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eric kingsley

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eric kingsley

My Uncle Bill was, as far as we can tell, born illegitimately in Ipswich in 1896. This is the story that has been passed down. Nonetheless he had a successful life. He fought in WW1 and the narrative is that he was gassed/injured and shipped back to a hospital where he met his future wife. This couple are long dead of course and I never met Uncle Bill but I have relatives who did. I'm trying to place them both in the same hospital at the same time. The data I've got is as follows -

* Uncle Bill = William George Edward Garrard DoB 04/09/1896 IPSWICH

* His Wife = Sarah Elizabeth Louise Goode (possibly Sarah Louise Elizabeth Goode) DoB July/August/September 1894 DAVENTRY

There is a possibility that she worked as Red Cross Volunteer at a local auxiliary hospital. The nearest auxiliary hospitals to her were -

* Daventry

* Lois Weedon (Officers) AKA Weedon Lois

Is there any way I can check to see if they were both in either place working and being treated?

Thanks for any help.

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angelab

Hi Eric and welcome to the forum.

 

I see from his pension record that William George Garrard, gunner in the RFA, was discharged due to disability on 4 Mar 1919.  His address is given as Welton, Daventry, Northants.

He seems to have married Ms Goode in 1920, in Daventry.

 

In the 1939 Register they are living at The Square (presumably Daventry); his job is "Electrician, BBC Daventry", presumably then then fairly new transmitter.

Edited by angelab

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MikeyH

Have run Sarah Elizabeth louise Goode through the Red Cross WW1 record search, nothing comes up.

There is an Emily Elizabeth and a May Elizabeth.

 

Mike.

Edited by MikeyH

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Madmeg

Sarah Louise Goode daughter of John William Goode and Sarah Elizabeth baptised 1894 Welton NTH, John is a Timber Faller according to 1901 and 1911. She appears to be the oldest child in 1911.

As Uncle Bill is in Welton in 1919 then it's a reasonable guess that she was probably in that area during the war and he stayed on nearby prior to the marriage.

Have you tried Scarlet Finders the nurse history site?

 

The long long trail shows the only War Hospital as being the old Northants County Asylum at Northampton. However, another thread on the GWF shows that it was in fact at Berrywood Asylum, Duston (much nearer to Welton). https://www.northamptonshireheritage.co.uk/learn/historical-events-and-movements/Pages/the-first-world-war.aspx . Perhaps her family were some of the "Hundreds of local residents supported the authorities with lodging, voluntary nursing, and outings for the wounded."?

 

List of auxillary hospitals here.. https://www.geograph.org.uk/article/Auxiliary-Hospitals. there were auxillary hospitals at Byfield, Dallington, Guilsborough, East haddon and Thornby which are not far from Welton. Plus Warwickshire is only a hop and skip away.

 

If you are local to Northants the NRO has  lot of resources- worth a visit, unfortunately NTH is one of the counties with not so many records online. I have earlier records for BMD's throughout the county but nothing after about 1850.

 

Uncle Bill is a little harder to track- There is a rather odd entry in 1911 in Woolwich London for a William Garrard- aged 14 and described as a widower! and barbers boy living with his uncle Charles and grandfather George- both of these are blacksmith labourers. In 1901 there is a four year old William with parents William- a tinsmith and Amy and younger brother Charles in Ipswich. I can't find any William Edward George in the census.

 

His birth was registered in Ipswich in Dec qtr 1896 mother's maiden name Pollard. Charles John Ephraim was registered in Sept Qtr 1898 ipswich , mother's name Potter.

 

Is there a possibility that it was his father William who was illegitimate? I find a possible William b 1871 Ipswich living with his Kerridge grandparents in 1881 and 1891. There are several others I have checked but look unlikely. Birth reg for William Ephraim garrard 1871 (grandfather kerridge was an Ephraim). William Ephraim married Amy Louisa Potter  (not POLLARD but maybe a mistranscription?) in Jun 1896. If these are William Edward Georges parents then he would have been conceived out of wedlock. Alternatively Amy was not his mother but William was his father and unknown Pollard was his mother?

 

I can't find William senior and Amy in 1911- there is a death in Ipswich in 1942 for an Amy L aged 66 and a death for a William E in ipswich 1933 aged 66- which doesnt quite match the birth for William Ephraim.

 

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MaxD

William George Garrard's  Silver War badge record shows his unit at the time of discharge as being No3 RFA Officer Cadet School.  This was at Weedon, 5 miles from Daventry.

 

Max

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eric kingsley

Sorry for the delay I was looking at another lead. Fantastic replies. I am extremely grateful. It seems that his Mum (my Grandma) devised a very good plan (maybe a standard ruse at the time) to get him a completely normal looking birth certificate.

 

This is the explanation for the lady, maiden name Pollard, mentioned by Madmeg. There was no such person I believe. It was a scam and a good one. Grandma signed the birth register using her REAL name (Garrard) but declaring it to have been acquired through marriage to James Edward Garrard (someone I believe who did not exist - there are no records of him that I could find. It might have been her brother, or a friend, who knows!) In this way she avoided the stigma of being on record as an unmarried mother and William got a normal birth certificate. They were all poor. She was in domestic service and worked in pubs (some still existing) until she later married and became a full time housewife and mother.

 

If you look at the exact date of his birth in 1896 it is an exact match for the DoB given by William G E Garrard at the Square (which is in  Daventry) in the 1939 Register that angelab mentioned. It's the same person, Uncle Bill. Part of the story about Uncle Bill was that "he worked for the BBC".

 

He went on to have a good and useful life. He fought for his country and as angelab states was eventually an electrical engineer at the huge BBC radio transmitter station in Daventry. There's probably a picture of him in the BBC archives somewhere.

 

I always thought the story about Uncle Bill marrying his angelic nurse while recovering from gassing was a bit too romantic but I guess these things did happen. I will follow up on the suggestions you have made. I can't find any signs of him between his birth in 1896 and the appearance in the 1911 census aged 14/15 at 24 Harden Street, Woolwich where he is simply described as "William Garrard" and "Barber's Boy" by the head of the household (Grandma's brother Charles). Charles says he is a "nephew" which would be exactly right of course. I wonder who was looking after him for those 15 years? It can't really have been his Mum because she was working in jobs where you couldn't have a child. Anyway, thanks very much to you all.

 

agelab, how do you check pension records? I hadn't thought of that.

 

It would be nice if I could tie it up with William and Sarah in the same place at the same time but maybe that's expecting a bit much.

 

MaxD, how can I locate the Silver War badge record? The badge record you found was almost certainly his.

Edited by eric kingsley

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angelab

Eric,  I wish I could claim some wonderful expertise in my searching, but actually the pension record popped up when I put his name in  on Ancestry uk.  I may have ticked the "military" box to fine the search down.

 

EDIT

yes, that’s exactly what I must have done. I will try and attach the Ancestry result (is this allowed?), from which you will see that to get any more detailed info you need to subscribe to "Fold3”, which I don’t.

 

 

 

6CE2004C-F553-41B7-8AB5-0868DFD83B03.jpeg

Edited by angelab
Additional info

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MaxD

National Archives has both his SWB card and his medal card here:

 

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_dss=range&_ro=any&_p=1900&_q=931134+garrard+medal  The both quote his second number

 

Can be seen using the preview option.

 

SWB card on Ancestry:

https://www.ancestry.co.uk/interactive/1262/30850_A000587-02191?pid=3611159&backurl=https://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?_phsrc%3DdVB568%26_phstart%3DsuccessSource%26usePUBJs%3Dtrue%26indiv%3D1%26dbid%3D1262%26gsln%3Dgarrard%26cp%3D0%26gskw%3Dartillery%26_F8007A65%3D931134%26new%3D1%26rank%3D1%26uidh%3D6x5%26redir%3Dfalse%26gss%3Dangs-d%26pcat%3D39%26fh%3D0%26h%3D3611159%26recoff%3D%26ml_rpos%3D1&treeid=&personid=&hintid=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=dVB568&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true

and medal card

https://www.ancestry.co.uk/interactive/1262/30850_A000587-02180?pid=3611148&backurl=https://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?_phsrc%3DdVB574%26_phstart%3DsuccessSource%26usePUBJs%3Dtrue%26indiv%3D1%26dbid%3D1262%26gsln%3Dgarrard%26cp%3D0%26_F00061C3%3Droyal%20field%20artillery%26_F8007A65%3D931134%26new%3D1%26rank%3D1%26uidh%3D6x5%26redir%3Dfalse%26gss%3Dangs-d%26pcat%3D39%26fh%3D18%26h%3D3611148%26recoff%3D%26ml_rpos%3D19&treeid=&personid=&hintid=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=dVB574&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&_ga=2.212399636.1013568383.1571563667-1555101898.1539262208

 

His post 1917 number 931134 indicates he began his service in either 281 or 291 Brigade RFA (the number is in the block allocated to these).  Of the two I would favour 291 as it was headquartered in Woolwich given the possible Woolwich link in 1911 - speculation though.

 

Max

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eric kingsley

MaxD, Thanks very much for that. I have a vague understanding of the complexities involved in the Regimental numbers allocated by the British Army and the fact that he had two - 2401 and 931134 (like lots of other members of the armed forces) means he must have been transferred at some point. Am I correct in thinking that the records indicate he was transferred from 281 or 291 Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery to the No.3 Officer Cadet School (RFA) in Weedon where he was eventually discharged in 1919? Does this sound right to you?

 

Also, I cannot locate his Attestation records although I understand the Arnside Street fire in Walworth in 1940 destroyed the majority of army records at the time. Is it plausible that Uncle Bill's Attestation record was burned then?

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eric kingsley
3 hours ago, angelab said:

Eric,  I wish I could claim some wonderful expertise in my searching, but actually the pension record popped up when I put his name in  on Ancestry uk.

Ahh yes, I see what you mean. I've got that now. This is definitely him. Thanks.

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MaxD

The different numbers are not related to transferring in this case but to the fact that in 1917 the Territorial Force was renumbered, info here:

https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/soldiers/a-soldiers-life-1914-1918/renumbering-of-the-territorial-force-in-1917/  down at the bottom is a further link to the artillery renumbering.  So he began as 2401 and then received his new number in mid 1917.

 

Your supposition that his attestation and service records were lost in 1940 is surely correct.  Without it his career has to be guesswork.  He may have served in more than the two units which on the one hand his number seems to indicate and the OCS which is the unit on his SWB card.  It should also be said that the fact that he was at an OCS does not necessarily mean he was training to become an officer.  Establishments like that needed support staff and if, as discharge for sickness might suggest, he may have been sent there following his hospitalisation either to work or, as often happened, because he had to be "on the books" of some unit or another!

 

Max

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eric kingsley

OK. Thanks very much for all your help. I've pinned him down now I think. Couldn't have done it otherwise.

Are there similar records for armed services personnel from WW2? I'm trying to track another uncle who served then. I suspect the 100 year rule may limit what HMG is prepared to make known.

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MaxD

Service records post 1920 are all still held by the Ministry of Defence and can, subject to the process, be applied for, current cost £30. https://www.gov.uk/get-copy-military-service-records

Note you don't need a service number, the requirement is for a date of birth and/or service number,

 

Max

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eric kingsley

Again, very helpful. Thanks all.

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Madmeg

What was Grannie's name? And when was she born and who was her subsequent marriage to?

 

here is a tentative suggestion- Could William GE's father have been James Edward POLLARD? Granny was obviously keen to get William a decent birth cert. could she have switched the surnames? Unfortunately there aren't any James Edward Pollards born in Suffolk in the 1800's- but then that might also explain why he wasn;t around to get married- he was just passing through? Although there is the wonderfully named  Harrison James Charles Hamilton Magee Pollard b Ipswich in 1861 :-D

 

Edited by Madmeg

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Madmeg

Is granny Catherine Gertrude M?

 

but if she is there is a marriage in 1891- possibly to William Potter- 

Edited by Madmeg

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eric kingsley

Sorry Madmeg, I didn't notice your last post. I think I've established to my own satisfaction the way that Grandma manipulated the birth registration procedures of the day to get William a normal looking birth certificate. The normal thing for unmarried mothers to do was to register their child but without a "father" present. This meant that the box for father's name was left blank on the certificate. The child would also take the mother's surname. Anyone inspecting the certificate would know immediately that the bearer of the certificate was born out of wedlock, which is shameful.

 

If, and it did happen, relations between the mother and the father were good but they were NOT married then it was permitted for the father to attend at the register office with the mother and providing both mother and father freely agreed, in front of the registrar, that he was the father then his name could be added to the certificate. This would make it indistinguishable from a certificate issued to a married couple.

 

This last option was not available to Grandma because she got pregnant, we think, either as a result of rape or an affair with a married man or an "accident". So she was stuck. She could leave her child's father's name blank or she could lie. So, with the assistance of her big brother (I think) she lied. It was a good scam. The penalty for lying could be prison so she had to minimise her crime. The plan was to make sure her son ended up with her surname, as would normally happen with unmarried mothers. She didn't want him to be stuck with the surname of a father who didn't care about him (we think).

 

Let's suppose her name was Ann Smith, her son (out of wedlock) would then be Fred Smith say. So she asked her brother to pretend to be her husband whose name was Mr David Smith. She would then pretend to be his wife with the maiden name Brown, so before marriage she would have been Ann Brown. This is how they present themselves to the registrar as a married couple - Husband David Smith and Wife Ann Smith (nee Brown) with their new son Fred. So, the registrar is happy to allow both parties to sign the register. Fred is registered with a father (David Smith) and a mother Ann Smith (nee Brown). Fred becomes Fred Smith (as he would have done anyway) and the box for father's name is filled in (with an impostor's name of course). Nobody would know simply by looking at the certificate that there was anything unusual about his birth. Of course he grew up without a father, but this made little difference to him it seems and he had a very successful life.

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Madmeg

Up until fairly recently (into the 70's at least ) if the mother was unmarried then the father had to be present at the registration of the babys birth to claim it as his own. The mother could register the baby with no male present- either without the father's name OR if she had the balls she could pop on a ring and claim to be married to ... whoever. If she brazened it out she could get away with it (risking a fine if found out) :-) .

Have yu found out that granny's brother went along to the registration? who was present at the registration? should say on the form.

Not sure when the "short" form birth cert came in- which avoids having any blanks as it is literally a shortened format.

What about his baptism record? is there a father's name on that?

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eric kingsley

"...Up until fairly recently (into the 70's at least ) if the mother was unmarried then the father had to be present at the registration of the baby's birth to claim it as his own..." I know, nothing in my post contradicts this.

 

"...The mother could register the baby with no male present..." I know, but the law that applied at the time required that the Registrar only complete father's name and occupation if the father was physically present and if the father also agreed that he was the father. If there was no "father" present then the name/occupation boxes were left blank and it was obvious to anyone looking at the certificate that the child's paternity was in doubt and that the child had been born out of wedlock. However, the mother and father did not have to be married and identities were not checked. If the father was present and agreed he was the father then his details were registered and it was quite impossible to tell, simply from the certificate whether the parents were married or not. If no father was physically present, or, if the the man who was present contested his paternity then the Registrar was obliged to leave the father's name and occupation blank. No Registrar would take a mother's word for the identity of her child's father whether she was wearing a wedding ring or not. It would never happen. The Registrar himself would be risking a severe penalty if he colluded with a mother's attempt to subvert the law which was crystal clear. This was done because of the rules surrounding inheritance. Rich men's children could easily be deprived of part or all of their inheritance if a mother fraudulently claimed that the rich man was also the father of her child, the child would then be able, on the death of his putative father, to make a claim against the estate of the rich man and deprive his legitimate heirs of their full rights.

 

"...Have you found out that granny's brother went along to the registration?..." It's a logical deduction and I stand by it. The man who played the part at the birth registration gave his name as David Smith (the pseudonym from my example). This man did not exist at that time. There is no record of a birth of David Smith in the correct time slot and there is no record of a child with this name living with his parents. He doesn't appear in any census records before or after the birth registration either with his wife Ann Smith and their son Fred, or separately. His death is not registered at any time after the registration, he appears on no electoral rolls. The character was created for the birth registration and ceased to exist immediately afterwards. The older brother was probably risking prison for this deception but he saved his younger sister's shame. This was a family secret and the accompanying story was that Ann Smith (my Grandma, who falsely gave a maiden name of Brown at the birth registration) had become pregnant as a result of being raped. This would have been doubly shameful. Not only was she expecting a child out of wedlock but she had also been sexually assaulted. Whether or not this is true, and that maybe she had had an "accidental" pregnancy with a (married?) man is impossible to establish. She certainly told her daughter, my Aunty, that she had been raped.

 

The older brother is the best candidate to have played the role of "father" at the birth registration because of the consequent paternal attitude he displayed towards little Fred, who was actually his nephew. A census record shows Fred living with his Uncle and his family when he was an adolescent. Fred's relationship with the Head of the household was described (truthfully) as "A Nephew" on the record. Fred's mother was working in domestic service at that time which would have made it quite impossible for her to have Fred living with her. When Fred (my Uncle) married a couple of decades later he gave his Uncle's real name as his "Father". This was obviously a lie but it suggested the paternal link that had been formed between them. This was probably enough to have rendered the marriage legally invalid but nobody checked and all concerned are now dead. My Great Uncle who I believe played the role of David Smith, the "father", has been dead for about 100 years.

 

"...Who was present at the registration?..." The Registrar is named. The Mother gives a false maiden name, Anne Brown, but also gives her real name, Ann Smith, as her married name. The "Father" gives his name as David Smith. The surname was accurate but the first name was invention. No such person existed. Apart from these 3 individuals nobody else was present. There had been no "marriage" between Ann Smith and David Smith, obviously, but it was not necessary for parents to produce their marriage certificate when they registered a birth. This was a fiction, but not nobody checked such details.

 

"...What about his baptism record?..." My Uncle was never baptised, there is no record.

 

I've tried to explain the clever deception that my Grandma and her brother played to protect her unplanned child from having a birth certificate that permanently recorded his illegitimacy. It was a miracle that I was able to identify the ruse. I have no doubt whatsoever that this is the plan that they constructed and it is a good one. My Uncle, Fred Smith, has living descendants who I imagine are not at all aware of any of this, and why should they be? I don't think there is anything more I can say.

 

Edited by eric kingsley

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