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My great grand uncle’s War Record.

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My great grand uncle’s War Record.

Postby pforkes » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:56 am

Albert Hill service record page 1.jpg
Page 1 of Albert Hill's war record.
Albert Hill service record page 1.jpg (1.76 MiB) Viewed 170 times
After years of dead ends in researching one of my grand uncles, I came across an interesting document - his War Record.

Albert Hill was born on either 1st or 6th December 1865 in Walsoken, Norfolk.

I believe that the 1871 census for Ely, Cambridgeshire was destroyed in a flood and so I have not found him on any 1871 census.

In the 1881 census he appears to be in a reformatory school in Worcestershire as an “inmate”.

In the 1911 census he appears to be living in a Salvation Army Mens’ Hotel and Shelter in London as a widowed fisherman (I know nothing of his deceased wife).

However, today I got a copy of his War Record from the National Archive.
To me it just like a two-sided document that a series of people have written notes on at various times (in various degrees of unreadable handwriting). I have attached this document in the hope that someone can figure something out from it.
It would seem unusual that a 46-year old man would enlist as a seaman, unless the 1911 census occupation of “Fisherman” is accurate. Also, if he was living is a Salvation Army Working Mens’ Hotel, the maybe is life was somewhat ‘lacking’ and he was looking to do something with himself and enlisting was a good option for him at the time.
Anyway, if someone can make something out of his war record then I’d appreciate it.

I would really like to try to tie this to the rest of his life - where was his living before and after his service and what was he doing?

Thanks,
Peter

PS This was originally a PDF file, but since I cannot upload PDF files to this forum I had to convert it to a JPG file. Hopefully the quality of the image has not been deteriorated too much
Attachments
Albert Hill service record page 1.jpg
Page 2 of Albert Hill's war record.
Albert Hill service record page 1.jpg (1.76 MiB) Viewed 170 times
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Re: My great grand uncle’s War Record.

Postby AdrianB38 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:34 am

I know almost nothing about Naval matters. It isn't even clear to me which maritime branch he was in. However, I did see references to RV2 - this appears to have been a certificate of enrollment into the Royal Naval Reserve issued by the Registrar General to seamen, artificers, probationers, etc. when accepted into the RNR. Other experts may be able to illuminate further but I believe that trawlers were used for various military duties.

As I recollect the RNR was for proper seamen so the 1911 census occupation seems to match up.

Thanks to the Ships Nostalgia Forum for the RV2 info.

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My great grand uncle’s War Record.

Postby brunes08 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:10 pm

I see that he was issued the Silver War Badge in 1918 and later the Certificate to go with it. These were awarded to personnel serving at home or overseas when they had been discharged - often because they were no longer fit to serve perhaps through injury? If you google the badge you will find a link to the 1914-1918 site which provides a detailed explanation which might help you understand more about his service record.
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Re: My great grand uncle’s War Record.

Postby AdrianB38 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:30 pm

Yes, the TNA Reference shows this to be part of "BT 377 - Registry of Shipping and Seamen: Royal Naval Reserve Ratings' Records of Service". So Royal Naval Reserve it is (incidentally, that's why you should always quote your sources, then we'd have known it was the RNR from the start). I've just spotted "Trawler Section" in the top right, which matches up with my mention of trawlers above.

He is mentioned in Ancestry's UK, Naval Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1972
Name: Albert Hill
Medal or Award: Star, Victory Medal, British War Medal
Service Year: 1914-1920
Service Location: Europe
Campaign or Service: World War I
Service Number: 19/Tc

Class: ADM 171; Piece: 121


I didn't realise that TC/19 (or 19/TC?) was a service number but the actual image shows him rated as a Tr.Ck. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documents/records/abbreviations-in-world-war-one-medal-index-cards-rank.pdf says that this was a "Trimmer Cook" in the RNR. And for the required explanation, see http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/topic/112189-what-was-the-rank-trimmer/?do=findComment&comment=1067825 viz:
His job as stated is to move the coal from the bunkers to the stokehold so the Engineman can feed the boilers, its not a full time job so usually doubles as deckhand or cook.


So I think that part explains his late move to that sort of role - it's not a job that requires sailing type expertise or knowing the sharp end from the blunt end.

He got the trio of campaign medals - 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal according to that Ancestry image.

Any further info should come from someone who, unlike myself, really does know the sharp end from the blunt end. I can't get the context of the rest of the stuff.
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Re: My great grand uncle’s War Record.

Postby pforkes » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:09 pm

Determining that he was in fact in the Royal Naval Reserve is interesting.

On the second page in the “Rating on Discharge” section, he is shown as being a “Cook”. This also ties in with what you discovered.

The “GROUNDS OF DISCHARGE” section has him being “Invalided” on 30.12.15.
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Re: My great grand uncle’s War Record.

Postby pforkes » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:13 pm

One discrepancy that I noted is in the “Name of father and Mother” section. It is shown as:

“Albert
W
Elizabeth”

His father was “Alfred” (not “Albert W”). His mother was, however, Elizabeth.


Also, in the “Date of Birth” section, the date of birth is given as “1/12/65”. The birth record for Albert Hill that I have would be 6/12/65. I have mentioned this discrepancy previously.

What are the chances of two Albert Hills being born in t same village, with the same mother’s name?


My questions (from what I have been able to read from the document) are:

1. What was he doing in Grimsby (his address is given as 15 Strand St, Grimsby)?
2. What was he doing in Derbyshire when he was discharged (the address of “23 Station Road, Chesterfield, DERBYS” is given is a section titled “CHANGES OF DISTRICT AND ADDRESS” that suggests he is in Chesterfield, Derbyshire.)?

On the second page, is gives his date of discharge as 30/12/15.



So, does anyone know how I could find a professional, who could interpret this - the sort of person who we would see on the TV series?
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Re: My great grand uncle’s War Record.

Postby AdrianB38 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:38 pm

Don't go for a professional yet. You'd do far better putting the 2 (?) pages on something like the Great War Forum and asking them about the naval bits.

Grimsby is surely where the trawlers worked out of - a trawlerman (even if a trimmer / cook) would have a better chance of finding work there than in London (as per the 1911), I'd suggest.

No expert is going to be able to tell you why he was in Derbyshire - assuming that address is his and not a military pensions office, say. That's because his reasons for being there are presumably personal and you have as much chance of finding that as any military specialist.

So, get as much explanation of the naval stuff as you can in a specialist forum first.

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