Norfolk Border Regiment - new member

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Norfolk Border Regiment - new member

Postby NorfolkBorders » Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:47 pm

Hi, obviously i'm new to this forum.

As a child I recall my Grandmother telling me that my Grandfather spent the Second World War in the Border Regiment, where he toyed with the idea of flying gliders before transferring to the Royal Military Police in Jarva due to his pre war occupation of Constable in the Norfolk Constabulary. When questioned about the Border Regiment I was told this was due to his father's Great War service in the Border Regiment.

As a teenager I took part in the Nijmegen Marches, visiting the Arnhem and Oosterbeek points of interest, with thoughts of what did happen to my grandfather's comrades, and what could have happened to him.

Years have gone by and this generation all but lost. Now researching my family tree and the connection with the Border Regiment continues - I married a girl from Cockermouth Cumbria.

So far i can only find record of my grandfather serving in the RMP straight from Norfolk Constabulary, however family reunions and a little research has uncovered more about my Great Grandfather.

Robert James NEWBY born 1887 into the Norwich boot and shoe industry, no father named on his birth certificate and a grandfather listed in the local workhouse I can see how the Army would have been attractive. From MoD information obtained by a great aunt in the 80s it appears that Robert enlisted initially in the Norfolk Regiment, then the Northumberland Fusilers, finally the Border Regiment all in 1906. I have read the posts about this being a particularly good recruitment year for the Regiment, but doesn't explain things entirely.

Why would the Northumberland Fusiliers be involved? I found a newspaper cutting on eBay suggesting the fifes and drums of both the Northumberland Fusilers and the Border Regiment paraded together at a Dover 'Grand Military Tattoo' in 1898, so may have been in the same Brigade or Division? But how would Norfolk fit into this?

The family always thought that this move to the Borders was due to Robert being a newly married man, and suggested that the Norfolks may have been entering a period of foreign service he was given the opportunity to cross deck, however i have seen a copy of the census return for 1911 when 2 Border was in Hampshire, where Robert is listed a single, and there is no record of marriage until 1915.

Family stories indicate that Robert went to war in France with 2 Border, earning the Mons Star, but suffered a gun shot to the head requiring hospitalisation in London for a period before returning to 2 Border and subsequent service in Italy.

As a professional soldier, following the Armistice he remained with the Border Regiment, moving his wife and young son (my grandfather) to Aspatria where he was a Serjeant Instructor (presumably to the local reservists), and two great aunts were subsequently born here.

On completion of service the family returned to Norwich where Robert found employment with the telephones of the GPO, and was a proud member of the local 'Old Contemptibles' Association. Becoming a widower in 1944 he remarried and unfortunately it is suspected that the 'new woman' sold his medals following his death, as many others did.

Due to my wife growing up in Cockermouth we have friends in Aspatria that have farmed the area for generations, so we think we know where the 'Serjeants House' is, we just need to arrange a trip up north to see it!

I'm interested in the pre war period of the Border Regiment, wartime service and especially the work of the reservists in Cumberland after the Great War. I'd also like to try and bottom out any service my Grandfather may have had in the Second World War too.
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Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 3:47 pm

Re: Norfolk Border Regiment - new member

Postby mrdeacon » Tue Oct 18, 2016 9:26 pm

Welcome to the forum I myself was born in Cockermouth and my family are still there.

Regards Mike.
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Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:32 pm
Location: egremont

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About Us

The Border Regiment Forum is a small and friendly community for anyone with an interest in the British regiment throughout its long and colourful history. The forum was set up first and foremost to bring together those with an interest and passion in the Regiment; to ask questions, share stories, provide knowledge and post photos relating to the regiment during the various conflicts and peacetimes it bore witness to.

  -  Cumbria's Museum of Military Life
  -  5th Border Regiment War Grave Project and Roll of Honour
  -  7th Border Regiment War Grave Project and Roll of Honour
  -  8th Border Regiment War Grave Project and Roll of Honour
  -  11th Border Regiment (Lonsdale) War Grave Project