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Help needed with WW1 record

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Help needed with WW1 record

Postby davestevens » Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:53 pm

My grandfather Edward Mark Lawrence is listed in the 1918 London Electoral Register as an absent voter. His Service details are: 63307 Pte 37th Welsh Regiment. I don't know where to start looking for his service record, if it survives. Any ideas?
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Re: Help needed with WW1 record

Postby Sylcec » Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:06 pm

Dave - the best place to search for surviving WWI Soldiers Records is Ancestry. They have digitised the surviving WWI Soldiers Service Records, Pension Records, and the Medal Index Cards - of which there are more than 5 million. I have not been able to identify any Edward M(ark) Lawrence. There are plenty of records for a straight Edward Lawrence, but have not so far identified one to match given information. Do you know an approximate year (and plae) of birth which will enable me to narrow the search?
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Re: Help needed with WW1 record

Postby AdrianB38 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:35 pm

Go and read "The Long, Long Trail - The British Army in the Great War" on

In particular, click the link for "Soldiers" and on you'll find the way in to the basics of researching WW1 soldiers. Having a service number like you do, is, by the way, about the best possible start!

But prepare to be disappointed - getting on for 75% of the personnel records from the Army in WW1 were destroyed in WW2. If your grandfather was abroad during the war (specifically before 11/11/18) then he should have received a campaign medal or two - which will be documented in the Medal Index Cards (as these survive). However, he may not have gone abroad until after the end (if at all), in which case he won't have been issued with a campaign medal. And I'm slightly puzzled over what the 37th Welsh Regiment might be. Normally that means the 37th Battalion of the Welsh Regiment, but I can't find what that is. With a number like that, it might be a training battalion - probably UK based. But that's just a guess.
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