An unusual service number - what does it mean

Discussion in 'User Introductions' started by gjacks, Oct 9, 2021.

  1. gjacks

    gjacks Member

    Being new to WW2Talk, I'm not sure if this is how to ask a question, but here goes.

    Can anyone with knowledge of service numbers tell me what a Z prefix means.
    I know that a person called Harper (surname) had service number Z374. Does that imply he was in a particular section of the armed services. I'm not even sure if he was from the U.K.


    Can anyone please advise how to trace a current or past service person, knowing their service number, given name initials, and surname.

    Mod edit: merged post & threads.
  2. Blutto

    Blutto Plane Mad

    As has been said many, many times on the site, the best way to start is by obtaining the relevant service record. Note that you will not be able to trace any currently serving persons by that method.
    I don't have the link handy, but I'm sure that some kind soul passing will have it.

    EDIT: Here is the how to apply:
    Get a copy of military service records
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  3. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    Royal Flying Corps, ww1

    Your man Harper Z374 Attestation paper. from Find my past.

    Attached Files:

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  4. bofors

    bofors Senior Member

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  5. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron


    Might be useful to tell us who you are looking for and where you have looked and what you have got. When you say "I know that a person called Harper (surname) had service number Z374" it sounds like you started with a service number and found a name - generally people do it the other way round.
    Z374 had service in 1918.
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  6. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    The Op has posted a reply on his profile page earlier
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  7. gjacks

    gjacks Member

    Hello Tony, I've been looking for information relating to Hans Martin Beresford Harper who became a member of the RAF in 1923 when aged 15. He was a distant relative. His service number was either 36375 or 363751. Not wishing to pay MOD $60 Austalian to find out more details, I was attempting to look up two people who had checked on H M B Harper, and they were H F Harper Z374 and A H Harper, 57678. It was an attempt to get further information, while not overly flush with funds. Going through the MOD might be the only way though.
  8. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    UK, Royal Air Force Airmen Records, 1918-1940
    Name: Hans Martin Beresford Harper
    Gender: Male
    Age: 15
    Birth Date: 24 Nov 1907
    Birth Place: Dinmore, Portadown, Armagh, Ireland
    Service Date: 6 Feb 1923
    Service Number: 363751
    Father: J Harper
    Next of Kin: J Harper
    Relation to Airman: Father
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  9. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Now we now a name, there are service details on FMP.

    First name(s) Hans Martin Beresford
    Attestation age 15
    Last name Harper
    Service number 363751
    Birth year 1907
    Archive reference AIR 79/2949
    Birth date 24 Nov 1907
    Next of kin first name(s) -
    Birth parish Drumond
    Next of kin last name Harper
    Birth town Portadown
    Record set British Royal Air Force, Airmen's Service Records 1912-1939
    Birth county Armagh
    Category Military, armed forces & conflict
    Occupation Scholar
    Subcategory Regimental & Service Records
    Attestation year 1923
    Collections from Great Britain, UK Other
    Attestation date 06 Feb 1923
    Wobbler, timuk, 4jonboy and 1 other person like this.
  10. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Well done and thank you to the forum members for assisting and finding the information
  11. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    gjacks, bofors, CL1 and 1 other person like this.
  12. gjacks

    gjacks Member

    Thanks very much.
  13. gjacks

    gjacks Member

    I'm sorry to be a nuisance but the thread to do with an unfamiliar service number was deleted, with the reason "quoted post without replying to it." Could you explain briefly please.
  14. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    your thread is still active

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