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A lady trying to read her G-Dad's war record but failing


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Hi Guys.

Boy they don't make things easy. I'm trying to work out what my Grand Dad did in the first world war. I hardly remember him. I was five when he died. I'm piecing his life together. He was a quiet man and never spoke of the war, according to my Dad. I can pick things out like injured on the field and he went to France Le Harve was given medals. But that's about it. There is 27 pages to his war file but most is blank, or looks blank. The picture is of my Grand Dad and my Gran before he left to go to war, I think. This was a postcard which they sent to friends. This lay in a drawer of a friend, and when there family was looking after the affairs of there parents when they died, they came across this picture postcard. They tracked down my Aunt, the daughter of my Grand Parents and sent it on to her.  Grand Dad was 18 at the time. I think they are an attractive couple. Grand Dad died in 1975 and my Gran was 1990. He was in the HIGHLAND (FIFE) RGA 687. his army number was 306087. Thank for your time and for reading this.

 

Lynn Deas Chalmers Lark Henderson Mason (Sunday Name LOL)

Gran and Grand Dad Henderson.PNG

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Hello

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

To make it easier for anyone looking at this, his records are on FmP on this link - click

 

No doubt they are on Ancestry, but I could not get them there

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Indeed welcome.

He joined as a Territorial Force (like the modern TA) man on 26/3/13

He was called up to the Army on 5/8/1914 - the Day after War was declared. 

He went to France on 3/5/1915. Disembarking the next day. Now unit is blurred but looks like 1/1st Battery (Fife) RGA. This battery went to France on that day. This seems to confirm I am correct.

The is no obvious change of unit until Christmas 1916. He then gets transferred to 19 Heavy Battery RGA. There are several refs to this Battery in the docs and he seems to have remained with them until his demob in early 1919 with just the odd period of home leave.

 

 

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However on forces war records there are a few medical records for him

Nov 1916 admitted to hospital for myalgia. Unit is given as 17 Highland Battery, 1st Heavy Artillery Group. Immediately after that for “impetigo, hips”

The different causes a problem as we do not know when he transferred in. 

Edited by Mark1959
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Lynn

Welcome.

It looks like two sets of records are available on FMP.  Did you find the records you posted on Ancestry?  If so a link would be useful as he doesn't seem to immediately turn up in a search.

You should be able to also find his medal roll entry and both his medal index cards.

You are fortunate in finding such a comprehensive service record.  It is worth going through it page by page and making notes then sorting what you have found into a chronological order.

Again you are fortunate with the first heavy battery he served with as the war diary is available for 1/1 Highland Battery from the National Archives so you can find out what they were up to. 

19th Heavy Battery is a bit harder as there doesn't seem to be a war diary.  But as you can see from the records they served in Italy. 104 Heavy Artillery group diary for the period hasn't survived either by the look of it although there are some other related diaries at the National Archives.  Not digitised so a visit is in order.  WO95 4200 looks promising as does 4206.

 

Farndale's History of the Royal Regiment of Artillery; "The forgotten fronts and the home base etc." give a little bit of background.

 

Peter

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Hi Lynn, and as the guys have said a warm welcome to the forum. I remember having a similar problem to you when I started researching my interests, it does get easier. Can I recommend you have a look at the Long Long Trail website which is the second tab along on the top line above? It's the best guide to WW1 I know and is where I always start when I'm trying to find anything out. It will answer a lot of your questions and help you with the excellent detail that the boys have already found.

 

Pete.

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Hello Lynn,

Did you find any of this information useful?

Sometimes my replies here are a bit confusing, I'm not the best at explaining things as I think a bit faster than I type and miss steps out. Just get back with a post if you need anything explaining.

 

Peter

 

Edited by petwes
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On 26/01/2018 at 08:12, corisande said:

Hello

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

To make it easier for anyone looking at this, his records are on FmP on this link - click

 

No doubt they are on Ancestry, but I could not get them there

 

Hi There.

 

Sorry for the delay, I've been busy with work, finally managed to get days off, but still on call. I got my Gr Grand Dad's records from Ancestry. The link you gave me didn't work, I'm sorry to say. I found his medal card, in The National Archives . Can you give me a link to 1/1 Highland Battery war diary. I seem to go round and round on The National Archives site...  Lol.

 

I didn't see that GGD went to Italy.

 

The two sets of records are they his Medal card and record?

 

Thank you for being so helpful. My head is "Mince" with all this

 

Take Care and have a good day

 

Lynn Deas Chalmers Lark Henderson Mason (My Sunday name ..lol)

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10 hours ago, feral07 said:

Hi There.

 

Sorry for the delay, I've been busy with work, finally managed to get days off, but still on call. I got my Gr Grand Dad's records from Ancestry. The link you gave me didn't work, I'm sorry to say. I found his medal card, in The National Archives . Can you give me a link to 1/1 Highland Battery war diary. I seem to go round and round on The National Archives site...  Lol.

 

I didn't see that GGD went to Italy.

 

The two sets of records are they his Medal card and record?

 

Thank you for being so helpful. My head is "Mince" with all this

 

Take Care and have a good day

 

Lynn Deas Chalmers Lark Henderson Mason (My Sunday name ..lol)

 

Originally each man had two copies of a service record - one stayed at the records office and one was a 'working' copy. When the record office was bombed in WW2 many records were destroyed so some men have no surviving copies, some have one and some have both surviving. What also happened was that the clerks tried to bundle everything back up as best they could after the bombing so what records did survive are sometimes bundled up in to separate records (regardless of how they were originally held).

In the case of Alfred there are two bundles of service records for him (the name has been transcribed wrongly on the first record) - both of these are available on Find My Past and should be on Ancestry . Ancestry can be a pain to find records so what I would suggest is to try a free trial with Find My Past to allow you to see the records.

image.png.c9b3438682e9621de92835e759d7a8ec.png

 

Craig

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Hello Lynn

Firstly, finding war diaries on the National Archives website.  This is my method probably there are other ways.  The National Archives  website is in two parts; there is there general website and the part that enables you to search the catalogue of their collections, this is called Discovery.  Make sure you are in Discovery. It looks like this.

image.png.096f6b3d1a04a310916916ca408750f2.png

 

Then you need to use a search term that will find what you are looking for.  In this case I know army war diaries are in a series called WO95 so I start the search with that. (Other useful series numbers are WO372 for medal roll index cards and WO374 and WO339 for officers service records).  Then I added a few words I was looking for, in this case I picked Highland and Heavy.  A list of results appear and 1/1 Highland Heavy Battery is top of the pile.  Click on it to see the details and you find the information below and ordering information.

 

image.png.2f330fc4a575f686cdddea1883e8995f.png

 

Secondly his service records: Find my Past has split the service record into two pieces indexed by his old and new service number you need both to collect all the information. (I don't have a full FMP subscription, I use Lives of the First World War as it accesses some of the same military records and is much cheaper)!  Ancestry usually has the service records all in one block, in this case I cannot find his records which is why I asked for a link.  It looks as if the scans used by Ancestry and FMP are different.  In my opinion FMP scans are slightly sharper and detail that is unclear in Ancestry is visible.  However Ancestry scans appear to make the writing slightly out of focus but bolder which helps general readability. 

 

Lastly his medal Index card.  This is available from TNA but in black and white and will be grouped with maybe 5 other cards.  The back of the card which might have additional information has not been scanned. Ancestry scans both sides in colour.  Ancestry also has the actual rolls the Index cards refer to you can find him here as well.

 

Peter

 

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