Author Topic: Aussie soldier deserted AIF and joined Royal Navy - HELP!  (Read 4324 times)

Offline Rufous Treecreeper

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Re: Aussie soldier deserted AIF and joined Royal Navy - HELP!
« Reply #9 on: Thursday 11 July 13 03:41 BST (UK) »
I'm coming to the conclusion that Hugh was a bit free with the truth. 

In the AIF file there is a letter from an American trying to find him in 1935.  In it he says Hugh was a 1st Lt in the Australian Army and was discharged on account of a wound received in battle!  The American does echo the story of his volunteering into the navy, he says Hugh served on a transport carrying American soldiers to France and also that he was the storeroom clerk on the HMT Kursk in 1918.  Whether they are the same ship is unclear...

If he was entitled to the Mercantile Marine War medal then he didnt do any war time transits in a war zone.  Unsure what the eligibilty of just  British War Medal means maybe he just left home port ?

In his letter to Base Records in 1940 (in AIF file) Hugh says this about his time in the navy - "drafted to HMAT Kursk being among others sent across in a destroyer & joined the ship at Brest in France sailing under the white ensign under Captain Brittaine (late of the Queen Mary) & saw service in the Mediterranean & Argean Seas, Atlantic Ocean, North Sea & White Sea during service I was promoted to the rank of Chief Petty Officer holding position of Storekeeper...  I was discharged on 26 July 1919 certificate No. 980533, For ability Very Good, In general conduct Very Good & was issued with the British War Medal." and later he says - "I deserted to get into active service & believe me we saw plenty."

(The reason he was writing to the Military in 1940?  He wanted to join up again!  As he was over 46 he couldn't serve unless he was a returned soldier, hence the explanatory letter.  They advised him to try with the Naval authorities.  It appears he succeeded because in the 1949 electoral rolls his occupation reads 'R.A.N.'.)
He really is an intriguing person...

I think I need to look into the Kursks records, if possible.

Thanks, Mo
Best (Sussex/Australia)
Brown (Kent/Australia)
Milbourne (Australia)
Orr (Renfrew/Fife/Australia)
Livingstone, Bryson, Hutton (Hamilton, Lanark)

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Offline barryd

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Re: Aussie soldier deserted AIF and joined Royal Navy - HELP!
« Reply #10 on: Thursday 11 July 13 05:20 BST (UK) »
An American Soldier gives a good background to HMS Kursk in his diary. Page 143 in the link below.

May 10 1918 boarded HMS Kursk at Newport News, Virginia for France. The ship was an old Russian emigrant ship run by the British Navy.

May 23 arrived at Brest,  (France)........................................................................................

He states that the ships' (civilian) crew were in irons and the (Royal) Navy had taken over. It was a troop transport.

http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/l/u/n/Lawrence-H-Lund/PDFBOOK1.pdf

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Offline Rufous Treecreeper

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Re: Aussie soldier deserted AIF and joined Royal Navy - HELP!
« Reply #11 on: Thursday 11 July 13 07:08 BST (UK) »
 :) Thanks for that link Barry.  The information in it ties in with Hugh's story very well.  Definitely want to know more about the Kursk!

Mo
Best (Sussex/Australia)
Brown (Kent/Australia)
Milbourne (Australia)
Orr (Renfrew/Fife/Australia)
Livingstone, Bryson, Hutton (Hamilton, Lanark)

Offline tboyd4

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Re: Aussie soldier deserted AIF and joined Royal Navy - HELP!
« Reply #12 on: Tuesday 10 March 15 05:05 GMT (UK) »
Hi Mo,

Curious if you have made any additional progress in your search and can you tell me the name of the small town in Victoria that has the avenue of honour, is it Colac where he was born? 

Offline Rufous Treecreeper

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Re: Aussie soldier deserted AIF and joined Royal Navy - HELP!
« Reply #13 on: Wednesday 11 March 15 01:39 GMT (UK) »
Hi tboyd4,

Yes, I have finished researching Hugh Boyd and have written up his story for my book/booklet.  It was quite a tangled tale to unravel.  There was some things that were impossible to find out but I think I managed to get a reasonable overview of him.

The town is Hamilton, and the street Clarke Street.  There is a claim made that Clarke Street had the highest ratio of men enlisted in WW1 to houses in Australia, (hard to prove though!).  Hugh never lived in Clarke Street but his parents and siblings moved there in 1917.

Do you know if Hugh was honoured in Colac too?  And are you a relation to him?

Cheers, Mo
Best (Sussex/Australia)
Brown (Kent/Australia)
Milbourne (Australia)
Orr (Renfrew/Fife/Australia)
Livingstone, Bryson, Hutton (Hamilton, Lanark)

Offline tboyd4

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Re: Aussie soldier deserted AIF and joined Royal Navy - HELP!
« Reply #14 on: Thursday 12 March 15 02:50 GMT (UK) »
I don't know if Hugh is listed in Colac for the Eurack Avenue of Honour.  I did call to check if they had a list of names but they did not have a list available.  They provided me a phone number for the local history center but have not heard back if there is a list available.  I may need to ask one of my relatives to take a drive to Colac and check it out (I don't live in Australia).  Yes, I am related to Hugh, he's my Grandfather through his son Raymond but Hugh died several years before I was born. 

I am interested if you have any more research on Hugh beyond what is included in this email thread.  I have copies of his World War I record and located him on the ships list of the Kursk traveling from Europe to the US but have not been able to locate if he was successful joining the Navy during World War II.  On his 1940 marriage certificate he has his occupation listed as Pay Clerk R.A.N..  Not sure if he was actually in the R.A.N. (can not find any record) or if he was a civilian worker for the R.A.N..  Thx.   

Offline Rufous Treecreeper

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Re: Aussie soldier deserted AIF and joined Royal Navy - HELP!
« Reply #15 on: Friday 13 March 15 00:58 GMT (UK) »
Hi  :)

Glad to 'meet' Hugh's grandson!
I didn't purchase his 1940 marriage certificate so thanks for sharing the information about his occupation. 

I can send you what I have written up about Hugh, if you'd like.  I will send you a PM with my email address so you can contact me that way, then I can send you the write up.

Mo
Best (Sussex/Australia)
Brown (Kent/Australia)
Milbourne (Australia)
Orr (Renfrew/Fife/Australia)
Livingstone, Bryson, Hutton (Hamilton, Lanark)