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The Great War of 1914 - 1919

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 Post subject: 5th CMR Nominal Roll
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:01 pm 
I am trying to compile a complete nominal roll for the 5th CMR. I have the Nominal Roll that was published with Militia Orders in 1917 (33 Officers and 573ORs). I also have a typed Nominal Roll (26 Officers and 547 ORs) that seems to be somewhat later, based on promotions.Both rolls are missing numbers (and names) in the numerical sequence (in the 110000s), but not the same ones. My initial thought was that these were men who were discharged for whatever reason.However, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's list of 5CMR members shows the names of 13 soldiers that are missing on the official nominall roll and a further 14 names that are missing on my typed roll.The conclusion is that both rolls are incomplete and that I will have to combine them.
My question is: When would the issuing of 5th CMR regimental numbers in the 110000 sequence have been discontinued? Upon sailing in July 1915? In England? Later?


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 Post subject: Re: 5th CMR Nominal Roll
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:12 pm 
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dbooth wrote:
My question is: When would the issuing of 5th CMR regimental numbers in the 110000 sequence have been discontinued? Upon sailing in July 1915? In England? Later?


They stopped using those numbers when they stopped recruiting, normally the date they ship to England.

As has been discussed in other threads, a Nominal Roll is only a snapshot for the date it was taken. A Roll taken a week earlier or a week later will be slightly different. As well, men were transferred in from other units as reinforcements etc and they would keep the numbers given them when they attested.

If you create a list of all the men who were ever in the unit, that is not a Nominal Roll, but a list of the men who served. A Nominal Roll is only valid for the date it was created.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:30 pm 
Thanks Al,
Let me be more precise. I'm compiling a nominal roll of those who sailed with the 5th CMR in July 1915, using the 110000 regimental numbers as guides. I presume that any subsequent reinforcements in England or France would carry their own regimental numbers. What concerned me was that a) there would be so many obvious omissions on what purports to be an official nominal roll b) the two nominal rolls had different omissions. I know that the regiment went to Valcartier under strength and that additional officers and ORs were added there. I have an indication on the typed roll that a number of 8th CMR men were added to the list and they were given numbers in the 110000 sequence. Is there any standardization about when the nominal rolls published in 1917 were actually compiled? And there is still the question as to why some already allocated numbers in the sequence were left off either list.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:51 pm 
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It sounds to me like you are talking about the Embarkation Roll. That is the list of men who sailed from Canada as a member of the unit. That should be available from LAC.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:06 am 
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Yes, and the men who had service numbers which you cannot find on the Embarkation Roll, did not (for a number of reasons) go across with the unit.

Some were possibly "struck off strength" due to medical reasons - and perhaps they enlisted in other units later. Others could have been attending various courses, ie sergeants' course etc., and simply weren't ready to go at the time.

H

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:51 am 
I have the Embarkation Roll. It omits names and numbers of men that subsequently were killed in action with the 5th CMR, so they weren't struck off strength permanently. Furthermore, I have a photo of one of the men on board RMS Hesperian whose name was left off the Embarkation Roll. Would men simply "on course" have been left behind in Valcartier? My conclusion is that the Embarkation Roll that's available from LAC is not really the embarkation roll of all those that were on board RMS Hesperian, but rather a nominal roll that was made at some earlier time, perhaps at Valcartier or even at Sherbrooke.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:22 am 
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One thing you will discover is that it doesn't matter what document you get from the Great War, the chances of it being 100% accurate are pretty slim. They didn't have computers, nor much in the line of sophisticated equipment, and the clerks weren't all that well educated.

Example, I just today finished making about 20 corrections to names and service numbers from one page of the 21st Battalion War Diary.

The 21st Battalion Embarkation Roll has some errors, and it wasn't made until after they arrived in England! It shows men who weren't on board ship for starters, as they left Canada separately on a different ship.

There are also men who have numbers in the 59xxx series who were in hospital in Kingston when the Battalion sailed, and joined them later in England.

What I'm trying to say is, make sure you define what it is you want to create, and then be prepared to fall short because you may not be able to find the information you want.

I'm not trying to put a damper on what you are doing, nor am I making light of what you have done to date. What I am saying is that you should be prepared for some inconsistancies that you won't be able to explain, at least not in the short term.

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"To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism.
To steal from many is research."


Interested in all things 21st Battalion CEF.
Author - The 21st Battalion's Sacrifice at Vimy Ridge
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Personal website

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 2:13 am 
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swellal wrote:
One thing you will discover is that it doesn't matter what document you get from the Great War, the chances of it being 100% accurate are pretty slim. They didn't have computers, nor much in the line of sophisticated equipment, and the clerks weren't all that well educated.

make sure you define what it is you want to create, and then be prepared to fall short because you may not be able to find the information you want.

I'm not trying to put a damper on what you are doing, nor am I making light of what you have done to date. What I am saying is that you should be prepared for some inconsistancies that you won't be able to explain, at least not in the short term.

Hear hear, Al (Master Shifu). dbooth has done much good work so far, and will keep trying, just like the rest of us, to achieve a 100% result. Keep it up!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 2:28 am 
Thanks to all for the very useful information and advice. I'll continue to sort out who was in and who was out and who went over to England when. There's one related point that occurs to me. As far as I know, none of the six mounted rifles regiments took their horses with them to Valcartier in 1915. It was understood that they were going overseas as infantry. Would their farrier NCOs have simply been reassigned within the regiment?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 2:29 am 
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Would you agree, at least in theory, the Part II Daily Orders should be the closest approximation to a source giving a full list of names of those who served with a battalion?

I realise once I say that you also have to define what constituted service with a battalion, ie. a man who was on the books for one day before being transferred to another battalion or only those who served in the field?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 2:47 am 
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Derek, I'm not sure if their role as mounted infantry was completely forgotten. At least in the September 11, 1915, War Diary entry, mention is made that four men and two N.C.O.'s were detailed to attend a farrier's course, link.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 3:01 am 
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This post has been leeched to the Summary Tables. Keep going .....

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 3:56 am 
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chris.wight wrote:
Would you agree, at least in theory, the Part II Daily Orders should be the closest approximation to a source giving a full list of names of those who served with a battalion?


Yes, most definitely.

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and Pte. John Mitson 5838 BEF (1879-1924), 1st Btn Manchester Regt, severely wounded at Givenchy 1914-12-21.


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