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How To Determine A Soldiers Date Of Birth?


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Hello,

I have been a member of this forum for a little while now and recently joined the forum due to a growing interest in WWI; this being driven by research I have been doing on family members who served in this conflict.

Rather than jump in feet first I`ve spent a little time looking around and searching and have found the site really useful and informative. The level of knowledge some people have on the subject is, I must say, rather daunting for a novice such as myself. I`m sure all newcomers have this feeling and are perhaps cautious about asking questions which for many are perhaps rather obvious. However, in the hope that I won`t be asking the blatantly obvious, I would like to put a question to the forum regarding a soldier I have been research who shares my surname.

The individual concerned is one - William Thomas HEARD, Service No. L/5227, who served with the RFA as a driver. Having obtained his medal roll from Kew I know that he was in fact a A/L/Bdr - Driver and might possibly have been assigned to the 36th Brigade - RFA. A search at Kew of related documents has (on my part), failed to find any further information on him, although I fully admit to being somewhat of a novice on this matter. I have also looked for his service record but this appears to have been burnt during the bombing in WWII.

What I am really trying to find out is if we are related and for this I need his date of birth as there are about three candidates of the correct age for the WWI period, all with the same name. The only additional thing I have determined is that the L prefix of his service number indicates he was a "Local" enlistment, but this if of no use in determining what county he came from, or as far as I can tell, but perhaps the 5227 figure might have some significance in terms of locality?

So, in a nut shell, can anyone kindly enlighten me as to whether there is a resource from where is D.O.B. might be found in terms of military documentation?

Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,

John HEARD

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What I am really trying to find out is if we are related and for this I need his date of birth as there are about three candidates of the correct age for the WWI period, all with the same name.

Where did you get the information on these men , from the BMD registers ?

William Thomas Heard

M2/116262

30 years and 9 months when discharged on 5/11/1918

William Thomas Heard

M2/112931 ASC

34 years when examined in 1920

Craig

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Have you looked on CWGC to see if he survived If he died it may have his age but not dob. If it shows his parents as next of kin it should show their address. Census would be the next check. His NOK may be at the botton of the reverse side of his MIC at the bottom.

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Graig / JohnBoy,

Thanks for your replies and suggestions.

One of the first places I checked was the CWGC website and he is not listed there so presumably survived the war.

Craig, I didn`t get information on the likely candidates from the BMD register, simply from FindMyPast. In the 1911 census the following William Thomas HEARDs are listed:

1911 Cenus
W T Heards recorded in the 1911 census. Age in 1914

HEARD, William T 1888 23 M South Molton Devonshire (27-28)
HEARD, William T 1897 14 M Camelford Cornwall (18-19) (1)
HEARD, William Theodore 1884 27 M St Olave (Bermondsey) London N/A
HEARD, William Thomas 1889 22 M Portsmouth Hampshire (26-27)
HEARD, William Thomas 1908 3 M West Ham Essex (7-8)
HEARD, William Thomas 1895 16 M Tiverton Devonshire (20)
HEARD, William Thomas 1829 82 M Stratton Cornwall N/A
HEARD, William Thomas 1911 0 M Stratton Cornwall N/A
HEARD, William Thomas 1877 34 M Stratton Cornwall (38-39)
HEARD, William Thomas 1874 37 M Camelford Cornwall (41-42)
HEARD, William Thomas 1901 10 M Truro Cornwall N/A
HEARD, William Thomas 1906 5 M West Bromwich Staffordshire N/A
HEARD, William Thomas 1902 9 M Nottingham Nottinghamshire N/A
HEARD, William Thomas 1874 37 M Bridgend Glamorganshire (41-42)
HEARD, William Tomas 1896 15 M Lambeth London (19-20)

Of these I would say three stand out in the right age group. although I concede if he was a driver he could well have been older and perhaps younger?

HEARD, William T 1888 23 M South Molton Devonshire (27-28)
HEARD, William Thomas 1889 22 M Portsmouth Hampshire (26-27)
HEARD, William Thomas 1895 16 M Tiverton Devonshire (20)

Also possible:
HEARD, William T 1897 14 M Camelford Cornwall (18-19)

HEARD, William Thomas 1877 34 M Stratton Cornwall (38-39)
HEARD, William Thomas 1874 37 M Camelford Cornwall (41-42)
HEARD, William Thomas 1874 37 M Bridgend Glamorganshire (41-42)

I have done related searches on the same website for service No. L/5227 but nothing comes up. What I was really hoping was that there might be a military source of some kind of which I was not previously aware which might provide D.O.B.

Regards,

John

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John, have you worked backwards through your family history?

You may find clues there & you should hopefully pin down the right William Thomas HEARD.

Kath.

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I have gone through a list of 2000 ASC men who died and have not seen one with an L prefix.

Perhaps he served at home?

Someone may know of home based units.

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John, have you worked backwards through your family history?

You may find clues there & you should hopefully pin down the right William Thomas HEARD.

Kath.

Kath,

My family tree research has a few William HEARDs, but none that match this individual. What I am trying to do is to find out if this soldier is from either the South Molton or Tiverton district as my family are from Devon and this surname is very strongly centered in this area. If he turns out to be from Chittlehamholt in Devon (and there is a strong candidate), then I believe he may will be a distant relation.

Regards,

John

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I have gone through a list of 2000 ASC men who died and have not seen one with an L prefix.

Perhaps he served at home?

Someone may know of home based units.

JohnBoy,

His medal card (see attached) indicates he served in France. He also received the standard Pip, Sqweak and Wilfred which suggests he was there early on in the war. I have looked up the associated references on this card at the National Archive and none give any further clues to his unit, although one reference is in a section dealing with the 36th Brigade, RFA. This may or may not be a false clue.

Thanks for the suggestions.

John

post-108938-0-36895000-1400005372_thumb.

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Sorry I was looking at ASC, don't know where that came from.

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Sorry I was looking at ASC, don't know where that came from.

No problem.

In fact I have another relative, Ernest HEARD, who was attached to the 69 Brigade, RGA, and was an ASC driver. When you look at some of his papework it would be easy to think he was R.A., rather than ASC. He doesn`t seem to have been part of a specific ASC unit but attached directly to the Brigade.

John

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