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Remembered Today:

William J. Fathers - Royal Engineers


Mowbow
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Hi

I am new to this forum

I have the medal card for my grandad William J Fathers

It shows he was a sapper in the Royal Engineers - Regimental Number 40174

He was awarded the British and Victory Medal and the 1915 Star.

Theatre of War is shown as France 1 20 May 1915. The card also shows "Z" Reserve

His service records don't seem to have survived.

I wondered if his regimental number gives any clues as to his service such as to when he enlisted and his section? He lived in Bournemouth and was a carpenter by trade

Any help would be greatly appreciated

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Welcome. I've found;

40171 John Walsh, aged 30, mason, enlisted Cork 11th August 1914. 61st Field Coy, discharged no longer fit for war service 4/5/1915.

40172 John Duggan, aged 27, painter, Enlisted Cork, 11th August 1914. 63rd Field Coy, discharged misconduct 24/3/1915

40180 Andrew McLaren, enlisted 12th August 1914.

No idea if that means anything!

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IPT's detective work pinpoints his enlistment date as 11th or 12th August 1914, 'in at the beginning' as my Grandad used to say.

He first went to France on 20th May 1915 for which he qualified for the 1914/15 Star. 1 is the theatre code for France.

Z reserve means that he returned to civilian life after being demobilised but could be called up immediately if hostilities began again. Z reserve finished at the end of March 1920.

Sandie

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As a Northerner, my geography may be out, but there is a CD on sale called the "Dorset Absent Voters' List 1918-1919". If your GF was old enough to vote at the end of 1918 (and if, as I say, my geography is correct!) then he should appear in that list with details of where he was at the time, including his company number(?). Several if's in there but it may be your only way to get closer in to his service details.

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Hi

Thanks for the information that IPT's detective work pinpoints his enlistment date as 11th or 12th August 1914.

This seems quite likely as he had 2 uncles who had been in the army and both served in the Boer War. I would think he was keen to do his bit

From what my father said he thought that my grandad may have been involved in some way with the army perhaps as a volunteer?

Thanks too for letting me know about the CD on sale called the "Dorset Absent Voters' List 1918-1919. Unfortunately at time Bournemouth was firmly in Hampshire (boundaries changed in 1974) But I'll see if there is something similar for Hants as it would be great to get details of where he was at the time, including his company number(?).

Thanks again

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Darn moving counties! I did try to check up in GENUKI first - no wonder it wasn't quite clear.

I have just been checking some PDFs I downloaded from the British Library re electoral registers ("PARLIAMENTARY CONSTITUENCIES AND THEIR REGISTERS SINCE 1832"), and they confirm that the British Library holds registers for "Bournemouth PB" for 1918-31 with the comment "AVLs for 1918 and 1919 at SPR.Mic.P.17/BL.B.90/3" - which will no doubt mean something to the BL people, but certainly indicates Absent Voters Lists survive there. Whether that's the only set, I don't know.

Adrian

(geographically challenged, in the North, wet)

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Hi Sandie and Adrian,

Many thanks for the leads as to where the Absent Voter Lists 1918-19 for Hampshire and in particular Bournemouth may be found.

I have contacted Bournemouth Library and although they hold electoral registers for this period, they only have the letter Aagainst those who are absent voters.

So the reference to the British Library held registers for "Bournemouth PB" for 1918-31 with the comment "AVLs for 1918 and 1919 at SPR.Mic.P.17/BL.B.90/3" look promising. It could be they hold the only set? I will try and find out.

In the meantime, many thanks again for your help

Maureen

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