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voltaire60

ELECTORAL REGISTERS 1914, 1915 AND 1918

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Phil Wood
2 hours ago, ss002d6252 said:

The only connection with Newbury I can see is a distant one - William's aunt (via his uncle Albert) was from Newbury but it appears they lived in Reading. Probably too distant to be a decent chance.

 

Craig

 

If it is him then it will be down to his working in Newbury, dating a girl from Newbury, a sister marrying and living in Newbury, or somesuch. I am hopefull the 1921 census will resolve some of the problems, but it's a while before its available!

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keithmroberts

Phil, your man is typical of the sort of problem that I was referring to. I won't accept maybe cases unless I can find secondary evidence that raises them into a high nineties percentage of confidence. I have seen too many fantasy based family trees on Ancestry where users just accepted connections because they "looked about right" but had no evidential link.

With men who served in the navy  the full service records often give enough to lead to census or similar records, but the greater proportion of men who served in the army are often so  much more difficult to nail down with confidence.

 

Keith

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Phil Wood

Hi Keith.

 

I would guess you have a far higher percentage of sailors than me - service records are rare - which is a great shame in some cases as I'm sure I could get a few more names added to the CWGC if I could find evidence for the cause of their discharge.

 

My aim is to write up those I can't identify and show as much as I can about the various false paths or dead ends I have followed - perhaps someone in the future will solve a mystery or two.  Where my identification is more 80% than 95% I will still write it up - but make it clear that the identification is not conclusive - I've seen those Ancestry trees too!

 

Phil

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ss002d6252
3 minutes ago, Phil Wood said:

Hi Keith.

 

I would guess you have a far higher percentage of sailors than me - service records are rare - which is a great shame in some cases as I'm sure I could get a few more names added to the CWGC if I could find evidence for the cause of their discharge.

 

My aim is to write up those I can't identify and show as much as I can about the various false paths or dead ends I have followed - perhaps someone in the future will solve a mystery or two.  Where my identification is more 80% than 95% I will still write it up - but make it clear that the identification is not conclusive - I've seen those Ancestry trees too!

 

Phil

Throw some of them out to the forum and no never know.


Craig

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voltaire60

  Phil-Could your F.Holmes be Frederick Holmes  31144 of the Royal Berkshires, born Reading on 30th June 1897-???   There is a Red Cross card for him

 

    Could  "A.G.Rolfe"   possibly be:

ROLFE, RICHARD JAMES

Rank:
Private
Service No:
3168
Date of Death:
20/09/1918
Age:
29
Regiment/Service:
Australian Pioneers
 
4th
Panel Reference:
 
Memorial:
VILLERS-BRETONNEUX MEMORIAL
 
Additional Information:
Son of Edwin and Mary Ann Rolfe; husband of Florence Mabel Rolfe, of Redge, Chilmark, Salisbury, England. Born at Great Shefford, Berks, England.
 
 His papers are scanned in on "Discovering Our Anzacs"- where he gives his place of birth as "Newberry"-an amendment to  NOK gives the Chilmark address. 
Edited by voltaire60

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Phil Wood
14 minutes ago, ss002d6252 said:

Throw some of them out to the forum and no never know.


Craig

 

If it's the uncommemorated (by CWGC) that you refer to I put them on the Possible non-commemoration board.  I think the most recent was William Pocock, aged 53, discharged from National Reserve / Protection Company for medical reasons (unknown). Died in Newbury and is commemorated on the Newbury memorial.  

 

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voltaire60
6 hours ago, keithmroberts said:

Phil, your man is typical of the sort of problem that I was referring to. I won't accept maybe cases unless I can find secondary evidence that raises them into a high nineties percentage of confidence. I have seen too many fantasy based family trees on Ancestry where users just accepted connections because they "looked about right" but had no evidential link.

With men who served in the navy  the full service records often give enough to lead to census or similar records, but the greater proportion of men who served in the army are often so  much more difficult to nail down with confidence.

 

Keith

 

     Same here-  But what do you do when you are down to one candidate only-and there is still no link?  Order of the boot for mine, I think-but,alas.  Or included with the caveat- "thought to be"-    Twickers comes in helpful with the RFU-Possibles v Probables. 

    Now for a nuanced question-   when does a man have to be in the area one is listing:

1) Beginning of war?

 

2) When he enlists?

 

3) When he is killed?

     Answers on a postcard...

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Phil Wood
7 minutes ago, voltaire60 said:

  Phil-Could your F.Holmes be Frederick Holmes  31144 of the Royal Berkshires, born Reading on 30th June 1897-???   There is a Red Cross card for him

Frederick James Holmes - still alive when the memorial was erected in 1922, discharged from R Berks the following year.

 

There is Cpl Frederick Holmes RMLI - wounded Gallipoli  - but I don't think he died either. A fellow researcher has found his death in 1966.

 

Or Frederick Holmes, Sgt R Berks, 5th Bn 6087. Disch 26/61919  unfit - did he die soon after?  An odd one this - his MIC names him as Frederick, his SWB as Edward! I fear that the SWB is right. Brother of the marine. 


The family lived at Redfield Cotts, Newbury, to add to the confusion this was in the parish of Cold Ash, which has its own memorial - which carries the name of Harry Holmes, and a roll of honour that has the marine and another brother Albert.  In total 3 of the brothers, yet at least 5 served!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Phil Wood
2 hours ago, voltaire60 said:

 

     Same here-  But what do you do when you are down to one candidate only-and there is still no link?  Order of the boot for mine, I think-but,alas.  Or included with the caveat- "thought to be"-    Twickers comes in helpful with the RFU-Possibles v Probables. 

    Now for a nuanced question-   when does a man have to be in the area one is listing:

1) Beginning of war?

 

2) When he enlists?

 

3) When he is killed?

     Answers on a postcard...

 

In such cases it pays to look elsewhere - several of the more problematic cases turned out to be men discharged before death and omitted from the CWGC roll.  In general the local paper has provided the ID.

 

And don't forget 4) Never.  I have a chap who's wife and children moved to Newbury in 1915 to escape the Zeppelin raids.  He might have visited for a few days on leave, but no more.  

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keithmroberts

As I have discovered death after discharge requires clear and convincing evidence that the death was caused by service. I have checked out a few, and secondary evidence of the cause of death such as reports in the local press etc. are not sufficient. Much depends on the words on the death certificate. In one case I also paid for the pension records to be retrieved from those held by the WFA and to my deep frustration the surviving records did not refer to the nature of the disability. What I suppose was the awards file was noted as destroyed back in the 1960's, 20+ years after the last payment of a dependant's pension.

At least you are working on casualties, my recent project is on a street list of men the vast majority of whom survived their service, so we didn't have the benefit of the CWGC as a reference point, which made firm identification very challenging and sometimes impossible given especially the more limited material so often available for the army and RFC in combination with the effects of human memory and transcription by the monument signwriter from cursive script in 1925.

 

 

Keith

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Phil Wood

I have a list of around 1,000 Newbury survivors, but it's fewer than half of those who served, it must be impossible to find them all.  I shall stick with the casualties - the 339 on the memorial and the 100 or so who aren't. After that I'll write a book on Newbury pubs!

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voltaire60

    KR-  Post-discharge deaths are notoriously hard to prove- perhaps even more so during the war. It underlines one point strikingly- that there is no set rhyme or reason about which names were included on any memorial- it was purely local caprice-and, from some local evidence down my way, perhaps the need to raise the cost of the main memorial- Of course, the families who lost sons tended to be the main donors- right down -poignantly- to a poor widow who had lost her son contributing 3/--most of the rest were in multiples of guineas.

   Secondly, I have followed the "administrative" convention about the end of the war being in 1921-it pretty much tallies with my main local memorial going up anyway. But why should this be so???  Anybody might be entitled to take the view that war casualties included those who lingered on beyond 1921- rather than a Ministry of Pensions-led deadline.

   By far the most problematic for me are the overseas casualties- those who were born locally but were killed serving with Dominion forces. Canada and Australia are very well served. New Zealand is hit and miss-South Africa is tough. It is there that the links are the hardest to show-when overseas men  had never lived in my area but may have had a relative locally-so at best, a few weeks of leave before they were killed. I have one who was exported to Canada as a boy after the death of his father and a family break-up-while living in another area. The mother subsequently moved into area just before the war-but the son's only connections are that he was re-united with her on leave while recovering from wounds received in France serving with the Canadians. So,yes, he visited the area but was never resident. I have another, who was an institutionalised old soldier who had signed on again as a cook in the Canadian navy-and died of cancer in Calgary in 1918. The family came from further in-Limehouse and thereabouts but his wife was clearly living locally from the middle of the war- thus, I have included him because the family "home" was in my area-though it is highly improbable that he ever came to the area. Again, I have 2 brothers listed locally where the connection is only that an older brother was a long-term resident and the Wanstead address was probably used as the address for "home leave" (For which, see the Sitwell anecdote about Claridges in Max Hastings:Oxford Book of Military Anecdotes)- One was a regular officer of RMLI, the other was ex-BSAP and Rhodesia Regiment, who came back in 1915 and was commissioned in the South Staffords. But neither can have been more than occasional visitors to the brother's address.

    Another problem is those that were adult before 1914 where the parental address is local. Some stayed and are remembered on memorials. Some had gone and are still remembered. Some are not there at all. It is hit and miss-if a man clearly had flown the nest-usually a marital home elsewhere, then he is out-though if still commemorated in the area he is in, as being on a memorial.

    I have one man whose death was obliquely reported in 1914-though not locally at all, just the details of his inquest in Norwich- A suicide. I have included him as his death was "on service" (during his last few days in the army before handing over to another Quatermaster), the family home was local-and he has a CWGC headstone and listing.

 

      Now-a question-OK, this is electoral registers but has developed into a thread about the problems of tracking those on memorials (and most interesting too)- Just what sort of info. comes with a pension look-up from WFA??   I have one local name on a memorial (badly eroded) where  I suspect who the man may be- that he was probably invalided out at some point and may have died within time-but I can track no record of his death- I am assuming, per devil's Advocate, that it is possible for administrative slip-ups to nobble the Registrar as well. If he had a pension record, it might help nail him one way or the other.

   

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ss002d6252
15 minutes ago, voltaire60 said:

    KR-  Post-discharge deaths are notoriously hard to prove- perhaps even more so during the war. It underlines one point strikingly- that there is no set rhyme or reason about which names were included on any memorial- it was purely local caprice-and, from some local evidence down my way, perhaps the need to raise the cost of the main memorial- Of course, the families who lost sons tended to be the main donors- right down -poignantly- to a poor widow who had lost her son contributing 3/--most of the rest were in multiples of guineas.

   Secondly, I have followed the "administrative" convention about the end of the war being in 1921-it pretty much tallies with my main local memorial going up anyway. But why should this be so???  Anybody might be entitled to take the view that war casualties included those who lingered on beyond 1921- rather than a Ministry of Pensions-led deadline.

   By far the most problematic for me are the overseas casualties- those who were born locally but were killed serving with Dominion forces. Canada and Australia are very well served. New Zealand is hit and miss-South Africa is tough. It is there that the links are the hardest to show-when overseas men  had never lived in my area but may have had a relative locally-so at best, a few weeks of leave before they were killed. I have one who was exported to Canada as a boy after the death of his father and a family break-up-while living in another area. The mother subsequently moved into area just before the war-but the son's only connections are that he was re-united with her on leave while recovering from wounds received in France serving with the Canadians. So,yes, he visited the area but was never resident. I have another, who was an institutionalised old soldier who had signed on again as a cook in the Canadian navy-and died of cancer in Calgary in 1918. The family came from further in-Limehouse and thereabouts but his wife was clearly living locally from the middle of the war- thus, I have included him because the family "home" was in my area-though it is highly improbable that he ever came to the area. Again, I have 2 brothers listed locally where the connection is only that an older brother was a long-term resident and the Wanstead address was probably used as the address for "home leave" (For which, see the Sitwell anecdote about Claridges in Max Hastings:Oxford Book of Military Anecdotes)- One was a regular officer of RMLI, the other was ex-BSAP and Rhodesia Regiment, who came back in 1915 and was commissioned in the South Staffords. But neither can have been more than occasional visitors to the brother's address.

    Another problem is those that were adult before 1914 where the parental address is local. Some stayed and are remembered on memorials. Some had gone and are still remembered. Some are not there at all. It is hit and miss-if a man clearly had flown the nest-usually a marital home elsewhere, then he is out-though if still commemorated in the area he is in, as being on a memorial.

    I have one man whose death was obliquely reported in 1914-though not locally at all, just the details of his inquest in Norwich- A suicide. I have included him as his death was "on service" (during his last few days in the army before handing over to another Quatermaster), the family home was local-and he has a CWGC headstone and listing.

 

      Now-a question-OK, this is electoral registers but has developed into a thread about the problems of tracking those on memorials (and most interesting too)- Just what sort of info. comes with a pension look-up from WFA??   I have one local name on a memorial (badly eroded) where  I suspect who the man may be- that he was probably invalided out at some point and may have died within time-but I can track no record of his death- I am assuming, per devil's Advocate, that it is possible for administrative slip-ups to nobble the Registrar as well. If he had a pension record, it might help nail him one way or the other.

   

Take a look here for some examples of the pension cards - http://www.westernfrontassociation.com/all-about-the-wfa/wfa-news-events/pension-records/pension-records-cards-examples.html#sthash.SOQBHOC4.dpbs

 

Craig

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keithmroberts

This is the one that stymied me. The note on the reverse was the killer. The man was discharged in 1916 on health grounds, having spent most of the war until then as an airship coxswain in open cockpit navy airships based in Scotland patrolling the North Sea. He died of TB, and the parish magazine recorded that his illness was directly due to his service in the first years of the war. Unfortunately the confirmation that it was the TB that caused his discharge would surely have been in that awards file. Only one other card survived.

 

Keith

1092_Witten.pdf

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ss002d6252
3 minutes ago, keithmroberts said:

This is the one that stymied me. The note on the reverse was the killer. The man was discharged in 1916 on health grounds, having spent most of the war until then as an airship coxswain in open cockpit navy airships based in Scotland patrolling the North Sea. He died of TB, and the parish magazine recorded that his illness was directly due to his service in the first years of the war. Unfortunately the confirmation that it was the TB that caused his discharge would surely have been in that awards file. Only one other card survived.

 

Keith

1092_Witten.pdf

It's these sort of cases, involving pensions, that I've had a little discussion of late.

The criteria for a widows pension required that a man died in or because of service (pretty much the same criteria as the CWGC) so the fact it was paid was acceptance that a man had died due to military service.  Payment of the dependents pension also appears to have required that a death be in or caused by service. If a pension can only be paid where the criteria are met then I don't see why the cases couldn't go ahead to the CWGC - one official record should be as good as any other.

I think the pensions are an under considered area and can add a lot.

Craig

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keithmroberts

I had wondered about that Craig, and will submit it. Do you have any idea about a source for the pensions regulations? That is another subject that I ahve never explored, one of too many.

 

Keith

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ss002d6252
16 minutes ago, keithmroberts said:

I had wondered about that Craig, and will submit it. Do you have any idea about a source for the pensions regulations? That is another subject that I ahve never explored, one of too many.

 

Keith

The best guide was that written by the MP J M Hogge. It's available at archive.org , https://archive.org/details/thewarpensionsallow00hoggrich

 

The War Pensions Gazette or the Army & Navy Gazette may also help - if you need any specifics then drop me a line and I'll see what I can pull up.


Craig

Edited by ss002d6252

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keithmroberts

Thanks Craig

 

I'll download the Hogge book and see what I can make of it. It may be a little while, but my man died in January 1919 so he had waited 98 years, a few months if we can get a result will be worth while.

 

Keith

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voltaire60
7 hours ago, ss002d6252 said:

It's these sort of cases, involving pensions, that I've had a little discussion of late.

The criteria for a widows pension required that a man died in or because of service (pretty much the same criteria as the CWGC) so the fact it was paid was acceptance that a man had died due to military service.  Payment of the dependents pension also appears to have required that a death be in or caused by service. If a pension can only be paid where the criteria are met then I don't see why the cases couldn't go ahead to the CWGC - one official record should be as good as any other.

I think the pensions are an under considered area and can add a lot.

Craig

 

      Craig-   Ever thought of a career with DWP.....No,don't answer that.

 

          Following on from what you say- Do we have any evidence that you know-from Terry Denham or IFTC--about the status of pension records with CWGC??  I jest about the modern DWP-but the "means test" of the old Poor Law (ablolished by Neville Chamberlain-God bless him) left a very bitter folk memory of the tightness of state benefits in the Twenties-if it was hard, then it should aid our cause with the post-Armistice deaths nowadays???

 

        I will ask this of you out of complete and utter ignorance-  Do we have any evidence of war damage to ex-servicemen in the records of private pension funds-I'm thinking particularly of the Oddfellows as the likeliest group on this????   I would hazard a guess that there are cases where a man was unfit,say,in the early 1920s, pension claim to MOP turned down as not being due to war service-but would any of the occupational pension or benefit providers  have anything??     (I ask not through any knowledge but only because the brother of one of my local casualties, himself badly wounded and partially disabled-he was a City solicitor- got so fed up with being pestered with bumf from MOP,etc that he threatened to have a restorative operation done to a bad hand wound by a private surgeon and sue for the surgeon's fee)  Are there non-governmental records out there- B**gered if I know

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ss002d6252
4 minutes ago, voltaire60 said:

 

      Craig-   Ever thought of a career with DWP.....No,don't answer that. 

I did once work for the Pension Service, which was part of DWP, dealing with state pensions.

Quote

          Following on from what you say- Do we have any evidence that you know-from Terry Denham or IFTC--about the status of pension records with CWGC??  I jest about the modern DWP-but the "means test" of the old Poor Law (ablolished by Neville Chamberlain-God bless him) left a very bitter folk memory of the tightness of state benefits in the Twenties-if it was hard, then it should aid our cause with the post-Armistice deaths nowadays???

It came up in a discussion on another thread the other day which John Hartley replied to. It looks, from the thread, that one will be getting submitted soon (although I don't think it's going via the IFCP) so we'll see. I'm more confident than John but the again he's been dealing with CWGC etc far longer than me.

Quote

        I will ask this of you out of complete and utter ignorance-  Do we have any evidence of war damage to ex-servicemen in the records of private pension funds-I'm thinking particularly of the Oddfellows as the likeliest group on this????   I would hazard a guess that there are cases where a man was unfit,say,in the early 1920s, pension claim to MOP turned down as not being due to war service-but would any of the occupational pension or benefit providers  have anything??     (I ask not through any knowledge but only because the brother of one of my local casualties, himself badly wounded and partially disabled-he was a City solicitor- got so fed up with being pestered with bumf from MOP,etc that he threatened to have a restorative operation done to a bad hand wound by a private surgeon and sue for the surgeon's fee)  Are there non-governmental records out there- B**gered if I know

Never thought of that but I'm sure that at least some records of that ilk must exist somewhere.


Craig

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voltaire60

- Now- a small conundrum  after working through some of the 1915 Electoral Register, Division D voters- those in lodgings.  I have, for example, one Sydney Bodger, clearly living locally in Wanstead in rented accomodation. Seems to have enlisted in the initial rush-  and was killed 1915. Thus, I think his 1915 register address is the correct one-that is, he was a local resident at the time he enlisted in the army and but for the grace of God and Kaiser Bill would likely have continued living there had not war hove into view.

 

      BUT- of course, on enlistement he would have given up his rented accomodation - and his "residence" on SDGW would reflect what other arrangements he made regarding what might be essentially a mailing address elsewhere. Thus, I have decided to include the pure lodgers of the 1915 Register in the local roll of honour-IF they enlisted sharpish and despite what SDGW says. If the  evidence is there that they were resident at the beginning of the war, then my view is that SDGW is misleading as it reflects an address for admin. purposes AFTER enlistment.

    Those lodgers who are within the parental home- well, if there is evidence the parental home moved during the war years, then I assume the grown up son went with them. I have not as yet found any moved parental home for this group which is at variance with SDGW

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ss002d6252
32 minutes ago, voltaire60 said:

- Now- a small conundrum  after working through some of the 1915 Electoral Register, Division D voters- those in lodgings.  I have, for example, one Sydney Bodger, clearly living locally in Wanstead in rented accomodation. Seems to have enlisted in the initial rush-  and was killed 1915. Thus, I think his 1915 register address is the correct one-that is, he was a local resident at the time he enlisted in the army and but for the grace of God and Kaiser Bill would likely have continued living there had not war hove into view.

 

      BUT- of course, on enlistement he would have given up his rented accomodation - and his "residence" on SDGW would reflect what other arrangements he made regarding what might be essentially a mailing address elsewhere. Thus, I have decided to include the pure lodgers of the 1915 Register in the local roll of honour-IF they enlisted sharpish and despite what SDGW says. If the  evidence is there that they were resident at the beginning of the war, then my view is that SDGW is misleading as it reflects an address for admin. purposes AFTER enlistment.

    Those lodgers who are within the parental home- well, if there is evidence the parental home moved during the war years, then I assume the grown up son went with them. I have not as yet found any moved parental home for this group which is at variance with SDGW

Bodger the lodger. What was his service number ?

 

The address on SDGW has often turned out to be NoK if they moved around after the death.

Craig

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keithmroberts

Craig's comment is absolutely on the spot, and applies just as  definitely to entries on CWGC records.  The high proportion of private rented property at the time, as now, ensured mobility for households to move especially to reflect a change of employment.  The addresses often reflect the address of the NOK at the date when pension entitlements and similar matters were dealt with rather than an address at the time of enlistment or death. In the absence of better information we have to live with that, but I do suspect that it also explains many apparent omissions from memorials, which is another reason why I am always a bit wary of supporting the adding of names unless there is more substantial evidence than that of the CWGC.

 

Keith

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voltaire60

Exactly so- but it seems ,then, the 1915 register is the most accurate and up to date listing of where men were living???   The more so for the New Armies. A register that closed on 31st July 1914-and war starting on the 4th could hardly get much better

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ss002d6252
3 minutes ago, voltaire60 said:

Exactly so- but it seems ,then, the 1915 register is the most accurate and up to date listing of where men were living???   The more so for the New Armies. A register that closed on 31st July 1914-and war starting on the 4th could hardly get much better

Accurate early on and diminishing as time goes on - but it's better than nothing.


Craig

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