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Finding my Grandfather


clivedobbs
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Hi

As a new member to this forum I would greatly appreciate some help in tracing my Grandfather, the only information I have is recorded on my mothers birth certificate as "Private 57697 Second Canadian Contingent of St Pancras". My feeling is he wasn't Canadian but traveled to France with them, he was, I think part of The 19th County of London Battalion of St Pancras. I have been able to research a small amount of his history and have found a John Harris Service No 612384 killed in action on the 11th July 1917 aged 23, it all seems to point in the direction that this man is my Grandfather, but I need to confirm that, Private 57697 the man on my Mothers Birth Certificate is the same man as Private 612384 killed in action on the 11th July 1917. Any help would be much appreciated.

Many thanks

Clive Dobbs

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I would look for both mens MIC's at TNA, Ancestry FMP .

If they have 2 different regiments then there were probably 2 different men.

Look at the very bottom of the reverse of the card and you may find NOK and address.

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Hello Clive,

This Commonwealth War Graves Commission commemoration has some information in common with the John Harris Service No 612384 you have found.

HARRIS, ALBERT JOHN

Rank: Private
Service No: 612384
Date of Death:11/07/1917
Age: 22
Regiment/Service: London Regiment 19th Bn.
Grave Reference: III. E. 25.
Cemetery: WOODS CEMETERY
Additional Information: Son of John Harris (late South Wales Borderers) and Ellen Harris, of 155, London Rd., Dover.

CGM

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Still looking at 612384

From Soldiers Died in the Great War

Name: John Harris
Birth Place: Brecon, Scotland
Residence: Brecon
Death Date: 11 Jul 1917
Death Location: France & Flanders
Enlistment Location: St. Paul's Churchyard
Rank: Private
Regiment: London Regiment
Battalion: 19th (County of London) Battalion (St. Pancras)
Number: 612384
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theatre of War: Western European Theatre
Comments: Formerly 7457, K.R.R.C.

(I include this record because his number is 612384, however his former number was 7457 so can be discounted.)

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Soldiers Died in the Great War shows that 612384 John Harris,KIA on 11.7.1917, was also earlier 7457 Kings Royal Rifle Corps.

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Great minds.

Edited to add, Clive, if the Birth Certificate is handwritten could you re-check the service number. Is it clearly 57697?

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MORTON AC 57697 1ST/5TH BN 25/04/1916 WEST YORKSHIRE REGIMENT (PRINCE OF WALES'S OWN) 005 RICE T 57697 122ND FIELD COY 07/08/1917 ROYAL ENGINEERS 006 SMITH G 57697 12TH DUKE OF LANCASTER'S OWN YEOMANRY BN 12/10/1918 MANCHESTER REGIMENT 007 STEPHEN JG 57697 B BTY 62ND BDE 12/08/1918 ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY

Unfortunately no John Harris.

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Great minds.

Edited to add, Clive, if the Birth Certificate is handwritten could you re-check the service number. Is it clearly 57697?

Hi Thanks for your reply, the Service Number on the certificate is typed, and its clearly 57697, I think I may have to find another route for clarification of John Harris as that number may not be found in any military records.

Thanks for your reply.

MORTON AC 57697 1ST/5TH BN 25/04/1916 WEST YORKSHIRE REGIMENT (PRINCE OF WALES'S OWN) 005 RICE T 57697 122ND FIELD COY 07/08/1917 ROYAL ENGINEERS 006 SMITH G 57697 12TH DUKE OF LANCASTER'S OWN YEOMANRY BN 12/10/1918 MANCHESTER REGIMENT 007 STEPHEN JG 57697 B BTY 62ND BDE 12/08/1918 ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY

Unfortunately no John Harris.

Many thanks for trying.

Clive

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I think you have your work cut out.

Trying to find more of his civvie life might help. What is the date on your mothers birth certificate? Who was his wife? When was he married? Where did he live? Was he on electoral rolls after the war?

Starting with the basics might narrow down dates.

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I have searched the CWGC website for a casualty Private 57697 but have not found a John HARRIS.

You can search yourself here:

http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead.aspx

Just put 57697 into the service number box.

How sure are you of the date (maybe just the year?) of his death?

Thanks for your reply,

Still looking at 612384

From Soldiers Died in the Great War

Name: John Harris

Birth Place: Brecon, Scotland

Residence: Brecon

Death Date: 11 Jul 1917

Death Location: France & Flanders

Enlistment Location: St. Paul's Churchyard

Rank: Private

Regiment: London Regiment

Battalion: 19th (County of London) Battalion (St. Pancras)

Number: 612384

Type of Casualty: Killed in action

Theatre of War: Western European Theatre

Comments: Formerly 7457, K.R.R.C.

(I include this record because his number is 612384, however his former number was 7457 so can be discounted.)

Thanks for your reply, but I need to link this soldier to the one on my Mothers Birth Certificate, which is proving difficult.

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I think you have your work cut out.

Trying to find more of his civvie life might help. What is the date on your mothers birth certificate? Who was his wife? When was he married? Where did he live? Was he on electoral rolls after the war?

Starting with the basics might narrow down dates.

Hi Johnboy,

Yes I agree, more information, on my Mothers birth certificate, he is married to Harriet Harris nee Webster, Mum was born on the 10th May 1917, unfortunately I have no records of there marriage, so it may be a good idea to research that avenue.

Many thanks

Clive

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Soldiers Died in the Great War shows that 612384 John Harris,KIA on 11.7.1917, was also earlier 7457 Kings Royal Rifle Corps.

Hi thanks for your reply, but I still need to link the John Harris 612384 to John Harris 57697 on my Mothers Birth Certificate.

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Seems he could have been in UK Sept/ Oct 1916.

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Do you have any idea of when he died? Before or after your mother was born?

Whilst still overseas? Back in the UK?

Can I just check you are looking for 612384, formerly 57697. (Not the other way round).

Another thought - who registered the birth? Was it someone who would really have known his correct service number (having been writing to him, for example) or someone who wasn't prepared to be asked for his service number and Regiment and made mistakes?

And where was your grandfather born and what were the names of his parents?

Still plenty more options for research at the moment.

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It is always possible that the 57697 was a mis-read in the first place,and,maybe,the number 5 was a letter !

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Probably no significance but can anyone confirm that there is a Brecon in Scotland as shown Post 6.

'Cos Brecon, Wales is the home of South Wales Borderers which is a tentative link to Post 4 and maybe St Paul's, Swansea?

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I think St.Pauls Churchyard was London.

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Do you have any idea of when he died? Before or after your mother was born?

Whilst still overseas? Back in the UK?

Can I just check you are looking for 612384, formerly 57697. (Not the other way round).

Another thought - who registered the birth? Was it someone who would really have known his correct service number (having been writing to him, for example) or someone who wasn't prepared to be asked for his service number and Regiment and made mistakes?

And where was your grandfather born and what were the names of his parents?

Still plenty more options for research at the moment.

Hi With regards to Mothers Birth Certificate, it was a copy of the original, copy dated 1952 she must of asked for it many years ago, the registrar was a Edgar Claxton, who was a deputy registrar, as this is a copy and not the original there may of been a mistake when typing the copy certificate, who-nos . My way forward now is to find my Grandparents marriage certificate (John Harris and Harriet Harris formerly Webster) and maybe the original Birth Certificate and see if I can make any headway from there.

Thanks for you reply

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Do you have any idea of when he died? Before or after your mother was born?

Whilst still overseas? Back in the UK?

Can I just check you are looking for 612384, formerly 57697. (Not the other way round).

Another thought - who registered the birth? Was it someone who would really have known his correct service number (having been writing to him, for example) or someone who wasn't prepared to be asked for his service number and Regiment and made mistakes?

And where was your grandfather born and what were the names of his parents?

Still plenty more options for research at t

I think you have your work cut out.

Trying to find more of his civvie life might help. What is the date on your mothers birth certificate? Who was his wife? When was he married? Where did he live? Was he on electoral rolls after the war?

Starting with the basics might narrow down dates.

Hi yes I agree completely Many thanks.

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There was a John HARRIS who married a Harriet Ann HARRIS (OR an Ann REES, could be either) in Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgonshire in 1905.

Is this a link to the Brecon of the comment in #18?

I have tried but haven't been able to instantly find a Brecon in Scotland.

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There are census and electoral roll entries for loads of Harriet Websters but not knowing where she came from makes it a guessing game.

Do we know where John was from? Where your mother was born?

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There are census and electoral roll entries for loads of Harriet Websters but not knowing where she came from makes it a guessing game.

Do we know where John was from? Where your mother was born?

My Mother was born on the 10th May 1917 at Middlesex Hospital, unfortunately the only other information on the certificate is Harriet Harris's address - 9 Ampthill Square St Pancras hope this helps.

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Does anything here ring a bell? Could it be her mother?

First Name HARRIET Last Name WEBSTER Relationship WIFE Condition MARRIED Gender Female Age 28 Year Of Birth 1863 Occupation - Birth Town - Birth County SUFFOLK Birth Place - House Name - Street DRUMMOND STREET Town LONDON Parish ST PANCRAS City - County London Registration District PANCRAS Vessel Name - Archive Reference RG12 Piece Number 128 Folio 49 Page 20 Record set 1891 England, Wales & Scotland Census Category Census, land & surveys Record collection Census
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