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Trying to find info on WW1 Man

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date

Chris Ho :)

Chris Ho :) Report 13 Aug 2013 15:27

About UK, Silver War Badge Records, 1914-1920

Historical Background

The British Empire lost more than 700,000 service personnel killed in World War 1. An even greater number were discharged because of wounds or illness. In September 1916, King George V authorized the Silver War Badge (SWB) to honor all military personnel who had served at home or overseas since 4 August 1914 and who had been discharged because of wounds or illness. The SWB was a small, circular badge made of sterling silver, bearing the king’s initials, a crown, and the inscriptions ‘For King and Empire’ and ‘Services Rendered’.

The SWB was not simply an honor; it also served a practical purpose. At the time, men of military age who were not obviously in the service were sometimes accosted or insulted by civilians presenting them with white feathers — a symbol of cowardice — for shirking their patriotic duty. The badge served as an outward symbol that the wearer’s duty to country had been honorably fulfilled.

(would also say it says Discharged on card)

Chris :)

edits (not sure if in all cases, but don't Medal cards usually have KIA written on, if killed in action)

1911 (this one?)
WATKINS, William Head Married M 40 1871 Timber Feller Herefordshire Clifford Parish
WATKINS, Sarah Jane Wife Married15 years F 40 1871 Breconshire Hay Parish
WATKINS, Gertrude Daughter F 11 1900 School Breconshire Hay Parish
WATKINS, Edgar Son M 13 1898 Breconshire Hay Parish
WATKINS, Lucy Daughter F 7 1904 Breconshire Cusop Parish
RG number: RG14
Piece: 33635
Reference: RG14PN33635 RG78PN1938 RD612 SD2 ED6 SN30
Registration District: Hay
Sub District: Hay
Enumeration District: 6
Parish: Cusop
Address: 3 Victoria Terrace Cusop Hay Hereford
County: Brecknockshire

WATKINS, William Head Married M 32 1869 Stoker At Gas Works
Cllibbord, Herefordshire
WATKINS, Sarah J Wife Married F 31 1870
Hay, Brecknockshire
BROOKS, George Step Son Single M 13 1888
Hay, Brecknockshire
BROOKS, Thomas Step Son Single M 11 1890
Hay, Brecknockshire
BROOKS, Ansel Step Daughter F 9 1892
Hay, Brecknockshire
WATKINS, Rose Daughter F 5 1896
Hay, Brecknockshire
WATKINS, Edgar Son M 3 1898
Hay, Brecknockshire
WATKINS, Gertrude Daughter F 1 1900
Hay, Brecknockshire
Piece: 5177
Folio: 26
Page: 16
Registration District: Hay
Civil Parish: Hay Urban
Municipal Borough:
Address: Forest Road, Hay Urban, Hay
County: Brecknockshire


Sophie Report 13 Aug 2013 15:05

Ive just looked at the medal card again, it looks like it says died rather than discharged, even thou youve just found a silver war badge roll.

I dont think there is any service record as i cant find it, it probably got burnt during WW2 which is a shame.

Thank you Ann and Potty for looking :)


Potty Report 13 Aug 2013 14:55

Whoops! Yes, you are right Ann - I read it as died but looking again it probably is disch although I can't see a mention of sickness.

was plain ann now annielaurie

was plain ann now annielaurie Report 13 Aug 2013 14:47

His Medal card states that he was entitled to the following medals
British, Victory, 1915 Star and Silver War Badge. The Silver War Badge Roll is on Ancestry and gives his dates of service as 22/3/1915-14/4/1916, and that he was discharged due to sickness.

The medal card you found says that he was discharged 14/4/1916, and doesn't mention that he died.


Potty Report 13 Aug 2013 14:36

Very odd that he is not on the CWGC site. I have found that men who died later of wounds are commemorated on there, even if died and buried in UK.


Sophie Report 13 Aug 2013 14:23

Hi Potty,

Yes this is definetly him, the family lived down that street around that time, his son in law William Henry Davies i think was involved in WW1 also but i have no info to go on for that either.

I had been trying to find a death place/record just not having much luck atm, and it doesnt help when you have such a common name in wales...ha


Potty Report 13 Aug 2013 14:16

Sophie, are you sure that is your grandfather? There is an address on the medal card : 19 School Street, Lllanbrodach, Cardiff. Does that address mean anything to you?

Did you know that he was killed in the war? Oddly, I cannot find him on the CWGC (Commonwealth War Graves Commission) site, which should have him listed.

Nobody checked the info given for a marriage. She probably said what was his usual occupation.


Sophie Report 13 Aug 2013 13:57

Hi Potty,

I just thought about the RASC, ive had a quick look and found my William:

WW1 Medal Card Index:
William Watkins Army Service Corps R4/063219

I dont understand much of the info on the card, i think it says he enlisted 23/04/1915 died 14/04/1916. I cant seem to find any death record of place of death, etc

Also, ive realised that he wud have been in the war when his daughter married, but on her marriage cert it just says that fathers occupation was a coal miner, would they have had the choice to put what occupation down for father even thou he was in service at time?


Potty Report 13 Aug 2013 13:33

His age wouldn't rule him out of serving in WW1. If he had previously been in the Army, he would probably have been a reservist and could have been called up very early in the war. My grandfather was born about the same time and served from 1814 onwards. The riding crop, etc, might not mean just a cavalry regiment. I have a photograph of my father similary dressed, standing next to a horse and he was in the RASC (Royal Army Service Corps). He could have been in an artillery regiment - they used horses then to pull the guns.

There are a quite a few Medal cards on Ancestry for William Watkins, but no way of knowing which could be his. Was he in the Army when he married? Do you have his marriage cert? If so, does that give his rank and/or Regimental No?


Sophie Report 13 Aug 2013 10:18

Oh ok,

Well thank you for taking the time to look anyway reggie


Reggie Report 13 Aug 2013 09:39

That would still mean that he was cavalry..............

I asked for the additonal info to rule out (or in) a chap whose record is on FMP.

Sadly, it rules him out.

There are a couple in the SWB....but they were born in that rules them out also....

So I'm afraid that's a dead end............

Hope someone is willing to use their FWR credits for you.....................or perhaps you could consider subscribing, as a last resort.

It doesn't look too expensive..........


Sophie Report 13 Aug 2013 09:13

Well he didnt get married till 1896 to a Sarah Jane Brooks nee Seaborne, and father's name was also William Watkins who i think may have died before he went into service. Im pretty sure he was involved in the war around 1890's i wud think he would be too old for WW1. Looking at the picture he is also wearing stirrups, bandolier across chest, riding crop in hand, lanyard at both shoulders and he was wearing spurs not jodpurs (sorry my mistake).


Reggie Report 13 Aug 2013 09:03

Do you know the name of his father?

And of his wife?


Reggie Report 13 Aug 2013 08:59

If the uniform included jodhpurs, he was in a cavalry regiment.....not artillery


Sophie Report 13 Aug 2013 08:46

I think he might have been in some artillery regiment maybe as i have a picture holding a riding crop and wearing hoddpurs?


Sophie Report 13 Aug 2013 08:44

He was born c1869 in is either clifford/cusop or hay


Reggie Report 12 Aug 2013 23:11

When and where was he born?


Sophie Report 12 Aug 2013 23:07

Hi Everyone,

If anybody has any spare credits, im trying to find my GG Grandfathers war record on forces war records website. His name is William Watkins, record year 1889, private for South Wales Borders.

If anybody could help find this for me i would be grateful.