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jimmyjames

7/2529 Pte John Thompson

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jimmyjames

I originally posted this thread last July in "Soldiers" with little success, but with this "speciality" segment of possible non-commemorations I may get further assistance.

I wonder if Pals are able to help in the preparation of a case to be put to MoD/CWGC to get John Thompson accepted as an official war casualty.

He is not commemorated in the Debt of Honour Register at the CWGC nor is his name listed in "Soldiers Died". He is not recorded in the Index To Army (OR) Overseas War Deaths 1914-1921.

John was born in Morpeth on 7th September 1884 and in the 1901 Census he is listed as a 16 year old miner residing with his parents (John and Margery) at Hirst, Ashington, Northumberland.

I attach his Medal Index Card which indicates entitlement to the 1914/1915 Star, BWM and VM. It shows that he landed in France on on 21st April 1915 and there is also a note that he was at sometime presumed dead.

The 1/7th War Diary confirms that they landed from the SS Invicta on 21st April and on 25th April the battalion was thrown into battle with 149 Northumberland Brigade/50th Division in the St Julien/Wieltje area.

It is understood through sources that his family received no correspondence from John whilst he was in France and they naturally assumed that he must have been killed or incapacitated on or about the 25th April. The family have never been able prove his death and, as stated above, the CWGC have apparently no record of him. Whilst John is commemorated on the Ashington War Memorial his descendants now want to see him officially recognised.

I would be most grateful for any guidance on how to proceed with this case in the absence of an Overseas Death Certificate.

Regards

Jimmy

post-1360-1159893120.jpg

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Terry Denham

Jimmy

'Presumed Dead' is not the same as 'Dead'.

You will need evidence of his death. It would be very unusual for a man who was killed in action to have his name missing from all official sources. In my experience, such cases have always turned out to be men who actually survived.

Neither CWGC nor MoD will entertain any submission without official supporting evidence (nor should they). Therefore, your problem is how to proceed.

You have no evidence of his death at all so far - a name on a war memorial and word of mouth is not reliable.

Is it possible that he did not die overseas? Have you tried to get a UK home death certificate? It will be virtually impossible to progress without a death certificate.

Is there any mention in local newspapers? Does his service record survive?

Trying to get you on the road here but with all the evidence stacked against you, it is not easy!

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Terry Denham

Jimmy

Starting at the beginning.... As it is a very common name, how do you know the MIC belongs to your man? What other evidence have you which tells you this?

If you can give us all the info you have, we may be able to move on.

I have double checked CWGC and GRO Overseas for a man with this number but no joy.

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jimmyjames

Jimmy

A word of caution.

To do this job properly you have to prove whether he died or not first. Get it out of your head that your are trying to get a death recognised.

It is very easy to get sucked into trying to prove the first set of supposed facts that you are given - when they may be wrong. All you 'know' is that he qualified for a trio plus some pre-war personal detail.

You do not know if this man died or not. That is where you have to start. Once you have proven his death, then you can move on to proving his status for CWGC commemoration.

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Graham Stewart

What doesn't help either is that he is not recorded in any of the 1/7th Bn's, killed or wounded list's taken from the Times and repeated in the St.Georges Gazette. Nor does he appear in any B.R.C. Enquiry List for 1915.

The immediate number before hims actually belongs to 7/2529 Pte William R.H. Thompson also of Ashington, whom I assume was a relative of John, and as he survived the war then I presume he would have reported back about the loss of John.

I also noticed on his MIC that his name, number and unit are repeated, and I'm under the impression that this could mean that he left 1/7th, N.F. at some time and then returned.

Otherwise no sign of him at present.

Graham.

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jimmyjames

Thanks gents.

Really do appreciate your guidance.

Jimmy

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