firbeck

Remembrance Sunday

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Whats happening, not much activity going on for the past week!!

What are you lot doing on Sunday, local War Memorial service, watching the Cenotaph service on TV, me, I'm hoping to go to Duxford, they're supposed to be having a WW1 event, given their past record and the way the've wrecked the IWM at Lambeth due to an architects act of 'self expression' we'll see how it turns out.

Here's grandad:-

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All kitted out to deal with the Easter uprising in Dublin in 1916 prior to being sent off to the Somme.

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Here's his dress cap and Sam Browne belt, the rest of the weaponry is pure WW1, it frightens me to think how many Germans that Lee Enfield and and bayonet killed, they're well worn:-

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I've been battling with the IWM to find out more about Grandad's career, they're useless, I've sent them all this, how much info do they want to trace someone, the claims they make are pathetic. If he was simply John Smith from London, fine, could be a problem, but I've sent them all this detail and they claim he never existed, bollocks, they are pathetic.

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Theres more, but we'll leave it at that.

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Firbeck, amazing information you have there, can't understand how they cannot find him !

Wasn't it the Royal Scots who were caught up in the Quintinshill railway accident in 1915?

Have you tried looking at the Royal Scots website www.theroyalscots.co.uk maybe you could post something on their Forum.

Lovely historical stuff.

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Smiffy, it would cost me £30 to get the information off their website, another advantage taking situation, no thank you, they should honour their veterans not make money out of what they did for their country. TV adverts at the moment are full of this sort of romantic, idyillistic, heartrending crap, no doubt they get their info for nothing from the public records office, I won't subscribe to this commercial exploitation, I know what I know and that's good enough for me, especially after I presented all this info to the IWM at Duxford in person a couple of years ago and they couldn't care less, more important for them to have a bunch of little kids messing about on computers, they couldn't be arsed to spare the time to look at proper stuff, and this was in conjunction with the BBC as well, f.... em.

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Yes sadly I agree, it's the same with family history sites.

Smiffy

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By the way, have you studied the Xmas menu for 1917, not bad when you think about it, considering it was served up in the trenches, probably better than what the folks were getting back in Blighty.

If you ever come across this series of books called 'Forgotten Voices', they were/are produced in conjunction with the IWM, fantastic read, clearly the IWM have got something right for a change. I'm currently reading Forgotten Voices from Burma, it's quite horrific, it's written by Julian Thompson, you may remember him from the Falklands War. What those poor blokes had to go through, facing a ruthless, fanatical Japanese army is absolutely horrendous. Many of them had been drafted in from fighting in the Desert War, as they put it, 'We respected the German Afrika Corps as honourable opponents, the Japanese were simply murderous, uncaring scum'.

Unfortunately, having fought through all the major battles in Europe following the D-Day landings, my old man was selected to take part in 'Tiger Force', the invasion of Japan. He returned from Germany for a brief period of leave in Nottingham with mum before being sent off in a troopship to Bombay. Luckily the Yanks dropped the atomic bomb on Japan before he was sent into action, here's a picture of him in Dheolali before he was sent home and demobbed, that wasn't until late 1946. He's the handsome one at the back of the group.

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Cool dudes, sergeants all, just think of of the horrors they'd faced over the past few years of indiscriminate warfare.

Incidentally, I still have that bush shirt and belt.

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The diary entry for 29th December is pretty chilling in its matter of fact info with no sense of it being anything out of the ordinary !

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The diary entry for 29th December is pretty chilling in its matter of fact info with no sense of it being anything out of the ordinary !

Agreed, I doubt whether it was the dreaded Boche that did it, I'll put the other pages up when I have a minute.

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Ayup Pete. You never told me your granddad went to Dublin as well. My mums dad used to tell me about the cross-fire method machine gunners used - he told me he was a sergeant to do with machine guns. He never told me about the suffering. Maybe he thought it would be too much for me. All I know he was a brass bobbin maker (a highly paid job) for the lace trade prior to the Great War. When he came home suffering from the effects of gas, he was told to leave the lace trade and work outdoors and he would maybe get to live for five more years so he joined the building trade as a brickies labourer. . My mum told me all this as she was quite bitter about it all. As it happened, her dad lived well into his nineties.

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Bilbraborn, I only recently found that out myself, it was only when I took the photo out the album that I saw it was written on the back that it was taken in Dublin in 1916.

Looking at his call up date as being 17th October 1916, he clearly missed the Easter Uprising as I thought that by the time he'd done his training, he probably didn't get over to Ireland much before 1917. The other thing I'd like to find out about is that being in the Somme trenches at Xmas 1917, he must have been involved in the great BEF retreat during the spring/summer of 1918, I'm aware that the Scottish regiments fought very bravely during this period, I'd be very interested to know what his actions included.

That's the only photo I have of Grandfather Truman in his uniform, in fact I don't have many pictures of him at all as he died young during the early 1920's along with my Grandmother, she died of meningitis and my old man was raised by his aunt who lived on Wollaton Road, almost opposite Kingswood Road, his cousin Noel, that dad considered a true brother, was a Lancaster pilot and won the DFC.

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He's my old man 'bravely' facing the German bombers at Mablethorpe during the Battle of Britain.

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Watch all those Hollywood movies like 'Patton' and 'The Battle of the Bulge' and we're told that Patton and his 3rd Army single handedly turned the incursion by the German Army through the Ardennes all by himself, not so, the British XXX Corps attacked the Germans from the North and kept them back from their objective at Antwerp. I haven't many European front action photo's from the old man, they were 'lost' at the developers, but here's his battery in action during the Battle in 1944/45.

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They look very laid back don't they, I wonder how many of them are alive today. Incidentally I have a blank practice round from a 5.5 medium sitting at the bottom of the garden, just like those in the photo, you can't believe how bloody heavy it is.

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Fascinating stuff firbeck hope there's more to come?

Cenotaph on the Trent Embankment Sunday morning for me.

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I thought you might be interested, I've been going through the millions of WW1 Imperial War Museum records and once again, despite all the info I can provide, he doesn't exist, what a waste of time they are, I find it very sad, they don't even acknowledge his service number, it must be listed on regimental and British Army records, talk about banging your head against the wall.

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When I did my family history I was astounded to find that not one of my ancestors happened to be the right age to serve in either world war. My father was just 16 when WWII ended and his father was the same age when WWI finished. My father was on the Amethyst though.

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My father was on the Amethyst though.

Well that is definitely something to be proud of, a bit of a cock up by the Royal Navy wasn't it, didn't they dither over sending in the 8" gun cruiser HMS London to help out. Did he go on to serve in the Korean War?

From knowledge, and I agree I get things wrong, at the end of the war the Royal Navy were short of heavy, ie, 8" gunned cruisers, apart from the surviving County Class 3 funneled cruisers built in the 1920's. One of these, HMS London, was given a complete rebuild to bring it up to date, it ended up looking more like the handsome Town class cruisers, like HMS Belfast, except it's hull and structural integrity were compromised, it caused nothing but trouble. It was sent to the Yangste to rescue the Amethyst but they were concerned that if it ran aground in the shallow waters it would break in half, consequently the poor frigate had to fend for itself. A good film, 'The Yangtse Incident', does it not star Richard Todd as Captain and William Hartnell as the negotiating Petty Officer.

Ironically, the last surviving County Class cruiser, HMS Cumberland, was used as a missiles trials ship until the 1960's, it featured in the 1950's film 'Battle of the River Plate', playing itself, look carefully and you can see it's had all it's 8" turrets removed.

Is your dad still alive DJB.

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IWM don't hold service records - surely they must have told you that?

They are held by the National Archives, and for "other ranks" are online at both the Ancestry and FindMyPast websites. (FMP is free this weekend) Lots of the WW1 service records were destroyed, though, so they may not have survived. There's certainly a Medal card for him, for the Victory and British Medals, and the Medal Roll entry for him just mentions 1st Bn - no others.

There's a War Diary at the National Archives for 1 Battalion. Lots of the War Diaries are available for download online but unfortunately not this one

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They haven't told me that, they just seem to string me along, I find that what they tell me and what they offer are completely different things, considering the amount of money that's been poured into 'improving' Lambeth, they should have used some of that cash to help trace WW1 ancestors that they publicly bang on about being interested in.

Unfortunately, apart from those documents and the artifacts that I have, I know little about my grandfathers WW1 career, my old man has passed on, but he didn't know much about his dad's campaigns either, it was probably the way of things at the time, most old soldiers probably wanted to forget their traumatic experiences of WW1.

On the other hand, father used to tell us of his 'adventures' all the time. He once told me that he couldn't understand the soldiers that had fought in the Falklands and Iraq who'd suffered from stress syndrome, he always reckoned that the best way to deal with things was to talk about it, when I suggested to him the horrors that these people had gone through, he simply reminded me that he'd been the one that found Belsen, and he always pointed out that he saw worse things than that during the war, what do you say to that!

Fortunately I have a copy of his official artillery battery records from D-Day onwards, I only found it after he'd passed on, he'd never shown it to me while he was alive, my brother and I had no idea that he was senior NCO at the field HQ as part of XXX Corps, he'd never told us, the official records make your hair stand on end.

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I speak to lots of people wanting to research their Grandfathers/Fathers etc service in WW1 and every one of them says the same thing - they didn't talk about it.

No idea why they didn't tell you where to search for service records, but that should have been the first thing they told you

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So lucky to have so much info about my Dad's Dad (that's the one you knew Pete). He joined in 1914 but I know for a fact he lied about his age as I have loads of army info on him. Nevertheless, he remained tight-lipped about any action in Europe, just like my other Grandad.

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I'm very puzzled, I still have got nowhere with tracing Grandads name, but according to the 1st Battalion Royal Scots records they were sent off to the Med to fight the Bulgarians in 1915 where they ended the war, not according to Grandad's diaries he wasn't, clearly the fog of war, millions of men called up for action and no doubt confusion reigned, during and after the war to end all wars.

Somehow all the complete diary downloads I put on Photobucket have disappeared along with a lot of pictures of the Trumans at war, including a great photo of Dad in his Army uniform standing with his cousin Noel in his pilots gear, Dads brother Alec in his navy uniform (he served on an escort carrier), my mothers brother Eric, proudly walking down Broadway, New York, in his RN uniform prior to joining HMS Illustrious at Norfolk Naval Yard after repairs. I have to get my scanner up and running.

Aha, found it on my cousins e-mails, Uncle Eric on the left. Imagine, a lad from Wollaton, working at Raleigh, hardly been much further than Mablethorpe in his life, find's himself walking along a place he'd only seen in Hollywood movies, what a dream to do that. The reality came later when he was seriously wounded in a Kamikaze attack in the Pacific, he survived only due to Mountbatten's personal intervention, but that's another story.

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He was a specialist armouror and electrician on Corsair naval fighters on board Illustrious, I still have his Cincinatti made prismatic breech clearance checker and Fleet Air Arm silver ring, the photo's my cousin and I have of him in the Pacific are awesome, including standing under the guns of King George V battleship's and enjoying themselves swimming on obscure Pacific coral islands, as I said, what an experience for a Raleigh worker from Wollaton.

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The Imperial War Museum doesn't hold service records, you need the National Archives. Many WW1 service records were destroyed in the Blitz by the way.

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The National Archives, a Government run organisation yet still wanting to charge you for the services that us tax payers already pay for. It's National Archive Week this week, it's also a very significant Remembrance week, but they're still charging, it doesn't encourage us poor downtrodden footsoldiers to look things up does it, why should I have to pay a fee to a Government institution to look up my grandfather when they constantly bang on about trying to register, log information, etc etc etc, f### em I refuse to pay to do it, grandad will have to remain anonymous. Well he won't, I've done quite a bit of sniffing about for free, more later.

By the way, my grandads records must have been held at the Royal Scots archives in Edinburgh, they weren't Blitzed, it's all an excuse to squeeze money out of you to pay the EU 'debt'.

Bloody Krauts and cowardly French.

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Enough of that, I went to the Remembrance Day parade at Braintree War Memorial, very local, very enjoyable, one of the best I've been to, why, because of the number of enthusiastic kids that took part in their various roles as Scouts, Cadets, whatever. It was followed by a parade through the town, everyone was so well behaved and took it all very seriously.

The war memorial is in the Braintree Memorial gardens, a lovely little arboretum, when I arrived I had a look at the ornamental fish pond and fountain, there was a Kingfisher sitting on the parapet, he gave me a look and flew off into a tree, I left him alone to get on with it.

I ended up on the slope leading up to the war memorial, the poor Cubs were in a bit of a disarray over their flags, being bawled at by some git from the British Legion wearing somebody else's medals on his right lapel, he didn't fool me, so I spent most of the service helping out the kid's with their flags and getting glared at for doing so!!

Top marks to the anonymous woman with the most amazing medal collection, she, uninvited, put a large wreath on the memorial at the end, my friend and I talked to her afterwards, she was very humble, 'Oh, this is just my MBE, this is my army long service medal for 23 years, Iraq medal with clasp, Afghanistan medal, etc etc, then all she wanted to talk about was whether the kid's were getting out the park alright. I was rather of the impression that had some ISIS Muslim b#####d turned up, she'd have torn their limbs off then ate them whole.

Here's a few pics:-

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All the crosses laid out in the front represent a life lost in conflict from the Braintree area.

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The civic party, the very brave Brooks Newmark MP is on the left, yes, he's disgraced himself, but there was no need for all the sniggering that went on when he was announced, they should have saved it for the Leader of the Council, that obnoxious bitch Lady Newton standing next to him.

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[url=http://s366.photobucket.com/user/petetruman/media/IMG_20141109_142700.jpg.html]IMG_20141109_142700.jpg[/url

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