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Remembered Today:

Nicknames used in memoirs


Guest edgeworld

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In my Grandad's memoir he mentions several of his mates, but only uses nicknames, like 'Soapy' and 'Snowy'. Since he died years ago and no one ever asked him who the people were, they remain unknown (at least to my family). My cousin first looked into the memoir and tried to find out, but with little success. He had a list of the men who died from his battalion, but of course, how do you narrow it down... Does anyone know if there is any way to find out?

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In my Grandad's memoir he mentions several of his mates, but only uses nicknames, like 'Soapy' and 'Snowy'. Since he died years ago and no one ever asked him who the people were, they remain unknown (at least to my family). My cousin first looked into the memoir and tried to find out, but with little success. He had a list of the men who died from his battalion, but of course, how do you narrow it down... Does anyone know if there is any way to find out?

Post the complete list.

A lot of army nicknames were given to particular surnames, so some might be clear enough.

IIRC there is a thread on army nicknames here.

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Beppo

"Soapy" Watson and "Snowy" White, perhaps.

John Milner

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Can only agree.

"Snowy"White,without a doubt.

Bet there are loads of"Gingers",in the war diaries that we have.

And the odd "Pat",or "Tommo".

Look forward to the list.

Simon.

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Edgeworld, you might want to check out this older thread here that mentions many nicknames in the armed forces.

Peter in Vancouver

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Thanx for replies. As my cousin has the list of the dead, it will take a bit to get a hold of them, so will post them as soon as I have them.

To Simon R, it is not an 'original diary' in that it was written in 1974. My grandfather wrote it because my father left him the pen and paper, but as far as I know he never spoke about his experiences. thats what makes it interesting, the fact that he writes it as a narrative and that it seems so real, like he was reliving the experience.

I agree with John and Simon, in that the nicknames will probably have an obvious reference to the person, and thankyou Broznitsky for that thread, it was very interesting. My grandad's nickname was 'long boat', because he was a 'six-footer'. 'Soapy' was so called because he apparently had an aversion to soap, and it is clear that my grandad remembers him well. Soapy was also small, around five-ft, so it is interesting that he was called a nickname that didn't refer to this (Broznitsky your thread mentions the height thing). there is only one reference to 'Snowy' whereas Soapy is mentioned many times, and dies right next to my grandad from a shrapnel wound to the spine.

It is clear from any amount of reasons, you could be called any number of nicknames...

As a last point, their battalion was the 11th Royal West Kents 'Lewisham' from the 41st Div. The battle that my Grandad was injured in was the battle of Le Transloy on the Somme, where they advanced into No man's land on the 7th of October and where a large body of the 'Lewisham boys' became casualties (out of 16 officers and 465 men, 13 officers and 323 men).

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