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Benjamin Joseph Vipond Mitchell

Updated: Nov 24, 2023


123286 Private

37th Company, Labour Corps (Transferred to the Labour Corps. 19144 Private, 3rd Battalion A & SH)

Age: 21

Date of Death: 15 August 1917

Buried: Canada Farm, II.F.23

Family history: The son of Mr & Mrs Mitchell of 77 James Street, Laurieston. He was employed as a clipper at Meadowbank Colliery before enlisting in the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders in February 1916 and was subsequently transferred to the Labour Corps.

The action that lead to his death

His Commanding Officer, in a letter to his parents that was featured in the Falkirk Herald, obviously hiding the truth of his death from a German shell, wrote:


He is buried in Canada Farm Cemetery. His headstone does not mention he was a member of the Labour Corps. In 1919 it was decided that the headstone of a member of the Labour Corps, who previously served in any other unit, should record his connection with his previous regiment.



What was a Labour Company?

The Labour Corps company was defined in Army Orders when the Labour Corps came into existence in 1917. Its standard composition was defined in Army Council Instruction 611 of that year.


Composition

1 Major, commanding the company

4 Lieutenants or Second Lieutenants

1 Company Sergeant Major and 1 Company Quartermaster

Sergeant

8 Sergeants

18 Corporals (of which, 1 a Corporal-Cook and 1 a Corporal-Clerk)

461 Privates (of which 6 were appointed to Lance-Corporal)

6 officers’ batmen (normally Privates)

Attached

1 Medical Officer of the Royal Army Medical Corps

8 Drivers of the Army Service Corps (of which 1 a Corporal)

Organisation

The company was structured into:

Company Headquarters

4 Platoons (under a Lieutenant or Second Lieutenant), each of 2 Sections (under a Sergeant). Each Section made up of 2 Sub-Sections (under a Corporal).

Transport

The company was provided with three carts and four General Service wagons and a total of 13 draught and heavy draught horses.

The officer commanding would be provided with a riding horse or bicycle at his discretion.


Medals Awarded

British War Medal, Victory Medal



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