Terrific news. I got a reply from Jeremy Banning from the Tunnelling Companies website, confirming that my grandfather was in 251 Tunnelling Company, with the link to Jeremy’s his website, where he has an audio recording of a companion Sapper from 251 talking about his experiences in the same period of my grandfather’s service:
Additionally he gave me a link to my grandfather’s service record on Ancestry and offered to send me a copy of 251 Tunnelling Companies war diary. Jeremy’s website is extremely interesting and well worth investigating for a broader view of current research into WW1 and the battlefields in France and Flanders. I have also ordered a copy of
Peter Barton, ‘Beneath Flanders Fields: The Tunnellers War 1914-1918’, The History Press Ltd; (2006)’
which I expect, along with Tunnellers, written by Captain W Grant Grieve and Bernard Newman, in the 1930’s will give me more detailed information about the experiences the tunnellers had in the trenches.
Looking at my grandfather’s service record, in some ways it has very little information, mainly about:
• his enlistment, interestingly he was in South Africa for six and a half years ( more than I had thought) before then.
• his discharge, pension and details of medals etc, to his widow.
However, as with much to do with this investigation, small details can open up new areas of speculation and potential research.
Q: When did the family return from South Africa, in 1915 or earlier?
Q; Where did they live on return, Bath, Cornwall?
Q: Whey did ECP enlist in London, what was the reason for the return, enlistment at this time?