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Gordon1314

Mystery Great Granpa

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Gordon1314

Can someone please help,been looking for literaly years and year joined most big search sites with no joy may have to hire someone. My Great Grandfather W Baxter never came home from WW1 apparently he was injured and became an Alcholic so we were told. He then Immigrated to Australia and Died alone there. I have his Army record no as either 7526 or 1526 he was with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Princess louise 3rd Battalion, was in Chester Hospital when his youngest son was born on the 18th september 1916 i'm guessing that he must have been injured, i know this from the detail on the Birth certificate. I found a heart shaped PIn cushion with insignia and prayers belonging to his wife my Great Grandmother,sadly its been lost in the mists of time.His son my Grandfather his oldest son never forgave him as the oldest boy ,he became the man of the house at 14 and his mum never recovered from being abandoned with 3 young CHildren one of whome died shortly after being born. I beleive my GReat Grandfather was in the Militia of the Argylls which was moved to Woolich and thats about it, he was born in 1886 in Kilsyth Stirlingshire not sure when he died. Found a few W Baxters on sites but cant be sure which man he was or if he actually fought in France,it may be that a story was made up about him. He did have two medals which have dissapeared as well,sorry for the long winded story,its just most of my family members died earlynfrom HEart disease and i too now am going down that line, my young children ask me if ive come up with anything more on Great Great Grandpa and sadly i' m near the end of the line appart from hiring someone. I would very much appreciate a help if possible,thx all. Gordon

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seaforths
http://www.argylls.co.uk/history/the-argyll-and-sutherland-highlanders-1881-present/1881-1918 I'm assuming you have seen this site and the book 'Records of the Scottish Volunteer Force' by Grierson and available as a free download?

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KevinBattle

OK, I hear your story, so let's cut to the chase. Born 1886 in Kilsyth.

I can't see an 1886 birth for anything like W Baxter.

There are two Baxter families living in Kilsyth in 1901 that have William children.

Name: William Baxter. Age: 7. Birth Year: abt 1894. Father: Robert Baxter. Mother: Marion Baxter. Where born: Kilsyth, Stirlingshire.
Robert Baxter, 32; Marion Baxter, 32; Robert Baxter, 11; James Baxter, 9; John Baxter, 5; William Baxter, 7; David Baxter, 3; Emily Baxter 11 Months.
Name: William Baxter. Age: 5. Birth Year: abt 1896. Father: James Baxter. Mother: Minnie Baxter. Where born: Kilsyth, Stirlingshire.
James Baxter, 34; Minnie Baxter, 33; Janet Baxter, 11; David Baxter, 9; James Baxter, 9; William Baxter, 5; Duncan Baxter, 3; Minnie Baxter, 4

Could you have meant 1896?

Do either of these families hold Names you know?

Do you know what "W" stands for? William, Wilfred, Wallace or what?

Any idea of his parents, brothers, sisters, wife?

You can also add that he was with GGMa in December 1915/6 as the child born in September is proof of him being around!

Could this be him?

BAXTER, WILLIAM. Rank: Private. Service No: S/15989. Date of Death: 08/04/1918. Age: 29.
Regiment/Service: Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. 14th Bn.
Grave Reference: V. M. 10. Cemetery: TOURNAI COMMUNAL CEMETERY ALLIED EXTENSION
Additional Information: Son of Henry and Catherine Baxter, of Slamannan, Stirlingshire; husband of Jessie Beveridge Blair Baxter, of 1, Gas Wynd, Kirkcaldy.
Where did the Service number ?526 or the 3rd Battalion and that he emigrated and died in Australia come from, and do you have any other details about him?
The 3rd Battalion was really on a training reserve battalion so he would have gone overseas with another Regiment/Battalion.

You'll probably need someone with access to Scotlands People or Australian records to check further on him.

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Gordon1314

Sorry but no, thx for a help in this direction will download and have a read ,much appreciated and so fast WOW!!

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seaforths

If he was 3rd Battalion then he might have seen Boer War service with them because as Kevin rightly pointed out, the 3rd became a feeder battalion and remained in the UK during WW1. It is possible that if he served at the front in ww1, he either re-joined after previous service and was put into another A & SH battalion or if still serving, was transferred to another battalion when the 3rd became a feeder battalion.

I understand it can be difficult to gain a foothold but as Kevin also said you need to put forward as much information as you have and where the information came from - that way folks on the Forum can point you in the right direction and suggest where to look.

Don't give up - keep plugging away :)

Welcome to the Forum by the way!

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Gordon1314

Thx Kevin but..... nope wrong Baxters Sadly my Great Grandfather the WW1 soldier was born illegitimate to Elizabeth Baxter, a dressmaker, he was born 30 May 1885 my mistake id better try right this Born date His name is William Baxter, the rest of the info is correct must apologise for and too all that are helping. he died in Australia as ive found his name on the passanger list theres a possibility he died over there in 1957 another distant family member helped me out and gave me the correct date. The record came from his sons Birth certificate Birth Certificate. ill post it on here hope it works. sorry for the delay i'm trying to downsize it, aaagh.!! cant do it sorry.

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Blackblue

Hi Gordon,

As Kevin outlines you will need more information. Parents names would be very helpful. Are there any other relatives who might have something further?

The other way is to start tracing back Birth Certificates. What was you father's full name and date of birth and what were his siblings names?

Rgds

Tim

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Gordon1314

If he was 3rd Battalion then he might have seen Boer War service with them because as Kevin rightly pointed out, the 3rd became a feeder battalion and remained in the UK during WW1. It is possible that if he served at the front in ww1, he either re-joined after previous service and was put into another A & SH battalion or if still serving, was transferred to another battalion when the 3rd became a feeder battalion.

I understand it can be difficult to gain a foothold but as Kevin also said you need to put forward as much information as you have and where the information came from - that way folks on the Forum can point you in the right direction and suggest where to look.

Don't give up - keep plugging away :)

Welcome to the Forum by the way!

Thx for the warm welcome, i'm sorry i managed to give my GGrampas date of Birth so badly wrong,i was too excited to get going on the subject as ive not had a lotta luck over the years. Your comment about about the Boer war actually might be the answer to another mystery,i have in my possesion the pointed part of a Zulu spear and i've always wondered where and how it came from,it has been identified as a Zulu spear,wonder if he had any service in the Boer war!!!!

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ss002d6252
I have his Army record no as either 7526 or 1526 he was with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Princess louise 3rd Battalion,

What record do you have - his service record ?

Craig

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Blackblue

There are 4 x William Baxters who served overseas with the Argylls in WW1.

1. 4984 - France 10/11/1915 Discharged/disemodied 13/06/1916.

2. S/9367 - Served overseas after 01/01/1916.

3. S/15989 - Served overseas after 01/01/1916 - Died 18/04/1918.

4. S/26788 - Served overseas after 01/01/1916 - William J.

We can probably rule out 3 and 4 as one died and the other was named William J. All but the first man were service battalion enlistments. If your man has prior service (including in the militia) then the first man is the more likely candidate.

The only W Baxter who served with the Argylls in South Africa was 5425 who served with the 1st Battalion and was awarded the Queens South Africa medal. He would have been very young (15 or 16) if born in 1885.

Rgds

Tim

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KevinBattle

Ah! The Assegai and Sutherland Highlanders no less!

Sorry, I was less than courteous in welcoming you!

It's a big step, starting out on this voyage of discovery, but you have quite a few pieces of information, so they all help fit with other pieces we may find for your "jigsaw"

For example, there was an Annie Baxter in the 1901 Scottish Census a dress maker living in Kilsyth with her mother, but I discounted as no mention of a child.

You didn't really get the DoB so badly wrong, you said 1886 and it's now only moved to May 1885, so no great problem there.

I'd also say that many men were badly affected by their wartime experiences, whether Boer or WW1 and reacted badly back in Civvy Street, so please it may have been what is now recognised as PTSD that drove him away from his family. Some men cannot cope with knowing that they became killers in the trenches, not allowing for the fact that then it was kill or be killed, not that he would lose control with his family. He may have taken himself away in the mistaken belief that unintentionally he might do them harm........

Whatever, he did his Duty.

You mentioned he had TWO medals..... that normally signifies the British War and Victory medals which all soldiers serving after 1915.

There was a 1914 and 1915 Star, which I would expect him to have had with "recent" Army experience in 1900's

He may have sold the silver medal leaving you with just these two... Can you recall if one looked star shaped?

EDIT: Blackblue posted while I was sitting here composing.

What he says makes good sense, especially for No1 as if he was discharged from the Army in June 1916 then it could be that he was badly wounded or sick some time previously ... but that doesn't equate to GGMa conceiving in winter 1915......

Can we have a bit more info...

Your G/F was the ELDEST and was the man of the house at 14, so when was that? When was he born?

If 1916, then that puts his birth as about 1902, which is when GGF might have been in South Africa....

Then you say the YOUNGEST son was born Sept 1916, so when were the intervening children born?

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Gordon1314

Hi Gordon,

As Kevin outlines you will need more information. Parents names would be very helpful. Are there any other relatives who might have something further?

The other way is to start tracing back Birth Certificates. What was you father's full name and date of birth and what were his siblings names?

Rgds

Tim

Thx Tim he apparently was an only child,all his siblings including his son my Grandfather died not talking about it,my Grandfathers son ,my Dad,died pretty young with Heart Problems as did his mother,we've a bad Heart Gene sadly ive possibly passed it onto my daughter. Our distant relatives didnt know much about Old GGrandpa WW1 Baxter,but i have a Photo of him when he lived in Australia,i may have to get in contact with the Australian Archives and see what i can dig up. So His full name was William Baxter born 30th of May 1885 in Kilsyth His Mother Elizabeth Baxter was born also on the 30th of May in 1863. GGrampa( WW1) being illigitimate took on his mothers Maiden name. She left the young boy with someone, not sure who as she then married a Man called Walter Rutherford and went to live in Edinburgh where she had a child to him. My GGrampa didnt appear in the 1891 census in Edinburgh but his Mother and step father and step sister do. so i dont know who he was Living with as a young Boy.

He Married Margaret Sinclair Gillies in June 11th 1911 in Kilsyth. and my Grandpa (W Baxter) his son was born that year too, followed by George Baxter in 1914 then last Robert Baxter 16th September 1916 this birth being how i found The Service Number, Battallion and Chester Hospital England wher GGrampa WW1 was at the time of Birth. I dont know how to downsize the PDF Document of this certificate.

Hope someone can help and again BIG apologies for such a bad start. Much appreciate all that's been done. I am so proud of my Great Granfather and of all the Servicemen and women who gave so much for us all in all conflicts giving their best so we may live on. God bless them all.

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Gordon1314

Ah! The Assegai and Sutherland Highlanders no less!

Sorry, I was less than courteous in welcoming you!

It's a big step, starting out on this voyage of discovery, but you have quite a few pieces of information, so they all help fit with other pieces we may find for your "jigsaw"

For example, there was an Annie Baxter in the 1901 Scottish Census a dress maker living in Kilsyth with her mother, but I discounted as no mention of a child.

You didn't really get the DoB so badly wrong, you said 1886 and it's now only moved to May 1885, so no great problem there.

I'd also say that many men were badly affected by their wartime experiences, whether Boer or WW1 and reacted badly back in Civvy Street, so please it may have been what is now recognised as PTSD that drove him away from his family. Some men cannot cope with knowing that they became killers in the trenches, not allowing for the fact that then it was kill or be killed, not that he would lose control with his family. He may have taken himself away in the mistaken belief that unintentionally he might do them harm........

Whatever, he did his Duty.

You mentioned he had TWO medals..... that normally signifies the British War and Victory medals which all soldiers serving after 1915.

There was a 1914 and 1915 Star, which I would expect him to have had with "recent" Army experience in 1900's

He may have sold the silver medal leaving you with just these two... Can you recall if one looked star shaped?

EDIT: Blackblue posted while I was sitting here composing.

What he says makes good sense, especially for No1 as if he was discharged from the Army in June 1916 then it could be that he was badly wounded or sick some time previously ... but that doesn't equate to GGMa conceiving in winter 1915......

Can we have a bit more info...

Your G/F was the ELDEST and was the man of the house at 14, so when was that? When was he born?

If 1916, then that puts his birth as about 1902, which is when GGF might have been in South Africa....

Then you say the YOUNGEST son was born Sept 1916, so when were the intervening children born?

WoW Kevin thats amazing what your able to do i am not that great with the computer let alone the research stuff. I havent made things a stroll for you and others who have been helping. You were absolutely fine with your greeting you Just couldn't wait to get your teeth into it LOL!! I am a bit of a chatterbox as you can see i ramble on a bit.

In my line of work helping my wife, who is an Optician i meet a lot of Elderly people who i love to chat with and if i'm lucky i hear their distant memory's of those World Wars and what they experienced and it truly is humbling and horrific what they and loved ones went through. So many untold storys little snippets of Funny things followed so matter a fact by tragedy. i must write them down,i know when to ask and when its best left as a soulful silence.

I just remember the two medals ive looked them up to see who were awarded them and confirm with you that they reminded me of the ones i saw especially the colours on the ribbons.The Star i would remember i think,its sad to think they have been lost as with what he did to earn them.

I myself nearly joined with the Argylls as i had a great gift of being able to shoot,i had been a cadet and all through Schooling was Captain of Shooting. When i made my intentions felt my Grandfather went ballistic,Very upset about it i instead worked happily on the family farm. After he died and i became interested in family research i found out then, that my Grandfather was a conscientious objector in WW2. I have to say it makes me cringe and embarrassed,i have told my children and many young and old Vets. Yes its good i have had a good life,maybe i'm here because he got away from putting himself in harms way,but it still feels wrong. Best leaving it at that.

Well i'm off to look up the....."Assegai" and Download the Records of the Scottish Volunteer force. Thx for the motivation Kevin.

Best Regards. Gordon

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eairicbloodaxe

Hi Gordon

If you can work out how to send me a private message via the forum, I'll send you my email so you can email me all the big documents and I'll resize and post them for you.

Regards

Ian

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Gordon1314

What record do you have - his service record ?

Craig

Hello there Craig,sadly nothing other than his youngest sons Birth Certificate (Robert Baxter) who was born in kilsyth Scotland which states he was in Chester Hospital at the time of birth which also gave me his Battalion and Service Number. Thx for your help. i did come across a William Baxter who had "fallen asleep" on duty....hope it wasn't my GGrampa, oh dear! Cheers.

Gordon

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Gordon1314

Hi Gordon

If you can work out how to send me a private message via the forum, I'll send you my email so you can email me all the big documents and I'll resize and post them for you.

Regards

Ian

Cheers Ian,i appreciate that will try and sus it out right now.

All the best .

Gordon

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seaforths

There are 4 x William Baxters who served overseas with the Argylls in WW1.

1. 4984 - France 10/11/1915 Discharged/disemodied 13/06/1916.

2. S/9367 - Served overseas after 01/01/1916.

3. S/15989 - Served overseas after 01/01/1916 - Died 18/04/1918.

4. S/26788 - Served overseas after 01/01/1916 - William J.

We can probably rule out 3 and 4 as one died and the other was named William J. All but the first man were service battalion enlistments. If your man has prior service (including in the militia) then the first man is the more likely candidate.

The only W Baxter who served with the Argylls in South Africa was 5425 who served with the 1st Battalion and was awarded the Queens South Africa medal. He would have been very young (15 or 16) if born in 1885.

Rgds

Tim

If that is him then he was certainly very close to Zulu territory (Orange Free State and Transvaal). It also occurred to me that he might have ran away to join-up or he might have used another name (possibly the name of the person looking after him) that would make any pre-ww1 service difficult to trace.

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seaforths

Might his mother have had a brother living in Perth area? A 7 year old William Baxter is showing up on the census as being adopted and living with David Baxter and Cecilia Baxter. His birth year given as abt. 1884.

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Gordon1314

His service number being quite short 7526 or 1526,does it possibly mean it was pre WW1? Perhaps. Just something i wondered.

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Gordon1314

Might his mother have had a brother living in Perth area? A 7 year old William Baxter is showing up on the census as being adopted and living with David Baxter and Cecilia Baxter. His birth year given as abt. 1884.

Emmmmm,got to say dont think so. Sadly his mothers brother died while young. His mothers mum and Dad were from the Polmont Linlithgow area.

Doesnt make it easy when i found that most of the male side of Baxters were Williams, i have William as my first forename then Andrew followed by Gordon,my son is Willaim,Andrew Baxter guess we're not that adventurous when it comes to names!!!!!.

Thx for the research sorry to say dont think so.

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Blackblue

Hello there Craig,sadly nothing other than his youngest sons Birth Certificate (Robert Baxter) who was born in kilsyth Scotland which states he was in Chester Hospital at the time of birth which also gave me his Battalion and Service Number. Thx for your help. i did come across a William Baxter who had "fallen asleep" on duty....hope it wasn't my GGrampa, oh dear! Cheers.

Gordon

What exactly does the Birth Certificate say Gordon? Can you post a scan? Maybe it was a TF number later changed to a 6 digit one which is why we can't see an obvious match in the MICs?

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eairicbloodaxe

Gordon and I have now exchanged email addresses... will post up pics as soon as I get them.

Regards

Ian

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Blackblue

Just had a thought (as seaforths has mentioned).

Perhaps he didn't serve overseas with the Argyll's? The 3rd Battalion was a Reserve Battalion based in Edinburgh in 1916 and used for training/holding men who went to other Battalions as reinforcements.

3rd (Reserve) Battalion
August 1914 : at Stirling. A depot/training unit, it moved on mobilisation to Woolwich, going on in May 1915 to Edinburgh and in March 1917 to Dreghorn. Moved to Kinsale in November 1917.

Have you tried the Argyll's museum?

http://www.argylls.co.uk/museum/enquiries

I have had a bit of a look at Soldiers Died in the Great War. If his number was 7526 then it appears he may have been a pre war 2nd Battalion enlistment. Five men in the series were killed...all with the 2nd Battalion...three in 1914 on the same day, one in 1915 and one in 1916. I have found the service papers for one (7514 PTE Alexander Kennaway) and he enlisted 17th April 1900 and served in South Africa. He was posted the Reserve in 1908, reengaged in 1912, mobilised 5 August 1914 and to BEF 10 August 1914.

If his number was 1526 I think he was likely Militia. All Argyll's militia Battalions appear to have had such a number series. Funnily enough the first man I looked at was PTE Peter Caldwell also from Kilsyth who served with the 1/7th Battalion (which were the Militia Battalion based in Stirling pre war). If he was Militia though it is probably more likely that he would have been with the 2/7th Battalion (militia second line/depot battalion for 1/7th) that the 3rd Battalion.

Rgds

Tim

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Gordon1314

Morning all,just leaving for work will post more info from there might be a wee while but will do,Thx

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seaforths

Emmmmm,got to say dont think so. Sadly his mothers brother died while young. His mothers mum and Dad were from the Polmont Linlithgow area.

Doesnt make it easy when i found that most of the male side of Baxters were Williams, i have William as my first forename then Andrew followed by Gordon,my son is Willaim,Andrew Baxter guess we're not that adventurous when it comes to names!!!!!.

Thx for the research sorry to say dont think so.

Well, I said her brother but he would have been a lot older than her. However, they could have conceivably been her parents given their ages and adoption official and unofficial of illegitimate and legitimate grandchildren (if a parent or parents had died young) was fairly common.

Do you know where her parents were? It might be useful to do some background into his mother if you want to get to his roots and where he was etc.

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