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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Pte J Gavin RS Fusiliers


sarah2482

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Hello,

I have acquired a War Medal (WW1) for a Pte J Gavin, 23568, Royal Scots Fusiliers.

I got the medal from someone who has no connection with the man, and knows nothing about the medal or the man. As such, I am keen to put a history to it.

I have an Ancestry account but unfortunately without any personal details it is very difficult to identify anyone for definite. I have found what I think to be the man on Forces War Records here https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/viewrecord/1843958/?reference=arrowLinks but unfortunately I dont have an account and for one record, can't afford to take one up!

Does anyone know how, without going to the National Archives I could find out more about this man?

Thanks

Sarah Smith

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There is a service record for him on Ancestry in the Military Section, WW1 British Army Service Records.

He was James Gavin and lived at 21, Elizabeth Street, Dundee.

His medal index card states that he Pte. 23568 Royal Scots Fusiliers, later Pte. 562673 Labour Corps.

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Hello,

Well thank you so much for your help. I feel that I owe it to this man, as his medals have clearly been split up and no longer belong to anyone who would care about him, to find out as much as I can. I know he survived the war, he's not on the cwgc website, but I know nothing else.

We visit the battlefields regularly and it would be really good to know not just about him as a man but where he fought and what he did, so that I can bear it in mind on our visit this August.

I have considered a Forces War Records account but I only have my G Grandfather (Pte James Ewart Davies 203503 SStaffs) and this man to look up, it seems quite an expensive option.

I'm not sure how these things worked, could you explain it to me? If he was in the Labour Corps too, would he have had two sets of medals? The ones of which I have the War, with his RS Fusiliers number on it, and another with his Labour Corps number on it?

Many thanks for all your help - I will look him up on Ancestry with his other number.

Sarah Smith

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Hi Sarah,

having tried most/all of the various sites that hold military records, I highly recommend Ancestry with its collection of medal cards and such service records as survive (although their indexing in packed full of errors), whilst I have found Forces War Records by far the worst - I found in one instance that I had paid for information that I could have got for free, and in more detail, elsewhere. Just my own view of course, but I would steer well clear of them. They have nothing you won't find elsewhere.

Ancestry have four pages of records for James Gavin from Dundee. In brief: He was aged 24, was 5 foot 3 inches tall, and was recruited into 8th Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers om 10th April 1916, and after training was sent to join his battalion in Salonika on 1st November 1916. 8th Royal Scots Fusiliers were in the 77th Brigade and were fighting the Bulgarians, although frankly I'm not sure that they did a great deal of actual fighting. He was sick with fever/malaria several times in early 1918 - clearly his health had broken down - and on 27th June 1918 he was transferred to the Labour Corps, still in Salonika, where he was a warder, presumably of Bulgarian POWs who were put to work on the land. On 12th May 1919 he returned home.

William

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HI There,

Thank you for this - i'm intrigued - how did you find him on Ancestry? I couldnt find him at all! I searched for him with his service number off his medal 23568, but it brought back nothing that I could see which was definitely him. I'm so grateful you've managed to find something!

I feel quite keen that as no-one valued his medals enough to keep them together after the war (himself included, perhaps), I kind of owe it to him to do some research!

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Hi Sarah

I just put in James Gavin into the relevant boxes, and then 23568 into the key-word box: I don't know if I can make this link work.....but the document is: here.

William

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Sarah

I have had a browse around Scotland's People, and can add a few details:

James Ramsay Gavin: he stayed living in Dundee and after the war returned to his pre-war employment as a calenderer or calenderman, (which involved working a large machine with two huge rollings between which fabric was pressed). He married Sarah Brown in 1924, and then Jessie Boyle in 1929, so alas it seems that his first wife died (in childbirth?). He died in 1944 in Dundee, aged approx 52. I would have had to part with money to get more exact details or children etc!

Hope that this is of interest,

William

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Hello,

Thank you so much,this is wonderful information! I can ate this and look up more info now. Thank you very much indeed, it's lovely to put a story to the medal's owner.

Many thanks!

Sarah

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