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Difficulty in locating regiment from an old photo? Any ideas

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Difficulty in locating regiment from an old photo? Any ideas

Postby jules9 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:46 pm

Hi all,

I am trying to build my family history, the difficulty being there are no surviving relatives to ask and I have very little information. I have various old photos and random names. I have tried a few months back with some online family tree research sites to find some information about my grandfather, Alfred Beck. I have some of his WW2 photos in uniform but cannot make out which regiment he would have been in. He was possibly from Sunderland area and residing there until he married my grandmother in 1943 Gateshead (again may not be accurate just what I have managed to try and piece together on these research sites - but could be wrong).

Would anyone be able to recognise the regiment from his uniform if I posted a photo?

Thank you in advance
J
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Re: Difficulty in locating regiment from an old photo? Any i

Postby AdrianB38 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 4:30 pm

1. You need to have a cap badge or other insignia visible - otherwise it tends to just be a uniform.But you'll never know unless you try. (Zoom in as much as you can on the insignia - if necessary, post both the overall view plus a close-up of the insignia)

2. His papers will be with the MoD - see https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/requests-for-personal-data-and-service-records - you don't need to know his serial number or unit, but you do need other means to identify him (name and date of birth as a starter) plus proof of death and (depending on when he died) permission from the next-of-kin to get the full details.
Adrian
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Re: Difficulty in locating regiment from an old photo? Any i

Postby jules9 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:22 pm

Hi Adrian

Thank you so much for your reply, I really do appreciate your time.

I am the last remaining member of the family (well I have children but want to gather the family history for them). I do not know his date of birth or when he died etc.... too many secrets and I was not allowed to know anything. So here I am.....

I do know some details of my grandmother so I am hoping to locate the marriage cert online and then really really hope this will help lead me to work out date of birth and find a possible death cert.

Thank you, I will post on his photo and see if this helps locate a possible regiment.

Kind Regards
Jules
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Re: Difficulty in locating regiment from an old photo? Any i

Postby AdrianB38 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:39 pm

Oh dear, Jules. You have a bit more of a problem than I anticipated. You really need to prioritise the civilian side to get access to the military! (Well, at least you can say that you're the Next of Kin to gain access to the more sensitive data immediately. Once you have his DoB .... ) (Post the photo, though - anything might turn up!)

I would advise that you take everything one step at a time, starting with the birth certificates of your parents - don't leap to your GP's marriage certificate, "just in case".

Remember there's the 1939 Register though the problem will be identifying just which Alfred Beck is yours. Newspapers, electoral registers (though you may have to go to record offices for those), etc, etc... In fact, get everything that you can in case there are clues - e.g. names of witnesses on marriage certificates, informants on other certificates. Regrettably, you may end up buying certificates on spec.

"Make haste slowly" and "Don't panic Mr Mainwaring..." - all good advice.
Adrian
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Re: Difficulty in locating regiment from an old photo? Any i

Postby jules9 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:46 pm

Good Evening Adrian

Thank you for the advice which not only do I appreciate but will also work from as a good starting off point.

These are the only photos of my Grandfather wearing his uniform. Although they are not the most clearest, I have been looking at the shape of the cap badge and possible local regiments? I was thinking he may have been in the Tyneside Scottish but as yet cannot find which battalion....

Maybe someone on here may have an idea?

Thank you again
Jules
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A Beck 1.jpg
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Re: Difficulty in locating regiment from an old photo? Any i

Postby Jethro Tull » Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:01 am

Hi Jules,

The cap badge does look like the Tyneside Scottish but there are other which are similar too and it can be hard to tell from old photos. Some others with a similar shape are The Glasgow Highlanders, The Highland Light Infantry, The Royal Scots among others.

The medal ribbon is very fuzzy but to my eyes appears to be the ribbon for the Africa Star and I can see an emblem on it too which could be a "1", "8", or silver rosette to indicate service with and entitlement to bar for the 1st or 8th army or the North Africa 1942-43 bars. I think it's more likely to be a 1 or 8. This would set the right hand photo late war.

Cheers

Dan

Sent from my SM-G930F using Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine Forum mobile app
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Re: Difficulty in locating regiment from an old photo? Any i

Postby jules9 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:13 am

Hi Dan

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply, which has certainly gave me quite a few possibilities to research further. I am finding when looking through various military records there are a few red herrings and I'm back to square one. I suppose this is the difficulty of family not giving you any information and why forums like this are really valuable.

Thank you again your reply has been really helpful

Jules
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