Pte Matthew Skillern 204328 Worc R 177314 MGC

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Pte Matthew Skillern 204328 Worc R 177314 MGC

Postby Hawkins » Sun Feb 08, 2015 4:40 pm

Hi, I am enquiring about Matthew Skillern who was my Grandad. He died in 1934 when my mother was 10 years old and she knows very little about him. She still has his British War medal and there was a lot of talk about India but my mother doesn't know what he was doing there or when. Would this have been during the First World War or after? If after, where was he during the War years? Any information would be gratefully received as my mother is now 90 and the lack of knowledge is bothering her.
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Re: Pte Matthew Skillern 204328 Worc R 177314 MGC

Postby scully » Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:40 pm

Hi Clare,

I have now added Private Matthew Skillern (204328) to my online database on this website. The reason he was not originally listed was due to the fact that he never served with the fighting forces in WW1. Instead he was stationed in India with a Garrison Battalion and later was posted to a Machine Gun Corps Company. During the First World War the British Government maintained a British Army presence in the countries of the British Empire. These were usually made up of Garrison Battalions. In India one of the British Army bases was based at Nasirabad.

Men who served with the British Army in countries of the British Empire, like India, were awarded the British War Medal, which was issued for overseas service from 1914 to 1920. Where this medal was awarded to men who did not serve in a theatre of war the following statement applies:

"In addition (specific to the Army), those who left their place of residence and served overseas (not necessarily a theatre of war) were eligible. Simply, a soldier that left his home in Canada to serve in a garrison in the UK (or India etc) was eligible (regardless of whether he saw "action"). Whereas, a soldier who left his home in York to serve in Catterick Garrison was not eligible."

Private Matthew Skillern served with a Company of the Machine Gun Corps at Nasirabad, India during the First World War and after the war ended he was posted to the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment who were stationed in Nasirabad from the end of November 1919.

On the Medal Roll for the British War Medal it shows that Private Matthew Skillern was discharged to Army Reserves (Z Class) on the 7th February 1920 and returned home to the U.K.

You may like to look at a document which is on the internet which describes a soldier serving with the Machine Gun Corps at Nasirabad, India during WW1 and shows a number of photos take at the time so you can see what it was like for the British Soldier. The link to this website page is below. Cross photos of India.pdf

I hope the above is of some help.


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