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2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade
My grateful thanks to Iain Wilkinson for his rapid though disappointing response to my enquiry, and I am hoping that individual members of this elite group may have an interest in the regiment beyond the rather narrow historical window enbracing the years 1800 to 1815. Quoting my initial enquiry:

Having been researching over the past 27 years the long military history of my family I now reach a position where I am attempting to reconstruct the British Army & Indian Army Service Records of my grandfather, Arthur JOHNSON, who served from circa 1895 to 1933 in UK and India, including the latter part of the Mesopotamia Campaign with 114th MLI.

The period spanning his service as a commissioned officer in the Indian Army  - Indian Army Reserve of Officers, attached to 114th Mahratta Light Infantry (serving in Mesopotamia & India), subsequently 5th Mahratta Light Infantry (serving in India) - 1917 to 1933 is reasonably well documented. It is the period 1895 to 1917 in the ranks of the British Army that is proving most elusive. It has been confirmed that his Service Records no longer exist, they being presumed to have been amongst the 25%-30% destroyed during the Blitz in 1940.

1.       It is known (marriage cert., & birth cert. of first child refer) that he first enlisted in the Army Pay Corps and for a period, as 1138 Lance-Sergeant JOHNSON A.,  was stationed at Higher Barracks, Exeter. During the early months of 1907 he was posted to India accompanied by his wife and child.
2.       It is known that 2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade, was posted to Egypt (date required please) and subsequently sailed from there for Bombay in September 1905.
3.       It is known that Arthur JOHNSON in India transferred to/enlisted in 2nd Battalion The Rifle Brigade as 8849 Rifleman JOHNSON A. and was stationed at Fort William, Rawalpindi & Kuldana near Murree (second child’s birth cert. refers).
4.       It is known that 2nd Battalion was posted from Fort William, Rawalpindi during January 1912 to an unspecified place in India (required information please).
5.       It is known that 2nd Battalion was recalled to Kuldana 4 August 1914 (from where?) and attached to the 2nd (Indian) Division on standby to return to Europe, sailing aboard HMT “Dongola”, arriving Liverpool 22 October 1914.
6.       It is known that Arthur JOHNSON elected to remain in India, and was presumably transferred to the Regiment sent out from UK to replace the 2nd Battalion (required information please).
7.       It is known that Arthur JOHNSON was commissioned as a 2/Lt in the Indian Army Reserve of Officers on 6 November 1917 (original commissioning parchments refer).

Surviving photographs and items of militaria – regimental badges, medals, etc. - confirm the above.

I would be most appreciative to receive any scrap of information, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant, which you are able to add to the above.

Sincerely,
George A. MILLIE (late REME/Army Air Corps, 1949-1969)

E-mail: georgemillie@bigpond.com

Postal address: 10/19A Gladstone Street, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia 4350.
2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade
To be honest George, after 27yrs research I can't imagine we'd know of any source that you probably haven't gone through already. The only book I have on the Rifles only goes as far 1876. I presume you've been through the Royal Green Jackets museum in Winchester?
2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade
Thanks for your response Paul.
Unfortunately, as we say Down Under: "Been there, done that" with little success.
Currently awaiting an inter-library loan of the history of the Royal Green Jackets which I hope will be illuminating.
With regard to where the 2nd Battalion was posted 1912-1914 in India I have a suspicion that it may have been Narayanganj, near Dacca, in what is now Bangladesh. Perhaps someone out there can confirm.
2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade
Hi George,
Just got back from Boisserie and saw this.  Have you been through the Rifle Brigade Chronicles? They will almost certainly have the information you seek on locations etc. They are quite hard to get hold of, as the print run was below 500 at the the dates you want. I have a full set, PM me and I will see if I can help.
At first glance I see that in 1912 part of 2/95th was at Calcutta for the Royal visit (inc. photos).
Cheers, Ben
2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade
Quote:
It is known that 2nd Battalion was posted from Fort William, Rawalpindi during January 1912 to an unspecified place in India (required information please)


If like Ben mentions, the Chronicles will contain that sort of information. Then you can count on him to find it!
2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade
2.
Sept 05, 1902 2/RB left Middlburg for Pietermaritzburg to await embarkation for Egypt. Sailed Sept 26. Reached Suez Oct 13, disembarked immediately and trained to Cairo, took over Citadel barracks.

4.
Dec 1911 2/RB stationed at Fort William, Calcutta.
Jan 1912 2/RB form guard of honour for King's departure from Calcutta.
Jan 1912, 2/RB trained to Pindi
Feb 1912 Brigade training and practice in hill Warfare in Baracao, "some 15 miles towards Murree".
Oct 1912 2/RB march to Rawal Pindi.
1913, Kuldana, Murree and Rawal Pindi. Kuldana to West ridge Nov 1913

5.
In Murree hills, expected to sail for England Oct 29 in Dongola.
Telegram to embark arrives Aug 26. Aug 29 all baggage in Pindi. Sept 02, left Kuldana, Sept 06, arrived Pindi. Trained to Bombay, arrive Sept 08. Embarked S.S. Somali, same day. Landed Liverpool Oct 22 1914.
The Dongola carried the Berkshires from India.

I have a huge amount of circumstantial detail , including the regimental sporting records, details of training, manouevres and much more.
2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade
Very much obliged for all this information Ben and hope there is more to come. My fellow family researchers - son in Australia, brother in UK, and cousin in Norway - are delighted. In one fell swoop you have filled in many gaps and some of the claims made in the oral history, although riddled with inaccuracy, are finally beginning to make some sense.
With gratitude.
2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade
Its possible your man may turn up in something like this.



Do you know if he excelled in any games or sports? Was he musical? (he may turn up in am-dram progs).
2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade
WOW! That is absolutely amazing.
Comparing the face of the man sitting 2nd from the right to photographs of Arthur JOHNSON it may very well be him. I am amazed at the likeness to my younger brother and in some respects to me at about the same age. I will now seek the opinion of my fellow family researchers.
Again, many thanks Ben.
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