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Help connecting my Grandad to WW2...

Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:34 pm

Hello.

This is probably the 4th time I have posted this but heres on last try...

My mum never knew who her Dad was, only he be William Gurr. Since iv started to research our family history I have discovered that he was a soldier at Ranby Camp in 1945 aged 29. This is from my Nans marriage cert. Now what im really struggling with here is how to find a man call William Gurr born abt 1916 (possibly in sussex area, its the strongest lead I have based on other new found facts) that served in WW2.

I cant search for his service records as I dont have a service number to go by. Is there anyway I could just try see if there is a record matching his dob and name then proceed to get some records?

Its frustrating because its clear he was a soldier but I havnt any thing else to go on. If someone could help me out massively that would be really welcome.

Ta Tyler

Re: Help connecting my Grandad to WW2...

Sat Mar 30, 2013 10:21 pm

There is according to ancestry a William Gurr born in the East Grinstead area in 1915. Does your Nan's marriage certificate name William's father as that information would be useful to track him down. As you probably know Ranby Camp was a Prisoner of War camp and there was a meeting of living people who served there two years ago and a book was going to be written about the camp, just type Ranby Camp into a search engine.

If you can then find a death certificate for William, then you could apply to the Ministry of Defence for his record if you have his date of birth and regiment number would be useful and also that you were the next of kin, if your mother is alive then she would need to send the letter. It helps us if you can tell us what information you have (assuming he is dead) as this all helps us to help you.

Re: Help connecting my Grandad to WW2...

Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:12 am

Well this is what I know for fact...

On his marriage cert to my Nan he is William Gurr. Age 29, occupation and is a soldier, living at Ranby Camp. Father is a Frederick Gurr, occupation Bricklayer but deceased. The witness is also Frederick Gurr which if it is the William Gurr that I have been told of, born in East Grindstead 1915, the witness would be his brother.

So as you can see its going to be a struggle to match the William on marriage cert and the William iv been offered up on Ancestry.

Could I ask the MoD if they have a William Gurr of that age at Ranby in a straight yes or no before I apply for service records? If only families weren't so complicated.

Re: Help connecting my Grandad to WW2...

Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:50 pm

I've been looking at William Gurr b East Grinstead 1915. His mother's maiden name was Tilden. Looking for a marriage for Gurr / Tilden there are 2 :
Sylvanus Gurr / Ada Tilden 1904 Croyden and Frederick Gurr / Catherine Tilden 1899 Croyden.
It seems that Sylvanus and Frederick are brothers. Here they are on the 1891 census :

Timothy J Gurr
Age: 50
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1841
Relation: Head
Spouse's Name: Martha Gurr
Gender: Male
Where born: Nutley, Sussex, England

Civil parish: East Grinstead
Ecclesiastical parish: Forest Row
County/Island: Sussex
Country: England


Registration district: East Grinstead
Sub-registration district: East Grinstead
ED, institution, or vessel: 8

Piece: 789
Folio: 33
Page Number: 2
Household Members: Name Age
Timothy J Gurr 50
Martha Gurr 50
Mary E Gurr 17
Frederick Gurr 11
Silvanus Gurr 9
George Gurr 7
Henry Chatfield 83

The father Timothy J Gurr is a bricklayer. The family are difficult to find at times as it seems that they sometimes went by the name of Ridley. Silvanus was baptised Silvanus Ridley Gurr 5 Feb 1882 Nutley Sussex and Timothy J Gurr's probate record is in the name of Ridley. In addition I found a reference to a document relating to a property transaction which refers to Timothy as Timothy John Ridley , otherwise Gurr.

I found Frederick Gurr on the 1901 census :

Frederick Gurr BRICKLAYER
Age: 21
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1880
Relation: Brother-in-law
Gender: Male
Where born: Forest Row, Sussex, England

Civil parish: Croydon
Ecclesiastical parish: St Augustine
Town: Croydon
County/Island: Surrey
Country: England


Registration district: Croydon
Sub-registration district: Croydon
ED, institution, or vessel: 13

Household schedule number: 96
Piece: 637
Folio: 39
Page Number: 13
Household Members: Name Age
Frederick Goring 22
Margaret Goring 23
Emma Goring 10
Frederick Gurr 21
Frederick Ridley

and here he is with his family in 1911 as Frederick Ridley :
Age in 1911: 32
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1879
Relation to Head: Head
Gender: Male
Birth Place: Forest Row, Sussex
Civil parish: Forest Row
County/Island: Sussex
Country: England
Street Address: 3 Chimneys Birch Grove Nr East Grinstead
Marital Status: Married
Occupation: Bricklayer
Registration district: East Grinstead
Registration District Number: 75
Sub-registration district: East Grinstead
ED, institution, or vessel: 7
Household schedule number: 21
Piece: 4985
Household Members: Name Age
Frederick Ridley 32
Catherine Ridley 35
Margaret Ridley 10
Frederick Ridley 9
Kathleen Ridley 8
Mary Ridley 6
John Ridley 4
Walter Ridley 3
Winefred Ridley 1
I notice that there is a younger Frederick who could be the 'brother' Frederick who is a witness to the marriage.


Colin

Re: Help connecting my Grandad to WW2...

Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:29 pm

Indeed that Family of Gurrs looks to be the ones my Mum is part of. And also it does start to get silly further in down the line. They become Stevenson's at one juncture! This also throws up the question is the fella William Gurr on the marriage cert I have really a Ridley perhaps? Would he be in the army as a Gurr or Ridley?
It seems to be then that the Frederick b.1901/2 could very much be his witness as it all matches up in that sense?

Thanks again

Re: Help connecting my Grandad to WW2...

Mon May 20, 2013 1:31 pm

Hello

I realise this is some time after your last post and you may have solved your problem, but if not, you will not be able to purchase (about £30) any records from WW11 re William Gurr unless you can prove that he is your Grandfather, ie is he named on your Mother's birth cert? If you have this proof then your Mother will need to write, giving as much info as poss. in order to obtain his service record. It usually takes several weeks. You can download the necessary forms from the Army Records Office. I doubt very much if they will answer any queries by phone/email, they will just tell you to make an application.

There is a death on ancestry for a William Gurr, details:- March 1975 Coventry vol. 33, page 0448. The date of birth of this William Gurr is 19 April 1915. Hopefully his birthday is known to your family. If not and you have been unable to get any further with your research it may be worth purchasing this cert,it may just give you some further family info that you can tie in with the records found above.

Failing that your only hope is to find records pertaining to the camp.

Sally

Re: Help connecting my Grandad to WW2...

Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:55 pm

Hi
I have a mess tin beautifully engraved by a British rifleman whilst held as a WW2 POW in Germany. The guy's name is Rifleman F. Gurr. He inscribes that he has a brother called Private G. Gurr who is also a POW in Germany. He also mentions family members, Jack, Walter, William, Salvanus and Edward. I also have a POW letter from his sister back home. She signs the letter, Maggie and her married name is Mrs E. Bishop.
Is there any link to your family?

Re: Help connecting my Grandad to WW2...

Fri Jul 01, 2016 9:38 pm

Hi, I think we could be related my great grand mother was Catherine Tilden she was married to Frederick Gurr. Both my grandparents were descendant of Timothy Ridley married to Martha chatfield is this your family line?? Rick Ridley-Gurr

Re: Help connecting my Grandad to WW2...

Fri Nov 18, 2016 2:55 pm

Hi people.

Well it has been a looong while since I was last on this site. The quest for info has come up again within me, I'm still searching for answers that are very important to me and my family and thus far hitting a dead end. However the last two posts on this thread are, I think, the most significant find since I have started.

A very brief overview of this research now as It has really opened up the proverbial can o' worms, and it's produced more questions than the answers I found since. I have since discovered that we have more family that has been kept quiet for ever (as still is, I am trying to find contacts for at least one of them), that he has a Army number on another certificate I bought, which conflicts with Merchant Seaman on my Mums cert, so the main questions to me are for those who can and are still interested, why was my Nan down in Uckfield before my mother was born (she is still going but absolutely will not tell me anything yet), and is the William Gurr on my Mothers cert even this William Gurr? It could be someone completely different as she was NOT born down south.

Anyway this forum isn't really the correct place to start looking for long lost family members but....

MerlinP wrote:Hi
I have a mess tin beautifully engraved by a British rifleman whilst held as a WW2 POW in Germany. The guy's name is Rifleman F. Gurr. He inscribes that he has a brother called Private G. Gurr who is also a POW in Germany. He also mentions family members, Jack, Walter, William, Salvanus and Edward. I also have a POW letter from his sister back home. She signs the letter, Maggie and her married name is Mrs E. Bishop.
Is there any link to your family?


Merlin, if by some chance you still frequent here, yes this is likely to be connected to my family line (providing other factors are true...) as there was a Frederick Gurr with a brother called George Gurr, and that Frederick could most likely be the chap mentioned on the marriage record of my Nan to William Gurr. And there is also a Sylvanus one generation back.... I'll pm you my personal deets, hope you get it.


Richardridleygurr wrote:Hi, I think we could be related my great grand mother was Catherine Tilden she was married to Frederick Gurr. Both my grandparents were descendant of Timothy Ridley married to Martha chatfield is this your family line?? Rick Ridley-Gurr


Richard, I think you're right in your thinking! So far you could be the closest decendent to help me solve all this rabble. Well put it this way, from what I have read, and FACTS I know, we do have some shared blood. Again I really hope you check back to this and get notifications as I would really like to speak and share what I have with you!

A footnote. if there is anyone person on here that could help me and my mother find our other relatives, I would be very appreciative of your help.

Many many thanks.
Ty
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