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Messages - Elaine Williams

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Family History Beginners Board / Neil Patrick Fenn Missing on 1921 Census
« on: Saturday 17 February 24 12:18 GMT (UK)  »
I'm not looking for look-ups, I am asking if anyone has tried anything that has helped them knock down their brick wall.

I have hit a brick wall searching on the 1921 census for my dad. His name on his birth certificate is Neil Patrick Fenn (his mother's surname) although he used the surname Johnson (his father's) as he grew up.
He was born in Chatham, Kent, England on 9 January 1919 and died in Rochester, Kent in 1992. I have found his oldest brother age 4 living with their mother at 1 Union Street, Rochester and his second oldest brother Max Fenn Johnson as a nurse child in Wimbledon in 1921 but I cannot find Dad. His father was in prison in Newcastle in 1921 (Frank Arthur Johnson). I have run out of permutations to try. It's driving me mad. Can anyone help please?

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Family History Beginners Board / Child Missing on 1921 Census
« on: Wednesday 19 January 22 09:24 GMT (UK)  »
My father Neil Patrick Fenn was born in Chatham, Kent on 9 January 1919 (he was known as Pat growing up and died in 1992 having changed his name by deedpoll from Fenn to Johnson in the 1960s). His parents were not married and his father Frank Arthur Johnson was in Newcastle prison in 1921. His mother Alice Victoria Fenn placed his older brother Max in care and I have found him on the census as a nurse child listed as Max Johnson Fenn with a family in South Wimbledon. My father was also sent away by his mother but despite an extensive search I cannot find him anywhere on the census. I am left thinking that the family who took him in either didn't put him on the census at all or used their surname rather than either Fenn or Johnson. Just to add, there was a third brother Basil who stayed with his mother and they lived at 48 St Margarets Street, Rochester. It would be amazing if anyone could help me with my brickwall.

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Canada / Re: TRACING MY ERRANT PATERNAL GRANDFATHER IN CANADA
« on: Thursday 10 October 19 15:32 BST (UK)  »
That's pretty much what I thought too. I had hoped that I would at least find him on a passenger list but that search has come up with nothing. I guess he didnt want to be found but I am not giving up that easily.

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Canada / Re: TRACING MY ERRANT PATERNAL GRANDFATHER IN CANADA
« on: Thursday 10 October 19 14:51 BST (UK)  »
It was always accepted by family as told by my grandmother Alice Victoria whose surname was Fenn.

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Canada / TRACING MY ERRANT PATERNAL GRANDFATHER IN CANADA
« on: Thursday 10 October 19 13:51 BST (UK)  »
I really could do with some help in tracing my paternal grandfather Francis (Frank) Arthur Johnson, who was born on 26 December 1877 in Leek, Staffordshire, England. He 'did a runner' to Canada following a scandal at his place of work; a major department store in London (possibly Selfridges or Liberty) where he was a boot buyer. He fathered four sons out of wedlock with my paternal grandmother Alice Victoria Johnson whilst also having a legal wife and two daughters. His youngest child, my Uncle Michael, was born in Rochester, Kent on 14 Dec 1922 so this 'runner' to Canada must have been after Michael was conceived in Feb/March of that year. I have tried everything on Find My Past, Ancestry and Family Search to find him. I can't find him on any passenger lists, either into the US or Canada so have hit a brick wall. Incidentally there are several listings of a Frank Johnson in and out of New York at that time but it isn't my grandfather as this other Frank had a wife in Grimsby and he was a Horseman working the trans-Atlantic route. I'm finding it it really hard to find my way around Canadian records so would really appreciate any help, support or advice any more experienced members could give me. Thanks so much.


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World War Two / Re: Deciphering my dad's army service record
« on: Friday 13 September 19 11:36 BST (UK)  »
Hi thanks for these! Dad was a clerk in the army after his time in Malta and I have photos of him in Brussels, Hanover and Belsen dated 1944-1945 so I guess that's what he was doing in 31AA W/S Coy REME (TA) during his posting to NWE? He was also attached to the 8th Armoured Brigade Workshops.

When his battalion (2nd) left Malta for the Dodecanse campaign in 1943 he stayed behind for a further 8 months. As the RWKs were no longer in Malta I suppose he had to be attached to some unit or another which is why I think we went to the RASC. Then the 2RWK was abandoned and so he moved to REME.


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World War Two / Re: Deciphering my dad's army service record
« on: Friday 13 September 19 09:56 BST (UK)  »
Thanks Max, Philip and Sue for your responses and I'm grateful for any help you can give.

I had hoped to attach a scan of one page from his Army Form B 103 - Service and Casualty Form but it is too large to upload so I'll list a few acronyms instead. However some of it appears to be written in pencil so I hope I've made it clear enough to decipher. I have lots more but I don't want to take advantage!

T.O.S X(v) MKD. RE CAMP from X (iv) Malta Supply Deport R.A.S.C
T.O.S (could be) N6?5 ADV O2E Malta from X (v) MKD. RE CAMP
S.O.S Malta to UK (LSA) Authy

Later in his army career he served in 31AA W/S Coy REME (TA) - I wonder where that was?

Also his record shows that he was admitted to hospital four times during his service in Malta. I guess there's not way of finding out why? I do know that he did have an operation on his foot which wasn't successfully completed because while on the operating table the hospital (45th General Hospital) was bombed. I think this is why, when his battalion left Malta in June 43, he remained on Malta for a further 8 months presumably because he was now unfit for active service?

Finally on 19/646 He was released from Class A and relegated to Section B Regular Army Reserve then on 26/5/50 he was transferred to Class Z Royal Army Reserve.

Tomorrow I am going to The National Archives in Kew to read through the 2RWK War Diaries from my Dad's time in Malta to get more of an overview and hoping to find more references to 2RWK B Company so I'm quite excited. I just hope that I can make sense of them. If not I am sure you'll guide me through!




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World War Two / Deciphering my dad's army service record
« on: Saturday 07 September 19 13:09 BST (UK)  »
Hi I am new to this group so I hope I am posting in the right place. I am researching my Dad's Army service history and today I received copies of the contents of his service file from Glasgow (which is very exciting). However, as like many others, I'm sure, I am trying to decipher some of the acronyms etc to make sense of it all. From 1939-1943 (ish) he served with the 2nd Battalion Royal West Kent Regiment in Malta but didn't travel on to the ill fated Dodecanse campaign as he was unfit to do so. In three weeks time I am travelling to Malta to follow in his footsteps and would love to have a clearer understanding of his time there (I have general knowledge from the regiment's war diaries). Trouble is I have two different 103 forms one three and the other four pages long with lots of handwriting! Is it too much of a long shot but I guess what I am basically asking is whether there is anyone on this forum who could help me.

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