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World War One: Armed Forces - England

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World War One: Armed Forces


The British Army during World War I was fought by units which were made up exclusively of volunteers—as opposed to conscripts—at the beginning of the conflict.

Because of the numbers involved this project is one of a number of projects where GENi profiles of World War One armed forces can be added.

This project aims to honour those born in England who fought and/or died during or as a consequence of the war. Please assist by linking the GENi profiles of English born armed forces to this project

Please link profiles to this project AND to World War One: United Kingdom & Ireland HQ which is where we are recording progress.

See also -

World War One: Armed Forces - Channel Islands
World War One: Armed Forces - Ireland
World War One: Armed Forces - Scotland
World War One: Armed Forces - Wales
Participating British Women
'On War Service' - WW1 (United Kingdom & Ireland)

References and Sources

List of Profiles with English Connections

...not yet on GENI

Arranged Alphabetically


  • Rowland Townshend Cobbold - Second Lieutenant , died 25/09/1915 - Son of Alfred Townshend Cobbold and Alice Bessie Cobbold, of Bramford House, Bramford, Suffolk. Native of Ipswich. Volunteered. Returned home from South America (Argentine) to serve his country. Gave up his work there.


  • Henry Alfred Ingle Finch - Private, died 28/04/1916 - Son of George Ingle Finch and Bessie Finch, of Little Shelford, Cambridge, England. Born at Hammersmith, London, England. Educated at St. Paul's School, and B.A. of Trinity College, Cambridge. Previous to enlisting at London, Ontario, in Jan; 1915, was farming in the United States of America.


  • T Gore - Private, died 15/06/1916 - Son of Mr. and Mrs. G. Gore; husband of Elizabeth M. Gore, of 35, Bolan St., Petworth St., Battersea, London, England. Native of America.
  • Launcelot Russell Gubbins Second Lietenant, died 23/04/1918 - Son of John Russell Gubbins and Mary Margaret Gubbins (nee Dickson), of 22, Carlton Hill, St. John's Wood, London, England. Born at Lima, Peru, South America.


  • Robert Alexander Harley Major - died 19/10/1917 - Son of Robert and Matilda Harley, of Liverpool; husband of Frances Cecilia Wilton Bloxsome (formerly Harley), of Estansia San Anselmo., La Colina F.C.S., Buenos Aires, South America.
  • Richard Hutton , b 20 April 1891 in Malton, Yorkshire d 7 November 1914 in Kliene Zillebeke, Belgium.


  • Alfred Hobbs Leckie - Private - died 11/10/1916 - Son of William and Janet Thomson Leckie, of Alva, Clackmannanshire. Was a soldier in the American Army.



  • Albert Richard Quarmby Private, born December 1884, died October 14, 1915 in Dardanelles, Turkish Straits, Turkey, son of Richard Albert Quarmby & Annie Quarmby (nee Hirst), husband of Zillis Bastow


  • Alexander Alston John Taylor - Gunner, died 17/06/1917 Son of John Taylor (District Commissioner), and Grace Hay Taylor, of British Honduras, Central America. Native of London, England

To participate in any project

- you do need to first be a collaborator - so please join the project using the request link under "actions" at the top right of the page. Visit Geni Wikitext, Unicode and images which gives a great deal of assistance. See the discussion Project Help: How to add Text to a Project - Starter Kit to get you going!

How to add a link is explained in the document - Adding links to Geni profiles in projects.

See also

Further Information

Non-Combative Corps

Army Service Corps

At peak, the ASC numbered an incredible 10,547 officers and 315,334 men. In addition were tens of thousands of Indian, Egyptian, Chinese and other native labourers, carriers and stores men, under orders of the ASC - vital to enabling the army to fight.

In France and Flanders it was discovered in 1914 that the local authorities could not supply civilian men for labouring duties such as helping the BEF disembark its stores and equipment from ships. The War Office arranged to send 300 labourers for these duties. More followed, and by the end of December 1914 they had been formed into 5 Labour Companies of the ASC. They were numbered 1 to 5. Many more Companies were formed in 1914 and 1915, but none are well documented.

  • Railway Labour Companies

The first specialised railway labour company was formed in January 1915, doubling to two in October 1915. They eventually took the numbers 33 and 34 Railway Labour Companies. Detachments were based at Le Havre, Bailleul, Steenwerck, Caestre and Strazeele.

  • Catering -

There were Expeditionary Force Canteens to provide food and drink for soldiers in rest areas. These were run by the Army Service Corps, or by private ventures such as the Salvation Army
Until the second World War Army cooks were regimentally employed and carried on unit strengths, although an Army School of Cookery was established in Aldershot in 1920.

Royal Engineers

The Royal Engineers carried out a number of different roles for the army both in the battlefield and along the lines of communication
Royal Engineer tunnelling companies, nicknamed "the Moles", were specialist units of the Corps of Royal Engineers within the British Army, formed to dig attacking tunnels under enemy lines during the First World War. They designed and built the frontline fortifications, creating cover for the infantry and positions for the artillery. It was in the hands of the technically skilled RE's to develop responses to chemical and underground warfare. Without the RE's the infantry and artillery would have soon been powerless, as they maintained their weapons.
The RE's maintained the railways, roads, water supply, bridges and transport - allowing supplies to the armies. They operated the railways and inland waterways, maintained wireless, telephones and other signalling equipment, making sure communications existed. The Royal Engineers grew into a large and complex organisation, by the 1 August 1914, the RE consisted of 1056 officers and 10394 men of the regular army and Special Reserve, plus another 513 and 13127 respectively serving with the RE of the Territorial Force. The officers and men manned 26 coastal defence Fortress Companies (of which 15 were overseas), 7 Signal Companies, 2 Cable and Airline (signalling) Companies, 15 Field Companies, 3 Survey Companies, 2 Railway Companies, and miscellaneous other units. There were also 9 Depot companies carrying out training and administrative duties, as well as various Schools.
In 1915 the corps formed its own tunnelling companies. Manned by experienced coal miners from across the country, they operated with great success until 1917, when after the fixed positions broke, they built deep dugouts such as the Vampire dugout to protect troops from heavy shelling. By 1 August 1917, it had grown to a total of 295668. It was twelve times bigger than the peacetime establishment.

  • Field Companies and the Signals Companies

were companies attached to the fighting portions of the Divisions, which often saw action and took part in the fighting. The Divisions of the early part of the war also had on their strength two Fortress Companies and works units for bridging and lines of communication. Various other units of Royal Engineers were attached to Corps, Army and GHQ. In November 1914, the Royal Engineers was composed of almost 17,000 officers and 340,000 other ranks.

Army Ordnance Corps

The job of the AOC was the maintenance and repair of armaments and munitions.

Royal Army Medical Corps

The Medical Services Official History reveals that 66,139 men had been obtained for the RAMC by the 31st December 1915 (excluding Territorial Force) alone. Many men would have been in the home hospital reserve, serving in hospitals in the United Kingdom so would not have served abroad.

  • Espionage

The Army Chaplains

Non-Combatant Corps (NCC)

The NCC was disbanded in 1920

Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC)

This is a sub-project of World War One: Armed Forces - England

The Home Divisions

Some Divisions of the British Army did not leave their native shore. They were retained as the command structure for training formations and at part of the home defences.

  • 63rd (2nd Northumbrian) - Did not go overseas
  • 64th (2nd Highland) - Did not go overseas
  • 65th (2nd Lowland) - Did not go overseas
  • 67th (2nd Home Counties) - Did not go overseas
  • 68th (2nd Welsh) - Did not go overseas
  • 69th (2nd East Anglian) - Did not go overseas
  • 70th Not formed
  • 71st - Did not go overseas
  • 72nd - Did not go overseas
  • 73rd - Did not go overseas

// this project is in History Link