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Barny

Military Medal award WW1

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Stebie9173

The M.M.s awarded to Woodheads in 1916 are as follows:

Issue 29719 dated 23-Aug-16 : 15421 L/C. W. Woodhead, Durh. L.I.

Issue 29827 dated 14-Nov-16 : 16262 Pte. J. W. Woodhead, Bord. R.

Issue 29827 dated 14-Nov-16 : 5736 Pte. W. Woodhead, K.R. Rif. C.

Issue 29873 dated 21-Dec-16 : 2452 Sjt. F. Woodhead, L'pool R.

Issue 29893 dated 06-Jan-17 : 5736 Pte. W. Woodhead, K.R. Rif. C. (duplicate award, cancelled)

Issue 30001 dated 26-Mar-17 : KP/250 Able Seaman. A. E. Woodhead, R.N.V.R.

Issue 30338 dated 17-Oct-17 : G/10849 Sjt (A/C/S/M). C. K. Woodhead, R.W. Surr. R (Tooting).

Steve.

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headgardener

Since being a Private comes before being a Corporal it suggests he was in the RSG's before the KRRC to my baffled mind.

No, in that case the badges on his jacket would indicate that he'd joined up in about 1912 (have another read of my earlier posts; No.'s 86 & 87).

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Stebie9173

That last post caused a spark of inspiration!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Description Name Woodhead, Frank Easton

Official Number: J56579

Place of Birth: Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

Date 10 February 1900

Catalogue reference ADM 188/760

Dept Records of the Admiralty, Naval Forces, Royal Marines, Coastguard, and related bodies

Series Admiralty: Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services

Piece 56501-57000

Image contains 1 document of many for this catalogue reference

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/details-result.asp?Edoc_Id=7174505&queryType=1&resultcount=48

That boy was in the Navy!

Now, a long lie down is required....

Steve.

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headgardener

That boy was in the Navy!

Nice one......!!!!!

Edit; I reckon that indicates boy service prior to joining the KRRC.

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Blackblue

That last post caused a spark of inspiration!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Description Name Woodhead, Frank Easton

Official Number: J56579

Place of Birth: Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

Date 10 February 1900

Catalogue reference ADM 188/760

Dept Records of the Admiralty, Naval Forces, Royal Marines, Coastguard, and related bodies

Series Admiralty: Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services

Piece 56501-57000

Image contains 1 document of many for this catalogue reference

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/details-result.asp?Edoc_Id=7174505&queryType=1&resultcount=48

That boy was in the Navy!

Now, a long lie down is required....

Steve.

What can I say...Stebie strikes again.

Very well done mate.

Tim D

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Blackblue

As located by Stebie. Dates (August 1916 to March 1917) coincide nicely with him doing time in the Navy and then seeing similar service to others in his KRRC number range. Unsure what the engagement date means though?

TD

post-1563-0-26017300-1309052840.jpg

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Blackblue

And a thought? I am certain his badges are still RSGs though. Could they possibly be a derivative of Hawke Bn RND?

post-1563-0-20387500-1309054360.jpg

post-1563-0-21619500-1309054522.jpg

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headgardener

And a thought? I am certain his badges are still RSGs though. Could they possibly be a derivative of Hawke Bn RND?

'Fraid not, mate. He's definitely wearing RSG badge, collars and shoulders.

Well, I was right that it represented boy service prior to joining the KRRC.

What you can see is that his entry for 1 March 17 says 'Run", which means that he deserted.

He joined in Aug '16, joined Ganges in Jan '17 and 'ran' on 1 March. He then reappears in an army TRB in about summer '17. Any chance of seeing what else is on his record? Particularly the partly erased section below his service details?

Edit; just before anyone asks, No, this wouldn't count towards any service evidenced by his GC stripes. If anything, it would disqualify him for the stripes. And, in any case, a man's RN service wouldn't carry over to army service in that way. Nor could he realistically have earned a C de G while doing his boy service. Definitely not an MM, either.

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Barny

What a FANTASTIC piece of news to wake up to, I'm totally amazed at what you can do between you, I'd never have got this far in a month of Sundays. Even his birthdate fits (I didn't know the exact date), but I knew he was born during the first half of 1900 because his parents married on Boxing Day 1899 and his Mum had a little something in the oven, it must have been showing at the ceremony, no big deal these days but in Victorian times quite an embarrassment. Now I've just read that he did a runner from the RN. What a can of worms we've opened!!!!!

Brian.(makes me proud to be his half-brother)

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headgardener

Brian,

The stuff I like about records like these are the personal details; he was a big lad for his age and his era (5' 9 1/2" at the age of 16, he was already a fair bit taller than the average working-class adult). Also, how interesting to see that, as a schoolboy, he already had "tattoo marks, both forearms"......! What to make of that...?!

Also various scars (makes you wonder what scrapes he got into) on his left wrist, index and middle fingers right hand, back of his neck, brown hair, blue eyes (sort-of visible on the photos).

I said in my last post that he re-appeared in a TRB in the middle of 1917; I just reviewed Steve's earlier post and it shows that all the men around Frank's number enlisted in March '17. So he seems to have quit the Navy and gone pretty much straight into the army.

Steve,

That was really inspired! What a result! Is there a specific date on the other guy's papers for enlistment into 18th TRB?

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Barny

Please keep digging lads, I'm well out of my depth now. I've emailed a request to National Archives to search RSG records for anything on our boy, they've acknowledged the receipt of the email and said it could be 10 days before they reply.

Brian

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Stebie9173

It was the appearance of the RNVR man on the MM list that set me off (he is a different man, though), but it made me look for him to make sure A E Woodhead wasn't F E Woodhead in DocsOnline.

Frederick Everitt Keer (K.R.R.C. A/205425) was called up on 26th March 1917, having attested in the previous September.

The 10 February 1918 engagement date on his Naval record would be the date that he became an adult Naval rating on his 18th Birthday.

Steve.

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headgardener

OK, from what Steve tells us about one of the men with a similar number, we can say with a very high degree of certainty that Frank joined up on 26th March 1917, just over 3 weeks after he 'ran' from HMS Ganges. We know that he must have volunteered to join the army because unlike the man that Steve posted about, Frank was underage and would not have been liable for conscription under the Military Service Act.

I will have another dig in the hard-copy LG indices for any possible reference to an MM. I'll check mid-late 1917, and Apr 1919 to Dec 1921 (won't be for a few days, though).

As for the National Archives, I doubt that they'll be able to tell you any more than we can (the only likely sources are MIC's and service papers). The NA don't hold WW1 records under regimental groupings, and it's quite likely that the RSG (or their modern-day successors) don't have any enlistment books either. Before you spend a lot of time going down that avenue, remember that there is a very major problem matching a minimum 5 years service (2 GC chevrons) with the photo taken with his brother (approx 1919). We know he joined up in early '17, so in theory the chevrons would take you to 1922, but that's when the wound stripes and O/S chevrons were discontinued.

If we can't find an MM, I'm certain that we can discount any service with the RSG.

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Barny

I've had a phone chat with F.E.W.'s daughter ( I didn't know she existed until I started Ancestry a year ago,so we've never met). I asked her if knew of any medals, she didn't but she said she'd contact Franks son's widow. (Frank's son was Kenneth, the chap who donated his papers to the Green Jackets Museum). It seems Ken's widow remembers some medals were donated together with the papers. I've emailed this info to RGJ museum and asked them to investigate.

A bit more gen on Frank's "Vanishing Act in 1950". He wasn't overseas when he vanished. His daughter said she came home from work to find a man at the family house talking to her mother, this (unknown) man told them that Frank wouldn't be coming home again, simple as that. She claims she has no memory of the event other than "the man" and she was unable to add any more details, Home being in Crawley,Sussex. He was working at the "Crawley Aircraft and Precision Tool Company" where his son also worked. She also said she was dubious about her dad's supposed occupation of selling tractors when he was abroad, because she knew he was a engineer's toolmaker, not a salesman. She also said he didn't go away often but sometimes it was for several months, and it was always Russia. She told me he was a extremely clever man,very quick witted and only wore top quality clothes, much better than the average man of those times. She was unaware of his BSc and said that could have been a "front". I found a 1930 Nottingham telephone directory entry with him as Woodhead F.E. B.Sc. at an address I know to be genuine due to an Electoral Roll entry for that year, maybe the degree wasn't.

That's all I can dig up for now, just thought you'd like to know.....Brian

PS... His birthday was 10th Feb. 1900.

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headgardener

All quiet on the Frank front, it seems.....

I said I'd check the hard-copy LG indices for March-Dec 1917, and for April 1919 up to Dec 1921, but there's no F.Woodhead (or any variation of his initials) listed for either an M.M., or a C de G.

Brian,

Your last post just adds another dimension to the whole story. I have to say that I've found this to be a fascinating story. And I'm not the only one. In less than 4 weeks this thread has attracted over 140 posts and well over 2,000 views. Frank really is something of a phenomenon.

Given that he seems to have disappeared in the U.K., I wonder if you may still be able to uncover some more details about him. I reckon that you may yet find a death Certificate, which would help unlock the service papers. It was much easier to start a new life in those days (if that is indeed what he did), so there may have been little need for him to change his name. There may be a death certificate for him under the name 'Frank Woodhead' (I see there's one died in 1959 aged 59, which would be right for your man). And if not England and Wales, perhaps somewhere else? Scotland, Canada, Australia.....?

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Blackblue

Had considered this also...of the online searchable databases available for Australian states only NSW has a Frank Woodhead recorded...and that is for a marriage to Lesley Pettigrew in Cessnock in 1960. Certificates (only way to find out exact details and parents names) are $29.00 AUD.

http://www.bdm.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/IndexSearch?form=IndexingSearch&SessionID=28493123&event=marriages&sname=woodhead&gname=frank&fname=&mname=&frange=1920&trange=1960&place=&submitBtnOnce.x=54&submitBtnOnce.y=16

There is nothing at all in the National Archives, though there is also a wedding of a Frank Woodhead in Toowoomba, Queensland in 1954 online papers at the National Library.

Rgds

Tim D

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Barny

Don't worry chaps, I've not gone away or lost interest. It's just a lull in the barrage. I've sent an email to the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Museum in Edinburgh requesting a search for Frank and his medals complete with photographs of him in both uniforms. They said they wanted my full postal address and said they would then check their archives. One of the photo's was a clear enlarged close-up of his medal ribband on his RSG uniform and there's no mistaking the MM or the C de G so I'm expecting them to show quite a bit of interest, they told me it might take some time so we'll have to wait and see. I'll certainly take a look at the 1959 death record to see if it looks like our man.

Stay interested...........Brian

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Barny

Have been in touch with the MOD archives and they tell me that the chances of them having info that isn't available elsewhere is almost nil, and it would cost £30 for a search that would most likely be fruitless, they also reminded me that over 60% of WW1 records were totally destroyed during the blitz and that unfortunately a lot of soldiers records are and will remain unknowable, although this does't explain why the MM wasn't gazetted. I'm led to understand that all MM were published in the LG with absolutely no exceptions and I would appreciate confirmation of this. So we seem to be nearing the end of the road as far as F.E.W's military history is concerned, apart my request to the RSG museum in Edinburgh to do a search. I'll still try and probe into his disappearance however, and his daughter might just remember something now that I've raised the issue with her, I don't want to push her on this as I'm basically a stranger to her.

Brian.

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Blackblue

Keep plugging Brian,

Could his daughter possibly have more luck with MOD releasing his service papers if they have them?

Rgds

Tim

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Barny

Keep plugging Brian,

Could his daughter possibly have more luck with MOD releasing his service papers if they have them?

Rgds

Tim

Tim,

From the way the bloke on the MOD Archive helpline spoke, he seemed pretty certain that if all the other various archives had failed to reveal anything, the MOD one probably would be no different since it's not unique, simply just another archive from which some other archives derive their info. On the basis of what he told me I'd be somewhat reluctant to blow £30 on a search as there are no refunds for a failed search. So, I'm between a rock and a hard place. Do I believe this chap (after all he was only the helpline operator), or do I go ahead and risk it? I must admit,he did seem to lack knowledge on the need for a DC and was very vague about the 116 year rule. On the other hand, I've great faith in you and your research ability and therefore your advice carries a lot of weight. Incidentally, do you know if the London Gazette could have failed to publish the award of an MM for any reason? It's claimed that they got the lot, but that the LG can be notoriously difficult to search sometimes due to mis-spellings and combinations of search criteria etc,etc.

Many thanks...........Brian

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headgardener

Brian,

My feeling is that you can seriously discount the liklihood of him having received an MM or a C de G. If the MM isn't in the LG then it wasn't awarded. It would also be recorded on a special MIC - there isn't one. The dating evidence fits the RSG images being 1919, when we have very good reason to believe that he was in the KRRC at that time. There are too many anomalies.

As for the MOD, they can be particularly unhelpful, and I really don't believe that the staff there truly understand the whole situation regarding the service papers. Personally, I'm very sceptical about the info that you've been given. Sounds like a very bored and tired clerk who's fed up answering complicated enquiries from family historians. My clear understanding is that it was the WW1 papers that got hit during WW1, not those for men with service post 1921. It looks as though Frank's service went beyond this date. I've come across a couple of instances of service papers from the 1920's ending up in the papers that are available on Ancestry (i.e. the WW1 papers), and a few dating back to the late 1800's or early 1900's, but considering the number that I've looked through over the years I'm bound to say that if the WW1 and post-war papers had been stored together then I'd expect more to have turned up in my searches. We could also expect 'burnt' papers to have turned up in the pre-war papers, but I'm pretty sure that's not the case.

This info is definitely wrong;

he seemed pretty certain that if all the other various archives had failed to reveal anything, the MOD one probably would be no different since it's not unique, simply just another archive from which some other archives derive their info.

There is no public database of post-war service papers (1921-1939) that are in the possession of the MOD. I doubt that even the MOD have one.

I'm happy to be advised otherwise, but there still has to be a good chance of his papers being with the MOD. Out of curiosity, has anyone here ever tried to get post-war service papers from the MOD and been told that they were lost in the bombing in 1940? Maybe I'll post this as a separate topic, see what response we get.

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Blackblue

I'd agree Brian,

I would try again by writing to them and provide proof in the way of Birth Certificates etc. that either yourself or his daughter are Next of Kin.

Veterans Affairs does in fact state Death Certificate is required as you say.

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/AboutDefence/WhatWeDo/Personnel/ServiceRecords/MakingARequestForInformationHeldOnThePersonnelRecordsOfDeceasedServicePersonnel.htm

But surely if the circumstances are explained, that he disappeared in the 1950s with all available evidence pointing to the fact he has been deceased for many years then a request may be viewed favourably? Particularly as it is 111 years since his birth, his daughter and yourself would also be getting on and you both wish to ascertain his service details.

Rgds

Tim

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Pavster1980

Brian,

My feeling is that you can seriously discount the liklihood of him having received an MM or a C de G. If the MM isn't in the LG then it wasn't awarded. It would also be recorded on a special MIC - there isn't one. The dating evidence fits the RSG images being 1919, when we have very good reason to believe that he was in the KRRC at that time. There are too many anomalies.

As for the MOD, they can be particularly unhelpful, and I really don't believe that the staff there truly understand the whole situation regarding the service papers. Personally, I'm very sceptical about the info that you've been given. Sounds like a very bored and tired clerk who's fed up answering complicated enquiries from family historians. My clear understanding is that it was the WW1 papers that got hit during WW1, not those for men with service post 1921. It looks as though Frank's service went beyond this date. I've come across a couple of instances of service papers from the 1920's ending up in the papers that are available on Ancestry (i.e. the WW1 papers), and a few dating back to the late 1800's or early 1900's, but considering the number that I've looked through over the years I'm bound to say that if the WW1 and post-war papers had been stored together then I'd expect more to have turned up in my searches. We could also expect 'burnt' papers to have turned up in the pre-war papers, but I'm pretty sure that's not the case.

This info is definitely wrong;

There is no public database of post-war service papers (1921-1939) that are in the possession of the MOD. I doubt that even the MOD have one.

I'm happy to be advised otherwise, but there still has to be a good chance of his papers being with the MOD. Out of curiosity, has anyone here ever tried to get post-war service papers from the MOD and been told that they were lost in the bombing in 1940? Maybe I'll post this as a separate topic, see what response we get.

I have a releative who died in 1912 whilst with the West African frontier force, but his papers are with the 'Burnt' ones.

Rich

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Blackblue

Rich,

My understanding is that there is greater chance of papers surviving if a man served post war...as the papers were not filed with those that discharged during or immediately after WW1. These are generally still held by the MoD (depending on how long he continued to serve).

Rgds

Tim D

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