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WW1 data from FindMyPast

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 7:44 pm
by AdrianB38
It's important we don't just concentrate on the negatives and in doing so, forget the positives. So... One of the FindMyPast releases that I was eager for, was their version of the World War One British Army Service Records. I think I'd seen some large numbers for people who hadn't been indexed before - which I was slightly cynical about but if there were some new guys and one was mine....

Almost the first soldier that I checked for came up trumps. I should explain that my great-uncle Bob was the guy who got me into family history. It was some 40y after I met him that I started, but that conversation was the trigger. My Dad had an idea that his Uncle Bob was in the Signals in WW1 but wasn't sure and I couldn't find him in Ancestry. And there he was in FindMyPast - Sapper Robert Bruce, 341081, Royal Engineers. Turned out that he was in the RE, having trained as a wireless operator. He didn't get out of the UK until 1919 when he was sent to one of the weird footnotes to WW1, when the UK was attempting to intervene in the Russian Civil War on the side of the White Russians. So from the chemist's shop on the corner in Crewe, he sailed via Constantinople into the Black Sea.

It wasn't long before, going through my list of missing records, I found another. This time there was just one line for Private 9418 S Pridding, Cheshires, noted as a witness in a court-martial. For half a second I was disappointed - this seemed scraping the barrel to index single lines like this - it wasn't as if it said anything about him, was it? Half a second... then I looked at the date - 1911. Samuel Pridding is one whose records are lost. I knew his number and regiment but not his battalion - and here was the essential clue - he was a pre-war Regular in the 1st Battalion. Now, with any luck I can reconstruct a rough date for his joining using his service number.

So - well worth it for me.

Re: WW1 data from FindMyPast

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 11:45 am
by doddie
Hi Adrian, just came across your post by chance. Very interesting. I am on Ancestry but not on FindMyPast. I was unaware of the fact that there seems to be some anomalies relating to the military information contained on Ancestry. I presumed (not unreasonably) that the miltary records (that originate from TNA at Kew) would be identical in their scope on both Ancestry and FindMyPast. It seems though that this is not the case. This has got me wondering if some of my relatives who served in the First World War who do not appear on Ancestry might be on FindMyPast. Could I please be outrageuosly cheeky and ask you to do a quick search on FindMyPast for just basic listings in the service records for three individuals: Edward Rankin(e) Stagg, born c.1898, Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders. Duncan McColl/'McCole' McNair, born c.1897, Scottish Horse & Royal Highlanders. William Nelson Reid, born c. 1900, possibly Royal Scots. I have details of the relevant Medal Index Cards for those mentioned but no service records . I Have always presumed that their service records were amongst those destroyed during the Second World War. In return, if you have any scottish research matters needing looked into I am quite happy to oblige as I am visiting the records office in Edinburgh at some point next week.