Author Topic: GRAY, Robert Edwin  (Read 6877 times)

anickgray

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GRAY, Robert Edwin
« on: November 17, 2007, 03:20:48 PM »
Hi,
has anyone come across my grandfather, Robert ("Bob") Edwin Gray - pvt 251818. He served in the Mcr reg during WWI, being "honourably discharged" on the 19th January 1919 - he lost an arm towards the very end of the War. My Dad thinks he may have been a "batman" to one of the officers at some time during his service.
His Medal Roll shows he was awarded the Victory Medal and the British Medal.
A search at Kew for his Service Record was unsuccessful. I assume they were amongst all those destroyed during WWII. He's not included in the pensions records on ancestry.com
Pappa never talked much about his service; Dad has just turned 80, and we'd love to find out something about what he did.
Any info or suggestions gratefully received.
Nick Gray

Offline mack

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Re: GRAY, Robert Edwin
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2007, 04:21:06 PM »
hiya nick.
welcome to the forum,do you know which area of manchester your g/father lived in during ww1,his number is from the batch issued to the 6th manchesters,or was he a stockport lad.many of the 6th came from stockport.
mack

anickgray

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Re: GRAY, Robert Edwin
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2007, 05:35:08 PM »
Hi Mack
wasn't expecting a reply so quick!
My granddad's family were living at no.29 Upper Brook St, Chorlton-upon-Medlock - just a couple of minutes walk SE of the centre of Manchester.
If he was in the 6th, then the regiment website should have a list of where they were at various times.
thanks!
Nick

Offline themonsstar

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Re: GRAY, Robert Edwin
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2007, 05:56:17 PM »
If you have is medal index card, can you give us the code & pages Numbers so we can look him up.

anickgray

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Re: GRAY, Robert Edwin
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2007, 06:30:29 PM »
Hi again
against the Victory medal it has:
Roll no.
H/1/104B41 - at least I think its a "B" - it's sort of raised up in the air
page:8320
against British medal it just has:do. do.

hope these are the numbers you're after.

Nick

Offline themonsstar

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Re: GRAY, Robert Edwin
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2007, 12:18:59 AM »
251818 Pte Gray Robert Edwin 2/6th Battalion then 2/5th Battalion, does the MIC not have a SWB code & page number.

anickgray

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Re: GRAY, Robert Edwin
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2007, 08:50:20 AM »
thanks very much for the information.
not sure what the SWB code is, but the only numbers on the page are those written against the "Victory" and "British" columns. H/1/104 B 41 8320 (the "8" is written across the line so I suppose could be part of the Roll number rather than part of the page number). Apart from that, it just has GRAY, Robert E. Manch R. Pte 251818. Nothing in the "Remarks" box.
I was just looking through some old studio photos of him in uniform. One is signed "To Mother with Love, Robert Feby 24 / 16". I am told that as he wasn't awarded the "Star" he musn't have been in at the beginning. Is that right? Presumably he joined up around the beginning of 1916. Can you tell from his number when he joined up?
I also have another studio photo of his girlfriend (later his wife) dated "Emmie 1/10/1916". On it someone has written "Been to France & Belgium 1916 1918. Came out without a scratch". We assume that he took the picture with him, and the remark refers to the photo having survived without a scratch rather than him - as he lost an arm! He used to say that he lost him arm on April 1st, and told the surgeon afterwards "you've made a right April Fool out of me!" I imagine this would have been in 1918. We also have another picture of him in a group of other injured soldiers. Some, including granddad, are clearly missing limbs. He's wearing a light-coloured uniform with white lapels. Something at the back of my mind says they were light blue? We believe he also suffered slightly from a mustard gas attack. Certainly he had chronic bronchitis all the time I knew him.
Thanks very much for all the help so far everybody. I was only 11 when he died, and like so many, now wish I'd had the forethought to try to prise some information out of him. Maybe it was all just too painful for him to talk about.
Nick

Offline harribobs

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Re: GRAY, Robert Edwin
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2007, 10:41:33 AM »
Hi Nick

you're right about his entry into the war, it would have been after 1915, which is correct for a soldier in the 2/5th battalion ( and later the 2/6th)  his service number was a 2/6th issue, both battalions were in the same division, the 66th, so you can trace his actions during the war quire easily. we've got a rather good history of them on the main site see here :-

http://www.themanchesters.org/66th%20-1.htm

you may be especially interested in the Perrone section, which runs upto 1st April 18

"On the morning of 21st March 199 Brigade strength equalled 2,300. When roll call was taken on 31 March there were only 461 replies."

you got the colour of the change of uniform  correct as well, the hospital blues look like this



i will see if i can get some detail information about what happened on the 1-4-18

cheers

chris

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anickgray

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Re: GRAY, Robert Edwin
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2007, 11:03:41 AM »
Hi Chris (and everybody else who's been helping) This is fantastic! Thank you all so much.
I'm sure my Dad will also be very interested in the results.
Pappa had a brother John Henry Gray - Uncle Jack - who also served in WWI. He was older (born 1885) and apparently suffered shell shock. He had a habit of constantly rubbing his hands together and rubbing them over his face.
I've found a Medal Card for a John H Gray in Manch R - pvt 4080
entries for the Victory & British Medal only - RAOC/101 B37  page 4186
Under Manch R it says A.O.C. then S/13108 for regimental number - presumably transferred?
In the Remarks box it says "Deserted 23/4/20" - possibly explained by the shellshock?
Not certain this is Uncle Jack. I did search for all relatives when I was at Kew without very much success.
I'll check out the website you mentioned.
thanks a million!
Nick

Offline harribobs

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Re: GRAY, Robert Edwin
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2007, 06:52:12 PM »
start a new thread about John or we'll get confused  :o, we're easy to confuse ;D  seriously it helps when looking up info not to have two men on one thread!
“It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply
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Offline harribobs

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Re: GRAY, Robert Edwin
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2007, 07:04:25 PM »
hmmm  the brigade marched to Longueau that day, with no casualties to report  ???
“It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply
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anickgray

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Re: GRAY, Robert Edwin
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2007, 07:13:29 PM »
thanks for that. I suppose if he lost his arm on the 1st April, he could have been injured some days before?

sorry about the mix up with John Henry. Will start a new thread as you suggest.
thanks again

Offline harribobs

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Re: GRAY, Robert Edwin
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2007, 07:39:02 PM »
of course, i'm taking it as read that it happened on the first  ::)

there was a huge battle that started on the 21st march, the german spring offensive of 1918 and his battalion were in the thick of it, if you see that link about the 66th division, peronne section,  you'll get a good idea!
“It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply
  to serve as a warning to others."

anickgray

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Re: GRAY, Robert Edwin
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2007, 08:24:45 PM »
I've had a look at the Peronne section of the link you gave me, and some of the other sections. It really brings it home to you how bloody hellish it really was. Of course, we all "know" how hellish it was, but you start to connect it all together and think - yeh, Pappa was there, aged 23 maybe - just a kid. I really don't know how I would have dealt with it. You can really understand why it must have become easier just not to talk about it.
That aside ... I'm struggling a bit with some of the terminology. It seems to switch between the Manchesters EL's, 66th etc. I need to print it all off and sit quietly with it to really get my head round it all.
Thanks again  - far more info in 2 days than I ever expected.
Nick

Offline harribobs

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Re: GRAY, Robert Edwin
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2007, 08:29:19 PM »
 don't be afraid of asking Nick, we use terms that not everybody is used to plus we ared talking about the events of 90 years ago!
“It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply
  to serve as a warning to others."