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Topics - philipsearching

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World War One / Who was the oldest Great War volunteer?
« on: Friday 03 February 23 21:19 GMT (UK)  »
I am curious to know the age of the oldest civilian volunteer to serve overseas in the British Army in the Great War.  (This does NOT include men rejoining the army after previous military service).

The youngest authenticated volunteer was Sidney George Lewis born 24 March 1903 who joined the East Surrey Regiment in 1915 and was at the battle of the Somme in 1916 and there were many many volunteers under the age of 18.  But who was the oldest?

My great grandfather was born on 9 July 1872 and attested on 11 August 1915 (aged 43 years and 1 month) - but I am sure there must have been older civilians who volunteered.  Any suggestions?

Armed Forces / How many stokers on a battleship c1900?
« on: Sunday 13 February 22 20:27 GMT (UK)  »
My GGF served as stoker on HMS Repulse (Royal Navy Sovereign Class battleship 1890s).

Does anyone know (or can help me find out) how many stokers would have been in the crew of 670?  Or give an approximation based on heavy warships of the time?

Many thanks.

(ADDED - I have his Navy record, and general information about HMS Repulse, but I can't find a breakdown of the crew number)

Armed Forces / Deserting the Royal Navy in 1899 - what would the Navy do?
« on: Monday 13 December 21 10:59 GMT (UK)  »
In March 1899, three years into his twelve year service, my ancestor (a stoker, posted to a shore establishment at the time) deserted.  What would the Navy have done to find him?

The country was not at war, so desertion may not have been a capital offence?

My guess is that the RN or police would have called on his family (living near Southampton) looking for him, but how much effort would they have put into the search?

Any thoughts gratefully received!


[p.s. - he redeemed himself by volunteering for the Army in 1915, served in France, was invalided out at the end of 1916 and died in 1917]

World War One / WW1 military pension - what about dependants?
« on: Thursday 21 October 21 04:33 BST (UK)  »
I am struggling to calculate the total family income of an ancestor discharged as unfit for further war service from the British Army in 1916.

I know that he was discharged with 75% incapacity.  He came under Class 5 (40s per week at 100%) so he would have received 30 shillings per week.  He had a wife (not working) and three young children.

After he died in 1917 his widow received a pension for herself and their three young children of 26/3d per week.

My question is: was there any additional financial support available to his wife and children while he was alive?  (I suspect the answer is no, but I can't find anything to confirm my suspicion)

Any guidance will be appreciated.


Surrey / Who did Francis TWEEN marry? - 1928 Southwark
« on: Monday 05 July 21 22:44 BST (UK)  »
FreeBMD has the following entries for Jun qtr 1928, Southwark:
    GAUNTLETT-MUNN    Juila A    HEARN    Southwark    1d   102
    Hearn    Harry    Gauntlett Munn    Southwark    1d   102
    Munn    Julia A G    Hearn    Southwark    1d   102
    Tween    Francis W    Alard    Southwark    1d   102

The first three entries obviously refer to one marriage, but the fourth entry stands alone.  I have tried a fuzzy search for a marriage for ALARD but come up blank.  I have tried searching blank with spouse TWEEN and come up blank.

So who was Ms ALARD?  Can anyone throw any light on her?

There is also a marriage of a Francis W TWEEN in Romford in 1930 to Julie HART, but as my Francis' wife was known as "Did" I need to confirm which marriage was his.

(For info, my Francis William TWEEN was born Jun qtr 1905 Mile End, parents Frederick TWEEN and Esther nee BRYERS.  There was also a Francis William TWEEN born Sep qtr 1896 in Mile End mmn HART).


Armed Forces / Which UK medals were engraved?
« on: Monday 21 June 21 13:52 BST (UK)  »
I am sure I must be missing something obvious, but I can't find a helpful website to learn which UK medals were engraved with the serviceperson's details when issued.  Can anyone help?

My current belief is:
Awards and decorations - don't know.
General Service medals - don't know.
Pre Great War campaign medals - I think engraved, but not sure if all were.
Great War campaign medals - engraved.
WW2 campaign medals - not engraved.
Post WW2 medals - don't know.

Apart from adding to my general knowledge, I would like to know if my late father's medals (Korea pair and General Service with Cyprus clasp) would have been engraved; if not then I will never find them.


Ancestral Family Tree DNA Testing / MyHeritage puzzling DNA results
« on: Wednesday 19 May 21 18:22 BST (UK)  »
MyHeritage gave my DNA results as:
North & West European 52.0%
English 41.4%
Scandinavian 4.8%
Finnish 1.8%

I am having trouble reconciling this with two of my ancestral lines going back to Ireland.  Of course I understand that some of my ancestors were English (C-of-I or nonconformist) settlers, but I cannot account for two 3xgreat-grandmothers from entirely different lines.

(1)   I have proved my descent by original BMD and baptism records from Ellen CALANAN who married George CRISPIN in 1812 in Clonakilty, County Cork (Catholic Church).

(2)   I believe (but have not yet conclusively proved) that Catherine GERAGHTY was the mother of Eliza Aldwell SANDYS (born c1841, father Basil SANDYS).  This family supported the Catholic Church.

So, given that CALANAN and GERAGHTY are solid Irish names, why do I not have Irish DNA?

Can anyone offer any suggestions?


The Common Room / "Known Unto God" and DNA identification
« on: Thursday 01 April 21 20:52 BST (UK)  »
This post could go into either DNA or Armed Forces - so I post it in The Common Room.  :-\

I am wondering what it would cost (assuming CWGC would give permission!) to mount a project to exhume the graves of unnamed servicemen from the Great War and extract DNA.  I think it is now CWGC practice to extract DNA from newly discovered remains, but I don't know how many graves exist where the names are unknown.  It occurs to me that, with the continuing increase in the numbers of DNA results on family history websites, it should be possible to identify a significant percentage.

(NOTE - I think the "Unknown Soldier" is a national symbol and should remain unnamed).

What are your thoughts?  Perhaps a petition or fundraising?  Or should the unnamed dead be left undisturbed?

Surrey Lookup Requests / Where did Eliza Jane BOWBRICK end up?
« on: Monday 08 March 21 16:52 GMT (UK)  »
I have a problem finding what happened to Eliza Jane BOWBRICK after 1901.  What I have so far found is:
Born Sep qtr 1859 Southwark, one of six children of William BOWBRICK and Elizabeth CRISPIN
On 1861 census with her parents and siblings.
On 1871 census with her parents and siblings.
Son Henry BOWBRICK (no mmn) born Sep qtr 1878 St Saviour Southwark.
Not found on 1881 census.
Eight BOONE mmn BOWBRICK children born 1884 to 1899 Camberwell, Greenwich, Southwark.
On 1891 census as wife of James A BOONE born c1852 London, gas fitter's labourer, with surviving children.
On 1901 census with some of her children, all surnames BOWBRICK, described as a widow.
Named in 1905 will of her father as Eliza Jane GOULD.
No trace after 1905.
No trace of any marriage.

I have found out what happened to all the children, but where did Eliza Jane end up?  Any suggestions or solutions will be gratefully received.

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