Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Struggling to find a man - limited information


Recommended Posts

I'm open to any suggestions here

I am trying to find a WW1 seaman or Royal Marine with the surname ADAMS who served on HMS Emperor of India during the war. He (or a close relative) lived at some time in Power Road, Portsmouth.

I have looked at all addresses for the road in the 1911 census, and checked the 1918 electoral roll, as well as the 1919 register. He is included on a street list of men who served during the war, and appears to have survived. The list on a memorial was not completed until 1926 which accounts for the lack of detail. The area was one in which many houses were rented, and in which naval men lodged and therefore the absence of a local record is not unusual.

Searches for naval records produce literally horrific numbers - the WW1 Naval rolls according to Ancestry list 2,780 men with that surname who served in WW1, before I consider Marines.

My best hope would seem to be crew lists - but with my limited knowledge of RN source material I have made no progress with that. Any suggestions regarding crew lists would be gratefully received.


Afterthought: I have one other remote check to try next week - Portsea Parish marriages and christenings have been transferred to a card index system in the local archives, and might, if he married locally, or fathered any children, offer some target names.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Find my past.

A possible match for your man.

Alfred James Adams R M A 16228.

Enlisted Bristol, 27th February 1918, aged17years 6months 20 days. Born Bristol 7th August 1900.

Pte R M Artillery 27th February 1918 - 6th August 1918. 7th August 1918 - 2nd September 1918.

Gunner 2nd Class 3rd September 1918 - 4th November 1918

Gunner 5th November 1918 - 30th December 1918.

Emperor of India 31st December 1918.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

No such thing as "crew lists", I'm afraid.

With a common surname like ADAMS, no forenames or d.o.b./p.o.b. and a choice of RN, RNR, RNVR, RMLI and RMA, the words 'needle' and 'haystack' spring to mind.

One small glimmer of hope is that there are 'only' 33 RN ratings in ADM 188 who gave Portsmouth as p.o.b. and a large number of those would not have served in WW1. The medal roll (ADM 171) will confirm whether they served or not. No such process is available for other branches of the service.

With a complement around 1,000, perhaps double that number served in EMPEROR OF INDIA at some time in 1914-1918.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you both - I'll check out Alfred James with local sources next week - you never know. It would be great if he is the man. I'll also follow up the suggestion about ADM 33 - much better than opening several hundred naval service records.

Otherwise, yes, Needle and haystack sounds about right.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...