Author Topic: South Belfast Volunteers in the Great War  (Read 88771 times)

acheux_rifleman

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South Belfast Volunteers in the Great War
« on: December 15, 2006, 11:18:14 PM »
Hi all.

I am currently writing a book and compiling a nominal roll of all the men who either served with the South Belfast Regiment of the Ulster Volunteer Force, or the 10th (Service) Battalion (South Belfast Volunteers), Royal Irish Rifles, who fought in the Great War as part of the 107th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division.

Their recruitment area covered Lisburn Road up to Balmoral, Fountainville, Sandy Row, Donegall Road, Ormeau Road, Donegall Pass, Great Victoria Street, Broadway, Malone - although men did come into the Battalion from all over Ireland.

I have over 1400 names (original Battalion members plus alot of Englishmen who came over to the Battalion following the massacre at the Somme), with alot of photos and biographical notes.

This labour of love has taken over 4 years so far and I hope to publish next year. I don't want to miss any men out, so am after any recollections, photos, documents etc - either for loan, to have a look at or a copy of, or to buy (although would rather items stayed with the families - but end of the day, better off with an enthusiast than in the back of a drawer!!)

Both my Great Grandfathers served with this Battalion - only one came back.

The main reason I am compiling this roll is to preserve the memory of the men who fought, endured, suffered and made the ultimate sacrifice in the 3 years the Battalion existed. Most of their service records were destroyed during WW2 when the records office was hit by an incendiary bomb during an air raid, so no archive exists.

If you have anything at all, or even if you are unsure of your relatives service, feel free to get in touch and I'll do a quick check.

Many thanks for having a look at my first post!!

Lest We Forget....

Acheux Rifleman.

eddiec

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Re: South Belfast Volunteers in the Great War
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2006, 11:51:05 PM »
Good luck with your book.
Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.  <i>Mark Twain</i>

acheux_rifleman

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Re: South Belfast Volunteers in the Great War
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2006, 12:22:10 AM »
Many thanks for that eddiec. If you've ever been to France & Flanders, you'll understand why I think it's well worth the effort.

Following the 1st July 1916, the first day of the Somme Offensive, the Battalion did a muster on the evening of the 2nd. Only 2 officers, 1 C.S.M., 3 Serjeants and 83 other ranks were left. The previous morning, over 800 men had gone 'over the top'.

I think this is the most poignant way of explaining what I hope to commemorate with my book, although it is filled with heart-rendering accounts from loved ones who lost their sons, husbands, fathers, friends.

As I always sign off,

Lest We Forget....

Christopher

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Re: South Belfast Volunteers in the Great War
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2006, 12:34:33 AM »
Welcome to Belfast Forum acheux_rifleman.

Would you keep us posted about the book please?

It should be useful to people interested in both Family History and Local History.

Christopher

acheux_rifleman

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Re: South Belfast Volunteers in the Great War
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2006, 12:55:01 AM »
Hi Chris and many thanks for your reply. Just been looking at some others on the site - you went to Rockport?? I used to live at Seahill - many moons ago.

Will certainly keep you updated - hopefully will get some additional info from this site. Have everything on Microsoft 'Word' format at the moment (as this list is dynamic) so can mail any info if anyone is interested. Sold a few research discs a few months back to fund the initial run and layout of the book, but funnily enough, they all went to England!!

I have been a collector and amateur military and social researcher for a while now - just a fascination in our past, more than anything else - so if anyone needs any guidance, feel free to give me a shout. I have alot of archive material - mainly connected to the Irish the Ulster Rifles, but also links to good Canadian and Austrailian sites.

Many thanks again for your reply.

Lest We Forget....

Phil.


MAgeeka

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Re: South Belfast Volunteers in the Great War
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2006, 01:06:56 AM »
Rifleman
When next year, do you expect the book to be published ?
My Dad was in the Royal Irish Rifles and then later tranferred to the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. 

Christopher

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Re: South Belfast Volunteers in the Great War
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2006, 01:28:09 AM »
Hiya Phil,

Would there be a couple of guys with the surname Jaffe on the list? I'm attempting to gather as much information about the family of Otto Jaffe who was twice Lord Mayor of Belfast. His son and nephew served in the army in the first World War? The Jaffes were a wealthy Jewish family.  Some lived at Strandtown and others at Holywood. 

Chris

acheux_rifleman

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Re: South Belfast Volunteers in the Great War
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2006, 01:36:05 AM »
Hi there MAgeeka and thanks for the interest.

Had originally hoped to get the book out by July this year for the 90th anniversary of the Somme, but working on this when I have time and also keep coming across additional information, which takes time to research.

Don't want to rush into publication until I am confident I have covered all possible avenues of research.

I don't think there will be many more names to add - but possibly more personal information on the Officers and men.

Have searched the local newspaper columns from 1912 til 1919, the academical and ecclesiastical records of the time, looked at war memorials all over the UK, photographed graves in Ireland, GB, France and Flanders, Commonwealth War Graves Commission has been searched manually for every Rifleman, checked part 67 of Soldiers Died, went through all the medal index cards for the Irish Rifles and listed all with the 10 prefix to the service numbers, used various references, Falls, Glass diary, Battalion War diary and both personal references and museum accounts.

Quite comprehensive. Have included all contemporary photographs from the local press, obituaries for those who fell, and elaborating biographical notes - next-of-kin, membership of lodges - Ancient Order of Foresters, Orange Order, RBP, Masons etc - pre-war employment etc. Have also listed any mention of awards or promotion listed in the London Gazette. All are cross referenced again with the Ulster Covenent and all occupants of the given address are included. Even got Canadian archives for those ex-Volunteers who migrated and joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

Will keep you up to date.

Lest We Forget,

Phil.

acheux_rifleman

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Re: South Belfast Volunteers in the Great War
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2006, 01:45:10 AM »
Hiya Phil,

Would there be a couple of guys with the surname Jaffe on the list? I'm attempting to gather as much information about the family of Otto Jaffe who was twice Lord Mayor of Belfast. His son and nephew served in the army in the first World War? The Jaffes were a wealthy Jewish family.  Some lived at Strandtown and others at Holywood. 

Chris

Hi there Chris. Unfortunately, no Jaffes on my list. There were however 25 listed who served overseas in the Great War - mostly with the London Regiment - they had a specific Battalion for recruits from the Jewery. There was one who served with the Connaught Rangers and another with the Irish Rifles, but the latter had previously served with the forementioned London Regiment. There are also a few officers listed of that surname. Officer go against the grain a bit, as they were seldom posted to units where the men may have known them. Consequently, they may have served outside a locally raised unit. If you have specific details of either man, let me know and I'll see what I can find.

Lest We Forget.

Phil.

acheux_rifleman

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Re: South Belfast Volunteers in the Great War
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2006, 01:49:00 AM »
Hiya Phil,

Would there be a couple of guys with the surname Jaffe on the list? I'm attempting to gather as much information about the family of Otto Jaffe who was twice Lord Mayor of Belfast. His son and nephew served in the army in the first World War? The Jaffes were a wealthy Jewish family.  Some lived at Strandtown and others at Holywood. 

Chris

Hi there Chris. Unfortunately, no Jaffes on my list. There were however 25 listed who served overseas in the Great War - mostly with the London Regiment - they had a specific Battalion for recruits from the Jewery. There was one who served with the Connaught Rangers and another with the Irish Rifles, but the latter had previously served with the forementioned London Regiment. There are also a few officers listed of that surname. Officer go against the grain a bit, as they were seldom posted to units where the men may have known them. Consequently, they may have served outside a locally raised unit. If you have specific details of either man, let me know and I'll see what I can find.

Lest We Forget.

Phil.

Further to my last - were the Jaffe family of Russian origin? I have links for Russian Jewery from the Revolution and the Great War.

Lest We Forget....

Phil.

Christopher

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Re: South Belfast Volunteers in the Great War
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2006, 03:30:45 AM »
Hiya Phil,

Sir Otto Jaffe was twice Lord Mayor of Belfast. His father, Daniel Josef Jaffe was born in 1809  in Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany. Sir Otto had to flee from Belfast at the time of WWI as some people thought he was a German spy despite the fact that both his nephew and son were in the army. The name Joseph seems to run in the family so that might be the name of one of the soldiers. It's possible they were officers as they came from a wealthy background. Two of the Forum's members are connected to the Jaffe family.

Chris

acheux_rifleman

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Re: South Belfast Volunteers in the Great War
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2006, 10:14:53 AM »
Morning Chris!!

Have had another quick check on the Jaffe family in the Great War. Unfortunately, still unable to identifiy your men.

There were certainly a couple of Jaffe's who held commission - one with the London Yeomanry as a Lieutenant Colonel and the other with the Royal Army Medical Corps (although he was Killed in Action and next of kin details shown as being in South Africa). The vast majority of the men who fought were with the Jewish (Service) Battalions, the 38th and the 39th, of the Royal Fusiliers (City of London).
There also seems to  be a concentration of those who fought with various Yorkshire Regiments, again with those who fell mainly detailing Leeds as their home city.

Don't know if there is any connection with either?

Sorry this isn't much of a help.

Lest We Forget....

Phil.

acheux_rifleman

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Re: South Belfast Volunteers in the Great War
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2006, 03:48:00 PM »
Rifleman
When next year, do you expect the book to be published ?
My Dad was in the Royal Irish Rifles and then later tranferred to the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. 

Hi there MAgeeka.

Sorry, in my previous reply I got rambling about my sources for the book and forgot to ask about your Fathers details.

For years I only collected to the Rifles - have representation of every campaign medal won by the Regiment - from the Peninsular Wars to modern day Iraq and Afghanistan (except Somalialand 1904 - only a Sjt involved in that action, so only one medal to the Regiment).
My collection covers the 83rd (County of Dublin) and the 86th (Royal County Down) Regiments of Foot, through the Cardwell reforms when they became the 1st and 2nd Battalions the Irish Rifles, through to the change after partition to the Ulster Rifles and all the way to the Irish Rangers and UDR, now the Royal Irish Regiment.
Along with this collecting malarky, have gathered various rolls, links, musters etc, so if I have any info will certainly pass it on.
I know alot of collectors who buy and buy and buy and never bother to research items they have. To me, collecting is all about the men behind the medals. The research often gives a better understanding of the recipient and the hardships they had to endure.

Let me know his details, even his name, and I'll work from there.

Lest We Forget....

Acheux.

brian

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Re: South Belfast Volunteers in the Great War
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2006, 09:21:05 PM »
Rifleman,
I am researching the wifes family tree and foound a Timothy Dougherty who served in 2bat RIR. I think he also had a brother James, possibly in the same regiment?
I have also found his earlier military career, and that of his father who enlisted in 1868.
I would be grateful if you could check your records to see if you have anything on these Doughertys?I have located his grave and war medal record, and Timothy died May 1918 from war wounds.
I believe he may have been reported KIA, but was found injured in a hospital.
Cheers

acheux_rifleman

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Re: South Belfast Volunteers in the Great War
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2006, 12:02:21 AM »
Hi there Brian. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, but with 3 kids, the time of year etc etc...

Anyway, I'll certainly have a look to see what I can find. From initial checks I probably can't tell you any more at the moment. Serjeant Timothy Dougherty, 5480, died at home as a result of wounds, 4th May 1918. He did serve with the 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, and was 35 years when he succumbed. He presumably must have been wounded during the start of the Divisions activity on the Ypres Salient. The 2nd Battalion was part of the 107th Brigade and saw alot of action at this time. When he is classified as 'died at home', this just means he must have died at a military hospital or a military wing of a general hospital, on the date given. His body would have then been repatriated to Ireland for his burial at Milltown Cemetery.

There is a full history of the 2nd Battalion - I will have a look to see if there is any further information available.

As for his brother, James, I believed he served with the South Belfast Volunteers. I have a man of that name on the roll - Rifleman James Dougherty, 10/7487, and from memory there were no others of that name that served with the Regiment. Again I will see what else I can find on him.

Do you have any further detail on their father? Did he serve with the same Regiment? Again I've only had the opportunity to have a quick look, but I do have a Private S. Dougherty, 2744, who served with the 2nd Battalion during the Boer War. Unfortunately, he was wound and  taken as Prisoner of War at Stormberg, 10 December 1899 and is subsequently annoted as 'Since Died' and as 'Died of Wounds' on his medal roll entry (which shows entitlement to the Queens South Africa medal with the clasp 'Cape Colony'. This may be a bit late, but again, when I get the chance, I'll check the medal roll for 1882 and the Egypt Campaign.

Any elaborating info you can supply would be very helpful.

Best Wishes and have a good Christmas,

Acheux.