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Remembered Today:

Ancestor left a riddle in his son’s name


randall

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My great grandfather, Lloyd Randall, named one of his sons Verdun Vaux Randall. Verdun was born in Mansfield during July 1916.

My thought is that my great grandfather named his son Verdun Vaux for a specific reason; I have researched the name and have discovered the battle of Verdun and fort Vaux during 1916 so I believe the connection with the name to be related to WW1.

One train of thought is that Verdun Vaux is named after a relative that was killed at Verdun, but I don't think any British soldiers were involved (correct me if I am wrong?).

I am sticking with the idea that a relative to my great grandfather was killed in action about the time Verdun Vaux was born, so I have started to investigate my great grandfathers brothers, Harold (born about 1882 in Mansfield) and Claude Randall (born about 1887 in Mansfield).

I started with Claude because he was the youngest (unmarried and living Mansfield in 1911), I have found a Claude Randall who was killed in action 1st July 1916, but I am not sure if this is my great grandfather's brother, I have no evidence of a connection, this is were I need the help. How can I prove or disprove if this is the correct Claude Randall?

Claude Randall

Pr 306526,

1/8th Territorial Battalion,

Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

Enlisted Kenilworth.

Killed in action 1st July 1916, France & Flanders.

Buried in Serre Road Cemetery, No 2, Somme, France. I.H. 36.

I have found the medal index for Claude Randall but can not find anything about when he signed up.

If it is the correct Claude Randall then I don't understand why a Claude Randall from Mansfield would be in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and enlist in Kenilworth, can anyone explain this?

Also I could not find a Harold Randall that died in WW1.

Any help solving this riddle is greatly appreciated.

Randall

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Hi Randall,

interesting family 'puzzle'. Can't help with any more than you already have. Oh, and welcome to the forum too.

Cheers,

David :)

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Not at all uncommon to use names like that. I worked for a short period in the pensions department of Cambridgeshire County Council, back in the 70's, and quite a few pensioners had names like Mafeking, Ladysmith, Pretoria, on to Somme, Foch, Haig, Verdun, and so on.

Younger members of the scheme were called Montgomery, Winston, etc, etc. (Remember what Gary Linkere's and John Lennon's middle names are).

Given that Verdun and Vaux were much in the news at the time, not surprising. Unlikely any relatives would have died there (unless they were French, of course)

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Agree with Broomers - there were a couple of Verduns of that vintage in my village. No French connections that I'm aware of, certainly not for one of them.

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DavoT:

Yes, an interesting 'puzzle' one that has really captured my imagination. Thanks for the welcome.

Heid the Ba', Steven Broomfield and Greyhound:

Thanks for the responses, you could be right, expectant parents reading all about the battle of Verdun and the fall of Fort Vaux could just be the inspiration needed for the naming of child. I may have rejected this thought without enough consideration, thing is I have not been able to find a death certificate for Claude, so killed during WW1 fits. Also Verdun was a twin and thus the inspiration seems to have run out as Verdun's twin is called Ronald!

I will look again for Claude's dod.

A French connection has also entered my mind, in my opinion there are a couple of French sounding first names in the family, i.e. Claude ;)

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I have been through the BDM's and I can not find a civilian death certificate for my Claude Randall, so I am back to thinking that he died in WW1 and I can only find one Claude Randall in CWGC lists.

What should my next step be to prove of disprove that this is my Claude Randall?

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I've a chap KIA in WW2 from Shropshire with the name Verdun and a lady who died a few years back in Shrewsbury had the middle name Cambrai.

Neil

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There may have been some British soldiers at Verdun in some capacity. I have been asked by French people on one or two occasions why the British never mention their soldiers who were at Verdun.

I have never managed to get any details and it may be a myth, but there is certainly something doing the rounds.

They may have been liaison officers or something similar.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Randall

I have Claude Randall on my website www.kenilworth-war-memorial.org.uk under World War I 'other' because he enlisted in Kenilworth.

So far I know nothing more about him than you do, but I had often wondered if he were related to the family of Charles Randall, the Kenilworth tannery owner and chairmain of the War Memorial Committee. So far I've found no connection.

Am wondering if there is someone on here with access to Ancestry who could do a look up for Claude Randall in the 1891 Mansfield census. He would have been 3 years old. This should show his parents names.

Regards

Sue

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Hi Sue,

Here you go.

Registration district: Mansfield

Sub-registration district: Mansfield

ED, institution, or vessel: 4

Neighbors: View others on page

Household Members: Name Age

Walter Randall 35

Eliza Randall 35

Eva Randall 12

Harold Randall 9

Lloyd Randall 7

Bertha Randall 6

Claude Randall 3

Elsie Randall 1

Will try and track Walter back and see if his siblings help.

Regards,

Garry

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1861:

Registration district: Mansfield

Sub-registration district: Mansfield

ED, institution, or vessel: 8

Neighbors: View others on page

Household schedule number: 256

Household Members: Name Age

Hannah Randall 67 (grandmother)

Phoebe Randall 28

Emanuel Randall 26

Elizabeth Randall 23 (mother)

Walter Randall 5

1871:

Andrew Mycroft 31

Elizh Randall 32 (boarder)

Walter Randall 15 (boarder)

Can't see an imediate connection to Charles.

Garry

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Thanks Garry,

I can't see any link between Claude Randall and the Kenilworth Randalls. They came from down south although lived for some time at Whitehaven, Cumbria. I don't think they had any links with Mansfield.

I've just looked at the 1911 census index and there are 5 Claude Randalls and one Harold Claude, the latter being born in Shipston on Stour, Warwickshire. Perhaps this is the one who enlisted at Kenilworth. (He's not on Shipston war memorial).

More research needed I think.

Regards

Sue

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For what its worth Soldiers Died lists Claude as resident in kenilworth. I/8th battalion.

Keith

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  • 1 month later...

Hi

I don't think this Claude Randall KIA was the same guy (he may still be a relative though). There are some very detailed WW1 service records on ancestry.com now listing his entire family, his father and next of kin was Claude Colin Randall resident in Brixton, London.

I also have someone named Verdun in my family tree (just turned 90). I think the significance of Verdun to the British is that it was an important Allied victory (France vs Germany). The British and French fought the Germans nearby at Somme (and lost) giving the French a chance to recover and ultimately win the Battle of Verdun.

Strangely enough, this Claude Randall KIA was killed at the Battle of Somme on the first day when many Allied soldiers lost their lives, so there could be some connection (a different relative?).

Regards

Helen

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Hi, you initially said that Verdun Vaux was born in July 1916, shortly after the heroic defence (and fall) of Fort Vaux.

Could it simply be that Verdun and Fort Vaux were filling the war news at the time of his birth (and that the Somme and it's casualty lists hadn't yet made it as news? I'm just thinking they went for the "hot" topic of the day, and before they knew their relative had been killed at the Somme.

Of course, I could say "NEXT" that there may be some other FRENCH CONNECTION, but that is stretching the pun to the T K MAXX!!!

Back on thread, it is an intriguing name and one that should be perpetuated?

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Some people showed solidarity with our French allies this way - I went to school with a guy whose father's middle name was Foch and he had an uncle with the middle name of Joffre.

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How about the French Foreign Legion?

I would not dismiss that suggestion out of hand if I were you.

There is a well documented case of Col Elkington of the Warwickshires being cashiered in 1914 over the surrender of his battalion during the retreat from Mons. He then joined the Foreign Legion, served with it on the French sector of the Western Front, was wounded, and given his commission back in the British Army.

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