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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Pre WW1 Service Records


Stephen White

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my great grandfather George White died ion 21.03.1915 at boulogne.his WW1 service records no longer exist at the PRO.

however he saw service in the 6th Militia Battalion,The Royal Warwickshire Regiment in South Africa.he left the army in may 1901 on his return to the uk.the gap in his military service lasted at least 10 years.

would his earlier service records have been kept seperatel to his WW1 records as he had a gap of about 10 years,or would the two sets of service records been put together when he rejoined.(and therefore lost in 1940) ??.

STEVEN

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They may be in class WO97 at the PRO/NA; this is soldier records for those discharged prior to 1914. Not all records survive, but it is much greater survival rate than those for WW1.

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PAUL. thanks,again just what i needed to know.i think my one day visit to the PRO is now turning into a two day visit !!.

STEVEN :)

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Paul

Would it also be possible that a soldiers records were kept even if he didn't see active service, and were still kept in the section you have mentioned? Whilst I am trying to gather my great granddads service history for WW1, I know that he also enlisted in the Grenadiers from 1904 to 1905 but I think he only had guard duties in this Country (my mum keeps telling me at Buckingham Palace). I obtained a copy of his Attestation papers from the Grenadier Guards themselves but they don't appear to have any further papers for him.

Sorry hope you don't mind me collaring your thread a little Steven?

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Dee - the papers in this class include men whether they served overseas or not. Indeed, the last section of it (from the Boer War to 1914) includes many men discharged from the TF (formed in 1908 with no overseas service at all) or who bought themselves out.

So there is no greater or lesser chance of finding someone who never left England.

The only major criteria for the record not surviving is if a soldier died on active service - it seems then that the record was destroyed.

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Guest Ian Bowbrick
They may be in class WO97 at the PRO/NA; this is soldier records for those discharged prior to 1914. Not all records survive, but it is much greater survival rate than those for WW1.

Paul,

Would it not have been more likely that his records were 'unified'?

I am thinking of a relative who was discharged in 1911, was called up in 1914 and finally discharged in 1920. None of his records survived at all including MOD.

Ian

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I think only those soldiers who were discharged to pension had their records kept after a given date, the remainder being destroyed. I've got a QSA to a man discharged due to short-sightedness in 1906. He re-enlisted 1915 and was KiA 1916. He has records in both WO 363 and WO 97, so no they weren't amalgamated.

Rgds,

Alex.

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Sorry hope you don't mind me collaring your thread a little Steven?

DEE,not in the slightest.the more imformation given out in these threads the better.rather to much information,than not enough !!

STEVEN :)

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Paul,

Would it not have been more likely that his records were 'unified'?

I am thinking of a relative who was discharged in 1911, was called up in 1914 and finally discharged in 1920. None of his records survived at all including MOD.

Ian

Like Alex, I coule give numerous examples of this not being the case. It seems to have happened with some, but not all.

Not all the records in WO97 are men discharged to pension; the TF papers I mentioned above are a case in point.

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Sorry hope you don't mind me collaring your thread a little Steven?

DEE,not in the slightest.the more imformation given out in these threads the better.rather to much information,than not enough !!

Thanks Steven

I do know what you mean, I am hopefully visiting the PRO on 19 April this year for the very first time, unfortunately I don't think I will be able to extend my visit as I daren't put my cat in the cattery again yet as he has been really poorly, so will have to drive there and back in a day :(

Also, this may sound odd, but does anyone know whether certain letters are kept with a person's service history i.e. if they were written to the King in complaint to something?

My reason for this odd question is that my mum was told a story by her gran, my great granddad's wife, that she wrote rather a forthright (putting it politely) letter to the King after my granddad was discharged through his injuries sustained during his service to 'King & Country' as they refused to give him his pension (I think she also referred to "ni***s" (no offence meant but was supposedly term used) being better treated than our own people).

Personally I think this could be slightly fabricated, however, I would love to be able to find out the truth??

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I cannot remember the class number off the top of my head, but Militia records were kept quite separate from regular records and may still be there. I had a group of medals to a militia man (QSA) in the Warwicks with a WW1 pair to the Gloucesters. His militia records were still at the NA.

Rob

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Militia attestation papers, which essentially form a record of service, can be found in WO 96. Militia Records, enrolement books, pay lists, casualty books, returns of officers ect, can be found in WO 68.

Terry Reeves

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Militia attestation papers, which essentially form a record of service, can be found in WO 96.  Militia Records, enrolement books, pay lists, casualty books, returns of officers ect, can be found in WO 68.

Terry Reeves

TERRY

i take as my Great Grandfather,was in the Militia,that class WO96 in going to be the place for me to look ??

STEVEN :unsure:

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I am hopefully visiting the PRO on 19 April this year for the very first time, unfortunately I don't think I will be able to extend my visit as I daren't put my cat in the cattery again yet as he has been really poorly, so will have to drive there and back in a day  :(

DEE

i hope you havn't got to drive very far.i myself have only managed one visit so far.i could only stay for the day,i had so much to look for.alas not all of it could could be researched in one day and with what has turned up since i am now planning a two day visit at the end of february.fortunately for us the dog has taken very well to kennels.

i hope your cat has recovered.

STEVEN :)

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i hope you havn't got to drive very far.i myself have only managed one visit so far.i could only stay for the day,i had so much to look for.alas not all of it could could be researched in one day and with what has turned up since i am now planning a two day visit at the end of february.fortunately for us the dog has taken very well to kennels.

i hope your cat has recovered.

Steven

I will be driving from Shrewsbury so its a little way but not too bad and driving doesn't really worry me too much as I am used to driving the M5/M4.

Thankfully my cat is recovering, he has just been diagnosed with a feline version of irritable bowel syndrome and apparently it was the stress of putting him in the cattery that worsened the problem. Thank you for asking.

No doubt after my first visit it will escalate, and I will probably book two or three days down there eventually as I have four people to obtain info on at the moment (two of mine & two of my husbands).

Good luck with your visit at the end of Feb, hope you find the details you're looking for.

Dee

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Guest MRS STEVEN

DEE

Small world !! i got married in Shrewsbury,work in Atcham and live in Telford !!.

my first visit was to try and track down my Great Grandfathers WW1 service records,but as you can imagine they weren't among the surviving 30% of the "burnt documents".however since then i discovered that he had Militia service in South Africa in 1900/1901 and the survival rate for these records is supposed to be better,so there's hope yet.

another forum member and i (nigel) are related,we have the same Great Grandfather and between us we have five people to look for,so i will be busy during my next visit !!.even over two days i won't get all i'm after,so there will be many,many visits to come !!

STEVEN

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BOTHER !!. looks like amanda was on the forum while i was asleep !! i forgot to check the settings and i've posted under her name,ah the joys of a shared home computer !!SORRY

STEVEN

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BOTHER !!.      looks like amanda was on the forum while i was asleep !! i forgot to check the settings and i've posted under her name,ah the joys of a shared home computer !!SORRY

Steven

That's ok, luckily my husband and I have separate computers so don't have that problem (thankfully). I leave him to his games and he leaves me to the forum and geneaology websites.

We got married at the Albright Hussey Hotel last April, and I work in Shrewsbury as well as live there. It is surprising how many people on this forum live in such close proximity to each other, which I feel is good as not only is there a fantastic amount of knowledge from lots of different sources but for people who, like us, live in the same areas it a great possibility that the Pals forum could have regular local meets to discuss topics, exchange views etc..

I was lucky with my Grandfather's (father's side) records as, when I started all I had was his name (Percy William Smith!!!), a date of birth, knowledge that he was in the Marines and his parents' names, but with a name like that I thought I had no chance whatsoever as I had been searching for two years. I then happened upon a website whilst searching the net last year and a great guy named Kyle managed to find his service number and get me a copy of his records...fantastic!

I am now concentrating my research on my Great Grandfather and Great Great Uncle (both mother's side), and another Great Great Uncle (father's side) who I have only just found out was possibly killed during WW1.

It's amazing that you are related to someone on here, mind you I think after seeing so many posts on here, that anything is possible on the forum (Chris, what do you think about the possibility of local meetings? :rolleyes: ).

Dee

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DEE.

amanda and i got married in shrewsbury registra's office (now in the old school building in preston road).our reception was at the mytton and mermaid hotel.i work on atcham industrial estate,which i believe was USAF Atcham during the WW

2.

my main area of research is my great grandfather,George White.however i have also started looking in to my late grandmothers two uncles Sam and Tom Coulson.they are mentioned on the forum.i have got as far as finding out their regiments,at the moment.Nigel is looking for two people his great grandfather (george green) from his dads side and a harry bird ,not to sure where he fits in though.

came across nigel after he answered an appeal for imformation that i placed on the iron harvest website,turns out we are second cousins (his mom and my dad are cousins).we both joined the forum in an effort to make some headway with our research.we have spoken using MSN messenger,but have not met (yet).

it would be interesting to see who else from the forum lives within our area.i believe that some meetings between pals have taken place in various places around the country with some limited success (i red this in John Hartley's review of the year).maybe it should be Shropshires turn ??.

Steven :)

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