Matthew Lawley

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Matthew Lawley

Postby EmmaWall » Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:22 pm

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Last edited by EmmaWall on Sat May 16, 2015 11:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby scully » Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:36 pm

Hi Emma,

The Matthew Lawley you mentioned was later with the Royal Defence Corp and then the Labour Corps and his army number change 3 times. There are two medal cards for this person the one you mentioned and a second one showing he was with the Royal Defence Corp (army number 78346) - this card show that he was awarded the Silver War Badge (sometimes refered to as the Wound Badge). He was discharged on the 14th February 1919 due to being unfit for service. I would recommend you get a copy of his details from the Silver War Badge list which is held at the National Archives at Kew. This should give you more details. His reference number on the Silver War Badge lis is TP/5451.

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Louis (webmaster)
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Postby EmmaWall » Mon Aug 03, 2009 7:11 pm

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Last edited by EmmaWall on Sat May 16, 2015 11:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby scully » Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:37 pm

Hi Emma,

Yes it was very common for ones army number to change as men were posted to different Regiments or units.

In the case of Matthew Lawley he was eventually moved to the Labour Corps and given the number 380221. Men who were unfit for front line service were usually transferred to the Labour Corps.

The Labour Corps was made up primarily of men who were not fit for service due to wounds or illness and so could not return to the the frontline. But carried out other labour tasks behind the frontlines. Their work included roads, timber work, quarrying, sanitary duties and handling supplies. Labour Corps units were often deployed for work within range of the enemy guns, although they were not activley involved in the fighting.

The Royal Defence Corp was initially formed by converting the (Home Service) Garrison Battalions of line infantry regiments. Garrison Battalions were composed of soldiers either too old or medically unfit for active front-line service; the Home Service status indicated they were unable to be transferred overseas. The role of the Royal Defence Corp was to provide troops for security and guard duties at home in the United Kingdom, guarding such things as important locations such as ports or bridges. It also provided independent companies for guarding prisoner-of-war camps.

In Matthew Lawley's case he was first moved from the 4th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment to the Royal Defence Corp back in the U.K. (likely due to wounds) and then later was transferred to the Labour Corps back overseas when his health improved slightly and he was able to do some manual work.

His medal card shows he was discharge on the 14th February 1919 the reason given was "Dis para 392 (xvi)" which simply refers to the King's Regulations for discharge - paragraph 392 - There are twenty-nine different ways in which someone could have been discharged under the King's Regulations and the reference on the Medal Card to (xvi) means he was discharged for "No longer physically fit for war service".

Regards,

Louis (webmaster)
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