Help finding Service numbers

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by SteveLunt, Jan 19, 2022.

  1. SteveLunt

    SteveLunt Active Member


    I have two relatives that we know signed up for the Army but cannot find any record at all of them or a service number

    First is Thomas Hornby, born in May 1917, died in 1972 born in Bolton, we believe from his Daughter that he was with the REME and she thinks he was stationed in the desert somewhere (his Father was Henry Hornby who served in WW1 for Loyal North D Company)

    2nd is William Jackson, born November 1919, St Helens, Lancs, emigrated to Australia in 1950 we believe,
    (his Father was Josiah Jackson who served in WW1 South Lancs Regiment and Labour Corp)

    Ive trawled Ancestry for the names to try and find any info of a service number but fallling short , found all other family members who joined up , but really struggling with these two, but dont actually know if either of them saw active service

    Neither are on the 1939 Register , which could imply they had joined up by then

  2. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Last edited: Jan 19, 2022
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  3. SteveLunt

    SteveLunt Active Member

    Apologies yes for Thomas but not applied for his service records

    I did read it can be really hard without a service number especially if a common name, or rather its much easier with a service number

  4. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Steve you need to apply as suggested by Tony56 and myself last year

    a year has gone by

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  5. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    To be honest I don't know, but in most cases they go through OK without a service number. With so little in the public domain, and if it is a common name and you happen to find a service number how do you know it is the right person, it is just an assumption? You could end up with someone else's records.
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  6. SteveLunt

    SteveLunt Active Member

    Can do that for Thomas, but as William emigrated to Oz in 1950 , all we know is he died at some point, maybe prior to 1975, as William's neice remembers very vaguely a letter from someone in Oz saying he had passed away
  7. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    suggest you start with the easy one and apply for the records
    then focus on the difficult one
  8. SteveLunt

    SteveLunt Active Member

    I have applied for Thomas Hornby records now, I imagine it will be a good 6 months or so before hearing anything and I did sign the cheque this time :D

    Thomas it is believed he was sent to prison for hitting a superior officer , served 3 months in Prison, but he tried telling all the kids he went on a mission :D :D :D
  9. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Steve let us know when you receive them
  10. SteveLunt

    SteveLunt Active Member

    Thanks, and will do

    Someone on another forum has said theirs took 18 months due to Covid and the backlog
  11. SteveLunt

    SteveLunt Active Member

    Ironicallly foudn the difficult one really easy , all we knew was he emigrated to Australia in 1950 , found where he lived, who he lived with, (he was in Oz army too) his grave, when he died, his headstone too , the people he stayed with buried him and had his REME crest put on his headstone and marked him as Sapper William Jackson
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  12. SteveLunt

    SteveLunt Active Member

    I now have Thomas Hornby Army Number, but cannot find anything at all using that number

    He was Private Thomas Hornby 3856949 Royal Army Ordnance Corps
  13. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    The number is from the Loyals block and I think enlisted 11/8/38 (I have a Service Book to the man 4 below him and that was his date of enlistment)
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  14. SteveLunt

    SteveLunt Active Member

    Thank you

    We know from his Daughter that he was in the REME but nothing else, and he told her he spend a short time in prison for hitting a superior officer, and told his Mum he was away on training or similar :)

    I have applied for his military records but they will take quite some time, his Army number above came from his Daughters Birth Certificate which arrived today :)
  15. SteveLunt

    SteveLunt Active Member

    Also we assumed he joined up in Bolton, but wasnt sure as his Daughter said she thinks he signed up with William Jackson at the same time, and he was REME but signed up in St Helens we believe at Mill Street Barracks
  16. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Unless he was on the casualty lists (he wasn't) , was awarded a gallantry medal or MID (nothing in London Gazette), or someone has put something on the internet before, it is unlikely that you will; most WW2 personal information is not available in the public domain which is why the recommendation must be to send off for his records, they should show when and where he signed up, when he transferred between units (research is useless unless you know for certain).
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  17. SteveLunt

    SteveLunt Active Member

    Got a letter back from the MOD today, basically retunring all of my applicaiton and cheque for Thomas Hornby, saying he has now been transferred to the National Archives and I have to contact them

    I note that they will only allow you to view the records and not send them to you or view them online by the looks of it

    Has anyone else had similar being transferred to the National Archives

  18. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    I’ve answered your query on this topic - my understanding is that they will send you a hard copy of the file.


    You are lucky that as one of your men served in REME (at the time of his discharge?) his papers are likely in the first tranche of records NA announced are available there earlier this week.

    I’ll leave it to you to use the NA search engine to identify the reference for the file.

    Good Luck

    Last edited: Apr 8, 2022
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