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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Tracing William Devine


shaunr68

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Hi all, a long shot, but in the process of tracing her family tree my partner has hit a brick wall by the name of William Devine, her Great Grandfather. We have a copy of his marriage certificate for October 1901, in Liverpool, to Martha McNally which shows his age as 24, father's name Thomas Devine. We have been unable to find him on either of the 1881, 1891 and 1901 censuses.

We do have the attached photograph of him, we believe from 1915. Is it possible to identify the regiment, rank or any other means of identification from his uniform? His age made me think that he might have served in South Africa, which could explain his absence from the 1901 census (though if that was the case, he was back in Liverpool in time to get married by October 1901).

WD1915-1.jpg

My first guess, as he lived in Liverpool, would be the King's Liverpool Regiment but the NA site shows four MICs for men by the name of William Devine who served with that Regiment:

Medal card of Devine, William J

Corps: Liverpool Regiment

Regiment No: 2506

Rank: Private...

Medal card of Devine, William H

Corps: Liverpool Regiment

Regiment No: 4563

Rank: Private...

Medal card of Devine, William

Corps: Liverpool Regiment

Regiment No: 10922 (incomplete)

Rank: Private

Medal card of Devine, William

Corps: Liverpool Regiment

Regiment No: 2793

Rank: Private

How can we narrow it down, if indeed he is one of these four, is it simply a case of downloading all of them? Even if we did have the MIC, presumably that would not tell us his date of birth, parents' address and names?

Better quality scan here:

http://www.jude-n-shaun.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/WD1915.jpg

Grateful for any advice, we're truly stumped.

Thanks

Shaun (and Judith Devine)

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Hi Shaun

You can not go by the fact that he lived in Liverpool that he served in K.L.R. I have lots of Liverpool lads in my Shropshire L.I. database. I so I can not see any unit ID on his uniform. Do you know if there is a Absent Voters Lists for Liverpool, you may get lucky and fine his name in their, or local paper of time may have some thing.

Annette

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Hello Shaun

This is my first posting to this list

I am researching my DEVINE family from Manchester/Ireland

I have a William DEVINE born 2 Feb 1891 in Manchester [My Grandfather]

Joined The Manchester Regiment number 2042

later became part of the Machine Gun Corp number174874

According to The National Roll of the Great War he volunteered in August 1914 then served in france Ypres, Neuve Chapelle and St Eloi. He was wounded on Hill 60 in April 1915.

Two months later he was sent to galipolli, Suvla Bay landings up to the evacuation

Then Mesopotamia Battles of Kut, Sanna-l-Yat and the capture of Tekrit.

he was invalided home in March 1915

His records says he enlisted for the supplementary Reserve The Manchester regiment 6 Sept 1912

He died in 1947

I dont suppose that this is connected to your William but ones never knows.

Regards

Rojo

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Shaun

With a surname of Devine, it's possible/probable that William came to England from Ireland, which could explain his absence from the census returns.

Does the wedding certificate give you any more information? It should show his "Rank or Profession", which may indicate whether he was in the forces, and therefore could have been in South Africa. Also, what is the residence of both William and Martha at the time of marriage?

It's possible to do address searches of the census, so perhaps try this route, as he may simply have been transcribed incorrectly.

There are a couple of possibles for Marth McNally. Have you narrowed this down, as it's possible that he lived quite local to Martha?

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With a surname of Devine, it's possible/probable that William came to England from Ireland, which could explain his absence from the census returns.
Stephen, you're spot on - having spoken to my other half's mother last night we have since discovered that he was indeed Irish. So, depending on when he came over to England, that could explain his absence from the census returns and make things a tad more difficult.

There are a couple of possibles for Marth McNally. Have you narrowed this down, as it's possible that he lived quite local to Martha?
Quite a story there, apparently he came over from Ireland and was lodging at the McNally home in 1901 and got the daughter Martha pregnant! Shotgun wedding was the result. Though the marriage certificate shows he was living at a different address to the McNallys in October 1901 - 24 Gay St, Liverpool - perhaps they threw him out too! We haven't yet searched the NA site to find out who was living at 24 Gay St when the census was taken, that's the next step I suppose. He wasn't present in the McNally household for the 1901 census (I'm at work at the moment and can't remember the address, sorry)

The marriage certificate shows his occupation as Stonemason.

Annette - thanks, good point and one that I had considered, but I was kind of hoping that the uniform could be identified as KLR and therefore narrow the search for his MIC to one of the 4 listed above, however there are relatively few identifying markings on the uniform, it was a long shot to be perfectly honest. Otherwise we have a choice of 59 William Devines who served during the War...

Andy & Rojo - thanks, names of an Irish origin are quite numerous in Liverpool, making ancestors particularly difficult to trace - I'm having exactly the same problem with my Kehoe ancestors...

Grateful for the advice folks.

Shaun and Jude.

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