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Remembered Today:

Where else can I look?


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When I first started my research on Robert Stark (G/7190, 7th Queen's RWS, KIA 28/9/16) a few years ago, I gained some information piece by piece, and eventually was lucky enough to find out that his records had survived. I had hoped that the record would reveal more about the company he was assigned to, where he disembarked, etc., but there was scant information contained therein.

Many of you know which company your relatives served in. Question: where do you find that information if it is not available in his PRO record? The Queen's Museum at Clandon Park does not have that info. Can it only be had from family information? I would love to pursue this. Unfortunately, all the family information was lost in a fire, including photographs, letters and documents. The dream would be to find a photograph of him with his company during training, as it seems as if many of them had photos taken like that. There is precious little of him left -- 2 photographs, and his name on the Godstone and Thiepval Memorials.

Thanks for any suggestions, or have I hit a research brick wall?

Cynthia

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Hi Stuart,

Yes, had a thorough check of the Surrey papers last year, with only two small results about Robert being listed as "missing" and then the official roll a few months later saying he was officially "missing." It was actually the first news item that led me to know who his employer was, and I thoroughly searched my way to finding someone from that family to no avail, as the draper's shop in Caterham is long gone.

I've followed through with family members, both paternal and maternal; the Queen's Museum at Clandon Park (very little on rankers, unfortunately); the Parish Magazines for Godstone; letters to the local newspapers looking for information; and now, with bated breath, the Forum! He was also a member of the Caterham Brigade of the St. John Ambulance before the War, and I have checked with them, their archivists and their central office in London. Absolutely zilch.

One area I haven't looked at is the PRO Battalion diaries. I would doubt that with losses as heavy as they were on 28/9/16 for the 7th Battalion that Robert would get an individual mention, but it is on my list of things to pursue.

Thanks for your input.

Cynthia

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Hello Cynthia,

Thanks for the feedback.

I know you are grasping at straws so a couple more suggestions if you have not already tried them.

Firstly go to http://www.ukvillages.co.uk , find Godstone and post a message/appeal on the notice board for that village regarding photographs. It should be free once you have subscribed (free). I have looked at Godstone and sadly it is not active but there is no harm in trying.

Secondly try your local paper with a letter and / or your local BBC Radio. BBC ran a theme last year on We'll Meet Again but this also included information requests similar to yours. Most if not all BBC Local Radio Stations have half an hour set aside each morning for phone calls from the listeners but you usually have to book it by ringing or emailing the details.

Good Luck

Stuart

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Long shots. War diary worth a look but in my experience chances of mention are small. Try other units in the same brigade as well as brigade, division and corps war diaries - not impossible that he took part in - maybe - a raid and got a mention in a report posted by battalion 'up the chain of command'.

Tried local museums? - sometimes have a list of local men who served with certain units, might mention company. If battalion was formed - maybe - by town mayor after Kitchener's appeal civic records might have list of names/companies. These records might still be with successor council or local archive office.

Tried the library local studies unit? Might have some documents re war.

Good luck!

Bernard Lewis

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