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Remembered Today:

John Turnbull Oliver, kia KOSB - HELP !


Derek Robertson
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John Turnbull Oliver is listed in 2 different sources in Hawick, Scotland as having been killed in action with the KOSB on 19/4/17

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However, the CWGC and SDGW do not have a John Turnbull Oliver listed as being killed on this day BUT they both have the following for a John William Oliver:

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Hello

where cant you find him ? I assumed you meant these sources too...

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Hello Derek

This must be your man:

Name: OLIVER

Initials: J W

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: King's Own Scottish Borderers

Unit Text: 1st/4th Bn.

Date of Death: 19/04/1917

Service No: 201659

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: VII. C. 14.

Cemetery: GAZA WAR CEMETERY

Either the CWGC or the local paper is in error concerning his second name.

Regards

Mel

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So despite having a full name and date of death from Hawick sources, neither the CWGC or SDGW have an exact match.

The John William Oliver link is interesting in so much that the 1/4th KOSB in which he fell was THE Territorial battalion for Hawick BUT

1. All his details from SDGW give a Yorkshire connection

2. His middle name is not the same

3. An obituary from a Hawick newspaper of 1917 states that John had fought at Loos and the Somme. The 1/4th KOSB did not serve in France until 1918 so unless he transferred from another KOSB battalion to the 1/4th then it couldn't be him.

Basically, I have a name and a date of death but cannot find conclusive proof with either the CWGC or SDGW that my man is listed. Can anyone help? :blink:

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Mel,

Thanks for that but see my first posting which mentions that John had fought at Loos - the 1/4th KOSB where not there.

Also his middle name is different.

And I don't know about the Yorkshire connection with his birth, enlistment and residence as listed by SDGW. Why should he feature in a Hawick newspaper? (But that makes sense if he served in the 1/4th KOSB)

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Derek

Sorry about cross posting. I was away checking the CWGC when your addditional posts came up.

I don't think that the Yorkshire information would necessarily preclude the Hawick family link.

I think that the only way that you could be certain is by checking the quartile GRO births and ordering a certificate or a 1901 census check (is the Scottish system different?)

regards

Mel

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Hello

an explanation of why he is in the paper might be because that is where his parents lived - but not where he lived

I have seen a few names on war memorials in the village where the parents lived bit not village he lived in

you could look at all the olivers in 1917 and see if any CWGC match the parents details

Also , the paper extract, does the date match ? . I ask as have a medal to a man killed in March and posted as missing in September in his local paper - clearly no one knew until much later of his death

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Derek

I have just done an advanced search for John Oliver in the 1901 Census including Redcar as the place of birth, son of head of household etc and ther is no show. That could indicate that he was living in Scotland at the time.

Regards

Mel

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Thanks Mel.

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Hi Derek,

BWM/Vic medal roll, page no. 1897:

Pte. John Willie Oliver, 16048, 8th KOSB, then 7/8th KOSB.

New number, 9298, on transfer to 1/5th KOSB, subsequently 201659.

No mention of 1/4th Bn. anywhere, but I think that there are quite cases like this in the KOSB medal rolls. At least being in the 8th and 7/8th KOSB ties in with Loos and the Somme.

Hope this helps,

Stuart

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Stuart,

Nice to hear from you again.

Your info does provide a welcome link between Loos, the Somme and a KOSB Territorial battalion.

But why the different middle name? The Scottish Census as Mel suggests may be the only way forward.

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The medal card of John WILLIAM Oliver seems to link in very nicely with service at Loos and the Somme and then with the 1/4th.

There is no matching entry for a John TURNBULL Oliver having served with the KOSB at all in the MIC's so it looks like the middle name is the red herring here. :blink:

(But his SDGW locations still worry me too :huh: )

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HELP!!

I've trawled the Scottish archives this afternoon and have found John TURNBULL Oliver in both the Births and Census records for Hawick so my man did exist:

So this record does match the information listed in the "Hawick News" of 1917 viz. Father's name the same, middle name the same and John would have been 29 if he had been killed in 1917.

So now I'm back to square one in that the only John Oliver, KOSB, kia 19/4/17 is recorded as a John William Oliver of Redcar and Castleford.

But his MIC would fit into my John's service record as noted in the newspaper. :blink:

So: who was John William Oliver of Redcar and Castleford?

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Who was this man?

Can anyway lay claim to him at all?

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Derek,

Details

Surname OLIVER

Firstname John William

Service Number 201659

Date Death 19/04/1917

Decoration

Place of birth Redcar Yorks

Other 1/4th Bn.

SNWM roll THE KING'S OWN SCOTTISH BORDERERS

Rank Pte

Theatre of death Egypt.

Having been in conflict with SNWM several times, they take all their information from Soldiers Died so if the SDGW entry is wrong then the SNWM entry is wrong. It does not seem to matter to them what the CWGC says!!

Aye

Malcolm

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Malcolm,

I checked the SNWM and there was no mention of my man John Turnbull Oliver but as you've featured, you found this John William Oliver. There are 2 other "John Oliver", KOSB listed but none are 1917 deaths.

The men are tied in together but how did the Yorkshire connection get into the SDGW equation with a change of middle name?

If only the family had added an entry to John's CWGC record then I would have had something to go on. :blink:

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And just to really muddy the already muddy waters, I found the following entry in the Soldiers' Wills at the National Archives of Scotland (NAS) :

SC70/8/573/4 Will of 201659 Private John William OLIVER or John William Oliphant, 1/4th Bn.or 1/5th, King's Own Scottish Borderers. Cause of death: Killed in action, near Gaza, Palestine, Egypt., 19 April 1917

The plot thickens. :huh:

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The GRO Overseas Death Index only lists one John T. Oliver and that is not your man (South Staffs Regt).

John Oliver 201659 KOSB is listed but without a middle name.

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Was Turnbull his mother's name? Perhaps he didn't like it or had other reasons for not using it for his army life. Seems he may have had a penchant for changing his name!

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I found the following entry in the Soldiers' Wills at the National Archives of Scotland (NAS):

Will of 201659 Private John William OLIVER or John William Oliphant, 1/4th Bn.or 1/5th, King's Own Scottish Borderers

Hi Derek,

I have been through all my KOSB files and haven't really came up with anything to help. The only thing I can add is that if he enlisted in Sep 1914, then he must have been at the very, very end of the month.

As far as I can see everything in the official records fits together for John William Oliver. Even the confusion above (1/4th or 1/5th?) fits with the conflicting info from CWGC and the KOSB medal roll.

It all comes down to whether:

1. SDGW has made a big mistake wrt Redcar (quite possible, but middle name doesn't fit)

2. John Turnbull Oliver served as John William Oliver (and gave false information at his attestation)

3. John Turnbull Oliver served under an assumed name

However, I think you'll find that his will should sort it all out for you. I have a few from the NAS and they all give a contact address for the next-of-kin. So, will it be Hawick or Yorkshire? Place your bets now....

Hope you get this sorted out.

Stuart

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So, will it be Hawick or Yorkshire? Place your bets now....

Stuart,

I HAVE NO IDEA!! :huh:

Terry,

"A penchant for changing his name" wasn't on my list but since it is you that has suggested it then I will now add it :rolleyes:

Having digested today's facts I am now wondering if the chap mentioned in the Hawick newspaper (on 2 seperate occassions!) was erroneously mistaken for John William Oliver in the Casualty reports?

However, John Turnbull Oliver's name does appear on the Hawick Roll of Honour :wacko:

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Derek

Just out of interest, why was the Oliver casualty renumbered three times for the same Regiment?

Medal card of Oliver, John W

Corps Regiment No Rank

King's Own Scottish Borderers 16048 Private

King's Own Scottish Borderers 9298 Private

King's Own Scottish Borderers 201659 Private

If he was confused with one of the other John Olivers ie allocated the same number then that would account for alll the mix up with the Redcar Oliver.

Just a thought :ph34r:

Regards

Mel

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Just out of interest, why was the Oliver casualty renumbered three times for the same Regiment?

Hi Mel,

He transferred from a Service (7/8th) to a Territorial (5th) battalion. Any transfer into or out of a Territorial battalion resulted in a change of regt. no. - at least before March 1917 when the new 6-digit territorial numbers were allocated. His 4-digit 5th KOSB was changed to a 6-digit one in March 1917, as mentioned above. After this time they seemed to keep their 6-digit number when they were transferred to a non-territorial battalion of the same regiment.

Stuart

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