Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - Q&A -

Jerry Hall was aware that she had English roots on the pa­ter­nal side of her fam­ily. It was her great grand­fa­ther, James Hall, who made the de­ci­sion to em­i­grate from Lan­cashire to the United States in the 1880s. He left in 1881 and even­tu­ally set­tled in Texas to be­gin his new life. He came to Texas at a time of rapid set­tle­ment and James found work in the boom­ing rail­road in­dus­try.

We were able to trace James’s mi­gra­tion to the US us­ing pas­sen­ger lists. His nat­u­ral­i­sa­tion record gave us the ex­act year of travel (in 1881), the ship he trav­elled on and the port he ar­rived at. Pas­sen­ger lists for peo­ple trav­el­ling to the US can be found in a num­ber of places. Both Ances­try and Find­my­past have ex­ten­sive col­lec­tions of pas­sen­ger lists ( NB – when search­ing on Ances­try be sure to se­lect “Search all col­lec­tions” to in­clude Amer­i­can col­lec­tions of pas­sen­ger lists, too). Ad­di­tion­ally, pas­sen­ger lists can be searched at lib­er­tyel­l­is­foun­da­­sen­ger (pas­sen­gers en­ter­ing New York be­tween 1892 and 1924) and castlegar­ (for pas­sen­gers en­ter­ing New York be­tween 1830 and 1892). also has pas­sen­ger lists that can be searched for free.

Ernest Kew’s medal roll shows he vol­un­teered for the Royal Army Ve­teri­nary Corps in 1915

QI know that my grand­fa­ther, Ernest Al­bert Kew, served dur­ing the First World War and think he was dis­charged be­cause he con­tracted malaria. On a scrap of pa­per I found this ad­dress: 21 Vet Hos­pi­tal, Egypt, Exap Force.

I can’t find his army ser­vice record but I won­der if this pho­to­graph ( shown below) was him re­cov­er­ing in some hos­pi­tal that treated malaria? John Parker, by email

AinATThere’s not enough de­tail n the photo to say anyth hing other than it’s a hospi ital – noth­ing con­firms it’s a mil­i­tarym one. The men wear ‘civvies’, not hos­pi­tal blues, , the stan­dard blue suit, Ernest was awarded three medals af­ter fight­ing in WW1 white shirt and red tie that medals, but also the 1914/15 mil­i­tary pa­tients wore. Star. Un­der­neath the How­ever, it is pos­si­ble to say ref­er­ence to the Star, in red, is some­thing about Ernest’s writ­ten “(3). 11.12.15”. The ser­vice. His medal card (3) is the theatre of war first (avail­able on Ances­try) says served in, which in 1915 he en­listed on 17 May 1915, means Egypt, and the date is so he must have vol­un­teered when he ar­rived there. The as a pri­vate in the Royal The Na­tional Ar­chives Army Ve­teri­nary Corps doc­u­ment WO 379/16 (RAVC). He was awarded “Dates of em­barka­tion of the Bri­tish War and Vic­tory units go­ing over­seas” shows only two RAVC units go­ing abroad in late 1915. They were 20 and 21 Ve­teri­nary Hospi­tals and, since you’ve a doc­u­ment nam­ing 21, it’s likely he served there. Their War Di­ary is at TNA ( WO 95/4755), show­ing they ar­rived in Alexan­dria on 11 De­cem­ber 1915 and spent the war at Bil­beis, north of Cairo, treat­ing sick mules and horses. Phil To­maselli John Parker’s pho­to­graph is cer­tainly of a hos­pi­tal, but there there’s no con­crete ev­i­dence to prove it’s a mil­i­tary one


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