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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Gunner Linden Hubert Chinn L/46169, R.F.A.


Malcolm12hl

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Soldiers Who Died in the Great War identifies Gunner LINDEN HUBERT CHINN L/46169, "C" Battery, 190th Brigade, R.F.A. (KIA 27.10.1916) as a resident of Thames Ditton, Surrey.  He does not appear on any of the Thames Ditton war memorials, and I have been unable to find any other information to tie him to the village.  I would be very grateful to hear from any Forum member who can find any information I have overlooked, particularly any newspaper cutting reporting his death.

 

I do know quite a bit about this man up to 1911.  His birth was registered in Kensington district in Q2/1895, and in 1901 he was living with his parents and six older siblings in Putney.  The 1911 census shows him as a butcher's apprentice living with a butcher's family in Bristol - probably due to a connection, family or otherwise, with Chinn's father who was a licensed victualler and a West Country native.  The father died in 1914, but the probate for Linden Chinn's will was granted to two of his siblings at an address on Wimbledon Park Road.  Linden Chinn is also commemorated on his father's gravestone in Putney Vale Cemetery.

 

I have found supporting evidence to confirm most of the SDGW identifications of Thames Ditton residents, but I have been unable to find a connection closer than Putney/Wimbledon for this one, and I hope somebody will be able to fill in the blanks.

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Chinn's war gratuity shows the monies went to his mother, Susan, as per his will.

 

Craig

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Looks like a familial connection. Not too firm yet. Linden's father's birthplace is Westonzoyland. In the 1901 census there is a niece from Huntspill staying with the family. There is a Chinn family in Thames Ditton in 1911; the mother Caroline being born in Orchard Portman. All these places are in an area around Bridgwater in Somerset. We know Linden was in Bristol as a butcher's apprentice in 1911 so did he move to get a job in TD thereafter?

There are other Chinns in Kingston that have followed the path from Somerset.

edit - still struggling to find the family connection.

Edited by Mark1959
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Thank you - I agree that the family connection looks promising.  I was about to write Chinn off as a Thames Ditton man, but I will return to the fray instead.

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11 hours ago, Malcolm12hl said:

I have found supporting evidence to confirm most of the SDGW identifications of Thames Ditton residents, but I have been unable to find a connection closer than Putney/Wimbledon for this one, and I hope somebody will be able to fill in the blanks.

 

   Might I suggest the electoral registers for 1914 and 1915 that cover Thames Ditton. Notionally, ought to be on FMP.  The 1915 Register had a cut-off date of 31st July 1914. I have found my local 1915 Register useful for some puzzles- esp. those single men who had a vote as paying lodgers or  notionally renting a room from a parent or other relative.

    The 1915 Register can be difficult to track down-depends on what constituency Thames Ditton  was in.  Many, many single men  gave up rented accomodation when they joined the Colours in 1914 (and after). When they put down residence, then what it really meant was where they were for NOK and correspondence, as well as an address for  leave.   A related Chinn family in Thames Ditton should suffice if he is not there.

    Seemingly unconnected  men  are a major problem with the Canadians and Australians in the UK- Many gave an address in the UK of a relative as somewhere on leave-and,alas, if killed they often turn up on local war memorials to the great perplexity of those seeking a connection. Usually, the surviving local relative put the name forward for the "local" war memorial- as,I believe, this was often the only fixed address where a man might be commemorated if he had given up residence overseas. :wub:

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Thank you for a very helpful suggestion, which I have chased down.  Only one Chinn comes up for Surrey in 1913 and 1914, living in nearby Surbiton, but unfortunately not the right man.  I suspect that the best I can come up with is the hypothesis that Linden Chinn gave the address of a family member as his point of contact when he enlisted.  His father had died in July 1914 in Wandsworth and it is not clear where his mother went afterwards (she appears to have moved to Manchester post-war), but he had no fewer than eight older siblings.

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In my exprience "resided in" is often actually based on the recorded address for the next-of-kin (you also get this slight confusion in gazette announcements of decorations where if a place is given in brackets after the name it seems to correspond to the NOK address).  Have you checked the post-war electoral registers for additional Chinn's in Thames Ditton? You may need to wait for the 1921 census.

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Looking at surviving service records for these men:

L/46167 George Henry Bullen (lived in East Molesey)
L/46170 Alfred John Ayers (lived in Esher)

Both enlisted at Molesey Recruiting Office on October 1, 1915 and were sent to 190th Brigade RFA at Wimbledon the same day (also joining C Battery). It is easy to see that someone living in Thames Ditton could follow the same path.

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Thank you.  This is very compelling evidence that he was living locally - Esher and East Molesey both adjoin Thames Ditton, and a number of those listed on the Thames Ditton war memorials were actually residents of the other two communities.

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The war gratuity for Linden was paid as £3 10s net - £5 10s gross. This was for 13 months qualifying service, indicative of enlistment in the month from 28 September 1915. This indicates he had no prior service before the RFA and ties in nicely with David's post.

Craig

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Thank you Gentlemen - together you have tied up a lot of evidence to confirm a local connection for Gunner Chinn.

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