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Thread: My Grandfather

  1. #1
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    My Grandfather

    9723 CORPORAL PIPER JAMES DAWSON M.M. 1st & 1/7th ROYAL HIGHLANDERS (THE BLACK WATCH).

    I am looking to find out more about my Grandfather's service in the Black Watch during World War 1. I have his medal card and the posting in the London Gazette of his award of the Military Medal, along with his army book and some notes he took during the war. Can anyone offer me advice on where I should be looking to uncover more information on him? Any advice appreciated.

    grandad.jpg

  2. #2
    Administrator Chalky's Avatar
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    There are not many War Diaries available.

    Have you had a look at The 7th Fife Territorial Battalions Royal Highlanders in WW1?

    If you scroll to the foot of the page it gives you information, and links to two books on the 51st Highland Division, of which the 7th BW were part of.

    There is also the Great War Forum.

    I note that James is listed as a private in the Gazette Supplement.

    Is that your script on Historik Orders?

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    Hi Chalky, thanks for the reply. I will look at your link to The 7th Territorial Battalions as suggested. I am a member on the Great War Forum already and it was from there I found this forum, which is a great find.

    It is not my script on the Historik Orders site, I found that website through a search on google, and was very surprised to see my Grandfather being written about in the first place. I have no idea where the site would have come across him either.

    My Grandfather was a regular before the war, I know that, and was wounded several times through the course of the war, I still have all the letters notifying his family of his wounds. There are at least 6 letters to that effect from memory. I remember my father telling me of a story where he was promoted to Corporal at some point, then he got drunk one night and was a little tipsy the next day and then got demoted back to Private, so somewhere along the lines I need to figure out what happened. The Gazette supplement, where he was cited the Military Medal, was 11th December 1918, where he was private, but he was previously Corporal, so my dads story has some truth to it. In the picture I posted, it looks like he has corporal stripes on the bottom of his left tunic sleeve, is that correct?

    Here are the images of the medal cards I found, if it casts any light:

    MedalCard1.jpgMedalCard2.jpg
    Last edited by jakdaw; 13th November 2012 at 08:43. Reason: insert images

  4. #4
    Administrator Chalky's Avatar
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    Hi Jakdaw,

    An explanation to the stripes on the cuff.

    Good Conduct Chevrons

    Good Conduct Chevrons were originally introduced in 1836. They were awarded to ORs below the rank of Sergeant and worn on the forearm of the right sleeve. The chevrons were similar to those worn by an NCO but with the point of the chevron facing upwards. On 1st March 1881 a General Order required them to be transferred from the right forearm to the left forearm. A man wearing them also received the relevant “good conduct” pay. However, because they were awarded for good conduct with a gratuity duly received it meant that they could also be forfeited for misconduct, and then had to be‘re-earned’. Once a man was promoted to Sergeant they had to be removed. In WW1 they were generally only worn by men below the rank of Corporal, 2nd Corporal and Bombardier.


    They were awarded as follows;


    1 chevron = 2 years
    2 chevrons = 6 years
    3 chevrons = 12 years
    4 chevrons = 18 years
    5 chevrons = 23 years
    6 chevrons = 28 years












    A soldier's left sleeve displaying 4 Good Conduct stripes and 3 Wound Stripes.


  5. #5
    Administrator Chalky's Avatar
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    Interesting entry on the medal card is Clasps and Roses. This was instituted in 1919 under Army Order Number 361 which was published on 16 October 1919.

    It was awarded to those who had operated within range of enemy mobile artillery during the period 5th August to 22nd November 1914.

    When the ribbon bar was worn alone, recipients of the clasp to the medal wore a small silver rosette on the ribbon bar.

    It is not known how many of these medals were issued.

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    Senior Member chuckdonachie's Avatar
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    lot of good info Chalky thanks
    Chuck

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    Chalky, brilliant information, thank you so much for that. I had no idea about the stripes but that has given me so much information, it looks like three stripes though the picture is grainy, indicating 12 years of service to this point. I will ask more questions at home to see if my family have an idea when the picture was taken.

    Again, thank you very much, greatly appreciated.

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    The burning question in my head at the moment is why would he have been a regular soldier, quite clearly for some time before the outbreak of WW1, and be part of the first expeditionary forces to take part in the war from the outbreak as a regular in the 1st Btn, to then become a member of the TF of the 1/7th later?

  9. #9
    Administrator Chalky's Avatar
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    Jakdaw,

    Have a look at the link below.

    http://thepipesofwar.com/production-blog/?p=339

    Completely wrong information.

    Can you tell me where and when James was born? This will help with some websites as there are a lot of Dawson J or Dawson James.

  10. #10
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    Chalky, I had seen that site before, it looks like they have just copied information from the Historik Orders site and pasted it straight in....and added an E on his initials. I tried mailing this site about their page, but got no reply.

    He was born in Hawick, Roxburghshire, on I believe 10th May 1887. Soon after however moved to Devonside/Tillicoultry with his parents, where his parents are listed on the census's as being born. They are on the 1881 and 1901 census in Tillicoultry, Clackmannanshire. He lived in Devonside, Clackmannanshire, until his death on 17th October 1971. His parents were James Dawson and Margaret Dawson. His wife, my Grandmother was called Helen Mitchel Kennedy.

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