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my ignominious family military history ;)

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JaneyCanuck

JaneyCanuck Report 10 Mar 2011 02:20

I want to say thanks again to GR member "was plain ann now annie laurie" who has once again found me a fine tidbit of my family history.

I can't access my grandfather's WWI records at present because he remained in the British military on into the 1920s, so the records aren't due for release for a few more years. But I took it into my head to search Chelsea Pensioner records on FMP last week, for some reason ... and discovered that he had done a stint in the military before the 1911 (when he was in the miltary under a name not quite his own -- that he maintained all the way through his battlefield commission to his discharge in the 20s, until he was safely in Canada and required that his medals be reissued in his real name!).

Of course I prevailed on FannyByGaslight, who will always come to my aid and anyone else's when I shout for her, to tell me the details of that earlier military record -- and discovered that my grandfather had first enrolled when he was barely 15, lying about his age by 3 years ... and been discharged "with ignominy" 18 months later -- before he was old enough to enlist even.

I passed the tale on for a laugh to Annie Laurie, who had already been most generous with finding information about his later regiment for me.

And last month, while on a visit to Kew, she looked up the court martial proceedings that led to his discharge, and let me know that he had been found guilty in Ireland of "stealing and receiving property".

My grandfather, the juvenile delinquent in uniform. (He's been dead these 50+ years now, so I tell no improper tales, and truth be told, there are worse to tell.)

You can't pick your ancestors, but you sure can have a good time picking over their bones. ;)

With a little help from your friends!