/headstones. I’ve came across this one, however I’m stumped. As far as I can see, there is no West India Regiment that served on the western front, and further to that there are no missing men from the WIR in Belgium, never mind in the salient. Can anyone think of a cap badge that resembles/could be mistaken for theirs? Or could it be possible that the British West Indies Regiment was still referred to as the WIR till late war hence it being on the concentration documents? Would appreciate any help! 76D983F6-7A03-4FAA-9F58-C8F9BED6EE52.jpeg 6CFA9C17-892B-48EB-970A-4579538A8E91.jpeg
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  2. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Strange one,but there is one more but attached to another regiment same badge though
    Died 12/03/1915
    Aged 43
    West India Regiment
    attd. 3rd Bn.Worcestershire Regiment
    Son of Lt.-Col. Henry Hewett (R.M.A. Ret.) and Laura Barbara Hewett (nee Russell).
    Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery

    Your Sergeant has a number as well according to that document? Both of these may have been killed prior to 26 October 1915 when the British West Indies Regiment was established?

    Last edited: Mar 8, 2020
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  3. CL1

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

    Last edited: Mar 8, 2020
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  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    There were a number though who were as shown above 'attached' to other British units

    Ivan Lancelot Stockhausen 3 Oct 1917 The West India Regiment

    Almericus John Falkiner De Courcy Williams 25 Oct 1914 The West India Regiment

    Kendal Coghill Glendower Ottley 31 Oct 1916 The West India Regiment

    Frederick Harvey King 12 Oct 1916 The West India Regiment

    Hubert Wallace Thelwall 23 Apr 1916 The West India Regiment

    Reginald Robert Lawrenson 27 Apr 1918 The West India Regiment

    Albert Trever De Monteval Martin 10 Dec 1917 The West India Regiment

    John George Lawrence 15 Feb 1918 The West India Regiment

    George Stafford Hilliard Tyndale 13 Mar 1915 The West India Regiment

    Most of the above are shown as attached but also they are as far as I can see Officers, but it remains that your man being a Sergeant could also have been attached to another British unit - unfortunately we dont have the details as yet

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  5. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

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  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Using the above and searching for just the service number

    All UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 Results

    George William Taylor - Catton, Norfolk 25 Oct 1916 Bedfordshire Regiment 4334 2

    Reginald Edward Matthews - Hatfield Broad Oak, Essex 1 Nov 1918 Princess Victoria's (Royal Irish Fusiliers) 4334 2

    George Moir Watt - Jamestown, Dumbarton 3 May 1917 Cameronian (Scottish Rifles) 4334 2

    Stephen Whittington - Angmering, Sussex 22 Jul 1917 Essex Regiment 4334 2

    Herbert Barton - Weeley, Essex 27 Sep 1917 Suffolk Regiment 4334 2

    Frank Percival Paradise - Devizes, Wilts 19 Apr 1918 Hampshire Regiment 4334 2

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  7. Hoody321

    Hoody321 Active Member

    I also noticed the similarity between the badges, which is why I wonder if the concentration record is wrong/using WIR abbreviation for the BWIR. I’ve been trying to research the war diaries for the Suffolk’s, however the division that Barton was with doesn’t have them available online (as far as I can see, would be grateful if someone could show me otherwise!). His date of death however ties in with the attack on Polygon Wood, which is very close to the location at which this body was found. Apologies for the poor screenshot, I’m on my phone using a work computer. Polygon Wood and Hill 40 are to the right of this location, and the Germans made numerous counter attacks in this area so there’s potential it’s him. However I can’t find his service record, as this may tell me if he was an acting Sgt. Thanks for all the help so far guys! EDIT - The body was found in the vicinity of my mouse cursor.
  8. Hoody321

    Hoody321 Active Member

    Thanks for that, although I could see the officers and knew they could be attached to other units, I wasn’t aware that sergeants could be too. Thanks for pointing it out!
  9. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    2 Battalion Suffolk Regiment | The National Archives
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  10. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Just out of interest, the concentration report states that id was 'groundsheet' - I assume that it had some faded or partial writing on it with number and rank and a faded or partial regimental badge that led to the WIR in the first place - do you know if that is correct?
  11. Hoody321

    Hoody321 Active Member

    Thanks for that, any idea why some of their diaries are available on Ancestry while others are on the NA?
    In regards to the ID, I’m only an intern at Tyne Cot however I’ve messaged one of the historians at head office to see if it’s possible to see the information that was taken from the groundsheet.
  12. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Sorry no idea.

    Might be worth looking at this:
    Over The Top

    It mentions the 2 Suffolk Regt overlooking Zonnebeke Lake which is just north of Polygon Wood and also mentions Hill 40.

    Edit 2 Suffolks at Zonnebeke on 26 September - Herbert Barton died 27th?
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2020
  13. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    UK, WWI Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920
    Name: Herbert Barton
    Military Year: 1914-1920
    Rank: Private
    Company: WO 329
    Regiment or Corps: Suffolk Regiment
    Regiment Number: 43342
    Medal Awarded: British War Medal and Victory Medal

    Seems as though he ended up in the Suffolks but dint start there

    British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920
    Name: Herbert Barton
    Regiment or Corps: Northamptonshire Regiment, uff R
    Regimental Number: 24791,43342


    He is listed on the memorial only


    UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919
    Name: Herbert Barton
    Birth Place: Weeley, Essex
    Death Date: 27 Sep 1917
    Death Place: France and Flanders
    Enlistment Place: Colchester
    Rank: Private
    Regiment: Suffolk Regiment
    Battalion: 2nd Battalion
    Regimental Number: 43342
    Type of Casualty: Killed in action
    Theatre of War: Western European Theatre
    Comments: Formerly 24791, Northants Regt.

    Global, Find A Grave Index for Burials at Sea and other Select Burial Locations, 1300s-Current
    Name: Pvt Herbert Barton
    Death Date: 27 Sep 1917
    Cemetery: Tyne Cot Memorial
    Burial or Cremation Place: Zonnebeke, Arrondissement Ieper, West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen), Belgium
    Has Bio?: Y
    Pvt Herbert Barton (Unknown-1917) - Find A Grave...
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2020
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  14. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Herbert Charles Barton
    BIRTH ABT. 1883 • Weeley, Essex, England
    DEATH 27 SEP 1917 • WW1 - Belgium

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  15. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Do hope I have not set you off on a wild goose chase, his 'register of effects' states that death was "on or since 27.9.17 - Death presumed"

  16. Hoody321

    Hoody321 Active Member

    In regards to the ID, unfortunately the only records left are the burial sheets which is no use in this situation as ‘groundsheet’ doesn’t narrow anything down. I’m going to have a look at the maps once I finish work and see if the diaries mention where the Suffolk’s would’ve been in regards to the Battle of Polygon Wood as this would tie in with his date of death.
    Cheers again for all your help guys,
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  17. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    I guess that was the last time anyone actually saw him

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  18. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

  19. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    The book "Over The Top: Great battles of the First World War" provides a brief account of the battle of Polygon Wood:-
    Barton book 1.jpg
    A map below giving my thoughts on the locations where the 2 Suffolks were on 26 September, this was the day before Herbert Barton went missing and was presumed killed. I stress just my thoughts.


    Attached Files:

    • Map.jpg
      File size:
      1.9 MB

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