Alan Greveson's World War 1 Forum (Page 89)

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Posted by: Bella {No contact email}
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.

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copies, were sent to British administrators; incumbents of English churches abroad, or service chaplains, they have now been archived at The National Archives at Kew, in RG32 "General Register Office Overseas events 1831 -1969" and RG35 "Miscellaneous British Military Foreign Death Returns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:
Indexes are held in RG43 and also on the website and 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 website (charges apply). See also:

Soldiers' wills can be searched for at:

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

Dear Alan,

A thousand "thankyous"/ I will persu.

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:
The war diary of the 2nd Battalion is a bit patchy. It is held at The National Archives at Kew.

Kind regards,
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:

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:

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:

Kind regards,
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. 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,
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 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 "" 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:
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:
(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 (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,
Posted by: Leslie Wall {Email left}
Location: Sawtry Huntingdon Cambs
Date: Thursday 19th September 2013 at 3:40 PM
Hi alan sorry to e mail again but i stupidly forgot a lot of the imformation of my grandfathers brother. if you could help me find any personal and military info on a sapper named harry arthur frederick wall born in selsey gloucestershire in 1882 married mary louise wise in fulham in 1910. his army number is 97156 he was in the royal engineers in the 129th royal field company attached to the 24th division. he died on the 18th of april 1916 and at the time they lived at replingham road southfields in surrey. looking forward to your reply yours jim
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 19th September 2013 at 6:34 PM

Dear Jim,
No individual service record has survived for Sapper Harry Wall, so it is not possible to state his wartime service. "Soldiers Died in the Great War" (HMSO 1921) recorded he died of wounds on 18th April 1916 and was buried at Bailleul, a town with numerous casualty clearing stations. On the day he died he was serving with 129th Field Company Royal Engineers.
An Army medal rolls index card showed he first went to France on 1st September 1915, a date which coincides with the arrival of the 24th Division, therefore it is possible he served all his time with the 129th Field Company. The engagements of the 24th Division are shown at:
and the locations of 129th Field Company are at:
The war diary of the 129th Field Company is held at the National Archives at Kew, in Catalogue reference WO 95/2199/3.
Harry Wall qualified for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal, and the Victory Medal which would have been sent to his widow.
Kind regards,
Reply from: Leslie Wall
Date: Thursday 19th September 2013 at 7:06 PM

Thanks alan for the imformation as i said i am off soon to visit his grave and i wanted to find out as much as i could so your info helps me to do that . thankyou for taking the time to find out his history. yours jim
Reply from: Robin Wall
Date: Monday 10th November 2014 at 6:51 AM

Hi, Harry Wall was my Grandfather, and I am trying to get more information on him. Are there any photos? I am happy to give my email address if that would help. Robin
Reply from: Jim Wall
Date: Thursday 13th November 2014 at 9:19 AM

Hi robin we must be cousins as my grandfather was harrys brother. his name was raymo. unfortunately i know very little of

hi robin, my grandfather who i never met, was the brother of your grandfather harry. his name was raymond tredgar wall. the only info i have of harry is that he wasborn in selsey in gloucestershire and by 1891 they had moved from that county to newport in wales. the only reason the family moved was i think work related. harrys father was a sculpter named henry, and his fathher was a sculpter of note in stroud in gloucestershire. he lived in kings stanley and i witnessed his stonework in that area and was very lmpressed with what i saw. by 1911 the familly moved again but not to gloucestershire but chelsea in london where my father was born.harry married mary louise wise in 1910 and at the time of his death they lived in wimbledon. i know nothing more of harry and his wife or children. i have just arrived back from ypres and brugge where i visited harrys grave and laid a cross on it and raised a glass in respect to his sacrifice , regards a cousin leslie wall
Reply from: Robin Wall
Date: Wednesday 17th December 2014 at 4:12 PM

Hi Leslie, many thanks for your message and how good of you to visit Harry's grave and salute him. As I understand it he was 35 at the time which is quite old in that context, and he had left 3 sons another Harry, John and Ted. John was my Dad. I have a twin brother who died 3 years ago and an elder sister.

We have done a bit of research into the family, and I don't think we can add anything to that you already know. We live quite near Stroud, so will possibly get to see some of Harry's dad's work.

I do vaguely remember my grandmother Mary, though she died when I was about 7 or 8, she was living in the back of a flower shop in Southfields London, and had obviously struggled to bring up the 3 boys on her own, though I guess she is no different to any families at that time.

I do plan to get to see Harry's grave, hopefully next year, but I do remember that I have already been once when I was 8 as we stopped off on a family holiday in France. Can't remember much but I guess it was tough for my Dad as he was only 3 when Harry died.

Happy to keep in touch if you would like

Regards Robin
Reply from: Leslie Wall
Date: Tuesday 30th December 2014 at 12:12 PM

Hi robin good to hear from you and hope you and your family have had a good christmas. if you could let me have your e mail adress and you have not a picture of your great grandmother mary hooper wall i can hopefully send it to you. while on that subject it is harrys grandfather whos work is in st lawrence and selsey church not his fathers. i have a few pictures of his work and if you would like to see them i will try to send them to your e mail adress. hope to hear from you and happy new year. yours leslie
Reply from: Robin Wall
Date: Sunday 4th January 2015 at 9:12 AM

Dear Leslie,

And a happy new year to you and your family. My email is (Robinwall2 at aol dot com). It would be great to see any photos you have, we have none I'm afraid, don't know where they have gone!

Look forward to hearing from you

Best wishes

Reply from: Jim Wall
Date: Wednesday 25th February 2015 at 12:20 PM

Hi robin . firstly i must apologise for taking so long to reply. i havent forgotten the picture of our great great grandfathers work, i will get it sorted soon , i have to rely on my wifes computer skills as mine are limited. one thing i want to ask is , was it planned you moved to stroud as it is where all the walls came from. our great g grandfather joshua the sculptor lived and died in stroud and it seems odd you lived there as well. when we visited the area we also went to kings stanley where after the death of joshua his wife went to live with her father a samuel pegler and owned a beer house called the weavers arms. i have a picture of her and her familly standing outside of the beer house if you want to see it i will add it on to the list yours jim
Posted by: Leslie Wall {Email left}
Location: Sawtry Huntingdon Cambs
Date: Thursday 19th September 2013 at 2:34 PM
Hi alan i am visiting the grave of my grandfathers brother who was in the 129th royal engineers field company who i believe were under the command of the 24 th division. he died on the 18th of april 1916. i know nothing about his life apart from his marriage to mary louise wise in 1910 in fulham. i would be most grateful for any imformation. with regards jim
Posted by: Trevor Purnell {Email left}
Location: Tillington West Sussex
Date: Thursday 19th September 2013 at 11:33 AM

I am having difficulty finding the enlisting dates and details for Lt Basil Herbert Barrington-Kennett who joined the Grenadier Guards sometime between 1909 and 1911. He was seconded to the Air Battalion and went off to learn to fly before rejoining the Battalion. I am not sure whether officers had a service number but can't find one for B-K.

Very grateful as always for your expert knowledge.


Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Thursday 19th September 2013 at 12:13 PM

Dear Trevor,
Officers did not have regimental numbers at the time.
"London Gazette" Tuesday August 23 1906: "The under-mentioned gentlemen cadets from the R[oyal] M[ilitary] College to be to be sec[ond] lieutenants: Foot Guards: B. H. Barrington-Kennett in succession to Lt D.C.L. Stephen".
He entered RMC Sandhurst in 1905. His Sandhurst record can be downloaded for £2.99. See:
Kind regards,
Posted by: John Downie {Email left}
Location: Leeds West Yorkshire
Date: Wednesday 18th September 2013 at 12:22 PM
My granfather Anthony Slaven, from Bradford, West Yorks, served as a bombardier, I believe in A comp 86th Brigade, RFA from 1915 to 1918. Reg No 26666 and receved the military medal which was in the London gazette on 28/9/17. I can find no trace of why he received it and would really like to know anything about his record. I believe he was severly gassed at Ypres. Any help would be appreciated.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Wednesday 18th September 2013 at 7:38 PM

Dear John,
Citations for the Military Medal were given to the soldier with the medal and might have remained in the family or in private hands. No copies of citations or recommendations have survived elsewhere other than a few which were published in regimental histories or regimental "book of honours" published before the Second World War during which enemy action destroyed the Honour and Award bundles and card indexes held in MS3 at Arnside Street, Walworth, London, in 1940. The granting of the award was published in lists as supplements to the London Gazette after March 25th 1916 when the medal was instigated. The "Gazette" needed to save space and so citations for the Military Medal were not published. Although some 77 Military Medal citations were published in 1916, only lists of recipients were published after that.
Anthony Slaven, a grocer's assistant, enlisted at Bradford on 11th September 1914. He stated his age was 19 although he might have been 17. The next day he arrived at No 1 Depot RFA at Newcastle upon Tyne and on 30th October 1914 he was posted to 268 Battery Royal Field Artillery which then became A Battery 86th (LXXXVI) Brigade RFA in February 1915, at Bulford. The Brigade served with the 19th Division until January 1917 when it became an Army Field Artillery Brigade deployed under the Commander Royal Artillery in one of the five Armies of the BEF in France and Flanders. The engagements of the 19th Division can be seen at:
The unit's war diary might provide a name and a date for the award of the Military Medal which was announced in the London Gazette on 25 September 1917. The event that led to the medal being awarded would have been three or four months prior to that. The unit's war diary is held at the National Archives at Kew, Surrey, dated 01 July 1915 - 31 December 1916 in Catalogue Reference: WO 95/2067/3. You would need to visit Kew to see it. The Royal Artillery Museum might be able to specify which Army Brigade was made up from units of the 86th Brigade. The war diary of the "86 Army Field Artillery Brigade" covering the period January 1917 to April 1919 is held at the National Archives, Kew, Surrey, in catalogue reference WO95/456. In 1918, 86 (Army) Brigade RFA was recorded as being with Fourth Army (Major General Budworth). There is no guarantee that a soldier remained with the same battery of the RFA throughout his time in France.
Anthony was wounded (gas) about 3rd October 1918 and returned to the UK where he was treated in hospital for gas poisoning (D.A.H.: diffuse alveolar haemorrhage). A medical board classed it as a 20 per cent disability. He then served in No 13 Reserve Battery RFA until discharged. He declined to have his Military Medal presented personally and received it in the post on 5th January 1920. Local newspapers of the time in his home town might have published an article about the award.
Kind regards,
Reply from: John Downie
Date: Friday 20th September 2013 at 11:11 AM

Thanks Alan, this will be great bit of information to show my mother, his daughter, as she has no real recollections of his war service. Greatly appreciated.
Posted by: Lee Thompson {Email left}
Location: Birmingham
Date: Monday 16th September 2013 at 6:55 PM
Hi im trying to find out any information about the service of mr.c.a.richmond of the royal warwicks regt. His srevice number was 12344. This information was given me by a friend who said he was in world war one. Thanks lee.
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 16th September 2013 at 8:36 PM

Dear Lee,
C.A. Richmond was Charles Alfred Richmond, who joined the Army on 6th November 1914 at the stated age of 37. He might have been older in reality and lowered his age in order to volunteer. He enlisted in the Royal Garrison Artillery with the regimental number 49634 and trained with them until he was transferred as a private soldier to the Royal Warwickshire Regiment (12344) on June 1st 1915. He was sent to Gallipoli where he joined the 9th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment on 18th September 1915. On 8th December 1915 he arrived at hospital in Malta (which was not a theatre of war) to be treated for rheumatism. On 13th January 1916 he was sent to the 28th Division Base Depot at Sidi Bishr in Egypt where he became an officers' servant. He remained in Egypt after the 9th Battalion moved to Mesopotamia on 16th February 1916. On 13th December 1916 he was posted to the 1st Garrison Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment in Egypt. Charles was medically downgraded in February 1918 because of poor eyesight and was transferred to the 813th Area Employment Company of the Labour Corps, as private 542515, where he remained until 16th April 1919 when he returned to the UK for demobilization. He left the Army in England on 30th May 1919. Charles qualified for the 1914-15 Star; the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
Kind regards,
Posted by: Paul Crook {Email left}
Location: Headley Down
Date: Sunday 15th September 2013 at 9:53 PM
Hello again Alan

I have asked before about any records that may exist for a Sidney Crook, my great uncle who was a resident of Rushfrd, Nr Thetford, Norfolk. I have still not been able to definitely prove whether he enlisted or not (I still believe he did but can't be certain). I notice that the Western Front Association now have soldiers Pension Cards that they can search. I have looked up his name on another website that holds pension details so am unsure whether it would be worth enquiring of the WFA as to whether they can find him. Would he have been entitled to a Pension if he had survived the war (as my Sidney Crook) did and would it have been continued if the soldier concerned had emigrated (which Sidney did, to the USA in 1926). I'd love to find out more but am not sure where to go next so any help you can offer would be gratefully received, as always

All the best
Reply from: Alan Greveson
Date: Monday 16th September 2013 at 11:07 AM

Dear Paul,
The majority of enlisted First World War soldiers did not receive a pension. At the end of the war soldiers completed and signed a form stating whether or not they claimed any disability from having served in the Army.
Those who successfully claimed disablement through wounds (or the widows of those who had been killed or had died) were granted a pension dependant on the percentage of disability that had been incurred. Many soldiers took a lump-sum gratuity instead of pension.
The website that claims to hold "pension records" is which actually has the records of soldiers who no longer qualified for a pension because they were no longer receiving a pension or had died. These were redundant records that were stored at Blackpool by the Ministry of Pensions in the 1940s and so survived the destruction of the London air raids. They were due to be pulped for the war effort on re-cycling paper before someone realised their value as substitutes for the soldiers' documents stored in London which were destroyed or burnt in the Blitz, so they were saved and then moved to the National Archives after the Second World War. Ancestry's "pension records" are usually known as the "unburnt documents" (Catalogue series WO 364 at the National Archives at Kew). They represent some 750,000 individual service records.
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:

They will make a partial refund if they cannot find a record.
Kind regards,

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