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Why can't I find my Granpops in the Army?

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date

Teresa With Irish Blood in Me Veins

Teresa With Irish Blood in Me Veins Report 21 Dec 2013 22:53

My Grandpops was James Fedalis Pollard born 1889 Dublin City.

On my aunty's birth certificate, she was born in COLCHESTER, Essex it quotes my grandpops as a Corporal in Royal Engineers. No.316211

I know he was back living in Dublin in 1921 as another aunty born then and another one in 1924.

I would love to know about his army history.



GlitterBaby Report 21 Dec 2013 23:53

Over 70% of records were destroyed during WW2


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 22 Dec 2013 00:17

If he was still in the Army in 1921, his records would still be with the MOD.
(copy and paste both lines)

To order a copy (£30) and wait many months

Teresa With Irish Blood in Me Veins

Teresa With Irish Blood in Me Veins Report 22 Dec 2013 16:51

No mention of him being in the army on the 2 later birth certificates in Dublin.


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 22 Dec 2013 18:30

Oh well - have you tried the medal records??

Or see if there is anything to be gained by contacting the Royal Engineers? They won't have his records, but might be able to say where they were posted and when.

was plain ann now annielaurie

was plain ann now annielaurie Report 22 Dec 2013 20:54

Have had a quick look but couldn't see him in the Medal records. Perhaps he didn't serve overseas so had no medal entitlement.

To find out where he was and when, you need to know the unit he served with - there were LOTS for Royal Engineers

Teresa With Irish Blood in Me Veins

Teresa With Irish Blood in Me Veins Report 22 Dec 2013 22:36

I've got no idea which unit he served with I'm afraid. I was only 10 year old when he died.

I do have his 2 medals from WW2, The Defence Medal and another one with Crowned George VI on one side and a Lion and stood on some other creature, but thats all. I think he was a S'gt when he was de-mobed. He wore his army uniform at my parents wedding in 1946.


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 23 Dec 2013 09:25

WW2 records (or is that a typo as he'd be a bit long in the tooth?) are still with the MOD - link to apply from them previously given

I was under the impression that every serving service man in WW1 got at least one medal. Perhaps his card has been lost or there isn't enough info for you to be able to identify it.

There are no obvious results on Ancestry Medal Cards with his service number even though there are a number of J Pollards in the RE.

Teresa With Irish Blood in Me Veins

Teresa With Irish Blood in Me Veins Report 23 Dec 2013 16:28

The WW2 medals were given to my Mum when my grandparent's came to live with us for a while after WW2...c.1952.

They left Dublin in 1928 and settled in London, but due to the blitz on London and the housing shortage, they did keep moving about and stayed with various relatives in London before they finally had a permanent home back in London.

So if he did have a WW1 medal, I suspect it was lost.
I know for a fact that at least 2 brothers were involved in the 1916 uprising and were imprisoned, but later released without charges. Maybe that's the reason why they left Dublin..who knows!

was plain ann now annielaurie

was plain ann now annielaurie Report 23 Dec 2013 20:56

Only those who served overseas were entitled to the "standard" WW1 medals


DazedConfused Report 28 Dec 2013 13:00

Do not hold out much hope for finding any Irish regimental records for servicemen between WW1 & WW2

My grandfather served in the Royal Irish Regiment (now part of a NI regiment) between the wars and I have searched and spent quite a bit of money trying to find out anything about his service. All I know is what the family have told me. And that was not much.

It seems to me that records kept post 1919 and pre 1935 are sketchy to say the least!

Teresa With Irish Blood in Me Veins

Teresa With Irish Blood in Me Veins Report 28 Dec 2013 16:23

Hi Dazes/Confused

I've come to the same conclusion as you! Seems to me not much available regarding the Irish and their Army history, whether it be when they were in Ireland or England..

Teresa With Irish Blood in Me Veins

Teresa With Irish Blood in Me Veins Report 5 May 2014 23:17

OH NO :-(

Recently heard from an older cousin that our Grandpops did have medals from WW1............................................but Granny pawned them :-( :-( :-( :-( :-(

How could she be so cruel, now we will never know what medals he got

I know he was a Sgt but my cousin also told me that he did serve in WW2 and was a Sgt Major.


DazedConfused Report 7 May 2014 14:26

I would wonder whether he did serve in WW2 as he would have been approaching 50.

It is possible but .....

As an addendum to my previous post, I was told by Glasgow that one of the reasons they could not find his records was that they may have been misfiled!


Graham Report 13 May 2014 19:14

Many Irishmen served with distinction in WW1. However, due to the political problems he may not have wanted to broadcast his participation to all and sundry. This is very understandable. Don't be too worried about the medals being pawned off. Most servicemen were awarded a standard batch of medals, consisting of the 1914 Star, the Campaign medal and the Victory medal. On most of these the name and rank were engraved on the side of the medals. Although they are maybe of emotional value..I'd be interested to know what Granny got paid for them??.. As they were not worth much really. There is also a statement here that 70% of Great War records were destroyed in WW2, but that's not quite correct as I discovered when I hunted for my own Grandfather's records. Quite a number of records were actually saved and became known as the "burnt records"..I had to track this down before finding some singed around the edges pages containing my Grandad's records.. so don't give up! Regarding medals he may of course had been awarded others..possibly of some value..but then you will have to dig deeper into the records. Regarding serving abroad, that's also something you will have to research. If you have old photographs, there is a good chance that he would be wearing medals on special occasions, like your parents' wedding, so normally he would have worn both the WW1 and WW2 medals. Serving in both wars was quite common, (regardless of age) because experienced men were in demand, especially Engineers. Get your magnifying glass out! And good luck! :-)

Teresa With Irish Blood in Me Veins

Teresa With Irish Blood in Me Veins Report 13 May 2014 22:55

Hi Graham,

I've only got one photo of Grandpops in his army uniform with his youngest daughter, probably taken just before she got married.

On my Mum and Dad's wedding photo he's not in uniform.

We have not idea how much Granny got for his WW1 medals..,not a lot I guess.

All my aunts and uncles are long gone and I don't even know if any of my other cousins knew that Granny pawned Grandpops medals!
My cousin (who told me this sad tale) and his brother are the 2 eldest of his grandchildren. His parents married in Dublin

Mum's eldest sister was married in 1931 in London but I've never seen their wedding photo to see what Grandpops was wearing then. 2 other younger sisters married in London, my Mum the 2nd eldest was the last to get married in the South West of England.

I've just sent an email to another older cousin to see if he knows anything about our Grandpops Army history. You never know, he might have asked Grandpops!