* Military Records post WW1

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wellsdc
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Military Records post WW1

Post by wellsdc » 25 Jul 2020 12:01

Hi all

I'm still fairly new to all this so please bear with me!

Trying to find military records of a couple of my relatives. Been using FH with Find My Past and have tried National Archives on occasion.

One was a Robert Collinson, my great uncle, who died in Iraq in 1929 as a corporal with the RAF. I have his service record showing when he joined, where he was posted etc, but I want to know how he died i.e killed in action, natural causes, accident, etc and where he is buried - RAF Hinaidi, or back home in Liverpool. Tried National Archives and googling RAF historical society but can't seem to find a source that would show me that level of detail.

Similarly, another great uncle who was in WW2 - Harry Liversidge. Royal Signals and I think an Armoured regiment. He was in the reserves just before the war too, I believe. He survived the war as I remember him from the 1970s and early 80s

Any ideas?

Thanks for any tips.

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Re: Military Records post WW1

Post by Gowermick » 25 Jul 2020 13:03

Try the Commonwealth War Graves Comission website (www.cwgc.org)
If they were killed in action, they should have an entry. CWGC provides details of their death and next of kin, and an image of their actual headstone if they had one.

If they survived the war, their service records are still witheld, and only available to next of kin or with their permission. You have to apply to see them. It cost me £30 for my father’s records, but they were a long time coming once I applied for them. (Sorry, but I can’t remember who I had to apply to)
You could try google :D
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Re: Military Records post WW1

Post by AdrianBruce » 25 Jul 2020 13:32

Service Records from post-1920-ish (that's the cutoff for the Army, the Navy and RAF are sort of similar) are available only from the Ministry of Defence - see https://www.gov.uk/government/collectio ... ce-records. So that's the way to go for Harry.

As for Robert... Oh. That's interesting... I am 99.9% certain that there will be no Commonwealth War Graves Commission grave or other records - they apply only to WW1 and WW2 plus a few years after. Apparently there is a cemetery at RAF Hinaidi - see https://military.wikia.org/wiki/RAF_Hinaidi, but where you could find any records, I don't know. Perhaps the RAF Museum could point you in the right direction??? I am slightly surprised that there's no indication in the service papers about the cause of death but that's just me guessing... Otherwise I'm a bit stumped - you need someone more expert in the RAF's data sources than I suspect you'll find here - maybe the RAF Museum could again suggest where to look.
Adrian

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wellsdc
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Re: Military Records post WW1

Post by wellsdc » 25 Jul 2020 13:36

Thank you.

Yes got the CWGC record for my other great uncle killed in 1917 but was struggling with the others. I came to the same conclusion - that more recent records are unavailable unless you are close next of kin. At least you confirmed it, so I'm grateful!

Thanks again :)

Dave

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wellsdc
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Re: Military Records post WW1

Post by wellsdc » 25 Jul 2020 13:46

Thank you Adrian - very helpful.

I'll give both those suggestions a try. I did consider the RAF museum but thought there may be another place to look before approaching them. I'll drop them a line.

Many thanks again.

Regards,

Dave

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Re: Military Records post WW1

Post by tatewise » 25 Jul 2020 16:13

On FindMyPast there is an entry for Robert S Collinson as follows which should lead to a Death Certificate.
It seems such Armed Forces entries do NOT appear in the GRO online search.

Code: Select all

Source			Gro Army Death Indices (1881 To 1955)
Archive reference	DARM
War	-
Recordset		British Armed Forces And Overseas Deaths And Burials
First name(s)		Robert S
Sex			Male
Last name		Collinson
Death year		1929
Birth year		1899
Type			Armed Forces
Country			Iraq
Place			Hinaidi
Page			269
Age			30
Birth date		? ? 1899
Registration year	-
Branch of service	-
Decoration		-
Records year range	1929
Line number		133
Archive			General Register Office
Category		Birth, Marriage, Death & Parish Records
Subcategory		Civil Deaths & Burials
Collections from	Great Britain, UK None
There are also probate details for Robert Sylvester Collinson dated 30 Dec 1929 with linked person Mary Eliza Collinson.

On FamilySearch that death is recorded as Robert Sylvester Collinson death 25 Aug 1929 and probate in Liverpool 30 Dec 1929 beneficiaries Charles James Collinson & Mary Eliza Collinson.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: Military Records post WW1

Post by AdrianBruce » 25 Jul 2020 18:35

Thanks Mike - I was halfway round Asda when it occurred to me that I hadn't thought of death certificates. In my defence, I find the whole range of military certificates way too complex and fragmented - indeed, I understand that not all of them are indexed even. (I think one of the best write-ups is on the FIBIS site, by the way). I read and understand and then, within a month, because there are so many bits, I forget.

If the index to the DCs says Hinaidi, then I would tend to imagine that he is buried there - that's the usual method. But that's not proof...
Adrian

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Re: Military Records post WW1

Post by LornaCraig » 25 Jul 2020 19:23

According to Wikipedia the register of those buried at Hinaidi is held by the RAF Habbaniya Association. (Operations were transferred to RAF Habbaniya after 1938). Unfortunately the link to the Association (http://www.habbaniya.org) doesn't work!!

The CWG site does have a section on Habbaniya and says there are 173 identified casualties but they all appear to be war dead. https://www.cwgc.org/visit-us/find-ceme ... -cemetery/
Lorna

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Re: Military Records post WW1

Post by tatewise » 25 Jul 2020 20:13

Google search for RAF Habbaniya Association has lots of hits such as:
https://www.forcesreunited.co.uk/units/ ... ssociation that has searchable records including some for Robert Collinson and R S Collinson during inter-war years.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: Military Records post WW1

Post by Martin Tolley » 26 Jul 2020 11:07

There's a site "aircrew remembered" http://www.aircrewremembered.com/ which has a large amount of information of fliers of all types. A quick look doesn't have a Robert Collinson, but you might find something to link with him. In my experience the site administrators are very friendly and helpful, so they might be able to point you in the right direction if you get in contact.

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Re: Military Records post WW1

Post by wellsdc » 26 Jul 2020 19:05

Wow - thank you all so much Mike, Adrian, Lorna, Martin. :D

I'd heard of Forces Reunited years ago but never occurred to me to try that. And the RAF Habbaniya site - priceless.

I'll let you know how I get on.

Thanks,

Dave

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Re: Military Records post WW1

Post by wellsdc » 27 Jul 2020 19:14

Hi all

Just to let you know that the RAF Museum came up trumps. They replied within a couple of days and sent me the link to his record with an image of his casualty card. Turns out he drowned, but doesn't say exactly what happened. Guess we'll never know, but I'm pleased I got this far.

Thanks again for all your suggestions :)

Dave

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Re: Military Records post WW1

Post by wellsdc » 27 Jul 2020 19:57

Quick update - I found a website - stevebusterjohnson.com - which has a searchable database of the Peace Cemetery at RAF Hinaidi and sure enough he's there. Gives his plot number, row number and grave number.

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Re: Military Records post WW1

Post by AdrianBruce » 28 Jul 2020 14:38

Glad it worked out for you, Dave.

A few neurons fired when you said Casualty Cards and Mr Google turned up this link https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/research/d ... cards.aspx Although the page is titled "First World War", the text does say: "The records start at about 1915 (although earlier losses were recorded retrospectively) and run up to approximately 1928. " So it seems like your chap just crept into the range (because 1929 is approximately 1928, after all!).

Worth knowing for others...
Adrian

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Re: Military Records post WW1

Post by wellsdc » 29 Jul 2020 07:21

Thank you Adrian - yes, could be very useful for others. I'm finding "approximate" covers a multitude of sins in genealogy...

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