WW1 Servicemen Records (General)

by VINEY HILL MINER, Monday, November 05, 2018, 00:56 (642 days ago)


This is my first post.

I would like to know who I should contact, to update the records for an ancestor called Archie L J Harper, who was a WW1 serviceman.

Thanks in advance for your help.


WW1 Servicemen Records

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Monday, November 05, 2018, 02:05 (642 days ago) @ VINEY HILL MINER

Hi Ian and a warm welcome to the forum and website.

I guess you're referring to this entry within the WW1 Servicemen section of the site's resources ?.
Currently it's as follows;

Record_ID: 2202
Year: _
Surname: HARPER
Forename: Archie
Rank: Private
Regiment: _
Service_Number: _
Residence: Oldcroft
Notes_1: Enlisted 10_October_1914 _ _
Notes_2: _
Newspaper: _
Date_Published: _
Image: _
Soundex: H616

From https://forest-of-dean.net/joomla/index.php/resources/forest-of-dean-ww1-servicemen

As the site's Correction Request Forms only relate to the BMD records, and as the above link asks us to contact the website Admin direct, I suggest you email them via this Contacts page,
(Admin - please note the "contact" link on the above-mentioned "Servicemen" page appears to be broken).

Another way is for you to just post on the forum what you know about him.
This is best done by adding a new post to this old thread which already gives him a brief mention within the last few lines. This approach would also allow other forum members to add any other information they may have, as I have just done. https://forum.forest-of-dean.net/index.php?id=3129

I hope this helps, and look forward to your future contributions.
Thanks, Jeff.

WW1 Servicemen Records

by VINEY HILL MINER, Friday, November 09, 2018, 00:00 (638 days ago) @ Jefff

HI All

Thanks for all your comments.

I hadn't appreciated my first post would generate this much interest.

Apologies if my initial post was slightly " cryptic " but the following information may provide some context:

Archie Leonard John Harper was the husband of my Great Aunt Clarice Hible.

He served with the 9th (Service) Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment in Salonica and later in France.

His unit saw action at the Battle of Horesehoe Hill on 10th August 1916 and Battles of Doiran/ Dojran, April /May 1917 in the Salonica Campaign. He was injured during this campaign and hospitalised at the 66th Field Hospital between 14 June 1917 and 17 June 1917.

His unit moved to France in July 1918 and he saw action at the Battle of Cambrai 8 Oct 1918, Pursuit to the Selle 9 Oct 1918 and Battle of the Selle 17 Oct 1918.

His injuries in France were related to mustard gas. He was initially taken to the 74th General Hospital at Trouville and then 1st Australian General Hospital near Rouen on 25th October 1918.

I suspect his bravery in one of these later actions led to the award of the Military Medal ( see London Gazette dated 17th June 1919) although I am still trying to track down the citation.

He survived the war and moved to South Yorkshire. He lived in Tankersley and worked as a miner ( Hewer according to the 1939 Register) at Wharncliffe Silkstone colliery.

He had six children with Clarice and died in 1972.

I have gathered my information from multiple sources: However my primary source has been conversations with my Father and family photos.

Secondary sources include Ancestry, Find My Past, Forces War Records, The Long Long Trail and National Archives websites together with " Under The Devils Eye " book by Alan Wakefield and Simon Moody, and the London Gazette.

I hope this update may be of interest to other forum members.



WW1 Servicemen Records

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Saturday, November 17, 2018, 01:34 (630 days ago) @ VINEY HILL MINER

Hi again Ian,
many thanks for adding so much detail to your post, sorry for my late reply.
Clearly Archie had a very active war, so it's really pleasing to see he survived the gas attack and enjoyed a long and apparently healthy working and family life for many years afterwards, I'm sure you are rightly proud of him.

I've tried to find some more detail regarding his Military Medal citation, but like you could only find the references in the London Gazette. I see it's not been marked on his Medal Roll Index Card for example.

I wish I could help more, but as you've already discovered it's particularly difficult to find extra detail about the citation for the MM, see https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/research-award-military-medal-mm/

Thanks for your post, and thanks and respect to Archie.


WW1 Servicemen Records

by MPGriffiths @, Monday, November 05, 2018, 07:47 (641 days ago) @ VINEY HILL MINER

Archie HARPER's WW1 records are on Ancestry (a number of pages) - all the edges of the paperwork - well ripped!

Archie HARPER - Regimental Number 15469 (Short Service Attestation:)

He was transferred to Class 7 Army Reserve - but the year date is unreadable.

Joined at Bristol 11 November 1914 - aged 19 years and 10 months... the Gloucester Regiment - says he was from Lydney and a Collier and served in France

He served with the 9th battalion, Gloucester Regiment.

There is paperwork he signed in Warwick, 23 August 1919


Most libraries have free access to Ancestry Records

WW1 Servicemen Records

by MPGriffiths @, Monday, November 05, 2018, 08:04 (641 days ago) @ MPGriffiths

Archie was Home: 11 November 1914 to 19 September 1915

Ex Force France - 20 September 1915 to 6 October 1915

His father is listed as Albert HARPER - Oldcroft

WW1 Servicemen Records

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Monday, November 05, 2018, 13:48 (641 days ago) @ MPGriffiths

Thanks very much MPG for saving me the effort today !.

Last night I did try searching for his Army Medal Card, as that section of Ancestry is currently free to access without a subscription, but no luck - there were an awful lot of Archie Harpers to browse thro, never mind all the A. Harpers etc etc.

If past years are anything to go by I'm sure that Ancestry will be offering free access to all their other WW1 records during this coming Remembrance Weekend, altho as you so rightly say these are available free-of-charge at all times at most UK public libraries.

It's especially pleasing his detailed service Records are there - as you know these are sometimes known as the Burnt Records. As the result of a fire caused by an incendiary bomb at the London War Office Record Store during the 1940 Blitz, about two thirds of 6.5 million WW1 soldiers' documents were destroyed, the rest were often damaged around the edges due to the fire and especially subsequent water damage while the fire was extinguished.
Luckily the Medal Cards survived this fire.

Thanks again, J

WW1 Servicemen Records

by MPGriffiths @, Monday, November 05, 2018, 14:04 (641 days ago) @ Jefff

That does explain why Archie's record is in 'a bit of a state' - and some of the writing almost impossible to read...

Will have another try

Bit more info:

His Chest Girth is 35" : range of expansion 2.15

He was in France 10 July 1918 until 13 January 1919 (118 days)

Next to the Heading: Wounded -

Can just about make out the first word as 'Gas'

WW1 Servicemen Records

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Monday, November 05, 2018, 15:24 (641 days ago) @ MPGriffiths

Yes M
I've looked at several sets of those records, they are often really hard to see the handwriting at all, as if the ink was washed away in places, never mind actually decipher it as often very small ! The original records weren't photographed until the mid to late 1990s, so the paperwork was probably also damaged by researchers handling-them before they became images. Sometimes the Record have been incorrectly indexed too, or mixed-up with another man's files.

Re our Archie, hopefully Ian will be able to fill-in the gaps about his wartime service, especially as he enlisted at the outbreak of the War yet was still in France in 1919 !

One hopes the "gas" reference wasn't too serious for him.. does this mean he was hospitalised for sometime after he first went to France in 1915 ?..

WW1 Servicemen Records

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Monday, November 05, 2018, 15:33 (641 days ago) @ Jefff

you mention Archie enlisted at Bristol on 11th November 1914 (wow there's a date..) Bristol was the Gloster Regiment's main HQ depot.

I've tried searching for him in the old newspapers, as often casualties got mentioned. However the only "hit" I've found so far is this one, note the date is the same week as yours. I wonder if he's named in the article along with others from his area, hopefully someone with a BNA subscription can please reproduce it in full ?

Lydney on Tuesday Bergt. Reeves (Colejorai enlisted 30 young men for Kitc-hener's They came chiefly from Whitocrott, Lyd J '' ..."

Published: Saturday 14 November 1914
Newspaper: Gloucester Journal

see https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/search/results/1910-01-01/1919-12-31?basicsea...

WW1 Servicemen Records

by Mike Pinchin @, Bedford, England, Monday, November 05, 2018, 20:11 (641 days ago) @ Jefff

Unfortunately the article contains no names of recruits. Neither can I see him in the many Rolls of Honour published at the time. In fact, I could find no reference to him at all.

WW1 Servicemen Records

by Mike Pinchin @, Bedford, England, Monday, November 05, 2018, 20:45 (641 days ago) @ Jefff

Apologies, found him now.

In the BNA Gloucester Journal - Saturday 21 November 1914 there is a long list of men serving with the Colours from Lydney and surrounding towns. He is listed under Oldcroft.

WW1 Servicemen Records

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Monday, November 05, 2018, 21:04 (641 days ago) @ Mike Pinchin

Thanks Mike.
And there was me wondering how it seemed to pick-up on his name when I searched, yet not for you, hence I was thinking this was yet another case of me and the BNA search engine not seeing eye to eye, haha.

PS is anyone else thinking this forum site is a little slow to upload posts today ?
Asking as I suspect it's just me and my old steam computer, but I selfishly live in hope that it's not just me !

atb J

WW1 Servicemen Records

by admin ⌂, Forest of Dean, Monday, November 05, 2018, 08:11 (641 days ago) @ VINEY HILL MINER

Hello Ian,
Please use the Contact Us (Other correspondence) link which you will find under The Trust in the Top Menu. This link will take you there: https://bit.ly/2qtbUpL
We look forward hearing from you.


WW1 Servicemen Records

by MPGriffiths @, Monday, November 05, 2018, 21:40 (641 days ago) @ VINEY HILL MINER

1939 Register (On Ancestry)

Residence: 3 Macnaughton Road, Wortley, Yorkshire (West Riding)


Archie L J HARPER - birth date: 12 January 1895, Collier Hewer (Below Ground, Heavy Work)
Clarice HARPER - birth date: 16 July 1900 - Unpaid Domestic Duties ***Mother's Maiden Name" HYETT ****
Leonard HARPER - birth date - 16 August 1925 - Colliery Haulage Hand Below Ground GRO INDEX, Mother's Maiden name: HIBLE

Archie Leonard John HARPER married Clarice HIBLE - Forest of Dean Monmouth Register Office 1919


Gloucestershire Non-Conformist Baptisms (Forest of Dean Records, Pillowell Methodist) - along with his brother the same day

Leonard HARPER
Baptism Date: 1 October 1925
Parish: West Dean
Residence: Oldcroft
Father Name: Archie Leonard John
Father Occupation: Miner
Mother Name: Clarie


On the 1901 Census, Clarice HARPER is up in Yorkshire with her parents: James Albert HIBLE and his Wife Sarah - and on the 1911 census, this couple were both born in the Forest of Dean


Englnad, Select Marriage

James Albert HABLE (as transcribed)

aged 24

Birth date: 1857

Marriage date: Chapeltown, York, England (Parish Record)
father: Thomas HABLE

Spouse: Sarah HYETT

WW1 Servicemen Records (HIBLE)

by MPGriffiths @, Monday, November 05, 2018, 22:13 (641 days ago) @ MPGriffiths

Archie HARPER's brother-in-law

Tom HIBLE - aged 19 on the 1911 census - from 121 Wortley Road, High Green, Sheffield (same address as 1911 census) also Served in WW1 with the York Lance Labour Corp : Regimental Number 210735.

His records on Ancestry are very clear.

First Joined, 26 May 1915, served in Egypt, France

Disease of left knee through operation 26 September 1916, Hospita, Boul France etc etc

Height 5' 4"

WW1 Servicemen Records (HIBLE)

by VINEY HILL MINER, Friday, November 09, 2018, 01:16 (638 days ago) @ MPGriffiths

Hi All

Tom Hible was one of my great uncles.

He enlisted with the 3rd ( Service ) Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment on 28th May before moving to the 6th ( Service ) Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment in October 1915 and the Labour Corps in 1917.

Its highly likely he was amongst the troops from the 6th ( Service ) Battalion who arrived to Gallipoli on the 21st November to replace the losses suffered by the Battalion after the landings at Suvla Bay on the 6th August : before being evacuated to Imbros on the 19th / 20th December 1915.

The 6th Battalion stayed in Imbros/ Lendros in January before sailing to Egypt where they arrived on the 2nd February. They spent the next few months protecting the Suez Canal before moving to France in July 1916.

The 6th Battalion had their first spell of duty in the trenches at Danville on the 16th July. They subsequently saw action at Martinsart, Authuille and Flers Courcellete in the Battles of the Somme ( Note this later action saw the first massed use of tanks as an offensive weapon).

Tom was injured on the 26th September and initially taken to No3 Casualty Clearing station at Puchevillers before being transferred to Lincoln Hospital where he had an operation on his knee at the beginning of October 1916.

After discharge from hospital his was posted to the 91st Training Reserve Battalion, before being transferred to the Labour Corps in April 1917. He stayed in the UK until the end of the war and was demobilised in February 1919.

He returned to work as a miner in South Yorkshire and remained there until his death in 1971.

Primary sources of information- conversations with my Father/ family records.

Secondary sources : summary battalion war diaries accessed at York and Lancaster Regiment museum in Rotherham , Ancestry , Find My Past , Forces War Records, The Long Long Trail , National Archives , IWM and National Library of Scotland British Trench map websites.

also " Battalions at War " book by John Dillon and " No Labour No Battle " book by John Sailing and Ivor Lee. plus articles in Sheffield Telegraph in October 1916 and February 1919.



WW1 Servicemen Records (Harper/Hible)

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Monday, November 05, 2018, 22:45 (641 days ago) @ MPGriffiths

Thanks for that MPG,
when I was researching him last night I wondered why Archie and family had moved to Yorkshire c1926, but never got as far looking at his wife's line, thanks.

see https://forum.forest-of-dean.net/index.php?id=50278

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