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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Changing one's mind!


The Owlman

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When researching one of my latest additions to the RND collection I came upon an interesting piece of documentation which might throw a bit more light on men swapping units on joining up.

My man Charles Wild an AB and later leading seaman joined the RND on the 8th of September, having enlisted in the army on the 3rd of August 1914 going into the Yorks and Lancs. So far so good... then from Ancestry whilst getting his census records a link to his attestation papers appeared. A nice addition to his records but then I noticed amongst the scanned papers was a letter from his father claiming he had not seen his son for some ten years and had no idea of his whereabouts! (possibly a family fall out?)

His attestation address given was not the one on the 1911 census as he lived with his brother in Derby not at his father's Stanley, Derbyshire address (only a few miles away) The War Office were trying to chase Charles who had not turned up on the enlistment date. It appears the navy nor the army for that matter did any more about the problem. Ironic though that Charles decides he does not fancy the Western Front but then lands with the RND for Gallipoli and then to France. His health is not particularly good and recurring fevers see him often in hospital. Ending on a last ironic note, his RND service docs note he has enlisted in the Royal Engineers in 1920 and the trio issued by the Admiralty are to be sent on via the War Office. Obviously liked the soldiering life!

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31 minutes ago, The Owlman said:

When researching one of my latest additions to the RND collection I came upon an interesting piece of documentation which might throw a bit more light on men swapping units on joining up.

My man Charles Wild an AB and later leading seaman joined the RND on the 8th of September, having enlisted in the army on the 3rd of August 1914 going into the Yorks and Lancs. So far so good... then from Ancestry whilst getting his census records a link to his attestation papers appeared. A nice addition to his records but then I noticed amongst the scanned papers was a letter from his father claiming he had not seen his son for some ten years and had no idea of his whereabouts! (possibly a family fall out?)

His attestation address given was not the one on the 1911 census as he lived with his brother in Derby not at his father's Stanley, Derbyshire address (only a few miles away) The War Office were trying to chase Charles who had not turned up on the enlistment date. It appears the navy nor the army for that matter did any more about the problem. Ironic though that Charles decides he does not fancy the Western Front but then lands with the RND for Gallipoli and then to France. His health is not particularly good and recurring fevers see him often in hospital. Ending on a last ironic note, his RND service docs note he has enlisted in the Royal Engineers in 1920 and the trio issued by the Admiralty are to be sent on via the War Office. Obviously liked the soldiering life!

Generally speaking if a man disappeared at home or didn't turn up to start his service but he then ended up enlisting somewhere other than initially intended the army usually did not make too much of an issue (although I'm sure the CO had a 'word') - not sure how the navy looked at it.

Craig

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