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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Wilhelm (William) Benjamin Vondervelden/Van der Ve

Sandra Parker

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Seeking any information about William Vondervelden, various spelling depending on document, born 9th April 1875. The only clue I have is from a son's death certificate 31st Oct 1916, which shows him as a 'soldier, Scottish Rifles'.

The family had always lived in London, but the mother was shown as being at 60 Adelaide Street Northampton on the same death certificate.

I've had a look on Nat Archives but have had no success.

Any ideas where I could start?




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Hi Sandra,

I would guess this is your man.


Medal card of Vondervelden, W B

Corps Regiment No Rank

Northamptonshire Regiment 13985 Private

Royal Scots Fusiliers 53572 Private

Sometimes men saw service with regiments other than those outlined on the Medal Index Cards. The death certificate may also have confused Scottish Rifles with the Royal Scots Fusiliers. The fact he served first with the Northamptons also fits. I would guess that his Northamptons number indicates a service battalion (raised for war service).

If you download the card and post it here I am sure someone will probably be able to tell you more.



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he lived in London at the time of the 1901 census. Along with his wife Kate (nee Sargent), daughter Emma and son William, they lived at 16 Lews Road, Wandsworth.

William (senior) is shown to have been born in London but is a German subject.

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Wow, thanks so much, Tim. Not only Wilhelm (William) but also his brothers Thomas and George! I hadn't even got around to chasing them, thinking one at a time was the best I could hope for. So will list each separately.

The asterisk type annotation next to Victory medal and at the top, must have some significance. Also the annotation at the bottom RHS.

Thanks, Stephen, that's my chap. His parents were both from Nassau, married in London and all children, eleven, were born there.



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The Medal Index Card indicates that he served initially with the Northamptonshire Regiment with the regimental number 13985. Later this number appears to have been changed to 20215. The reason is unclear but it is also noted in the remarks column. After this he served with the Royal Scots Fusiliers with the number 53572. He entered the war on 11 December 1915 in France. He was awarded the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal for his service. The asterix means that this was the number inscribed on his medals. The medal rolls...the references which are next to the medal entries....should tell you which battalion of the Northmamptons he served in. The rolls will have to be searched manually at National Archives. The RHS you refer to is actually R.No for Regimental Number.

Sometimes it is possible to gain and indication of a man's battalion by his service number. Soldiers Died in the Great War (a searchable database of men who died) indicates that of 26 men who died within the Northamptons with a numbers 139??, 18 of them served with the 6th Battalion. Men with numbers 202?? seem to be spread between a number of battalions so I would guess a group of reinforcements were issued numbered in this range. Men in the number range 535?? from the Royal Scots Fusiliers are similarly spread between battalions.

The only other Vondervelden listed in the Medal Index Cards is 65044 Cpl James Vondervelden who served with the Northumberland Fusiliers.

The next step is to have a researcher try and locate his service papers (only about 40% remain after WW2 bombing) and his the Medal Roll entries.



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:D Thanks heaps, Tim.

What a wonderful find this forum and its members have become. From just one brief reference, I've ended up with data on 4 of the 5 adult sons of my immigrant GGrandfather, Gustave Vondervelden, who played an active overseas role and survived. I had no knowledge of James' role, until your reference.

Now, I need to collate all the details that I have and go from there - and hope that my lot might be somewhere in the 40%!

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The 13000 number indicates a September/October 1914 enlistment. The date of entry does not tie in with the dates when the 6th, 7th and 8th Battalions went overseas (June/July/September 1915 respectively).

I suspect he was a reinforcement, perhaps mobilised after the Battle of Loos in October.

I don't think you can draw too many conclusions from the regimental number, though.

I'll see if he is mentioned in the book I have on the 5th Battalion (later).


P.S. When I get home I'll tell you the exact week the 20215 number was allocated!

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