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Remembered Today:

Abadie brothers


Liz in Eastbourne

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Of the four officer sons of Major-General Henry Richard Abadie (9th Lancers,Commander of Cavalry Depot at Canterbury 1895-1900, Lieut-Governor of Jersey 1900 -1904) the two eldest died in South and West Africa, and two survived long enough to be killed in action in the Great War:

Major Eustace Henry Egremont Abadie (born Sialkot, Punjab, 24 Jan 1877, kia with 9th Lancers at Ypres 31st October 1914) and

Major (acting Lieut-Colonel) Richard Nevill Abadie (born Eastbourne, Sussex, 24 November 1881, kia as CO 2/KRRC at Nieuport 10 July 1917). Richard was the only infantryman in a cavalry family.

There is a remarkable memorial plaque to them all in Canterbury cathedral, and Eustace is also on the 9th Lancers' memorial plaque there.

I've raised various questions about them over the past year or so but not finished my research on the family and now a new member has come along with the same interest in the family but having responded to my 'Remembering Them' post on Eustace, he's not clocking up any posts through the discussion there with me and others, so I thought it would be a good idea to move the discussion here.

Though I have a great deal of detail on them (Times, LG, census records, schools, Sandhurst, various publications etc) I have found a glaring gap in my notes; I've never got hold of their records at the NA, except for their MICs. I still can't find them on the website, and it would be handy to have the documents ordered before going to Kew. Can anyone help with this please?

Liz

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Can't see anyone called Abadie in the NA catalogue in WO339 or 374.

Thanks for looking! It's almost a relief to me that you can't find them either.

But I can't believe all five have gone missing... Where else might they be, I wonder?

Liz

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Memorial placed by the 11th Hussars, including Harry Bertram Abadie.

Note the different date of death to that on the family memorial.

DSC04561.jpg

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Thank you very much indeed for sharing the images of these wonderful memorials, they are certainly amongst the finest(of their type)which I have ever seen. The carvings or mouldings of their medals are truly outstanding. I must admit that I find great pleasure in finding memorials such as these, especially to men whose medals I have in my collection.

Robert

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Can't see anyone called Abadie in the NA catalogue in WO339 or 374.

John,

The most likely reason for this is that the majority of officer's service papers for pre WW1 regular officers, particularly for those who died during WW1, were destroyed in the 1970's by some bright spark at the N.A. or PRO as it was then!! I'd love to get my hands on the person responsible!!

Robert

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Yes, thank you so much for putting these on this thread, Chalk; I have seen them in the cathedral but these are the best photographs I've ever seen of them. That must be one of the most arresting memorials to be seen anywhere.

I wish it would be relevant to the Forum if I said more about George, who died in Kano, and about whom I know most interesting stories, but alas it wouldn't!

Eustace is also on the Ninth Lancers' memorial, isn't he? Richard is the only one without a separate mention apart from the family memorial but that's because his regiment, the King's Royal Rifle Corps, has its memorial at Winchester - which I didn't get to see last time I was in Winchester, but I assume he's there.

I think it's only on that one plaque, the family one, that they gave 23rd Feb as Harry's date of death. Unfortunately his part of the family grave and memorial in Eastbourne is the most worn and I can't say what date is given. The family's Times notice (27 Feb 1901) gives 25 Feb.

Eustace's death date is the most misreported (CWGC, SDGW) but I believe it is correct on the family memorials as 31st October 1917, as I mentioned on the 'Remembering them' thread about him you found yesterday.

I am glad you put this up just in time for the 94th anniversary on Sunday of Richard Nevill Abadie's death in action at Nieuport.

Liz

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The most likely reason for this is that the majority of officer's service papers for pre WW1 regular officers, particularly for those who died during WW1, were destroyed in the 1970's by some bright spark at the N.A. or PRO as it was then!! I'd love to get my hands on the person responsible!!

Robert

Oh no - I didn't realise this, Robert. So it may really be the case that there are no records for the Abadies: I had thought I was just not doing the right thing to find them. I'll ask next time I'm at Kew, anyway. In a way we're already lucky because there is a lot of information about them, including books of letters from Harry and Eustace to their father from South Africa and from George in West Africa. But I was hoping for a bit more from WW1, especially about Richard, obviously.

Liz

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John,

The most likely reason for this is that the majority of officer's service papers for pre WW1 regular officers, particularly for those who died during WW1, were destroyed in the 1970's by some bright spark at the N.A. or PRO as it was then!! I'd love to get my hands on the person responsible!!

Robert

Once records have been transferred to PRO/TNA it's pretty rare for anything to be "deaccessioned" - also the WWI officers' files in WO 339 and 374 weren't even transferred until the late 90s. It's more likely the clear out occurred while the records were still in the custody of MOD, surely?

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Once records have been transferred to PRO/TNA it's pretty rare for anything to be "deaccessioned" - also the WWI officers' files in WO 339 and 374 weren't even transferred until the late 90s. It's more likely the clear out occurred while the records were still in the custody of MOD, surely?

Yes David, you are probably correct. I was reporting something which I was told several years ago by a researcher at the PRO--another case of "chinese whispers", I suspect. A crying shame all the same :angry2:

Robert

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Oh no - I didn't realise this, Robert. So it may really be the case that there are no records for the Abadies: I had thought I was just not doing the right thing to find them. I'll ask next time I'm at Kew, anyway. In a way we're already lucky because there is a lot of information about them, including books of letters from Harry and Eustace to their father from South Africa and from George in West Africa. But I was hoping for a bit more from WW1, especially about Richard, obviously.

Liz

Hi Liz,

I wonder if you may have more luck through the regimental museums, they sometimes hold quite extensive service records, whether or not these would add greatly to that which you already have is difficult to say--but it may be worth a try?

Best of luck, Robert

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Robert, I already have with regard to Richard and the KRRC, no luck (though a photo and Chronicle obituary).

I've never been to a museum for the Ninth Lancers but can't remember why as I know I searched for a place to contact ...must check what I actually did and revive efforts.

EDIT Just checked and no good reason found except that they are in Derby, and I'm not, so I should give them a try.

David - glad you have exonerated TNA but I was hoping you were going to say the records were there after all!

Thanks, all.

Liz

Edited by Liz in Eastbourne
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No - there's not even an Abadie listed in the index in WO 338/1

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  • 4 months later...

This picture is of a memorial in The Royal Memorial Chapel, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. One of several recording sets of brothers killed in action.

post-85815-0-65812900-1323103744.jpg

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Once records have been transferred to PRO/TNA it's pretty rare for anything to be "deaccessioned" - also the WWI officers' files in WO 339 and 374 weren't even transferred until the late 90s. It's more likely the clear out occurred while the records were still in the custody of MOD, surely?

My understanding is that once records are due for release to the National Archives an acquisition officers decides if they are of national importance and wants the NA to acquire them. The field ambulance/casualty clearing station admission and discharge books are a good example. A 4% "representative sample" were acquired for the NA which even with my bad maths means that 96% were destroyed.

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My understanding is that once records are due for release to the National Archives an acquisition officers decides if they are of national importance and wants the NA to acquire them. The field ambulance/casualty clearing station admission and discharge books are a good example. A 4% "representative sample" were acquired for the NA which even with my bad maths means that 96% were destroyed.

If this is the case? then perhaps it was by courtesy of the NA that the service papers of WW1 officers(fatal casualties) with previous campaign service were destroyed at the whim of some person within the employment of the NA.

I wonder how much more has been destroyed under the heading "Of little National Importance"? After all, the WW1 MIC's almost met the same fate within the last few years!! :wacko:

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If this is the case? then perhaps it was by courtesy of the NA that the service papers of WW1 officers(fatal casualties) with previous campaign service were destroyed at the whim of some person within the employment of the NA.

I wonder how much more has been destroyed under the heading "Of little National Importance"? After all, the WW1 MIC's almost met the same fate within the last few years!! :wacko:

Yes, I believe that some lowly researcher employed by the National Archives alerted members of the GWF that the MOD records storage facility at Hayes was due to close for redevelopment with the consequent destruction of the medal index cards and other documents.

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I believe the process has varied considerably over the years, particularly prior to the Public Record Acts of 1958 and 1967 which introduced much more standardisation, including the first specific automatict transfer dates, the 50 year rule in 1958, reduced to 30 years in 1967 (and now decreasing to 20 over the next ten years). As I understand it, appraisal and selection is a two stage process. Initial appraisal is carried out in the department a few years after the file is closed, and then a few years before transfer is due, a second process is carried out involving the department and TNA. These days there are various selection (and disposal) policies agreed in advance (and reviewed by the Lord Chancellor's Advisory Council (following public consultation) - these can be found on TNA's website (and probably the departmental websites too). Things aren't just done on a whim by one person.

In the case of the officers' papers, as I said above, if the papers were destroyed in the 70s, it was long before the final selection and transfer decision was taken in the 90s. For MH 106, again the catalogue description says the majority of the records were destroyed prior to WWII, it would appear it's far from clear how that decision and who by, but it looks like it was before transfer

Of course, no process can be perfect, and the storage space available is not infinite. Hindsight is a marvellous thing, digitisation is opening up all sorts of avenues which would have been inconceivable just a few years ago. There's also a tension between keeping personal records private, and the opportunities for family historians generated by being able to view records

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The two brothers are the first named in the CWGC registers on their respective memorials.

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This picture is of a memorial in The Royal Memorial Chapel, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. One of several recording sets of brothers killed in action.

Peter, I'm really grateful to you for posting this.

I had some correspondence with the archivist at Sandhurst about two years ago and obtained the Abadie brothers' cadet register details (these are now of course available on the Sandhurst website, though for a fee), but he didn't mention this memorial and I have not found any mention of it anywhere before. I've never been to Sandhurst so of course had never seen it. The mother who put the memorial up was their stepmother, who also had the family memorial placed in Canterbury Cathedral.

I am sorry I have taken over a week to thank you - I have been away and off the forum, and unfortunately I can't send you a pm until you've made 5 posts.Thanks again.

Liz

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  • 9 months later...

Liz,

I'm pleased to report I'm starting to come back into circulation again after finishing my stint on projects for the civil service - most 'illuminating' :blink:

Richard Abadie has popped up in a new thread trying to identify whether a Machine Gun Corps officer is actually Abadie's brother KRRC officer, T. Lt. Col. GFR Hope.

Pal Battiscombe has uncovered some references to Abadie and Hope playing in the same polo team in the 1908 and 1909 copies of the KRRC Chronicle.

Polo team picture in Cairo in KRRC Chronicle 1909, facing p.115 .. but in fact checking the text the winning team (of 2) may have been the Saunders, Kennedy, Porter and Martin - not Hope, Lees, Abadie and Willan as the image lacks names.. it mentions the same players were with the Bn the year before .. I don't know if the 1908 chronicle has any photos..

Rather looks like there is not a picture, but it's certainly some extra detail for your researches.

Here's the post in context:

57th Battalion MGC

Hope you're well!

Cheers,

Mark

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Thanks, Mark - I'll have a look tomorrow. Am just off out for the rest of the day.

I suspect all the Abadie brothers were polo players, on account of their Indian/cavalry background, with George having the most frequent mentions. I don't think I knew Richard had been in Cairo but will check. Glad you're resurfacing after all your hard labour!

Liz

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