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Postby steph9555 » Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:08 pm

Hi wonder if anyone can help me. I am trying to find a arm record. I'm a little unsure if there is one but worth a try. His name is Elijah baker born 1872 Scarborough to Richard boss baker and Mary rumford. Elijah married Sarah earl in hartlepool 1891. On census 1911 Elijah and his family are living trimdon colleriy Durham and he's a miner. On his daughter's marriage certificate 1915 he is down as a solider. It's a long shot but am looking for any info that could confirm this. Many thanks steph
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Re: help

Postby coopernicola » Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:06 pm

It's likely Elijah joined the army at the outbreak of WWI as his previous occupation was as a miner. There does not appear to be a surviving service record for him. As he has an unusual name it should be straightforward to search, unless he is listed by initial only. I couldn't find any other associated WWI records, such as medal roll, which is unusual. As a miner I would suspect he could have been valued for his underground experience, they were often involved in tunnelling operations.
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Re: help

Postby AdrianB38 » Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:15 pm

Hmmm - I don't think there's any easy way to prove that, as the possibilities are quite wide.

If he was a regular in the British Army, he could have served between two censuses and then gone back into civilian life, as a typical term was 7y with the Army in uniform and then 5y back in civilian life in the Reserve. Being in the Reserve meant that if Britain went to war during that period, then he would probably be called up and put back into uniform.

So that could have happened to him - in uniform at some point between 1901 and 1911, into the reserve (which wouldn't show up in the 1911 census) and then called up in 1914. Or he might have finished his period in the Reserve but volunteered again in 1914.

Either way round, if he was a serving soldier in 1915, then there is between a 2/3 and 3/4 chance that his service papers were burnt in WW2. :( If this was the case, then if he served abroad, he would be issued with a campaign medal or 2 (or 3) and his name would appear on a Medal Index Card (MIC). Unfortunately, if you know nothing about his Army career, then there's nothing to distinguish your Elijah Baker on an MIC from any other. (OK, there's a tiny, tiny, tiny chance there might be an address on the MIC but....)

In any case, at that age, there's every chance he would have been used at home in a support role so wouldn't even have a campaign medal.

Frankly, what I usually say is - forget about Army records, you need to look for a clue closer to home - any relics? Newspaper clippings? Newspaper reports on microfilm? (Err, yes, I know how big a job that might be!)

Just to make life even more interesting, you need to consider what a civilian might have meant by "soldier". I see no reason to doubt that he was some sort of a soldier but there are various possibilities other than someone in the Army proper. There was, for instance, the equivalent of a Home Guard during WW1 - I don't think that would be a full-time role but it could be built up in a civilian's mind until it becomes the thing that is used as an occupation, rather than "miner". Then there's the Royal Naval Division - they were in the Royal Navy but used as soldiers.

As I said, I don't think there is any easy way to confirm this for you.
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Postby coopernicola » Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:22 pm

Interestingly Elijah IS mentioned in his older brother William's army pension record. William appears to have joined for Short Service in 1908, serving until 1920, this record is on Ancestry under Military Pension records.
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help

Postby coopernicola » Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:35 pm

A closer search in "WWI UK Service Medal & Awards" reveals four Elijah Bakers in various regiments and two others with Elijah as one of their first names. I think AdrianB38 is right you'll probably need to check out other sources such as newspaper records for clues.
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Re: help

Postby brunes08 » Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:06 pm

My mother-in-law's father joined the Territorial Army in 1912. When war broke out in 1914, he was sent to India for two years. This was presumably to allow experienced troops to return to serve on the Western Front. Might something similar be the case here? Just a thought.
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Re: help

Postby ksouthall » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:50 am

coopernicola wrote:Interestingly Elijah IS mentioned in his older brother William's army pension record. William appears to have joined for Short Service in 1908, serving until 1920, this record is on Ancestry under Military Pension records.


I also spotted this record. However the mother's name is given as Annie so I thought it related to a different Elijah.
Last edited by ksouthall on Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: help

Postby coopernicola » Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:44 am

ksouthall wrote:
I also spotted this record. However the mother's name is given as Annie so thought it related to a different Elijah.

Yes on second look Annie is given as mother. On balance it may be the correct Elijah as the address, Burnby, is a village next to Scarborough.
It's going to be quite tricky to solve this!
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Re: help

Postby steph9555 » Sat May 02, 2015 8:43 am

Many thanks to everybody who has helped. I think I will give up on this because the only evidence I have is a marriage certificate. Many thanks for your suggestions. Steph
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Re: help

Postby junkers » Sat May 02, 2015 1:57 pm

If you go to The National Archives website there are a number of Elijah Baker medal cards, including one with the Northumberland Fusiliers, but it is difficult to separate out the various medal cards as to which might be your ancestor.
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