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Location of British Army Files

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date

FredB

FredB Report 17 Nov 2012 04:16

I recently posted here for assistance with the transcription of place names and am very appreciative of the assistance I received but now I have another question.

The person I am researching – my great grandfather - joined the British Army in 1855 and died while still in the army in 1874.

After 6 months of searching I finally found his army file on Ancestry in “British Army WWI Service Records, 1914-1920.” Coincidentally his son, my grandfather, served in the British Army from 1885 until 1904 and his file was also in the same location on both Ancestry and FMP with the original on Ancestry and a duplicate on FMP.

When I scrolled to files on either side of these two files they seemed to be from the early 1900’s to WWI.

Does anyone know why these files are located where they are with WWI files? And if it is a case of misfiling what are the chances of father and son both being misfiled?

Treehunter

Treehunter Report 17 Nov 2012 08:46

Hi Fredb Try this link http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/

Reggie

Reggie Report 17 Nov 2012 10:20

You have another thread about this, don't you?

Potty

Potty Report 17 Nov 2012 10:35

Fred does have another thread but this is a general question, with no names mentioned.

Fred, it does seem unusual for somebody who died in 1874 to have their Army record filed with the WW1 records. I have seen pre-1914 records filed with a WW1 record (my grandfather's is) but this is where a man who was previously a soldier was called up for WW1, possibly because he was on the Reserve list. Could this be the case with your grandfather?

I think the only answer to why your greatgrandfather's record is with the WW1 records is simple mis-filing.

Potty

Potty Report 17 Nov 2012 11:28

Your grandfather and greatgrandfather appear to have served in the same regiment - maybe their records were mixed up.

FredB

FredB Report 17 Nov 2012 13:12

My grandfather actually served in the Canadian Army in WWI - poor guy signed up at age 46, got TB while training and died in 1920.

FredB

FredB Report 17 Nov 2012 14:04

Reggie, I am not trying to go against the rule about posting twice - this thread was more about the location of files. If the WWI files are a depository for other records, knowledge of that could help others in their research. If it is a simple case of misfiling, the coincidence of both father and son being misfiled strikes me as curious. I am relatively new at this and am trying to learn about idiosyncrasies in record keeping that will help me as I go down other research paths. Thanks to all who are helping me - I am getting old for learning new things.

Potty

Potty Report 17 Nov 2012 14:36

Fred, was your grandfather who served in the Canadian Army the same one who served in the British Army? Maybe the Canadians contacted the British re his previous service and his file (with his father's) was taken out and refiled with the WW1 records? Your greatgrandfather's record certainly looks as if it has been burnt (did you know that lots of the records were burnt or water damaged during WW2?).

It just shows that records can turn up in the most unexpected places. I did not think that my grandfather would have served in WW1 - he was 49 in 1914 - nor did I know that he had ever been in the Army,but as I was trawling through the records looking for the surname, his name appeared and his WW1 record referred to his previous service. I then found his earlier record on FMP. Answered the question of how he met my grandmother as they were born in different areas of the country.

FredB

FredB Report 17 Nov 2012 14:45

Same guy - same scars, same signature and a wife back in England as well as my grandmother who he married in Canada in 1913. His Canadian attestation references his British Army history which was not all that distinguished. Good thing they didn't have computers to check things out.