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Hi 

 

I am researching my G Grandfather 3215 Pte J Perham 2/4 Devon’s who died as a POW after the fall of Kut. I have inherited his 1914/15 star, Xmas Cigarette Tin and photo, so I have more than most. It would appear that the medals were separated decades ago and I am resigned to the fact that it is highly unlikely that they will ever be reunited. 

 

My question is there any way of establishing if a Memorial Plaque was issued? My G Grandmother remarried in 1920 and I am told that my G Grandfather was never discussed and the family moved to another town. 

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Steve

 

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ss002d6252
4 minutes ago, F1325S said:

Hi 

 

I am researching my G Grandfather 3215 Pte J Perham 2/4 Devon’s who died as a POW after the fall of Kut. I have inherited his 1914/15 star, Xmas Cigarette Tin and photo, so I have more than most. It would appear that the medals were separated decades ago and I am resigned to the fact that it is highly unlikely that they will ever be reunited. 

 

My question is there any way of establishing if a Memorial Plaque was issued? My G Grandmother remarried in 1920 and I am told that my G Grandfather was never discussed and the family moved to another town. 

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Steve

 

As I understand it they were issued automatically in 1919/1920 so, assuming there was no clerical or postal issues, it would have been sent to the family at the last known address. I'm not aware of any documents which survive in respect of the issue/return of individual plaques.

 

Craig

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PRC

The only place the return of a death plaque might have been recorded in a way that would have survived would have been in his Army Service Records - and it looks like they went up in flames in the Blitz.

 

There was an outside chance that something might have been included on the service papers included in your Great Grandmothers War Widows Pension file, but if she remarried in 1920 then they would have been weeded into non-existence during the 1930's.

 

All the other daily records stuff would not have been deemed by the Army as worthy of archiving and so would have been destroyed rather than handed over to the National Archive.

 

I see that "officially" he died on the 1st May 1916 and has no known grave. While a number of the wounded died from exposure on the banks of the River Shamran while awaiting the promised boat transport on that day, I would always take those early deaths with a pinch of salt. There are several men of the 2nd Norfolks recorded as died on the 29th & 30th April 1916 but whose bodies were found buried hundreds of miles away. They, like your Great Grandafther, usually tend to have no International Red Cross records. It seems only those who made it to the camps in August\September 1916 were officially prisoners. The rest died on the long march or in forced labour.  Those who fell too ill would simply be dumped on local villages and left to fend for themselves.

 

Unfortunately realpolitick in the 1920's meant we were keen to keep the Turks onside and so not look too deeply into the fates of those missing men.  A sad story,

 

Peter

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303man
48 minutes ago, ss002d6252 said:

As I understand it they were issued automatically in 1919/1920 so, assuming there was no clerical or postal issues, it would have been sent to the family at the last known address. I'm not aware of any documents which survive in respect of the issue/return of individual plaques.

 

Craig

Plaques had to be claimed and in a lot of cases they were not.  Copied from a Scottish Minister:

 

Is Army Form W. 5080 an absolute necessity ? The next-of-kin of each deceased soldier is required to fill it up in order " to enable the Officer in charge of Records to dispose of the plaque and commemorative scroll " which is being issued. Information is to be given as to name, age, and residence of the following relatives: widow, father, mother, children, brother of the full blood, brother of the half-blood, sister of the full blood, sister of the half-blood. In case the soldier had no relatives in any of these categories, the claimant is required to supply similar information about the soldier's grand- parents, nephews and nieces, uncles and aunts. As a kindly concession, the claimant is informed that it is unnecessary to give particulars as to uncles, &c., by marriage. This form has, I believe, been already filled in each case to enable the authorities to dispose of the effects of the deceased. Why cannot the Officer in charge of Effects give the name of next akin to Officer i/o Records and save trouble? I have had to witness the signature of many of these forms, and in several cases to fill them up, extracting the required information with difficulty from ignorant claimants unable to fill up the form themselves and rather vague about the family history. At first I regarded it as mere matter of routine, and in cases where the information available was not definite gave in- definite replies to some of the questions. This will not do. I have had one form returned for the exact date of a parent's death, which took place some twenty-six years ago, and for the last known address of a sister who went to Australia and has not been heard of for four years. I do not grudge time and trouble when it is necessary in the services of our dead soldiers' relatives, but I strongly object to what appears to me needless expenditure of effort both on my part and on the part of Government officials, already, as we are told, unable to keep pace with the issue of pensions and allowances. If this goes on I shall have to " gie up the meenistry.

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303man

Army Form W.5080

From 1919 into the 1920s the British Army records offices sent out forms to the named next of kin in a deceased soldier's Service Record. This form was called Army Form W.5080. On one side of the form there was the handwritten address of the next of kin to whom it had been sent, a prepaid printed return address and printed instructions on how to fold the form and seal it for its return. Also on this side of the form the following text was printed to the addressee:

“In order that I may be enabled to dispose of the plaque and scroll in commemoration of the soldier named overleaf in accordance with the wishes of His Majesty the King, I have to request that the requisite information regarding the soldier's relatives now living may be furnished on the form overleaf in strict accordance with the instructions printed thereon.

The declaration thereon should be signed in your own handwriting and the form should be returned to me when certified by a Minister or Magistrate.”

On the reverse of the Army Form W.5080 the officer in charge of records had completed the soldier's details at the top of the form. The next of kin then had to complete details for widow, children, father, mother, full blood and half blood brothers and sisters, sign and date the form. The form was then to be counter-signed and dated by a minister or magistrate as a declaration of the true statement of the information provided.

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ss002d6252
3 minutes ago, 303man said:

Plaques had to be claimed and in a lot of cases they were not.  Copied from a Scottish Minister:

 

Is Army Form W. 5080 an absolute necessity ? The next-of-kin of each deceased soldier is required to fill it up in order " to enable the Officer in charge of Records to dispose of the plaque and commemorative scroll " which is being issued. Information is to be given as to name, age, and residence of the following relatives: widow, father, mother, children, brother of the full blood, brother of the half-blood, sister of the full blood, sister of the half-blood. In case the soldier had no relatives in any of these categories, the claimant is required to supply similar information about the soldier's grand- parents, nephews and nieces, uncles and aunts. As a kindly concession, the claimant is informed that it is unnecessary to give particulars as to uncles, &c., by marriage. This form has, I believe, been already filled in each case to enable the authorities to dispose of the effects of the deceased. Why cannot the Officer in charge of Effects give the name of next akin to Officer i/o Records and save trouble? I have had to witness the signature of many of these forms, and in several cases to fill them up, extracting the required information with difficulty from ignorant claimants unable to fill up the form themselves and rather vague about the family history. At first I regarded it as mere matter of routine, and in cases where the information available was not definite gave in- definite replies to some of the questions. This will not do. I have had one form returned for the exact date of a parent's death, which took place some twenty-six years ago, and for the last known address of a sister who went to Australia and has not been heard of for four years. I do not grudge time and trouble when it is necessary in the services of our dead soldiers' relatives, but I strongly object to what appears to me needless expenditure of effort both on my part and on the part of Government officials, already, as we are told, unable to keep pace with the issue of pensions and allowances. If this goes on I shall have to " gie up the meenistry.

 

Interesting, thanks - goes against what I have read in the past but it seems pretty dead on then.

 

Craig

 

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Guest
19 minutes ago, PRC said:

The only place the return of a death plaque might have been recorded in a way that would have survived would have been in his Army Service Records - and it looks like they went up in flames in the Blitz.

 

There was an outside chance that something might have been included on the service papers included in your Great Grandmothers War Widows Pension file, but if she remarried in 1920 then they would have been weeded into non-existence during the 1930's.

 

All the other daily records stuff would not have been deemed by the Army as worthy of archiving and so would have been destroyed rather than handed over to the National Archive.

 

I see that "officially" he died on the 1st May 1916 and has no known grave. While a number of the wounded died from exposure on the banks of the River Shamran while awaiting the promised boat transport on that day, I would always take those early deaths with a pinch of salt. There are several men of the 2nd Norfolks recorded as died on the 29th & 30th April 1916 but whose bodies were found buried hundreds of miles away. They, like your Great Grandafther, usually tend to have no International Red Cross records. It seems only those who made it to the camps in August\September 1916 were officially prisoners. The rest died on the long march or in forced labour.  Those who fell too ill would simply be dumped on local villages and left to fend for themselves.

 

Unfortunately realpolitick in the 1920's meant we were keen to keep the Turks onside and so not look too deeply into the fates of those missing men.  A sad story,

 

Peter

Hi Peter

 

Thanks for the reply. So highly unlikely any records left of her War Widows Pension.

 

i do know that as the siege progressed he was wounded so I have always made the assumption that he was probably in a bad way after all that time and didn’t survive the long march. He is commemorated on the Basra War Memorial and others named on the same panel are listed as died as POW’s.

 

steve

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