The Muster Roll is useful for three other
factors. First, it gives an indication of the everyday unit duties that had to
be performed such as messing, running the Orderly Room and the need for such services
as Carpentry, Shoemaking, and Tailoring, even to providing a secretary for the
local Royal Army Temperance Association (RATA)! Secondly, it lists those with
specialist skills such as Instructors in Physical and Bayonet Training, or Telephone
Operators. Lastly, the Roll tells us of those men who had previously served in
France, Salonika, Egypt or the Dardanelles, awards they may have received including
in a few cases, the Tirah and South Africa Medals, if they had previously served
in the Jersey Contingent, and whether they had been wounded or gassed.
a result, the Muster Roll provides some clues to the composition and nature of
the RJGB when coupled with an analysis of the UK National Archive's Medal Roll
Index and other data, for one can see that the regimental numbering system reached
1035, a figure 125% more than the establishment of Sergeants and below.
was clearly a core of those who having enlisted in the RJGB in February 1917,
remained on strength until the Armistice, and it may be that the assumption can
be drawn that most of these men were insufficiently fit for what the army described
as general service, or outside the age limits for conscription. Meanwhile, there
is evidence of men who, having joined the RJGB, are later to be found with a British
regiment such as the Hampshires, and some having been Killed in Action (KIA) or
Dying of Wounds (DOW). Then, there are those men with prior service in France,
Salonika and elsewhere, and it would seem clear that these men could no be longer
regarded by the Army as fit for general service. In that regard, the RJGB provided
the means to retain their useful military skills in a somewhat more benign environment.
With the overall turnover, the RJGB must have had the appearance of transit unit.
surprising factor emerges. Having thought that the RJGB would have consisted of
Jerseymen and Jersey residents, it is interesting to note that a draft of 100
men from famous British regiments such as the Durham Light Infantry and the Yorks
and Lancasters appear to have joined the RJGB. Their names can be found in the
range of regimental numbers 880 to 979.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission
(CWGC) commemorates the deaths of seven men who died while serving with the RJGB:
In the 1918 cases, the four deaths within a fortnight
resulted from the Spanish Influenza epidemic, and at the Brighton Road Military
Hospital in St Helier, Jersey. For Pte Brierley (an Ex-Manchester Regiment man),
the CWGC incorrectly shows in its record and on his headstone that he was in the
RGLI. nb.This has now been corrected and a new headstone dedicated in November
A list of RJGB members as is currently can
be read here.
details that can help fill the gaps will be most welcome by the author.