Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Post Office Rifles in Leavesden Asylum, Watford

Phil has asked if there were any records of Arthur Edward Draper being billeted at Leavesden Asylum - and whether there are any photographs.which might show him.

Captain Peel
When war broke out the 2nd London (Territorial) Division moved to War stations and many ended up in billets. The problem is that only the Army at the time would have kept detailed records of who went where - and these records have not survived. The Councils would also have been involved - particularly when buildings like schools were taken over - because while the school buildings were vacant when war broke out in August the children would be returning to to study in September! Unfortunately most council records have not survived, and the information that is available is mainly about buildings and not the units or individual soldiers that occupied them. 

What I have done is to set up an answer page on the Post Office Rifles (1/8 Battalion of the 2nd London Division) from which it is clear that most information on where they were billeted has come from soldiers' letters and post cards home - such as those by Captain H. Peel. There must be many more such letters surviving in private hands - and if the information can be brought together it would help to paint a more detailed picture of where units (and individual soldiers) were billeted in Hertfordshire during the First World War.

1 comment:

  1. The service number on your web site is incorrect. It should read 371689. His medal card also shows an earlier low number 4217 both for 8/Lond. R. Perhaps he had served in the Regiment prior to WWI. His service records cannot be found on Ancestry or on Findmypast. The latter site has the following for Post Office Rifles and if correct places them in Abbots Langley: 4.8.14 130 Bunhill Row, E.C.: 2nd London Bde. 1st London Div. Mid Aug. Bisley. Sept. Crowborough. 6.11.14 to 4th London Bde. 2nd London Div. at Abbots Langley, near Watford. 18.3.15 landed at Havre. 11.5.15 formation became 140th Bde. 47th Div. 2.2.18 to 174th Bde. 58th Div. absorbing 2/8th Bn. and becoming 8TH BN. 11.11.18 174th Bde. 58th Div. Belgium; Waudignies, south of Ath.


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