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General => Armed Forces => Topic started by: QueenoftheWest on Saturday 20 March 21 14:12 GMT (UK)

Title: Uniform Identification
Post by: QueenoftheWest on Saturday 20 March 21 14:12 GMT (UK)
I would be really grateful if someone could identify which regiment this man belongs to.

He is my mother's great uncle, John Hobbs and I am trying to find out what happened to him and, in an ideal world, use this information to track down his children. He is the last missing branch of my great-grandmother's family. He was born in the first quarter of 1891 in Islington, Middlesex to Lawrence John & Eleanor Hobbs. Grandpa thought he married a Mary and had 7 sons and 2 daughters but his memory wasn't the best towards the end of his life so this may not be correct.

Unfortunately, John changed his surname to join the forces in WW1 from Hobbs to either Godley or Godfrey. He wasn't able to change it back without losing his pension. The last trace of him I have is on the 1911 census, where he is an unemployed hotel waiter living a few doors down from his parents. After that he changes his name and I lose him.

I figured a good place to start would be to find his service record, which will be much easier to find if I have an idea of what I'm looking for. A smaller haystack!

I note the NZWB (?) on his shoulder but googling it just brings up an airport  >:(

Thank you for any help!

Queenie  :)
Title: Re: Uniform Identification
Post by: ShaunJ on Saturday 20 March 21 14:15 GMT (UK)
New Zealand Rifle Brigade?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Zealand-WW1-New-Zealand-Rifle-Brigade-shoulder-badges-/254046702431
Title: Re: Uniform Identification
Post by: QueenoftheWest on Saturday 20 March 21 14:24 GMT (UK)
New Zealand Rifle Brigade?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Zealand-WW1-New-Zealand-Rifle-Brigade-shoulder-badges-/254046702431

Thank you so much, Shaun. I think you've found it!

Do you have any idea why a born and bred Londoner with no links to the Antipodes would join the New Zealand Rifle Brigade? My military history knowledge is non-existent.

Queenie  :)
Title: Re: Uniform Identification
Post by: ShaunJ on Saturday 20 March 21 14:39 GMT (UK)
He must have gone to New Zealand (probably before WW1) and joined up there.
Title: Re: Uniform Identification
Post by: Treetotal on Saturday 20 March 21 15:43 GMT (UK)
During the 1914-1918 Centenary, I did a lot of research about British Anzacs with other volunteers at our local Heritage Centre and found quite a few from our own town. We did an exhibition too.
I thought this might help in your understanding:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_and_New_Zealand_Army_Corps

It was believed that British Soldiers were offered the chance to join the Anzacs with the chance to settle in that country, Australia or New Zealand with their Families when the war was over.

Carol
Title: Re: Uniform Identification
Post by: Nanna52 on Saturday 20 March 21 15:57 GMT (UK)
I have an 18 year old who left England for Australia in March 1914 as a farm student.  Perhaps your man was similar.  It seemed to be a large group who travelled.  He joined the AIF in November, served and came back to Australia after the war. 
Title: Re: Uniform Identification
Post by: Treetotal on Saturday 20 March 21 16:19 GMT (UK)
More here:

https://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=718310.0

Carol
Title: Re: Uniform Identification
Post by: QueenoftheWest on Saturday 20 March 21 17:40 GMT (UK)
Thank you everyone for your replies.

Thank you, Carol, for the link - I had not realised so many British men signed up to fight with the Anzacs.

I searched on both https://honouringanzacs.net.au and https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk but could not find a John Godley or John Godfrey that matched.

I don't think he stayed in New Zealand (or Australia). I think my Grandpa would've remembered his cousins being born abroad. I found a short biography my Grandpa wrote for him but it doesn't mention any dates or locations. It just says he married Kitty shortly after the war, divorced, married Mary, had 9 children and worked most of his life as a rep for Gestetner.

I suppose I might have to mark as completed and close this thread and start a more general one. Such a shame I couldn't find a service record  :'(

Queenie  :)
Title: Re: Uniform Identification
Post by: Treetotal on Saturday 20 March 21 18:00 GMT (UK)
The only British men honoured were the ones who lost their lives. Good luck in your search. I hope you find the answers.
Carol
Title: Re: Uniform Identification
Post by: QueenoftheWest on Saturday 20 March 21 18:09 GMT (UK)
The only British men honoured were the ones who lost their lives. Good luck in your search. I hope you find the answers.
Carol

Oh, thanks for letting me know. I just thought I'd try every website I could. I bought a DNA kit for my mum for mother's day and I am just waiting to receive it. I have a feeling that it's the only way I will find out. John's children will be her second cousins so fingers crossed that one of his many children (or their children) has taken a test!

Queenie  :)
Title: Re: Uniform Identification
Post by: Pinetree on Saturday 20 March 21 18:56 GMT (UK)
I think I may have found something useful a marriage in Canton, Cardiff

9 November 1918

John Charles GODLEY, bat, age 26, electrician 8th Batt NZRB, father Lawrence John GODLEY, electrician

Kathleen Gladys MORRIS, spin, 23, father Herbert Ralph MORRIS, mining engineer deceased.

There is a death registration for John Charles GODLEY b. 1 Feb 1891 registered in Eton, Bucks in 1974 and also a probate record for him giving a date of death of 22 Mar 1974 and an address of 5 Southcroft, Slough.  Probate granted 7 Jul 1975.

Hope this helps.

Pinetree

P.S. There is also a service record, New Zealand Expeditionary Force although he gives his date of birth as 3 Feb 1889 the marriage is mentioned on the record so definitely the same person.
Title: Re: Uniform Identification
Post by: Pinetree on Saturday 20 March 21 19:05 GMT (UK)
His service record at one point gives his next of kin as Mrs HOBBS, 23 Regina Road, Southall!
Title: Re: Uniform Identification
Post by: ShaunJ on Saturday 20 March 21 19:07 GMT (UK)
Service Record: https://www.archway.archives.govt.nz/ViewFullItem.do?code=16786826&digital=yes
Title: Re: Uniform Identification
Post by: Pinetree on Saturday 20 March 21 19:16 GMT (UK)
In 1939, this time with a birth date of 3 Feb 1891, he is in Salisbury, Wiltshire occupation, petrol pump engineer.  He is recorded as married but is not living with his wife or any children.
Title: Re: Uniform Identification
Post by: Pinetree on Saturday 20 March 21 19:43 GMT (UK)
Marriage to May Gartrell 1934 Poole and 10 Godley births mmn Gartrell earlier ones registered in Poole the later ones Eton. Looks like Grandpa was right 😁
Title: Re: Uniform Identification
Post by: QueenoftheWest on Saturday 20 March 21 20:32 GMT (UK)
Marriage to Mary Gartrell 1934 Poole and 10 Godley births mmn Gartrell earlier ones registered in Poole the later ones Eton. Looks like Grandpa was right 😁

Wow, thank you so much Pinetree for all your help. I can't believe you've finally found him! I thought someone would only be able to identify his regiment and now I've found all my cousins!

Thank you to everyone else and now I will mark this thread as completed. How exciting!

Queenie  :)

Title: Re: Uniform Identification
Post by: Pinetree on Saturday 20 March 21 20:40 GMT (UK)
Glad to help Queenie, just one little correction second wife was May not Mary, seems she also passed away in 1974, same address as John. Pinetree  ;)
Title: Re: Uniform Identification
Post by: emsly45 on Tuesday 26 October 21 19:56 BST (UK)
Queenie,

Somewhat serendipitously I have randomly come across this website and your post after an internet search related to my grandfather, John Godley (Hobbs), so we are related! My mother was his daughter Margaret; six of her brothers survive.
I have never seen that photo of him before, itís lovely to see such a well-preserved image.