Charles Victor SKIPP - Military Service. (Urgent)

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Thursday, January 04, 2024, 20:19 (104 days ago) @ slowhands

1939 Dehva Deen Hillside Road, Coulsdon,
Charles V Skipp 22 Jun 1897 Male Lie Press Manufacturer Married 243 1 rtd 2nd Lieut Rifle Brigade
Florence A S Skipp 14 Sep 1898 Female Unpaid Domestic Duties Married 243 2
The record for this person is officially closed.
The record for this person is officially closed.
Donald G L Skipp 26 Jul 1932 Male At School - 243 5
Florence M Sewell 30 May 1878 Female Unpaid Domestic Duties Married 243 6
George V Sewell 03 Mar 1918 Male Printer's Machine Minder Single 243 7

Hi again Michael,
thanks to Slowhands we know that Charles Victor SKIPP was a Retired 2nd Lieutenant in the Rifle Brigade when the 1939 Register was taken on 29 September 1939 shortly after the start of WW2. You will also note the Register gives his precise birthdate of 22nd June 1897, so he'd have been about 41 years old in 1939.
The !939 Register wasn't a routine census like the 1921 etc before it. The information it gave was used to produce identity cards and, once rationing was introduced in January 1940, to issue ration books. Information in the Register was also used to administer conscription and the direction of labour, and to monitor and control the movement of the population caused by military mobilisation and mass evacuation. Serving members of the Armed Forces were not included, altho clearly many of the civilians who were listed would later serve. By the way, where entries in the Register are shown "closed", this is for reasons of privacy to those persons, as these records invariably refer to very young children at the time, so may still be alive nowadays.

Unfortunately I'm not currently subscribed to any of the big family history research websites, but this doesn't stop the Ancestry site giving a few hints. Again, it seems to prove there was only ever one "Charles V Skipp", the advantages of such an unusual nameset means the following results most probably do relate to your Grandfather Michael.

Firstly, it has an image if his Medal Index Card, as issued to everyone who served in the British Army and some other services during WW1, and was produced towards the end of the war to help administer the various service medals each person might claim. This particular card isn't as informative as some are, but it does state;

Name Charles V Skipp
Military Date 1914-1920
Military Place England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, United Kingdom
Regiment or Corps Machine Gun Corps
Regimental Number 65866

It also shows he'd risen to Sergeant, and was entitled to two of the basic three medals, namely the British War medal and the Victory Medal. The fact he wasn't entitled to the Star medal, and the lack of other details, shows Charles' service started after 1916. I can send you a pdf file of this card image if you're interested Michael, just email me via the envelope icon against my user name. More info about these cards here

The Machine Gun Corps was seen as something of an elite unit, a new unit needing men who were particularly good with their hands and the understanding of complicated mechanisms, and also mathematics and geometry too. This may be an indicator as to Charles' own interests and hobbies, and why in his later years he worked at an engineering company making presses in Coulsdon, south London. The MGC was also considered to be a suicide company, as they were so disliked and keenly targeted by their enemy !

Sadly only about 2/3 of the individual Service Records for British Army WW1 soldiers still exist; as the Ancestry site doesn't mention them by now it appears that Charles' records are among those lost.


The Ancestry website also suggests Charles had been awarded the Military Medal. The MM was awarded for acts of special devotion or bravery under fire, and was specifically for non commisioned officers and lower ranks. See

All such awards were recorded (or "gazetted") by the London Gazette newspaper - using their free-to-use website we can search Charles by name and find images of the pages that show his award of the MM, published 25th July 1919 - which explains why it wasn't mentioned on his Medal Index card. Sadly the record doesn't tell us precisely what he did to gain the award, but this might possibly be mentioned in the War Diary for the MGC. Hopefully this link will work for you Michael and lead directly to the page.

The second mention of Charles in the Gazette comes from 19th July 1940, so just after the Fall of France and the Dunkirk Evacuation. It tells us that he has been made a full 2nd Lieutenant, confirms he nas an MM, and also states he is now in the East Lancashire Regiment and his Army number is 136601.

Given the date of the award, and the fact the East Lancs Regiment was serving in France with the B.E.F. during the Battle of France until being part of the rearguard at Dunkirk, it seems possible that Charles had played an active part in this campaign.

Does the fact Charles was with the East Lancashire regiment explain why his children were married in that same area, and his wife Florence died there (Trafford, Manchester) ?.

Sadly researching the detailed service records for individual WW2 soldiers is quite difficult, only proven descendants/family members can undertake this, and only by applying to the Brtish M.o.D.

I hope this is of interest Michael. I'm not a "supporter" of war in any form, but it has always interested me both historically and technically, and has been a large part of my engineering career.

atb J

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