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Frederick James Turner

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Frederick James Turner

Postby pea2pen » Thu Jul 30, 2015 3:44 pm

Hello. I am new to this forum and I am about to give up looking for information on my grandfather, Frederick James Turner! I am hoping that someone can help me rule out or help with a piece of information I have about him. He was born in 1875 which would make him about 40 when the first world war broke out. In my research I have found that it was not unusual to be called up at that age. I have not been able to find a military record for him, although there is an F. Turner who was in the London Regiment, but I do know that in 1923 he threatened his daughter with a hand gun. As he was a tram conductor I can only surmise that he may have got the gun when he was in the military, barring any outside criminal activity. Is this possible?
Thank you :)
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Re: Frederick James Turner

Postby AntonyM » Thu Jul 30, 2015 4:13 pm

40 would not have been too old to volunteer in 1914 , Conscription, introduced in 1916, initially went up to 40 so he could have escaped that, but the age was later raised - and of course many men lied about their age if they wanted to serve . I have done research on a chap who served on the Western Front right through the war in his 60s. There were also men in reserved occuaptions who were exempted from service.

Hand guns were widely available in the late C19th and early C20th and ownership was not really heavily restricted so there could be all sorts of ways for him to acquire a gun at that time (legal and illegal). I certainly wouldn't see that as definitive evidence that he did have miltary service.
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Frederick James Turner

Postby brunes08 » Thu Jul 30, 2015 6:24 pm

My grandfather was born in 1874 and was 39 at the outbreak of war. He enlisted in the army but I noted on his service record that he was listed as 34 - a discrepancy obviously. His nephew was only 15 when he enlisted but was found out and discharged after three months. So lies obviously happened frequently. It doesn't seem that proof of birth was required.

When was Frederick first working on the trams that you know of? If he was at the outbreak of the war he may not have been able to enlist. This was because men who worked in transport - trains, buses, trams - were in one of the reserved occupations. They were vital for the war effort in order to keep the country running. Do you have him on the 1911 census to check his occupation then? That might clarify the situation for you.
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Re: Frederick James Turner

Postby pea2pen » Fri Jul 31, 2015 11:36 am

Dear brunes08 and AntonyM. Thank you so much for taking the trouble to reply. Your comments are very interesting and it seems likely that I can rule out military service for Frederick Turner as he was listed in the 1911 census as car man (tram conductor), so that is another cross on my list. Building a picture of his life has proved difficult but that is the nature of research isn't it? Thank you again.
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Re: Frederick James Turner

Postby ianbee » Fri Jul 31, 2015 12:50 pm

I'm pretty sure that being a tram conductor would not have stopped him enlisting, or being called up later in the war.
That was the kind of job where women were eventually used to replace the absent men. My great aunt was a tram conductress in WW1!
See
http://www.striking-women.org/module/wo ... -1914-1918

and no doubt there will be much more about it online
Ian
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Re: Frederick James Turner

Postby AntonyM » Fri Jul 31, 2015 1:05 pm

I wouldn't rule out military service at all .... much more likely he did serve than didn't. For example large numbers of London transport staff were sent to France within days of the war starting to organise and provide transport for the army.

There are numerous possible records in the medal index cards and other military records , but without more information and with such a common name it is difficult to identify him.
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Re: Frederick James Turner

Postby peter kent » Fri Jul 31, 2015 1:07 pm

it seems likely that I can rule out military service for Frederick Turner as he was listed in the 1911 census as car man (tram conductor),


I do not believe tram conductor was a reserved occupation. Don't ignore the possibility that he enlisted but didn't leave the country thus leaving even less of a documentary footprint than most.
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Re: Frederick James Turner

Postby pea2pen » Mon Aug 10, 2015 6:58 pm

Thank you for your encouragement. The piece about the striking women is very interesting. I have looked for Frederick's service record, which is not easy with no idea of the regiment he would have been in or an army number and, as you say, having such a common name. I have been unable to find a birth certificate and the information given on his marriage certificate is misleading. He would have worked from the Archway Junction so I went to the London Transport archives and looked through lots of records but he was not there either.
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Re: Frederick James Turner

Postby ianbee » Mon Aug 10, 2015 8:25 pm

Hi
If he lived in London try looking at the electoral rolls 1918/19. They will probably be available online. See if he is listed with an "a" against his name for absent voter. That will tell you whether he was in the army at the end of the war.
Most probably he would have been called up in 1916, but there might be circumstances in which he did not serve. Was his wife still alive? If he had children and was widowed he probably would be exempt. He might have failed the medical. He might have served for a short while and then been declared unfit for further service. If he didn't serve abroad he would not have been eligible for any medals.
He might have volunteered in 1914 or 1915, but did he have any more children after the start of the war? A birth certificate would tell you if he was in the army, and probably give his regimental number. But if there are a couple of births during the war years it might suggest he didn't volunteer at all!
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