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Records for soldiers killed after Armistice

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Records for soldiers killed after Armistice

Postby janiej » Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:39 pm

My great-uncle was killed in January 1919, in France, while on clearing up operations. I have a letter from his CO who says "he was killed today" and then goes on to say he was a trusted comrade and friend. However, I have searched the War Diaries for his Battalion (12th Btn MCG), which was based in Ecaillon at that time (where he died) and there is no mention of that Company doing anything that day, other than a parade, a lecture and fatigues for a race meeting. The following day, they were on salvage operations, but there was no mention of any "Other Ranks" soldiers being killed or wounded. The CO who wrote the diary was not the Major who wrote the letter.

I have not been able to find any records, except his medal card, and his earlier Militia papers. I assumed that his War papers must have been burnt - but would they have been filed somewhere else, seeing that he died after the Armistice?

The records of his CO are still with the MOD. Why would that be?
janiej
 
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Re: Records for soldiers killed after Armistice

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:21 pm

The criteria for whether a soldier's records were classed as World War One (later passed over to the National Archives) or were retained by the MoD depend on whether the soldier was still serving at a specific date.

For an officer, if they were serving in the Army after 31 March 1922, then the MoD kept their records. (See http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/reco ... er1913.htm )

For an "enlisted man" (i.e. not a commissioned officer), if they were serving in the Army after 1920 (not sure if there is an exact date), then the MoD kept their records (see http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/reco ... er1913.htm )

So if the CO's records are with the MoD, that implies the CO served after 31 March 1922. And your great-uncle dying after 11/11/1918 would not affect whether or not the records were put into the Arnside St warehouse - where the incendiary device hit in WW2. His Army career "finished" before 1920, so his papers would have gone into Arnside St - apparently to be burnt there later.

As always, there are accidental exceptions, but that's the basis.
Adrian
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Re: Records for soldiers killed after Armistice

Postby junkers » Sun Nov 17, 2013 12:20 am

Have you run his name through The National Archives Discovery catalogue, using the advanced search as there may be other records and the regiment may have something in their own records or published histories.
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Re: Records for soldiers killed after Armistice

Postby janiej » Thu Nov 28, 2013 12:11 am

I have run his name through Discovery but there is only his medals card, which I already had. I went through the war diary again the other day in case I had missed something. I am trying to understand the MGC because it look as though they amalgamated with the 10th, 11th and 234th Machine Gun Companies to form No. 4 Battalion, MGC in Feb 1918 and I wonder if there is anything in their war diaries. I think that if I could find out where the CO was that day (Major Donaldson) it might give me a clue as to where our Ernest was.
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