First World War Medal Index Cards

#21
As a bit of trivia, the MiC for Victor McLaglen (professional Oirishman to John Wayne) records his address as 'The Savoy, London' and that for Douglas Fairbanks says (as far as I can remember) simply 'Hollywood, USA'.

Victor McLagan was born in Stepney, east London, which makes him a true cockney. In WW1 he was the provost marshal of Bagdad.
 
#23
I've trawled through some service records. Unfortunately none seem to survive in the range 32580-32599 but I found three in the block 32570-32579. Of these, that for John William Blanchard is the fullest. He transferred (from RA via Tank Corps) to 4th (Reserve) Battalion East Lancashires in August 1917 and was given the new regimental number 39123. He was posted to the BEF (1/4th East Lancs) 12/13 December 1917. Whilst at Base Depot, Etaples on 16 December he was transferred to South Lancashires, and posted to 1st/5th battalion and given the new regimental number 32573. On 20 December 1917 he joined 55th RD? [presumably a divisional reinforcement depot or similar] , joining the battalion in the field on 6 January 1918.

The other two records I found agree with this one insofar as they have the man being posted to an Infantry Base Depot in France on 12/13 December 1917 and then a transfer to the South Lancashires and posting to the 1st/5th taking place on 16 December 1917. This is inevitably a bit conjectural, as I said before, but I think the pattern of 12/13 December or thereabouts to France, rebadging at base depot a few days after, and joining the battalion in the field earlyish in January 1918 is about as close to the truth as we are likely to get.
 
#24
Thanks for the extra info Trilby, I joined Ancestry last night whilst at work but couldn't find out anything near to what you have managed.
 
#25
Thanks for the extra info Trilby, I joined Ancestry last night whilst at work but couldn't find out anything near to what you have managed.
Ancestry is very good in many ways (in fact if I could only be a member of one site it would be the one I would choose) but it is a bit let down by its indexing of the War Office W.O.363 WW1 service records. As you may know, approximately 60% were destroyed in the Blitz and the remainder were more or less damaged - incidentally why they are also known as the 'burnt papers'. At some point in the process of rescue, reshelving/filing and ultimately being digitised, some of the sheets got mixed up into other soldiers' records and I don't think Ancestry's indexing properly took account of this, meaning that the records are there but just not findable!

This problem was recognised and about 4 years ago, when Find My Past also acquired the rights to publish this record set, they did a complete review which indexed a further 600,000 names, as explained here: 4.2 Million British World War 1 Service Records

For that reason I went to an affiliate of Find My Past to have a look and found the fragmentary record referenced above.
 
#26
Interesting, I was unaware that Find My Past had that number of service records additional to those on Ancestry.
I used to enjoy researching my WWI medal collection on Ancestry but no longer subscribe as I can't justify spending money on a subscription given that I don't actively pursue additions to the collection.
I've been lucky with some of "my" record searches on Ancestry in that I've found misfiled papers I needed in amongst those of men with the same name.
I may have to sign up to Find My Past.
 
#27
Interesting, I was unaware that Find My Past had that number of service records additional to those on Ancestry.
I used to enjoy researching my WWI medal collection on Ancestry but no longer subscribe as I can't justify spending money on a subscription given that I don't actively pursue additions to the collection.
I've been lucky with some of "my" record searches on Ancestry in that I've found misfiled papers I needed in amongst those of men with the same name.
I may have to sign up to Find My Past.
Yes, I don't think it is well known. I probably picked it up on one of the WW1 fora. In terms of signing up to another site, if you are willing to forgo the ability to download information, it's worth looking at Lives of the First World War - WW1 Digital Memorial

It's a collaboration between the Imperial War Museum and D C Thompson (the company behind Find My Past) with the aim of building a digital war memorial to every British serviceman who served in WW1 (incidentally taking the MICs as base data). It appears to have much the same WW1 dataset as FMP but is more reasonable (£50 pa or £6 pm) and of course you are contributing to a good cause.

ETA: I've just seen an email confirming that the information sourcing phase of LotFWW is entering its final year, so the last opportunity to purchase an annual subscription is before noon on 30 March. I assume that the access to records will stop at 30 March 2019, and the content of the digital Memorial will then become static.
 
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#28
Yes, I don't think it is well known. I probably picked it up on one of the WW1 fora. In terms of signing up to another site, if you are willing to forgo the ability to download information, it's worth looking at Lives of the First World War - WW1 Digital Memorial

It's a collaboration between the Imperial War Museum and D C Thompson (the company behind Find My Past) with the aim of building a digital war memorial to every British serviceman who served in WW1 (incidentally taking the MICs as base data). It appears to have much the same WW1 dataset as FMP but is more reasonable (£50 pa or £6 pm) and of course you are contributing to a good cause.
As a non-subscriber you can get into Lives of the First World War by googling the man you're after and if his entry on the site shows up as a link you can access the entry on him and also some documents that have been posted, although these won't include MIC and the like. In fact, I have an idea that I've accessed some documents by simply searching the name on the site.
 
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#29
FWIW the biggest problem I have is the commonness of the Surname. As with me G uncle Bert-we never knew he'd been in until I obtained the Birth cert for his son who was born 1920. Since As far as I am aware the Army/navy took names as given I can't pin him down. His Given names were Albert Edward so you see the problem. Wer'e fairly certain his son served in the second Lot and his Given names- yep Albert Edward (Alan)
 
#30
As a non-subscriber you can get into Lives of the First World War by googling the man you're after and if his entry on the site shows up as a link you can access the entry on him and also some documents that have been posted, although these won't include MIC and the like. In fact, I have an idea that I've accessed some documents by simply searching the name on the site.
It works to a point but I'm getting fed up with being mixed up with American singers.
 
#31
It works to a point but I'm getting fed up with being mixed up with American singers.
Could be worse - could be mixed u with that British "singer" LeoSayer man.......
 
#33
FWIW the biggest problem I have is the commonness of the Surname. As with me G uncle Bert-we never knew he'd been in until I obtained the Birth cert for his son who was born 1920. Since As far as I am aware the Army/navy took names as given I can't pin him down. His Given names were Albert Edward so you see the problem. Wer'e fairly certain his son served in the second Lot and his Given names- yep Albert Edward (Alan)
That is difficult. Regarding your Great-Uncle, have you tried a service records search (FMP is the site I would try) against his name, cross-referenced with his spouse's?
 
#34
That is difficult. Regarding your Great-Uncle, have you tried a service records search (FMP is the site I would try) against his name, cross-referenced with his spouse's?
Yes tried them. I've got a couple of possibles, but nothing definitive. It's a long shot but I'm going RWK's because he married the sister of chap called Pollard who was killed in July 1918 who was in them. Given what I do know it's unlikely but possible. I found a couple of threads on other sites re a Pollard, but they were registered at 27 Heathfield Road Bromley, Kent.
Make matters worse he was killed by enemy action 1/11/1940 but his life was far from happy in general terms. It was not a good match.
 
#35
As a non-subscriber you can get into Lives of the First WorldWar by googling the man you're after and if his entry on the site shows up as a link you can access the entry on him and also some documents that have been posted, although these won't include MIC and the like. In fact, I have an idea that I've accessed some documents by simply searching the name on the site.
Join the local library you get a lot of access of the main sites. Not sure about FMP(the extra war records has got my interest) but you should get the times archive being a big bonus.
 
#36
V. interesting thread. You can lose a lot of time on the Arrsepedia Military Genealogy category. Found it really useful besides these threads.
 
#37
Join the local library you get a lot of access of the main sites. Not sure about FMP(the extra war records has got my interest) but you should get the times archive being a big bonus.
That's a good point. Both Ancestry and Find My Past have Library editions. I've used the latter to view and download the WW1 hospital admission records they have started digitising* and the range of records available seems to be as good as the UK subscriber edition.

*available in transcript form on Forces War Records
 

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