Over 5,000 women joined The Women’s Royal Naval Service during World War One, popularly known as the “Wrens”. These records are now available online for the first time from The National Archives.
The combination of the 1914/15 Star, Victory Medal and War Medal was fairly commonplace. You could observe hundreds of them in Armistice Day parades, right up to the early ’70′s. This combination earned for itself the common nickname, ‘Pip, Squeak and Wilfred’.
Any one who has been working with the recently released British WorldWar I pension records will have soon realised that every men who left the army did so under King’s Regulation 392, but what do all those numbers and letters mean. There were many reasons for a soldier to be discharged, and the Regulation 392 had many causes categorised. The following list should allow you to tanslate the numbers on a soldier’s discharge paper into something more meaningful.
William George Tompkins was born on February 13, 1868 at Shipton Gorge, Dorset, England the second son of Farm Labourer and ex-seaman, John Tompkins and his wife Eliza Matthews. At some time between 1877 and 1881 the family moved to Rookery Street, Burton Bradstock, Dorset where his father had obtained employment as a miller’s drayman.
On February 7, 1916, Francis Stephen Clark, a 22 years 1 month old Boot maker, next of kin, his father, William Clark of Shaftsbury Road, Burwood, Sydney, New South Wales enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force. At least that is what the attestation paper he signed on February 15, 1916 stated. He was actually Francis Curtin Clark born on July 25, 1897 at Tarago, New South Wales the son of William Clark and Catherine Curtin and thus only 18 years old. On his original application form Frank had stated that both parents were deceased, not true, although his mother died on December 30, 1898, his father did not die until July 2, 1935.
The following members of my extended tree gave their lives for their Country during the Second World War. If you are connected with or have further information on any of them I would be pleased to hear from you.
Born Edwin George Arnold Denty at Maiden Newton, Dorset in 1883, George was the illegitimate son of 16 year old Alice Edith Denty who had been working as a domestic servant at Portsmouth, Hampshire. George was raised at Maiden Newton by his grandparents, Edward Denty and Ann Arnold Cornick with whom he was living in 1891. His mother having married Charles Morris at Maiden Newton on February 11, 1888 and was living at Sandhills, Cattistock, Dorset with her husband and their two young children.
Frederick Sams was born on June 4, 1862 at Lindsell, Essex, England the second son of agricultural labourer William Sams and his wife Eliza Bowtell. At the age of three a sister Emily was born at Great Waltham, Essex and at the age of seven a brother, George at Chigwell, Essex. In the 1871 census, the family is recorded at Woodford Bridge, Essex where Frederick is a scholar. Three years later the family has moved to Barkingside, Essex where a bother, Charles is born. In 1876 at the age of 41, Frederick’s mother Eliza dies. It would appear that his father remarried a Maria from Woodford Bridge as a half brother, Walter was born at Barkingside in 1880. The family is still at Barkingside for the 1881 census and like his father Frederick is an agricultural labourer.
“Sacred to the memory of Christopher Peach Pemberton, late Captain and Leut. Colonel Scots Fusilier Guards, eldest son of Christopher Robert Pemberton esq.of this parish. He was killed at the Battle of Sedan on the 1st September 1870 in the 31st year of his age. Being present with the 12th Corps. of the Prussian Army for the purpose of observing and recording the events of the war between France and Germany. He fell towards the close of the battle whilst advancing with the staff of the Crown Prince of Saxony. With more than ordinary talent was blended a chivalrous personal courage coveined with a warm and affectionate heart revealed by the beautiful sentiments of christian piety and benevolence pervading his published letters on this sanuinary war. Beloved and lamented by all who knew him, deeply deplored by his afflicted family”. (Memorial Inscription, St Margaret’s Church, Newton, Cambridgeshire, England).
The BBC has a report on the mystery surrounding a plaque commemorating four soldiers who died during World War I, which was found on a beach at Mudeford Sandbank in Christchurch, Dorset.