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help with deciphering docs from Ancestry


Gillie
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Good Morning, I wonder if you could give me your opinion on the following..... if anyone does have access to Ancestry, my ancestor is James Dean and his service number is 3415, private, 5th Batt Manchester Reg. From Genes-reunited, someone kindly looked up the info for James. I did not know his service number prior to this. I do know the record is correct because it gives the right spouse as Ellen Dean and gives the right address in Wigan.

My query is that, my elderly Aunt believes James fought in WW1 and that he was gassed in the trenches and this contributed to his death at age 58yrs in 1934.

This document states that he was signing up to 4 yrs service in the Territorial Force. It asks if he has served before in army/navy/TF etc etc and he answers NO. He signs up on 17th April 1915. It says "embodied" 17.4.1915. It then says at the bottom of that page, "Total service towards engagement in the Territorial force to .... June 4/15, (date of discharge) - 49 days. It says he is "Discharged in consequence of .... being found medically unfit for further service. There is also a sheet where he signs to say he will serve overseas in the event of National Emergency signed 17.4.1915. The next page does not have his service number on but says he is 35yrs..... if this is the correct sheet and not an error in being scanned in, then James would have lied about his age. He was born 1875/1876. I have read that recruits were being taken on up to age 39 is that correct? In which case I can see why he lied.

Would James have been sent overseas?

Had James completed his training by 17.4.1915 or had he just walked into the office and signed up on that day? Would they have sent volunteers out straight away without training? It's the 49dys bit that concerns me. Looking on the sister site it explains that soldiers would have been awarded medals if they had served overseas, on one page, next to "campaigns, medals and decorations, I see a squiggle which I assume is two initials that look like H.S. The commanding officer is E.H Hindley Smith. Do I assume that the characters H.S are just this commanding officers initials or does it refer to some medal???? Than again, medals would not have been awarded within 49 days of signing would they? Any medals would have been awarded after the conflict??????

On Ancestry, the category is "British Army WW1 Pension Records 1914-1920"

Did James get a pension then? Even though he only possibly served 49 dys????

I would love to know "the experts" opinions on this. I would be very grateful for any help you could give me

Regards

Gill

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It looks like he signed up, and was found not medically fit for service and was discharged from the Army after 49 days. The initial medical exam was very cursory and most were followed up with a proper exam after a month or two. James was probably rejected at this later medical exam.

After that he would have gone back to his civvie life, or he may have gone elsewhere and re-enlisted, possibly giving a false-name (hopefully not!), or waited until he was conscripted. Considering his age, the former is more likely.

It might be worth having a check under his wife's maiden name.

Whatever the case, it would be highly unlikely that he served under the 3415 number when he rejoined.

The "Pension Records" are not very well named. They are really "Records, or copies thereof, that weren't in the main warehouse when the firebomb fell on it".

Steve.

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Gillie

I agree with Steve, The date James signed the 1/5th Manchesters were in Egypt and just about to embark for Gallipoli. however I have done a bit of research on a couple of others named Dean in the Wigan area, could you tell me his address on the 1901 census and i will try to find something out for you.

Nick

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Hi Steve and Nick, thank you so much for trying to help me. Nick... the address for James in the 1901 census, he is living with his mother (I guess because his father Thomas had just died) at Hallgate, Wigan. His wife Ellen Dean, nee Ollerton, is living with her mother Mary Ollerton (c1850) with their 2 small children Thomas c1897 and Mary Ann c1900. I cannot make out the address on the census return but I think it says 7 Second st???? St Andrews parish in Wigan. The address in 1915 according to the army record was 7 stanley Sq Off Platt Lane Wigan.

As an aside, I have been told that James and Ellen's first born Thomas c1897 had lied about his age to join up and was killed very soon afterwards. However, the Genes-reunited community were not able to find anything for him.

Thank you so much

gillie

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Gillie

I suspect this is James brother:

Casualty Details

Name: DEAN

Initials: T

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: Manchester Regiment

Unit Text: 1st/5th Bn.

Date of Death: 07/08/1915

Service No: 1933

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Sp. Mem. B. 33.

Cemetery: TWELVE TREE COPSE CEMETERY

I cannot be certain yet, but i am at the history shop in Wigan on Thursday, delving through old newspapers, i will see if i can come up with anything on your Uncle and his brother. As a footnote Hindley Smith also died.

Nick

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Wow, thanks Nick. It was James son, Thomas (c1897) who I heard had died in the dardanelles. James does have a brother thomas c1873 but I don't know if he joined up or not. There is another brother William 1885 who I know joined up, I have been in contact with his grandaughter. She believes he was awarded medals but cannot find anything about his service number. I think there were a lot of Dean's in Wigan.

Thank you so much for taking an interest in this. Do you live in Wigan then? I live in Kent but I was born Ashton in Makerfield. I went to school at Ashton Secondary Modern, later to be called Cansfield High.

I look forward to hearing from you - I hope you do find some info in the History Shop.

Regards

Gillie

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Gillie

I should have said i think this is his son not brother.

I do live in Wigan, and went to the recently demolished Tommy More

I'll see what i can find.

Nick

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Also Gillie

There is a book by a local author Fred Holcroft, the book is called "Just like hell". It is about local men at Gallipoli, it is hard to get hold of but you might be lucky on the internet.

Nick

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Gillie

In post #4 you queried a Second Street? in Wigan. I have an atlas of about the 1930s when there was a SecondAvenue in Wigan, and a Second Street in Ashton in Makerfield.

The first was off Springfield Road, near Springfield Park, next to First and Third Avenues. I cannot find a Stanley Square, but there is a Stanley Street shown, off Platt Lane.

I am not well up in the Wigan parishes (despite ancestors living there generations ago), so do not know where St Thomas's runs.

Does this help or confuse?

Good hunting!

Daggers

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Thanks Nick for all your help.

Daggers - Thanks for that, it would be Second Avenue in Wigan.

Stanley "Square" is actually noted on the records I have, perhaps it was just known as square to the locals??? Thank you for taking the time to check. Can't wait till Thursday. I do hope the info that Nick brought up is the right Thomas Dean.... I would love to be able to tell my aunty (79yrs). However, I have yet to tell her about James and his 49 days. James would be my great grandfather.

Regards

Gillie

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Gillie

I think i might be able to confirm something.

Do the addresses 68 School Lane, or 139 Platt Lane mean anything, I know Daggers mentions something about Platt Lane

Nick

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Hi Nick, 139 platt lane means A LOT. This address is on my mum's birth certificate. Her mum was Margaret Dean, the daughter of James and Ellen Dean. On the WiganWorld site, there is a link to Wigan Cemetery Lower Ince and it shows James Dean being registered at this address at time of death in 1934. I don't know anything about the other address.... but that does not mean it does not have any relevance. oohh what have you found?????????

Gillie...

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Gillie

The Thomas Dean is definatly your great grandfathers son, There is a register in the history shop every person who enlisted in WW1 is in it. it is not 100% accurate. I found out the other address in Fred Holcrofts book, it is obviously the wrong address, but it says he was a collier at Lyndsay Colliery, which is virtually across the road from Platt Lane.

Nick

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Thank you so so much for looking that up for me. I can't tell you how thrilled I am. I can now tell my aunty with confidence. I take it nothing was found about James then? I have downloaded a medal card from the national archives, if i can work out how to attach it would take a look at it for me? It shows 2b Balkans and I gather that is Gallipoli,Dardanelles. (I've learned a lot over the past couple of days!) Date of entry therein.......06.05.15, the date he actually landed at Helles????? He got all 3 medals. Now, the bit in the bottom right hand side, above K in A (Killed in Action) it says "with........ ??????? 17.1.1914.

Gillie

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