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No sign of serving ancester - SLY

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Richard Report 15 Aug 2019 17:37

Hi all, I am hoping someone could shed some light on a search for me please as I am stumped!

My Nan's brother (Harry T SLY, b. 1911 in Bolton) was a fair bit older than her and she doesn't know an awful lot about it. All she knows is that he was in the Army and thinks he served in India.

However I can't find any record of him in any of the military sites or searches. I have no service record or even regiment - I guessed Warwickshire Regiment as he ended up in Coventry. I believe he survived any conflicts he may have served in.
However I can't find anything...

If anyone is super-clued up on Military searches and might be able to find anything on him I'd really appreciate it,



KathleenBell Report 15 Aug 2019 18:25

World War 2 service records are still with the MOD and are not online. Look here for how to order them:-

They will cost £30 and take several months to arrive.

Kath. x


ArgyllGran Report 15 Aug 2019 19:01

H T Sly
in the UK, Military Campaign Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1949
Name: H T Sly
Service Date: 1933-1935
Service Place: India
Campaign or Service: India
Regiment or Unit Name: Royal Artillery
Regimental Number: 4971725

Rank: Gunner
4th Field Battery


ArgyllGran Report 15 Aug 2019 19:06

Harry T Sly
in the 1939 England and Wales Register
Name: Harry T Sly
Gender: Male
Marital status: Married
Birth Date: 17 May 1911
Residence Year: 1939
Address: 2 Wright St
Residence Place: Coventry, Warwickshire, England
Occupation: G P O Telephone Wireman Heavy Wor?? [Work ]
Schedule Number: 325
Sub Schedule Number: 1
Enumeration District: QDBK
Registration district: 390-1
Inferred Spouse: Elsie M Sly
Household Members:
Harry T Sly
Elsie M Sly - 13 Nov 1905

A note says :
Regular Reserve, Gunner , Royal Artillery. (GNR RA )


ArgyllGran Report 15 Aug 2019 19:10

Harry T Sly
in the British Postal Service Appointment Books, 1737-1969
Name: Harry T Sly
Date Appointed: Sep 1942
Place Appointed: Coventry

Harry T Sly
in the British Postal Service Appointment Books, 1737-1969
Name: Harry T Sly
Date Appointed: 26 Aug 1939
Place Appointed: Coventry

Marriages Jun 1939 (>99%)
Harris Elsie M Sly Coventry 6d 2045
Sly Harry T Harris Coventry 6d 2045


ArgyllGran Report 15 Aug 2019 19:23

Per, a Harry T Sly was on the 2002 Electoral Roll in Epping, Essex.

I don't know if that's your Harry or not.

I don't see your Harry's death - maybe it was recent, in which case it won't be online.


ErikaH Report 15 Aug 2019 20:48

Re-married In 1952


Richard Report 15 Aug 2019 21:45

WOW Thanks all cant believe you guys have shared so much in a few hours!!!

ArgyllGran - Thats incredibly helpful, so it looks like he had a short period in the army before joining the Postal service? How can I be sure the regimental number above is him?

I also couldn't find anything regarding his death, Harry T Sly in Essex is a cousin I've been researching them tonight funnily enough.

Thanks Erika - It looks like Elsie died in 1950 and he remarried a Florence strong in 1952 - but I wasn't 100% sure. Thanks for clarifying!

Thanks for all the help, that's incredibly helpful



ArgyllGran Report 15 Aug 2019 22:07

The only way to know if that army number is his is to send for a copy of that army record, if you feel it's worth gambling £30 on it!

Hopefully, the record would give more info to identify him - name of NOK, for instance, or birthplace.

The fact that the Harry in Croydon [ EDIT: sorry, I meant Coventry ! ] in 1939 was a gunner in the Royal Artillery looks as if the army record is the correct one, in my opinion.


Richard Report 15 Aug 2019 22:13

Hi Dad (my Great Grandad) served in the Royal Artillery in WW1 so that ties up.

Sorry whats the link to Croydon? Harry was born in Bolton (his parents eloped there to get married) - his Mum was from Birmingham and his Dad from Leics.

Thanks again - I'll maybe order the certificate to find out more :)


Richard Report 15 Aug 2019 22:20

Just thinking - also the fact that on his Post Office records it shows:

"Regular Reserve, Gunner , Royal Artillery. (GNR RA )"

is a clue that its probably right ha ha ;-)


ArgyllGran Report 16 Aug 2019 10:01

Sorry - slip of the fingers - I meant Coventry, not Croydon!

It's the 1939 Register that has the note about him being a gunner in the RA - not the PO record.


Richard Report 3 Sep 2019 16:26

Hi all, thanks for all your information. However I am at an absolute loss as to what happened to him? I've even posted on Facebook Coventry historical groups but have had no luck. Its like he disappeared - I looked at emigration records and all sorts? I find it had to believe both himself and Florence survived beyond 2005 when the death record stop, but no sign or trace of either of them?
Has anyone any idea where I could look next? Also his service number doesnt seem to exist in the British Military Archives either. Absolutely stumped...


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 3 Sep 2019 17:42

???? or is this the cousin from Essex?

Surname First name Date of probate Probate number Date of death Document type Registry
SLY HARRY THOMAS 27 March 2009 2973612 24 November 2008 Grant and will London

From the Probate Calendar
You can order a copy of the Will & Probate for £1.50.

Military records after 1922 are still with the MOD. Details for obtaining a copy were given earlier. It would be interesting to know what site you were hoping to find the service number on. Was it for pre 1922??


ArgyllGran Report 3 Sep 2019 20:20

In spite of the medal card on Ancestry which I posted, that number isn't showing up on

Nor any Harry Sly in the RA.

But he must have been there, as shown by the medal card and the note on the 1939 Register.


Richard Report 4 Sep 2019 19:45

This isnt the same person as in Essex, quite a few in my family tree were Harry T Sly including one born in Essex. Not come across anyone in London so thanks for the above probate details.

Yes Argyll Gran it was Forces War Records I was searching. Its interesting that in the medal detail he is H.T.SLY not Harry T Sly. The medal sheet was helpful showing that he served in what is now Pakistan. Whilst Royal Artillery I suspect this sat under the Indian Army hence why it doesnt show up???
Place: Nowshera
Awarded 14/9/1936


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 4 Sep 2019 22:13

When an Estate goes to Probate, the Executors don’t have to use the closest Probate Office to the Deceased’s address. For convenience, they may choose to use the one closest to where they live even if it’s the other end of the country.

It’s now possible to complete the forms on line. Earlier this year, an Executor, living in the SE did this. The online forms were dealt with by Birmingham Probate Office even though they lived in the Brighton catchment area.


ArgyllGran Report 5 Sep 2019 10:57

Probably Elsie's death, in spite of slight discrepancy in YOB, compared with the 1929 Register:

Elsie M Sly
in the England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007
Name: Elsie M Sly
Death Age: 43
Birth Date: abt 1907
Registration Date: Oct 1950
[Nov 1950]
[Dec 1950]
Registration Quarter: Oct-Nov-Dec
Registration district: Meriden
Inferred County: Warwickshire
Volume: 9c
Page: 859


Kayleigh Report 8 Sep 2019 18:42

Im having same problem know my nan and grandad served in army but can not find either of there records


KathleenBell Report 8 Sep 2019 20:12


You might be better starting a thread of your own about your nan and grandad. If they happened to serve in WW2 then their records will still be with the MOD. Have a look here to see how to order them (they cost £30 and can take quite a few months to arrive):-

If they served in WW1 you could give their names and someone will try to help find them although around 70% of WW1 service records were destroyed in a fire so you may not find them.

Kath. x