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Help needed finding Royal Welsh Fusiliers soldier

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Kerin Report 7 Jan 2014 13:59

ok, bit of an unusual one

A couple of months ago my maternal grandad died. In his papers I found a 'Parchment Certificate of Character on discharge' Army Form B 2077 with the below details

No.2561 Private David Jones, discharged at Nowshera, India 9th Jan. 1896 aged 27 1/2 yrs

declared unfit for military duties

1st BN Royal Welsh Fusiliers

His CO was Lt Col C Norman

(I do have pics of the certificate if anyone wants to see it or tell me how to attach to this thread)

I am 98% certain that this person is not a relative as even though I have family connections to the RWF, it is my paternal and not my maternal family who have this connection.

My family are from around and about the Wrexham area in N E Wales and there was up until recently a RWF garrison in Wrexham but at this time in history my maternal side were either living in Liverpool or Merthyr Tydfil. Also despite me being of nearly 100% Welsh stock there is hardly any Jones' in my tree and if they are they are again on my paternal side and not my maternal side. My grandad was also a bit of a 'magpie' and 'collector' (a trait I inherited) and used to pick up a lot of things he thought was interesting as we are finding out

I would love to get this certificate back to its rightful family if possible, as I know if someone had this kind of information on my family I would love to have it back. I've tried to contact the regiment museum and also the local museum in Wrexham but not heard anything back

was plain ann now annielaurie

was plain ann now annielaurie Report 7 Jan 2014 17:45

You could have a look for him on FindMyPast - his discharge papers might be on there. If so, they should give place and year of birth, and mention next of kin. Also worth looking in the WW1 service records on Ancestry.

A man didn't necessarily join his local regiment, so he could have been from anywhere


Kerin Report 8 Jan 2014 16:37

I've tried Ancestry and FMP and for good luck the National Archives. There are lots of Private David Jones' on there but when I search via his regiment number then it doesnt come up with a match. I think it may be a bit of a lost cause

The reason I think he may be local is that the certificate stayed locally and if he was from, lets say Manchester, then surely the certificate wouldve ended up in Manchester. If he wasnt local then for the certificate to stay local he mustve stayed in the area after his discharge


greyghost Report 8 Jan 2014 17:04

Have had a look on FMP and found that many of the David Jones transcripts lead to records for Edward Jones and other non David names, so maybe your David Jones recorded under another name unfortunately and his number messed up??

was plain ann now annielaurie

was plain ann now annielaurie Report 8 Jan 2014 17:26

The records are poorly indexed - often number isn't indexed, so I'd suggest you look at all the David Jones and D Jones - you can rule lots out by date straight away so hopefully not too bad


Kerin Report 9 Jan 2014 09:48

Stuart - I think his number is correct as my gr grandad joined the RWF around the time of the 2nd Boer war which is a few years after David Jones left and his reg number is 6487


BatMansDaughter Report 9 Jan 2014 13:51

I know you've been asked, but is the regiment number correct? I've come across this,

All UK, Military Campaign Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1949 Results
UK, Military Campaign Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1949 about David Jones
Name: David Jones
Campaign or Service: Burma
Service Date: 1887-1889
Service Location: India
Regiment or Unit Name: 2nd Battalion Cheshire Regiment <<< WRONG
Regimental Number: Isb 2651

On the original image the unit is, Ist Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers!!

I just wondered if you'd accidentally switched the 6 & 5 around.


BatMansDaughter Report 9 Jan 2014 15:19

The above may be this chap???? The age would be wrong for your David,

All British Army WWI Pension Records 1914-1920 Results
British Army WWI Pension Records 1914-1920 about David Jones
Name: David Jones
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1860
Age at Enlistment: 20
Birth Parish: Mold
Birth County: Flintshire
Document Year: 1880
Regimental Number: 2651
Regiment Name: 18th Brigade
Number of images: 6


JoonieCloonie Report 9 Jan 2014 23:06

Others are more expert than I at this but my understanding of these certificates is that they were very important to the men who held them, for obtaining employment chiefly.

We know what a role 'references' played, in civilian society, from watching Downton Abbey :-) A man who had been in the military would not have them, and would need to substitute his military service for past employment and show that his departure from the military was not under a cloud.

Now in this case I am assuming that he was 'unfit' for medical reasons. If the certificate actually attested to his -bad- character, he might not have had much use for it!


JoonieCloonie Report 9 Jan 2014 23:11

this could be useful

The Royal Welsh Fusiliers was formed on the 1st July 1881 from the 23rd Regiment of Foot (Royal Welsh Fuzileers).

The newly formed regiment was established as the county regiment for Anglesey, Caernarvonshire, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Merionethshire and started numbering from 1 in 1881.

2326 joined on 16th January 1889
2681 joined on 5th March 1890
... 6281 joined on 5th January 1900
6669 joined on 24th July 1901


(the last bit confirming re your grandfather 6487)

that's pretty pin-point accurate there ... 2561 would have joined in 1889 in the latter part of the year it would seem.


Kerin Report 11 Jan 2014 09:49

Thanks everyone for the information and questions

Ive checked again and the number is definitely 2561. Originally I thought the date was 1898 but it turns out that the regiment wasnt in India in 1898 and the CO who signed his certificate actually left the regiment in 1896, When I looked more closely at the date it did look like 1896 but because the date was squished onto the line it looked like an 8 to me originally. The cert says he is of Good CH' which I assume is good character.

I'm going to see if I can put the pics I have into my online photo album on google and post a link.


Kerin Report 11 Jan 2014 13:44

Here is the link for the pics of the cert on my online album


JoonieCloonie Report 11 Jan 2014 18:00

Looking at your image, I think it doesn't say 27 1/2 years, it says 27 ?/12 years ... I copied and enlarged the pic in a Word doc but it is fuzzy and also that notation is right on a ridge in the paper ... but can you tell on closer examination what it does say?

Just thinking a magnifying glass to see the original would work better than enlarging an image.

In my experience military records e.g. on attestation tend to say something like 'age 18 years 3 months' so a fraction of 12 would be consistent.

This could just help to narrow the birth date/registration.

The discharge date is a strange number indeed. It doesn't look like 6 to me at all (compare to the 6 in 2561), it looks like 8, except written completely differently (like a snowman the way I do mine) from the first 8 in 1898.

The link I gave for regimental numbers gives these dates for the regiment

1892 Bengal
1894 Nowshera
1896 Aden

and the document was signed at Nowshera.

(if you make these links the search term at google you can see the cached version without having to open pdf docs)
Stations of the British Army 7 March 1891
23rd Royal Welsh Fusiliers 1st Bn
station Peshawur
depot Wrexham
year 1880
went to Bengal
Stations of the British Army 1892-1893
Royal Welsh Fusiliers (23rd) 1st Bn - Jhansi
Stations of the British Army 21 July 1894
Royal Welsh Fusiliers (23rd) 1st Bn - Jhansi
Stations of British Troops in India 23 March 1895
Royal Welsh Fusiliers (23rd) 1st Bn - Jhansi
Stations of British Troops in India 4 July 1896
Royal Welsh Fusiliers (23rd) 1st Bn - Jhansi
Stations of the British Army 17 July 1897
Royal Welsh Fusiliers (23rd) 1st Bn - Aden
(and thence to Crete, Cairo and back to Crete in 1898)


Kerin Report 12 Jan 2014 12:06

Some research on the officer who signed the form shows he left the regiment in 1896 so it must be that year and not 1898.

I have a feeling I'm going to have to give up on this one as even know we can get his birth year to a three year period given the common name and the uncertainty of where he was born it will be impossible to find him. The RWF museum is a dead end, I may contact the local museum in Wrexham and see if they want it for their collection

was plain ann now annielaurie

was plain ann now annielaurie Report 12 Jan 2014 17:57

Not impossible - his records might be on FMP but it will involve a lengthy search


JoonieCloonie Report 12 Jan 2014 18:16

I remain far from convinced the number is a 6. :-)

it just looks nothing like the other 6s on the page, and looks more like an o on top of another o than anything else.

I almost wonder whether it is a zero -- written once where it ran into the printed words, and rewritten below it for clarity ... if so ... fail. :-)


Kerin Report 13 Jan 2014 11:01

I had a look at the certificate yesterday after what you said about ages being as 27 ?/12 and it actually looks like an 8. So in that case it means he wouldve been 28 in May 1896 which gives his year of birth as 1868

again looking at the 1896/88 the first 8 is not a 'snowman' 8 and the end number has a definite written line, not printed, above the circle and it stops just before the printed section without it trying to turn into a circle.

Also they Royal Welsh were in Nowsherra from 1894 - 1896 so it couldnt have been signed in Nowsherra in 1890. As it looks like the person writing the date ran out of room he was trying to squish it in and it just wasn't written as clearly as it should

I'm going to try and work out if it is a member of my family that I don't know of but I am pretty much certain it isnt, but as I don't have a subscription to FMP (as I can only afford one subscription and I chose Ancestry) I will ask a friend of mine who does as to see if she can send me the details of them all


Naomi Report 25 Apr 2016 12:12

Looking at the last no, I would say it's a 5. Look at the other 5s o the page. Quite round then a bend and a line.... I would guess that's what that number was supposed to be but the writer was bumped or slipped...