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Absent Voters List

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Absent Voters List

Postby fsbiff » Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:42 am

Hi I've been trying to find info for my Grand Uncle JOHN LEE 1880, Looking at the 1919 absent voters list found a John Lee with the following Letters W.R./506767 Cpl., I. W. & D., R.E. what do all these letters mean,I think maybee W.R waterways & railways. I'm not sure this is my grand/uncle tried ancestry & forces war records,but it dos'nt seem to recognise anything iv'e entered. Have Tree on Ancestry LEE FAMILY TREE open to all.
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Re: Absent Voters List

Postby Sylcec » Sat Oct 11, 2014 12:02 pm

Possibly the best resource is "The Long Long Trail" website http://www.1914-1918.net and for your question a page of common British military abbreviations:
Cpl = Corporal
I W & D = Inland Waterways and Docks
R.E. = Royal Engineers
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Re: Absent Voters List

Postby AdrianB38 » Sat Oct 11, 2014 4:44 pm

It doesn't look like the papers have survived for WR506767.

The Medal Index Card exists but doesn't say much more to help you identify him. On the MIC, he has two numbers in the RE: firstly he has a rank of "Pnr" and number 287596, then a blank rank (probably "Pnr" again?) and the number WR/506767. Usually this means he had 287596 first - and since he's on the AVL with the later number, that looks like the case here.

Sylvia has given you most of the meanings: WR was the prefix added to numbers in those parts of the Royal Engineers concerned with "Waterways and Railways" (according to a list somewhere on "The Long, Long Trail" site that I copied ages ago), so that fits with the IW&D.

"Pnr" means "Pioneer". Pioneer and Sapper were the two ranks in the RE equivalent to "Private" in the infantry. Sappers were skilled men, Pioneers were semi-skilled (referring to their skills in the RE) - it's the same sort of distinction that you find in a factory between the skilled craftsmen who've served a formal apprenticeship and those semi-skilled men, who simply have been trained up to do a specific job.

Annoyingly soldier 287597's papers survive (Henry Hills, RE) - just one off this guy. '597 joined in May 1917, so it's pretty certain that '596 would have joined the RE at nearly the same time. (He could have transferred in from another part of the Army in the UK - those internal assignments don't appear on Medal Index Cards).

Sadly, it looks like the papers for WR/506767 and any numbers close-by, were burnt.

So basically, I don't know of any Army documentation that will identify who this particular John Lee was. You'll probably have to attack it from the address. Who else lived there? Those sort of questions.... The ordinary electoral register might help answer that....
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Re: Absent Voters List

Postby fsbiff » Sat Oct 11, 2014 9:24 pm

Thank's all Iv'e had similar problem finding my own fathers military records born 1896 Chepstow, James Ivor Smith think he joined in 1918 have him on railway records "LANDOR" age 18 iv'e no idea what regiment he was in.
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