A Volunteer Miner Who Served In The
DURHAM LIGHT INFANTRY
Guild of One Name Studies Journal (Copyright)
October - December 2011
I have traced his medal card details in the National Archives at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/medals.asp
as Thomas Vayro, Regimental number 311, B Company, No 8 Platoon, Sixth Battalion, Durham Light Infantry
So what of the War itself? I already had a letter from King George V th congratulating him on his release in 1918, which infers he served time as a POW. Info may be available on https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk or https://www.findmypast.co.uk/
It was only when the article appeared that I learnt that his Service Records had survived and were available on https://www.ancestry.com
Map of the YPRES SALIENT movement of DURHAM :LIGHT INFANTRY WW1
THOMAS VAYRO PRIVATE 311
DURHAM LIGHT INFANTRY SIXTH BATTALION, Regimental No. 250007
SERVICE RECORDS WORLD WAR ONE
There are Service Records for Private Thomas Vayro on http://www.ancesty.com where there are 16 images to view, taken from the microfilmed 'Burnt Documents' at The National Archives. So the Durham Light Infantry documents were burnt, but not completely lost in WW2 London Blitz. Ancestry have apparently taken these images from TNA WO 363 - Soldiers' documents, First World War, 'Burnt Documents', to be found on http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?CATID=13422&CATLN=3&accessmethod=5 as Microfilm copies.
Unfortunately many details of signatories and date details are washed away by the fireman's hose, and other damage caused by the fire in the London blitz itself.
Thomas Vayro's Attestation Papers for the Durham Light Infantry, 6th battalion, show that he enlisted [at Ripon] on 2 nd July 1908 for 2 years.
Thomas enlisted in the Second Volunteer Battalion Durham Light Infantry originally on 7th April 1908. Also, that he was previously enrolled in the 2nd VB Durham LI - presumably this means the Volunteer Force established in 1902. Thomas's eventual Army or Regimental Number has been added, presumably at a later date 250007. but reads as 50007.
Thomas's original army number was 311 and he re-enlisted [at Willington] in 1914, as a Private. He went to France on 27 th June 1915, (Thomas is shown on his 1915 Medal card as entering France as a Private) and he was promoted to Sergeant on 12 March 1916
He was "Disembodied" on 10 th March 1919. Signed by CSO CJ Thomas. "Disembodied" meant that he returned to part time service. On the outbreak of war, all Territorial Force Soldiers were "Embodied" i.e. they became full time soldiers with the purpose of providing defence to the homeland whilst the regulars went overseas.
Army Form B5112 confirms the regimental number as 250007 and gives some details of medal entitlement and dated January 8 1922
His "Disability Card" dated 8 th April 1919 records "Weakness and Nerves" and he was discharged March 1919, as a Sergeant. This is a card for pensions' purposes. He was shown as being in the 5 th DLI battalion, so perhaps towards the end of the war he transferred from 6th Battalion to 5th Battalion? I think it says 30% disabled - and that there are 3 children. (Thomas Henry, John William and Mary) These factors would have been taken into account for the amount of his pension.
Another form says that he may be called on to re-join, in emergency, and mentions a medical category 'BI' - I don't know what this code means; possibly 'bodily injury'? The form mentions that he was a 1st class soldier and that he was a Sergeant-Cook.
An overall summary sheets would have been used to calculate his service (in days/months/years) for pension purposes. It also mentions various camps,
Ripon 4 th July 1908, Blackhall 28 th July 1909, Rothbury 27 th July 1910, Strensall 30 th July 1911, and Scarborough 27 July 1912
After enlisting for 2 years in April 1908, he re-enlisted 17 Feb 1910 for 4 years; and then in 10 March 1914 for 2 years (but obviously the War required him to continue beyond 1916).
Promoted Sergeant on 12 March 1916 - and I think it says that he retained this rank in April 1917. Then he was reported missing 27th May 1918, from British Expeditionary Force.
His medals are mentioned. As well as 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal, there is mention of Territorial Forces Efficiency Medal. I have looked this up now on the TNA website on http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/medals.asp which explains that this means 'Territorial Force Efficiency Medal' and was awarded after 12 years' service (with war service counting double).
Thomas was reported Missing 27 th May 1918 and this fits in with Thomas Vayro being a POW for a time, in 1918.