RootsChat.Com

General => Armed Forces => World War Two => Topic started by: jess5athome on Sunday 09 December 12 19:19 GMT (UK)

Title: Major William Pearson Kitchen, anyone up for a challenge?
Post by: jess5athome on Sunday 09 December 12 19:19 GMT (UK)
Hello, I have been asked to look for information regarding the military life of the late husband of my wife's aunt,
His name was William Pearson Kitchen he was born in August 1914 and died in Nov 2000.
I believe he joined the Army after not telling the truth about his age and made a career out of it, he was at one point in the "Kings Own Scottish Borderers", At his funeral his church service card had his name down as "Major William Pearson Kitchen" and there were quite a number of military people present.
The one thing I remember about the funeral was that as we were all walking out of the cemetery 3 "old soldiers" arrived and had there photographs taken while they saluted at the graveside, (very poignant I thought).
At the moment that is the only information I have to go on, his widow is going to try and find any old papers she has for him which could help in my quest to find things out for her, in the meantime could anyone offer help or guidance.
Many many thanks for any input and my best regards always,
jess5athome
Title: Re: Major William Pearson Kitchen, anyone up for a challenge?
Post by: jess5athome on Thursday 20 December 12 13:23 GMT (UK)
Hi, I have today been given the "Certificate of Service" for the above mentioned gentleman, his Army number was 3186287 and he enlisted at Sheffield in Yorkshire on the 17Th February 1931 into the "Kings Own Scottish Borderers". His record shows :-
17-02-1931 to 22-09-1932 Home
23-09-1932 to 08-03-1938 India, Is there a way that I could find out about this time in India?. He is then shown as "Home" from March until June in 1938 and then placed on Army reserve from June 1938 until he was mobilized in September 1939.
Following this he spent about 7 months with the "BEF" and then returned home between June 1940 and March 1941 before being sent to West Africa.
He is shown as being "Home from November 1943 until July 1944.
After 13 years he was Discharged and his cause of discharge is shown as "Having been appointed to a commission".
Apart from trying to find out what he did during his service is there a way that I could find out about his service once he was appointed to a commission?.
Many thanks for reading my post and my best regards always.
jess5athome
Title: Re: Major William Pearson Kitchen, anyone up for a challenge?
Post by: barryd on Thursday 20 December 12 14:09 GMT (UK)
I looked him up in the London Gazette. I might as well just use his army numbers as that is the best way of identifying him. 3186287 became 324299 on 15 July 1944. This corresponds to his time at "Home" i.e British Isles, November 1943-July 1944. During this time he probably was an [Officer] Cadet and it was published that (after he finished training) he was now a 2nd Lt. 15 July 1944. 3186287 was probably an NCO prior to his change of number.
London Gazette, 2nd column of names roughly in the middle of the column.

http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/36704/supplements/4309/page.pdf
Title: Re: Major William Pearson Kitchen, anyone up for a challenge?
Post by: jess5athome on Thursday 20 December 12 20:32 GMT (UK)
Hi barryd, many thanks for that piece of information it is a great help to me, do you think there would be a way of tracing his military "journey" from the point of his commission in July 1944 through to the rank of Major presumably at the point of him finally leaving the Army?
jess5athome
Title: Re: Major William Pearson Kitchen, anyone up for a challenge?
Post by: bleckie on Friday 21 December 12 07:51 GMT (UK)
Hi

If you have his service number after he had been commissioned all promotions of officers are published in the London Gazette so you should be able to see what units he was serving with.

(If you use his service number and his surname in the search box it should give you all instances mentioned)

Yours Aye
BruceL
Title: Re: Major William Pearson Kitchen, anyone up for a challenge?
Post by: jess5athome on Tuesday 25 December 12 23:46 GMT (UK)
Hi, I am really struggling to make any headway with this,  :( each time I enter a search in the London Gazette it just gives me the promotion in July 1944, would his service number keep changing over time? any help is really welcome.
Also where would be the best place to try to ascertain what he was upto during his time in India.
Best regards always,
jess5athome
Title: Re: Major William Pearson Kitchen, anyone up for a challenge?
Post by: Ruskie on Wednesday 26 December 12 00:07 GMT (UK)
You should probably apply for his service record.

If his widow applied for it there would be no cost (it sounds like she is still alive?), so this would be the easiest option. There is a charge of 30 and an approximate one year wait for any other next of kin (and I'm not sure if you would qualify), plus you need to provide other documentation. 

This should help:
http://www.veterans-uk.info/service_records/service_records.html

If she is elderley I would be applying sooner rather than later if I were you. You can print out the various forms from the link above, and have his widow complete them.

Once you know regiments etc, you can then get the war diaries from the National Archives at Kew. I believe these can give extra some interesting details, though I haven't been down that path yet with my own research. I am also unsure if or how you can get the war diaries unless you have the service record (which obviously has details of all service). Others may be able to advise if or how this is possible.

Good luck.
Title: Re: Major William Pearson Kitchen, anyone up for a challenge?
Post by: jess5athome on Wednesday 26 December 12 12:43 GMT (UK)
Hi Ruskie, many thanks for that information, I will have a word and more than likely follow that path.
Best Regards,
jess5athome  :)