Past Relatives in the Military

Discussion in 'Jollies Bar' started by Lurch, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. Lurch

    Lurch Member

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    Hey all,
    Just made this thread out of interest. Last year at school we did this little history project about our family trees, as I live in Spain 99% of the class had grandparents who fought in the civil war. The 1% that didn't was, yeah you guessed it, me. At the time I couldn't get much information because both of my grandparents never really talked about their service, as I'm sure many others didn't, so I never insisted. Since then they have unfortunately passed away and they gave their medals down to me. From then my gran and nan have been pretty open when I've asked them about my granddad's service so here it is. On my mum's side my granddad was in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) and worked on tanks and other armoured vehicles for 9 years. I'm currently investigating to see how he earned each of his medals he has in his box. On my dad's side my biological granddad, if you'd call it that, was in the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy and worked on the HMS Ark Royal aircraft carrier for 9 years. As for my step-granddad, the one that I grew up knowing, he was an armourer in the RAF for 6 years. Finally, my great-uncle was a Sergeant Air Gunner, but the Lancaster Bomber he was in was shot down over France and unfortunately none of the crew survived.
    Sorry about the ramble, I'm just really interested in military history. If you're willing to, I was hoping of hearing about other's grandparents that served. Lest We Forget!
    Lurch
     
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  2. SCOTTY6

    SCOTTY6 Member

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    I had a great grandfather in the army, both grandfathers and father served in the Navy. Maternal Grandfather served in fleet air arm. Paternal was a Surgeon Commander for a full commission, Cant remember how many years exactly he served. Not really sure what he got up to as he died when i was younger, il try and find out. My dad was a Surgeon Lieutenant Commander for 5 years 82-87 i think. You can see the surgeon theme here, I'm from a medical family. My dad still says to this day he wished he had joined the bootnecks or done his AACC.
     
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  3. aliB

    aliB Active Member

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    Merchant navy during ww1 ww2 same again. Falkands 1 tour of afghan iraq brain surgeon in the ta
     
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  4. stringer98

    stringer98 Member

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    The HMS Ark Royal was torpedoed by a German U-boat in 1941
     
  5. Lurch

    Lurch Member

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    To the best of my knowledge 3 ships of the Royal Navy borne the name HMS Ark Royal during and after WW2.
    • HMS Ark Royal (91), British aircraft carrier launched in 1937 that participated in the Second World War and was sunk by a U-boat in 1941
    • HMS Ark Royal (R09), an Audacious-class aircraft carrier launched in 1950, decommissioned in 1979
    • HMS Ark Royal (R07), an Invincible-class aircraft carrier, launched in 1981, decommissioned in 2011
    Although I'm unsure which one he was on, I do know that fortunately he did survive his time in the war.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  6. Caversham

    Caversham Former RM Commando

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    There was only one Ark in WW2 and as you state was sunk in 1941, so if your Grandad didn't survive the war, then that's the one he was on. As you state the others weren't launched until 1950 and 1981.

    It is possible to get the Service Certificates, which will show the complete military service for your ancestors, providing you meet the NOK criteria. This link gives you the details:

    https://www.gov.uk/get-copy-military-service-records/overview

    Alan
     
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  7. Lurch

    Lurch Member

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    Yeah sorry, it's my bad for not being specific enough in my original post. As far as I know he was in the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy for 9 years and did work on board a HMS Ark Royal but I do not know which one or when. In my last post I was meant to say that "he survived his time in service" as I don't even know if he served during the war. Pardon the confusion.
    Cheers, I'll check it out.
     
  8. Caversham

    Caversham Former RM Commando

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    My apologies, I misread your post and thought it said he didn't survive. His SC will give you the full details of all his service from joining until discharge.

    My Father in Law was in the Corps as a Bandy for 27 years, joining as a 14 year old boy in 1920. He was one of the most mild mannered men you could ever wish to meet, but his SC shows that mid service he was demoted for a misdemeanour! My wife was devastated, especially when I wind her up by reminding her!

    Alan
     
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    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  9. ThreadpigeonsAlpha

    ThreadpigeonsAlpha Royal Marines Commando

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    Great thread!

    I ended up with a box of medals from a relative on my mums side. He had 2 sets of medals, from WW1 and WW2. Since then I have tried to look back.

    The history behind ones own family tree is fascinating and it's always good to have knowledge of your ancestors and to do them proud. There isn't enough of that in western culture today. Other cultures are immensely proud of the heritage and culture yet our own seems to be slowly removed and forgotten about.
    I have quite a few ancestors that served, some caviar munchers too! One story I am trying to trace is one of my ancestors was a tunneller for the "Great Escape" at Stalag Luft 3.
     
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  10. EdV

    EdV Member

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    I know my maternal great-grandfather fought (I saw his service records but can't remember the regiment). My other family all mysteriously fell ill or sustained injuries just before the war. Funny, that.

    My brother was a stoker on HMS Liverpool during the Libya conflict. Likes to tell people he fired the missile that killed Gadaffi. As it happens he was sleeping off a hangover at the time.
     
  11. robbo09

    robbo09 Member

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    Interesting thread this, it was only the other day I started looking into a great aunt of mine who served in WW2 as a 'spotter' on the 'ack ack' anti aircraft guns. Apparently she was one of the first women over in mainland Europe, although I'm trying to look into that in more detail.
    Also my grandad was a Sapper who's records are very interesting to read.

    Some very brave men and women back then, they put some/a lot of our generation to shame really.
     
  12. Caversham

    Caversham Former RM Commando

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    The records are there to be discovered. My own Grandfather served in WW1. His marriage certificate shows he was wed on Christmas Day 1918, 5 weeks after the Armistice, and he was a L/Cpl in the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers. However, that's all I can discover as his records are not available. Apparently most records of WW1 were destroyed in the Blitz in WW2!
    Interestingly, my own Father never served in WW2. The reason stated was that a boy he fell whilst carrying a glass bottle and severed the tendon in his forefinger in his right hand and therefore could not squeeze the trigger on a rifle, (the Lee Enfield .303).

    I was not the most popular son when I told my Mother that was cobblers as the .303 could be fired either hand!

    Funny old thing families!:D:D

    Alan
     
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  13. Keith WolfeTone

    Keith WolfeTone New Member

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    My grandfather was in the irish army did two tours in congo.
    my great grand father was in the royal navy during Korea my great grandmother still gets his pension.
    my great great grand father was irish guards (2nd best regiment to the royal marnies) norway Italy Normandy.
    My great great great grandfather dubin fusiliers ww1

    My other great grand father was in irish navy his brothers served in Yorkshire regiment all korea veterans (yes paddys in the Yorkshire regiment I'm not joking) and they great uncle served in ww1 ww2 palestine korea retired as high ranking officer born in dubin now buried in england

    Also I think have Relatives who was in the boer war
     
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    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  14. corvus

    corvus Member

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    1 granddad was a navigator for RAF in ww2, flew over Burma and worked with the Chindits a lot, helping resupply them.
    I've still got his issued brass telescope and MK111 compass, beautiful thing but bloody heavy. It's a work of art and still holds true even to this day.

    I DID also have his favourite 'souvenir' he brought back from Burma, a 5 foot stuffed alligator nicknamed Archie but it had to be gotten rid of after we found he was poisonous to the touch, plus one of his paws fell off. Had a nasty habit of biting people's trouser legs as they walked past aswell the cheeky bugger.

    2nd grandad is interesting in that only in the last few weeks or so the family have found some information that means perhaps he kept secret what he really did in the war.

    What he always told us was that he trained as a dentist then joined the RAF as a medical officer specialising in it, the most exciting thing to happen to him apparently was to walk across base and accidentally witness a secret jet engine being test fired whereupon he was immediately bundled into a nearby Nissan hut and forced to sign the official secrets act.

    However since his death certain documents have been found and things have been corroborated or linked with things that make it seem he actually trained with or alongside SOE, doing sneaky stuff in Europe somewhere, I believe he parachuted into the Netherlands. We've started the process to request his records but i don't know how far we'll get with that considering.
     

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