The BWIR in WW1 - Edward E. PACKER

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The BWIR in WW1 - Edward E. PACKER

Post by Krosfyah » Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:41 pm

My uncle, Edward Ernest Packer enlisted in Barbados shortly after the call to arms came in 1915. His registration number was 944 of more than 15,000 recruits from the British West Indian Islands. His battalion (the 1st) left for Seaford, England in the Fall of 1915 for training. Many recruits died both en route and in Seaford that winter. The 1st and 2nd battalions of the BWIR were eventually shipped to Egypt, where they would spend the rest of the war. Edward E. Packer never returned.

I have tried to find war records through England, only to learn that these were destroyed in WW2 bombing. I have not found anything in Barbados, but I may not be looking in the right places. Does anyone have a lead on where records of the BWIR battalions may be archived? Also any photos?

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Re: The BWIR in WW1 - Edward E. PACKER

Post by bimjim » Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:22 pm

The West India Regiment was part of the British Army, so many of the relevant documents are held in London at the (British) National Archives. If you haver most of his military details, you can . digital records direct from the (British) National Archives.

Here are some links that look useful...
On this page, there are some details you can use to help you... for instance in this snippet...

"Battalions formed by the regiment
1st Battalion
Formed at Seaford, Sussex, England from West Indies volunteers: A Company from British Guiana, B from Trinidad, C from Trinidad & St. Vincent, D from Grenada & Barbados.
Served in Egypt and Palestine.
War diary September 1915 - April 1919 (WO95/4427, 4433, 4410, 4732)" have a direct reference to the War Diaries (War diary September 1915 - April 1919 (WO95/4427, 4433, 4410, 4732)) - and you will discover that all Archives just love to have all the numbers (it makes their job easier).

Here is Ainsley Harriot's WDYTYA page... ... it_2.shtml

This lists the Barbados Museum and Historical Society as a possible source of BWIR information, and I know the Library there does no research for a fee.

You will also notice that in various web pages the Regiment is loosely referred to as the British West Indies Regiment, the British West India Regiment, the West India Regiment and the West Indies Regiment,

In any case, it seems clear that the volunteers from Barbados were in the 1st Battalion, D Company - which served most of its time in Egypt.

Good luck!!


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Re: The BWIR in WW1 - Edward E. PACKER

Post by Krosfyah » Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:03 pm

Jim....thanks very much for your guidance. I will pursue all of these.....Jim

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The BWIR in WW1

Post by BMullin » Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:31 pm

I am looking for any information that I can get my hands on, on the fate of the men of the BWIR who were charged and sentenced in the aftermath of the mutiny in Taranto Italy. I am particularly interesting in finding out what happened to Private Sanches who served a 20 year prison sentence, I believe, for his leadership role in the mutiny, and also Privates: Myers, Munroe and Oxley . If anyone has any information regarding what happened to any of the 55 men involved - anecdotal or otherwise, I would be grateful. I am aware that some of the men went to live in Cuba when they returned, but my leads at the moment are woefully thin!

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