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Tracing a soldier from WW1

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Tracing a soldier from WW1

Postby Millfield64 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:11 am

I have a relative who had to leave his service with the Army due to an injury to his left eye around 1918. He shows as having a pension on Ancestry. However, this chap is quite elusive and seems to disappear and I was wondering whether it is possible to try and trace him after 1918/19 through Army records if he was indeed receiving this pension? Elderly relatives seem to think he may have been homeless during the 1930's. Really struggling to find anything at present and wondered whether any of you out there may have some ideas to help me try and track him down!

His name was Charles Henry Evans born c1899 Hull East Yorkshire. Father George Robert, Mother Mary Ellen.

With many thanks to you all for reading this message.
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Re: Tracing a soldier from WW1

Postby AdrianB38 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:34 am

While Ancestry have what are described by many people as Pension Records, as you may realise, they're not really pension records but Soldiers' Papers that happen to have pensions data in them and which were, for reasons not exactly clear, in a Pensions Office when the Arnside St fire occurred.

All of which is a preamble to saying that the real Pension Records are actually with the Western Front Association and, while they are not online, the WFA do offer, I believe, a research service. See http://www.westernfrontassociation.com/all-about-the-wfa/wfa-news-events/pension-records.html for a link.

However, I wouldn't get your hopes up too much for solving your mystery. So far as I can see, many pensions for ill health were strictly temporary, designed to tide someone over into a return to civilian life, so it might be that, even if the WFA have your relative's details (no idea how comprehensive the coverage is) you might find that the pension stopped after a relatively short period of time. (The Ancestry data may give a clue how long the pension was for).

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Re: Tracing a soldier from WW1

Postby brunes08 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:56 pm

I've done a bit of rummaging around for Charles. On familysearch.org is an entry that shows Charles enlisted in the Labour Corps in 1918. On the entry it says Military Regt 334066 - someone more au fait with military records could probably help you with that. I then looked up the Labour Corps and found an entry on on another forum. This stated that the Labour Corps was formed in 1917 and lasted until 1921. The Corps was made up of men who may have been wounded and couldn't return to the front plus men who were deemed to be too old or unfit for front line duties. It may be this last that is relevant for Charles. I also tried to see if he turned up on the 1939 Register but unfortunately there are too many entries with the same names and same year of birth. Hope that helps a bit.
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Re: Tracing a soldier from WW1

Postby AdrianB38 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:41 pm

The Labour Corps is, err, complex. While the Long Long Trail mentions them on http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-labour-corps-of-1917-1918/ this is primarily about their overseas work. There is a major book written about the LC that you can see some excerpts from on Google Books. See https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=GqWCBAAAQBAJ&source=gbs_navlinks_s Searching his papers, I see that there is mention of 509, 508 and 378 HS Labour Companies. That book suggests to me that HS Labour Company means "Home Service Labour Company" and that these companies undertook general labouring duty in the UK to support the Army.

Having found his records on Ancestry, if you look at the last page of his file, you will see that his pension was 22 shillings for 20 weeks only, which, according to the top of the page, would take it up to December 1918. So I doubt that any Western Front pension stuff would help remotely. (NB - the medical reports state that his condition was not caused or made worse by Army service, so I'm pleasantly surprised that he got anything from them.)
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Re: Tracing a soldier from WW1

Postby Millfield64 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:01 pm

Many thanks Adrian B38 and brunes08 for your response. I guess that completely scuppers me then! I will leave this character now and hope that something crops up in the future to help me find out what actually happened to him or not, as the case may be! Many thanks for your assistance.
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Re: Tracing a soldier from WW1

Postby coopernicola » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:40 pm

Do you an idea of his address in 18918/19? There may be an article in the local paper (Hull Daily Mail) about him. The address is given as Montreal Avenue, Hull.
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Re: Tracing a soldier from WW1

Postby ianbee » Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:35 pm

Charles Henry Evans is an old "friend" of the forum
post29787.html#p29787

Possible last sighting, Spring 1921 electoral register
1 Montreal Avenue, Hull
Evans, George Robert
Evans, Mary Ellen
Evans, Charles Henry

Charles not listed there in Autumn 1921

Millfield64 wrote:I will leave this character now

And so will I.
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Re: Tracing a soldier from WW1

Postby coopernicola » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:37 am

What a great memory you have Ian, I had replied to the first query too but did not remember!
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