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British India and 20th century Army records

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British India and 20th century Army records

Postby SarahDevs » Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:58 am

Is anyone able to point me in the right direction regarding records from British India and a lack of information regarding my Grandfather-in-law?

I have a FMP subscription with British India records but can find very little on him. I have some details 1909 - 1932 and then a complete blank until he pops up in Freemantle, W Australia in the 1970s. The family can be traced back at least 3 generations in British India so it's making it quite complicated (oh how I wish they had census information like in England!)

Apparently he was an officer in the British Army but I can find nothing relating to this. Marriage details put his occupation as stores audit in 1932 - whatever that might mean..? Is that military?

Full details are:

Norman Hector Elliott-Shircore (sometimes only Elliott)
DOB 22 Aug 1909, Bengal, India
Married 05 Oct 1932

That's all I can find.

Am I looking for records that aren't available due to data protection or am I just missing out on a whole database I haven't noticed?

Any help greatly appreciated. Thank you

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Re: British India and 20th century Army records

Postby AdrianB38 » Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:53 am

Yes, as a general rule, things get trickier post WW1 and any army details are slim and by chance, almost.

If he was in the British Army, then any records of service post 1920 remain with the UK's Ministry of Defence. They can be copied on application providing you have a death certificate and (preferably) permission from the next of kin (otherwise you don't get the full set of papers).

If, on the other hand, he was with the Indian Army (bear in mind that the British Army spent lots of time there so it's not a foregone conclusion which it was) then I am a bit hazy on where those records are. I think that European (?) officers' records for the IA were kept by the India Office in the UK and have therefore ended up with the British Library. Similar restrictions for privacy seem to apply there.

Regardless of anything, you should consult the FIBIS website (you'll need to Google these sites) for info on family history in India.

As for finding out whether he was an officer in the British or Indian Army, you can probably find that out by looking at the Army Lists - the National Library of Scotland site has a number of Army Lists for the British Army - not sure about the Indian but I'm sure that the FIBIS site will tell you.

Apologies for the lack of specific URLs but I'm doing this on my phone so it's more difficult to find them.

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Re: British India and 20th century Army records

Postby AdrianB38 » Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:00 pm

But here's some...

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/requests-for-personal-data-and-service-records
This is for the British Army.

https://wiki.fibis.org/w/Indian_Army#Records
Officers of the Indian Army. Note warnings about some stuff being sent to retirees as souvenirs and therefore not kept. (Just look at the FIBIS Wiki generally....)

https://wiki.fibis.org/w/Indian_Army_List_online
Indian Army Lists
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Re: British India and 20th century Army records

Postby AdrianB38 » Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:22 pm

... stores audit ...

I didn't blink, by the way when you wrote that.

"Stores" is a crucial component of any major organisation - it refers to the holding of stores for spares, repairs, replacement, consumption, etc, etc. An Army, for instance, fails without stores. A railway company will grind to a halt within days without stores.

"Stores Audit" will be a function of the Stores Department but auditing the details - that might mean auditing stock-levels ("Do we really have 40 Type XC injector Cones, Indian Railway Pacific Steam Locos for the use of?") Or auditing the cash flow associated with expenditure on stores.

It's not a military term in itself.
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Re: British India and 20th century Army records

Postby SarahDevs » Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:21 pm

Thank you AdrianB38 - certainly given me some places to start. My main concern is that there's somewhere really obvious to look and I've missed it so rrallycappreciate your help

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Re: British India and 20th century Army records

Postby sdup26 » Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:33 pm

It's not Bengal, but just for interest:
surname: Elliott-Shircore
first names: Ernest George
bride: Elliott
first names: Mable (sic) Henrietta
at St Thomas' Middleton Row, Calcutta, reported in The Times of India, January 10th 1900
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Re: British India and 20th century Army records

Postby SarahDevs » Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:33 pm

Thank you sdup26 - they are Norman's parents and equally as difficult to find much info on

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Re: British India and 20th century Army records

Postby MaureenE » Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:28 pm

sdup26 wrote:It's not Bengal, but just for interest:
surname: Elliott-Shircore
first names: Ernest George
bride: Elliott
first names: Mable (sic) Henrietta
at St Thomas' Middleton Row, Calcutta, reported in The Times of India, January 10th 1900


Just to clarify, Bengal is a large area, called a Presidency, similar to a Province. Calcutta was a city within Bengal.

For a systematic look at the records available, see the FIBIS Fibiwik Beginners' Guide
https://wiki.fibis.org/w/Beginners%27_Guide

Unfortunately it is much easier to research someone in the 1800s than in the 1900s, and you may not be able to find anything much.

Cheers
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Re: British India and 20th century Army records

Postby SarahDevs » Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:47 am

Thanks Maureen - I am a bit stuck on the earlier stuff too so this is really helpful with the actual family tree. I am also using a map to figure out how far one place is from another - so far it would suggest that India is very big! (Calcutta to Madras, for example )

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