Royal Artillery. How do find an army number or regiment?

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by B Vosper, Sep 20, 2021.

  1. B Vosper

    B Vosper Member

    Hi Any help would be much appreciated. A friend of mine is trying to track her fathers war record. She has already paid £30 to ‘find my past’ and £30 to the MOD and received no info in return. Her father was born Jan 21st, 1915 and passed in August 1956. She has a photo of him in uniform and we think it is Royal Artillery. He has a white lanyard running from his right shoulder to breast pocket. His name was Albert George Davis and he lived in the Islington area of London. He was a dental mechanic prior to enlisting. Any help whatsoever in tracking his history would be much appreciated as my friend was only 12 when he passed.

    Attached Files:

  2. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Has the MoD replied and said they can't find him? Or have you had no response at all?

    If you've heard nothing it may simply be their backlog. The pitfall is if a dated cheque has expired - it might be worth ringing them to see if you need to send in a new undated cheque.
    4jonboy likes this.
  3. B Vosper

    B Vosper Member

    She hasn’t had a response at all from the MOD. She sent the cheque over a year ago to Scotland. I shall tell her to phone them about it.
    I am hoping that we are on the right lines with the Artillery.
  4. Temujin

    Temujin Member

    Would you have his wife’s name…….this could help?

    EDIT: would his wife’s name be?
    Ellen Poppy Carbis
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2021
  5. B Vosper

    B Vosper Member

    Yes it is and they married in1912!
  6. B Vosper

    B Vosper Member

    Apologies she was born in1912 and they married in 1935!
  7. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    It certainly looks like an RA "gun" badge on his FS cap plus the white lanyard ties in with this so I think you are on the right lines - the RA records on Findmypast list a few men of the same name but without any detail that would help to narrow down to whether he tied in with any of them. Its also worth considering that while at the point the photo was taken he was with the RA, he could also have spent time with other units over the course of the War.
  8. B Vosper

    B Vosper Member

    Thank you for your reply. This is a minefield. There are a lot of Albert George Davis’s but I just can’t seem to link them with him and his date of birth. Someone suggested the Artillery museum but online it says it is permanently closed. Any more suggestions? Any lifeline would be appreciated.
  9. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    I see he's on the 1939 Register as an Insurance Agent with no Army Reserve or TA service mentioned in the last column, so you could be fairly sure he is a wartime only recruit & not a TA soldier, as they had been mobilised by then so don't usually show on the Register.

    Have you tried local papers incase his service is mentioned. Some of them are on the British Newspaper Archive & you should be able to access at least the index for free. They have a tie up with find my past & there should be link there.

    Ancestry has the Royal Artillery Tracer Cards 1939-1948 but it is a far from complete set. Looking there I see no Albert George Davis, Albert Davis, or even Albert George DAVIES. There are several Albert Davies, but the cards only have a date of enlistment & no personal details or addresses etc.

    FMP also has the 1939-45 casualty lists, so may be worth a look to see if theres any RA men of his name, but sometimes a long trawl without the service number.
    4jonboy likes this.
  10. B Vosper

    B Vosper Member

    Thank you for that info. Which register do I need to look at which states that he was an Insurance agent in 1939?
    Please excuse my ignorance but what is the FMP? I shall definitely start trawling with this info. Fingers crossed
  11. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    FMP is the site "findmypast" I think (
  12. SteveDee

    SteveDee Well-Known Member

  13. B Vosper

    B Vosper Member

    I have now worked out that the FMP is ‘find my past!’
  14. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    It may be worth your friend asking around the family (she probably already has) in case there are any other photos that may reveal more, or postcards, discharge documents etc tucked away at the back of a drawer that may reveal a number or a unit or any little odds and ends that may seem irrelevant but could mean something to the trained eyes on here
  15. B Vosper

    B Vosper Member

    She has exhausted all avenues there. The family moved around a lot in the London area and then eventually settled in the South West. Two of her siblings have already passed as have uncles etc. With her father passing aged 41 she did not learn much about his army history. The photo I have put on here is the only one she has. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. She didn’t have much luck with FMP and most places charge you. She has already paid out £60 and got nothing in return. Thanks for your help though
  16. CL1

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

    You just need to get her to email and call the MOD
    Tel: 0345 600 9663


    Tell her to stop paying money to sites on the internet particularly forces war records
    MOD records are the only way to go

    is the photo him? or could it have been confused with another family member

    is this him

    GRO Reference: 1956 S Quarter in PLYMOUTH Volume 07A Page 499
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2021
  17. B Vosper

    B Vosper Member

    I will do. The photo is definitely him. Perhaps she needs to phone the MOD in Scotland to see if they found anything on her Dad.
  18. B Vosper

    B Vosper Member

    Thank you for the phone number and link.
  19. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member


    The register is the 1939 Register a national register of the population taken on 29th September 1939 essentialy using the same mechanism, some of the enumerators etc that had have been used for the 1931 Census & was intended for the 1941 census. When the enumerators collected the householders schedules from them they issued ID cards on the spot, and the register was also used to issue ration books from Jan 1940. It formed the basis of a persons post war NHS record & was continualy updated by the NHS until the 1970's, including surname changes of ladies who married.
    1939 Register - The National Archives

    I access the register via Ancestry, but it is on FMP & also a transcription on myheritage.

    Its importance to family historians is that the 1931 census was destroyed by fire, and the 1941 was not carried out, so once the 1921 is released next year we will probably have to wait until 2052 for the next one to be available !

    If your friend is in the UK & has a local library they usually have both ancestry & FMP free of charge on the terminals in the library, the bonus being at least with ancestry is you get the more expensive world wide version. She could also try her local authority archive office who may have access.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2021
    CL1 likes this.
  20. B Vosper

    B Vosper Member

    Thank you for all your info. I shall be a whizz kid after all this info! Take care

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