Author Topic: Identifying an Australian soldier by his uniform  (Read 996 times)

Offline kdsoph

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Identifying an Australian soldier by his uniform
« on: Saturday 01 December 18 02:48 GMT (UK) »
Hi There!

I am hoping that you may be able to assist me with identifying or giving me some information on the soldier pictured in the photo I have attached.

His identity is a bit of a family mystery and I would be thrilled if it could be solved. I had already posted a request on the beginners' board a few years ago and they were amazing with their information and guidance which included a link to this board.

Re: Gweneth Lydia Fordham birth https://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=722500.9


 This is what I have come up with so far...

There are 2 little girls sitting on the soldier's knee and they are my grandmother, Gweneth Fordham and her identical twin sister, Sylvia.

Suspect No. 1 Father Arthur George Fordham (1893-1959)
The twins were born in Waratah Newcastle NSW Australia between June and Dec 1915 to Arthur George Fordham and Lena Agnes Fordham nee Baker (1892-1970).

I have not been able to find any record of Arthur George Fordham enlisting for service, so if he didn't the soldier pictured is not their father.

Suspect no. 2 Uncle John James Baker (1889-1957)
I have researched other family members and the only one I can find that served in WWI was John James Baker SN: 1566 3rd light Horse and 12th Army Brigade on the 28th July 1915 age about 26.

I have an image of John James taken when he was 20 which I have attached. The 2 men look very similar but I am not convinced they are one and the same.

John James' war record backs up the theory that this soldier is not him as he embarked 1811 1915 when the twins were either not born yet or only 5 months old and he was not discharged until 5th May 1919 when the twins would have been 4 years old (the twins in this photo look to be about 2).
Does this uniform match his rank at the time do you know?

The only opportunity for this photo to have been taken that I can see is in Oct 1917 when he went on 2 weeks leave. Where he went I do not know. Would it be possible he came all the way back to Australia and then all the way back to England? If so then the date of his leave is almost perfect. Is there any way to find out?

If this is not John James Baker there were other uncles to look at but I can find no record of any of them enlisting.

Lena had 3 bothers
Lieut. John James Baker who served in WWI: see above
Arthur Samuel Baker 1891 - 1951
George Frank Baker 1893 - 1983

Arthur George Fordham, on the other hand, had 2 surviving brothers
Ernest John Fordham 1884 -1931
Herbert William 1886 - 1945

I can't find Military service for any of them but this may be because I am a novice at this.

It's probably "too huge an ask" so I expect you will be having a bit of a giggle at this request, as am I, but I figure "if you don't ask, you don't get"  ;D

Thank you so much for reading this. Any and all suggestions are welcome.

Kind Regards
Kim




 

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Offline Jamjar

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Re: Identifying an Australian soldier by his uniform
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 01 December 18 03:34 GMT (UK) »
Looks like the same man in both photos to me.

Jamjar
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Offline Dundee

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Re: Identifying an Australian soldier by his uniform
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 01 December 18 03:42 GMT (UK) »
...... in Oct 1917 when he went on 2 weeks leave. Where he went I do not know. Would it be possible he came all the way back to Australia and then all the way back to England?

Unless he had a time machine, no it would not be possible.

Debra  :)

Offline majm

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Re: Identifying an Australian soldier by his uniform
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 01 December 18 03:46 GMT (UK) »
It was not possible for any person serving in the AIF and in 1917 at the Front .. to travel back to Australia and then return back to the front within two weeks. 

1.  Voyage by ship  depended on available ships and they were all basically required for troop transport...
2. Voyage by ship from any east coast Australian port to Albany in W.A. took almost a fortnight ...
3. Aeroplanes had not yet managed to fly between Europe and Australia ...
 :D  :D  :D

Question ... are you sure the girls are twins ... the NSW BDM online index has a provision for drilling down on birthdates,  and they are listed as running numbered references BUT do you actually have the details from those two consecutive registrations ...

JM
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Offline Jamjar

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Re: Identifying an Australian soldier by his uniform
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 01 December 18 03:48 GMT (UK) »
There are quite a few John James Baker war records online. Could you indicate which is your Johnís record, please?

Jamjar
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Offline Jamjar

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Re: Identifying an Australian soldier by his uniform
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 01 December 18 03:50 GMT (UK) »
They sure look like twinnies to me, JM.  ;D

Jamjar
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Offline majm

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Re: Identifying an Australian soldier by his uniform
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 01 December 18 03:53 GMT (UK) »
NSW BDM may not have them with same dob ... or perhaps my  puter is having a lend of NSW BDM ...

 ; :)

JM
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Offline maddys52

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Re: Identifying an Australian soldier by his uniform
« Reply #7 on: Saturday 01 December 18 04:30 GMT (UK) »
Sylvie L FORDHAM  46254/1915

Gweneth L FORDHAM  46255/1915

both with parents Arthur G and Lena A at Waratah.

  ;) :D

Offline maddys52

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Re: Identifying an Australian soldier by his uniform
« Reply #8 on: Saturday 01 December 18 04:33 GMT (UK) »
I think I agree with Jamjar that the 2 men look the same similar, my only reservation is the first appears to have a dimple in his chin whereas it's hard to see if the 2nd has the same dimple (could be just the low resolution scan).