Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Soldier look up help please


SBW

Recommended Posts

Below a list of men buried in our local cemetery. Our WW1 enlistments are strongly linked with the NZ Tunnellers Coy and the Arras tunnels. I am specially interested in the sappers listed, and wonder if any of them would have worked alongside our men as a Yorkshire bantam. The military details have been taken from their grave inscriptions. All of them, apart from Pte Fry, also have occupation details on cemetery records. Miners are included. If someone could look up their military records, or provide any background info, that would be much appreciated. Many thanks, Sue

282136 Pte Thomas Henry Fry Lancashire Fusiliers. He died aged 68 in 1961, born in Warrington, Lancashire.

140025 Sapper John Henry Pearce Royal Engineers Imperial Forces WW1 Died 1962 Born Redruth Cornwall

90695 Far J Symon Royal Field Artillery Imperial Forces WW1 Died 1957 age 75 Born in Glasgow Scotland

2214 Serg A B West (Godwin) Imperial Forces, Died age 54 Born Southhampton Hampshire

7/1801 Rfn William Henry Harper Kings Royal Rifle Corps Imperial Forces WW1 Died 1962, aged 75 Born London

899 L/Seaman Charles Everitte Goodlad, died 1962 aged 63 Born Shetland Is, Scotland

J52833 Robert Southwood Royal Navy WW1 died 1961 aged 61 Born France

157495 Spr Alfred Ayrey died 1961 aged 64 Born in Morecombe Lancashire

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sue

The two Sappers' Medal Index Cards will lead to the original Medal Rolls but it is not expected that the RE unit will be shown there. I have been looking for a couple for some time without success. The RE Museum in Chatham may have something to tell,but it's a long wait for a reply. The other angle might be the Absent Voter's List for 1918,where a unit will probably be shown,if the AVL survived ! The Service records are a lottery as over 70% of them were destroyed in 1940,but you might be lucky. Ayrey will be on Ancestry UK now if his record survived, but I don't think they have got to Pearce yet.

Sotonmate

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Out of curiosity, where are they buried?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Dave, thanks for replying. These men are buried in Waihi cemetery, see http://www.waihi.org.nz/

I am a local amateur WW1 researcher and am writing an Armistice Day article for the local smalltown paper which will focus on some of our local stories.

We also had a few Englishmen listing English NOK working in Waihi when the war broke out. They joined the NZ army. Some are remembered locally, some are not. Seargeant Claude Pownceby (Tunnelling Coy) whose NOK is listed as being his wife, in Cockwood Station near Devon, is one of those not remembered on any Roll of Honour. His story; "On the 14th September the company suffered a severe loss in the death of lieutenant Durant and Sergeant POUNCEBY ( same man, dif spelling) who with eight of our men volunteered to accompany a night raid of the Cheshires into the German lines. Their job was to blow a passage for the raiding party through the enemy wire by means of a loaded pipe, and afterwards to investigate and if possible destroy and German mine entrances. The raid proved a failure, only Lieutenant Durant, Sergeant Pounceby and a sergeant of the Cheshires apparently reaching the German trenches. There they must have put up a gallant fight against overwhelming odds, for after the advance of the next year a neatly kept grave was found at the Chateau St Laurent just beyond the then German line, bearing on its oaken cross the inscription, To the memory of three brave Englishmen, Lieutenant Durant NZ Tunnelling Company and two NCO’s. In the darkness and confusion of the abortive raid no one had seen the three go forward and many of Durant’s men spent the whole night searching no-mans land, in spite of heavy enemy fire, in the belief that he was lying out there wounded."

While ANZAC has a focus on Aussie/NZ connections, Armistice Day gives us an opportunity to remember our broader Commonwealth connections.

Thanks

Sue

Out of curiosity, where are they buried?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Sue

157495 Spr Alfred Ayrey died 1961 aged 64 Born in Morecombe Lancashire

His MIC shows a 2nd number - WR/255167 - which I understand refers to Royal Engineers Waterways and Railways

BTW did he die either 1/6/61 or 24/8/61 - these are the only notations (just the figures) on the MIC - he was entitled to the VM and BWM ref RE/102 B68 13216

There is a Pension Record on Ancestry for an Alfred Ayrey (155191) in the RE - but he is older - 33 and 2 months at the end of 1915

Cheers

Sue

Link to comment
Share on other sites

140025 Sapper John Henry Pearce Royal Engineers Imperial Forces WW1 Died 1962 Born Redruth Cornwall

Nothing extra on his MIC - again just the VM and BWM ref RE/101 B75 15962

Any idea how old he was when he died?

The 1901 census has a few John Pearce's born in Redruth - including 1 born abt 1893 whose father was a tin smelter

Birth records show this was a John Henry - registered in the Sep qtr of 1892

Passenger records on Find My Past show a John H Pearce a 29 year old miner travelling to Wellington from Southampton (March 5th 1921) aboard

REMUERA - (he is listed in 3rd class with a group of around 7 - 8 other miners) - so it is just possibly the same person

Cheers

Sue

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Sue, thanks for this. I don't belong to Ancestry, so any help much appreciated.

Records show Alfred died 31/07/1961, so may be another person? Waihi has five Ayrey burials recorded. We also have a Alfred Kenneth in the RSA section, he died in 1987, aged 65. He may have served WW2. Rachel died aged 84 in 1982. Dorothea Francis aged 71 died 1999. A baby died 10 weeks in 1950. All the adults were born in England. Chronologically they look like they could be three generations ie mum and dad, son/daughter in law who had at least one Waihi baby.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With the 2 Navy boys you could check for their records on NA (and download them for GBP3.50 each if you wanted to)

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documen...amp;queryType=1

Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be working properly at the moment otherwise I could have told you if they were there

Good Luck with it all - not long to go till Nov 11th

Cheers

Sue

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Sue, thanks for this. I don't belong to Ancestry, so any help much appreciated.

Records show Alfred died 31/07/1961, so may be another person? .

Right person I'm sure Sue - just my interpretation of the figures is wrong

post-16016-1225415540.jpg

If there is anything else you'd like me to look up on Ancestry - please ask

Cheers

Sue

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, heaps of stuff. Thanks Sue. John was a miner, aged 69 when he died. He was born in 1893, so yes probably the same one that came to NZ in 1921, just after WW1. The census info suggests its my guy too.

Local Waihi records have 8 day old John died in 1924, two months later 20yr old Dom Duties Blanche Eliza 1924 no origin of birth. Would be interesting to know if there were any relationships between the three.

Guess we can only speculate why John chose Waihi, and whether it was because of any NZ enlistments he may have met. He obviously knew his mining skills would be useful.

140025 Sapper John Henry Pearce Royal Engineers Imperial Forces WW1 Died 1962 Born Redruth Cornwall

Nothing extra on his MIC - again just the VM and BWM ref RE/101 B75 15962

Any idea how old he was when he died?

The 1901 census has a few John Pearce's born in Redruth - including 1 born abt 1893 whose father was a tin smelter

Birth records show this was a John Henry - registered in the Sep qtr of 1892

Passenger records on Find My Past show a John H Pearce a 29 year old miner travelling to Wellington from Southampton (March 5th 1921) aboard

REMUERA - (he is listed in 3rd class with a group of around 7 - 8 other miners) - so it is just possibly the same person

Cheers

Sue

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Sue, really appreciate all your help. Just wonderful. o

Right person I'm sure Sue - just my interpretation of the figures is wrong

post-16016-1225415540.jpg

If there is anything else you'd like me to look up on Ancestry - please ask

Cheers

Sue

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sue, this group of guys that came to NZ to mine straight after WW1, have you got their names? It would be interesting to see if any ended also up in Waihi, I could try to do this at my end. Are you able to check and see if they were ex servicemen as well. Thanks again.

Passenger records on Find My Past show a John H Pearce a 29 year old miner travelling to Wellington from Southampton (March 5th 1921) aboard

REMUERA - (he is listed in 3rd class with a group of around 7 - 8 other miners)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In 1924 a 'John Henry Pearce' is recorded as having married 'Blanche Elizbeth Cronin'. And in 1925 a 'John Henry Pearce' is recorded as having married 'Evelyn Jane Cronin.' Any help?

Zack

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks John. Your post came when i was away, and had dropped several pages by the time I was back. I would have overlooked it, but was checking back on my posts for information to save. I haven't figured out if there is a way to check for new posts in my threads:-(

Your information...yes, its of help! Checking records here, I have a Blanche Eliza died 7 May 1924, occupation domestic duties, aged 20 years. John died 8 days 13 March 1924. Both in Roman Catholic section. so, assuming these are mother and child and Blanche died 2 mths after childbirth.

He may have married Blanche's sister, Evelyn Jane after his first wife died?

Also, have records of Dec 1917 death of 85 yr old Margaret Jane, born in Cornwall.

This may place John Pearce snr mother/relative in Waihi, before his service in the English Engineers.

If you have access to records that could help fill in the story that would be great and your help much appreciated.

Thanks

Sue

In 1924 a 'John Henry Pearce' is recorded as having married 'Blanche Elizbeth Cronin'. And in 1925 a 'John Henry Pearce' is recorded as having married 'Evelyn Jane Cronin.' Any help?

Zack

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...