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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Advice Please


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My Grandfather William Frederick Sinclair born 18th Dec 1891 enlisted at the age of twenty on 10th March 1911.

He married my grandmother on the 6th Aug 1916, my father also William Frederick Sinclair was born 19th Jan 1918.

It appears that my Grandfather never returned home after the Great war and my father never knew his father and that continued throughout my fathers life, and he NEVER made enquiries.

After my fathers death I started the long search to discover the truth, as we never even knew if his parents married.

Over many years I gained information and now know that after the war he got a job on a Fleetwood steam trawler and never returned home to London where his wife (my grandmother had remarried).

On August the 4th 1924 whilst working on the trawler in Milford Haven Docks he had a gas attack something his work mates stated at the inquest that he suffered with gas attacks as a result of being gassed in the war, his mates heard him complaining of the pain and heard him coughing etc then it went quiet,his body was found later that week after drowning in the sea.

Nothing more is known.

I would like to hear any advice with regard to his military service i.e where he served before the war and during the war.

His Military record shows:

No 10546 later No 438916 Pte William Frederick Sinclair

Welsh regiment later Labour Corp

Awarded 1914-15 Star issued 11th jan 1921

British War medal,Victory Medal, issued 18th Nov 1920

Silver war Badge issued 18th May 1920

Enlisted 10th March 1911

Entered Theatre of war-France-16th January 1915

Discharged due to wounds 21 August 1919.

Any information would be nice

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We could make a start here,after wishing you a warm welcome to the Forum,and a Happy New Year !

There is one Division that fits the date into theatre of war you quote. 16 Jan 1915 is when 28 Division entered the fray by landing in France. This page from the Long Long Trail,found at top left of this page,helps you along the way:


You will see that the Welsh Regiments from that Division were in 84 Brigade. There is a bit more that can be added later,once we define which Battalion he was in. That might be achieved in this season of goodwill by some nice colleague here who has access to Ancestry UK and can post your GFs Medal Index Card,so that we can proceed to identify which Battalion he earned his campaign medals in. This will show on the original Medal Rolls at Kew Archives which are kept in the series WO329. That is unless you have that document already,in which case you could post the letters and numbers shown against the medals issued.


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Welcome to the forum and a Happy New Year!

I think your next steps about his military history would be to find out his battalion in the Welch Regiment and then look up its battalion war diary. It will be unlikely to mention his name, but you will get an idea of the actions he could have been involved in.

My guess is that his transfer to the Labour Corps was as a result of his being gassed, since wounded were often downgraded from frontline service and put into the Labour Corps.

His battalion would be shown on the actual medal roll and SWB list, but it is at Kew and not online.

If you have not done so, have a read of The Long Long Trail to gain tips on what to look for and how. It is linked at the top of the page.


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