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Beginners => Family History Beginners Board => Topic started by: Smilingwillowb on Thursday 18 November 21 20:10 GMT (UK)

Title: How are the deaths of people whose names are unknown recorded?
Post by: Smilingwillowb on Thursday 18 November 21 20:10 GMT (UK)
A couple of examples that I know of - 1) The body of an unknown sailor, probably British as he was carrying British banknotes, was washed ashore in Morecambe Bay during World War 1. He was buried in the nearest churchyard. 2) A man, whose name I know, tramped around Wales from the early 1900s up to at least 1915, occasionally making court appearances under his real name. A possibility is that he died a lonely death under a hedgerow and was buried somewhere, name unknown.

Does the General Register Office record deaths in cases like these? There's no way to search for deaths in the online GRO records where there's no known name. How about the National Burial Index - is it possible to search for a record of a burial if you know the date and place of the death, but not the name?
Title: Re: How are the deaths of people whose names are unknown recorded?
Post by: cath151 on Thursday 18 November 21 20:29 GMT (UK)
I have seen deaths noted on Freebmd as... Unknown  Male/Female and approx age.
Put in Unknown as surname and gender as first name.

Cathy
 
Title: Re: How are the deaths of people whose names are unknown recorded?
Post by: Smilingwillowb on Thursday 18 November 21 21:17 GMT (UK)
Thank you,that's very helpful.
Title: Re: How are the deaths of people whose names are unknown recorded?
Post by: AntonyMMM on Friday 19 November 21 09:15 GMT (UK)
There's no way to search for deaths in the online GRO records where there's no known name.

As with FreeBMD - on the GRO index, just use the surname "Unknown"
Title: Re: How are the deaths of people whose names are unknown recorded?
Post by: Smilingwillowb on Friday 19 November 21 12:28 GMT (UK)
Thank you.
Title: Re: How are the deaths of people whose names are unknown recorded?
Post by: Radcliff on Saturday 27 November 21 04:20 GMT (UK)
if you know roughly the place and date of the unknown death you could always spend time reading through the burial records in that area , mind you washed up in Morecambe Bay would take a bit to narrow it down ,covers a large area
Title: Re: How are the deaths of people whose names are unknown recorded?
Post by: Smilingwillowb on Monday 29 November 21 18:58 GMT (UK)
The Morecambe Bay case was an unidentified sailor who was found near Sunderland Point, about two miles south of Heysham, on Friday 16th August 1918. The name McLeod was stamped inside his trousers, and his age was estimated to be between 40-50 years. The body had on a blue jersey, trousers, and a flannel vest; the only item found on the body was a purse containing 14 in notes and 12s 9d.

It was said at the inquest that an Admiralty representative would take charge of the body and see that the man would get a proper internment, and not be put in a pauper's grave, as it was considered that he died in the service of his king and country.

There's no headstone for an Unknown Sailor that I can find in the churchyards in Heysham and Overton, and the local council has no record of an unidentified man being buried after 16th August 1918 in any of the cemeteries it had responsibility for at that time.

My thought was that he'd been on a ship that had been torpedoed, and had grabbed his purse before abandoning ship. He had no identification disc, so did that mean that he wasn't Royal Navy or Royal Naval Reserve? Maybe on a fishing trawler? I asked about him on the Great War Forum, but no-one could help, so the man's identity and his burial place are mysteries.
Title: Re: How are the deaths of people whose names are unknown recorded?
Post by: Radcliff on Monday 29 November 21 19:22 GMT (UK)
Kenneth McLeod aged 42
born Stornaway
a Seaman in the Royal Naval reserve
SS Braglass sank in a collision
August 2nd 1918
Title: Re: How are the deaths of people whose names are unknown recorded?
Post by: Radcliff on Monday 29 November 21 19:30 GMT (UK)
His body may have been returned to his home town
Title: Re: How are the deaths of people whose names are unknown recorded?
Post by: Radcliff on Monday 29 November 21 19:36 GMT (UK)
Scotlands people has a few records for deaths of Kenneth McLeod in marine returns 1918
Title: Re: How are the deaths of people whose names are unknown recorded?
Post by: Smilingwillowb on Monday 29 November 21 19:52 GMT (UK)
Thank you, Radcliff, that's a good shout and I did mention Kenneth McLeod when I posted in the Great War Forum, but it was pointed out the Commonwealth War Graves Commission has his "ship" being H.M.S. President III, and President III "was an accounting base, initially in Bristol and then Windsor; the administrative HQ for the personnel on Defensively Armed Merchant Ships."
https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/667906/kenneth-mcleod/

President III is what's on his gravestone.
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/59959284/kenneth-mcleod

Where did you find SS Braglass?
Title: Re: How are the deaths of people whose names are unknown recorded?
Post by: Radcliff on Monday 29 November 21 19:53 GMT (UK)
so he wasn't unknown was he according to his inquest
Title: Re: How are the deaths of people whose names are unknown recorded?
Post by: Radcliff on Monday 29 November 21 19:55 GMT (UK)
inquest Number 8 ,
17th August 1918
DDHD/CR/23.50
Lancashire archives
Title: Re: How are the deaths of people whose names are unknown recorded?
Post by: Radcliff on Monday 29 November 21 20:08 GMT (UK)
perhaps he was on the the ship that was in collision with the SS Braglass
Title: Re: How are the deaths of people whose names are unknown recorded?
Post by: MonicaL on Monday 29 November 21 20:30 GMT (UK)
Deleted my post. Info already posted on 2nd page....

Monica
Title: Re: How are the deaths of people whose names are unknown recorded?
Post by: Smilingwillowb on Tuesday 30 November 21 09:42 GMT (UK)
so he wasn't unknown was he according to his inquest

From The Morecambe Visitor, 21.8.1918 -

The inquiry was held on the body of "an unknown sailor."

"Inside his trousers was stamped the name "McLeod," in block letters.
....The Coroner: Would that be the name of the makers or the man's?
....Mr. Triggs [representing the Admiralty]: No, I don't think so, it is a name, but I don't know whether it is this man's name."

The body may well have been Kenneth McLeod, but as things stand there's no proof of it. Possibly a newspaper which covered the Isle of Lewis (where McLeod is buried) would have reported on the interment.

Title: Re: How are the deaths of people whose names are unknown recorded?
Post by: seaweed on Tuesday 30 November 21 13:41 GMT (UK)
Kenneth McLeod aged 42
born Stornaway
a Seaman in the Royal Naval reserve
SS Braglass sank in a collision
August 2nd 1918
I cannot find a vessel called BRAGLASS or anywhere near.
 The name of the ship may be BOSCASTLE Official number 132828 sunk by the German Submarine U111

https://uboat.net/wwi/ships_hit/875.html

https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/3060267/kenneth-mcleod/

I don't know if this is any help to the OP. Strumble Head is near Fishguard. Could the body have drifted that far? Do we know when the body was found?
The distance between Fishguard and Heysham is approx 153 nautical miles. If the current carried the body at 1/2 a knot it would take approx 12/13 days.

Two things bother me. The Guy who was intered at Heysham? was described as being between 40 and 50. The person  I refer to, was 26 when he died.
Also he his commemorated at Tower Hill, which implies he has no grave but the sea.
Where do's SS BRAGLASS come from? could you check the source of your information, please, Radcliff.


Title: Re: How are the deaths of people whose names are unknown recorded?
Post by: cath151 on Tuesday 30 November 21 15:29 GMT (UK)
Hi
British armed forces and oversea deaths has
Kenneth McLeod age 40 from Stornway
Died at sea 2nd August 1918
Ship SS Braeglen, ship sunk, drowned.

Cathy
Title: Re: How are the deaths of people whose names are unknown recorded?
Post by: seaweed on Tuesday 30 November 21 16:07 GMT (UK)
Thanks cath151.
The BRAEGLEN official number 94037, was sunk in collision with SARAH BROUGH, O/N 88915 on 2 August 1918, 12 miles W N of North Bay Buoy, in Liverpool Bay, voyage Llandulas for Ayr. SARAH BROUGH did not sink in this incident. Her registry was closed in 1952!
This appears to refer to the Kenneth Mcleod commemorated by CWGC. Ship given as HMS PRESIDENT III
https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/667906/kenneth-mcleod/

Back to the drawing board!


 
Title: Re: How are the deaths of people whose names are unknown recorded?
Post by: Smilingwillowb on Tuesday 30 November 21 19:36 GMT (UK)
The body was found on Friday afternoon, 16th August 1918, so the sinking of the Braeglen in Liverpool Bay, 14 days earlier, is a good fit. I've tried to find an alphabetical Stornoway roll of honour, but failed. The only one there seems to be lists men street by street. I think it's highly likely that the body was that of Kenneth McLeod.