Territorial Army: Trying to find records

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by tackler7, Aug 13, 2020.

  1. tackler7

    tackler7 New Member


    I am currently researching the players of my rugby club and their service record during WW2.

    I am struggling with one and I wonder if you can help?

    Horace William BOWER, of 72 Pinderfields Road, Wakefield.
    Date of birth Jan-March 1915 and date of death 19th February 1943 aged 28.

    I've found an online newspaper report from September 1939 where he was best man at another players wedding and had been given special leave from the 'Territorials' to attend.

    Normally I would check the local newspapers in the local library for more information but in the current situation that isn't an option.

    His date of death and age suggests a possible death in service but I am unable to find a grave on CWWG - although I did find his elder brother who died at the end of the war.

    How can I confirm his war record and whether his death was during service or not?

    Thank you, Richard
  2. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Welcome to the forum.

    I’ve checked the Commonwealth War Graves Register for “Bower” deaths in 1943 but your man is not listed which suggests he did not die in military service.

    Search Results | CWGC

    You could always apply for his death certificate and that will confirm if it is your man?

    Other members may turn up further newspaper entries.

    Good Luck.

    tackler7 and Tony56 like this.
  3. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    There is a Horace William Bower in the Royal Artillery with number 927714, discharged 21/6/40 as unfit
    tackler7 likes this.
  4. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    The Yorkshire Evening Post, Monday, February 22, 1943

    BOWER - February 19, 1943, at 72 Pinderfield Road, Wakefield, aged 28 years. HORACE WILLIAM, the dearly beloved son of Horace Bower. Service and internment at Sandal Church on Tuesday 1:45.

    This seems to indicate that he died at home but I suggest you send off for his death certificate as suggested above by Steve, this will confirm deatils. First name(s) HORACE W
    Last name BOWER
    Gender Male
    Birth day -
    Birth month -
    Birth year 1915
    Age 28
    Death quarter 1
    Death year 1943
    District Wakefield
    County Yorkshire
    Volume 9C
    Page 36
    Country England
    Record set England & Wales Deaths 1837-2007

    You could also request his official service records for the full story.
    Get a copy of military service records

    PS. are you sure of his birth date? Could it be Q3 1914?
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2020
    tackler7 likes this.
  5. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    Hello & welcome,

    The territorial army had been mobilised from August 1939, so fits with Bower having to get leave to attend the wedding.

    There are two further death notices in the index to the British Newspaper archive, which by the way they are written may indicate that Horace died at 72 Pinderfields Road.

    .. Halton, Leeds —Service and interment at Manchester on Wednesday. BOWER. —February 19. 1943. 72. Plnderfield Road. Wakefield, aged 28 years. HORACE WILLIAM, the dearly beloved son of Horace BOWER—Service and Interment at Sandal Church on ...
    Published: Monday 22 February 1943
    Newspaper: Yorkshire Evening Post

    .. please accept this (the only) Intimation. A - Plnderfleids Road. Wakefield, aged 28 years. HORACEWILLIAM. the dearly beloved son Horace John and Florence BOWER —Was Interred Sandal Churchyard on Tuesday February 23 BROOK.—February 8 Street. Hunslet. aged ...
    Published: Tuesday 23 February 1943
    Newspaper: Yorkshire Evening Post
    Results for 'horace william bower' | Between 1st Jan 1943 and 31st Dec 1943 | Yorkshire, England | Location | British Newspaper Archive

    The index entry for administration of his estate (to his mother) gives no further details of his occupation or death, often they say "on war service" or similar for a serving soldier. The full administration costs £ 1.50 from here & might give more.
    Search probate records for documents and wills (England and Wales)

    There is no entry for him in the Army Roll of Honour 1939-1945.

    From online trees that his brother Anthony is on their mother was Florence GOULDER, which leads to a birth registration for William of Jul-Sep 1914 in the Wakefield Registration District.

    Tried to find him on the 1939 Register, to see if details of his TA unit were there, but this was taken after mobiliseation so not there.
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  6. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    927714 was a number issued by the Royal Artillery in the mid-late 1930's
    Army Numbers - British Army Numbers of WW2

    If the man with this number was discharged unfit in June 1940, its possible he was one of the TA men seriously injured in the Battle of France & discharged soon after returnng home.
    tackler7 likes this.
  7. tackler7

    tackler7 New Member

    Thank you to everyone for the comments. They are definitely food for thought.

    I don't really want to go down the road of ordering death certs etc, as it would prove to be expensive with the number of players that I am researching. The odd one with interesting rugby careers it will be worth doing for, but not for all.

    The club kept a roll of honour for the First World War (though subsequently lost), but nothing for the Second.
  8. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    If you have access to findmypast they have Royal Artillery Attestations up to 1942 & Royal Artillery Casualty Cards 1939-1947.

    When my local library was open I could use FMP free there.
  9. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    It was the FMP attestation I used for the service number I mentioned above - there is no casualty card (not surprising if he was discharged) and no Tracer card on Ancestry (but for the early letters of the alphabet there are very few) - assuming that is the same gent I don't think he was wounded with the BEF as he isn't included in any casualty returns - I'd say he was found unfit for service (a bit surprising if he was a sportsman) and discharged, maybe it was a health issue that led to his discharge and ultimately to his death (but that is speculation)
  10. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    I should have realised you have covered all bases on FMP. As you say with the lack of info its looking like he could have been discharged due to a health issue.
  11. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    If its the same person I've checked the straightforward bits, but it is possible he's a red herring who just happens to have the same name
  12. tackler7

    tackler7 New Member

    An update.

    Bower did join the RA but was invalidated out at the start of the war and later died of Glandular Fever.

    Thank you for all your replies.
    AB64, travers1940 and timuk like this.
  13. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the update.

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