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Unable to find Robert George Purser in WWII records

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Unable to find Robert George Purser in WWII records

Postby RobPurser » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:13 pm

I know my grandfather served in the Army in WWII however I cannot find any record of him in Ancestry or Find my Past. He received the Africa Star, Italy Star, Defence Medal and War Medal.

Whilst it might be a slim chance, I was hoping someone might recognise the uniform as I don't even know what regiment he was in or possibly find any information on him.

He was born in 1908 in London and died in 1975 in South Australia.

I hope someone can help.

Thanks,

Rob
Attachments
Robert George Purser (grandpa) on the left Army photo.jpg
Robert George Purser (grandpa) on the left Army photo.jpg (936.8 KiB) Viewed 1597 times
Grandpa in the army.jpg
Grandpa in the army.jpg (137.28 KiB) Viewed 1597 times
Grandpa (lhs) and his army pals.jpg
Grandpa (lhs) and his army pals.jpg (154.83 KiB) Viewed 1597 times
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Re: Unable to find Robert George Purser in WWII records

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:48 pm

So far as I know, and I could be wrong, there's nothing on those uniforms that isn't on every British Army uniform.

Service records for anyone in the Army after (about) 1920 remain with the Ministry of Defence, who will provide copies. See https://www.gov.uk/guidance/request-records-of-deceased-service-personnel

Note that you will need a death certificate (unless the death was in Army service). As it's over 25 years since he died, you won't need the consent of the next-of-kin to get the full story. I've never done this, I must add, but a couple of things spring to mind - firstly, I've seen advice that you should explicitly ask for the full set of records. Secondly at one time, the MoD took months to respond - it's said that things are coming through a lot quicker now. Thirdly, the last time I mentioned death certificates, someone said that in their case the MoD were satisfied by a photo of the gravestone.

Note that other sites do not offer anything like the full story - the full details for post-1920 soldiers are with the MoD and no-one else. That said, other sites do have some details - FindMyPast has Royal Artillery Other Ranks: Casualty Cards 1939-1947 and Royal Artillery Attestations 1883-1942. The latter can be misunderstood - the books (sometimes known as Recruitment Registers) record the recruitment of anyone in the RA between 1920 and 1942. It just so happens that the earliest recruits still around in 1920, joined the RA in 1883.
Adrian
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Re: Unable to find Robert George Purser in WWII records

Postby RobPurser » Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:56 pm

Adrian,

Thanks for taking the time to reply and to provide the information.

I will give it a go and see what happens.

Thanks again,

Rob
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Re: Unable to find Robert George Purser in WWII records

Postby Jethro Tull » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:09 pm

Hi Rob,

Do you have any others at all that shoe the cap badge a little more clearly? I can't see any details on it I'm afraid to help hint at the regiment.

Cheers

Dan
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Re: Unable to find Robert George Purser in WWII records

Postby RobPurser » Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:16 am

Dan,

I will check with my mum but I have a feeling that's all there is.

If by chance she does have anything, I will post it up.

Thanks for replying.

Regards,

Rob
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Re: Unable to find Robert George Purser in WWII records

Postby RobPurser » Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:39 am

Robert George Purser (grandfather) campaign medals.jpg
Robert George Purser (grandfather) campaign medals.jpg (988.96 KiB) Viewed 1499 times
I have just found out that my Grandfather may have been a gunner so I guess puts him in the Royal Artillery. I found this medal list (attached) and wondered if the handwritten number at thetop miight be his service number?

Would anyone know?

Thanks,

Rob
RobPurser
 
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Re: Unable to find Robert George Purser in WWII records

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:03 am

Not merely does it look like a number - it is his service number.

FindMyPast has a record set Royal Artillery Attestations 1883-1942. And an enquiry on service number 1759024 in that record set shows an entry for
1759024 PURSER Robert George


Sadly it's in the later format, which means you get virtually nothing more - FMP think that his attestation was in 1940. Seems like he was in uniform until March 1946 at which point he went into the reserves until 1954 (I think that's what the splodge says) when he was discharged "over age". What that meant was that, until 1954, if the balloon went up again (e.g. Korea), then he could have been called up from civilian life and put back into uniform.

Basically that's all there is, but you're now in even better shape to get his service records from the MoD.

Thanks for the image by the way - I'd never seen one of those but it looks like he went from Africa up into Italy. What sort of artillery unit he was in, I've no idea, but all that lot should be derivable from his papers - it may not say exactly where he was (I'm not familiar with WW2 papers) so you'd need to follow his regiment or even division through. Good luck.
Adrian
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Re: Unable to find Robert George Purser in WWII records

Postby RobPurser » Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:26 pm

That's brilliant Adrian.

Many thanks.

Best wishes,

Rob
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