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  1. #1

    Default Soldier in WWI, 16 Lancers

    Hi Guys,
    I am helping to research a third party's ancestors WWI history.
    I have found some information, but his Service Record does not appear to be available, victim of WWII Blitz I guess.
    However have found:_
    Eugene Leslie Cook.
    Medals Record Card and Rolls. He served in the 16th Lancers, Service No. L/4719, rank Private.
    He received the set of three medals, 1914 Star, Victory Medal, British War Medal. ( the medals are NOT available)
    The Record Card shows he entered France 17th August 1914. So I assumed that he had to be a regular soldier prior to WWI. The Record Card does NOT mention the Clasp to the Star.
    The Medals Roll also fails to mention the Clasp, although added hand script against some names mention the Clasp, but not against my man.
    I understand that the Clasp means that the soldier served under Enemy Fire for those first few months of WWI.
    My question are:-
    Were the 16th Lancers still a Horseback Regiment, and kept at the rear for use If and When, but did not enter the battle field.?
    I have read various accounts for the 16th, indicating that they did serve in the trenches.
    Has anyone any explanation as to how and why he would have been in France but not fighting?
    He survived the war.
    Almost gave up on Service Record search, when Find my Past popped up with a single page digitised record. :-
    E L Cook 1913. Age 24, Born 1889, Royal Tank Corps, Service No. 311499, Attest. 29 Mar 1913, Previous Reg. Lancers.
    So it looks like he was a serving soldier prior to WWI, that makes sense.
    Whilst thankful for this snippet of information, can any one answer the following please:-
    Tanks were not used until about 1916, so I am sure he did not enlist in the Royal Tank Corps, in 1913, that being its modern day Title used on the FMP Document.
    Where it states Previous Regt. Lancers I am assuming that this is the Regt. he actually joined on the day.
    He was given service no. 311499, I am assuming that after his training he would have been assigned to the 16th Lancers where he would then have received his new service number of L/4719, which is on his WWI Medals Record Card.
    The reason his initial No.311499 does not show on his Medals Card, would be due to it not being relevant to his WWI Service, I am guessing..

    Sorry it is so long winded, but wanted to put all my cards on the table at the start.

    I would welcome any information to answer any of the above points.

    Just to confirm, I research for our local museum and am helping answer questions for a visitor, purely as an unpaid amateur.

    Many thanks

  2. #2
    Famous for offering help & advice
    Join Date
    Feb 2018


    The clasp & rose had to be applied for, so if he didn't apply then he wouldn't automatically be issued one.

    The record for 311499 is for the record set "Royal Tank Corps Enlistment Records, 1919-1934"

    The image gives a lot more detail, and mentions L/4719. He originally enlisted 29 Mar 1913, served in the Lancers, & was discharged into the Section B Reserve 19 Apr 1920. He was then reengaged "Section D Army Reserve for 4 years" 29 Mar 1925. Discharged 28 Mar 1929 Para 497 (viii) Kings Regulations

    His wife & children are detailed, and that he was part of the BEF 17 Aug 1914-19 Jan 1919. Also states "Wound, Gas Shell (mild) 26-3-1918.

    Just to quickly add, 311499 would have been issued after his WW1 service, when he was in the reserves.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator christanel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Wairarapa New Zealand


    by Jomo1. He was then reengaged "Section D Army Reserve for 4 years" 29 Mar 1925. Discharged 28 Mar 1929 Para 497 (viii) Kings Regulations
    Service records from 1921 onwards are still held by the MoD so would they be holding this man's full records as he was in the Army Reserve 1925 - 1929? If so then they can be applied for and this 'sticky' gives more information and a link to where the application forms can be downloaded.
    Sometimes paranoia is just having all the facts.
    William Burroughs

  4. #4


    Hi Jomot 1,
    Many thanks for your prompt and informative response, I must have missed the extra info you have given. It was at the end of a long day, so I will revisit, and follow your comments.
    This now all makes perfect sense.

    Many thanks

  5. #5


    Hi Christanel,
    Following on from Jomot 1's response, many thanks for yours too.

    I believe that my third party may well be able to make the necessary application for the Service Records. I will take a look at the Sticky to see what needs to be done.
    Never expected this to be sorted so soon.

    Well done to you both


  6. #6


    Weekly Casualty List (War Office & Air Ministry) - 7 May 1918
    Warrant Officers, Non Commissioned Officers and Men
    All are PRIVATES except where otherwise shown

    LANCERS: - ...; Cook 4719 E. (Thornton Heath); ...

    " ... the town shown against each soldier's name is the home of his next of kin, except where followed by the abbreviation "Enlt" when it his place of enlistment"
    "dyfal donc a dyr y garreg"

  7. #7


    Hi helachau,

    Many thanks for your response.

    The details of his being injured are very useful, however so is his home address.
    All good stuff.

    Many thanks


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