Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1

    Default Welsh Guards 1st battalion WW1

    I am new to this website and forum and this is my first post so please forgive me if I ask stupid questions.
    I joined to research my family military history. I know my grandad was in the Welsh Guards in WW1 and my dad in the RAF in WW2. I can find my grandad but not my dad on the website. I know enough of their details to identify them.
    First question - why can't I find my dads war record- I know it pretty well anyway. Is the Forces War website not complete?
    Therefore I have decided to concentrate on my grandad for the moment. He was in the Welsh Guards from 1915 until 1917 when he was invalided out. I can just about remember him as he died in 1960 when I was 7. I remember a large photo of him in Army uniform with a peak cap but I don't have access to the photo now.

    Second question- I don't why he was in the Welsh Guards because as far as I know he had no connection to Wales having been bred and born in Essex. The only thing I can think of is that he was over 6 foot tall - was that a reason to put someone in the Welsh Guards even though they had no others connections?

    I know he stood guard at Buckingham Palace before going to France/ Belgium. This is one thing he would tell my older sister.
    The rest of the story is more unclear but there are certain things I believe to true. He was an aquaintance, or possibly a friend, of Sergeant Bye who won the VC. I believe they used to meet for some time after the war as my father said he met Sgt Bye and that must have been in the late twenties. I think my grandad had to go to London - somewhere near Liverpool Street to have special boots made for him due to his injuries. This is possibly when they met.
    Third question: Does anyone know where there is a detailed account of the action when Sgt Bye won the VC? I have read the citation etc.
    He possibly spent some time on field punishment, tied to a gun carriage wheel. I believe this was for striking a Sergeant.
    Fourth question: is that a likely punishment for this?
    I know from the website he was wounded in November 1917 but I don't know a lot more except he never worked due to his injuries.

    Any help would be appreciated



  2. #2


    Welcome the the British Genealogy Forum!

    1: Your Dadís records. WW2 records have not been released for online publication by the MOD. As a close family member, you can buy a copy from them, you will need a copy of his death certificate and 30 pounds. Thereís a note about this at the top of this and each of the military forums.

    {note added on return to my PC} The note about getting post 1921 records is HERE.

    2: During WW1, men were sent to which ever regiment needed them most. Iíve seen Londoners in the kilted regiments, for example. Many men served in more than one regiment and with more than one service number.
    3: about 2 thirds of WW1 service records were destroyed during the fires of WW2. Those that survive are available on commercial sites such as Ancestry and Find My Past. Surviving pension records are also there.

    I would search the newspapers for Sgt Bye.

    If you provide names and service numbers, our members might be able to find more,

  3. #3
    Brick wall demolition expert!
    Join Date
    Sep 2005


    If your grandfather was wounded, he may well have received a pension and those records have survived and can contain quite interesting details, but getting hold of them is a little convoluted.

    The Western Front Association saved the records from being shredded by the MOD. However they didn't have the resources to manage them, so they have done a deal with Ancestry, and you can search them under "UK, WW1 Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923".

    However, on Ancestry all you get is a meaningless summary which tells you nothing that you do not probably already know. To see the original documents you have to go to FOLD3 which a separate Ancestry site with a separate subscription. Very infuriating.

    If you wait until Ancestry have s free military weekend you may well be able to get to the FOLD3 records free as well. Alternatively go directly to FOLD3 and see what deals they are offering.

  4. #4
    Famous for offering help & advice simmo1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Maryborough Australia



    VC action- read here - - the book mentioned here may have more information
    Find the war dairy on Ancestry for the battalion, it will mention what went on that day, how detailed depended on the officer writing it up.

    For striking a Sergeant, he is lucky not to get discharged I would think
    For FP read here -



    My Father 1819170 Lance Bombardier Robert Simpson 39/14 L.A.A. R.A.

  5. #5


    Thanks for all the replies, I didn't expect such a quick response.
    He did have a war disability pension so that is an interesting lead.
    My Grandad's name is Alfred Griggs Service number 3142 1st battalion Welsh Guards. I found 1 reference under this name and 2 under A Griggs in the Forces War Records. If anyone knows how to obtain further information I would be interested.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator christanel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Wairarapa New Zealand


    Ancestry and Findmypast are the two companies licensed to hold the records you need. They are both pay per view but both have free library versions. Your local library may have one of them. Both also offer 14 days free but you have to give them your card number so it is vital you untick the box that will let them charge you for a subscription at the end of the 14 day free period.
    Sometimes paranoia is just having all the facts.
    William Burroughs

  7. #7
    A fountain of knowledge
    Join Date
    Feb 2018


    A little bit of general information that I hope will help. Although your grandfather’s records don’t appear to have survived (about 2/3rd were destroyed during WW2), the person with service no 3141 Welsh Guards attested at Grays, Essex on 15 Nov 1915 & was put on reserve until 26 Sep 1916 when he was mobilized. Your grandfather’s medal index cards confirm he did not receive the 1914/15 star - confirming he did not serve abroad before 1916 – so is likely to have followed a similar pattern.

    His name appeared on the daily wounded list published 12 Nov 1917 - Griggs, 3142 A (Latchington). However, these lists were usually published several weeks after the actual event.

    The war diaries for the Welsh Guards include an entry on 9 Sep 1917 “at 2.30 pm Lt Perrins came with a car from the corps and took the CO – Major Ball, Capt Gibbs & Lt(?) Bonsor to Wormhout to see Sjt Bye & congratulate him on his Victoria Cross. He is in a rest hospital at Wormhout and is not well”.

    I see Sergeant Bye received his VC for action on 31 July, but the diary entry for the Welsh Guards for that day doesn’t reveal much other than a barrage against the enemy starting at 3:50am (zero hour), with the welsh guards joining in at zero hour + 34. There is a more detailed account in the Command diary but it goes on for a lot of pages so I’ll have to leave it until tomorrow to read.


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Select a file: