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Terry Denham

Another One in from the Cold

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Terry Denham

Following representations by another researcher and myself, the MoD and CWGC have accepted that the following soldier was missing from their records.

Pte Harry CARTER

47577 19 Bn, Manchester Regt

Died 31.07.17 Age 21

He will now be added to CWGC's records and his name will shortly be added to the Addenda Panel on the Menin Gate.

Recognition at last!

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Guest Pete Wood

Nice one, Terry.

Well done, all concerned.

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Malcolm

Good result! Well done all.

Aye

Malcolm

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jimmyjames

Excellent.

Terry, would you post a summary of this success. I mean the collation of proof you had, the proof you collected and the representations you made.

It might help people, particularly me, who may (or may not!) have a name they wish to progress to MOD/CWGC.

Regard

Jimmy

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paul guthrie

Good work Terry I too am interested in details.

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Terry Denham

Getting this man added was a relatively painless process helped by the fact that he died in a war zone rather than at home etc.

The process went like this....

On 26th September last year a fellow researcher with whom I have corresponded on a number of 'non-commemoration' issues asked if I could find this man in the CWGC lists which I was unable to do.

I contacted my chums at CWGC and asked if they could find him possibly under a name variation that I had not thought of or by checking his service number. They drew a blank as well and asked if I had any more info.

On 29th of September I supplied the details from his MIC and his GRO Overseas Death Index references. I also added as supporting corroboration his details which were to be found on SDGW.

We then obtained a copy of his death certificate (see below) which clinched it and a copy was sent to CWGC. They immediately set the acceptance wheels in motion with MoD and today confirmed that acceptance. Their investigations proved he died in the Salient rather than France as on the certificate (France and Belgium were the same place to many people in those days!).

If you can read the details on the overseas death certificate, they confirm his name, rank, number, age, battalion, regiment, date of death and the fact that he was KiA. A bit of an open and shut case really - no doubt only omitted through some clerical error though another man of the same unit, dying on the same day, is already listed on the Menin Gate Addenda Panel.

They are not all as easy as this one. The death certificate helped and, as he died in a war zone rather than at home or after discharge, there was no effort required to prove that he died whilst in the forces!

post-1-1075317928.jpg

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Guest Ian Bowbrick

Excellent - it gives me hope!

Ian :)

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jimmyjames

Thanks Terry.

So, if documentary proof is provided to CWGC then they will progress to MoD. Thats the part of the chain I was unsure of.

I wonder why the NOK of the soldier involved did'nt raise it with the authorities at the time that they had not received notification of the location of their son's grave/memorial. They must have had the knock at the door and other correspondence from the War Office?

Thanks again, Terry.

Regards

Jimmy

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Will O'Brien

Job well done Terry..........You & all those involved have my warmest congratulations. Raising a glass to Harry Carter tonight

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Terry Denham

Jimmy

Documentary proof is always needed - and it has to be proof that MoD (or their Dominion counterparts) will accept. N-o-k documents etc are rarely 'evidence'. Official documentation is required. The death certificate is always the best starting point as it confirms death and also often supplies a connection with military service -as per my example. Even civilian UK certificates often quote number, rank, regt etc.

Remember that you always have to prove that (1) a person died between the qualifying dates and (2) that person was in the armed forces at death. That is for a simple case of a man/woman dying in service.

It gets more complicated if the person died between the qualifying dates but after discharge. You then have to prove (1) that the person died between the qualifying dates and (2) they died of a cause directly attributable to or exacerbated by wounds or illness suffered during service in the military between the qualifying dates. This last point can often be impossible to 'prove' beyond doubt. (eg dying of flu after discharge may be due to poor health caused by service or it may not - he/she may have died anyway!).

It gets even more complicated if you are trying to prove qualification of a member of one of the Recognised Civilian Organisations (eg Mercantile Marine or VADs). But I'll leave that complication for another day!

As to why his n-o-k apparently did nothing will always be speculation. He may have had no relatives, they may have been dead, they may have hated him, they may have not wanted to acknowledge his death or hated all officialdom for taking away their boy. They may have known nothing about the process. The list of possible reasons is almost endless.

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jimmyjames

Terry, many thanks.

You mention "qualifying dates". I presume that these dates span the Great War, 4 Aug 14 - 11 Nov 18 and a year or so thereafter. What is the final cut-off date.

Regards

Jimmy

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Terry Denham

Jimmy

The CWGC qualifying dates are....

04.08.14 to 31.08.21 inclusive

and

03.09.39 to 31.12.47 inclusive

No exceptions

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jimmyjames

Many thanks Terry.

31st August 1921. Nearly three years after the Armistice. A very, very important date, particularly if someone died after this date of wounds attributable to war service, they then would'nt be officially recognised or commemorated.

Do you know if this date was arrived at arbitrarily by the IWGC/CWGC or was there input from, for example, the medical profession or British Legion etc.

Regards

Jimmy

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Terry Denham

It was not an arbitrary date.

31.08.21 was the day that the UK parliament declared the Great War to be over.

Up until that date, the war with Germany was still going on. On 11.11.18 only an armistice was declared and this had to be extended a number of times. Only after the Treaty of Versailles and a number of other treaties had been settled could the war be declared over.

Also, fighting continued in several places - all stemming from the war (eg Russia, India, Iraq, Ireland) plus there were troops on occupation duties and battlefield clearance.

Although no similar treaties were required after WW2 due to the unconditional surrender of the Axis nations, a similar period was allowed for war grave purposes for the same reasons (fighting in Greece, Palestine, Indonesia, India etc).

This has been discussed in detail a number of times on the Forum. A search should bring out more info.

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Jonathan Saunders

This was great work Terry and as this type of thing is your forte any suggestions on teh following.

My local War Memorial has AJ Goodwin listed. I cannot find an obvious match amongst the 64 or so A Goodwin's on the CWGC. There were two branches f the Goodwin family in Rainham at that time and I thought at least I had a positive lead when I found a AJ Goodwin baptised in about 1898 ... alas I came across this unfortunate infant in the burials when looking for something else.

I am sure this country's memorials have several survivors incorrectly commemorated and I have heard a couple of explanations. Do you think it likely my man did survive and what possible reasons do you think exist for his family believing he was dead and for him not to have returned to the village by Dec 1920.

As always many thanks for your considered opinions.

Jon

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john w.

Following on from Signals, my local memorial has the possibility of three missing. Have the proof for one so far. am going to present him to the local parish council for inclusion, and see what they say. He is remembered on the CWGC and SDGW, just wasnt on the war memorial. I am aware that his family may not have opted into putting his name up in the village.

John

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Terry Denham

Signals

There are many hundreds of names on local war memorials that can't be traced in CWGC's database - just going by the posts on this Forum.

There are many reasons that the 'name' can't be found - surviving is one of them. However, I honestly believe these cases to be very much in the minority (but they do exist).

The first problem people have is that they are researching a specific memorial and they try to match the names which appear on it. Often it does not occur to them that the memorial might be wrong and that they are looking for names which don't exist. It becomes firmly implanted in their mind that every other source is wrong or deficient because 'Joe Xavier Bloggs' doesn't appear.

Local memorial names follow no overall rules. There are errors of spelling, wrong initials, alternative initials (where a man was better known by a nickname), survivors, casualties who died after the CWGC cut-off dates, non-qualifiers and yes, some who have been missed from CWGC files. Nightmare!

In your example, you could even be looking for a Godwin etc etc. You have to bear in mind that members of the same family often spelled names differently and sometimes different spellings were used by the same person!

John w

Often n-o-k didn't put forward a name for a variety of reasons but I always follow the CWGC principle that every casualty is entitled to recognition and nobody can take that right away. Not even the n-o-k. It was not their ultimate sacrifice after all.

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Kevin Lynott

Terry,

well done,

How and where did you obtain his death certificate from? Is it as simple as the local registary office?

Kevin

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John_Hartley

Terry

Congratulations to you and the other researcher.

It's cheered me up no end, particularly as your chap was a Manc.

I'm just back from few days at Kew and think I now have compelling evidence to present to CWGC about my own "missing Manc", Tom Worthington. Apart from all the other stuff I had (which includes his MIC and Medal Roll - both stating he was "Missing in Action"), I now have a War Diary extract from 7/8/15 "Coy SM Worthington badly wounded in trench now missing".

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Terry Denham

John

This may sound pedantic but you will need his death certificate to prove he is dead rather than just 'missing'. That will be the clincher as it will not only confirm his death but also confirm that it is the same soldier as in your other documents.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

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Jonathan Saunders

Terry,

This is a little more detailed scenario.

The WM was unveiled Dec 1920. As I understand it the names were literally collated by knocking on doors and asking if you had a relative that had died in the service of their country in the Great War. I think the last service death commemorated is May 1920 so I am assuming the canvassing would have taken place after that date. AJ Goodwin, if such a person existed, I assume had not been in contact with his family since before the war ended … also I have assumed his family had been notified he was “missing” ie he had not just decided to start a new life in sunny Belgium.

I cant be sure of my sources as it is sometime that I looked for this man but there were two Goodwin families and one Godwin family – I probably took this from the 1908 Kelly’s / 1918 AVL. I have searched the baptismal records of the local CofE church and the available Methodist churches going back to the late 1870s. There were Godwin’s and Goodwin’s baptised but the only AJ died about 5 months later. This probably suggests my AJ was baptised elsewhere whilst the family were temporarily non-resident in the village or that AJ is erroneous – there are no other potential errors that have been identified on the WM.

On the CWGC there is no obvious A Goodwin that would fit my man.

Requests for info in local publications have not resulted in any information.

I cant remember if I checked the A”X” Goodwin/Godwin on CWGC so I might do that. I think there was an Arthur Goodwin on the 1901 census but I found his baptismal as Arthur not Arthur J… - I cannot remember if I discounted him as I found him alive and well in 1920s documentation, but again if it was him, then an obvious match did not exist on the CWGC.

I cant remember if I have looked in the Service Death registers at the FRC/GRO but would be surprised if I hadnt.

What hair I have been spared has been vigorously tugged in trying to find an answer. I think I even looked in death notices going up until the 1960s in case an AJ Goodwin had turned up later.

I guess what I am asking is “am I missing anything” or is there another source I research I have not exhausted.

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Terry Denham

Signals

Sounds as though you are doing a good job!

Have you tried the Parish Council records (may now be held at the county archive). They could have been involved in the decisions.

However, you may be left with the fact that 'AJ Goodwin' is an error of some sort. I would certainly try the CWGC site for other initials.

TIP. Less is More.... I rarely use any initials when searching the site and I usually find names that others have failed with in this way. I rarely use the year filter either - unless it is a very common name. In this way you can get all the possibles at once - often including the errors. Surname plus WW1 usually does the trick - longer searches but more fruitful. When there are a number of possible name spellings, I often just use the first few letters on the name plus * to get as many possibles at once.

Which village are we talking about by the way?

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john w.

I tried the Parish council records in Chelmsford for my village and drew a blank. I was hoping that I could sort out the list of who was to be included, and so on.

I think I was expecting to find documents etc, but I fear it was a sub committee that dealt with it all and all I found was some reference to the memorial and that was it.

So I am thinking again.

Terry

Thanks for the words of encouragement, I will pursue the inclusion and see that he gets added, provided my evidence is accepted. Think I will need the birth certificate to show where he was born and not rely on SDGW.

John

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Roy Evans

Terry,

Well done, I'm full of admiration.

Roy

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