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Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:23 am
I’m looking for any help in tracing one of my ancestors Military records.
William Wells (1856-1911+) joined the Army (Royal Garrison Artillery) on 14 Apr 1900. I have his Military records for this enlistment. However his Attestation Papers for this 1 year of service states that William had previously served in the Royal Artillery (Reg No 10529) as a Gunner. They also indicate that he purchased his discharge.
It this previous enlistment I’m trying to locate details on?
William Wells was born in Bottesfords, Leicestershire on 6th Oct 1856 (Birth Date from a Family Bible cover). I have census records covering William from birth to 1911 except for 1881.
I suspect that William was serving in the Army, most likely overseas, in 1881. There is a good chance that his brother John Wells (1859-1953) was also in the army at this time as he also missing from the census.
Also William Wells marries a girl from the Channel Islands in 1883 in Dover.
Marriage Place: Dover, Kent, England
Marriage Date: 01 Jul 1883
Groom's Name: William Wells, Age 26, Born 1857
Bride's Name: Minnie Le Lerre, Age 21, Born 1862
Groom's Father's Name: Joseph Wells
Bride's Father's Name: Charles Le Lerre
William comes from a family of Agricultural Laborers in Nottinghamshire/Leicestershire so something must have taken him to Dover and possibly the Channel Islands. I suspect that it ties in with his previous Military service. It was sometime between 1871-1891 as the census records for 1871 he is working as an Agricultural Servant in Bottesfords, Leicestershire, and in 1891 he is working as a Coal Miner in Pinxton, Derbyshire.
Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:21 am
I haven't found any records for the earlier military service but the marriage you mention is on this website :http://www.doverhistory.co.uk/st-james- ... /28/156.ht
The record states ' RA' for occupation - he was probably stationed at the Castle at that time.
Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:40 pm
Thanks for the link, I hadn't seen that web-site before. It gives me a few pieces of extra information I didn't know about before and it does confirm that William was in the Royal Artillery in 1883.