Help Required - Finding Records of a Family Member (Chindits, Burma)

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by Jacob Fenton, Dec 28, 2019.

  1. Jacob Fenton

    Jacob Fenton 22 y.o posh-ish Brit from Hertfordshire, England.


    Apologies to all - the name of my Step-Grandfather's father is Christopher JOHN Bysouth. That's the trouble with each male member (in our line) starting with Christopher.
    The photograph that Paul has uploaded from a gravestone is indeed the gravestone of the individual I am researching.
    Once again, I apologise for any confusion.
  2. Jacob Fenton

    Jacob Fenton 22 y.o posh-ish Brit from Hertfordshire, England.

    Hi Paul,

    Below you will find information I have compiled through Ancestry and distant relatives of Christopher John

    - Born 5th June 1918 - Surrey, Kent, England
    - Died: 13th September 1981 - Wandsworth, London
    - Buried at Baldock Cemetery, Hertfordshire

    - Son to Christopher Bysouth and Florence Maud(e) Broad
    - Sibling to Barbara Phoebe Bysouth

    - Guess-timate: Christopher J was in England (possibly Dover or Kent) before being shipped over to Burma.
    - This is where he met his wife and they fathered their first child: Christopher Bysouth (My Step-Grandfather).

    That's all I can muster from memory at the moment. When able, I will ask for further information from my step-grandfather.
  3. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Jacob, please come back when you know more. Good luck going forward.
    Jacob Fenton likes this.
  4. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member

    Now that we know his first name was Christopher, I had a look at the newspaper archive.

    The Edinburgh Evening News 29 Jun 1942
    Bysouth - At Edinburgh on June 26 to Cathie, nee Sinclair, 6 Victoria Street, Rose well, wife of C. J. Bysouth Jun, Baldock, Herts, a son.

    I've had a look at the genealogy site Scotlandspeople and a Christopher Bysouth birth was registered in the George Square District, Reference 685/5 1757. Only births up to 1919 are viewable online at the moment, but birth cert can be ordered for £11 or £12 approx.

    I looked further and found Catherine Sinclair married Christopher John Bysouth in the Lasswade District in 1941, Reference 691/57.

    The marriage entry will be viewable online. However, you will need to purchase the minimum of 30 credits (£7.50 the last time I used it) to open the marriage register page.

    The marriage entry should supply you with age, occupation, residential address and the parents names, type of service, where it was held and witness names.

    You might strike lucky and find his battalion mentioned on the register (if he was in the forces by 1941).

    But don't waste money on this at the moment. I'd like to see where he is on the 1939 Identification Register first to see if it indicates he was in the forces in '39.

    If he was in the forces '39, there's a stronger likely hood it will be mentioned on the '41 marriage register entry and the '42 birth register entry for Christopher.

    Hang fire for now to see if he's traceable from '39.
    Jacob Fenton, bamboo43 and wibs12 like this.
  5. wibs12

    wibs12 Well-Known Member

    Top work Maria......!!...... I had a few credits spare on the site and didn't mind using them so have copied the page below.

    Lots of useful generic info as you suspected, and specifically shows that he was a Lance Corporal, Royal Army Signal Corps, engaged in war service.

    Details are:
    Christopher John Bysouth, 23yr old bachelor, an Electrician (Journeyman) and Lance Corproral, Royal Army Signal Corps, usual address is 31 Hitchin Street, Baldock, Herts (now engaged in war service). Address is same he was at on 1939 register. His parents noted as Christopher Bysouth, an Electrician (Master) and Florence Maude Bysouth (nee Broad).

    Catherine Sinclair, 22yr old spinster, a domestic servant, usual address is 6 Victoria Street, Rosewell (local to church in Lasswade, Edinburgh). Her parents noted as James McMullen Sinclair, a Coal Miner and Lily Cunningham Sinclair (nee Hepburn).

    Witnessed by Agnes Sinclair (same address as Catherine, likely sister?) and Frederick E Aplin
    from Boscombe Road, Worcester Park, Surrey (an army comrade of Christophers??)

    Question - were the Royal Army Signal Corps based in Edinburgh in 1941?...... wondering why they married there.... was it likely just because Catherine was a local lass?


    Screenshot 2019-12-30 at 15.48.30.png
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2019
    Jacob Fenton, bamboo43 and amberdog45 like this.
  6. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member

    That's fantastic Paul. Thanks for downloading the marriage entry. I had no credits left.

    Wonder if the Signal Corps were training in the Edinburgh region? Looking forward to seeing this military service record.
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  7. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Great work Maria and Paul.
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  8. Jacob Fenton

    Jacob Fenton 22 y.o posh-ish Brit from Hertfordshire, England.

    Thank you Maria and Paul. A tad bit more information for you, in regards to Catherine.
    Below you will find a 1939 Register for Catherine:

    This would have placed Catherine being the age of either 19 or 20.

    S-G Chris is almost 100% sure that he was conceived between Christopher John's return and his departure to Burma.
  9. Jacob Fenton

    Jacob Fenton 22 y.o posh-ish Brit from Hertfordshire, England.

    I've just been told a vital bit of information which would have been spectacular a few days ago.
    S-G Chris just advised that Christopher John wore a Radio on his back (hence the Royal Army Signal Corp) during Burma as well and that his kit-bag is at his late brother's house.
    I'll have to wander on over this week and have a chat with Grandaunt Linda.
  10. Jacob Fenton

    Jacob Fenton 22 y.o posh-ish Brit from Hertfordshire, England.

    Their meeting could not have taken any sooner either, as in 1937, Catherine and her family were in France (though I have not been able to find out for how long).
    There must have been a moment when they had met prior during her time as a Domestic Servant in Harrogate or after the fact.
  11. wibs12

    wibs12 Well-Known Member

    EDIT........ NOTE.... the 1937 travel manifest you provided cannot be your Catherine Sinclair...... I should have spotted this before getting too excited about a 'famous' link and writing the text below.... the document Maria found and I downloaded showed that Catherine's parents were John McMullen Sinclair & Lily Cunningham Sinclair, NOT Archibald and Marigold Sinclair. No famous link sorry...... lesson learned for me, always check sources, don't get carried away!...... never mind, better spotted than not. have left the following 2 paragraphs in as they were my original post.

    Jacob.... if the Sinclair family you quote in the above document is a definite match for Catherine, then it would appear she came from pretty famous stock........ I only say if it is a definite match because I haven't checked the source of the document you provided.

    If it is right, then your great great grandfather, her father, Archibald Sinclair was a former MP, Secretary of State and Leader of the Liberal Party during WW2. He was the 1st Viscount Thurso and amongst other honours was a member of the Privy Council. He served as a Major in WW1 on the western front, and spent time as second in command to Winston Churchill in the Royal Scots Fusiliers..... he and Churchill remained strong friends for many years.

    See this article for further details.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2019
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  12. Jacob Fenton

    Jacob Fenton 22 y.o posh-ish Brit from Hertfordshire, England.

    Oh well! A mistake but an honest one :)
  13. wibs12

    wibs12 Well-Known Member

    It happens, part of the fun of research following rabbits down unrelated holes...!... best thing to do is wait for the service record and see what that brings.
  14. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member


    I am back home finally and taken a look through my list of names for Longcloth with an emphasis on Signallers. Sadly, this has drawn a blank, so the best way forward would be to apply for Christopher's Army records.

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