Monday 23 November 2020

Ancestry - early days

 Finally, after quite a few letters (e-mails really, but I still think of them as letters) I've managed to obtain my Great Grandfather's service record from his time in the Royal Marine Artillery. All I have to do now is work out how to read it as it is in beautiful copperplate handwriting and some of it barely decipherable.

As far as I can tell at a quick glance he enlisted in 1881, when he was 19 years old, and was invalided out in 1896 when he was 33. During that time he met my Great Grandmother (1884) and my grandmother was born in Portsea, Portsmouth in 1892. He died in Spalding, Lincolnshire in 1901 very young and very suddenly, as there was an inquest held. That's my next job, find out how and why.

Once I've finished with him I have two grandfathers to chase up, both serving in WW1, and I already nhave my father's records from his time in WW2 when he served the whole period on the flower class corvette, "HMS Pennywort", pootling backwards and forwards across the Atlantic with a foray to the Normandy beaches. For those interested, HMS Pennywort features in Martin Middlebrook's book, Convoy. Unfortunately my father was due to be interviewed by him but died before it could happen.

This family tree stuff is intriguing. Reference my Great Grandfather again, he died as I said in 1901, but his widow had two children after that, the last in 1905! I wonder if they knew?



  1. My sister and I have been doing our family history - a series of farm labours I'm afraid BUt with one notable exception one of my mothers distant relatives served in the R.H.A. at Waterloo ! . The problem with getting WW1 records is that a lot where lost during the Blitz , Good luck it's a facinating subject .

  2. I too seem to have a family of farm labourers (I reckon most of us do reaaly as there were a lot of them about) along with a sprinkling of gardeners and carpenters. Not a duke or earl among them.

  3. Hi Joppy- Yes, it is hard to trace previous histories. In WW2 my Dad served in the Australian Infantry Force and he was based at MORATAI in the Pacific. Dad became a Corporal and this is about the sum total of what I know- dad passed away in 1993 aged 84. Good luck with finding more information on Family History. Regards. KEV.