uncle john's records.

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by sligoglaswegian, Jul 2, 2015.

  1. sligoglaswegian

    sligoglaswegian Active Member

    hi lionboxer,thanks for your offer,i already have downloaded a photo of john's grave from cwgc.

  2. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    I have a contact who will lay flowers at his grave should you wish.
  3. sligoglaswegian

    sligoglaswegian Active Member

    that's worth a thought,could you give a few details?
  4. sligoglaswegian

    sligoglaswegian Active Member

    i downloaded the death cert for a soldier (hubert smith)buried in the communal grave cc mentioned, and cause of death is listed as "accidentally killed" so maybe hubert smith and the rest of the men in the grave in imphal were in the same accident as john.
  5. Red Goblin

    Red Goblin Senior Member

    In case you're not aware, grave concentration info &c is due online Aug 15 ...

  6. sligoglaswegian

    sligoglaswegian Active Member

    thanks steve does that mean cause of death will be mentioned on these documents.?
  7. BrianM59

    BrianM59 Senior Member

    Have to agree now I've seen the sheet - the cause of death is clear enough and written in longhand with a date - there would have been no further detail required by the War Office to agree death date. I wouldn't hold out any great hope of any more information on Graves Concentration documents. They were simply concerned with reburying and concentrating the dead in larger cemeteries. As it isn't clear what unit he was with, therefore the war diary might not be obvious at this stage - again, don't hold your breath for detail. The Missing Personnel file for the unit just might have any witness statements produced as evidence but again, if you could find the unit and not very likely I'm afraid. One death in so many, means so much to one person, but in the enormity of loss that was the war, it fades.
  8. Red Goblin

    Red Goblin Senior Member

    It's hard to be sure but I doubt it John. As the press release says, they did this for WW1 casualties last year so looking up a few of them should give you an idea of what kind of info there is - though, as their FAQ answer says, the exact content is very case-dependent (most-obviously no concentration bumph for casualties never actually found). Created in 1917, as the IWGC, they were generally tasked with handling long-dead cases well after the fact.

    By WW2, however, they had a network set up for rapid registration in the field and so got involved much sooner. Now whether this meant they may have been given more information in some cases is yet to be seen - my crystal ball is in for servicing - but I can't see them ever needing to know CoD ... unless a family requested that info be included on the headstone.

    If you're stumped for picking a random WW1 sample out of the proverbial hat, BTW, I'll give you one of mine ...
    ... initially buried by the advancing German army at a cross-road ~1km from where he was shot. But the real detail of his death came from a letter written to his parents ... in the context of no less than 3 conflicting war diaries - just added that to give you a flavour of how much work may be involved in getting at the truth and how lucky Nigel's family were to have been sent & not destroyed said letter in their grief.

    With your uncle, as you've presumably no such letter, I'd advise looking at the relevant war diary -
    We've at least 2 members here who can take photos of it at competitive rates (you've already met Andy on RootsChat) or maybe someone already has it and can quote the relevant bit(s) FoC.


    Edit: corrected typos
  9. Red Goblin

    Red Goblin Senior Member

    Hi Brian,

    I didn't see you slip your answer in while I was composing my novella but have to disagree - as CC has already pointed out the odds against death occurring in Kohima, the location of the first burial is likely to be very telling and should certainly dispel a lot of doubt. On the other hand, you've now got me wondering whether I'm imagining the 8th battalion posting references in John's images 90, 91, 94 & 97 !


    PS: TBF, it may be "018" rather than "0/8" in image 97
  10. Charpoy Chindit

    Charpoy Chindit Junior Member

    Just to repeat; he was not with 8 A&SH, or any other unit, at the time of his death, he was on a draft.

    Hubert Smith was indeed one of the others who was presumably killed in the same accident.
  11. BrianM59

    BrianM59 Senior Member

    Steve - I didn't put it very well, but was trying to be realistic about the chances of getting detail on an accident in which the soldiers concerned were on a draft and technically not likely to have been the subject of a war diary - but yes, to find out the location of the first burial would be excellent.
  12. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Hello John, having read your post's 11 & 20, would you be interested in more info on the 8th Bn. A&SH time, in the 51st Highland Division, as part of the B.E.F.? On that part of his time in the Army, he was a lucky chap! I have a copy, of THE HISTORY OF THE 51st HIGHLAND DIVISION 1939-1945, by J.B.SALMOND. At the beginning of the book, it gives a brief account of the Division, when they were in France. It will give some use-full info on your Uncle John's time in the above Battalion. If you would like to PM me? I will gladly e-mail you, the relevant pages of the book.

    Stu. ;)
  13. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Hi John,

    Thanks for posting. First time I have seen a 1939
    Militia enlistment document. You may find info below on wikipedia interesting.


    Steve Y

  14. sligoglaswegian

    sligoglaswegian Active Member

    hi,Steve, glad you like the enlistment papers,and thanks for the link.

  15. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    I must be missing something here but the other casualties appear (CWGC) to be listed as 7th Battalion men???? Perhaps two separate accidents or incidents?

  16. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    see this thread
    Mr Jinks likes this.
  17. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Ah right explains it Thanks. Always find the story gets lost with multiple threads I`m afraid. Thanks Owen.

  18. sligoglaswegian

    sligoglaswegian Active Member

    a bit of a shot in the dark here ,but would the m.o.d. archives hold copies of letters sent to casualties families??
  19. BrianM59

    BrianM59 Senior Member

    The Ministry of Defence don't deal with WW2 casualties at all - it has only existed since 1971 - that was the War Office and the Cas(L) branch - the Casualty Branch based in Liverpool from 1940-46 was responsible for sending letters and replying to enquiries and generally anything to do with missing personnel. If you use that term to search on here you'll find several threads dealing with the subject. The best you can do is look at the Missing Personnel file for the regiment and period you are interested in and see what is contained there. You do see letters to and very occasionally from relatives, but generally only the Casualty Branch side - many copies of the same letter sent out to all sorts of places enquiring after a particular soldier. You might strike lucky and find a copy of a letter sent to relatives, but I've seen quite a few of those files and I haven't come across one - they weren't kept as a rule as far as I can ascertain.
  20. sligoglaswegian

    sligoglaswegian Active Member

    thanks brian,where would i be able to look at the missing personel file for john's regiment? it would be great if i could see a copy of the letter sent to john's parents which apparently had him listed as missing presumed dead.


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