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Albert Watson - WW1 - Scots Guards & Royal Engineers

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Albert Watson - WW1 - Scots Guards & Royal Engineers

Postby Ted Hopkins » Fri Feb 12, 2016 5:13 pm

Looking for any information on my Maternal Grandfather.
I have only the above information and that is from his Medal Card.
If you might be able to help, we could compare his Regimental Numbers and War record Number to confirm.
Ted Hopkins
 
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Re: Albert Watson - WW1 - Scots Guards & Royal Engineers

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri Feb 12, 2016 8:47 pm

My initial thought is that all the surviving official records for him will be on Ancestry (FindMyPast also have the service records, in fact, their index is often rather better).

I could only see one Albert Watson (bear in mind that he could be A Watson, which I didn't look for) who has a Medal Index Card on Ancestry and was in both the Royal Engineers and the Scots Guards. He's 12740 in the Scots Guards, then 348441 and followed by WR/204514 in the Royal Engineers. Please tell me if I'm wrong.

Ancestry also has the Medal Roll entry for him in "UK, WWI Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920", as this:
Name: Albert Watson
Military Year: 1914-1920
Rank: Sapper
Medal Awarded: British War Medal and Victory Medal
Regiment or Corps: Royal Engineers
Regimental Number: WR.204514
Sub Unit: Railways
Previous Units: Scots Guards. 12740. Pte., Royal Engineers. 348441

I think you have to search that collection by 204514 for him. The resulting Medal Roll page is headed "Railways Royal Engineers" (not surprising as the "WR" prefix is normally applied to RE soldiers in the Waterways & Railways side).

If you look at The Long, Long Trail web-site that will tell you about researching WW1 soldiers http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/soldiers/how-to-research-a-soldier/ while http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-corps-of-royal-engineers-in-the-first-world-war/ will tell you about the Royal Engineers.

I had a quick look on Ancestry for his personnel papers - couldn't see any, so it looks like they were burnt during WW2 just like most of the others. (But note I didn't try FindMyPast). You may see that papers from the Guards Regiments were kept elsewhere, so were not affected by the WW2 fire (though I'm never sure if they had their own problems). However, the general rule is that someone's papers went with them to their new regiment, so Albert's papers would have been sent from the Scots Guards to the RE, and thence to the Arnside St warehouse where, during WW2, it looks like they were destroyed. (Love to be proved wrong, of course).

The only other thing I can add is slghtly more subtle - Albert would have gone outside the UK after the end of 1915 (because he only had the 2 campaign medals, the Victory and British War Medals) and when he first went abroad he would have been in the Scots Guards (because the Medal Index Cards and Rolls concern themselves only with service outside the UK). He would have transferred into the RE outside the UK and then into the Railways side of the RE, again while he was outside the UK.
Adrian
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Re: Albert Watson - WW1 - Scots Guards & Royal Engineers

Postby peter kent » Sat Feb 13, 2016 8:57 am

If you might be able to help, we could compare his Regimental Numbers and War record Number to confirm.


I wonder why you think that might be a productive way to work. If you want help, you need to quote all the information you have, particularly his regimental number. And what's a "war record number"?

I suspect Adrian has found the right man but why on earth should he have to guess?
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Re: Albert Watson - WW1 - Scots Guards & Royal Engineers

Postby Ted Hopkins » Sun Feb 14, 2016 3:11 am

Adrian & Peter:

I must apologize for any misconception. This is my first posting on this forum. In the past, I have only used Ancestry and there I would not have had any way of confirming whether I truly had the correct person if I did not hold back a portion of my known information; in in order to confirm that we were corresponding about the same person.

per Albert Watson, I did have his Medal Card (complete with his War Record # and his two
Regimental #'s :
War Record WR 204514 (You have advised that WR stands for Royal Engineers Water and Railways)
Scots Guards, Private, #12740
Royal Engineers, Railway, Sapper #348441

In the past, this is all of the information which I had but, now you have advised me of "The Long Long Trail" and ow-to-Research a Soldier"; which I will be using to further my research.

Also, I had a strong suspicion that his WWI records may well have been one of the "Burnt Records" and to the end, I was almost ready to abandon my research. However, you have kindly given me more avenues to follow.
Ted Hopkins
 
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Re: Albert Watson - WW1 - Scots Guards & Royal Engineers

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun Feb 14, 2016 7:20 am

Ted - your tactic of partial disclosure is exactly right for dealing with a contact on Ancestry who claims to be your cousin but could be anyone from a con artist to someone who is hopelessly over optimistic and believes that anyone with the right name must be their relative. However, when you're dealing with a single person, and you need help from other people who are (hopefully) going to do look ups or provide advice based on what you know so far, it was counter productive.

Anyway, best of luck with your research. You may not find his papers (though a check on FindMyPast is still a good idea just in case their index has him while Ancestry's doesn't) but you may get an understanding of the type of "work" he did.

Sent from my MotoG3
Adrian
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Re: Albert Watson - WW1 - Scots Guards & Royal Engineers

Postby peter kent » Sun Feb 14, 2016 9:52 am

Any surviving records are most likely to be at the National Archives and I would strongly advise you to read their comprehensive research guides.

From the National Archives home page, select "help with your research...find guides" and select your area of interest.
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Re: Albert Watson - WW1 - Scots Guards & Royal Engineers

Postby Ted Hopkins » Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:48 am

Adrian & Peter

Thanks so much for your comments.
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