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Officers' Records


doogal
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Hi,

I've begun to consider researching an officer who was my gt grandfather's platoon officer in March 1918. Can anyone give a brief outline of what I could expect to find held in the files of an officer. For example, I am hoping to track down what platoon he commanded, and by extension fit my gt grandfather into this equation. Is this kind of detail possible, feasible, or just out of the question?

So far I have found one mention of him in the war diaries, and know from this that he transferred out of the 5th Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regiment into the Hampshires in July 1918.

The DWR museum have no details on the officer, and the Hampshire Regimental Museum suggested I contact the Historic Disclosures in Glasgow.

rgds

doogal

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Doogal,

I fear you may be disappointed. It's pot luck really. I have copied the files of two infantry officers, both of whom served with the Dorset Regt during the Great War. The first was a Lieutenant when he entered his first theatre of war in 1914, so was a pre-war Regular. He served until invalided out after the Somme during which he distinguished himself but without reward. His file ought to make fascinating reading but has been weeded such that it contains almost exclusively correspondence concerning his pension and his retirement rank of Captain. (He had held the rank of Major, but not for sufficiently long for it to become substantive - much to his annoyance!)

The second file concerns a young man who joined from Rugby School OTC and only served in France for the last couple of years of the war. His file however is replete with a wealth of documentation, official Army Forms etc.

So there is no telling till you open the cover - best of luck!

Regards

Steve

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As stated, it depends...I've come across enlistment forms, telegrams advising of his death, results of medical boards with wound descriptions etc. Don't forget to check the PIN records too - pension related and might have some useful info.

Bernard

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Having been through 100's of Buffs officer files I have never even seen reference to a Company, let alone a Platoon.

I'd be interested to know how you get on.

Mick

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Will 'Historic Disclosures' let you have copies of file info on officer's who served beyond 1922? If it does do you have contact details etc. please?

Bernard

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Hi Bernard,

Their address is:

For Service after World War I

Records are held by:

Historic Disclosures

Mailpoint 400

Kentigern House

65 Brown Street

Glasgow

G2 8EX

Historic Disclosures will only give information to the particular serviceman or woman concerned, or to his or her next of kin. There is also a fee. Enquiries must be made in writing.

rgds

doogal

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Thanks Doogal. As I'm no relation to the man whose records I'm seeking I'm stumped!

Bernard

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Hi,

Whilst we are on the Historic Disclosures subject - has anyone approached them for details of a post WW1 serviceman - What do you ask for?

eg

"please can I have the full records for XYZ serviceman, he was my father"

Or does one have to be more selective or specific.

- Do they cover the Royal Navy?

- How much is the fee?

Any hints tips here would be greatly appreciated.

rgds

doogal

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Doogal

There is a search questionaire to complete (giving as much detail of the person's service)

A certificate of kinship and a copy of the death certificate

If it is the next of kin, there is no cost, but if not it's £25.00

cheers

chris

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Even the officers' records at NA can be an enormous disappointment. Partner's grandfather (regulars will have heard this before, sorry guys.....) Joined up 1899, KRRC, South Africa, stayed in. Sergeant in August 1914; CSM with a DCM (poetry!) by November. Commissioned in the Field December. Wounded Jan 15; after a training slot, MGC 1916-1920, reverts to KRRC and retires 1921. You'd think there would be a wealth.

When we found his record, it comprised two pieces of paper - the medical board held to consider request for a medical discharge on return from Russia in 1919 (turned down, by the way).

These files were, tragically, often 'weeded'.

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Hi Chris,

thanks for this - my father has decided to see if he can get his father's Royal Navy Service records out of them. He died quite some time ago, but we never really worked out what he did.

My guess is that my father's birth certificate, with his father's name on it would be a good certificate of kinship for him to proffer - or is somehting more specific required?

Hi Staffsyeoman,

I think I shall be very lucky to get the information I hoped to get, guauging from the wholesale weeding that appears to have been done. Anyhow, once I've had a chance to do the search, I shall report back - successful or otherwise.

thanks to everyone for the advice and help

rgds

doogal

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Doogal - This might be a long shot, but was his bn involved in the March Retreat and did it lose a large number of officers and men as POWs?

I have so far looked at about 200 officers service records for officers who served with, or who were commissioned from, the bn I am researching - the 19th London Regt. Almost without exception they do not mention the company or platoon.

However, I have 5 exceptions, and these were all officers who were captured on or after the 21 March 1918. Their service records all contain their statements of capture which were used to exonerate them on their return after the armistice. All 5 reports mention that officer's company, and sometimes his platoon, and are very useful e.g. by mentioning other company officers.

This was like striking gold as these reports provided a lot of info about a very confusing period in the bns history. This more than made up for the many occasions when the file only contained two pieces of paper.

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Hi Charles,

Now that is a brilliant idea.

Talk about lateral thinking.

The regiment was the Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment, and they were on the recieving end of heavy attacks for a number of days. Now, although at this point I don't recall the war diaries mentioning much about missing - they gave a strong account of many confirmed KIA, I think this is definitely worth following up.

Which leads me to the next question: How?

Is there a POW database at the NA? (I have a vague recollection of a thread on the forum dealing with this, which I shall search)

thanks

rgds

doogal

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Doogal

they will supply they will supply the certificate for you to complete and if you have the death cert, you should be OK

did i mention that it takes a long time to complete?

cheers

chris

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Hi

Thanks Chris, I really was unsure what a certificate of kinship would entail.

did i mention that it takes a long time to complete?

Such is life and beaurocracy I suppose - any ideas just how long we should expect to wait?

rgds

doogal

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Hi Doogal

They often warn you that it will take about 6 months - whether that is an over estimate so you're not disappointed and phone up to keep hassling I don't know. Somebody else on the forum almost certainly will know though.

Generally though this is because their priority must go to the ex-soldiers' welfare issues with which the records section also deals, supplying info from historical records etc. Historians come some way down the list of priorities, alas!

Cheers

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I was warned it could be over three months but i have a request with them that is now over nine months old

i haven't chased them up yet but may be tempted as it approaches a year

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