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Hans ter Borgh

We would like to get in touch with the family of WW1 soldier killed in action in Passchendaele, Flanders in 1917.

 

W.Holmes Private 27628 The Camerons Scot. Rifl. deceased on 20 Sept. 1917 and buried in Tyne Cot Cemetery Zonnebeke Belgium.

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thetrenchrat22

Soldiers Died in the Great War states that he was born in Hull and enlisted in Hamilton and lived in Bellshill.  
 

so I would be an idea to get in contact with the local papers

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thetrenchrat22

His name appears on the Hull War memorial 

92 BRIGHTON TERRACE, SCULCOATES LANE, HULL, EAST YORKSHIRE, UK
       
       
Died on
20/09/1917
       
Aged
25
BORN HULL 1892. SON OF JOHN AND ANNIE HOLMES. BOARDED ABOVE 1911. EX OIL MILLER. ENLISTED BELLSHILL, HAMILTON, LANARKSHIRE. SERVED IN THE 9TH CAMERONIAN RIFLES. KILLED IN ACTION ON 20/09/1917, AGED 25. COMMEMORATED AT TYNE COT MEMORIAL
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Hans ter Borgh

That's him. Only 25!. Meanwhile I contacted the authorities of town hall in Bellshill. Thank you so much...best regards

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thetrenchrat22
7 minutes ago, Hans ter Borgh said:

That's him. Only 25!. Meanwhile I contacted the authorities of town hall in Bellshill. Thank you so much...best regards

He doesn’t appear on the Bellshill War memorial,  so I would Suggest to try and contact the local papers in Hull.  
 

if I can ask, what is your interest in William Holmes and your reason for trying to contact his modern day family 

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Hans ter Borgh

We visited Tyne Cot Cemetery. Overwhelming experience... We picked up the idea to walk to one particular grave...randomised on a number that corresponds to my friend's birthday..and there we stood for the grave of this young hero....We just want to pay respect to his next of kin.. 

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Admirable

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RaySearching

No parents listed on CWGC

The register of soldiers effects  indicate that his effects were unclaimed 

No corresponding dependants claim on the  WFA pension records 

Maybe the compiler of the Hull Fallen is privy to additional information

 

Lived in Bellshill on SDGW will have been the last known address of his next of kin from his service papers 

He may or may not have resided there

 

Ray

 

 

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On 08/10/2020 at 20:48, thetrenchrat22 said:

BORN HULL 1892. SON OF JOHN AND ANNIE HOLMES. BOARDED ABOVE 1911. EX OIL MILLER.

 

Sorry, going to have to work this one backwards, so stay with it :) (and welcome to the forum!)

 

The details on the Hull source tie in with the entry on the 1911 Census of England & Wales when a 19 year old unmarried William Holmes, born Hull, Yorkshire is recorded boarding at 92 Brighton Terrace, Sculcoates Lane, Hull. He was an Oilmiller, (possibly seed crusher, but difficult to make out). There is nothing to indicate that he is related to either the householder or any of the other boarders in the household.

 

This makes it difficult to work back to the 1901 Census of England & Wales. The nearest match, which could be entirely co-incidental, is a 9 year old William S. Holmes – that is how it’s transcribed and looking at a scan of the original document it’s not clear. That child was born Hull and was recorded living at 23 Park View, Sculcoates, Yorkshire. This was the household of his parents John W. Holmes, (aged 32, a Boxwood Sawyer, born Sydenham, Kent) and Annie E(?) Holmes, aged 32, born Newport(?), Lincolnshire.

 

As well as their oldest son William the couples other children recorded living with them are:-

 

John Holmes…..aged 8…born Hull

Frank Holmes…aged 7….born Hull

Edith Holmes….aged 5….born Hull

Harry Holmes…aged 2….born Hull

Lily Holmes…..aged 1…..born Hull

The couple also have a cousin living with them, Emily Holmes, aged 13 and born Hull.

 

Now there is a possible match for that couple on the 1911 Census of England & Wales, but it gets even more complicated and possibly either mistakes were make when the Census taker completed the return in 1901, or the father was being misleading when he completed the 1911 Census return – this was the first time the schedule was completed by a member of the household, or he had indeed remarried to another Annie.

 

The family were then living at 2 Constable Buildings, English Street, Hull.

 

Father John William Holmes gives his age as 42, he was a Boxwood Sawyer, but now he is shown as born Beverly, Yorkshire.

 

His wife Annie Jane Holmes, is only now aged 32 and she gives her birthplace as Sydenham, Kent.

 

The couple state they have only been married 7 years and have had 6 children, of which only 3 were still alive. But there are four children in the household shown as sons and daughters of John William Holmes. They are:-

 

Lily Holmes……aged 11……born Hull

Mary Holmes…..aged 4……..born Hull

Harold Holmes…aged 3…….born Hull

Maurice Holmes..aged 4 months…born Hull.

 

Before I go any further into looking at the birth registrations for childrens encountered so far, it’s probably best to provided a little background. Since 1837 births, marriages and deaths have to be recorded in the Civil Registration District where they occurred. In the case of the Hull area this was the Sculcoates Civil Registration District.

 

Every quarter the local Registrar makes a return to the central General Registrars Office, (G.R.O.) showing the details of all the entries made in the Registers. The G.R.O. then pulls then together and does a very basic index by nation, by quarter – in this case births registered at Sculcoates would appear in the quarterly index of births for England & Wales.

 

The quarters are the standard business ones – Q1 - January to March, Q2 – April to June, Q3 – July to September, and Q4 – October to December.

 

Births are recorded in the quarter registered, not the quarter born, (although in most cases they are one and the same).

 

Prior to September 1911 the published quarterly index did not show mothers’ maiden name. There are ways to get this, as it’s a very useful way to confirm that you are looking at the right individuals. However it can be very long-winded if the discovery work hasn’t already been done.

 

Finally, given the size of Victorian families and the still comparatively high infant mortality rate, it was quite common to recycle forenames if a child died before the next one was born.

 

While I can’t precisely account for the births of all the older children, when I checked through I did detect a theme that showed up in some of the possible matches. Thus for children registered in the Sculcoates District with the surname Holmes and in the right period to tie in with the information on the Census, I could find a William Selin, (Q3 1891), a Frank, (Q3 1894), an Edith, (Q3 1896), a Harry, (Q1 1898 and Q3 1899) and a Lily, (Q3 1900), who were all recorded with the mothers’ maiden name shown as Pogson.

 

There was a marriage of a John William Holmes to an Annie Elizabeth Pogson recorded in the Sculcoates District in Q3 1890.

 

I couldn’t identify a likely death of a William Selin Holmes in England & Wales in records that go up to 2007.

 

There was no comparable pattern for the three younger children.

 

The death of an Annie Elizabeth Holmes, aged 33, was recorded in the Sculcoates District in Q2 1904.

 

There is no clear match for a marriage of John William Holmes to an Annie Jane in the Sulcoates District, just a couple of possibles. Unfortunately the entries in the marriage index weren’t cross referenced at this point so all you can get from the quarterly index is details of all the weddings, usually two, recorded on one page of the marriage register.

 

A John William Holmes married either a Martha Ann Sampson or an Emily Elizabeth Maxey in the Sculcoates District in Q2 of 1904.

Or a John Holmes married either an Emma Terry or an Agnes Jane Hercock in the Sculcoates District in Q4 of 1904.

 

So that gets you to a sort of genealogy base camp. A possible candidate that can be followed through from birth via the Census to the young man that died at Passchendaele.

 

If he has been identified correctly then looks like a number of sisters and brothers, and half sisters and brothers, who can be traced through and their children identified and their childrens, children, etc.

 

Would be a lot of legwork to follow it through, particularly as it could still turn out that William Selin Holmes isn’t the right man.

 

If you have access to Ancestry it’s probably worth checking to see if anyone has a family tree there that references any of these individuals. That may help you cut through to the current descendants of this family.

 

Hope that helps,

Peter

Edited by PRC
Typo
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Hans ter Borgh

Great work Peter, many thanks for this intelligent research. You really took the time to investigate this. This is the spirit that makes you guys win wars!

I can now see how difficult it will be to find the relatives, since young William Holmes had no children. I did not fully comprehend the consequences. When we do find the right people they will be sons or daughters from his brothers or sisters...or their etc

I have made requests to the " town hall" of Bellshill, let us wait what will come up. 

 

Thanks again. 

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12 hours ago, Hans ter Borgh said:

Sorry what is SDGW ? ( I am Dutch)


It refers to Soldiers Died in the Great War (SDGW):  Other ranks who died between 4 August 1914 and 11 November 1918 (in some cases up to 25 March 1921) whilst serving with the British army.
 

It is the official list of First World War casualties, published by Her Majesty’s Stationery Office (HMSO) in 1921 in 80 volumes organised by regiment and titled Soldiers Died in the Great War.  See: https://www.iwm.org.uk/research/tracing-your-family-history/tracing-your-army-history/casualty-records

Edited by FROGSMILE
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Hi Hans,

 

Like many a widower the world over, John William probably remarried quite quickly after the death of his wife in order to provide a housekeeper for his young family. Unfortunately that can work either way, with the children leaving home asap, scattering to the four winds and contact being lost. Particularly if John William died before his son this may explain why the balance of his pay and War Gratuity were never paid out.

 

Additionally in order for a war pension to be paid out to either his father or step-mother, financial dependancy had to be shown. If William (Selin) Holmes was estranged from them, then unlikely he was having anything deducted from his pay and sent to them while he was still alive. (That was the simplest way to show financial dependancy).

 

Unfortunately Holmes is just too common a name for it to be a simple search, not helped by the tendency for the siblings not to have middle names. Thus even for just the Sculcoates District when I was looking at births there were usually at least two possibles for each name and approximate year of birth. Without being sure that the man identified from the birth records and the 1901 Census is the same as the soldier who died in 1917, and not knowing whether the boarder on the 1911 Census is the link between them, for me it's pretty vague as to whether it's worth investigating the descendants of the other children of John William Holmes and his two wives.

 

BTW Hamilton was the Regimental Depot of The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), so I suspect that Bellshill link may simply be that he enlisted directly at the Depot. Of course he could have moved to Lanarkshire between the 1911 Census and the time he enlisted.

 

Looking at the Medal Index Card for him, he only qualified for the Victory Medal and the British War Medal. This combination of medals would indicate that he did not serve in a Theatre of War until some point on or after the 1st January 1916. That raises the prospect that he may have been a Conscipt - Conscription was introduced in England, Scotland & Wales in the Spring of 1916. From that point onwards the individual soldier lost any say in what unit they served with, and so the place of "enlistment" may simply have been him reporting to the Depot.

 

Although his service records don't appear to have survived the fire at the warehouse caused by German incendiary bombs during the Blitz, it may be a near number search will identify individuals with surviving records from which it may be possible  to work out the path his Army career might have taken.

 

Cheers,

Peter

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Hans ter Borgh

Thank you Peter, let us wait for other comments..

I noticed that you use the word "Blitz", always thought that this tactic was reserved for movement rather than trenches and was only in used in WW2?

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Hi,

 

54 minutes ago, PRC said:

...his service records don't appear to have survived the fire at the warehouse caused by German incendiary bombs during the Blitz,

 

10 minutes ago, Hans ter Borgh said:

I noticed that you use the word "Blitz", always thought that this tactic was reserved for movement rather than trenches and was only in used in WW2?

 

This link may help to explain what Peter meant.

 

Regards

Chris

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Hi,

 

Looking at surviving files for near number men from his regiment:

 

27602 Belch - joined the Scottish Rifles Depot on 8.8.1916

27618 Thompson - joined the Scottish Rifles Depot on 10.8.1916

27628

27672 Cuthbertson  - joined the Scottish Rifles Depot on 16.8.1916

27688 Donald  - joined the Scottish Rifles Depot on 16.8.1916

 

In his CWGC records it say that William was originally buried at map reference (sheet 28) D.26.c.20.20 before being moved to his current resting place.  It is likely to be much closer to where he died.

image.png.d0565651495a277815117057c4e52cba.png

Image sourced from tmapper.com

 

This link should open up on a map from June 1917 with map square D.26 in the centre. It allows you to blend the map with a modern aerial view of the landscape. 

 

After registration you can download the Battalion war diary from the UK National Archives (link), free of charge.

 

Regards

Chris

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Hans ter Borgh

Thanks, that's interesting information. I can see German (Prussian) names like Potsdam and Sans Soucci.. The place of death seems very close to the German lines/sites...

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Hans ter Borgh
On 08/10/2020 at 22:26, thetrenchrat22 said:

He doesn’t appear on the Bellshill War memorial,  so I would Suggest to try and contact the local papers in Hull.  
 

if I can ask, what is your interest in William Holmes and your reason for trying to contact his modern day family 

Good morning, if I may ask, whose picture is the profile photo of The trench rat?

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Hans ter Borgh

Thank you so much, this is a big step forward! Next I could search for people with surname Holmes in Kilmarnock? What agency should I contact?

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RaySearching

William Holmes name appears in the Roll of Honour (The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)

(a native of Hull)

1933000759_rollofhonour.JPG.819c24dfb7ffafdd8cc7578635be3f89.JPG

holmes.JPG.e18e031fc523a6b6c94540f771062532.JPG

 

Following on from our genealogy detective Peter’s candidate for William Holmes KIA 20/9/1917

 

It appears that the "candidate" we have for William Homes, brother Frank Holmes also fell

 

 

From the website Kingston On Hull War Memorial Website

1560855493_FH.JPG.1f1336bebc5a7a83569d0a2b227dfe85.JPG

 

Frank Holmes has a Soldiers effects entry which lists his father John W as the legatee of his effects  ( The effects  payment authororised on the 13/9/19)

which correspond's with the entry above

 

Which poses the question if William Holmes who was killed in action in 1917 (before Frank Holmes)  and effects were unclaimed despite being advertised

was he the son of John William and the brother of Frank or is our candidate another William Holmes ?

 

at present it is inconclusive

 

 

Ray

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by RaySearching
name correction
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