Class Z Reserve

Military Monday – Jim Hurtley (1887-1947)

Jim Hurtley is my great uncle – he is my grandmother’s brother.  He was born about January 1887 to parents James Hurtley and Ellen Paley.

In the 1901 census his occupation is given as ‘bobbin turner’ and in 1911 he is described as ‘manager at hay and straw merchant’.  At the time he was living in the village of Cononley near Skipton in Yorkshire.

Jim married Jessie Leeming on 28 March 1910 and their daughter Alice was born on 20 September the same year.

When the war came he enlisted in the army at Keighley, West Yorkshire on 9 December 1915 at the age of 28 years 11 months.  His occupation at the time is given as ‘warehouseman’.  His service number is 185500.  I’m not sure what happened over the next ten months because the next piece of information shows that he had a medical examination in Halifax, West Yorkshire on 14 October 1916 and was appointed to the Royal Regiment of Artillery on 18 October 1916.

Details of Jim’s area of action are not recorded in any great detail.  I do know that he embarked from Southampton on 17 May 1917.   He then embarked from another port (record unclear) on 27 June 1917 and landed in Alexandria, Egypt on 6 July 1917.

Jim was wounded in action on 9 March 1918 but he ‘remained at duty’.

There is no more information about his service until he embarked from Port Said on 30 January 1919 to return to England.  He was discharged from the army and issued with a ‘protection certificate’ and certificate of identity on 10 February 1919.  However, like many of his comrades Jim was retained in the Class Z Reserve.

Class Z Reserve was authorised by an Army Order of 3 December 1918.  There were fears that Germany would not accept the terms of any peace treaty, and therefore the British Government decided it would be wise to be able to quickly recall trained men in the eventuality of the resumption of hostilities.  Soldiers who were being demobilised, particularly those who had agreed to serve “for the duration”, were at first posted to Class Z.  They returned to civilian life but with an obligation to return if called upon.  The Z Reserve was abolished on 31 March 1920.

In 1921 Jiim received his British War and Victory Medals.

Jim and Jessie had two further children – Jim (born about September 1920) and Phyllis (born about September 1924).

Jim died at the age of 60 in 1947.

Military Monday – Herbert Carradice (1896-1935)

Herbert Mark Carradice is my 1st cousin 3x removed – our common ancestors are my 3x great grandparents John Carradice and Ann Ridley.  Herbert was born in Kendal, Westmorland, to parents Alexander Carradice and Adela Ormandy Birkhead.  His birth is registered in the December quarter of 1895.

I have been lucky enough to find his WW1 service records on www.ancestry.co.uk so I know that Herbert enlisted on 3 October 1916 at Carlisle, Cumberland.  His regimental service number is 242249 (or 4360) and he was assigned to the 4th Border Regiment.  His age is given as 20 years 10 months and his occupation is ‘tailor’.

Herbert’s ‘military history sheet’ shows that he was at home from 3 October 1916 to 14 January 1917.  He embarked for Boulogne on 15 January 1917.

The next piece of information shows that Herbert was wounded in action on 3 July 1917 and was moved to Etaples Military Hospital.  He presumably recovered well enough from his injuries and rejoined his battalion on 2 September 1917.

As Christmas approached Herbert was granted leave from 24 December 1917 to 7 January 1918.

MISSING is stamped on his record on 10 April 1918.  Underneath that is a note dated 6 November 1918 that Herbert is a ‘prisoner of war’ but the location is unclear’.  Another document in his records shows that Herbert was captured on 21 March 1918 and interred in the town of Roisel.

On 10 December 1918 Herbert’s service record shows that he arrived back in England as a ‘repatriated prisoner of war’.

During Herbert’s time as a ‘prisoner of war’ his father, Alexander, was clearly anxious about his son.  On 14 April 1918, having not heard from Herbert for over a month Alexander wrote to the army asking for information.

On 18 May 1918 Alexander wrote again to the army sending on to them a postcard he had received from Herbert in Germany.  It seems that the army had asked Alexander to let them know if he had any contact from Herbert ‘so that his pay will not stop’.  Akexander asked for the postcard to be returned to him – I wonder if t ever was.

Alexander subsequently had a letter from Herbert and wrote to the Army Pay Office on 15 July 1918 asking if he was allowed to send a parcel to Herbert.

Herbert was finally ‘demobbed’ on 26 Novemeber 1919.  However, like many of his comrades he was retained in the Class Z Reserve.

Class Z Reserve was authorised by an Army Order of 3 December 1918.  There were fears that Germany would not accept the terms of any peace treaty, and therefore the British Government decided it would be wise to be able to quickly recall trained men in the eventuality of the resumption of hostilities.  Soldiers who were being demobilised, particularly those who had agreed to serve “for the duration”, were at first posted to Class Z.  They returned to civilian life but with an obligation to return if called upon.  The Z Reserve was abolished on 31 March 1920.

Herbert married Hilda Marshall in Kendal, Westmorland sometime in the September quarter of 1927.  They had two children – Audrey in 1928 and Edwin in 1929.

Herbert died in 1935 – he was only 39.