Help me find my y dad’s ser­vice records

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - QUESTIONS & ANSWERS -

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.

Phil To­maselli

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