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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Five Palmer brothers


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My grandfather and his four brothers all joined up in (or very soon after) 1914. They were called Palmer, and came from Cardiff, Wales, although one was in Canade at the time and came back to UK in order to enlist. I do not know regiments, other than a possibility that one joined the "medical corps", and I have no documents or medals or photographs. I can find no records at the usual geneaology sites.

I know it's not looking good, but if anyone can give me a clue where to start I would be extremely grateful. Thanks


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Hi Ray and welcome to the Forum. Can you post the forenames of the brothers?


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Have you found the five brothers on a census? Do you have their names?

If not, what was your grandfather's name?

EDIT - I'm getting slow.

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Hi, and thanks.

The brothers were:

Albert John Palmer, b. 1884

Edwin Thomas Palmer, b.1889 (my grandfather)

Alfred James Palmer, b. 1892

Walter Palmer, b. 1895 (I believe he enlisted a year or two into the war, and some time later than the others)

Herbert Charles Palmer, b. 1897 (Given his age, he too might have enlisted later, though I realise this is not necessarily so)

I know plenty about their lives, other than their war service! The lived in Mill Road, Ely, Cardiff and/or Cowbridge Road, Ely, Cardiff. Their parents were John Lush Palmer and Amelia Lucy Palmer. They all survived the war with, as I believe, no significant physical injuries. Before and after the war they were market gardeners and grocers.

The only 'nugget' I have is that Edwin and Alfred had an emotional meeting on the eve of the Battle of the Somme (I guess the 1916 one), having not seen each other since enlisting. I have this recorded in a letter from Alfred, but it gives no other helpful information.

Edwin's daughter has told me that a local newspaper published an article and photograph - I would guess because they were five brothers serving - but I have not yet succeeded in tracking it down.

Best regards


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2nd and 6th Welsh Regiment certainly both fought on the Somme (my Great-Great-Uncle was killed serving with 2nd Welsh), and htis would have been the local regiment I think.

There's a medal index card to an A J Palmer in the Welsh Regiment, but he was killed http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/details-result.asp?Edoc_Id=4689137

There are several other Alberts and Alfreds http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/search-results.asp?searchtype=browserefine&query=last_name%3dpalmer%7ccorpname%3dwelsh%20regiment&catid=10&pagenumber=1&querytype=1&mediaarray=*&sortspec=scope+asc my gt-gt-uncle jonied up late 14/early 15 (under age) and was numbered 30649 which gives a possible clue as to the sort of number range you might be looking for.

I think the newspaper article is going to be your best bet.

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Hi David

Many thanks for your help.

I rather assumed they'd have joined the Welsh (they were very Welsh!!), especially as I believe that at the start of the War recruits had a choice. I will plough through the National Archives site, and the numbering you've mentioned will be helpful. Thanks again.


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Not much help, but there is an entry in the National Probate Calendar, for John Lush Palmer, but you may already have this?

Palmer, John Lush, of The Nurseries, Langstone, Newport, Monmouthshire died 28 August 1920. Probate Llandaff 20 January to Albert John Palmer and William George Palmer, market gardeners, Edwin Thomas Palmer, grocer and Herbert Charles Palmer, Alfred James Palmer and Walter Palmer, market gardeners. Effects £4,576 8s 11d.

Did the Palmer family not do so well in Round 2?


PALMER HJ 1434295 240 BTY, 77 HAA REGT 17/03/1945 ROYAL ARTILLERY



PALMER AS 643812 635 SQDN 20/04/1944 ROYAL AIR FORCE

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Thanks Kevin, but yes I have those Probate records. In fact I have a pretty comprehensive family history going back 12 generations, but there is a Big Black Hole around 1914 - 1918, and I won't 'go to print' until some of the gaps are filled in. Am not giving up yet!!

I don't think we lost any Palmers in WW2, and the names you kindly supplied don't ring any bells. Family involvement was limited to a couple of conscripts who - despite engagements at Arnhem and in N Africa - could probably not match the stories that the earlier generation might have told! As was so often the case, of course, they hardly ever did tell those stories.

Thanks again


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