Alan Greveson's World War 1 Forum (Page 41)

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Posted by: Kez {Email left}
Location: Sydney Australia
Date: Saturday 5th October 2013 at 2:00 AM
Hello Alan,
I am hoping you can help me please. I am helping a friend with his tree and have come across a relie John Fielding Kane, a Capt in the 48th Rifle Regiment died at Madras India in 1880? John's father was John James Kane, Monmouth also a Captain?

I also found another John Fielding Hill Kane. I was wondering if they are the same person. I believe John Fielding Hill was a 2nd Lt. 3Bn Rifle Brigade. He died at Miranshah in 1897.Would this be Pakistan?

Any information you can help me with would be appreciated.

Thanks for your time Kerrie
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 5th October 2013 at 7:21 PM

Dear Kerrie,
Researching Victorian army officers cannot be fully achieved from a desktop search and requires access to the published annual and quarterly Army Lists on the shelves of national archives. The Army Lists identify where an officer was serving throughout his career, and searching them by quarter and year throughout a 20 year career is time-consuming. Some lists are available digitally. See:
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/looking-for-person/britisharmyofficerbefore1913.htm
Army officers of the Victorian period are often only identified by their surname, initials, and date of seniority, so it is necessary to see primary documentary sources which record that information. Regimental museums may be able to help with the history of regiments and their postings.
The two John Fielding Kanes you have found were different people, but they were related as uncle and nephew.
The son of John Joseph and Sarah Ann Kane was baptised at Monmouth on 4th November 1833 as John Fielding Willis Kane. He served as an ensign in the 1860s and purchased his commission as a Captain on 14th March 1868 with the 48th (Northamptonshire) Regiment of Foot. He died on 1st February 1880 at Madras with the 48th Foot.
John Fielding Hill Kane was born at Worcester in 1876, the son of the Rev Richard Nathaniel Kane and his wife Mary. The Rev Richard Kane was John Fielding Willis Kane's brother. John Fielding Hill Kane was a second-lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion the Rifle Brigade. He died on 23rd October 1897 in the Tochi-Valley at Miranshah. This date coincides with the Tochi Expedition. The Tochi Valley was in Afghanistan until 1895 when the area was taken over by the British. In 1910, the British established the North Waziristan Tribal Agency with its headquarters at Miranshah in the valley. The area is now part of Pakistan. The Rifle Brigade chronicle of the expedition is available online at:
http://www.archive.org/stream/riflebrigadechr02owngoog#page/n130/mode/2up
Second Lieutenant J F H Kane qualified for the India Medal with Punjab Frontier clasp (10th June 1897 6th April 1898).
John Joseph Kane, born Lincoln about 1797, appears to have been commissioned in 1813 as an Ensign in the 4th (King's Own) Regiment of Foot and later had been Captain and adjutant of the Monmouthshire Militia. In the 1861 Welsh census he was shown as being on half pay i.e. retired.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Kez
Date: Sunday 6th October 2013 at 12:46 AM

Many many thanks Alan! Cheers Kerrie
Posted by: Teresa {Email left}
Location: Morecambe Lancs
Date: Thursday 3rd October 2013 at 9:55 AM
Hi I have been doing the family tree for some time and my great uncle Edward makinson 240258 died 30th November 1917 France kings own royal Lancaster regiment he was in the 1/5 battalion but not sure which company he was in. we have found a picture of him in our local newspaper, his body was never found although not down as missing its like he has been wiped from everything and not many records we believe he was also injured in April 1915 but no records has anyone had the same problems thank you x
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 3rd October 2013 at 3:13 PM

Dear Teresa,
Everyone has that problem at some time as the majority of all First World War records were destroyed in the London Blitz in September 1940. An army medal rolls index card recorded that private Edward Makinson had served with the King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment with the regimental numbers 1589 and 240258. He entered France on 14th February 1915. The two numbers showed that he had served in a Territorial Force (T.F.) battalion of the regiment, as the T.F. soldiers originally had four-digit numbers which were replaced with six-digit numbers in the first two months of 1917.
The CWGC recorded that on the day he died he was serving with the 1st/5th Battalion King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. This was the original 5th Battalion. The 5th Battalion had set off for France on the night of the 14th/15th February 1915 and arrived at Havre on the following morning.
It therefore seems probable that Edward enlisted in and served with the 5th Battalion King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment throughout his time in the Army.
The 5th Battalion was based at Lancaster and was in the West Lancashire Division. At the outbreak of war in August 1914 it was employed guarding railways around Didcot. In November 1914 the Battalion moved to Sevenoaks before sailing for France in February 1915. On March 3rd 1915, the 5th Battalion became part of 83rd Infantry Brigade in the 28th Division and fought at the Second Battle of Ypres (April May 1915) and The Battle of Loos in September 1915. On October 21st 1915 the 5th Battalion moved to the 2nd Infantry Brigade in the 1st Division. On January 7th 1916 the 5th Battalion joined 166th Infantry Brigade in the 55th Division. This Division was a re-formed West Lancashire Division and was in the Hallencourt area. For the engagements of the 55th Division in 1916 and 1917 see:
http://www.1914-1918.net/55div.htm
Edward was killed in action on 30 November 1917 in the Battle of Cambrai. He has no marked grave and his name is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial at Louveral. The memorial commemorates the men who died in the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917 and whose graves are not known. He qualified for the 1914-15 Star, The British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Teresa
Date: Friday 17th January 2014 at 1:08 PM

Thank you for getting back to me and I am so sorry to be a pain edward was injured In April 1915 but there was no record but went back to be major Atkinsons batman why would a batman be fighting? And would there be any record of this many thanks once again xx
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 17th January 2014 at 1:26 PM

Dear Teresa,
Being an officer's batman was in addition to being a soldier. Ernest would have been at Major Atkinson's side when going into the attack. There would be no specific record.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Antony Atkinson
Date: Monday 12th May 2014 at 7:54 AM

My Grand Father's name was Ernest Atkinson and he was a Major in the 1/5 King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. I believe this is the E Atkinson referred to above.
Reply from: Teresa
Date: Monday 12th May 2014 at 9:36 AM

Hi Anthony this if fantastic break through as we have been trying to search for his major just to try and put pieces to the puzzle together. We have been trying to find out as much as possible about my mums Uncle Edward Makinson as family dies and you dont ask questions when you are younger and the only picture we had was that out of the news paper, we have his death medal and the WW1 search has gripped us. Do you have a picture of your grandfather in uniform?. Edward makinson 240256 served in kings own royal lancaster regiment 1/5 battalion he was injured in April 1915 and went back in to serve as Major Atkinsons batman and he was killed 30th Nov 1917 we believe he fell in the Bourlon wood area but his body was never found we are due to visit her on the 26th May I hope this information can give you a little insight into Major Atkinsons Ww1 life thank you x
Reply from: Teresa
Date: Monday 12th May 2014 at 10:22 AM

Sorry Anthony typed his regimental number wrong as it is 240258
Posted by: Howard Barkell {Email left}
Location: Lydford Devon
Date: Thursday 3rd October 2013 at 9:24 AM
Dear Alan,
The local War Memorial was unveiled by Major John Colquhoun Walford, Royal Field Artillery, in December 1921. Apart from the fact that he was married to the squire's sister I have been unable to find out much about him. I'm sure that his various medal cards contain a wealth of information, but need an expert to make sense of them. Perhaps they will give clues to his service during the war. The R.N.bit is intriguing. I await your reply with interest!
Howard
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 3rd October 2013 at 1:27 PM

Dear Howard,
John Colquhoun Walford was born on May 22nd 1882, the son of Alfred Saunders Walford, a merchant, and his wife, the novelist Lucy Bethia Walford (neé Colquhoun) of 43 Clanricarde Gardens, Bayswater. He attended the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, and was commissioned as a Second-Lieutenant into the Royal Field Artillery on 23rd July 1901. In 1909, when he married Honora Cecilia Calmady-Hamlyn at Bridestowe, he was with the 149th Battery RFA stationed at Ballincollig, Co. Cork. He was promoted to Captain in July 1914. During the First World War he went overseas to France on 20th August 1914 with the 119th Battery RFA. The Battery was amongst the first to engage the enemy and fought with distinction at Eloges on August 24th where Captain Francis Octavius Grenfell was the first officer in the British Army to win the Victoria Cross in the war. Captain Walford was appointed a companion of the Distinguished Service Order "for gallant conduct at Eloges on the 24th of August, where he was wounded in two places, and at Le Cateau on the 26th of August, where, in spite of pain from his wounds, he showed a fine example in bringing limbers and teams up under a heavy fire" (London Gazette 10 November 1914). In 1916 he was in the Persian Gulf where he was wounded but he later served (in 1917) with the 63rd (Royal Naval) Division artillery in France and Flanders and then the 4th (Army) Brigade RFA. He qualified for the 1914 Star with Mons clasp, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He made a series of sketches of the Western Front which are at the Royal Artillery Museum.
The history of the Lydford war memorial has been recorded in the book "War Memorial: The Story of One Village's Sacrifice from 1914 to 2003" by Clive Aslet.
http://books.google.co.uk/books
The memorial is also listed in the UK National Inventory of War Memorials:
http://www.ukniwm.org.uk/server/show/conMemorial.2937/fromUkniwmSearch/1
In March 1929, a Major John Colquhoun Walford DSO, aged 46, was arrested and charged with embezzlement of £150 from the Herefordshire Rural Community Council while he was its secretary. He later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six months' imprisonment in June 1929. He died, aged 70, in 1953.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Howard Barkell
Date: Sunday 6th October 2013 at 3:53 PM

Dear Alan,

Thank you for making sense of the various record cards for John Walford and for the extra information which you have supplied. I can now write up a short biography about him as an 'adopted' local, but will probably not refer to the last paragraph!

Best wishes,

Howard
Posted by: Trevor Holmes {Email left}
Location: Bradford
Date: Wednesday 2nd October 2013 at 2:02 PM
Dear Alan

December 2011 I was trying to find some details of my grandfather's brother, F W Hudson and you got back to me with details of his war record.

Recently, our family has acquired a medal which has the number 3336 and the words PTE J.H. Catlow West Yorkshire Regiment inscribed around the perimeter of the medal. It would be appreciated if you could give me any information regarding him. Our family name is Holmes but the word Catlow was added in case anything should happen to him as we believe he had been adopted. If you could throw any light on the subject as to when he enlisted and was de-mobbed. It would be very much appreciated.

Yours sincerely

Trevor Holmes
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 2nd October 2013 at 6:57 PM

Dear Trevor,
Unfortunately, no individual service record has survived for John H Catlow so it is not possible to state his military service. An Army medal rolls index card showed he served as a private with the Prince of Wales's Own West Yorkshire Regiment No. 3336 and served in France from 20th August 1915. At some stage he was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps No. 43706. His date of entry into France does not appear to match the arrival of a particular battalion so he may have been part of a draft of reinforcements. A possible source of further information might be The Western Front Association which holds an archive of 6.5 million pension record cards (PRCs) which are not available elsewhere. They charge for a manual search of the records. See:
http://www.westernfrontassociation.com/about-the-wfa/175-pension-records/2961-pension-record-cards-manual-lookup-request.html
Kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Trevor Purnell {Email left}
Location: Tillington West Sussex
Date: Friday 27th September 2013 at 3:13 PM
Alan,

I have a problem making a link. Percy Charles Boxall joined the 4th Reserve Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment on 21st September 1914 with service number 2181. I understand that this was a training battalion. The next thing I find is that he is a corporal (no 21502) in the RFC at The Central Flying School, Upavon. He was killed in a ground accident (crushed between two aircraft) there in December 1917. I cannot find if he spent any time in France with the RSR. Neither can I find how and when he made the transition to the RFC. I am, however, sure that it is one and the same person.

Your famed expertise would be very much appreciated.

Regards,

Trevor
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 27th September 2013 at 4:48 PM

Dear Trevor,
The 4th Reserve Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment was created on 8th April 1916 from the 2nd/4th and 2nd/5th Battalions which had been second-line Territorial Battalions. Percy had enlisted on 21st September 1914 and signed an attestation paper headed "Territorial Force" which described the "4th Reserve Battalion" although in September 1914 the only "4th" battalion in the Royal Sussex Regiment was the 4th Battalion The Royal Sussex Regiment (Territorial Force) with a HQ that moved from Worthing to Horsham in 1910. The other company towns were Haywards Heath, Hurstpierpoint, East Grinstead, Petworth, Arundel, Chichester, and Worthing.
Percy lived at Petworth and enlisted at Petworth. The same day he was passed fit for the "4th B Royal Sussex Regt" which was the 4th Territorial battalion. Each Territorial Battalion had been required to raise a second battalion to provide it with additional recruits and drafts for casualty replacements. These second-line battalions took the fractional title 2nd/4th Battalion and it would be this battalion that was considered as a "reserve".
A medal rolls index card for Percy Charles Boxall shows his regimental number was 4/2181 and he entered the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force area on 31st July 1915. The 4th Battalion became part of 160th Infantry Brigade in the 53rd (Welsh) Division on 24th April 1915 at Cambridge and trained at Cambridge and Bedford before being sent overseas. The Battalion sailed from Devonport on 17th July 1915 aboard SS Ulysses for Alexandria and to Mudros for a landing at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli, on 9th August 1915. On 27th September 1915 Percy was removed from Gallipoli and admitted to the 19th General Hospital at Alexandria suffering from dysentery. He returned to the UK aboard the Hospital Ship Asturias on 29th October 1915 arriving in the UK on 8th November 1915 where he continued hospital treatment. On 3rd January 1916 he returned to the "reserve" 2nd/4th Battalion Royal Sussex at Cambridge until 4th March 1916. On that day he re-enlisted in the army to join the Royal Flying Corps. The RFC was part of the regular army and Percy's terms of service were with the territorial Force, so he had to be discharged from the TF to re-enlist under the conditions of service of the regular army in the RFC. He was "discharged in consequence of re-enlisting into RFC" at Cambridge. Character: very good.
On 5th March 1916 he enlisted, for the "duration of the war" in the RFC as a "carpenter for rigger" at the rate of pay of two shillings per day.
His RFC service record is held at The National Archives in Catalogue item AIR 79/228/21502. (Charges apply)
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C10671113

The pilot who "crushed" him was 2LT Harry Wearne who was taxiing for only his second-ever flight at Central Flying School, Upavon, on Wednesday 19th December 1917. The "Western Gazette" published details of the inquest on Friday December 28th 1917. You can view it online (pay as you go)
https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/payments

Percy qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 27th September 2013 at 5:07 PM

Dear Trevor,
Just to clarify, Percy joined the 2nd/4th Territorial Battalion on September 21st 1914 as part of an intake of wartime recruits to the existing pre-war 4th Battalion. He then agreed to serve abroad on October 31st 1914 signing the Imperial Service Obligation with the senior 4th Battalion which then moved to the 53rd (Welsh) Division on 24th April 1915. See:
http://www.1914-1918.net/53div.htm

Alan
Reply from: Trevor Purnell
Date: Friday 27th September 2013 at 5:17 PM

Alan,

You are truly amazing! You seem to have the records of everyone who fought in WW1 at your finger tips. I have been searching unsuccessfully for days for this information and you found it for me in one hour 35 mins from my email. That is awesome and I am truly grateful.

Many thanks and regards

Trevor
Posted by: Tom G {Email left}
Location: Maitland Nsw Australia
Date: Friday 27th September 2013 at 6:07 AM
Alan,
Can you shed any light on my Dads service in the KOYLI. After being wounded 01 Jul 1916 serving with the 1st Tyneside Irish (24th NF) service number 24/1509, he served in the KOYLI with service number 33806. Can you determine which battalion he my have served in.

Regards,
Tom
Reply from: Tom G
Date: Friday 27th September 2013 at 6:12 AM

Oooops! Dad was Christopher Grieves
Reply from: Tom G
Date: Friday 27th September 2013 at 6:13 AM

Ooops! Dad was Christopher Grieves
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Friday 27th September 2013 at 3:36 PM

Dear Tom,
Unfortunately it is not possible to state in which battalion of the KOYLI he served. He later served in the Royal Engineers as a second-corporal 214395. If a soldier was wounded it would depend on the seriousness of his wounds whether, on recovery, he was posted to a unit serving overseas or a unit which remained in the UK.
The Western Front Association holds an archive of 6.5 million pension record cards (PRCs) which are not available elsewhere. They charge for a manual search of the records. See:
http://www.westernfrontassociation.com/about-the-wfa/175-pension-records/2961-pension-record-cards-manual-lookup-request.html

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Tom G
Date: Sunday 29th September 2013 at 12:37 AM

Thanks Alan,
As far as I know Dad finished the war in the RE Gas Brigade. I doubt that he was entitled to a pension or a Silver War Badge. However, his father (my Grandfather) William John Grieves born 1867 also served in the RE 170th Tunnelling Company service number 102472 and was awarded a SWB. A search of the Western Front Assoc. records may be useful for details about him.

Regards,
Tom
Posted by: Bella
Location: Esher
Date: Thursday 26th September 2013 at 10:03 AM
Dear Alan

Hope you are well.

Could you please tell me, if a relative died in WW1 would a death certificate have been issued and if so, of that country (France) and in the language of French, or would details of the death have been referred to the UK and a certificate issued here.

Many thanks.

Bella
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 26th September 2013 at 2:56 PM

Dear Bella,
Both were possible.
If someone died in the care of French organizations, hospitals, etc., or were civilians, internees or in a crashed aircraft, then a local French death certificate (or extract of one) could have been issued. They were quite detailed and where these, or copies, were sent to British administrators; incumbents of English churches abroad, or service chaplains, they have now been archived at The National Archives at Kew, in RG32 "General Register Office Overseas events 1831 -1969" and RG35 "Miscellaneous British Military Foreign Death Returns from 1914 to 1920". For a copy to have survived in England it would have required the administrator or family to have forwarded a copy to the GRO, although many may not have done so. These records are comparatively few in number and form part of the national archives, not the general register office. See:
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/details/C13357-details
Indexes are held in RG43 and also on the bmdregisters.co.uk website and thegenealogist.co.uk website (charges apply).
An example of such a certificate is "RG35; piece 58; folio 192" for the death of A.W. Asbury headed "Ville de Bethune Extrait du Register aux Actes de Décès" which was an extract from the death registers in the town of Bethune dated 22nd June 1917. It was then hand-written in French: A.W Asbury, soldat Anglais, "onzieme bataillon du regiment Essex" [11th Battalion Essex Regiment] who died in a military ambulance in the rue Faidherbe in central Bethune whilst being driven and attended by two 60-year-old male employees of the town council. The extract was then signed by the Mayor. It did not state the cause of death but the extract could lead to a search for the full entry in French or British records. "Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) recorded Albert William Asbury. 11th Essex, died of wounds. The CWGC recorded he was buried in Bethune Town Cemetery. There is also an English GRO entry for him in the wartime deaths index, so his death was registered by the French authorities and the British. The reason the French were involved is probably because he was in a French ambulance driven by French workers.
The vast majority of First World War deaths were recorded by the General Register Office from information supplied by the War Office. Wartime death certificates rarely record a cause of death unless the death occurred in hospital. Certificates more commonly state the date of death and give the cause of death as "while on active service". The certificates are available as normal, for a fee, from the General Register Office in GRO War Deaths Army Other Ranks (1914 to 1921). These have been indexed on the findmypast.co.uk website (charges apply). See also:
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/looking-for-person/birthmarriagedeatharmedforces.htm

Soldiers' wills can be searched for at:
https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk/

Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Bella
Date: Thursday 26th September 2013 at 5:46 PM

Dear Alan,

A thousand "thankyous"/ I will persu.

Bella
Posted by: Steve {Email left}
Location: Norwich
Date: Tuesday 24th September 2013 at 2:42 PM
Hi Alan,
I am trying to find out as much information as possible regarding my Great Uncle, James Edward Crane, who served with 2nd Battalion, Norfolk Regiment in Mesopotamia. His death is listed as 31/10/1916, possibly as a POW after the surrender at Kut Al Amara? I know he was awarded the DCM, but not why. Any information at all would be appreciated. Regardless of any reply...excellent forum and great service,

Thank you, Steve
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 24th September 2013 at 7:07 PM

Dear Steve,
No individual service record has survived for James Crane, 7868 Norfolk Regiment, so it is not possible to state his wartime service. His DCM was published in the "London Gazette" on 12th December 1917 without a citation. He had been Mentioned in Despatches in the "London Gazette" of 19th October 1916. The Mention was in the despatch of Lieutenant-General Sir Percy Lake, K.C.B., General Head Quarters, Indian Expeditionary Force "D," Basrah (Basra), 24th August, 1916.
James Crane was born in about 1889 at Kelling near Holt in Norfolk, the second child and eldest son of James and Amy Crane. He had enlisted in the 2nd Battalion The Norfolk Regiment as a pre-war regular soldier and served with the battalion in India. In 1911 he was stationed at Belgaum, Karnataka, India. In 1914, the Battalion was still in India with the 6th (Poona) Division and was ordered in November 1914 to sail for Mesopotamia. The 2nd Norfolk Regiment was in the 18th Indian Brigade which landed at Sanniya, Mesopotamia, on 15th November 1914. The Division then fought at the following actions to establish themselves at Basrah: Affair of Sahil, 17th November 1914; Occupation of Basrah, 22nd November 1914; First action near Qurna, 4th-8th December 1914; Occupation of Qurna, 9th December 1914.
The following year the Division fought at the Battle of Shaiba, 12th -14th April 1915 which was the Ottoman's attempt to re-take Basrah. The Division could then move North up the River Tigris aiming for Baghdad and engaging the Turkish at the Second action of Qurna; 31st May 1915; the Occupation of Amara, 3rd June 1915; the Battle of Kut al Amara, 28th September 1915 followed by the Battle of Ctesiphon on 22nd - 24th November 1915 and the Affair of Umm at Tubul on 1st December 1915. The siege of Kut al Amara began on 7th December 1915.
The Battalion was besieged at Kut al Amara and was captured on 29th April 1916. It is not possible to say how James died. He died on 31st October 1916. The official publication "Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) recorded he had "died", as opposed to "died of wounds" or "killed in action", on October 31st 1916, suggesting he may have died of disease. He was buried at Baghdad North Gate Cemetery which was not constructed until April 1917, suggesting he had been buried earlier elsewhere. An Army medal rolls index card showed he "Died POW 16.10.16" which suggests he died on 16th October 1916 as a prisoner of war.
PoW details are held by the Archives of the Committee of the International Red Cross in Geneva, but are currently unavailable. See:
http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/icrc-archives/index.jsp
The war diary of the 2nd Battalion is a bit patchy. It is held at The National Archives at Kew.
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/s/res?_q=%222+Battalion+Norfolk+regiment%22&_sd=yyyy&_ed=yyyy

Kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Matt Crimp {Email left}
Location: Farnborough
Date: Tuesday 24th September 2013 at 9:31 AM
Hi Alan,

I am attempting to locate any records/information on my Great Grandfather - 63320 Pte Alfred Stephens Machine Gun Corps, and his brother, 240154 Pte William Henry Stephens Devonshires who both served in the Great War. I know from family history that Alfred served in Palestine and that William Henry was wounded in France in 1918 and ended the war in convalescence in England. Can you help in any way? Alfred was born on 25 May 1897 and William Henry was born in 1893. Both in Dean Prior, Devon.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Tuesday 24th September 2013 at 7:08 PM

Dear Matt,
Unfortunately, there are no surviving individual service records for Alfred or William, so it is not possible to suggest their wartime service. An Army medal rolls index card for private Alfred Stephens 63320 MGC recorded he qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. As he did not qualify for the 1914-15 Star for service overseas before December 31st 1915, he did not enter a theatre of war until some date after January 1st 1916. His five-digit regimental number is typical of those allotted to wartime-only enlistments.
There are no records for William Henry Stephens other than a medal index card which is held at the National Archives: It can be downloaded for a small fee. See:
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=D5384996

The card will be one of six men's index cards to one page. His regimental number 240154 was allotted to the 5th Battalion Devonshire Regiment in the first two months of 1917. The 1st/5th (Prince of Wales's) Battalion The Devonshire Regiment served in India (which not a theatre of war) from November 1914 to March 1917 and then in Egypt until 26th May 1918 when it sailed to France where it served from June 6th 1918 in the 185th Brigade with the 62nd Division. See:
http://www.1914-1918.net/62div.htm

The Western Front Association holds an archive of 6.5 million pension record cards (PRCs) which are not available elsewhere. They charge for a manual search of the records. See:
http://www.westernfrontassociation.com/about-the-wfa/175-pension-records/2961-pension-record-cards-manual-lookup-request.html

Kind regards,
Alan
Posted by: Kate {Email left}
Location: Usa
Date: Saturday 21st September 2013 at 7:47 PM
Hi Alan,

I'm wondering if you might help me learn more about my husband's great grandfather? My husband is adopted, so learning anything about his biological family has been difficult at best. We believe that his GGF was named John or Jack Voyse, and the family appears to be from Bradford. Ancestry.com shows that there was a John Voyse from Bradford in the ASC, regt # 2949. He had been a groom before the war, and I believe he was assigned to the Woolwich Remount Depot? Shortly after entering the service, he was discharged and forfeited his medals. He later earned a living as a crewman on passenger steamships. We'd like to know something of what happened, and if he served any sort of sentence, or if he was required to go abroad? Also hoping to learn who his parents were, etc, but that's stretching it a bit! Thank you so much for having such a wonderful site. Sincerely, Kate
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Saturday 21st September 2013 at 9:55 PM

Dear Kate,
The military record for John Voyse born in 1886 at Bradford might not have recorded truthful biographical details for the man named John Voyse because he was found guilty of fraudulently enlisting (i.e. lying about who he was and how old he was etc.) after he was imprisoned for absence and escaping from confinement. Any or part of the biographical information given on enlistment was therefore likely to have been made-up by the soldier and discovered only after he was investigated for offences committed later. There is no birth record at the General Register Office for a John Voyse (or variants) registered in Bradford; although a John Voyse died in Bradford in 1969, aged 82.
The John Voyse who enlisted in the Army Service Corps joined-up voluntarily on 28th September 1914 and was initially stationed at York. He was posted to France on 7th October 1914 where he was stationed on the coast at Havre in the non-combatant No. 2 Base Remount Depot ASC, which provided horses. While there, in January 1915, he was punished by confinement to camp; forfeiture of pay and Field Punishment No. 1 for: assaulting two soldiers; absence from the camp; creating a disturbance in a café at Graville; and being absent for six days whilst a defaulter. On 25th March 1915, he was arrested and charged with absence while on active service. He was further charged with escaping while in confinement for that offence and also charged with fraudulent enlistment. On 8th April 1915, a Field General Court Martial at Havre sentenced him to three months' imprisonment with hard labour. He served his sentence in prison in the UK and on June 30th 1915 he was discharged with ignominy from His Majesty's Service: dishonourably "drummed out" of the Army. Consequently, he forfeited his right to ever serve again in His Majesty's Services or to qualify for campaign medals. Going to sea would have been his choice.
The Army record for John Voyse does not provide any genealogical detail of value.
Kind regards,
Alan
Reply from: Kate
Date: Sunday 22nd September 2013 at 5:13 PM

Thank you so very much Alan. What an invaluable service to the community.

The information you provided helped resolve a couple of mysteries. The man in question appears to have used the Voyse name for the rest of his life, and his children were given it at birth. But ancestry.com family tree records indicated that their father was a merchant marine named Johnathan Brown, born 30 May 1886 in Yeadon, died abt 1970. I've done some further research, and now assume the two are the same man, which had never occured to me. I don't find any further military connection, so the rest of this post is just if you are interested - I found it thanks to your clues. Insights appreciated of course!

Unfortunately the John Brown name is quite common, so I haven't been able to definitively trace him past the 1901 census, when he was living wth his maternal grandmother. His parents (John William and Emily Darnbrough Brown) left their children with different relatives, and eventually seem to reappear in Canada. There are extensive criminal records for both parents names, but its hard to say if the records refer to the same individuals.

What remains unclear is when and why Johnathan Brown changed his name, and why he selected "Voyse." The only Voyse family in the immediate area were listed as scavengers and nightsoil collectors, so I'm assuming the name wasn't chosen out of envy. My best guess after reading your post is that there was probably a criminal history he was trying to escape, or charges he was avoiding by enlisting. I havent yet found a site with criminal record access for 1900-1915, so this is speculation.

Thank you again for your assistance, I would not have been able to move forward without it.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Sunday 22nd September 2013 at 7:27 PM

Dear Kate,
You were correct. John Voyse had been discharged previously from the Army as John Brown, and was therefore probably trying to disguise his name, while most other biographical details appear to be accurate for the man baptised as Jonathan Brown. His date of birth and parents' names and address appeared consistent. The wartime soldier and the seaman had the same tattoos.
There are some further records which might help, or confuse, you. The commercial website "findmypast.co.uk" has record cards for Merchant Navy seaman 1835-1941 with two entries for John Voyse, one of them with a photograph (a mugshot). You can view and download the original images for a few dollars. I cannot transcribe them for you as that would be in breach of that website's copyright. One of the cards indicated, apparently in 1918, a wife living in Liverpool. A John Voyse married in Bradford in 1924 to Rose A. Barraclough (Bradford, April-Jun 1924 Vol 9b page 506).
In September 1918 John Voyce survived the torpedoing of his ship: the ship is detailed at: http://www.atlantictransportline.us/content/28Mesaba.htm
He did eventually qualify for at least the British War Medal while serving as a fireman (stoker) with the Mercantile Marine (later re-named the Merchant Navy). See:
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=D8109381
(a small fee applies to download the image)

A Jonathan Brown, born on 30th May 1886, was baptized on July 4th 1886 at St Luke's Church, Eccleshill, which is in northern Bradford. His parents were John William Brown, a woollen weaver, and Emily, of 24 Tower Street, Undercliffe, Bradford. Yeadon is mid-way between Bradford and Leeds to the North. In 1914, John Voyse of the ASC stated his mother was a "Mrs Voyse" living at 12 Wharfedale Street, Meanwood Road, Leeds.
A search of the 1911 England census showed the address at 12 Wharfedale Street, Leeds, was occupied by John William Brown, age 43 (1868) Woollen Power Loom Turner, born at Rawdon (which is next to Yeadon); Emily, his wife, born at Bowling (Bradford) in about 1868 with Alfred Brown, son, age 17 (1894) Assistant Loom Turner, born at Undercliffe; Edna Brown; daughter age 9, born Leeds; George Brown, son, aged 6, born Leeds; Elizabeth Walker, age 46, housekeeper.
John Brown stated he had been married 21 years and he and Emily had had four children.
A further search of the 1911 Census showed a John Brown, born in 1886 at Bradford, who was serving with the 6th Dragoon Guards (The Carabiniers) at Temple in the Orange Free State of South Africa. A search for his service record proved this John Brown had the same parents as the later John Voyse. Again, I am not allowed to transcribe the information or publish the details on the internet but you can download six pages of his military (and criminal) record at findmypast.co.uk (pay as you go, requiring 30 credits). As there are many John Browns, confine your search to born in 1886 (precise) and born in Bradford. His records are on page 8 of the returns under "British Army Service Records 1760-1915"
You will need at least 70 credits on the findmypast website which charges 7 GBP (11.2 US Dollars) for 60 credits. That will give you his two merchant marine record cards and his 1905 1911 Army service record. The 1911 census records are an additional 5 credits each. Or you can buy 280 credits valid a whole year for 25 GBP (40 US Dollars).
Kind regards,
Alan

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