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Honouring HE Smith died January 1916

Sun Sep 11, 2016 4:35 pm

Herbert Ernest Smith who died in Exeter hospital in January 1916 while serving with the Royal Field Artillery is remembered on our village war memorial. As part of a community project to remember the WW1 and WW2 fallen, I am researching him to build a profile.

Can anyone suggest the best forums to post for help to uncover any information about his service with the RFA and previously with the Royal Garrison Artillery which possibly included the 2nd Boer War.

Re: Honouring HE Smith died January 1916

Sun Sep 11, 2016 5:14 pm

Aside from the considerable expertise on this forum, I suggest these two:

- the Great War Forum (for WW1 service) http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forum ... -soldiers/
- the Victorian Wars Forum (for Boer War) http://victorianwars.com/

It's worth spending some time reading both; there's lots of information about the basics of researching soldiers. I've made significant progress with people in my family trees from these - good luck!

Sent from my iPad using WDYTYA Forum

Re: Honouring HE Smith died January 1916

Sun Sep 11, 2016 7:05 pm

I would suggest that in addition before you look at forums you look at the CWGC (Commonwealth War Graves Commission) website as they have quite a lot of information freely available on individuals, in the case of this individual http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casua ... T%20ERNEST. In addition of course local newspapers are another help as are The National Archives website including their research guide on soldiers' records.

Re: Honouring HE Smith died January 1916

Mon Sep 12, 2016 8:53 am

Thanks, junkers, but I already have the CWGC information. Many thanks for your suggestions, JaneyH: I've already posted on the Great War Forum; I discovered the Victoian Wars Forum yesterday, but haven't yet posted.

Re: Honouring HE Smith died January 1916

Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:06 am

I'm half way through a similar project for the men from my village but I'm also doing short biogs for the 30 men listed on the Roll of Honour in our church - the men who went and came back.

Some are proving very elusive - probably because some were jockeys at one of the racing yards in our village so didn't have famililies - but others I'm mananged to build up a large amount of information on.

Two things I have done to help with this.

1. Looked at other relatives in the family and seen what happened to them. Many families in small rural areas inter-married. Of the 8 WW1 men in my reseach who died 7 of them were related to each other by marriage. It gives a very good picture of how insular village life was in the early 1900s.

2. I've traced descendants who can often supply photos or have family stories that have been passed down to them. If your man wasn't married did he have nieces or nephews?

Good luck with your research. So far mine has taken 2 years and I'm not finished yet but it's rewarding and I want to make sure I get it right. We owe them all that.

Re: Honouring HE Smith died January 1916

Mon Sep 12, 2016 2:23 pm

I'm new to my village so it's very early days for me. Others had started the project but I've recently taken over. I've done two biographies so far, each of about 1,000 words: I look all over the place for information including trying to find descendants and build family trees.

Some of mine are proving elusive too, but I keep chipping away. If it would be helpful to share information and research tips/discoveries, I'd be happy to exchange emails. If this is of interest, perhaps we can find a way to private message each other, for example if you are on Facebook...

Re: Honouring HE Smith died January 1916

Mon Sep 12, 2016 11:53 pm

The FIBIS Fibiwiki page British Army, section Records sets out a wide range of records available, including online records

It would be expected that all his Army service records would be found in the same file, if that file has survived. All the surviving WW1 service records are to be found on findmypast or Ancestry.

If his WW1 service file has not survived, you are unlikely to be able to find out about service during the Boer War.

If his service records haven't survived, soldiers wills, or soldiers effects records, the latter available on Ancestry, may be sources of information. There are details on the Fibiwik page.


Re: Honouring HE Smith died January 1916

Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:14 pm

His Boer War records may not have been included in his First World War record and may be in series WO 97 at The National Archives, I think it is online.

Re: Honouring HE Smith died January 1916

Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:05 am

I've discovered Alan Greveson's World War 1 Forum which has been incredibly helpful. Do check it out if you need help with WW1 research at http://www.circlecity.co.uk/wartime/board/
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