WW1 soldier research

Glen Parnaby
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Hello,

I just wanted to say a big thank you to all of you that helped track our family down, (at a remarkable and slightly worrying speed). I have spoken to the gentleman responsible for finding these mementos at length, and told him just how remarkable I think all this is.

My Dad (Bruce) and I are so pleased to be able to have this little window into our family history and we look forward to being able to share it with my grandmother (Ann), who is still with us, though suffering with Altzhiemers I am sure these photos and diary entries will bring her so much joy.

Thank you all again,

Glen Parnaby
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shaggybfc
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This is what it's all about. Fantastic research :clapping: :clapping: :clapping:
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Wow ! Just caught up with this thread, what brilliant research with a fantastic result. Well done guys. :thumbsup: :clapping: :clapping:
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Oxgirl
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I’d ignored this thread because it mentioned WW1 and I don’t like that time period very much.

I was a fool :oops: . I missed the 24 hour marathon story unfolding and the brilliant research. Well done everyone, especially Evan :Star: .How on earth did you get from photo and a few pages to a diary to the point where the living family had been traced snd contacted? :shock: Incredible!

And Dave goes right past the house where the family lived 8-) - amazing co-incidence!
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Saffron
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Its fantastic news what we have found living relations of John Warwick Sheriff, who's photo and diary we had, and that Kenleyboy has been in touch and that they are interersted. :Party: :Party:

Once I got as far forward as Bruce Parnaby born in 1965 I knew that using phone books, electoral rolls and Facebook that there was a good chance of finding a living relation :thumbsup:
But it was about 2 o'clock in the night so I thought I would leave that for others. :D

WWI research is an area I am interested in and have some expertise in. But with a lot of records having been destroyed in WWII you do need a bit of luck, as so many men were involved in the war you can find several men with the same given name and surname - unless you have the surviving enlistment record or service number from another source its normally impossible to identify which man you are interested in.

But in this case I got lucky with the information in the original post, it had a cap badge so I knew the regiment, then diary dates giving exactly when he went to France and returned, and a rather unusual surname - combining these quickly gave a hit with the medal rolls which gave his first name. Then having two initials which he always used (eg "John W" rather than just "John") made it a lot easier to follow the trail forward.

Kenleyboy, you said about him being wounded (which I missed!), this must have been in some of the diary pages that you did not post, is there any chance that you could post all of the pages from the diary please.

Evan
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Kenleyboy
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Oxgirl wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 8:35 pm I’d ignored this thread because it mentioned WW1 and I don’t like that time period very much.

I was a fool :oops: . I missed the 24 hour marathon story unfolding and the brilliant research. Well done everyone, especially Evan :Star: .How on earth did you get from photo and a few pages to a diary to the point where the living family had been traced snd contacted? :shock: Incredible!

And Dave goes right past the house where the family lived 8-) - amazing co-incidence!
Shame on you Oxgirl for ignoring my thread :lol: :lol:
It certainly progressed to an amazing conclusion and that is what good and worthy forums are about , people putting in their expertise and time .
Very much appreciated and nice that the young lad took time out to thank everyone :thumbsup:
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Kenleyboy
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Saffron wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 8:48 pm Its fantastic news what we have found living relations of John Warwick Sheriff, who's photo and diary we had, and that Kenleyboy has been in touch and that they are interersted. :Party: :Party:

Once I got as far forward as Bruce Parnaby born in 1965 I knew that using phone books, electoral rolls and Facebook that there was a good chance of finding a living relation :thumbsup:
But it was about 2 o'clock in the night so I thought I would leave that for others. :D

WWI research is an area I am interested in and have some expertise in. But with a lot of records having been destroyed in WWII you do need a bit of luck, as so many men were involved in the war you can find several men with the same given name and surname - unless you have the surviving enlistment record or service number from another source its normally to identify which man you are interested in.

But in this case I got lucky with the information in the original post, it had a cap badge so I knew the regiment, then diary dates giving exactly when he went to France and returned, and a rather unusual surname - combining these quickly gave a hit with the medal rolls which gave his first name. Then having two initials which he always used (eg "John W" rather than just "John") made it a lot easier to follow the trail forward.

Kenleyboy, you said about him being wounded (which I missed!), this must have been in some of the diary pages that you did not post, is there any chance that you could post all of the pages from the diary please.

Evan
I will of course put up the diary extracts . I can do the entire four pages with all relevant details . He talks of shrapnel going through his canteen so I am assuming the reason for his departure aboard the SS Aberdonian was due to this occurence .
If I can good enough light on the camera I will do this for you this evening but if the camera doesnt show it up well I will do so in the morning with better light . :thumbsup:
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Emily
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Glen Parnaby wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 5:36 pm Hello,

I just wanted to say a big thank you to all of you that helped track our family down, (at a remarkable and slightly worrying speed). I have spoken to the gentleman responsible for finding these mementos at length, and told him just how remarkable I think all this is.

My Dad (Bruce) and I are so pleased to be able to have this little window into our family history and we look forward to being able to share it with my grandmother (Ann), who is still with us, though suffering with Altzhiemers I am sure these photos and diary entries will bring her so much joy.

Thank you all again,

Glen Parnaby
Hi Glen, I didn’t do any of the research, but I have been avidly following the story at I agree, a very worrying speed indeed. 😂😂

I’m so thrilled that you were found and that the documents can be sent back to your family. ☺️

I hope they’re treasured for years to come.
Emily
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Emily
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Well don’t everyone!! For al those who did research and all those who, like me, followed the story avidly. You’ve accomplished something amazing at at alarming speed, but I am so thrilled that you all came together to make this happen. ☺️

I also have a possible project if any of you are interested??

Emily
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Kenleyboy
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As requested from Saffron.
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shaggybfc
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Emily wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 9:47 pm I also have a possible project if any of you are interested??
Don't just sit there, get it posted up,,,, there's a research speed record to be broken :thumbsup: :D
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Saffron
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shaggybfc wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 10:49 pm Don't just sit there, get it posted up,,,, there's a research speed record to be broken :thumbsup: :D
Shaggy please do not encourage Emily (as if she needs encouragement!), it might be another one that might be pointed my way and we saw yesterday that she complained because I dared take a quick break to get a meal.

We have a "Dave The Slave" on the forum, I would hate to think that we might have a "Emily The Slavedriver" as well :rollinglaughing: :rollinglaughing:

Evan
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Saffron
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Kenleyboy wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 10:25 pm As requested from Saffron.
20210126_220446_resized[2672].jpg
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Kenleyboy, very many thanks for those, they are very much appreciated (I suspect that they contain more detail than should have been allowed!).

On the whole they reflect what the soldiers did most of the time in WWI - march backwards and forwards and try to make the best of life in bad conditions and bivvies, with very little time actually at the front line trenches, (although as can be seen by the way they were shelled and machine gunned by the German planes just because they were not in the front line did not mean that they were out of danger).

Here are 3 items I especially picked up on -

23 March "Jerrys big push started"
This was the start of the major German Spring Offensive, which was Germany's last attempt to defeat the British and French armies on the Western Front, and thereby win total victory. Their failure by the mid-summer left the German army fatally weakened. However, at one time it was looking like being a close call as the Germans made significant advances and the allied forces sufferd heavy losses and were forced to withdraw over a large section of the front.
(I suspect he meant 21st as the offensive started at 04:00 on 21st, and he would have been rather occupied at the time and probably written this up some time after)

26 April "Sudden shelling started either side of us, we galloped through it" .... "Only thing damaged was my messtin - shrapnel right through it"
That was very close :shock: and a lucky escape.


10 June "Then buses to Pissu in Billets, GHQ (General HQ) reserve line. Felt ill"
(June 12) "and was conveyed to 2nd Field ambulance station, did not stay, motor ambulance to 14th CCS (Casualty clearing station)"
18 June "to base hospital No 16 General (base hospital) Le Treport"

Kenleyboy, sorry but he was not wounded but just seriously ill causing him to be evacuated. This would make sense as at the time he was in a rear area rather than at the front and I could not find him in casualty lists. Obviously this illness could have been many things, however I wonder if it was due to the Spanish Flu. This started in the USA, but was brought to Europe by American troops in April 1918 and had reached the Western Front by the middle of the month. With the poor hygiene conditions at the front it soon spread and caused many men to die (unlike typical flu pandemics it disproportionately killed young healthy adults) or have to be evacuated. Due to censorship this was covered up, it was only when the pandemic reaches neutral Spain that it was reported (and named "Spanish Flu"). Many historians believe that the much more deadly "second wave" was spread by troop movements, and troops returning from the front.

Edit: Just copied this from History.com
"One unusual aspect of the 1918 flu was that it struck down many previously healthy, young people—a group normally resistant to this type of infectious illness—including a number of World War I servicemen.

In fact, more U.S. soldiers died from the 1918 flu than were killed in battle during the war. Forty percent of the U.S. Navy was hit with the flu, while 36 percent of the Army became ill, and troops moving around the world in crowded ships and trains helped to spread the killer virus."

With most other illnesses after a period in the base hospital I would have expected him to be able to return to his unit. So this illness had to be very serious for him to be evacuated back to England, obviously without medical records I can not be certain but if I had to have a bet on it I would go for the Spanish Flu being the cause.

Evan
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:clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping:
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Emily
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Saffron wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 11:17 pm Shaggy please do not encourage Emily (as if she needs encouragement!), it might be another one that might be pointed my way and we saw yesterday that she complained because I dared take a quick break to get a meal.

We have a "Dave The Slave" on the forum, I would hate to think that we might have a "Emily The Slavedriver" as well :rollinglaughing: :rollinglaughing:

Evan
Indeed I don’t need encouragement, as I manage quite well my myself. 😂

And I prefer Slave Master rather than Slave Driver. 🤪
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