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WW1, William Edward Eaton

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WW1, William Edward Eaton

Postby LJayne03 » Sun Nov 20, 2016 10:47 am

My great grandfather fought in WW1, was injured and brought home, I've not been able to find any records for this, I'm unsure if I'm looking in the right place. He was born 29 June 1896 in Wakefield. From what I've been told he was shot in the neck and he fought in the Yorkshire Light Infantry.

Any help or pointers where to look would be appreciated.


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Re: WW1, William Edward Eaton

Postby coopernicola » Sun Nov 20, 2016 11:14 am

A quick search in the Military section of Ancestry brings up four William Edward Eaton and a number of William E Eaton. Having just checked out the first four one the WWI Service & Medals Rolls has:
William Edward Eaton Acting Corporal 200315 King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, previously Private 2104 1/4th Yorkshire Light Infantry. It has him being awarded the War & Victory medals.
If this is your ancestor the regimental numbers will give you a starting place.
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Re: WW1, William Edward Eaton

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun Nov 20, 2016 12:02 pm

Because between 2/3 and 3/4 of personnel records for WW1 British Army soldiers were destroyed in a fire during WW2, you need to read up a bit about where to find stuff.

Anyone should start with the research advice on http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/.

I would add that the Absent Voters' Lists on FindMyPast can be crucial in discovering the unit and number of someone. But they don't always survive. Note that the AVLs are not the standard electoral registers but are supplementary documents for those with (effectively) postal votes.

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Re: WW1, William Edward Eaton

Postby Jethro Tull » Sun Nov 20, 2016 12:18 pm

Hi LJayne03, It might be worth checking the pension records, I think these were kept separate from service records Adrian mentions and may have escaped the damage in WW2. He may possibly show up in the Silver War Badge lists too. Have you got any other info on him for a search?
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Re: WW1, William Edward Eaton

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun Nov 20, 2016 1:00 pm

Yes, it depends which online provider you're using. The so-called Pension records happened to be at the department of pensions, so escaped the fire. However, they're nothing like a full record of everyone with a pension. In fact nobody seems to understand just why those records were there!

On Ancestry, the Burnt Records and the Pension Records are separate collections. Last time I looked, they were all in the one collection on FindMyPast.

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Re: WW1, William Edward Eaton

Postby LJayne03 » Sun Nov 20, 2016 5:39 pm

My gramps has said as far as he knows my great grandfather didn't receive a pension, what other information would be useful?


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Re: WW1, William Edward Eaton

Postby ianbee » Sun Nov 20, 2016 6:10 pm

Absent Voters List 1918 for the Constituency of Wakefield
http://www.wakefieldfhs.org.uk/Absent%20Voters%20D.htm

William Edward Eaton is listed at 52b Pincheon Street.
At that address in the 1911 census, William Eaton, 14, son of Richard Percy and Eliza

Can't see a service record, but put his reg. no., 200315, into British Army Service Records on findmypast, up comes W E Eaton who is listed on a page of, I think, soldiers to be demobbed.
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Re: WW1, William Edward Eaton

Postby LJayne03 » Sun Nov 20, 2016 6:44 pm

Thank you Ian!


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Re: WW1, William Edward Eaton

Postby ianbee » Sun Nov 20, 2016 7:00 pm

He also had the 1914-15 Star, and is on the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry Medal Roll for that medal as W. E. Eaton.
He might be in some lists of men published in the Leeds Mercury in 1916 (10 January, 9 August), 2104 Eaton W. E.? Can't look at those tonight to tell you what it's all about though. Wounded perhaps?
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Re: WW1, William Edward Eaton

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun Nov 20, 2016 7:03 pm

Re having a pension or not - the so-called Pension Records are so obscure in their origins that I am not even convinced that all soldiers in the Pension Records actually had a pension from their Army service. The vast majority of the WW1 soldiers were war service only (volunteers or conscripts) so would not have got a long service pension. The so-called Pension Records are actually just ordinary service records that just happened to be at the pensions office for unclear reasons. It might be that some of these guys had short term ill health pensions due to injury or other medical conditions.

Because of the odd nature of these, if you use Ancestry, you should always ensure that you have searched both the Burnt Records and the so-called Pension Records. If you use FindMyPast then you get both collections in one search. I believe.

Anyway, I would believe that Ian has located all that survives in terms of his service records.

NB1 If anyone can illuminate the so-called Pension Records, please do so.
NB2 The real Pension Records are in the hands of the Western Front Association who offer a research service.

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