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Remembered Today:

Newspaper article asking for info on 'missing men'


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I've been looking through the online archives of the Teesdale Mercury and came across a very interesting advert asking for information on 'missing men' whom the military were trying to locate.

I've never seen an advert such as this before - was it a common thing in newspapers of the time ?



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I've not seen this in the newspapers of the time, but the army were, at times, not very good at keeping track of their men as the following shows:


Record Office R. A. V. C.

The Common

Woolwich SE18

To: Mrs Charlotte Swarbrooke

78 St Matthias Road

Off Carlton Road


27th February 1920

Dear Madam

Some difficulty has been experienced in tracing the present whereabouts of your husband SE11487 [overstamped 7757744] Pte William Swarbrooke who enlisted in the Royal Army Veterinary Corps on 7th August 1915 at Woolwich and gave you as his next of kin.

I shall be glad if you will kindly insert replies to the questions shown below, and return this paper to me as quickly as possible in the enclosed stamped addressed envelope.

Yours faithfully

[illegible signature]

Capt for Lt Col R. A. V. C.

i/c Records

When did you last see or hear from him? [Nearest possible date]

Heard 14th February 1920

What is his present address, or the last address known to you?

No. 48 M. V. S. Fort Niusberg [?] Calais France

Can you give any other information about him, not contained in either of the above answers, which might help in tracing him?

Last we heard he said he would be three more months 14th February

Present Address: Mrs C Swarbrooke

Toton near Beeston


Quite how they managed to lose track of a serving soldier who was still on the books and being paid is something I find difficulty in fully understanding.

Dave Swarbrick

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I have seen a few, and posted this thread a while back. I knew nothing about one of the men I am researching until I found one of these 'missing' articles. ; from it I found he was a Lewis gunner, and it also gave his Coy and section. Click


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Thanks Dave - I've seen copies of the letters that we sent by the army to trace men, namely the one sent to my great grandfather when my great uncle decided that he really didn't want to go to France and that he wanted a few weeks holiday (before enlisting and going to Gallipoli). They can be a very interesting read.

Thanks Mike - these men seem to be missing as in 'we want to conscript them but we can't find them' rather than having gone missing on active service but still interesting all the same.


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