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kevin donaldson

Family research on ww1 soldiers

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kevin donaldson

Hello folks, its been a while since i posted on here, but i have been trying to research members of my family from ww1 and ww2. The start of my topic comes from a newspaper article in the Deneside Record ( Seaham Harbour) regarding the Harrison family during WW2, where there were 11 members of the family (sons, son in laws and grandsons) all serving in artillery units around the world. My grandfather a Wilfred Laybourn was one of the son in laws, who i have done quite a bit of research on. 

 

My second part of the topic is relating to 2 men, whom both served in WW1 and went onto serve in WW2, and im stuck in researching these men.

 

The  two soldiers i am trying to research are;

1- Richard Harrison-Born Seaham harbour, county durham and i think served in the first world war in the RFA. During ww2,  Richard was serving in the Artillery and was a sergeant. If Richard was a sergeant in ww1, could he keep his rank as sergeant into the second world war?

 

2- George Dobson- Lived in Seaham Harbour and served in WW1, and during the second world war was also a sergeant.

 

I am lucky to have numerous photos of the men in my ownership and i am trying to put names to faces with the help from my family, but a starting point would help help with these 2 ww1 soldiers.

 

Many Thanks

Kevin

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clk

Hi Kevin,

 

If they served in both WW1 and WW2 they should appear on the index of files for men born before 1901 that was released by the MoD, for what's left of service files in their holding. Do you know their DoBs? For example...

 

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Regards

Chris

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kevin donaldson

Hello Chris, thanks for your reply, i think George Dobson was born 1900, and i have been doing a little digging and i may have came across and service paper to a G,Dobson who came from Seaham, i am cross ref my family tree as he may have been married to my grandmothers sister, a Maria Harrison.

Another question would the service number from a unit determine where they were from? local units which could narrow the search.

 

My great grandfather was from seaham and his number was 938 first, a local artillery unit, then his number changed to 760085, ive used my great grandfather as an example 

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kevin donaldson

Hello again Chris, i have found a document which states George had lied about his age and was serving with the East Yorkshire Yeomanry, but was discharged in 1917 relating to being underage, he later enlisted back into the Army later into the RFA, Mortar Brigade, this confirms with the pictures i have with all the lads in RFA uniforms

 

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PRC
1 hour ago, kevin donaldson said:

The  two soldiers i am trying to research are;

1- Richard Harrison-Born Seaham harbour, county durham and i think served in the first world war in the RFA. During ww2,  Richard was serving in the Artillery and was a sergeant. If Richard was a sergeant in ww1, could he keep his rank as sergeant into the second world war?

 

2- George Dobson- Lived in Seaham Harbour and served in WW1, and during the second world war was also a sergeant.

 

Have you checked the 1939 National Register for these two to see if you can confirm date of birth - it's on Ancestry & FindMyPast. There are three Richard Harrisons with a Seaham Harbour connection on the 1911 Census of England & Wales and four George Dobsons - none of whom would have been underage even at the start of the Great War and several of whom might have been a bit long in the tooth to see service in WW2.

 

The Register was taken on the 26th September 1939 and was not supposed to include men who had been mobilised, so if they were in the Territorials you might not find them, but certainly worth a try.

 

Cheers,

Peter

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kevin donaldson

Thanks Peter, i will do that tonight, i have been chatting to my uncle who is now 83 and he has confirmed George Dobson was married to Maria Harrison.

 

Much appreciated 

Kevin

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Pat Atkins

Can't help except perhaps in a very general way:

 

For comparison re ages, my grandfather was a pre-War Regular born in 1888; he completed his 21 years in 1927, but despite being 51 he re-enlisted (I'm guessing in response to some kind if appeal) in June 1939 to train recruits. He was discharged 11 months later, when the urgent need for experienced, if elderly, NCOs had passed.

 

Re keeping a rank, on re-enlistment he started, briefly, as a Private again, though his rank in 1927 had been A/CQMS; for most if this second period of service he was a Sgt, then A/CMS.

 

Good luck with your research. Pat.

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kevin donaldson

Hello Pat, thank you for your reply i have been lucky enough to find one of the gents (George Dobsons) service file on ancestry which states he lied about his age in 1917 and was discharged and re-enlisted in 1920 in the RA. I am lucky to have numerous photographs of ww1 soldiers (RA) with my great grandmother etc in, and i am trying to put names to faces,  a long task but enjoying the research.

 

Thanks again 

Kevin

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