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WW1 military records

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Monica Report 10 Jan 2015 01:40

I am looking for records for my great uncle. I think I must be going about it incorrectly, unless I don't have enough information, so some guidance would be helpful.
His name was William James Page, he was born in 1886, in England, likely in Staffordshire. He served from 1914-1918. He was in the infantry and was a captain by the end of the war, he was wounded at Ypres in 1915, gassed and wounded at the Somme, seriously wounded in 1917 near Arras, and lost both of his legs due to his injuries, shortly before the end of the war.
I have looked for general records and records of his injuries thinking that the information I have is quite detailed but I'm getting nowhere.


GlitterBaby Report 10 Jan 2015 08:07

About 70% of WW1 records were lost during a bombing raid in WW2

Do you have him on any census to confirm place of birth ?

Was he not born in same place or nearby to that of your grand father ?

Did you check this database on Ancestry
UK, Silver War Badge Records, 1914-1920


MarieCeleste Report 10 Jan 2015 10:30

Hello Monica, it might be an idea to firm up on exactly where he was born which might help identify any potential records. Who were his parents? Was he married? That would help if next of kin named on records.

There are a couple of records on Ancestry & FindMyPast which may relate to him but further info needed to confirm.

If he was an officer then there is a greater chance that his records may have survived as I believe they were stored separately. Officers records are available from National Archives, they're not digitised for download but can be viewed for free at Kew. If that's not an option then you can request a quote for copying (the last estimate I got was £185, but it can vary a lot).

There is this record on National Archives:

That man was a Lieutenant but don't discount it as ranks were sometimes temporary.

It would also help if you could find out his regiment. Knowing that would mean you could download the regimental war diaries from National Archives (costs £3.30), as he was an officer then any serious injuries he sustained may just be mentioned.


Potty Report 10 Jan 2015 13:11

This medal card is for William James Page who became a Daptain and a Major (not sure which is senior)

Name:William J Page

Regiment or Corps:Royal Irish Regiment, East Lancashire Regiment

Regimental Number:8447, 8447

The card is viewable on Ancestry or you can download it from the National Archives.

His early service record is also on Ancestry:

William James Page

Birth Date:abt 1886
Birth Place:Limerick, Limerick
Age at Enlistment:28
Document Year:1914
Regimental Number:13782 - 3/8447 is also shown as his number
Regiment Name:KRI Hussars R
Number of Images:8
Form Title:Short Service Attestation
Family Members:
Relation to Soldier
William James Page Self (Head)
Mary Page Mother
Dlevia Kathleen Sister

His occupation given as Technical Translator.


Potty Report 10 Jan 2015 13:42

He was commissioned Lieutenant in the East Lancashire Regiment and also served in the Royal Sussex Reg. He was awarded the Silver War Badge but I can't find him on those records on Ancestry - they may not have officer's records.


Potty Report 10 Jan 2015 13:47

Mother's address given as Fisher St, Kinsale.


Potty Report 10 Jan 2015 14:23

William in 1901:
William J Page - Billiard marker in Club
Estimated birth year:abt 1886
Relation to Head:Servant
Birth Place:Limerick, Ireland
Civil Parish:Nottingham
Ecclesiastical parish:All Saints

John T Billiard 63
Ellen Billiard 55
Mabel M Billiard 27
William J Page 15

In 1891:

William J Pages
Estimated birth year:abt 1886
Father's name:Saml Jas Pages
Mother's name:Mary B Pages
Where born:Limerick, Ireland
Civil Parish:St Mary
Ecclesiastical parish:St Andrew

Saml Jas Pages 39 - Commissioner, b Nottingham
Mary B Pages 53 (33 on image) - b Cork
Bliver K Pages 7 (looks like Olivia on image) b Limerick
William J Pages 5


Monica Report 10 Jan 2015 14:51

Thanks all
I don't have birth information, there is only one person who might know, 88 yrs old and very ill, so fingers crossed on that. I have looked on ancestry and you're all right I need to know where he was born.
He married in 1919 after spending most of a year in hospital. The family he married into were/are from Staffordshire and the wedding took place in Wolverhampton,
I know they lived in North Wales for a very short while, and then moved to Devizes in Wiltshire, he was a magistrate for 40 yrs.
I don't think he was born in Ireland, he was educated at a Roman Catholic upper class, boys boarding school in Staffordshire, I have some of their newsletters, they don't go back as far as 1902 when he was there.


Potty Report 10 Jan 2015 15:50

His marriage cert will give his father's name and occupation, which would help to identify him on the census.


Potty Report 10 Jan 2015 17:09

Have you seen the tree on Ancestry that has his wedding pictures?


Monica Report 10 Jan 2015 17:13

Good idea! And I should have thought of that.


Monica Report 12 Jan 2015 15:18

Hi Potty
My message post crossed with yours, it was good idea on the marriage cert, yes I have the originals of the pictures on Ancestry as does my cousin who posted them, however neither of us know much about him, I guess technically he is the spouse of my great aunt, we always thought of him as Uncle.
I managed to get contact info for his daughter-in-law from my elderly relative, his son John died in 2011, however he was a public figure Major General John Humphrey Page, so perhaps a chance of info in the public domain


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 13 Jan 2015 17:02

There is a military based obit for Major Gen John H Page here

His wife is listed to 2004 on the ER held by GR in Devizes.

She/they may either have moved since then. or opted out of the commercial register

John's Estate did go to Probate. If you are lucky, one of his children would have been the executor. On the other hand, it could have been his wife!


Kay???? Report 13 Jan 2015 17:56

There is a picture of Major Gen J H Page and an interesting write up of his life and was a founder of Home Start. :-)


Monica Report 13 Jan 2015 18:33

Yes I have seen it, it's all quite fascinating as all my loooong life I heard stories about Uncle James, he usually used his second name, to be accurate he used his initials WJP and called himself widge, he was working in Germany when the war started in 1914, only managed to escape by joining a group of American tourists and pretending to be one, he enlisted on his return and then lost both his legs.
One of my other great uncles wrote 'He has been marvelous all these years, is chairman of Magistrates at Devizes, keeps bees and drives a disabled man’s car', apparently it was the bee keeping that was most fascinating.
The record Potty found is interesting because he worked for an agricultural equipment firm and represented them in Germany so perhaps 'technical translator' makes sense.
I'll write to his daughter in law, she's 92 I believe and as my parents got a Christmas card from her this year is still alive, alas no email address,