Aussie seeking info on WWI Sapper - Help Please?

#1
This should probably go on the History forum - feel free to move it if appropriate.

I am in the process of going through my late mother's effects, & have come across a small card (3 x 4.5 inches, white with a black border) I'd scan it but I don't have a scanner with me
Anyway, it reads,

For King & Country
In Ever Loving Memory
Sapper William Ward Howson
The Dearly Beloved Son of George & Elizabeth Howson
Carleton Villa, Skelton
Died in Hospital in Belgium, Tuesday February 4th, 1919
Aged 28 Years
Interred in Belgrade Cemetery, near Namur

It is a real mystery as the surname is not one i'm familiar with, but if Sapper Howson isn't somehow related, I can't imagine why Mum would have this card.
Mum was born in Carlilse & her family emigrated to Oz sometime in the mid 30's. One of her elder brothers was killed at Tobruk in April 1941, I've just found a cigar box with his medals in.

I'm really looking for some pointers for further research to find out more about Sapper Howson. Any help greatly appreciated.

Oh, & is Skelton anywhere near Carlilse?

Thanks in advance,

Mr_F
 
#3
Died influenza his army recorsa are online with ancestry.co.uk of the few that survived. Only lists his father as NOK mother may have died by 1919.

1901 Census

Skelton Rd? Penrith
Father George Howard age 41 Joiner
Mother Elizabeth aga 39
Boarder John Scott age 51 Joiner
Mary E Howson daughter listed as schoolgirl
William W Howson listed as schoolboy
Thomas Todd listed as schoolboy Nephew.

WW Howsons enlisment papers have him as Joiner by trade he was Westmorland Cumb Yeomanry on joining in 1916
His grandfather going back to the 1881 census is listed in the same house as Master Joiner the houses look like farm properties

There is loads of info out there bit more detective work needed like Elizbaeths maiden name.

your surname now so I can see if there is a link somewhere.
 
#4
Thanks mate, thats a great start, stupidly, i didn't even think of the CWGC, thanks.

I understand that WWI records can be hard to track down. Is there any way to use his service No. to locate details about his unit?
(thanks for your help & patience)
 
#6
303rifleman made his post while I was typing my last.

Mate, Thomas Todd (schoolboy in 1901) is the key. Todd was my grandmothers surname & along with the card & my uncles medals I found a very old, torn photo of a young man in British Army uniform (complete with bandolier) signed on the back, Love to all, Tommy, 9/4/18. I was saving that mystery for another day:)

As for Skelton, I have an idea that Grandmother Todd may have come from Penrith, I think there may even be a copy of a birth certificate somewhere.

Thanks very much for your prompt replies chaps, it is greatly appreciated!
 
#7
Carleton Villa - comes up on Google Earth if you search for "carleton villa, skelton, cumbria"

Looks like a nice place (Streetview) - would have been handy for school (just over the road).
 
#9
Carleton Villa - comes up on Google Earth if you search for "carleton villa, skelton, cumbria"

Looks like a nice place (Streetview) - would have been handy for school (just over the road).
I didn't think of that either! looks a nice quiet spot, & it is quite close to Carlilse were I still have family. I can add it to my schedule when I visit next year, thanks.
 
#10
Found his medal card and some service details. Need to pay £2 for more info though.

The National Archives | DocumentsOnline | Image Details

Alot of WW1 records were destroyed by a German bomb and fire in WW2. Many people died from Spanish flu in 1919-20 (more than died in the war itself).
That's brilliant, thanks.

I'm a bit surprised that so much info is available, I know a lot of people have a very hard time tracking down WWI relatives. Perhaps it has something to do with the cause of death.

We all learn in school about WW1, but the Spanish Flu epidemic seems to have been largely forgotten.
 
#11
There's a strong theory that the war helped to spread the flu. Generally weakened populations through lack of food and returning war veterans travelling to all corners of the globe. The Russian revolution and all that jazz.

There's plenty of genealogical info available, it was the military records at the War Office that took the big hit.

Here's more:
Westmorland & Cumberland Yeomanry Museum

The Westmorland & Cumberland Yeomanry in 1914-1918

and plenty of Howsons in Skelton:

Descendants for Richard Dufton b1648 - Name Index - Generated by Personal Ancestral File

His Dad is here:
http://www.btinternet.com/~grigg/1901All16042006.pdf

and a possible Kiwi relative here:

Farmers | NZETC

Which part of Aus are you in, by the way? My sister lives out there. One of your Rugby League players came to Castleford in the 80s and took her back home with him.
 
#13
Which part of Aus are you in, by the way? My sister lives out there. One of your Rugby League players came to Castleford in the 80s and took her back home with him.
Thanks for the info, i repeat, i'm staggered at how quickly (& seemingly easily) you lot are finding it.

I'm in the Newcastle/Maitland area & lived in Sydney in the late 80's-early '90's. I Hope he was a Dragon!
 
#16
I assume - I know! - that you have looked on the CWGC Debt of Honour database?

Belgrade Cemetery: The city of Namur is located off the E42 motorway which runs between Liege and Namur. Belgrade Cemetery is located in the Chaussee De Waterloo in the commune of St Servais to the west of Namur. From the E42 motorway turn off at Junction 12 onto the N4 in the direction of Namur. Follow the N4 into the town of Belgrade where the road is called Chaussee de Waterloo. The Cemetery is on the left of this road before the church and the railway. GPS Co-ordinates: Longitude 04°50'01", Latitude 50°28'20"

Historical Information: Namur was attacked by the Germans on 20 August 1914; the forts were destroyed by heavy artillery, and at midnight on 23-24 the garrison was evacuated. The town then remained in German hands until the end of the war. Belgrade Cemetery contains 249 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, most of them dating from the ten months when casualty clearing stations were then posted to Namur after the Armistice. There is also one burial of the Second World War.
 
#17
Don't assume anything mate, I found this 'box of stuff' this afternoon. I knew about my uncle Eddie (who was killed at Tobruk) but the WWI business is a complete surprise. As soon as I found it I thought , "Someone on ARRSE will be able to help!"

When I saw Belgrade cemetery on the card I thought "WTF was he doing in the Balkans" Google sorted me out on that.

How do Foreigners make donations to H4H? Just tried to donate online but my card details (Maestro) don't tally with those required & I don't have a visa or mastercard. I can of course send a cheque/money order but that could take weeks! Any suggestions?
 

Grownup_Rafbrat

LE
Book Reviewer
#20
Don't assume anything mate, I found this 'box of stuff' this afternoon. I knew about my uncle Eddie (who was killed at Tobruk) but the WWI business is a complete surprise. As soon as I found it I thought , "Someone on ARRSE will be able to help!"

When I saw Belgrade cemetery on the card I thought "WTF was he doing in the Balkans" Google sorted me out on that.

How do Foreigners make donations to H4H? Just tried to donate online but my card details (Maestro) don't tally with those required & I don't have a visa or mastercard. I can of course send a cheque/money order but that could take weeks! Any suggestions?
Mr_F, see PMs. I've referred this query to Hols4Heroes, who handles the Bank Account, and honestly doesn't spend it ALL on hamsters

Many thanks to C_C for seeing an opportunity to help the cause whilst helping a fellow arrser.
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads

Top