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Help to find WW1 English War Service Records of Grandfather.

Help to find WW1 English War Service Records of Grandfather.

Posted: 30 Dec 2011 1:46PM GMT
Classification: Military
Surnames: SMITH John Henry
Could anyone please help me find my Grandfathers English WW1 Army Records. Or if there would be any info on I have looked but carnt find anything.
His name is John Henry SMITH
REG NO 6076566 1st Bn The Queens Royal Regt
1/11/1912 to 1/11/1924.
He was born at Camberwell, London, 1895.
I think he was a Sargent Major.
I got this information from his Australian Army Records as he migrated to Australia in 1925.
Thankyou to anyone out there that could help me.

Re: Help to find WW1 English War Service Records of Grandfather.

Posted: 4 Jan 2012 3:13PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 4 Jan 2012 7:12PM GMT

The date of your Grandfathers discharge may well have him in the post WWI archives, rather than the some what battered WWI one’s a frightening number of which were destroyed during the blitz. Have a look for the medal card, these were kept separately and so are far more complete. They also hold far less if any useful information, but as you have his Regimental Number – and these changed during the war! Then you will at least have confirmation of his service.

My grandfather served until the mid 20’s as well, and then re-enlisted during WWII. His as might your grandfather’s records are held at the current manning and records archives in Glasgow. You will need his discharge date as well as his full name and regimental number which you have as they are filed under this information. Check out their website or get back to me so I can search an address out of my hard files, they charge a fair whack for the records, and you have to prove your related, if he died within the last 30years I think it is, but check you will also need a letter of authority from the legal next of kin.

The army is under pressure when it comes to staffing luxury department such as these and so they are stretched to the limit with current activity in Afghanistan and post Iraqi with the next of kin taking priority for copies of records in order to meet insurance and benefit claims. As a result they can take several months and then some before they come through. I’d almost totally given up when my grandfathers arrived. Don’t hold out to great an expectation of their content either, they will have been stripped to the bare basics, and wont have things such as course reports annual confidential and other such items that might add a great deal of colour to your view of his past, and many get really disappointed.

It might reveal some cross postings and such, like my grandfathers posting to a Welsh regiment for a while to make up the numbers, but it will be further research into the regiments history that will reveal that this was part of a batch doing what was called ‘back filling’ rather than a personal move. You might want to do that any way, and when you do you will find that even this is not that personal as most of the publicly available information will only let you get down to Brigade level and you will see his war as part of a mob of over a 1.000 men.

Try dropping a line to the current regimental archives, again they are grossly understaffed but if your lucky they might have a researcher looking at the world he frequented or an archivist who was able to put his hand of some useful information as I was when I contacted the Cheshire regiment. My office was once next door to my regimental archives and so I can assure you they do try hard, but even then 15 years ago they where stretched. These regiments have recently been through yet more amalgamations and so the budgets will be smaller and thus the resources even more stretched.

Have ago, and all the best. Hope you find something.



Re: Help to find WW1 English War Service Records of Grandfather.

Posted: 4 Jan 2012 9:26PM GMT
Classification: Query
hi there, have looked at your request, as my dad had a friend in the regiment (but in later years). The Queen's Royal Regiment was known as the Royal West Surrey regiment, when your grandfather was serving. As he survived the war, he was very lucky, because less than 20 men did who were with the 1st Battalion in 1914. I can tell you that the 1st battalion landed at le Harve in August 1914 and remained on the western front for the entire war.

You might find additional information on your grandfather, as as survivor from the regimental association. They can be contacted at the following address:- Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking, Surrey GU21 6ND, 01483 518737. E.Mail: Website: hhp:// Hope this helps. Regards Ian

Re: Help to find WW1 English War Service Records of Grandfather.

Posted: 20 Jan 2012 4:40PM GMT
Classification: Query

I don’t know if you are still looking for any records but I can confirm his army service number 6076566 is within the batch 6076001- 6132000 allocated to the Royal West Surrey Regiment when the whole of the British Army was renumbered in 1920 and is unlikely to help with any search for WWI Medal (roll) Index Card or record on Ancestry.

In addition to that, 1923/24 is the cut-off for service records being in the public domain, so with a discharge date of November 1924 means there is a very high probability his record will still be with the MoD. For application forms see


Re: Help to find WW1 English War Service Records of Grandfather.

Posted: 22 Jan 2012 9:25AM GMT
Classification: Query
Thanks very much Jeff.
I will use the contact that you gave me.
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