Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Staindrop WW1

Missing soldiers later found to be alive

Recommended Posts

Staindrop WW1

I am researching a soldier from WW1 Corporal Frank Robinson 6311 17th Lancers who was recorded as missing on 16th November 1914. He is remembered on the Menin Gate Memorial. However, he is listed on our local Roll of Honour as a survivor. Is there a record of soldiers who were missing then found?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
johnboy

There is a n entry in Soldiers Effects which seems to give a different date. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ss002d6252

I know of a man who is currently recorded as dead with the CWGC but saw out the war as a deserter.

It would be odd for a man who had died to have had an entry in the effects unless the family decided not to inform the army that he was actually alive (or for some reason the family didn't know he was alive).

 

I can't see anything obvious to say he survived so I'd tend towards it being an error in the memorial.


Craig

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ForeignGong

Pension Cards:   His Mother Mrs Annie Robinson of 50 Clayton St Grimsby claimed a Pension for her two sons Frank 17th Lancers 6311, missing 19 / 10 / 14 and Joseph 10th Lincolns 337, KIA 1 / 7 / 16

I don't know what all the dates are but the last date is 17 Nov 1930

Peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Liz in Eastbourne

I'd also say it's likely to be an error on the memorial, since Frank Robinson with the service number 6311 is not only on CWGC records but listed on SDGW  as 'died' on 16 November 1914.  There is a MIC for him with this information too. It states he went to France/Flanders on 6 October 1914.

 

Liz

Edited by Liz in Eastbourne
add date of going overseas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
johnboy

soldiers Effects does not mention missing. Gives a date, presumeably death of 1910/1914

Edited by johnboy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Liz in Eastbourne

Yes, it says 19/10/1914 (I was temporarily baffled by johnboy's 1910/1914!), place unknown.  Given the CWGC, MIC and SDGW, it looks as though he went missing on 19 October and death was later confirmed as 16 November.  I am puzzled, though, that the records say 'died' and not 'of wounds ' or 'killed in action', in the circumstances. 

 

I do not believe there is any central record of men who went missing and were later found alive, to answer the OP's query. 

I could see nothing on the British Newspaper Archive, but there might be an undigitised local newspaper account of this man's presumed death.  I assume there's no service record? Could he have been taken prisoner?  Where were the 17th Lancers on 19 October?  And which is the OP's local roll of honour?

An interesting piece of research on a man in the 17th Lancers at this time:

https://blog.nationalarchives.gov.uk/blog/tommys-war-trooper-ypres/

 

Liz

Edited by Liz in Eastbourne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
corisande
3 hours ago, Liz in Eastbourne said:

Could he have been taken prisoner?

 

I do not think that he was a POW

 

I could not find him listed on Red Cross site

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
David Tattersfield

For what it's worth, within the (soon to be released) set of (approx 1 million) deceased soldiers pension record cards I have - very occasionally - spotted a card that clearly suggests a pension claim being rejected due to "man alive". I know I've retained a copy of one of these examples which I'll try to locate on my hard drive and post here to illustrate what I'm talking about. 

 

David 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Liz in Eastbourne

Interesting, David - but in this case not only is the death recorded on the man's MIC, on CWGC and SDGW, but the soldiers' effects record shows that the money he was owed was paid to his father in 1916, so the army must have accepted his death by then. 

 

As Corisande has pointed out, he wasn't recorded as a POW, so the reason for the description 'died' remains unknown. How and when did they decide to fix his death at 16 November, and that he wasn't KIA or DOW, when he'd gone missing on 19 October? Something's not right.

 

The OP may have additional local info but hasn't been back since Monday.

Liz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TEW

Following up on Liz's link in post #7 and checking 17th Lancer's diary. They arrived Marseille 8/11/1914. 17/11/1914 all assembled in Orleans. 6/12/1914 lefts Orleans for Lillers.

 

Numerous other 17th Lancers were in fact already attached to 2nd Life Guards. Their diary places them at Hoogled-Staden-Roulers cross roads for 19/10/1914 where they came under 'hot fire'. A few officer casualties mentioned but otherwise no casualty etc info given for Oct. Quite a good narrative of events though and can see why someone could go missing. WO95/1155/2. Ancestry 'Household Cavalry & Cavalry of the Line - 3rd Cavalry Division - Piece 1155' then follow to page 163/683.

 

Nov. diary for 2/Life Guards is in a different style and gives running wounded/killed totals. 6/11/1914 they attacked the village of Zwarteten with fixed bayonets, 38 R&F killed, wounded and missing that day.

 

Period 10th-16th Nov 1914 all lumped together under one heading; were in mobile reserve----nothing of great importance happened.

 

Can't be 100% certain that Robinson had been attached to 2/Life Guards.

TEW

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Liz in Eastbourne

Do you ever wonder why we bother, TEW? When people post queries and seem to have been back on the forum since then but say nothing in reply to members' attempts to help?

 

Liz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TEW

Occasionally yes, there could be legitimate reasons but otherwise I just put it down to what I got out of the exercise.

TEW

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
corisande
Posted (edited)

From one of Staindrop's earlier threads

 

"Have HLF [ I take this no mean Lottery Fund] funding to produce a website and book of remembrance with biographies of those from Staindrop who served in WW1 "

 

I suppose most of us here do the work for nothing !

Edited by corisande

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Liz in Eastbourne

I know this often happens and I've missed things myself when a reply came long afterwards, and for some reason such as a forum upgrade  the alert didn't work.  I just thought when the replies came within a few days of the query, it would be nice if the OP came back to engage with the discussion.  In fact I pm'd her to say so on 5 May, and she appears to have revisited the forum on that day.  But no comment. Oh well.  I shall try to take TEW's philosophical view.

 

Liz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
johnboy

It is not the end of the world. . But as TEW says, 

sometimes we learn something new whilst trying to help.

Quote

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ss002d6252

I can understand people have views but can we please just leave the disapproval as it is without going any further down that rabbit hole so that we don't have to lock etc.

Thanks

Craig / Admin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Perth Digger

To go back to the point, I have seen a few instances in the newspapers of the 1920s when bereaved mothers have claimed that their missing sons were still alive (one in the US army if I remember correctly). But none was verified. 

 

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Liz in Eastbourne

Hi Mike.

The thing is, in this case no evidence of anyone claiming this man was alive has been brought.  I checked the British Newspaper Archive, though as I said before there could be other undigitised local papers, The only indication that he was thought to be a survivor is the local memorial roll, according to the OP.  I think we've exhausted the point already, without local input.

Liz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
David Tattersfield

Following on from post #9 above, I know this is not exactly relevant to the matter under discussion, but below is an example of a claim for a (deceased) soldier's pension in the WFA's Pension archive - this is one of the cards which will be published in the near future. As can be seen from this card, the pension was rejected as the man was found to be alive. 

 

Looking at his battalion and the dates on the card, I reckon this chap may have been captured at Bullecourt when the 62nd Division attacked the village. Something that TEW may well be interested in !!!

 

Regards

 

David

sanderson MAN ALIVE gwf Capture.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TEW

Interesting indeed! Funny that presumed date of death is 27/3/17. I suspect that's when he went missing (POW) so missed out on Bullecourt. Pension claim put in 5 weeks later then turns up as POW 2 weeks further on. POW records should show where he was captured, somewhere near Serre/Puiseux?

TEW

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TEW

WO95 Diary for Sanderson has them in camp from 16/3/17 to 11/4/7 helping with railway construction. A few accidents recorded but no 'missing'.

Working backwards there are 7 missing 14/3/7 and 5 previous day near Miraumont.

TEW

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Perth Digger

Hi Liz

Sorry, I should have said back to the subject rather than to the point. The question asked was, Is there a record of soldiers missing then found? The answer to that is, yes, thousands (but of course scattered). I was just pointing out that some next of kin could believe that their missing relatives were not dead, but alive (somewhere). I didn't mean to suggest that Robinson's mother/wife/father ensured that he was mentioned on the memorial as surviving.

 

I've tried to find Robinson in Paul Chapman's books on the Menin Gate, but the Google Book search engine (as usual) clearly doesn't work. I thought that Chapman might have had some details about Robinson. I can't face going through the books on-line page by page to find him!

 

The only men who could have been officially declared missing and then dead (and are still regarded as having been killed), but who actually survived, would have been those (if any) who deserted on or very near the battlefield. The category "Missing" as used by the War Office precludes all others. I'd be surprised if any officially declared missing and then dead actually survived without official knowledge. Mind you, it would be difficult to prove that, one way or the other! 

 

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Liz in Eastbourne

Hi Mike

I knew what you meant...   Sorry, not sure why I'm so grumpy about this one, it's not as if I do nearly as much in the way of assistance to passing enquirers as many other members!   You've done a huge amount on relatives who could not accept the deaths of their sons or husbands, as I should know having once years ago consulted a file in the NA on your behalf. 

Your final paragraph seems the key point here.  For a local memorial to have included such a man at that time would have been unthinkable, surely.  I remain puzzled by 'Died' on his MIC and SDGW in the circumstances suggested by the other official evidence, though.  

Oh well, at least my revisiting this to have a grouch about the absence of any further local contribution has brought a few more interesting details from other people.

Liz

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Michelle Young
7 minutes ago, Liz in Eastbourne said:

You've done a huge amount on relatives who could not accept the deaths of their sons or husbands, as I should know having once years ago consulted a file in the NA on your behalf. 

Liz, your comment made me think about this headstone I found recently.

Michelle

 

 

IMG_8483.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...