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Leeds Library Soldier research


gnr.ktrha
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Hello,

Has anyone been to Leeds Library and done any research there? If so, can you tell me if they have any sort of card index of BMD's etc? Do the local papers have many photographs?

You see, I am going to be trying to research a Leeds man. His name was Vincent Daniel Shires. I have found him on the 1901 Census, and he also has a couple of entries on Ancestry re Marriage and MIC.

Vincent was a member of the 1st West Riding Bty RFA. He enlisted in 1912. I am hoping there may be some photo's of the Bty in the newspapers, especially around the start of the war when they were first mobilized. I wonder if they have a unit history? I have been doing a couple of Google searches and of course the LLT site ;) .

I don't know what happened to him during the war. I have no idea if he was ever wounded etc.

He re-enlisted in the 1920's into the 13th/18th Hussars. So I don't think his war service papers will be a Kew.

Really, I am keen to know if the Library would have any information that they could easily put there hands on.

Regards,

Stewart

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Hello Stewart,

Try googling Leeds Library and then follow the links to Family History/Local History. On the right hand margin you will see some online searches you can do. One is the Leeds Absent Voters List the others include various card index entries for a number of Newspaper Cuttings. If he was killed or wounded, or decorated he could well be there. There is also a photograph site, but these are generally important buildings etc. Have a try, if you get stuck let me know and I'll have a go. There are a few members who visit the Library regularly who might be able to help. Hope this helps.

Regards

Ron

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Hello Ron,

I must have missed the site when I tried searching for it before, so thank you very much for pointing me in the right direction. I will try and have a go now and let you know how I get on.

Many thanks,

Stewart

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Hello Ron,

Thanks for the pointer to the Library website. I found Vincent on the Absentee Voters list. But cannot find any other references to him. If you do happen to come across any additional information or photo's of him, I would be very greatful to hear. I am also more than happy to pay for photocopies etc.

Many thanks,

Stewart

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Hello Stewart,

Did you manage to get his address ? I will keep him in mind next time I go to the Library, are there any specific dates ? If I remember correctly, there wasn't much on the Battery just individuals who were Decorated or became Casualties. If he re-enlisted in the 1920's into the 13th/18th Hussars, do you have a 7 figure number for him ? If so, you might try their Archive to see if they have the Enlistment and Discharge Registers for 1920 on.

Regards

Ron

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Hello Ron and Chris,

Thank you both very much for the replies. In 1901 he appears on the census under Daniel [his middle name] and living at 5 Spark Stree,t Leeds. I have not downloaded a copy of the 1911 Census, yet. however I can tell you that in 1932 he was at 14 Craigside Mount, Kirkstall, Leeds and in 1950 he was at 84 Sea Farm Drive, Hawksworth Estate, Leeds.

In 1923 he was working as a cloth Finisher with Marsden Brothers at Manor road Mill. He enlisted into the 13th/18th Hussars on the 19 June 1924. His number was 543826. He served with them until 1932 and when he left the Army he became a Post Man in Leeds. However he did serve as a Section D Reserve for about 300 days in 1936, before being discharged from the Army Reserve in 1937.

He had joined the T.F on the 6th March 1912 for the 1st West Riding Brigade RFA . His number was 886. His number changed to 795540 {a Brigade Ammo Column number} He was also made a Bombadier at some point. On his Discharge Certificate it states under Special Military Qualifications '' G 4.5 How.'' So it looks like he had operated this equipment at some point during his service. The only other thing I know about his WW1 service is that he landed in France on the 13th April 1915. I don't know if he was ever wounded etc during the war.

There are a couple of Marriage entries on Ancestry for him, which I will be looking into. I have not found out when he passed away.

If you do turn up anything, I would be delighted to hear from you.

Many thanks,

Stewart

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Hello Stewart,

In 1918, according to the Absent Voters List he appears to be living in Angel Street, Leeds which is near Leeds University. It is off Burley Road and very close to Kirkstall, Leeds and in close proximity to the Artillery Barracks at Fenton Street, Leeds. The University Car Park encroaches on the area where the Barracks was situated. You can check his address on the Absent Voters List by the reference number 2085c, c stands for Leeds Central Ward so click on the icon for Leeds Central and scroll down until you get to 2085, this gives the Street Name. In 1950 he was at 84 Sea Farm Drive, Hawksworth Estate, Leeds, this was a new estate built on the outskirts of Leeds to rehouse the tenants of the older properties that were being demolished in the modernisation programs that followed the War.

Out of interest how did you manage to find out all the information you have on him ?

Regards

Ron

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Hello Ron,

Thanks for all of the above information. I did not know that about the Ref Numbers, that's very interesting.

I have a small collection of documents relating to him, and two photographs. I have his TF Discharge Certificate, his Regular Army Certificate of Service, some info about him becoming a Postman and various letters of reference etc.

My plan is to get a copy of his Medal Roll entries for his 1915 Star and his BWM/Victory medals. His entry on the 1911 Census and a copy of his Marriage Certificates.

Do you know if there has ever been any History of the 1st WR Bde RFA in the Great War published?

Once again, thank you very much for your time and the information you have been good enough to pass on to me.

Regards,

Stewart

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Hello Stewart,

Unfortunately there isn't a History of the 1st WR Bde RFA in the Great War. However, he appears to have had experience of 4.5 Howitzers and there is a History of D245 Battery (Ilkley). In addition, there is also a book about the Battery called A Saturday Night Soldier's War 1913-1918 by Norman Tennant.

The Museum at Otley have a lot of information about D246 Battery (Otley), but access is limited.

Regards,

Ron

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Hello Ron,

That's very interesting. I am hoping to get copies of his medal roll entries, this 'hopefully' will list his units. From his documents and number change, it looks like he Joined 1st WR Bde RFA, at sometime later he was trained to operate the Howitzer and had also served with the Bde Ammo Column. It's hard to say which of the second two happened first with the info available.

I wonder if he was in the Home Guard in WW2?

I will let you know if his medal rolls turn up anything.

Regards,

Stewart

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Hello Chris,

Thank you for the link, it's great to see one of the locations where he lived, i will need to have a good search of the site and see if I can find any of his other address's.

I think I will try contacting the chap from Otley when I know a bit more about Vincents' War service. It's good to know that there is a forum member with a special interest in the battery.

Regards,

Stewart

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Hi Stewart.

I had a chat with Dave Stowe about some of your chaps addies/locations in Leeds, the city is changing that rapidly in terms of development.

Sea Farm Drive should read Lea Farm Drive. Manor Road is located in the Holbeck district of the city, now referred to as 'Holbeck Village.'

Kindest regards.

Chris.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello Chris,

Thanks for the up date. I have been having a little look on Google earth and have found some of the locations listed.

I managed to get a copy of his Medal Roll entries, but sadly they do not list which batteries he served with.

Regards,

Stewart

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello,

Are there any lists of Leeds Home Guard members? The reason I ask is that Vincent left the Army reserve in 1937, so it would be odd if he did not do 'something' in the next war.

I am a bit stuck with the research side of things at the moment, so if anyone can give me any pointers that would be great.

Regards,

Stewart

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  • 1 year later...

I new have a full copy of Mr Shires service records. He was wounded in April 1917. Do any members know if the Leeds newspapers often list the wounded, or did the newspapers only really list those killed, missing or awarded decorations?

Many thanks for your time,

Stewart

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Hi Stewart.

The Leeds Central Library holds many copies of newspapers linked to Leeds.

For example, Leeds Mercury, North Leeds News to mention but a few. Some, tend to be 'district' orientated, but, i am sure you will probably find, after an initial search in the Yorkshire Evening Post, some details.

If you are 'out and about' at any time, drop me a PM and i am sure myself and my good friend Dave Stowe of the Western Front Association can point you in some right directions.

Best wishes.

Chris.

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Hello,

Thanks for the advice Chris. I will try and arrange a trip down sometime next year.

If I make it down, I will drop you a line as it is always good to meet fellow forum members, especially ones with local knowledge:thumbsup:.

Regards,

Stewart

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