Author Topic: Godfrey Colles WACOS Roll of Honour  (Read 10152 times)

Offline Tim Bell

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Re: Godfrey Colles WACOS Roll of Honour
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2014, 12:33:18 PM »
Great,
I will apply today. PRobate records specify architect, so I suspect that will also be shown on the DC.  Will report back....
T
« Last Edit: October 22, 2014, 12:52:13 PM by Tim Bell »
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Offline mack

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Re: Godfrey Colles WACOS Roll of Honour
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2014, 04:32:35 PM »
on all the death certs I,ve seen,they always give the mans occupation and regiment,the school knew he was dead in 1915 so why didn't they add him to the roll of honour.

mack ;D

Offline Tim Bell

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Re: Godfrey Colles WACOS Roll of Honour
« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2014, 07:37:17 PM »
Mack,
G Colles is named on the brass Roll of Honour at the entrance to the school. Godfrey Colles was earlier mentioned on the Roll of Losses in the School Mag. of Nov. 1916 (Died 14/10/1914). Then there's the entry I mentioned in the earlier post.  On the strength of a Regiment / Unit being mentioned if Godfrey was serving, I have fingers crossed.
T
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Offline kemrobson

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Re: Godfrey Colles WACOS Roll of Honour
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2014, 12:51:40 AM »
Hello
According to"findmypast" Godfrey is buried in All Saints C of E Cheadle Hulme, grave no. 350
Hope this helps
Cheers
Keith
 
Researching:-
John Robert Robson 1/8th Manchester Regt 1915/16
Joe Cookson 12th Manchester Regt KIA 3 December 1915
Old Boys of William Hulme's Grammar School

Offline Tim Bell

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Re: Godfrey Colles WACOS Roll of Honour
« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2014, 06:52:34 AM »
Thanks Keith,
It helps complete the picture and I don't use FMP
Tim
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Offline PhilipG

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Re: Godfrey Colles WACOS Roll of Honour
« Reply #20 on: October 23, 2014, 04:52:30 PM »
Tim,

I sense that he may never have actually joined the Army.  To try to come up with the answer, I have today sent for his Certificate of Death which may solve this intriguing matter.  Regards, PhilipG.

Offline Tim Bell

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Re: Godfrey Colles WACOS Roll of Honour
« Reply #21 on: October 23, 2014, 05:28:39 PM »
Hi Philip,

Hold your horses.  I've already applied.

Tim
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Offline PhilipG

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Re: Godfrey Colles WACOS Roll of Honour
« Reply #22 on: October 23, 2014, 07:55:17 PM »
Tim,

Thanks for your concern, but were I ever to suggest what may have taken place in this interesting case, I  think it would be prudent on my part to look at the original documentation.   We await events!  Regards, PhilipG.

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Godfrey Colles WACOS Roll of Honour
« Reply #23 on: October 31, 2014, 12:48:54 PM »
Tim,

I have now received the Certificate of Death relating to Godfrey Colles and no doubt you have similarly received a copy.   I would say that it is in the usual form for the death of a civilian at that time and not in the form "an entry in the Army War Records of Deaths 1914-1921".   As you know, Army certificates of deaths in that period usually include :- Regtl. Number, Rank & Regiment, Name in Full, Age, Country of Birth, Date of Death, Place of Death, and Cause of Death. e.g. "Died of Wounds".

However, his certificate just received is not in that printed form.  The deceased's occupation is given as "Architect" and the cause of his death is quoted as acute appendicitis and pneumonia.  The informant was Colles' Brother in Law of Cheadle Hulme, who was "In Attendance".   On this basis it could be construed that there was an intention to join up and he had the skill to be an army despatch-rider, but his illness intervened, preventing him from serving with the Colours and resulting in his untimely death.  What do you think?   Regards, PhilipG.

Offline Tim Bell

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Re: Godfrey Colles WACOS Roll of Honour
« Reply #24 on: October 31, 2014, 02:30:00 PM »
Hello Phillip,
It's strange, but I don't have the DC yet. I've never applied before and may not have provided the correct / pertinent information.  As I have no experience of interpreting these things, I can't really add anything to your summary.  It seems entirely logical to me though. 
I suppose a residual question would be to wonder if Godfrey had Attested in some unit to be a despatch rider and then transferred to reserve due to his age.  Any thoughts?
Thanks for following up with this riddle.
Tim
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Offline PhilipG

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Re: Godfrey Colles WACOS Roll of Honour
« Reply #25 on: October 31, 2014, 05:31:41 PM »
Tim,

I think we may have come to the end of the road in regard to this puzzling, but nevertheless interesting exercise in research.  I hope that the General Register Office refund your remittance!   PhilipG.

nickshelley

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Re: Godfrey Colles WACOS Roll of Honour
« Reply #26 on: December 11, 2014, 12:43:45 AM »
I've joined the forum to contribute to this discussion because I'm researching the early motorcycle despatch riders, that is, the men who were recruited to the Royal Engineers Signals Service on the outbreak of war. Well-educated young men were readily accepted for commission in combatant roles, eg in all the infantry regiments. The snag was - there were all too many who believed it would be a short war ('all over by Christmas'). The Regular Army was being landed in France to fight the invasion, but new recruits to the infantry were likely to spend months in training, by which time it might be too late.

At the same time the Army realised that motorcyclists would be useful as despatch riders in a mobile campaign - but there were no regular motorcyclists and only a handful of Reservists. Nor did the Army have a stock of motorcycles.

The outcome was that the Army - with the support of the Daily Mail and the editor of "The Motor Cycle" a weekly journal - called for motorcyclists to join up and supply their own machines. After the very first few days the procurement procedure caught up and quite soon the Army supplied motorcycles. But a legend was born of young men going to war on their own machines.

This is the group I am researching. Probably about 200 landed in France with the first wave in August, and by December the Army had sent around 500 motorcyclists to France. I have developed a very detailed database, and I now know the identity of nearly all these men - largely public school men and undergraduates and professional men in their teens and early twenties, leavened with men from the motor industry and other trained engineers.

An interesting handful of men did not fit this profile. They were older men in their mid to late thirties, including a hospital consultant (killed in action) and a Professor of English (taken prisoner). Godfrey Colles would fit it into this smaller group, and thus the story set out above is entirely plausible.

It's clear from my research that the actual process of induction could be very variable - competent young men could be turned away one day because the Army had reached its quota, and other men who were quite inadequate recruited a few days later. Some volunteers were landed in France within a week of putting on a uniform for the first time, while others seem to have kicked their heels at divisional depots before being sent to France. The whole process was controlled from the Royal Engineers headquarters at Chatham and most of the first wave of recruits were sent to Chatham to sign up, but in the succeeding weeks recruits were attested as despatch riders all over the country, including Birmingham, Belfast, Dublin, and Lincoln.

I suspect we'll never know what actually happened to Godfrey Colles, although it's clear that illness intervened. I suspect he started the process of recruitment but it was never finished. However, I doubt whether any of that paperwork has survived. Most of the surviving records relate to despatch riders who were later commissioned. However, it would be worth digging - I see that he appears in the 1911 Census with his family at Cheadle, and he is also on a couple of Ancestry family trees. I've had some success making contact with relatives of despatch riders, and they have supplied confirmatory evidence that their relatives were despatch riders, including anecdotes and records and photos posed on their favourite motorcycles, so those with a particular interest might want to explore the possibility of finding descendants of his immediate family.

Finally, I should mention two books for further reading on this topic. There is the contemporary "Adventures of a Despatch Rider" written and published in 191by WHL Watson, a graduate who was recruited on 6th August and served throughout the war, moving on to a Cyclist Battalion in 1915, and thence to the Tank Regiment. It is available to download at http://www.archive.org/details/advdespatchrider00watsuoft'.

The other source for those interested in the story of motorcycling and how it contributed to the British war effort is Michael Carragher's recent publication "San Fairy Ann?" published by the Firestep Press, which I can't praise highly enough. A wealth of interesting anecdote and an authoritative analysis of the role of the motorcycle in its first war - written by someone who is himself a motorcycle enthusiast.

hope this helps!
Nick Shelley


 


Offline mack

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Re: Godfrey Colles WACOS Roll of Honour
« Reply #27 on: December 11, 2014, 08:21:17 AM »
if colles had been in the army or even a reservist,this would have been on the DC,all the DC I,ve seen,give occupation in civilian life and rank in the army,never seen one with their army number on it

mack ;D

Offline Tim Bell

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Re: Godfrey Colles WACOS Roll of Honour
« Reply #28 on: January 21, 2015, 01:13:15 PM »
Further confirmation that Godfrey Colles was not in the Army is his absence from Register of Soldiers' Effects.
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Offline PhilipG

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Re: Godfrey Colles WACOS Roll of Honour
« Reply #29 on: January 22, 2015, 11:22:03 AM »
Tim,

I am impressed with your dedication in researching this intriguing matter.  PhilipG.