Returned application.

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by sligoglaswegian, Jul 23, 2015.

  1. sligoglaswegian

    sligoglaswegian Active Member

    Hi,I recently applied for my fathers service records,this morning I received a letter to say the search was unsuccessful. It says the full name of the subject and his service number(underlined) and/or date of birth are required to facilitate a search,and it is possible that some of the data was either missing or incorrect. I have my father's D.O.B. Correctly filled in on the application and as far as I'm aware the rest of the form is also correct. Does the service number have to be supplied for the search to take place? I also sent a copy of my fathers death certificate to confirm his birth date. Is there any way of finding dad's service number if it's vital to finding his records?

    CL1 and brithm like this.
  2. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Service number will help, but you don't need to put it on the application. Just the FULL DOB will do. They found my father's records from just his DOB.
    I cannot really offer any other advice apart from giving them a call and asking them to check again, they do make a lot of mistakes :mad:


    Did they return your cheque?
    Edit-just a thought, he was in the Army wasn't he?
    stolpi and amberdog45 like this.
  3. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Just a couple of thoughts on the DOB, since you do not have an Army number for them to cross reference:

    The DOB given on a death certificate relies on the memory or knowledge of the informant. It may not always be correct... e.g. one relative's death certificate contains an approximate year of birth.

    It may also depend on the age given at the time of enlistment.
    Another relative lied about his age - twice. The first time to make himself older, the second time to make himself appear younger.
    amberdog45 likes this.
  4. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Could you tell us his name and which unit he was in please?
    dugie likes this.
  5. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member

    I was just away to say double check his DOB with the Registrars office. You can view entries on line at Scotlandspeople up until 1914, after that it's a case of ordering the cert, that's if he was born in Scotland. If born in England or Wales double check on Ancestry. My Dads year of birth was a year out I discovered when I did my family tree. And previous generations were loose about the truth when it came to their age. Had a right laugh when one shaved 10 years off her age when she remarried.
    stolpi likes this.
  6. sligoglaswegian

    sligoglaswegian Active Member

    Good morning and thanks for your reply's,as far as I'm aware the date is correct,I'll check dad's birth certificate later (I'm at work at the moment) i don't know much at all about his service as he would'nt speak about it,so I don't know which unit or regiment etc he was in which is why I applied for his records.
  7. I prsue that you have you tried Forces War Records? If not I'd suggest that would be a good first step.

    Seeing as you might be from the Glasgow area and I'm Glaswegian I'll be happy to give it a try if you want to PM the details to me.

    If not, best of luck.
    stolpi and bamboo43 like this.
  8. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    A very kind offer Archie Hamilton.
  9. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

  10. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter 1940 Obsessive

    The crucial thing with a service number is that shows that a record should exist. If a number is supplied then I have the impression that they'll do their best to search until they find it. Without a number, there are all sorts of possibilities, such as that he served in another service for instance...or could he have been a Guardsman - was he tall ? Did he ever use another name ? Do you have a photograph in uniform ?

    Are there any little snippets that might give clues ? Did he marry or father a child during the war ? Could he have been a pre-war territorial or regular ? Might any other branch of the family still have a letter that he wrote whilst he was serving (it was quite usual to state service number rather than a full address). If anyone ended up with your grandparents' paperwork and still has it in an old suitcase somewhere then there may be information there...

    I come from a long line of clutterers and hoarders so I've never had to face this dilemma :)
    dbf likes this.
  11. sligoglaswegian

    sligoglaswegian Active Member

    thanks all for your input,i have looked now at my fathers birth cert,and it's the same as on his death cert (16/11/21).
    4jonboy,yes i did get the postal order back,and yes he was in the army.

    i've been racking my brains all day trying to recall anything that was mentioned about dad's time in the army,it isn't much to go on but i think my mother mentioned he joined up with his brother john,and i know john was in the a&sh,i recall italy being mentioned,dad was a bit deaf and had tinitus(sp?) and mum reckoned it was the noise of the guns during the war that caused this. i suppose like a lot of cases if i would have asked all the relevant questions when he was alive i could have this solved by now.
    rich payne,it's no to all your questions apart from pre war territorial or regular,that question i can't answer,but as far as i know he wasn't.

  12. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    Did your mother and father marry during the war, or whilst he was still in the army? If so, and you have a copy of their marriage certificate, it may mention his regiment there.

    I recently applied for records with the correct DoB - but added a note in the cover letter that the DoB was likely to be different, because the family was sure that he had lied about his age. (He had lied about his age). We didn't know the service number, but we were pretty sure about the regiment though. Even with the scant information we could provide, they still found the records.

    I think Lesley suggested to give them a ring. It is a good bit of advice. They are really helpful and at least then you will know why they returned your application.

    dbf likes this.
  13. sligoglaswegian

    sligoglaswegian Active Member

    hi jules,my parents married in 1950 and dad wasn't in the army then. i'll give them a ring tommorrow and see what they have to say and maybe they might be able to point me in the right direction re service number etc.

  14. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    Let us know how you get on. Hopefully it is an error at their end.
  15. Jawohl, zu befehl, Alle ist claar - as they used to say in Commando war comics in my day :)
    CL1 likes this.
  16. sligoglaswegian

    sligoglaswegian Active Member

    Hi,I called the records office this morning and was speaking to a very helpful lady, she tried searching the data base for a match for James docherty born 16/11/1921 but could find no match.she also tried a variation on the spelling of the surname,but again no match.she reckons like some posters here he could have given a false dob which would be impossible to guess. so I think unless I have his service number I won't be able to get his records.
  17. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member


    Was your Dad born in Scotland? This is a real long shot but if he enlisted in '39 you may get occupational details from his entry from the 1939 ID register. Down side is you could get it and find no additional info at all.

    If he died out with Scotland you will need to provide his death certificate. If he died in Scotland this will not be required.

    Just look up Scottish ID Register 1939 on line and you will be able to download the forms which are really straight forward to fill out. I think you return them to Registrars House in Edinburgh and they will search for a fee of £15, which they will return to you if nothing is found.

    If you use Postal orders and they are returned, they are refundable at the post office for 6 months if you keep the receipt.

    Like I say its a long shot, but looks like you are running out of options. Can't see the register going on line any time soon for Scotland, even though findmypast are putting the English & Welsh details on line sometime this year. Genealogists are trying to put the pressure on to have the 1921 census released early, but I think they are being stubborn about the 100 year release rule.

    I'm sure I got a response within a couple of weeks any time I applied for anything from the 39 register. You'll get name, address, dob and occupation from the register. Good luck.
  18. Red Goblin

    Red Goblin Senior Member

    It's a pity you're dealing with such a common name ...
    ... but there I have to disagree as, needing to remember the lie in case spot-quizzed about it, most successful fibbers only changed the year - so simply search for anyone indexed as born 16 Nov ... if their search engine will allow it ! And if not, another tactic would be to export all their d/b matches for, say, 1916-20 births into a spreadsheet and use Excel to isolate those with any of the 5 16 Nov birthdays within that range.

    NB: I've tried ringing both the Kentigern House Historical Disclosures #s I have at least 3 times each, to check whether they could do either of these things, but constantly get an engaged tone - maybe you'll have better luck as apparently using a different # to actually get through !
  19. sligoglaswegian

    sligoglaswegian Active Member

    hi amberdog,i,ve never heard of the 1939 id list.does it list everyone in a household like a census or just head of the family?if it lists occupation that maybe the info i'm looking for as my dad was born in glasgow in 1921.

    redgoblin,your right it is a very common name,the lady i spoke to on the phone this morning done a search for all army with the name james docherty and she reckoned there were hundreds on the data base,but none of them matched the dob of my dad.
    re spreadsheets and exel etc i wouldn't be too compitent on a computer for that kind of work. re the phone number for kentigern house i also got the engaged tone when i tried first but i then noticed the opening time is 10.00 till 12.00 on a friday so i rang at 10.01 and got through right away.
  20. sligoglaswegian

    sligoglaswegian Active Member

    amberdog,had a look at the 39 id application form,i don't think it could be wrongly filled out.i think i might give it a try and see what comes back.thanks,john.i was on to the a&sh museum this morning,but they don't hold much data,apart from what has been donated.the girl i spoke to advised me to try local glasgow newspaper archives to see if dad's brothers death in 1942 was mentioned as sometimes members of the deceased servicemens family who were also in service were mentioned in the article,so i have posted on rootchats lanarkshire board to see if anyone has any info on this. regards,john.

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