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Need an expert on WW1 pension cards.


Leigh jones
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I have been doing research into my family tree and came across this and am now very confused. aside from not understanding all the numbers and writing except he served with Royal Scots, my great grandfather was Victor Hanslar yet this card shows another name and it changed in 1954? i have no idea who Matthew Fagen is and though i know many soldiers changed their name to enlist due to young age it would not make sense as doing a search on Matthew Fagen it shows him at 14 years old,still further horrifying is according to a search my great grandfather was approximately the same age. its all very confusing and for me either he used this name to enlist and was a child at war but needed the name or my great grandfather was in fact Matthew Fagen and our family name is a lie. would also really like some help with understanding what the card means.

thank you in advance any help is very appreciated.

Hanslar, Victor (71195).jpg

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1/MF, 2/MF and 11/M are codes for the area which processed the pension. From about 1920-1923 ish they should tie in with the area they were living, after that the distinction starts to disappear.

See here for a maps of the regions I found in a publication of the time - https://www.westernfrontassociation.com/world-war-i-articles/index-of-counties-within-regions-for-pension-records/ - and David's tie in to each county covered.

The note regarding the name is likely just to correct a clerical error - with millions of records this was far from uncommon - but further research would be needed.

Craig

 

 

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There is a Victor Hanslar living in Watford in 1939, born 12 Oct 1898.

Seems to have died in 1961.

 

 

Service record for Fagan - https://findmypast.co.uk/record?id=GBM%2FWO363-4%2F007273991%2F01549&parentid=GBM%2FWO363-4%2F7273991%2F113%2F1549

#71195 has a service record.. Discharged 17 June 1920.

Seems he attested pre-war originally in Scotland but stated he was 18 in 1913.

States brother to be James and Peter Fagan.

Only Scottish birth I can see is for 1895
image.png

Craig

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Leigh,

  Welcome to the forum.

  There are a couple of other cards for Matthew Fagan which show he was living in West Hartlepool. Does this tie in with your family history?

  There are no other cards for Victor Hanslar, apart from one for Matthew Fagan which says refere to Victor Hanslar,

  Scotlandspeople have a birth certificate for a Matthew Fagan born in Dundee in 1895. He is the only Matthew Fagan in Scotland around that age.

  It is possible that your grandfather legally changed his name by deed poll.

Regards,

Alf McM

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I'm starting to think that he swapped names post WW1 and only then changed it for pension purposes in the 1950's.


Craig

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Hi @Leigh jones and welcome to the forum.

The Medal Index Card for Mathhew Fagan, (literally that, an index card raised at the relevant records office in late 1918\early 1918 to keep track of the documentation relating to the issue of medals), shows he was Highland Light Infantry service number 12190, then Royal Scots Fusiliers service number 24330 then Royal Scots 71195.

Paul Nixons' service number site indicates that 12190 Highland Light Infantry was probably a pre-war Regular Army number. The Regular Army Battalions of the Highland Light Infantry would have issued the number at some point between the 13th January 1913, (12057), and the 10th August 1914, (12369). https://armyservicenumbers.blogspot.com/2014/10/highland-light-infantry-1881-1914-1st.html

He has a second page that narrows it down a bit more - 12327 joined on the 6th July 1914. https://armyservicenumbers.blogspot.com/2011/12/highland-light-infantry-regular.html

It's probably worth checking the related Service Medal Roll for his Victory Medal and British War Medal, available on Ancestry. If the clerk completing them followed standing instructions, it should show all the units, down to Battalions, that he served with overseas.

His Medal Index Card shows Matthew first landed in a Theatre of War, France, on the 29th November 1914. To have gone that relatively earlier he was either a mobilised reservist \ special reservist or had previous military experience such as completing a 12 year period of enlistment. That man was very unlikely to be a raw underage recruit.

Our parent site the Long, Long Trail tells us that on the 29th November 1914 only two Battalions of the Highland Light Infantry were in France. The 2nd Battalion had been there since the 14th August and the 1/9th, a pre-war Territorial Force unit, landed on the 5th November. So whichever battalion he was joining it would have been as part of a replacement draft. https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-british-infantry-regiments-of-1914-1918/highland-light-infantry/

Do you anything to suggest your Victor Hanslar ever served during the Great War period.

Cheers
Peter

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7 minutes ago, PRC said:

The Medal Index Card for Mathhew Fagan, (literally that, an index card raised at the relevant records office in late 1918\early 1918 to keep track of the documentation relating to the issue of medals), shows he was Highland Light Infantry service number 12190, then Royal Scots Fusiliers service number 24330 then Royal Scots 71195.

Paul Nixons' service number site indicates that 12190 Highland Light Infantry was probably a pre-war Regular Army number. The Regular Army Battalions of the Highland Light Infantry would have issued the number at some point between the 13th January 1913, (12057), and the 10th August 1914, (12369). https://armyservicenumbers.blogspot.com/2014/10/highland-light-infantry-1881-1914-1st.html

Fagan's service record shows he enlisted April 1913 and transferred to the regular army in October 1913.
https://search-findmypast-co-uk.libezproxy.open.ac.uk/record?id=gbm%2fwo363-4%2f007273991%2f01555&parentid=gbm%2fwo363-4%2f7273991%2f113%2f1549

image.png


He also seems to have a 7 digit post-1920 number
image.png

Craig

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25 minutes ago, ss002d6252 said:

Fagan's service record shows he enlisted April 1913 and transferred to the regular army in October 1913.

Apologies Craig - I was multi-tasking (badly), and missed that you had already addressed his pre-war service.

Will await more information from the OP.

Cheers
Peter

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19 minutes ago, PRC said:

Apologies Craig - I was multi-tasking (badly), and missed that you had already addressed his pre-war service.

Will await more information from the OP.

Cheers
Peter

Not a problem - it confirms what I found earlier (was more to stop you spending time going over it again if you'd missed my post)

Craig

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Hi Leigh,

A belated welcome to GWF.

The significance of the New Army No. mentioned above, 3045422, is that it is possible, just possible, that there may still be a later service record retained with the MoD and that an application for it might perhaps clear things up  - will normally take a long time to surface though [think months, probably likely a couple of years] https://www.gov.uk/get-copy-military-service-records/apply-for-someone-elses-records

I think GWF member@clkhas a spreadsheet of retained file numbers released under a FOI request [unfortunately, not his fault, the listing is believed to be incomplete and only an application can check for certain] - this mention will now undoubtedly attract his attention.

Wishing you good luck with your research.

:-) M

Edited by Matlock1418
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Just now, Matlock1418 said:

Hi Leigh,

A belated welcome to GWF.

The significance of the New Army No. mentioned above, 3045422, is that it is possible, just possible, that there may still be a later service record retained with the MoD and that an application for it might perhaps clear things up  - will normally take a long time to surface though [think months, probably likely a couple of years] https://www.gov.uk/get-copy-military-service-records/apply-for-someone-elses-records

I think GWF@clkhas a spreadsheet of retained file numbers released under a FOI request [unfortunately, not his fault, the listing is believed to be incomplete and only an application can check for certain] - this mention will now undoubtedly attract his attention.

Wishing you good luck with your research.

:-) M

It's not on the spreadsheet that I can see but, worth a try on the application anyway.

Craig

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Wow thank you so much guys this is amazing and more then i expected.

so back story to why i am quite clueless is that my mum was adopted at birth and we only found her biological mum in 2002. ( she died later that year).

we were unable to get much information other then a few bits about her and a link to our family history.

Victor Hanslar was her father, so my great grandfather but aside from that it i have no more knowledge so blindly searching. all i do know is our family name Hanslar is very very rare which makes it easier to trace but aside from knowing his father was James Hanslar we really know no more. 

its been very hard to trace as my mother was part of the forced adoption issues that happened in the 50's. her real brother is still alive so i would love to find as much about his grandfather as possible.

so yes i am quite clueless with a lot of things and could not verify that he served in WW1 except for this card bearing his name and the fact he was still alive at the name change as quite rightly you pointed out he died in 1961.

he was  living in Watford in and hemel hempstead most of his life so would be likely he was there in 1939, i can not find a birth certificate for him born 12 Oct 1898. so that is amazing to hear, could you let me know where you found his birth record please? as i found on a family tree thread it said 1902 which now puts him at 16 if he really did fight in WW1 which better then 12-13 which was a scary thought. 16 is pretty scary though! it would possibly seem likely he did take this Mathew fagans identity maybe? or is there some kind of identity fraud or something i just do not know and not sure how to ever find out the truth. it could simply be a clerical error but seems strange to correct it at 54 years old, unless that was pension age back then?

The plot does thicken and you guys are simply amazing.

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13 minutes ago, Leigh jones said:

Wow thank you so much guys this is amazing and more then i expected.

so back story to why i am quite clueless is that my mum was adopted at birth and we only found her biological mum in 2002. ( she died later that year).

we were unable to get much information other then a few bits about her and a link to our family history.

Victor Hanslar was her father, so my great grandfather but aside from that it i have no more knowledge so blindly searching. all i do know is our family name Hanslar is very very rare which makes it easier to trace but aside from knowing his father was James Hanslar we really know no more. 

its been very hard to trace as my mother was part of the forced adoption issues that happened in the 50's. her real brother is still alive so i would love to find as much about his grandfather as possible.

so yes i am quite clueless with a lot of things and could not verify that he served in WW1 except for this card bearing his name and the fact he was still alive at the name change as quite rightly you pointed out he died in 1961.

he was  living in Watford in and hemel hempstead most of his life so would be likely he was there in 1939, i can not find a birth certificate for him born 12 Oct 1898. so that is amazing to hear, could you let me know where you found his birth record please? as i found on a family tree thread it said 1902 which now puts him at 16 if he really did fight in WW1 which better then 12-13 which was a scary thought. 16 is pretty scary though! it would possibly seem likely he did take this Mathew fagans identity maybe? or is there some kind of identity fraud or something i just do not know and not sure how to ever find out the truth. it could simply be a clerical error but seems strange to correct it at 54 years old, unless that was pension age back then?

The plot does thicken and you guys are simply amazing.

How sure are you that his father is James Hanslar ? If you are 100% on this then it might just run back around to a clerical error as the service record for Matthew Fagan seems to show he was a real person born in Scotland, and not just a figment created for some reason.

Victor doesn't seem to exist prior to his marriage in Dec 1931 from what I can see of contemporary records - the date of birth was self declared in the 1939 register.

Obtaining the marriage cert might be a start
image.png

Craig

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8 minutes ago, ss002d6252 said:

How sure are you that his father is James Hanslar ? If you are 100% on this then it might just run back around to a clerical error as the service record for Matthew Fagan seems to show he was a real person born in Scotland, and not just a figment created for some reason.

Craig

Honestly i am starting to doubt quite a lot now! there is a marriage record that is genuinely my great grandfather Victor Hanslar which states his father is James Hanslar but that is all i have.

you are right i have been looking around and Matthew Fagan was very real indeed and discharged in 1920 so he survived and did exist. 

i think i am now getting more questions in my head with this as i can not find Victor Hanslar's birth record, i have looked in Norway which is where we believed he was born but there are no records anywhere. i am now questioning if Victor Hanslar was really Matthew Fagan   and for some reason he changed his name? seems crazy but at this point i am entertaining crazy!.

both of these men seem to have a record and i know my grandmothers brother was military and died in kuala lumpur  in the 50's i think. 

it is all a bit strange and confusing so if anyone know's any relatives of Sherlock Holmes i would be very grateful!

you are all awesome even if my head is now spinning!

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Has anyone undertaken a DNA test ? It might need to come back to that to see if a line can be traced somewhere.

Craig

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Quote

and for some reason he changed his name? seems crazy but at this point i am entertaining crazy!.

It would not be the most bizarre one we've had, if he did.

Craig

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Just now, Leigh jones said:

Honestly i am starting to doubt quite a lot now! there is a marriage record that is genuinely my great grandfather Victor Hanslar which states his father is James Hanslar but that is all i have.

you are right i have been looking around and Matthew Fagan was very real indeed and discharged in 1920 so he survived and did exist. 

i think i am now getting more questions in my head with this as i can not find Victor Hanslar's birth record, i have looked in Norway which is where we believed he was born but there are no records anywhere. i am now questioning if Victor Hanslar was really Matthew Fagan   and for some reason he changed his name? seems crazy but at this point i am entertaining crazy!.

both of these men seem to have a record and i know my grandmothers brother was military and died in kuala lumpur  in the 50's i think. 

it is all a bit strange and confusing so if anyone know's any relatives of Sherlock Holmes i would be very grateful!

you are all awesome even if my head is now spinning!

 

6 minutes ago, ss002d6252 said:

It would not be the most bizarre one we've had, if he did.

Craig

HAHA i can well imagine you guys have come across so great weird and wonderful stories, i am sure this is mild in your arena. i have thought about a DNA test though i am diluted and mixed a considerable amount already, i am feeling the human equivalent to a mongrol dog. but would be fun to do and might explain my often confused brain.

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4 minutes ago, Leigh jones said:

 

HAHA i can well imagine you guys have come across so great weird and wonderful stories, i am sure this is mild in your arena. i have thought about a DNA test though i am diluted and mixed a considerable amount already, i am feeling the human equivalent to a mongrol dog. but would be fun to do and might explain my often confused brain.

It would be better off is your mother could take it - then it's closer to the required line (I'm going to see if my mother will take one as her father isn't known for certain either).

Unfortunately so many WW1 records have been destroyed it is very difficult - and, if he was Norwegian, then he didn't have to serve so that would cut out a potential line of inquiry (if he's not Fagan).


Craig

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4 minutes ago, Leigh jones said:

 

 

9 minutes ago, ss002d6252 said:

It would be better off is your mother could take it - then it's closer to the required line (I'm going to see if my mother will take one as her father isn't known for certain either).

Unfortunately so many WW1 records have been destroyed it is very difficult - and, if he was Norwegian, then he didn't have to serve so that would cut out a potential line of inquiry (if he's not Fagan).


Craig

unfortunately i am sure there would not be much left and digging her up may be frowned upon. i have just ordered the one off here for a DNA test so i will see what happens with it.

i will put it to my Uncle and see if he will take it in mum's place and see what results he gets, if he want's to ofcourse. 

so sad for many family's the records have been lost, i would love to get answers but sadly life will just continue on for me as i never knew the man, but over the years for other's it must of been heartbreaking.

i feel he was born in Norway but as his father and siblings are born here a far as we know, then it is possible he was born on a trip or something and not in a settled status? i have looked on ancestry at norway birth records and still can not locate a birth record.

i shall persevere and keep digging, ( perhaps poor choice of words after my comment about my beloved mum). she would laugh.

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4 minutes ago, Leigh jones said:

i shall persevere and keep digging, ( perhaps poor choice of words after my comment about my beloved mum). she would laugh.

My apologies - I hadn't realised she was deceased.

Craig

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5 hours ago, alf mcm said:

Scotlandspeople have a birth certificate for a Matthew Fagan born in Dundee in 1895. He is the only Matthew Fagan in Scotland around that age.

The only apparent match with this birth in the 1901 Scotland census is a Matthew Fegan aged 5, born in Dundee, Forfarshire, and living in the Smyllum Orphanage, Larnark. The Matthew Fagan aged 5 and living in Edinburgh New North, Midlothian in the same census was apparently born in Manchester, England, so doesn't match the birth details for the Matthew Fagan that both alf mcm and ss002d6252 found. There is also a Peter Fegan, aged 8 and born in Dundee, Forfarshire, living in the Smyllum Orphanage with Matthew which would seem to match the family details given in Matthew Fagan's service record. Looking for other Fagan births in the St Andrews (Dundee) registration district in the same time frame produces a Peter Fagan born in 1892, and a James Fagan born in 1888. There are a total of nine Fagan births in this district between 1880 and 1901, the last being in 1900, with a run of closely spaced births starting in 1887. Working on the assumption that if Matthew and Peter were in an orphanage in 1901, at least one or both of the parents had to have died, and looking for Fagan deaths in the same district produces a couple of possibilities:

FAGAN    BRIDGET      45      MURPHY     1897      282/4 1194       St Andrew (Dundee)

FAGAN    MARGARET 36       FLOOD       1900       282/4 328         St Andrew (Dundee)

On the balance of probabilities, I'd be inclined to go with the second of these as being the mother of Peter and and Matthew. There is this marriage in St Andrews (Dundee) in 1886, that is coincident with the start of the run of Fagan births in the same district from 1887 onward:

FAGAN    MICHAEL     MCNAUGHTON     MAGGIE     1886      282/4 187     St Andrew (Dundee)

Margaret Fagan's death in 1900 is indexed under both Fagan and McNaughton.

Edited by Tawhiri
Not thinking straight
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31 minutes ago, ss002d6252 said:

My apologies - I hadn't realised she was deceased.

Craig

No need you were not to know, thank you so much for your kind help it is so appreciated. 

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1 hour ago, Leigh jones said:

i know my grandmothers brother was military and died in kuala lumpur  in the 50's i think

The Armed Forces Memorial has only one Hanslar - a Lance Corporal 22972312 Gerald Alfred Hanslar, Royal Army Service Corps, born 19th December 1935, who died aged 20 on the 9th June 1956 and is buried at Cheras Road Christian Cemetery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaya. (Row 23, Grave 1196). http://veterans.mod.uk/roll-of-honour.php?SerialNo=X4813

Because of his relatively young age you my have to jump through a few more hoops to get his service record, but they may give a tiny bit more information about his father. https://www.gov.uk/get-copy-military-service-records

Unfortunately posts on the forum indicate there is currently a considerable delay of a year or more in handling such requests. The birth of a Gerald A. Hanslar, mothers' maiden name Foster, was registered with the Civil Authorities in the Hemel Hempstead District in the January to March quarter, (Q1), of 1936. You have 42 days after the event to register the birth, and this is then reported by the General Registrars Office in the quarter registered, which is not necessarily the same as quarter born. So Geralds' date of birth on the Armed Forces Memorial records and his appearance in the civil birth records would not be incompatible.

If Gerald was the son of Victor, the fact that Victor married as Hanslar, was registering his children with the surname Hanslar and appears on the 1939 Register as Hanslar, (which was subsequently used to issue his wartime ID card, his ration books and later in 1948 entitle him to NHS care), would tend to indicate he wasn't claiming a War Pension or living an alternative life as Matthew Fagan until 1954, which is how we are being asked to believe the card should be interpreted. There is nothing on the 1939 Register to indicate that Victor was an Army Pensioner, nor is there anything to indicate previous military service, (although that is not uncommon).

Cheers
Peter

 

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Hello Peter

yer Gerald is Victors sun and my Grandmothers Brother, i recently found a Picture of his grave which was nice to see as it is a long way to travel.

it is really interesting that there is no other military record for Victor and yet this pension was changed in 1954. i think it would be impossible to know why or if he really did fight in WW1 especially as he was apparently born in Norway. i will continue to dig deeper and see if i can find his father James Hanslar and any siblings to see if they were in the uk and it was just a coincidence he was born in Norway maybe through a trip or holiday or something? The plot thickens. unfortunately we have no idea who my grandfather was so this family line is all we have and seems to stop at James Hanslar which is very frustrating but i shall persevere. 

Thank you so much for taking the time to research that for me it is very appreciated 

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1. Michael Fagan #71195 on the OP Pension card says on his enlistment  that he was born in Dundee. He claimed to be 18 years 5 months when he enlisted in Oct 1913

    There is a Michael Fagan born 12 Oct 1895 in Dundee

     This birth shows that the 1886 marriage in ScotlandsPeople of Michael Fagan to Maggoe McNaughton in Dundee, is the correct marriage

fagan.jpg.18933660f4960cab1d3476a448d0711a.jpg

2. He is an Orphanage in Glasgow

 

3. There is a Victor Hanslar in 1939 Register who claimed to be born 12 Oct 1898

 

4. It would be an unlikey coincidence , given the 12 Oct and the pansion card,  that they were not one and the same man

 

I have no idea why he changed his name , but to me Fagan is clearly his "real" name. and one would have to look for official papers to show he changed his name as he married officially as Hanslar and died as Hanslar

 

5. Given his spouse in 1939 Register was Edith M, then the marriage of Victor Hansler to Edith Mary Foster in Oct 1931 in Hemel Hempstead would appear to be the correct one. In it he claims 1902 birth and father James Hanslar

    Given he was an orphan before he was 5, did he know who his father really was.

    The Michael Fagan on the birth cert was a "seaman" and that may not have been his real name. It would take a bit of work to track him down

 

6 The Orphanage records, if they exist, might hold the answer

 

 

 

Edited by corisande
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