TEC 4 Ward Portland-Weymouth, Dorset?

Discussion in 'US Units' started by WrightyJones, Jun 4, 2020.

  1. WrightyJones

    WrightyJones Member

    Hello all, I am hoping someone here can help me find out more information about my late grandmother's biological father.
    I have found a birth record of my grandmother's, stating her surname as 'Ward'. She was born in January 1945. I believe my great grandmother did not marry Sgt Ward.
    Little knowledge was passed down to me, apart from his surname 'Ward' and a few photographs, and that he was an American soldier in WW2.
    From these photographs, I researched the insignia on his uniform and learnt he was a TEC4 Sgt (I think I have this correct). I have no idea what regiment etc he was in (forgive my lack of knowledge on this). I don't even know where in the U.S he lived, or when he enlisted.

    My great grandmother lived in Weymouth, Dorset most, if not all of her life, and I'm almost certain she wasn't elsewhere during this time.
    I'm at a loss as to when Sgt Ward would've arrived in Weymouth and where exactly he was stationed. This could've been on Portland or Weymouth. Obviously from dating back from when my grandmother was born, he would have been there from at least March 1944.
    I also have a photograph of my grandmother, dated 1955 and signed by my great-grandmother to 'Daddy'. This makes me believe he didn't lose his life in the war.

    I may be barking up the wrong tree here, but if anyone has any information to help my search I would be overjoyed. Or even point me in the right direction as to how to find out more about him.
    Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope I have made some sort of sense.
  2. WrightyJones

    WrightyJones Member

    I have added a photograph of my great grandmother (right) and Ward, looking in more detail at it, I'm not sure where they are, at first glance I thought they were on Weymouth beach, but I don't recognise the background wall/building.
  3. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Not sure you are anywhere near the forest yet!

    Presumably you have your grandmother's birth certificate with no details of her father? But what is the information on it?
    Where & when born,
    Full name,
    Name & maiden name of mother,
    Name & residence of informant.

    The 1955 photo is interesting, if it was was signed 'to daddy', and presumably sent to Mr Ward, how did it come to be back in the family?
    Your great grandmother obviously kept in touch for at least 10 years so contact every family member you can, and grab hold of every photo, letter, scrap of information there is , perhaps there is other correspondence out there somewhere.

    Finding an 'unknown' father may prove very difficult but my suggestion would be to start a family history project and re-create the family, you may well find this interesting even if it doesn't give you the main answer you are looking for.

    Find your great grandmother in 1939 and start to recreate her life. Did she marry or have other children, could one be named after Mr Ward? Did she leave a will?

    You didn't disclose full names of your grandmother or your great grandmother but if you post all the information you have, full names, dates of birth/death etc then perhaps people around here may start you off.

    Haven't looked at them but have you searched online for guidance on the subject:
    GI babies - researching American soldiers' families
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  4. WrightyJones

    WrightyJones Member

    Not sure you are anywhere near the forest yet!- Yes, I agree, more like a desert!

    Thanks for your reply.
    Sorry for missing out so much information. Please see below for more detail.
    I have since found out that my G.G and Mr Ward were married in April 1942, and that his first name was John.
    I only have access to a library ancestry page so any info would be wonderful.

    Great Grandmother: Born 16th April 1925
    Jean Hoskins (maiden name)
    Jean Ward (Married April 1942, had daughter Yvonne M Ward, 30th Jan 1945, and son Michael J Ward Oct 1946)
    Jean McCormack (unsure of date of marriage, but son Terrance R V McCormack born in Oct 1948)
    Jean Griffiths (married in 1955 to Robert Griffiths, had son together-Jack 6th March 1953 or 1952)

    Grandmother: Born 30th Jan 1945
    Yvonne Probert (married name/name at time of passing)
    Yvonne Anderson (previous marriage in 1962)
    Yvonne McCormack (name changed when G.G remarried)
    Yvonne Ward (name on birth details)

    Great Uncle: Michael J Ward, born October 1946.

    I have found out that Mr Ward and my G.G were married in April 1942 as stated above, unfortunately that is all that I have found out.
    Also, I have had a look at the links you suggested, and may have a go at requesting military records, is this possible with such limited information?

    Thank you again for your advice.
  5. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    I would start with ordering the 1942 marriage certificate on line from here:
    The cert should give John Ward's age, address, occupation (poss inc his civilian one if a wartime soldier only), father & fathers occupation. May also give his nationality, army rank, unit, & number.
    I have just ordered a cert & delivery time is quoted as about 10 days at present.

    This is the full ref you will need to quote when ordering:
    Name: Jean Hoskins
    Registration Quarter: Apr-May-Jun 1942
    Registration district: Weymouth
    Inferred County: Dorset
    Spouse: John Ward
    Volume Number: 5a
    Page Number: 1091
    The marriage could have been registered anytime in that quarter.

    In terms of general time scales I believe (happy to be corrected) that as the US only declared war in Dec 1941, the first US troops arrived in the UK in Jan 1942, with larger numbers arriving spring 1942 onwards. So the marriage is within the first few months of US troops being in UK.

    Other military details of Sgt Ward will as Tony 56 suggests be on the childrens birth certificates.

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  6. WrightyJones

    WrightyJones Member

    Brilliant, thank you Travers for your help, I will take a look!

    Thanks for that, I was struggling to find out exactly when they came over (apart from as you said, the larger numbers arriving).
  7. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Although Jan 26th 1942 is usually given as the date that US soldiers landed in Britain it would seem that some of the 1st Infantry Division and the 34th Infantry Division may have arrived in England in Dec 1941. The numbers were small - less than 50 and they were probably tasked with organising preparations for the larger number arriving in January 1942
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2020
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  8. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    In addition to the suggestion by Travers in #5, the birth certificates of your grandmother and great uncle should have details of the father.
    Name: Yvonne M Ward
    Year: 1945
    Registration Quarter: Jan-Feb-Mar
    Registration district: Weymouth
    Inferred County: Dorset
    Mother's Maiden Name: Hoskins
    Volume Number: 5a
    Page Number: 564

    Name: Michael J Ward
    Year: 1946
    Registration Quarter: Oct-Nov-Dec
    Registration district: Weymouth
    Inferred County: Dorset
    Mother's Maiden Name: Hoskins
    Volume Number: 6a
    Page Number: 984
    WrightyJones likes this.
  9. WrightyJones

    WrightyJones Member

    Hello again everyone, still waiting for my certificate to be processed, 11 days and not dispatched yet. I understand measures at the moment are probable reason for delay.
    Travers, you stated you had recently ordered one, any joy yet? Thanks.
  10. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    Cert ordered 8th June, despatch date given as 15th June by second class post, not yet arrived, as you say understandable under the current circumstances, no saturday deliveries at moment.
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  11. WrightyJones

    WrightyJones Member

    Ah ok, I got the same date given. Thanks
  12. Richard Lewis

    Richard Lewis Member

    One marriage and one death certificate ordered 1st June. Despatch date given as 5th June. Both arrived here in France today, 24 June.
    WrightyJones likes this.
  13. WrightyJones

    WrightyJones Member

    Thanks! Won't be much longer for mine I'm sure
  14. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    Birth cert ordered 8th June has arrived today.
  15. WrightyJones

    WrightyJones Member

    Great news!
    Your post prompted me to check mine, it has been dispatched! Hallelujah!
  16. WrightyJones

    WrightyJones Member

    So upon receiving the certificate, here's what I know;

    Date married: 4th April 1942
    John Ward's age:23 (so must've been born in 1919)
    G.Grandmothers age: 17 (born 1925)
    Rank/Profession: Paratrooper (Pte)
    Residence: Sydney St, Weymouth
    Father's name: John Ward-Deceased (profession:Miner)

    Now I'm a bit confused about his rank, as seen in the photo, he was then Tec4, would this have been a 'promotion' from paratrooper?
    I'm attempting to find out which division he would've been in, and whether he was one of the first paratroops to jump in 1940.
    Without an exact birth date and social security number I don't think I'll be able to order anything from the states.

    Apart from answering these questions, I will also be attempting to locate my grandmother's birth certificate, hoping there may be more info about him on there.
  17. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    Good to see your cert has arrived as well.

    Looking online I see that the first airborne unit to leave the US was in June 1942 & was the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment (later to be 509th), but as you say the USA (like the UK) had first formed airborne units in 1940. Maybe for John Ward to be a US paratrooper in the UK in April 1942 he would be part of an advanced party as suggested in post 7, or a para qualified soldier in another role.

    If there is the possibility that John G Ward was a British paratrooper, he may have returned from the war & resumed his relationship with Jean 1945/1946. If his father was a miner John could have originated from one of the UK's traditional mining areas, such as Cornwall, Nottingham etc, rather than Weymouth and maybe being a miner before call up himself.

    I could not tie up the Sydney Street address (1920s/30s residential housing) in Weymouth with John Ward or the Hoskins family. Going by data in an online tree posted by another member of the Hoskins family on ancestry, the Hoskins were at 13 Adelaide Crescent, Weymouth in the 1939 Register, with Jean's father Samuel, a regular in the RAF not at home at that time.

    I hope your grandmothers birth cert will be informative.

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  18. WrightyJones

    WrightyJones Member

    Thankyou for your reply.

    Thanks for the info regarding which battalion/ regiment was first in '42.
    Being para qualified and in a different role would explain his uniform in the photograph.
    Ah yes, my apologies, I forgot to state the house number, 18 Sydney Street, which is close to Adelaide Cr. My first thought upon realising this was, could he have been British?

    I've also heard tell from a family member, that John and Jean moved up to Grimsby/Hull area before returning to Weymouth, unsure if this was together, as according to said family member they did eventually divorce, again unsure of when or why this happened.

    I'm planning to visit my grandfather on Weds, so hopefully he will be able to locate my grandmothers birth cert.

    As always thanks for your help!
  19. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    Yes, I see now how close Adelaide Cres & Sydney Street are & on adjacent pages on the 1939 Register, which gives Amos & Christine Thompson, Hector Mackenzie & John Spring at 18 Sydney Street. Must have been a wartime move for the Hoskins family.

    Have to say my thought is that its more likeley that John Ward is from the UK.

    Good luck with your searching on Weds.

    This website may be helpful:
    A living history of The Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces | ParaData
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
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  20. Shiny 9th

    Shiny 9th Member

    Have you identified where this photo was taken? I wondered if it was Bournemouth.The uprights on the top of the wall at the back remind me of that towns municipal style of the era.

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