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Quiz genealogists, authors and staff from leading family history organisations in our weekly web chats. Post your questions in advance, or hop on each Friday afternoon to join the conversation live
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Re: Miriam Silverman (Ancestry)

Fri May 02, 2014 11:37 am

Jackie123 wrote:Hi everyone

I have an ancestor who served in WWI, was wounded out in 1917 and received a Silver War Badge. His service record isn't available, but do you know where I might be able to find details of his war pension (given as a result of injury) ?


Hi Jackie123

Hopefully the answer I've given above to Chadwi will point you in the right direction.

Re: Belgian Croix de Guerre

Fri May 02, 2014 11:42 am

Essexfamily wrote:Hello Miriam, my grandfather was awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre but never told anybody why. I have since tried to find out but I can't find any advice on how to research Belgian gallantry awards. Apparently my grandfather said they handed them out left, right and centre. Is this true? Are there citations for Belgian awards and where would I find them?


Hi Essexfamily.

Good question. You could try the London Gazettes (which are on Ancestry) for the relevant year or reports in your local paper. The Belgians had their own equivalent of the London Gazettes called Le moniteur Belge-though I don't believe they are online. The National Archives at Kew has lists of recipients of foreign awards in class WO 388-which are on microfilm if you visit.

Re: Miriam Silverman (Ancestry)

Fri May 02, 2014 11:45 am

Hi Miriam.
My grandfathers KSLI records were destroyed in 1940. I have some battalion information from the regimental museum in Shrewsbury. Is there anywhere else I can check to find more personal information? Thanks. Chris.

Re: Miriam Silverman (Ancestry)

Fri May 02, 2014 11:53 am

taloncab wrote:Hi Miriam,

If I have the basics on the medal index card - how do I find out more about the 'action' that my G-grandfather might have been involved in (WWI)?


C :D

Hey talon cab

There will be more details about what theatre of war he served in and his dates of service on his service or pension record, if it survived-which are available on Ancestry. Or he might appear in many of the rolls of honour that were published after the war-we have several on Ancestry-and these can contain mini biographies of service. But for a day to day account of what his battalion were doing-the War Diaries have the most in depth detail-though they are unlikely to name him specifically. They can be pretty intense to read. The National Archives at Kew have the images online from their site at www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Re: Miriam Silverman (Ancestry)

Fri May 02, 2014 12:06 pm

sezuk wrote:Hi Miriam

I was wondering what the exceptions were for a man of age to be conscripted to the army.

My great grandfather would have been of age to join and as far as I know he was healthy, however I have no record or knowledge of him being in the army.

He worked for his wife's family (a German family) who ran a sausage skin making factory - several in the UK and Germany (many were sold off because of the Trading with the Enemy Act). My great grandafather for a few years owned the business in Birmingham, but records show it sold to him in 1918. Prior to that I believe he was a clerk/salesman for the business and travelled round the UK visiting the various factories. I don't think this would have been enough to exclude him from conscription to the army.

Also how would you trace British men signing up top the army in another country? I have a British born relative (from German parents) who signed up for the US Army - but as afar as I know never fought.

Hello Sezuk

Conscription came in in 1916, and there were restrictions by age (you had to be between 18 and 45 and unmarried and not a minister); plus you could be exempt if your work was of national importance or because of poor health. However, these restrictions were loosened as the war went on.

I do wonder whether the fact that your great grandfather had a German wife would have played a part in him perhaps not signing up-relations between native British and Germans were very poor during this period and many German men were interned.

If you are looking for British men signing up abroad, we have some great service records from the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand on Ancestry. There are over 24 million records in our US draft registration cards which cover 1917 and 1918-you may well find your relation in there.

Re: Miriam Silverman (Ancestry)

Fri May 02, 2014 12:07 pm

Thanks Miriam!

Re: Miriam Silverman (Ancestry)

Fri May 02, 2014 12:19 pm

Chris Bent wrote:Hi Miriam.
My grandfathers KSLI records were destroyed in 1940. I have some battalion information from the regimental museum in Shrewsbury. Is there anywhere else I can check to find more personal information? Thanks. Chris.

Hi Chris

Where you need to look next depends on whether he survived the war or not. If he was killed, then he may well appear in "Soldiers who died in the Great War" database which is on Ancestry or in the roll of honour that may have been compiled about the regiment in the years after the war. You could also try this site : http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Shropshire. If he survived and received a pension,then further information may appear in the pensions ledgers at the Western Front Association or at The National Archives-see my answer above to Chadwi.

Re: Miriam Silverman (Ancestry)

Fri May 02, 2014 12:21 pm

Thanks for the tips Miriam!

Re: Miriam Silverman (Ancestry)

Fri May 02, 2014 12:26 pm

Hi Miriam,

Just noticed that jools33 has posted this question on a separate thread:

Hi, I am trying to find information re my two great grandfathers & their service in WW1.
1. Walter Mathews (born 1885 Willesden, Middlesex) served in RNAS & was injured in Gallipoli & hospitalised. I have no information as to how he was injured or where he spent his recuperation.
2. Alfred Earnest Bartlett (born 1891, Awliscombe, Devon) no information at all other than family memory that he received 'a blighty one'.
Any help would be hugely appreciated, many thanks.

Re: Miriam Silverman (Ancestry)

Fri May 02, 2014 12:35 pm

Thank you to everyone who has taken part in our very first web chat and a special thank you to Miriam for joining us today and answering so many posts. Your hands must be tired Miriam!

Goodbye and hope to see you all next week when we will be joined by Else Churchill from the Society of Genealogists.


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