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303man

MEMORIAL PLAQUE REFERENCE NUMBERS

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303man

Each and every Next of Kin Memorial plaque produced was shipped in an OHMS Envelope the address label has the plaques unique reference code. This is also sometimes written (in pencil) in full or the last 3 digits on the inner envelope. The plaque reference numbers for those issued to New Zealand and Australian troops are still accessible in their national archives. The British ones gone, no record of how they were done. By Regiment? Date of Death? etc. I am trying to get together as much detail as possible for plaques issued to British personnel. there were three distinct types of plaque envelope. The initial ones for Acton produced plaques, then a transitional envelope with the Acton address barred out and Woolwich address added then the Woolwich addressed envelope. The attached picture is of an Acton made plaque (plaque reference Number 70292) , In theory these were the earliest casualties but not always the case. can forum members post pictures of any plaques they have still in the outer envelope

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GWF1967

Envelope Ref No. 121192. Acton plaque to Joseph Timbrell. 685823. RFA. K.I.A. 10/10/18.

Cast No. by leg. 32.

post-119457-0-24888800-1455148283_thumb.

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redbarchetta

If the ANZAC records are extant, presumably you can establish from those how their numbering system worked, then test the theory that British ones followed the same process from the few examples in your collection and gathered (hopefully) on this thread - I would be surprised if they didn't follow the same routine.

Anyway, nice idea, 303man!! Good luck and look forward to following your investigations - sadly I don't have any numbered examples to contribute, though.

James

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trajan

Forum member Mandy Hall pointed me towards a simply excellent article on Australian plaques and their envelope numbers, which gives a broad idea of how numbers relate to units and the years the plaques were made / sent out. So good it allowed me to tie down the only example I have with a more than 50% chance to one of two possibilities. You might want to have a look at the posts connected to this:

and especially the last posts on how these relate to individual Australian units, dates, etc. There has to have been a contemporary archive recording all these details - was it ever preserved? National Archives anyone?

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303man

The Memorial Plaque Factory details were filed under Memorial Plague Factory in the NA, nothing in my searches shows how the British plaques were batched up with reference numbers. By Date of Death? By Regiment? We know that the vast majority of Naval Plaques were produced at Woolwich at near the end of the run, also some of the very last plaques issued were Merchant Navy. with 900,000 reference numbers as the decision to issue a plaque to Merchant Navy personnel was not made until late in the process. Many plaques were returned undelivered and in addition they had to be claimed they were not an automatic entitlement.

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303man

The September 2015 OMRS Journal has an excellent article on Identifying Memorial Plaques to Australians. Page 174.

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mandy hall

The September 2015 OMRS Journal has an excellent article on Identifying Memorial Plaques to Australians. Page 174.

This is the article, I directed Trajan towards, to help identify his plaque.

Mandy

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trajan

... The attached picture is of an Acton made plaque (plaque reference Number 70292) , In theory these were the earliest casualties but not always the case. can forum members post pictures of any plaques they have still in the outer envelope

Envelope Ref No. 121192. Acton plaque to Joseph Timbrell. 685823. RFA. K.I.A. 10/10/18.

I think it would help in many ways if you would post photographs of the plaques and especially details of the numbers (if any) on the left hand side, by the lion's rear legs. It will be interesting to see how the envelope reference numbers (if any) and plaque features tie in with what has been suggested regarding the issuing of these items.

Trajan

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The Inspector

Hi All

If you look at "Medals are coming come..thanks to Ancestry", the same facility can be used for any search requirements including locating or returning plaques.

Spread the word, it can only help everybody.

Regards Barry

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Tony N

A transitional envelope numbered 438267. Died of wounds 15/8/18.

KRRC attached to 6 London Regt. when killed.

Tony

post-6680-0-92960200-1455359932_thumb.jp

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RaySearching

Documentary evidence

which appears to be the the plaque reference number can sometimes be found within a soldiers service documents

as following

24375148044_a00eaf85a6_c.jpg

The above relates to

Private FREDERICK COOKE
11793 10th Bn Durham Light Infantry

KIA 31st July 1915

found among service documents relating to his widow enquiring about his death plaque

regards Ray

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303man

These are some of the 400,000 reference numbers and postal dates I have so far it gives you an idea of the numbers being pushed out per month.

438267 29 Jul 21

435573

440232 30 Jul 21

445351

447111

451502 15 Sep 21

461337

466173

467491

481037 24 Sep 21

484055 21 Sep 21

486948 27 Sep 21

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303man

Documentary evidence

which appears to be the the plaque reference number can sometimes be found within a soldiers service documents

as following

24375148044_a00eaf85a6_c.jpg

The above relates to

Private FREDERICK COOKE

11793 10th Bn Durham Light Infantry

KIA 31st July 1915

found among service documents relating to his widow enquiring about his death plaque

regards Ray

This is a very late plaque reference number, the postal dates I have for 900,000 series reference numbers plaques so far listed below. So your one above was sent out between June 22 and Apr 24 some 7 to 8 years after the soldiers death, this is why I think only about 600,000 plaques of the 1,115,000 odd made ever reached their final destination. Army form WO5031 had to be completed and submitted by the rightful next of kin to obtain the plaque.

967337 10 Jun 22

981012 26 Jun 22

986680 Apr 24

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Kath

Documentary evidence

which appears to be the the plaque reference number can sometimes be found within a soldiers service documents

as following

The above relates to

Private FREDERICK COOKE

11793 10th Bn Durham Light Infantry

KIA 31st July 1915

found among service documents relating to his widow enquiring about his death plaque

regards Ray

That's interesting, Ray.

Kath.

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303man

The Board Of Trade (responsible for the Mercantile Marine) was only able to get approval from the Admiralty to supply the Next of Kin with a plaque in 1920 (the announcement was made public in October of that year).

The first order for 1500 plaques, in alphabetical order was placed by the Board of Trade on the 29th September 1921 and these were allocated with the production numbers of 950,500 - 950,999 and 956,000 - 956,999 (this is one of the few records to survive concerning plaque production).

Therefore all these plaques were made at the Woolwich Arsenal, and not at Acton, and the vast majority (all...??) will have a narrow H (as in HE DIED). The plaques would not have been issued until 1922/3 as so many plaques were required. The Mercantile Marine plaques were among the last to be made in mainstream production

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trajan

These are some of the 400,000 reference numbers and postal dates I have so far it gives you an idea of the numbers being pushed out per month.

438267 29 Jul 21 ... 486948 27 Sep 21

To establish a relationship between these numbers and establishing how the plaques were made and distributed (by regiment? by name? by DOD?), what is necessary are reference numbers and the DOD for the men involved. Would I be correct in thinking these are all for GB men, who died 1918?

This is a very late plaque reference number, the postal dates I have for 900,000 series reference numbers plaques so far listed below. So your one above was sent out between June 22 and Apr 24 some 7 to 8 years after the soldiers death, this is why I think only about 600,000 plaques of the 1,115,000 odd made ever reached their final destination. Army form WO5031 had to be completed and submitted by the rightful next of kin to obtain the plaque.

967337 10 Jun 22 ... 986680 Apr 24

If 984729 is indeed the plaque number for Private FREDERICK COOKE 11793 10th Bn Durham Light Infantry, KIA 31st July 1915 (post 11), then it indicates a strange way of doing things - the Australian plaques in the 935,000 to 950,500 series are thought to be 1918 casualties! There again at post 10 we have number 438267 for a KRRC DOW 15/8/18. ,,,

Lot's of research needed here chaps! Could be a MA thesis in this!!!

Trajan

PS: re post 15 - the narrow H (as in HE DIED) apparently resulted from the change over of dies, from the original 'HE DIED' die to a 'SHE DIED' die after the decision to award these to women who died in military service (I gather 650 or so), the 'S' being removed subsequently for the last series of plaques - which were mainly (according to the Australian evidence) for the navy, RAF and late army deaths.

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303man

These are all Acton Plaque reference Numbers:

3045 KIA OCT 14

70292 KIA 1915

75769 KIA 1917

88028 KIA 1916

142154 KIA 1918

151362 KIA 1916

162756 DIED 1919

171952 DIED 1917

176668 DIED 1916

177040 DIED 1916

178958 DIED 1917

181060 DIED 1917

189261 DIED 1917

214845 KIA 1918

224744 KIA 1916

302688 KIA 1915

​As you can see they do not follow numerically by date of death, There must have been a system for the allocation and production of these numbers, I have the regulations regarding issue of the plaques and it mentions allocation of Reference numbers to sheets. I believe the sheets were prepared by Regimental record offices and then submitted, remember some soldiers were missing presumed killed and boards of enquiry were held to establish this, the passage of time would have created overlap and an early casualty's plaque being submitted later on with later casualties.

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trajan
On 17/02/2016 at 03:15, 303man said:

These are all Acton Plaque reference Numbers: ...

As you can see they do not follow numerically by date of death, There must have been a system for the allocation and production of these numbers, I have the regulations regarding issue of the plaques and it mentions allocation of Reference numbers to sheets. I believe the sheets were prepared by Regimental record offices and then submitted, remember some soldiers were missing presumed killed and boards of enquiry were held to establish this, the passage of time would have created overlap and an early casualty's plaque being submitted later on with later casualties.

Thanks!

I am not - heavens forbid! - disparaging your work and I hope you don't think so! On the contrary, I welcome it!

I have no direct interest in memorial plaques, I am just interested - thanks to the research into the one I do have - in the way they were made and issued, and (being an archaeologist by trade) how typological differences can be tied in with dates of their making and issuing. In particular, I thought Johnson's research into the subject illuminating and as I said here:

at post 18 - "... if it were possible for collectors of these to pool their data (fat chance? Well, pigs might fly!), then it would be possible to check the hypothesis. As it stands, the overall picture I got from Johson's paper was one definite pointer, that if it is an Acton-made plate with no numbers, then its probably for a non-Australian chappie. So, anyone with an Acton-made plaque with numbers for a post-1917 GB death?"

I think what you are doing is enormously valuable work, and I would like to see the evidence presented more formally so that we can all follow it. So, for example, I would be interested in this matter of: "I have the regulations regarding issue of the plaques and it mentions allocation of Reference numbers to sheets. I believe the sheets were prepared by Regimental record offices and then submitted," - if this is work in progress and you are not yet up to sharing then I and others will understand - but do let us know!

Best wishes,

Julian

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303man

Problem is the Data set is so small, very few plaques survived in the original postal envelope, none of the Acton posted envelopes I have seen have a franking mark with date of posting. However all Woolwich posted plaques do, but not readable in a lot of cases. With 1 million odd made but only about 100 examples of plaque envelopes with reference numbers then we have a long way to go. All I can do is ask and try and collate as much info as possible. The article in OMRS journal states that the Australian womens plaques were the first made 850000 - 850,032 these were sent out in 1923, well sorry to disappoint the New Zealand Female plaques had lower reference numbers 506,464 and 510,937 for example both posted on 6 Oct 1922. Notice that the Scrolls were posted on different dates. Plaques and scrolls shared the same unique reference numbers.

post-227-0-13071700-1455661399_thumb.jpg

post-227-0-19685900-1455661935_thumb.jpg

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303man

Found this gem:

349. BM/8117/A.G.1.R Titled Memorial plaque.

The last paragraph states:

"It is observed that, as a general rule, the serial numbers follow the order of the dates of death, though in some cases the name of the soldiers killed early in the war may be low on the list as the identity and address of the next of kin were not at the time forthcoming."

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303man

This is like trying to decipher the enigma code;

New Zealand casualty:

George Burlinson 15/01/15 Plaque reference No 670022 Dispatched 16 Feb 1923

John Archibald Campbell 14/12/14 Plaque reference No 670023 Dispatched 26 Jul 1922

Albert George Cooper 26/12/14 Plaque Reference No 670028 Dispatched 4 May 1922

I expect the plaques once produced in England, were sent in large batches to New Zealand then once the NOK had been verified and applied for the plaque they were sent out, hence the vast difference in dates.

Another New Zealander Alexander James Terras Bell died 29/12/14 his plaque ref No is 950171 was dispatched 03 Oct 1924 some 9 years after his death.

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303man

Nice Crisp Example of the transitional envelope initially enough envelopes were printed for production at the Acton Factory but the change to Woolwich production resulted in these transitional envelopes.

post-227-0-03704800-1455835092_thumb.jpg

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trajan

Found this gem: 349. BM/8117/A.G.1.R Titled Memorial plaque.

Nice one! Thanks!

This is like trying to decipher the enigma code;

Too right...

It seems a bit of a nightmare to me, quite frankly. With unique names, no problems in identifying who the plaque commemorates. With non-unique names, well, style of plaque and DOD may be related, but cannot be relied upon 100% w/o the envelope and reference number. In the case of my own plaque, though, the balance of probability - if Johnson's arguments re: numbering and plaque style are valid - would favour the Australian Langton... Does it seem to you, on what you have so far, that block numbers were issued to each of the Commonwealth countries - at least at the start of the scheme?

Trajan

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303man

Extract from regulations regarding issue of the Next of kin Memorial Plaque.

post-227-0-21935500-1455894950_thumb.jpg

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PRC

Dumb question alert!

 

How do the numbers that are on the memorial plaques relate back to the production numbers? Are they batch numbers? Has anyone looked into seeing whether there is any consistent linkage.

 

Example. In another thread about Alexander McCubbin, his plaque has the number 11 behind the back legs. There are three potential candidates - an Australian, a Canadian and a Argyll& Sutherland Highlander. The Australians death plaque number was 305,793, the Canadians was P28523, the A&SH is unknown..

 

I see from this thread that 300,000 to 318,800 was the first series issued for Australians.

So my line of reasoning would be that if that range represented, (or formed part) of (production) batch 11 then one of the three alternatives becomes a more likely candidate. Apologies if this has been done to death elsewhere,

 

regards,

Peter

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