Author Topic: Private D.L.Levy : 6th Manchesters.  (Read 2881 times)

Offline PhilipG

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Private D.L.Levy : 6th Manchesters.
« on: July 22, 2015, 02:09:55 PM »
                                                5154 Pte. Daniel Leon Levy : 2/6th Manchester Regiment
                                                  (Later 3237 9th Eastern Coy. Non Combatant Corps.)

This soldier joined the Manchesters on 2nd March 1916 giving his occupation as a clerk.   He was one of six children and was born in Damascus in 1897, the family subsequently living in the Manchester district of Withington.  In due course, he went to the Middle East with the battalion and whilst there transferred to the N.C.C.  From my limited knowledge of procedures in such circumstances, this involves examination by the appropriate Tribunal until a regimental transfer can be arranged and the procedure can be fraught with difficulties.  In this particular case, the transfer seems to have taken place very smoothly as evidenced by correspondence between the O.C.battalion and the War Office.

For example, the O.C. Manchesters was requested to explain why it was that Levy, who was classed as being in Category "A" was transferred to the N.C.C.   By way of explanation, a letter was produced by the battalion emanating from the War Office dated 13th October 1916, stating that authority had been given by the Army Council for the transfer of this man to the N.C.C. and "that you will be good enough to take action accordingly", the letter being addressed to the G.O.C. in Chief, Eastern Command.

As to the reason Levy was posted to the N.C.C. is unclear.  I can only suggest that his ability, possibly to converse in his native language, was an asset the War Office would wish to put to advantage during hostilities with the Turkish Army.  Others may have a different explanation.  PhilipG.


timberman

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Re: Private D.L.Levy : 6th Manchesters.
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2015, 03:07:14 PM »
Hi Philip

The NCC was formed in 1916, to accommodate conscientious objectors.

Daniel Leon Levy does not have a MIC. so did not go overseas

He joined 15/5/1916 and was transferred to no9 Eastern Coy
Non Combatant Corps in Nov 1916.

Below is the letter to OC 6th Bn and the second is the letter from
the War Office telling him to transfer Levy to the NCC.

Click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Timberman

 
« Last Edit: July 22, 2015, 03:13:38 PM by timberman »

timberman

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Re: Private D.L.Levy : 6th Manchesters.
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2015, 03:30:11 PM »
    This from
http://www.ppu.org.uk/learn/infodocs/cos/st_co_wwone1.html


Unwilling soldiers

3,400 COs accepted call-up into the Non-Combatant Corps (NCC) or the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) as non-combatants. The NCC (the 'No-Courage Corps' as the press rudely called it) was set up in March 1916, part of the army and run by its regular officers. The COs assigned to it were army privates, wore army uniforms and were subject to army discipline, but didn't carry weapons or take part in battle. Their duties were mainly to provide physical labour (building, cleaning, loading and unloading anything except munitions) in support of the military.

The NCC may have been a shock to the COs who agreed to join it. But for the absolutists and alternativists who were forcibly enlisted into the NCC it was much worse. They immediately faced the question of whether to agree to wearing uniform. The men who decided to refuse were formally charged and court-martialled. Often they were treated harshly, bullied, deprived of basic needs and rights, and imprisoned in inhumane conditions. So were the men who refused to perform duties like handling munitions or building rifle ranges. Some broke down, physically or mentally, as a result of their ill-treatment.

In fact, the military were handicapped: they had no precedents or guidelines for dealing with conscripts at all, never mind conscripts who refused to fight. It had been difficult enough in 1914, arranging adequate training for a million volunteer soldiers. For centuries the army had been governed by what has been called 'the discipline of fear'. Career soldiers might be expected to accept its principles, even if they didn't always abide by them; men snatched unwillingly from quite different occupations couldn't be (and shouldn't have to). But by July 1916, the time of the Somme offensive (420,000 British dead: more than twice the number of the entire army in 1914), most of the old British army had been killed. The scale and manner of warfare was new and shocking, and this war seemed unstoppable. Whose side, wondered the frustrated and angry military, were these 'conchies' on?  continue...

Go to the web site to read more.

Timberman

sphinx

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Re: Private D.L.Levy : 6th Manchesters.
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2015, 05:47:42 PM »
Timberman,

"Daniel Leon Levy does not have a MIC. so did not go overseas"

Just because he doesnt have an MIC does not mean he didn't go overseas.  In fact according to PhilipG he did serve in the Middle East.

The absence of an MIC merely means he wasn't awarded any campaign medals.

Service in non war zones  didn't attract campaign medals.

regards

timberman

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Re: Private D.L.Levy : 6th Manchesters.
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2015, 06:15:43 PM »
I was under the impression that a soldier and a NCC was a private and wore
a uniform if he/she served overseas they were entitled to the British Medal
and it did not matter whether he/she entered a theater of war or not.
If they did not enter the theater of war they were not entitled to the Victory
Medal.
But it would seem that this is not true, so ignore the bit about

"Daniel Leon Levy does not have a MIC. so did not go overseas"

There is no mention of him going overseas in his service records.

"Service in non war zones  didn't attract campaign medals"

Would seem they got the British Medal as there were about 350,00
less Victory Medals issued than British Medals.

I would be grateful if what I've written is not right. 

Timberman


timberman

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Re: Private D.L.Levy : 6th Manchesters.
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2015, 06:23:24 PM »
He did not go to the Middle East with the Battalion as he
transferred to the NCC in Nov 1916 and only joined in
May 1916

Timberman

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Private D.L.Levy : 6th Manchesters.
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2015, 06:23:56 PM »
Timberman & Sphinx,

First of all may I say "thank you" for taking a helpful interest in this particular research.

Prompted by an excellent photograph of Pte. Levy depicting a smartly dressed private soldier in the Manchester Regiment, even carrying in his left hand a "walking-out cane", my attention was drawn to the accompanying comment.  This read "He served in the Manchester Regiment on non-combatant duties".   This statement put me on enquiry.  The copy military correspondence which I have seen, some of which Timberman has kindly put on the thread, is covered in the second paragraph of my Forum post.

Two things influenced my thinking in the whole matter.  Firstly, the photograph, but secondly, and to me a highly unusual method of handling Levy's posting.  It seemed, I would suggest, that what surely could be a routine clerical exercise to transfer this man to the NCC was, in the event,placed in the hands of the War Office.  I illustrate:-

                             War Office: 13 October 1916.      To G.O.C. Eastern Command.

"I am commanded by the Army Council to inform you that authority is hereby given for No. 5154 Pte. D.L.Levy, 2/6th Battalion Manchester Regiment to be transferred to the Non-Combatant Corps and to request that you will be so good as to take the necessary action accordingly."

Furthermore, on Levy's Enrolment Form in respect of Question No. 8 - "Have you any preference for any particular branch of the service, if so which", he states - "6th Mcr. Regt. TF".  This answer I would propose, dismisses any suggestion that he was a Conscientious Objector.

Pure conjecture of course, but not without merit, could be that Levy had qualities which could be an asset to the Army and what came to mind were his language qualifications, the NCC, perhaps, being a vehicle for such men to be "borne on the books".   Opinions are welcome.  PhilipG.

timberman

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Re: Private D.L.Levy : 6th Manchesters.
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2015, 06:46:18 PM »
Philip

Don't know the answer although,

If it was his language qualifications that got him
transferred to the NCC would he not of been better
served transferred into one of the Reserve Classes.

Could it been that it was felt because of his place of
birth that he was better served in the NCC. Or maybe
due to family intervention.

Timberman

timberman

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Re: Private D.L.Levy : 6th Manchesters.
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2015, 07:46:02 PM »
Last bit I've been able to find.

I think he died in 1962.

He was called up for service 2/3/1916
Posted to 2/6th MR 16/5/1916
Transferred to and joined 9th Eastern NCC 4/11/1916
Attached to 650 Agricultural co Bodmin for duty 12/4/1918
Rejoined 9th Eastern NCC 12/5/1918
Posted 5 Northern Coy NCC 1/3/1919
To class Z 15/5/1919

Timberman

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Private D.L.Levy : 6th Manchesters.
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2015, 11:48:18 AM »
Timberman,

It has been an interesting piece of research. The end now beckons!  Thanks for your involvement. It would be interesting to know what duties this soldier was carrying out in the period May 1916 to April 1918. 

 The reasons for the intervention of the Army Council in his affairs, the absence of an appearance before a Tribunal and his category "A" status (compare Pte. W.Bowers - C1), all tend to point that his transfer was not handled in the routine manner one would expect.

I have toyed with the theory that Levy could have been involved with internment camps, but I shall never know.   (I have never considered that he sought exemption on the grounds of conscience.  Perhaps I should have done so.)  Thanks again. Regards, PhilipG.