Author Topic: Searching for records  (Read 302 times)

Offline lordcobb

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Searching for records
« on: Wednesday 08 August 18 18:22 BST (UK) »
Hi all,

Is there a way to search to see if a relative was in the war? Story goes my Great-Grandad was in WW1, in the Somme gassed and then became a POW and later released. Have a small account.
It was meant to serve for 6th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry, but I would love to ensure he was in the army and find is number so I could apply for his record.

Thanks in advance

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Offline MaxD

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Re: Searching for records
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 08 August 18 19:17 BST (UK) »
Be aware that although some 60% of detailed service records were lost in bombing in WW2, some records such as medal cards do survive.  These can be searched for on subscription sites and/or at the National Archives.

If he was a POW then his POW record can be searched for.

Best to post his name and if you have it his year and place of birth.

MaxD
Double  Essex/Suffolk
Randle/Millington Warwicks
Sokser/Klingler Austria/Croatia

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Offline lordcobb

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Re: Searching for records
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 08 August 18 22:13 BST (UK) »
Hi MaxD, thanks for the reply.
My great-grandad is: Henry John Bowles, born 14 June 1894 in Walton, Somerset, England.

I have an account that suggests he served 6th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry, something about a battle at St. Quentin 21 March 1917 where he was captured. He survived and returned home. That is about all I know.

Offline MaxD

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Re: Searching for records
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 09 August 18 09:25 BST (UK) »
Quick reply.

Henry John Bowles served overseas first with 1st Battalion Somerset LI and then with 1st Battalion Wiltshire Regiment.  He was captured at Vaulx near Arras on 24 March 1918, this would, and I can dig a bit deeper be the 1918 Battle of St Quentin not 1917.  He was discharged in March 1919.
Surviving records are his medal records and his POW records in which his Wilts Regt number cross checks with the place of birth you give.
  You can see his POW record at https://grandeguerre.icrc.org/en/File/Details/3904691/3/2/ (put the PA numbers into the box for more information).  His medal card is at the National Archives for 3.50 at http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D1426491  It is on Ancestry if you have access??

More later

MaxD



 
Double  Essex/Suffolk
Randle/Millington Warwicks
Sokser/Klingler Austria/Croatia

Offline lordcobb

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Re: Searching for records
« Reply #4 on: Thursday 09 August 18 09:43 BST (UK) »
Wow that's amazing, I do have Ancestry I'll take a look at his medal card, is 17188 his number? - sadly I'm not sure who has or where his medals are now. My mum has a walking-stick he carved when he was POW.

Offline MaxD

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Re: Searching for records
« Reply #5 on: Thursday 09 August 18 10:23 BST (UK) »
17188 was his Somerset LI number, when he transferred to the Wiltshires he was 29774.

He was captured in the days immediately following the massive German offensive on 21 March 1918.   This link is to the 24th March 1918 in the 1st Wilts Diary https://www.ancestry.co.uk/interactive/60779/43112_2243_3-00017?pid=452083&backurl=https://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?_phsrc%3DJdV6895%26_phstart%3DsuccessSource%26usePUBJs%3Dtrue%26indiv%3D1%26qh%3DLdXNG9aGzQBx4gZfDgLcag%253D%253D%26db%3DUKWarDiariesWWI%26gss%3Dangs-d%26new%3D1%26rank%3D1%26msT%3D1%26gskw%3D2243%26MSAV%3D1%26uidh%3D6x5%26pcat%3D

 Easier to read here: http://www.thewardrobe.org.uk/research/war-diaries/detail/10817

You can find it on Ancestry by searching - Card Catalogue - War diaries France/Belgium/Germany then entering 2243 in the keyword box and nothing else.  that brings up a number of hits, scroll down to the first Wiltshire Regiment hit and fast forward to the date you want.

What we don't know, given the lack of a detailed service record, is when he transferred from one regiment to the other.

On the link that follows, the line of trenches in which 1st Wilts were deployed, were in a line from Beugnatre to Fremicourt.  Vaulx, to the top of the map, would have been where his capture was first recorded.
https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/side-by-side/#zoom=13&lat=50.1373&lon=2.8984&layers=101465149&right=BingHyb

MaxD
Double  Essex/Suffolk
Randle/Millington Warwicks
Sokser/Klingler Austria/Croatia

Offline lordcobb

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Re: Searching for records
« Reply #6 on: Friday 10 August 18 07:37 BST (UK) »
Thanks for that MaxD much appreciated.