Help me find my y dad’s service records
JohnJ h EdwardEd d HubbardH bb d of f theh 107th107 h B Battery R Royal l Fi Fieldld A Artilleryill
QI’m searching for the service records of my father, John Edward Hubbard, b1902 in Barrow upon Soar, Leicestershire. He tried to join up underage and naively gave his real age at the recruiting office and was told to go out and come back in again. His service number was 1025063 and he served with the 107th Battery Royal Field Artillery on thet North West Frontier, India. AfterA seven years, he contracted BlackB Water Fever and returned tot England. Can you help me to trackt his records down? DavidD Hubbard, by email
AThe destruction of so many soldiers’ records in WW2 causes problems for family historians,h none more so than for peoplep who believe their relative enlistede underage, as without documentsd it can be difficult to prove.p In your case, however, theret may be hope.
School leaving age was 14 and manym boys saw older friends and relativesr enlisting and wanted to joinj up, too. Normal enlistment agea was 18 but proof wasn’t asked forf and the examining doctor merelym certified their “Apparent Age”,A so a big boy could get through.t You say that John served ini the Royal Artillery, and there’s a Medal Card for a John E Hubbard who served as a Shoeing Smith in the Royal Field Artillery and the Medal Roll shows he was John Edward. Both are online on Ancestry but neither prove it’s your father.
Luckily, you know his service number was 1025063. Sevendigit numbers weren’t introduced until 1920 and records for these soldiers are still held by the Army Records Office in Glasgow.
It’s possible that your father re-enlisted after 1919, in which case, if he said he’d served before, both sets of records should be together. The paperwork, which also explains the process and timescale, is at gov.uk/get-copymilitary-service-records/ overview. It will cost you £30. Don’t forget, when applying, to tell them he may have enlisted underage so they may have a wrong date of birth. The service number 1025063 should then be sufficient.
If you obtain John’s service record, and it confirms he served in France underage, he may prove to be one of the youngest soldiers who did so. The youngest recognised is Sidney Lewis, born 24 March 1903, who served on the Somme, aged 13, in 1916.
It would be good to firmly identify another young soldier of a similar age.