Question about changing to different infantry during the Great War

+3 votes
Hello.  My great-grandfather, Charles Otto Bartz, served in the Army during the Great War.  While researching his time served there, I found him on two passenger lists that show some conflicting information.

On the first list, it lists him in the 4th Pioneer Infantry, Company H.  On his return from France, he's listed as part of the 113th Infantry, Company M.  Was it common during this war for solders to move to different infantries, or could this be an error somewhere?  If he was really part of two infantries I would like to confirm this as this would help me understand where he may have fought during his time served.  Thank you for your help!
WikiTree profile: Charles Bartz
in Genealogy Help by Bob Bartz G2G1 (1.4k points)

3 Answers

+3 votes

As far as I am aware, infantries were often evolving as the war progressed, their composition changing in response to battlefield conditions and combat strategies. Perhaps you could search for any military records of said infantries to see if they ever crossed paths in the field? If they were perhaps deployed in the same location, it could explain why Charles returned as part of a different infantry. If this isn't the case, I suggest getting in touch with a local military researcher or somewhere which stores these records as they may have information about why this could be—I suggest this because I can't see military records during the war being that incorrect, as naturally the military would rely on correct information.

Good luck!

by Amelia Utting G2G6 Pilot (213k points)
+1 vote
Yes, changes were common.  I am writing veteran biographies for Canadian forces.  With retraining some men changed battalions while still in Canada.  In Britain, they were re-organized and were transferred again.  Upon landing in France, transferred again to an experienced battalion in the field.  Returned to Britain for more training.  Transferred again when returned to France!  With all these transfers rank changes were also common, promotions and demotions.  Would not be surprised to see another transfer when they returned home.
by Fred Blair G2G6 Mach 1 (16.6k points)
+2 votes
Definitely did in Canada as Fred Blair said and probably did in the USA. For Canada, all the personnel records are available and a.soldier might be in one battalion before getting on the ship in Halifax and be in a different one by the time the left the ship in England. I've seen cases where it happened multiple times during the soldiers tour. Transfers in the field happened regularly.
by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (556k points)

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