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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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