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Royal Engineers regiment number 100144


Chris Godfrey
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Hello

My 2nd great grandfather Henry Thomas Godfrey I believe was in the royal engineers as a driver. His regiment number was 100144 but I'm not sure if that is correct. He was born in January 1862 in pimlico. He apparently served in south Africa. I was wondering if anyone could help me confirm this or have any sources I could look into. Any help would be greatly appreciated 

Edited by Chris Godfrey
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100144 Sapper, later Driver, Henry T Godfrey's medal index card says he was entitled to the British War & Victory Medals, also the 1914-15 Star having entered the France & Flanders theatre of war on 18.11.1915. If you have Ancestry (or can get it via your Library) it's here.

 

Cheers, Pat

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22 minutes ago, Chris Godfrey said:

Hello

My 2nd great grandfather Henry Thomas Godfrey I believe was in the royal engineers as a driver. His regiment number was 100144 but I'm not sure if that is correct. He was born in January 1862 in pimlico. He apparently served in south Africa. I was wondering if anyone could help me confirm this or have any sources I could look into. Any help would be greatly appreciated 

Hi Chris

Welcome to the forum.

If he was 100144 Henry Thomas Godfrey in the RE in 1915 he wasn't born in 1862, rather 1894 FMP link to his service record here 

Regards

 

David

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Was going to say, he've been in his 50s when he went overseas! Not absolutely impossible but... must be another man of the same name.

Edited by Pat Atkins
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According to his (100144) service record his next of kin was Mrs M R Godfrey of 10 Smalley Road Stoke Newington. The 1911 Census has a Martha Godfrey living at that address with her husband James (born 1847) and children one of whom, Henry, was a 16 year old MIlkman's Assistant.

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There was a Henry Thomas Godfrey born 1864 in St George's, London who is the only hit on Pimlico I have found so far. He attested in 1885 in the Royal Fusiliers and was discharged in 1897. Might this be the ancestor you are looking for? His service file is on FMP here This soldier served in India.

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Attested 31.5.15,  Driver RE with 226 (Tottenham) Field Coy age 20 years and 10 months.  Embarked for France 17.11.15. 29.3.18 Gunshot wound abdomen and left hand (severe). Discharged from hospital 5.10.18 . 

 

Home 31.5.15 -16.11.15

BEF 17.11.15 - 29.3.18

Home 30.3.18 - 17.2.19

 

Character on discharge very good. 

 

226 FC war diary can be downloaded from here for £3 50p

 

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7351945

 

TR

Edited by Terry_Reeves
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On the 1901 Census of England and Wales there is a 39 year old Henry Godfrey, a Railway Wagonmaker born Pimlico, who was recorded as the married head of the household at 30 Grey Street, Gorton, Lancashire. He lives there with his wife Harriet, (aged 36, born Birmingham), and their children

Henry…..aged 15…born Birmingham…Hatters Lad

William…aged 14…born Birmingham… Nipper on Lorry (Railway)

Bertie…..aged 10…born Sheffield

Ada…….aged 8…..born Manchester

Harold…aged 6……born Manchester

 

If he was still in the Army or a recalled Reservist I would not have expected to find him on this census as he would have been out with his unit taking part in the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902. Of course he could have been out, been wounded or fallen ill, and released back into Civvy life by the time of the Census at the end of March 1901 – however I couldn’t find him on the Service Medal Roll for the Queens South Africa Medal. It is very unlikely he was called up after that. There were some members of the Volunteer Battalions, (the predecessor of the Territorial Force) who volunteered for Imperial Service and there is a possibility that he could have come within that category and gone out post census, but given his age, marital status and childrens ages he wouldn’t have been the Armys first choice to deploy overseas.

 

Don’t forget there were many other campaigns in Southern Africa, against the Boers, Zulu, Mashona and Matabele, during that period when he would be much more likely to be serving in the Regular Army, (1880 – 1895).

 

On the 1911 Census of England and Wales there is a 49 year Henry Thomas Godfrey, a Wagon Maker at a Carriage Works, born Pimlico, who was recorded as the married head of the household at 235 Bower Street, Newon Heath, Manchester. He lives there with his wife of 28 years, Harriett, (47, born Birmingham). The couple have had 12 children, of which 10 were then still alive.

 

There is no trace of Henry on earlier censuses, so to help track him down, as well as using Harriets’ details, I also looked at the two eldest children on the 1911 Census. They were Henry William, (26, born Birmingham) and Herbert, (20, born Darnell, Yorkshire).

 

In fact all the family, including the 29 year old Henry Godfrey were recorded living at 12 Florence Street, Attercliffe cum Darnell, Sheffield. Henry worked as a Railway Wagon Builder. His birthplace on the source I use has been transcribed as London, Middlesex, but looking at the original clearly shows there is a Pimlico in there as well. He and “Harriett” have had 5 children so far – including the 7 year old Mildred. All bar the youngest, Bertie, ( I think it says under 1 month), were born Warwickshire.

 

So unless I’ve picked up the wrong man completely, or his Battalion was stationed throughout in the Birmingham area, I don’t think this man ever served in the Regular Army.

 

The most likely marriage was recorded in the Birmingham District in the April to June quarter of 1884, when a Henry Godfrey married a Harriet Marks. To check that I looked at the civil birth registrations for those two sons on the 1911 Census. The birth of a Henry William Godfrey, mothers’ maiden name Marks, was registered in the Aston District of Warwickshire in the October to December quarter of 1885. The birth of a Bertie Godfrey, mothers’ maiden name Marks, was registered in the Sheffield District in the January to March quarter of 1891.

 

The marriage certificate and the birth certificates for his sons would show the occupation of Henry Thomas. There may well be online baptism records as well.

If Henry Thomas served at all in the Great War I suspect it may well be Home Service only, and so no Service Medals, so no Medal Index Card. If he was still in uniform at the start of 1918 then possibly he might be on the Absent Voters list for that year, assuming his unit was stationed elsewhere. There are a couple of potential Silver War Badge MiCs for UK only service – given his age he might be more prone to being discharged as no longer physically fit to serve, but that is pure supposition on my part.

 

Over to the OP to confirm whether that is the right ancestor.

 

Cheers,

Peter

 

 

Edited by PRC
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  • 1 month later...

Hello all for your information and help to my original post. PRC all the information you have posted matches what I have on my tree. I do think that the Henry Thomas Godfrey is indeed another by that name. It was through a link with someone else's family tree that told me about them being in the army and at that point I was sceptical because I hadn't found any evidence to suggest he was going off census records etc. The information you have all provided confirms that theory. So again thank you all again 

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