View Full Version : Service records

10-11-09, 15:06
How many have managed to get their ancestors army records off ancestry?

One soldier I found had 39 pages - albeit that some were blank and bits of other pages looked a bit burnt and had bits missing. Unexpectedly its given us another branch to research:emb::emb:

10-11-09, 15:12
I found my paternal grandfathers service record only last week. I didn't even know he had been in the army until I bought a copy of my father's full birth certificate and then, because they were irish I didn't know whether it was the irish army or the british army he was in (the birth certificate just said father's occupation - soldier). I found this when just putting in names at random after hours of trying to find a record for my other grandfather who I just cannot find. I guess his was one of the records that was lost.


10-11-09, 17:13
I have found the service record for my Grandmother's brother, about 12 pages I think.

I can't find my Grandfather's records though, which is a shame.

Ann from Sussex
10-11-09, 17:22
I've found a few for distant relatives but have now found my grandfather's which I had from Kew a several years ago anyway.I would like to find my other grandfather's records. He was invalided out early in 1918 after being gassed in the trenches and I would like to know more about his condition. I would have thought he should have got a pension but there's nothing for him on Ancestry.


Jill on the A272
10-11-09, 18:15
Nothing for my grandfathers, but have some for my great uncles and some of their cousins. I inherited a great uncle's postcard collection so now know that the ones of Conway and Queenstown were bought during his training postings with the Royal Engineers.

10-11-09, 18:16
I have my Grandfathers, a couple of gt Uncles & my Aunt Mauds husband who went on to commit bigamy!:Wink:

Teresa from the Bay
10-11-09, 20:21
I was so happy to find my maternal grandfather. He used an assumed name which I knew of but it was like looking for a needle in a haystack! I was trawling through yet another record but didn't hold out much hope as this man came from nowhere near where grandad was born. Then addresses in the record leapt out at me. He was discharged to my grandparent's address hundreds of miles away and the last known address he gave the army was the address at which I was born to!:Big Grin:

10-11-09, 22:02
While i'm pleased i've found some of mine i'm gutted the only 2 I really wanted to find aren't there, my great grandfather's & my great grandmother's twin brother.


16-11-09, 15:08
Hi All,

None, I am afraid. My g/grandfather's records for the RMLI between 1860 and 1881 were uncommonly easy to find from but my grandfather's records were among the burnt series and his Home Guard Record which was particularly relevant because he earned a GC (posthumously) seem to have been "lost". It cost me £60 to find out about the WWI records and HG records for zilch! However, he also served in the Boer War and I had no problem getting these records!


16-11-09, 15:10
Sorry, I think I misread this - the problems I had getting records were from the MOD. Ancestry obviously did not have records that were relevant from the "burnt series" and Home Guard records are not on there.


16-11-09, 15:37

I had a call from my sister-in-law a few days ago - have only spoken to her on phone x1 before - sum total of our contact for various family (sort of odd)reasons.

She tells me that she has found a "box" re my grandfather that contains a "badge" ?what. She says it is a silver pin and shows either an arrow or gun on it which she thinks is something to do with "shooting". He was posted, after injury at St. Elois, to the School of Musketry in Hythe, Kent as an instructor for a while with the rank of Captain. I suspect this silver pin badge is what this is (I have written to her and asked her if she can photograph or look for inscription on back and sent her a piccy of badge from the Musketry School).

She also tells me in this box is a strip of rectangular colours - well, I don't know what they are called either but sound like a medal strip - the family story has been that his widow threw his medals away when he was killed in 1942 in the Home Guard. He did earn a GC in 1942 for his HG demise which is in a church in Wiltshire BUT the rest of the medals are supposedly thrown away by his wife in her grief in 1942! My husband suggests that he would not have this rectangular strip of medal colours if he had not actually claimed them. How can I possibly check whether he claimed or not. He was an officer for the last part of his service and would have had to claim. I believe ORs did not have to claim. I have seen his MIC cards and all apart from the last do not show that he has claimed. The last shows his being in 1920 attached to a Military Mission in Washington as ?what but also shows he was claiming a medal.

Where do I go from here. I have asked my sis-in-law to photo the silver badge/pin iff she can (she is 75 and not militarily inclined) and also asked her from where a letter she has found in same box came from as it asks "did he claim his medals".

I suspect I will not actually get an answer from her to these questions but does anyone have any clue as to where I can go from here? How do I find out if he claimed his medals - I am not impressed thus far by the MOD!

I do not have his records from WWI - it would appear they are among the burnt series possibly. I do not have his Home Guard records as they cannot be found! - where on earth did they get his info from for his GC award! I do have however his Boer War record which is of course no use for this information but was ridiculously easy to find - obviously the older the better.

His name was William Foster b 1880 but the army, on his MIC cards have him as Walter Gordon Foster or WG Foster. The Royal Fusilier War Diary also has him by this name (he was not using an alias - it was an error). His army no. which I am totally unable to find at the mo but is ?123971. (am in the middle or sorting all paperwork for the research on ALL the family and cannot at the mo find the army no. but am pretty sure it is correct.

Grateful for any response.


Ann from Sussex
16-11-09, 17:06
Sorry, I think I misread this - the problems I had getting records were from the MOD. Ancestry obviously did not have records that were relevant from the "burnt series" and Home Guard records are not on there.


They do have at least some of the burnt records online because my grandfather's were in this series and now they are on Ancestry. I imagine some of them were either so badly burnt as to be unrestorable or were destroyed altogether. I think my other grandfather's WW1 records probably came into that category. I have his medal card but no service record or pension award.As it is, the burnt record that I do have is quite badly damaged with only bits of it legible and it is black and charred around the edges.


16-11-09, 17:35
As he was a Captain, his file, for WW1 service if it has survived (and more officers files have survived than for other ranks) will be at Kew, unless he went on to serve beyond
Mar 1922, in which case it would be with the MOD.

The recommendation for his GC is possibly at Kew too.

16-11-09, 18:22
Hi, Many thanks for response. His records are not at Kew and they are able to tell me that they never had them (something to do with a second number). The MOD are unable to find them.

I am really so interested to find out about this "silver pin" my sis-in-law has found and the rectangular colouredd strips as she describes them.

I really would very much like to know how I can find out ifhe applied for all his medals especially as the family story is that his wife threw them all away in 1942 when he was killed in the Home Guard.

Many thanks for any help whatsoever on this.


16-11-09, 19:54
I think the fact that he has an MIC means that he claimed them.

Medal rolls - at Kew, not online- may confirm.

21-12-09, 02:24
In trawling through WW1 service records on ancestry I found that each soldiers records were not necessarily for that soldier. On a couple of ocassions the soldier's record on line included part of into the next persons record. Also the search for a serviceman even when the regimental number and name is known doesn't pull up the right man. Another sloppy data base from them.

21-12-09, 02:39
Thread moved to Research Qs & As (http://www.familytreeforum.com/research-qs/)

Christine in Herts
21-12-09, 11:48
Sue1, is this one yours?
Gazette Website: PDF Navigator (http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/35802/pages/5173)

Second para of left-hand column.

Lieutenant William FOSTER, Home Guard (Whaddon, Alderbury, Wilts)

There's also a brief report in The Times of September 15th. I have sent you a PM. He had earned the DCM and the MC in WW1. A brave man, and gallant.


Christine in Herts
21-12-09, 12:22
You may be able to find out a bit more about his WW1 medals by trawling the London Gazette. Unfortunately, simply searching for [Foster with "Military Cross"] could miss his record, if he's in a long list and his name doesn't appear on the same page as the critical words.

Sorry - I did have a quick look but have already spent an hour more playing at genealogy than I should have done!