Alan Greveson's World War 1 Forum (Page 128)

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Posted by: Les Clarke {Email left}
Location: Cheltenham
Date: Monday 20th February 2012 at 8:37 PM
Hi Alan,
I worked for Harry Foster (baker) of Mill Street Cannock before & after the WW11, his son Leo was a Spitfire pilot, I have made numerous enquiries in an effort to trace him or his decendents but have failed, can you do any better, he had a sister who I think was called (Tess) Therasa or Terasa, I am going back seventy odd years but their address may have been Regal or Regency street or terrace. Les.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 20th February 2012 at 10:47 PM

Dear Les,
Tracing someone forwards, rather than backwards, requires a different style of research to the historical records that I study for this public forum. Tracing people forwards is also very costly to ascertain evidence, and is something I do not do on this forum. Information about an individual who may be still living, or his descendants, is sensitive information which they may consider to be private and may not wish to be made public. Such private information about individuals, gleaned through research, is covered by the UK Data Protection Act 1998. I am registered with the UK Information Commissioner's Office which makes me personally responsible for the security of data that I collect during research involving people who are, or may be, still living, so I couldn't publish that information on a public web forum as personal data can only be obtained for "one or more specified and lawful purposes, and cannot be further processed in any manner". In other words, if I put it on the internet I have no control over it and contravene the Act.
You will notice elsewhere on this forum that I do not research Second World War personnel for that reason. All the information I use for historical research on this web forum is already in the public domain and relates to people born more than 100 years ago, which complies with professional best practice.
I appreciate a legalistic answer doesn't help you with your search. However, there is a wide gulf between detailed historical research and the investigation of current information which people rightly hold to be private.
You may wish to register with the Forces Reunited website which specialises in helping to find former colleagues. See:
Or you could write to local newspapers asking for help. There is also a website (charges apply) that lists people from modern and historical public data by surname and place at:

Kind regards,
Reply from: Les Clarke
Date: Tuesday 21st February 2012 at 9:24 AM

Hi Alan,
Thanks for your reply, I will follow the steps you indicate, Thanks again Les
Reply from: Mary Hart
Date: Tuesday 18th September 2012 at 2:53 PM

Hi Les

Harry foster was my grandpa & I've been trying to find information about him. He had 4 children, Leo, Pauline, Audrey (my mum) & Tesse.

Uncle Leo died very recently in Bournemouth & had 3 children.

Aunty Tesse is still alive & lives in the USA

It would be great to hear from you. My email: (maryhart24 at gmail dot com)

With best wishes

Mary Hart
Posted by: Bella
Location: Esher
Date: Sunday 19th February 2012 at 2:32 PM
Dear Alan,

Hope you are well.

Wondering if you can help me find out whether or not the following person married or entered WW1. William Charles Whitehead. Born Camberwell 1887/8. Parents William and Elizabeth Byrne Whitehead.

Any results will be greatly appreciated.

Kind regards.

Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 19th February 2012 at 6:47 PM

Dear Bella,
I'm keeping well, thanks.
William Charles Whitehead was baptised at All Saints Church Hatcham Park on 30th October 1887. He was the son of William John Whitehead and Elizabeth Byrne Whitehead of 72 Casella Road, New Cross, Lewisham. In the 1891 census he was listed as Charles W. His father was a GPO electrical foreman.
In the 1901 census, William, aged 13, was an electrical machinist and his father a foreman with a telephone company. The family lived at Fotheringham Road, Enfield. In 1911 William was at Bruce Castle Road and was a GPO lineman.

A Seaman's record of service exists for a William Charles Whitehead, born at Greenwich, 29th September 1887 (a month before the baptism above). He was a GPO engineer. The record showed he enlisted on 31 May 1915 for the duration of hostilities with the number F5219 and rose to the rank of Chief Petty Officer. This might be the same William Charles of the GPO. He was with the Royal Naval Air Service and served aboard HMS Canning between September 1915 and May 1916 (at Salonika). From 17 May 1916 to 9 January 1918 he served on HMS Ark Royal which was off Salonika and then off the Dardanelles acting as a depot ship for the sea planes of the area. On 27 February 1918 until December 31st 1918 he was under HMS Daedalus (Cranwell) which was in fact the Royal Naval Air Service central training establishment at what is now RAF Cranwell. However, as with many other naval establishments, personnel serving with the RNAS at other stations could be administered by "HMS Daedalus" without actually being physically there. Daedalus was the name of a hulk vessel in the Medway and gave its name as the nominal depot ship for RNAS personnel serving elsewhere. (
The service record is difficult to read in parts. It can be downloaded (cost GBP 3-50) from the National Archives website. See:

He was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal (Navy medal rolls via under Wm C Whitehead)
You would need to get his GRO Birth Certificate to prove this man was the son of William John and Elizabeth Byrne Whitehead. The certificate may be: Whitehead, William Charles, Oct-Nov-Dec 1887, Greenwich, Volume 1D page 1025.
It is not practicable to identify a marriage unless the names of both parties can be matched from some other source such as working backwards from a child's birth certificate, rather than trying to work forwards which is far more speculative.

The Fleet Air Arm Museum may hold further records of men who served with the RNAS. See:

Kind regards,
Reply from: Bella
Date: Sunday 19th February 2012 at 8:39 PM

Dear Alan

When one writes asking your advice and knowledge and the answer arrives which you hope for but never assume, it's like one's first date, will he or won't he turn up and when he/she does, it's like Christmas or opening a package only to find what you were hoping for is there. Thank you so very, very much for all the information and the sites you have given which I will persue.

I can tell you that William Charles is indeed the the son of William and Elizabeth and have the birth certificate to prove it. Regarding the question of whether or not he married and how to establish this, I'm not quite certain how, what would be your advice?

Thank you so much for all your efforts which are hugely appreciated.

Kind regards.

Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 19th February 2012 at 9:09 PM

Dear Bella,
As there are no census records available after 1911 it is difficult to establish the name of a man's wife. The only way is to search the marriage indexes for any any likely marriages in the area where he last lived and to order those certificates using the GRO's reference checking system to send only certificates with the groom's father's name as William. As the details on a marriage certificate are not always accurate, such as age or address, it can be very difficult to make a positive identification. Also, many marriages took place in the pasrish of the bride, so the marriage may not have been where the groom lived. The best way is to work backwards from known information about their decsendants, but that information is not always available. If you can find a death certificate for William that might identify where he lived and even his widow if she reported the death, but if you do not know when he died you would need to search for 100 years from his birth: a daunting task.
Kind regards,
Reply from: Bella
Date: Sunday 19th February 2012 at 9:13 PM

Dear Alan

Thank you so much for your very prompt reply.

Thanks for your advice, I will try my best!

Kind regards.

Posted by: Jim Whittaker
Location: Wick Scotland
Date: Sunday 19th February 2012 at 10:48 AM
Hi Alan, just stumbled across your forum, looks great and I am hoping that you may be able to throw a bit of light on a project topic I am busy with. Trying to obtain more info. on a JAMES HULME LEIGH who served in WW1. As far as I can work out he was born in 1897 and served in the latter part of the conflict. Other info. I have appears to indicate that he was in the Lancashire Fuseliers as a private with a reg No.242110. He was awarded the Victory Medal. Later he served in the Fire Brigade in Rochdale, Lancs. and later still in the Police force in the same town.
Hope you can help, many thanks. Jim.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 19th February 2012 at 6:43 PM

Dear Jim,
Unfortunately there are no records that I can see that would positively identify James Hulme Leigh. The medal card for James H Leigh of the Lancashire Fusiliers provides no biographical information and can't be matched to any other record. This man was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. As he did not qualify for a Star medal he did not serve abroad until after January 1st 1916. The regimental number appears to be a Territorial Force number issued after March 1917 in the block 240001 to 280000 which was allotted to the 6th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers. However, there is no guarantee a man remained with the same battalion throughout his service. The 6th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers consisted of the 1st/6th and the 2nd/6th Battalions which had different war records, so it is still not possible to place him.
Kind regards,
Reply from: Jim Whittaker
Date: Monday 20th February 2012 at 12:37 PM

Dear Alan, thank you so much for your prompt reply. The info you have provided will help in more research on my part, that probably means I shall be contacting you again. In the meantime please accept my sincere thanks.
Kind regards,
Posted by: Jean
Location: Chester
Date: Sunday 19th February 2012 at 10:33 AM
Hello again Alan,
You were kind enough to help recently with information concerning our Grandfather.

I am now writing to see if you can be of help in finding out more about the service of my husband's Uncle who also lost his life in WW1.
Details I have are as follows:
Rifleman Francis Leonard Moore, No. 45676. Royal Irish Rifles. He died 23 August 1918, age 19 and is commemorated at Vis-en-Artois, Panel 10. He was born in Kettering, Northants, parents William and Mary Ann.

I am not sure when he joined up but we would be interested to hear of any information as to his length of service, his service record if available and the activities of the Royal Irish Rifles (I think it may have changed to London Regiment (London Irish Rifles at some point) before and up to the time of his death. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 19th February 2012 at 4:47 PM

Dear Jean,
No individual service record has survived for Francis Leonard Moore so it is not possible to be certain about his service history. A medal index card showed he served abroad with the 18th (County of London) Battalion (Royal Irish Rifles) London Regiment and qualified for the British war and Victory Medals. As he did not qualify for the 1914-15 Star for service overseas before December 31st 1915, he did not go abroad until after January 1st 1916. He was born in July-Aug-Sept 1899 therefore when war broke out he was aged 15. In normal circumstances he would have been conscripted about his 18th birthday which would have been in 1917.
When he was killed he was serving with the 18th Battalion London Regiment on the Western Front. Of the three battalions numbered 18th in the London regiment, only the 1st/18th Battalion served in France and Flanders, so it would appear he served with them in France in 1917 or 1918. "Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) recorded that he had formerly been 41938 in the King's Royal Rifle Corps. So he may have trained with the KRRC and then transferred to the London Regiment, possibly when he first arrived in France.
The 18th Battalion served with the 141st Infantry Brigade with the 47th Division. There engagements in 1917 and 1918 can be seen at:
Francis would have been killed during the fighting in Artois as he is commemorated on the Vis en Artois memorial for men who died in the period from 8 August 1918 to the date of the Armistice in the Advance to Victory in Picardy and Artois, between the Somme and Loos, and who have no known grave.
There is a brief history of the London Irish Rifles at:

You can download the war diary of the 18th Battalion for GBP 3-50 from the National Archives website. It is with some other diaries in catalogue reference WO 95/2737. See:

Kind regards,
Reply from: Jean
Date: Sunday 19th February 2012 at 6:50 PM

Dear Alan,
Thank you so much for the information, you are amazing! Your message has filled in some blanks for us and will be of interest to my husband and his Cousin, who has been to see the panel at Vis en Artois, How on earth do you manage to find out so much information for all of us and so quickly too.

You are helping so many of us find information about our family members and your efforts are very much appreciated.

I will pass all the details on to the family, thanks again. Jean

Will send a further donation to RBL.
Posted by: Katie {Email left}
Location: Bournemouth
Date: Sunday 19th February 2012 at 2:34 AM

I am currently doing my family tree, on my grandad's through my mum's side I am having very little luck. I know that his Dad was an Arthur T Miles as i have found his war medals. I have found his MIC but not sure where to go from there? This is the info that i have:

Name Arthur Thomas Miles
Regiment or Corps: King's Royal Rifle Corps
Regimental No. Y64

I know he was a rifleman and Private in the 1st world war. Born around 1881 I believe married to Matilda Emily had a son called Fred J Miles and Terry H miles (my They lived in londons. My was born on the steps of the bow bells somethings like that - i believe this to mean he's a cockney?

any ideas where I go from here?

Many thanks
Katie Evans
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 19th February 2012 at 4:46 PM

Dear Katie,
No individual service record has survived for Arthur T Miles Y64 King's Royal Rifle Corps. Therefore it is not possible to trace his wartime service. His Medal Index Card showed he entered France on 11 December 1915. I have not found any battalion of the KRRC that entered France on that date, so it is probable he was part of a draft of reinforcements to any of the many battalions of the KRRC already in France. The medal index card does not provide any biographical details, so unless you posses the actual medals, the card cannot be shown to relate to Arthur Thomas Miles, only to an Arthur T Miles.
The 1911 census recorded and Arthur Thomas Miles married for three years to Matilda Emily Miles with a nine month old son, Frederick Samuel, living at Paddington. Arthur Thomas stated he was born at North Kensington about 1881.
The birth of an Arthur James T Miles was registered at Kensington in the third quarter of 1880. An Arthur James T Miles married at Kensington in 1907. A possible wife was a Maud Emily Perry. The name Maud is a diminutive of Matilda. A Terence Miles was born at Kensington in 1912 and the mother's maiden name was stated as Perry. You would need to order the GRO certificates to prove the relationships.
Kind regards,
Reply from: Katie
Date: Monday 20th February 2012 at 2:29 AM

Thanks Allan this is a huge help. yes we have the actual medals for arthur. so i am sure that is him

kind regards
Posted by: J Minshall {Email left}
Location: Uk
Date: Saturday 18th February 2012 at 3:37 PM
Hello Alan - You have been recommended to me by a friend because I cannot find the answer to the query about my grandfather WWI.
How can I find out which regiments were in Bangalore, India, 1817-1919? He sent my grandmother a card from Cape Town in Sep.1917 en route to India, and I have a photo of him in Bangalore.
I have evidences that my grandfather joined the Army in May 1917 (having been in the Saffordshire Yeomanry when younger) On the reverse of his Marriage cert.and the Birth certs.of his 2 sons was stamped "CAVALRY records York... Hussars 17 May 1917" which suggests he was in the cavalry - I know he was a good horseman. On his WWI medal his details [for EDWARD BUCKLEY UPTON Born 10 Aug.1885 ] his regiment was stated as Lancs.Kings Own Regt.!
I wrote to Lancs.K.O. for more info. but was told that regiment did not go to India (although they had his name with no other info.)
I suspect he had an earlier service number and was tranferred from another regiment tp LKO. The Staffs. Yeomanry Museum in Stafford could not help me either! On a visit to York I was told that Cavalry Recs. were at Chester but I discovered they were moved to Glasgow so wrote to them and was told they cold not help me.
Consequently my contacting you for help please! Thank you in anticipation J MINSHALL
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 18th February 2012 at 5:45 PM

From the evidence you have it is not possible to trace Edward Buckley Upton. If you possess the actual medal impressed on the rim with his with his regimental number in The King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) then that will be his regiment.
An Army medal rolls index card recorded an Edward B Upton in the Royal Lancaster Regiment 35678. However, there is no evidence this card relates to Edward Buckley Upton. It recorded the award only of the British War Medal. Some soldiers in India did qualify for this medal on its own but, equally, a soldier who served only in India after 1917 might not have qualified for any medals as India was not a theatre of war, so he may not be listed in the medal rolls index. No individual service record has survived for Edward Buckley Upton born 1885, so it is not possible to identify him further in military records.
If his marriage and children's birth certificates were stamped on the reverse by the Cavalry Record Office at York that suggests he paid his wife a separation allowance (a portion of his pay which was subsidised by the War Office). They would have required sight of his marriage and children's birth certificates which would have been stamped on receipt. That suggests he enlisted in a cavalry Regiment. If he enlisted about May 1917 he was conscripted into the Army and would have no choice of regiment. Earlier service in the Yeomanry would not be helpful as pre-war service would have been as a part-time Territorial soldier, because the pre-war Yeomanry was part of the Territorial Army.
It is not possible to provide a list of regiments in Bangalore. You would have to search each volume of the Army List for the years concerned. Each volume has a thousand or more pages and during the war locations of regiments were not specifically identified. A long list of regiments in India would not help identify an individual soldier.
Kind regards,
Reply from: J Minshall
Date: Sunday 26th February 2012 at 7:58 PM

Thank-you Alan for checking for further info. re. my grandfather E.B. UPTON. Yes I do have his medal and confirm his
He was in other places not just in Bangalore but I do not have dates for those.At least I know now that I have gone as far as I can re. his army service in WWI. I am happy to send a donation to Royal Br.Legion as a sign of my gratitude for your help.JM
Posted by: Jeannie
Location: Stockton On Tees
Date: Saturday 18th February 2012 at 3:34 PM
Hello Alan
I've been researching a distant family relative. His name - Robert Moore McKinnon Boutcher. He enlisted 1.9.15 and was discharged on 26.11.15. I cannot find any service record for him. His medal card shows he was a shoesmith and gunner, Reg no -110686, in the Royal Field Artillery. The card states RFA/245B and RFA/16 A&B. I know he was awarded the Silver War Badge (266303) with the comments 4A Res bde, and was discharged through 'sickness' aged 41 on 26.11.15. From this information is it possible to find where he enlisted, his rank and whereabouts in France he fought? What kinds of illness would 'sickness' encompass? I know he married in Stockton on Tees, and he died there in 1942. Thank you. Jeannie.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 18th February 2012 at 5:44 PM

Dear Jeannie,
It is not possible to state where Robert Boutcher served. His rank was shoesmith and gunner (private soldier) in the Royal Field Artillery. His medal card showed he went to France on 18 October 1915. He was discharged in the UK on 26th November 1915. The 4a Reserve Brigade RFA was at Woolwich and was the UK-based brigade from which he was being administered when he was discharged, so it does not help identify with which unit he served. The only hope would be the actual medal roll for his 1914-15 Star which was the roll numbered RFA/16 A&B page 7474. Each man had a one line entry on the rolls and there may or may not be a note of his unit. The roll is held at the UK National Archives in catalogue reference WO 329/2545 "Royal Field Artillery other ranks: medal rolls RFA/16A; RFA/16B; RFA/19A; RFA/19B. Pages 7399-7687. 1914-15 Star. C 536". You would need to visit the archives or pay for research. The rolls for the other two medal would not normally indentify a specific unit.
Sickness meant any disease or condition other than wounds.
Kind regards,
Reply from: Jeannie
Date: Monday 20th February 2012 at 1:23 PM

Hello Alan
Many thanks for your reply about Robert Boutcher. The information on the Medal Rolls is most helpful. I came across him while researching family history. We have several family members who served in World War 1, and I've enjoyed finding out about each one of them. Thanks again. Jeannie.
Posted by: Donna {Email left}
Location: Hamilton Ontario Canada
Date: Friday 17th February 2012 at 10:39 PM
Good evening Alan:

I have a question about my great uncle Charles Henry Farrington, who served with the Royal Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion, at the Hugh Rose Barracks, Jubbalpore, India in 1911. He was Pte. L/12172 R.F. London 1914 1.81.1. for the brief time he served in France during W.W. 1.
From my research I have found that the 2nd Battalion was not deployed from India to France and Flanders until late in 1914, and yet my uncle seems to have been in the thick of it, and indeed dead by Sept. 27, 1914. Possible battles were the lst Battle of Albert Sept. 25 - 29, or Chivey on Sept. 26. Is it possible that he was home on leave when the war began? or had he been reassigned to Ireland (I note that the Irish regiments were deployed immediately). Is there any way to find this information? thank you for your time. Donna
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 18th February 2012 at 3:24 PM

Dear Donna,
No individual service record appears to have survived for Charles Henry Farrington. The records that have survived show scant biographical information that would positively identify him. Charles Henry Farrington L/12172 died while serving with the 1st Battalion Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment). The L prefix to his number indicated he was regular army soldier. An application for his medals was made by his sister Mrs E. Currie of Notting Hill. An Ellen Louisa Farrington married a Matthew Currie in 1904 at Notting Hill. Her marriage certificate and place of birth indicate she was the daughter of Charles Henry Farrington senior, who also had a son, Charles. In the 1901 census this Charles Farrington was recorded as age 12, born in 1889 at East Dulwich. In 1891 he was recorded as being aged 3 and born at Acton.
The Charles Henry Farrington recorded in the 1911 census was recorded as being aged 24 and born at East Dulwich. He was serving with the 2nd Battalion Royal Fusiliers.

"Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921); the CWGC and De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour all recorded that Charles Henry Farrington L/12172 died with the 1st Battalion Royal Fusiliers on September 27th 1914. "Soldiers Died" stated he was born at Woolwich.
Two medal rolls index cards exist. One showed he entered a theatre of war on 7th September 1914. The 1st Battalion Royal Fusiliers landed at St Nazaire on September 9th 1914 (some sources say September 10th). The 1st Battalion Royal Fusiliers entrained for Southampton on the 7th September from Cambridge where they were camped having moved from Kinsale. That would account for the date on the medal card.
The 2nd Battalion Royal Fusiliers was in Calcutta in August 1914.

The evidence is that Charles Farrington sailed to France with the 1st Battalion arriving at St Nazaire on the 9th or 10th of September 1914. Either he had been posted to the 1st Battalion between 1911 and 1914 or he was in the UK on leave when war was declared and was mobilized with the 1st Battalion.
The 1st Battalion served with the 17th Infantry Brigade in the 6th Division. The first few days in France were spent marching to the Front. From September 13th the British expeditionary Force was engaged on the River Aisne between Soissons and Villers. The river was 170 feet wide and 15 feet deep. The infantry of the 6th Division were initially used to provide reliefs in the front line for the troops fighting on the north of the river. Facing the British and three or four miles to the north of the river was a line of chalk hills on the summit of which was the 'Chemin-des-Dames'. Both sides started digging trenches in weather that was generally very wet. This was the start of trench warfare.
For specific details of the locations of the 1st Battalion Royal Fusiliers you would need to see their war diary in Catalogue reference WO 95/1613 "1 Battalion Royal Fusiliers 6 Division Date: 1914 1915'. You could pay for extracts to be researched. See:
Charles Henry Farrington is commemorated on the La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial. The Memorial is situated in a small park on the south-western edge of the town and was unveiled in 1928. The Memorial commemorates 4,000 men of the British Expeditionary Force who died in August, September and the early part of October 1914 and who have no known grave.
Charles was killed in action on Sunday September 27th 1914 the 15th Day of the battle of the Aisne 1914 (13th to 28th September 1914).
Kind regards,
Reply from: Donna
Date: Saturday 18th February 2012 at 5:17 PM

Dear Alan:

Thank you so much for the information on Charles Henry Farrington. I did know about his background before entering the army, and that his sister Ellen requested his medals. I very much appreciated knowing the particulars of the early days of war that he was involved in, and the additional information on the La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial. He is my second great uncle without a grave, and I am so glad that people like you make it possible to remember them, and bring their names to life again. Would a donation to the Canadian Legion be O.K. with you? Best regards, Donna
Posted by: Eils
Location: Washington
Date: Friday 17th February 2012 at 4:22 PM
Hello again Alan
Wondering if you can tell me where my Grandfather John Bloomer was involved in WW1. He originated from Lanarkshire, Scotland, born 1894.
He was a sergeant in the 7th Seaforth Highlanders Reg. No. 3755 (Motor Driver) and at sometime he must have been injured as he was in Dunston Hill Hospital, Gateshead when he met my Grandmother who was a nurse - don't know which year but they married in 1918.
Thanking you again
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 17th February 2012 at 7:22 PM

Dear Eils,
No individual service record appears to have survived for John Bloomer so it is not possible to be specific about his wartime service. There is evidence that he served in the 7th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs, The Duke of Albany's). His medal rolls index card recorded he entered France on 10th May 1915, a date which matches that of the 7th Battalion. A record dated June 1919 recorded he was with the 7th Battalion. It would therefore be likely that he served only with the 7th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders. His regimental number was prefixed with a letter S which indicated he had enlisted for wartime service only in a Service Battalion (wartime service). The 7th Battalion was a wartime Service Battalion.
The Battalion was raised at Fort George, Inverness, on August 14th 1914 and moved to Aldershot. In January 1915 it moved to Alton, and then to Bordon in March 1915, before being sent to France to serve with the 26th Infantry Brigade in the 9th (Scottish) Division. John rose to the rank of Serjeant (traditionally written with a j). There was no need for a "motor driver" in the infantry, so that may have been his civilian job. The engagements of the 9th Division are shown at:
On 13th June 1919 "The London Gazette" announced John Bloomer had been awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field. The award was published in a supplement dated 17th June 1919. See:

Citations for the Military Medal were given to the recipient at the time and there is no centralised record of them. Local newspapers may have reported the award. His hometown was recorded as Wreckenton, Gateshead, in 1919. Dunston Hill Hospital was named after a large house called Dunston Hill. It was an orthopaedic hospital from 1914. The Tyne and Wear Archives have the admissions book from the war: "Dunston Hill Hospital (formerly Newcastle War Pensioner Hospital) Admission and Discharge Book, Great War, including name, rank, age, unit, disability etc HO/DH/7-8". See:

Nurses in the UK were often members of the VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment) staffed by Red Cross and St John Ambulance nurses. To research nurses see:
Holders of the Military Medal were entitled to the post-nominal letters MM so his name would be written: John Bloomer MM.
Kind regards,
Reply from: Eils
Date: Friday 17th February 2012 at 7:41 PM

Thank you again Alan, I knew he had the victory, british and 15 star which I now assume would be as well as the military medal, is that correct?
Don't imagine he used the letters MM, but really nice to know he had received the medal.
Thank you for your time, very much appreciated.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 17th February 2012 at 7:49 PM

Dear Eils,
That's correct: His medal ribband as you looked at it would have been Military Medal on the left; 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. Few men would have used the letters MM but it could have been used in formal correspondence.
Kind regards,
Posted by: Geraldine {Email left}
Location: Kent
Date: Friday 17th February 2012 at 12:38 PM
Hi Alan,
I'm currently researching my family history and i was wondering if you could help?
I have 2 questions, firstly my grandfather Private John Strange service number:2191071 pioneer corps died 16th may 1942 aged 34 this is all the information i have about him at the moment anymore information would be greatly appreciated. Secondly, my uncle Private John Breckenridge service number:14709013 Blackwatch died 14th Febuary 1945 aged 19 i believe he died in Gennep, Netherlands, again anymore information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to read this
Kind Regards
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 17th February 2012 at 3:27 PM

Dear Geraldine,
It is not possible for me to research soldiers from the Second World War as their records are still held by the Ministry of Defence. The MoD will release certain amounts of information about a deceased person depending on whether you are next of kin or not. You can apply for each soldier individually using the forms for next of kin, or with permission of next of kin, or as a general enquirer. See:

You will need proof of death; date of birth or service number; next of kin's permission (unless you are the direct next of kin); a cheque and completed forms Part 1 and 2. The next of kin form (Part 1) is for completion by the next of kin of deceased service personnel (or enquirers with the consent of next of kin). Look for "Service records publications" under "Related pages" and follow the instructions. The Part 2 form is entitled: "Request forms for service personnel Army" found under "Related Pages". Otherwise use a general enquirer's form. A cheque for GBP 30 should be made payable to "The MoD Accounting Officer" and sent to Army Personnel Centre Secretariat, Disclosures 2, Mail Point 515, Kentigern House, 65, Brown Street, Glasgow G2 8EX Scotland with all the paperwork.
You may find their deaths registered with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Search their records at:

Kind regards,
Reply from: Geraldine
Date: Saturday 18th February 2012 at 11:49 AM

Hi Alan
Thank you very much for the reply, I did as you suggested and searched the commonwealth war graves commission, and found both my grandfather and uncle.I will send the forms off to the mod and hopefully be able to get some more information.I cannot thank you enough for pointing me in the right direction. I will make a donation to the british legion as a thank you again.
Kind Regards
Reply from: Ian
Date: Saturday 9th November 2013 at 5:13 PM

My response is really to Geraldine. I believe that I'm related to Private John Breckenridge 1926-1945. I think his parents were John Breckenridge (my great Uncle Jack) and Elizabeth Davidson Bell (m1918) of Greenock. If this is correct please let me know.


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