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PUGH Kenneth Archibald

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TracyJames Report 17 Mar 2016 07:48

Hi Everyone

I've spent hours looking online for a military record for an ancestor named Kenneth Archibald Pugh but have had no luck. I've got a photo of him in uniform and on the lapel of his uniform is the VR (Voluntary Reserve) badge. His hat has what look like wings with a crown type badge above it.

Ken was born 1 Aug 1902 in Cardiff, Glamorgan Wales, son of James & Edith Pugh nee Phelps. He died 1975 in Surrey, England.

An older family member has said that he thinks Ken was a Wing Commander and later editor of the Evening Standard newspaper.

Any help you can give would be appreciated....

New Zealand


KathleenBell Report 17 Mar 2016 10:43

Could this be his medal card? :-

First name(s) Kenneth
Last name Pugh
Rank or rating Ordinary Seaman
Service number Wales Z/4330
Service branch Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
Medals / clasps earned British War Medal
How issued or disposed of No entry.
Remarks -
Record type Records
Record set RNVR Other Ranks - Medal Rolls 1914-1920
Category Military, armed forces & conflict
Subcategory First World War
Collections from Great Britain

If this IS his medal card then it probably means that his service records have not survived or they would have been listed.

Have a look here for cap badges:-

If you scroll just over half way down the page there is a badge for the Mercian Volunteers which has wings and a crown. Does the one in your photo look like this?

Kath. x


KathleenBell Report 17 Mar 2016 10:55

Do you mean the London Evening Standard newspaper? If so then Kenneth's name does not appear on a list of past editors on Wikipedia.

Kath. x


Choccy Report 17 Mar 2016 11:52

1939 Register

Pugh Household (4 People)

19 Elm Road , Beckenham M.B., Kent, England

Kenneth Pugh 01 Aug 1902 Male Publisher Married 156 1
Dorothy Allen 24 Sep 1907 Female Housekeeper Divorced 156 2
Charles F (Frederick) Allen 27 Mar 1919 Male Junior Draughtsman Single 156 3
Jack Allen 21 Feb 1926 Male At School Single 156 4

Chris Ho :)

Chris Ho :) Report 17 Mar 2016 16:56

(looking at image available on below, Birthplace ? Cardiff Glam.)

Name Pugh, Kenneth
Service Number: Z/4330
RNVR Division: Wales
Date of Birth: 13 August 1899

Chris :)


TracyJames Report 17 Mar 2016 20:13

Thanks to you all for your help :-D

Kath, I checked the badge link and none are what's on his cap, could I perhaps send you the photo please. I did spend quite a bit of time searching through military badges but with you having more experience will probably identify it, here's hoping.

Choccy, I'll have to do a bit more digging but this could be our Ken Pugh as he married twice, have found 2nd marriage in 1956 but not his 1st.

Chris Ho, I also found this record but discounted it because the birth date is different but do you know if they had to give a birth certificate when enlisting or were taken on their word as to birth dates as I know it wasn't unusual for boys to lie about their age.

Have a great day


TracyJames Report 17 Mar 2016 20:20

PS: Chris Ho....Would the image have more detail than what's showing on the National Archives website?


KathleenBell Report 18 Mar 2016 00:21


You are more than welcome to send me the photo of the badge but I must warn you that I don't have more experience of military matters - but I can certainly have a look to see if I can come up with anything.

Kath. x


TracyJames Report 18 Mar 2016 04:04

Thanks Kath

Just PM'd the photo to you, hope I did it correctly?


Chris Ho :)

Chris Ho :) Report 18 Mar 2016 06:17

Probably the old 'adding a couple of years' we see quite often on Service Records!.

Don't think there would be any more other than the Birthplace being complete, and names of Ships served, dates etc. Worth having though.

(they look like Victory, and Hostile?)

Chris :)


TracyJames Report 18 Mar 2016 07:08

Thanks Chris

Reckon I'll order it, as you said it's worth having ;-)



KathleenBell Report 18 Mar 2016 20:27

Have sent you a reply to your message with the photo Tracy.

For everyone's information the nearest I could find to the cap badge was a Royal Australian Air Force Warrant Officer's cap badge.

Kath. x


TracyJames Report 18 Mar 2016 21:08

Thanks Kath

Have read your message and sent reply. Kind of looks like the badges but not really :-S .

I've cropped the photo to just show the cap and badges so if anyone would like to try and identify them I'm happy to PM it to you.....had a look on chat but can't see a way of adding photo's?

Have a great day :-D


Eringobragh1916 Report 18 Mar 2016 23:48

Try this Site....


TracyJames Report 19 Mar 2016 04:50

Thanks Eringobragh

The Wing Commanders cap is the closest but once again not really the same, older family member reckons that's what Ken was but have my doubts due to Ken's age during WW1 and he looks way too young for photo to have been taken in WW2 :-(


PatinCyprus Report 19 Mar 2016 07:32

Could still have been in the navy

On 1 April 1918, the newly created RAF adopted its officer rank titles from the British Army, with Royal Naval Air Service commanders (titled as wing commanders) and Royal Flying Corps lieutenant colonels becoming lieutenant colonels in the RAF. In response to the proposal that the RAF should use its own rank titles, it was suggested that the RAF might use the Royal Navy's officer ranks, with the word "air" inserted before the naval rank title. For example, the rank that later became wing commander would have been air commander.

This is part of the history of the RAF Wikipedia.

Both naval commanders and wing commanders have rings denoting rank on the cuffs of their jacket sleeves.

I don't know how many for a naval commander but wing commander RAF is 3 rings of the same breadth.

It is a senior rank being the fifth rank up. In war with loses it could be reached reasonably quickly but in peacetime you'd be in your mid- late 30s.

Edit - Found the naval rank, 3 rings of same breadth, top one with a small circle and above the circle an aeroplane.


TracyJames Report 19 Mar 2016 07:54

Thanks PatinCyprus

Interesting read for sure, would the same ranking be awarded to UK RNVR (Royal Naval Volunteer Reserves?

And could someone of such a young age be awarded this ranking? Even in 1918 Ken would only have been 16, perhaps a little older if he lied about his age when enlisting.


PatinCyprus Report 19 Mar 2016 07:56

Just read through this thread again - he would have only been 16 at the end of the 1st world war so he either lied to get in, which I know happened, or his service was between the wars. If he served during WW1 at such a young age I can't see him getting a high rank.

He could however have been a reserve post WW1 and risen to a Wg Cdr reservist. He however isn't a reservist in the 1939 register and he was only 37.

When officers are commissioned or promoted it is Gazetted, that is published in The Gazette perhaps he may be in there. I don't know if reservists were published but he would have his majesty's commission so it is possible.

I am ex WRAF.



TracyJames Report 19 Mar 2016 09:27

Thanks for the extra info PatinCyprus, you really have gone the extra mile with my post. Handy having your WRAF background!!

A lot of info for me to take in so will go through it and also look through the link you sent for The Gazette. A while ago I did find a couple of temporary promotions to Sub Lieutenant during WW2 for Royal Naval Volunteer Reserves (14 Dec 1944 & 15 Jun 1945) under Kenneth Pugh in the UK Navy Lists 1888 - 1970 on Ancestry but without finding his military record it's hard to confirm if these are for my Kenneth Archibald Pugh. Feel like a cat chasing it's tail lol ;-) :-S


Edit - Meant to say the photo I've got of Kenneth doesn't show his jacket cuffs, it's waist upwards so just shows front of jacket and hat...don't want to overload you with my post but happy to PM photo to you if you'd like to have a look?


PatinCyprus Report 19 Mar 2016 10:25

Yes PM me I have my OH who did 25 yrs RAF and did some time with the navy so I'll show him. Pity about the sleeves.