Serviceman history request

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by DalditchDiscoverer, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. Hi all,

    I was wondering if someone can help me with some records. Last month, after a fruitless day at a local antiques fair, the last thing I saw nestled amongst the Moorcroft was a WW2 Royal Navy clasp knife, with a name on the side 'T. ADDINALL'

    I went onto Ancestry and found that this name is trooper Thomas William Addinall of Goole, Yorkshire. He was in the Royal Armoured Corps Queen's Own Yorkshire Dragoons, 318571.

    Sadly he was KIA on the 28th October 1942 in Egypt, aged 24 (Born JFM 1918) and now rests at El Alamein war cemetery.

    Casualty Details

    And that's all I know about him. My question is, I would like to find out the circumstances of his death, and if possible, his service history. If someone here could do me a favour, help me find out? (Maybe a War diary, or service history or some such?), as I don't have access to such records, I'd be most grateful!

    Many thanks!

    Best regards,


    Attached Files:

  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Just because there is 1 T Addinall listed on CWGC doesn't mean there weren't other T Addinalls who survived the war.
    Don't assume the knife was owned by the only one who died.
  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Interesting to know how a Trooper in the RAC had a Naval knife

    If you wish to obtain service records then the link is - Request records of deceased service personnel - GOV.UK, but you will need a copy death certificate, or CWGC reference, assuming that you have the right man

  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Looking a little deeper into this I found - Royal Navy clasp knife, Admiralty Pattern 301 Royal Navy clasp knife, Admiralty Pattern 301 (WEA 3034) with a short history. From this another possibility arises in that it could have belonged to a T Addinall who served in the Royal Navy WW1 and he:

    a) passed it onto his son
    b) lost it and it became the property of someone else (unknown)
    c) sold it and was purchased again by someone unknown

    Just for interest and comparison a British Army clasp knife - clasp knife, British Army issue (WEA 729)


    edited to add
    d) he survived the war and died peacefully at home then when the house was cleared his knife ended up in a dealers possession which ended up at an antiques fair
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017
  5. RCG

    RCG Senior Member, Deceased

  6. Hi All,

    Many thanks for the replies, and some great reads.

    I'm certain that this is the right chap. I first looked over both Ancestry and Find My Past websites, of course there are other Addinalls, but only one with the 'T' initial. Also, I looked at the military records on both sites, again, only Thomas William Addinall fits the bill.

    The knife itself is dated 1942, which I completely forgot to mention in my initial post, ruling out a WW1 soldier.
    Does make one wonder how it got to an antiques fare in Devon, in 2017.

    Best regards,


    Attached Files:

  7. RCG

    RCG Senior Member, Deceased

    Does make one wonder how it got to an antiques fare in Devon, in 2017.
    As it's a naval knife and Plymouth is next door to Devon the most likely reason is that it never left the home shore.

    It is even harder to explain how it belonged to Trp Thomas William Addinall who died in N Africa the same year as it was made.
    The photo of him on Ancestry seems to me that he was in the army well before 1942.
    Perhaps someone can confirm by the uniform.
    and he would have already be out in the middle East before the knife was made.
    Queen's Own Yorkshire Dragoons - Wikipedia
    As with a lot of items from that era it is very difficult to pin down who it belonged to even with a name on it.
  8. James Harvey

    James Harvey Senior Member

    Don't forget that all ww2 records except MN and CS men of the RN (1924-1940) are still sealed by MoD

    Try searching 39 register for someone get who is 15-16 in 1939 and called up to RN in 1942 (date RN knife issued) (age 18 is call up age)

    I bet there are loads of names on it. This is like looking for a needle in haystack

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