Tracking Someone Elses Military History

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
Gents, just had this shared on my FB wall - how could the poster, who has no connection to the original letter, track down who this guy might have been?
 

Attachments

  • Willoughby1.jpg
    Willoughby1.jpg
    93.5 KB · Views: 238
B

bokkatankie

Guest
marshall.png
These are the entries for W Marshall (there are no entries for W R or William Richard) in POW files on ancestry:

I think based on date we can rule out Recce Corps and by letter RAF one.

Sorry column marked camp should be POW number.

Next column is camp number.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
Presumably, the country is where their POW camp was?
 
Actually your best bet at the moment is to have a go at the newly released ICRC PoW cards. Access is free but be prepared for some weird indexing! http://grandeguerre.icrc.org/

Ref Post 4 - IWM don't hold service records and won't be able to help you. Service records (if they survive) are at National Archives, Kew, or as said above can be accessed (for a price) online on Ancestry.
 
B

bokkatankie

Guest
Actually your best bet at the moment is to have a go at the newly released ICRC PoW cards. Access is free but be prepared for some weird indexing! http://grandeguerre.icrc.org/

Ref Post 4 - IWM don't hold service records and won't be able to help you. Service records (if they survive) are at National Archives, Kew, or as said above can be accessed (for a price) online on Ancestry.

Good luck on icrc system, in end does not give you anymore than Ancestry, which I have posted above.

WW2 Service records are not yet released (but are pretty much intact, unlike WW1 that got blitzed) but IWM may be interested from a research aspect!

I find it odd that the letter asks for his regiment and service number, one would have thought they would have known that!!
 
Just realised it's asking about WW2 not WW1 - doh! ICRC records are great for WW1 though if you can find what you are looking for.

On the original letter - I can only assume the War Office had no record of a man of that name and were trying to confirm who he was. Not uncommon for soldiers to enlist under a name other than their own as I'm sure you know.
 
B

bokkatankie

Guest
Just realised it's asking about WW2 not WW1 - doh! ICRC records are great for WW1 though if you can find what you are looking for.

On the original letter - I can only assume the War Office had no record of a man of that name and were trying to confirm who he was. Not uncommon for soldiers to enlist under a name other than their own as I'm sure you know.

Good point!
 

Drew5233

Old-Salt
Seen this myself today on FB. I'm 99.9% sure he would have been captured in the France and Flanders 1940 campaign. I'm at the National Archives all day Thursday doing research so I'll be pulling the PoW Liberation reports to see if he completed one. If I can get a unit I can cross match it against the BEF Missing Men files at Kew as I have most of these copied already.

Cheers
Andy
 
View attachment 172694 These are the entries for W Marshall (there are no entries for W R or William Richard) in POW files on ancestry:

I think based on date we can rule out Recce Corps and by letter RAF one.

Sorry column marked camp should be POW number.

Next column is camp number.


I could be wrong (in that I haven't looked through all the camps, just some) but isn't the top one the only POW camp that was open at the time of the letter? That could tie in with the War Office's need to identify the unit of the bloke in question.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...n_Germany#Military_District_V_.28Stuttgart.29

As to why his unit wasn't identified... Removed his jacket (paybook in pocket) to try to swim and succumbed to head injury causing amnesia, identified by dog tag? It's only a guess but if it's something along these lines, he could have been in line for Red Cross repatriation. ICRC would, presumably, have records of this.
 
The online lists of Second World War POWs aren't fully accurate and can be misleading as regards which camps the prisoner may have been in.

Going back to the original records, I suspect he's Cpl W R Marshall, 6091461, Queens. (If the service number tally's with a pre-1940 enlistment?)

The liberation questionnaire, if he completed one, should have the address of his next of kin on it and date of capture.

If not then worth ploughing through the Queens' BEF missing men file at Kew.
 

Drew5233

Old-Salt
P
The online lists of Second World War POWs aren't fully accurate and can be misleading as regards which camps the prisoner may have been in.

Going back to the original records, I suspect he's Cpl W R Marshall, 6091461, Queens. (If the service number tally's with a pre-1940 enlistment?)

The liberation questionnaire, if he completed one, should have the address of his next of kin on it and date of capture.

If not then worth ploughing through the Queens' BEF missing men file at Kew.

Ha, you make it so easy for me sometimes Lee - Cheers! You at Kew tomorrow mate? I've got the file ref for where his Lib Report should be, if he completed one.

Cheers
Andy
 
P


Ha, you make it so easy for me sometimes Lee - Cheers! You at Kew tomorrow mate? I've got the file ref for where his Lib Report should be, if he completed one.

Cheers
Andy

I am indeed. That's another brew you owe me ;-)

Have been following this one with interest due to the broadcasting link.
The German radio broadcasts to Britain is one my current pet research projects.
 

Drew5233

Old-Salt
I picked up on it because of the 1940 connection....I thought he would have been BEF straight away with a slight possibility to Norway or N. Africa.

Anyway get there early-I'm setting off at 430am to get there before 9am :lol:
 
The online lists of Second World War POWs aren't fully accurate and can be misleading as regards which camps the prisoner may have been in.

Going back to the original records, I suspect he's Cpl W R Marshall, 6091461, Queens. (If the service number tally's with a pre-1940 enlistment?)

The liberation questionnaire, if he completed one, should have the address of his next of kin on it and date of capture.

If not then worth ploughing through the Queens' BEF missing men file at Kew.


Just an upadte on this, I wasn't able to prove he's Cpl W R Marshall, 6091461, Queens. through the liberation questionnaires. None of those completed matched the man mentioned in the letter.

A POW named 'W R S Marchall' has also been suggested elsewhere but his liberation questionnaire shows it wasn't him as incorrect date of birth and home address.
 

Latest Threads

Top