Who Do You Think You Are?

What happened to my grandad?

- Jayne J Morris

QI’m searching for details of the death of my grandad, Robert Francis Cockram, born 17 February 1895 in Shoreditch.

He left the family in the early 1950s, though never divorced Nana. N He served in the Royal Navy N during the First World War and after, and I’ve found him h on the 1939 Register at 26 Augusta A Road, Ramsgate, Kent. In I the 1970s, Nana received a letter l saying that her pension was w changing due to the death of her husband.

AThis is a good example of the difficulty of researchin­g families forward in time when there are so many unknowns about someone who loses contact with their family.

From 1969, the General Register Office (GRO) death indexes include the date of birth of the deceased. So if Robert died in the 1970s (in England/Wales) it should be possible to use that to help find him. But that assumes that whoever registered his death knew that informatio­n.

So what was his date of birth? You say 17 February 1895, but the entry on the 1939 Register that you refer to shows it as 12 February 1895. He appears to have been baptised twice. First in March 1895, when his date of birth is given as 4 February 1895, and again in 1908 when it is given as 12 February but with an extra middle name, William, added.

Using any combinatio­n of the above, I can’t see a definite death record in the 1970s in England and Wales, but it’s possible he died abroad or was known by a different name when he died – which would make identifyin­g a record difficult. Robert’s naval service record

(pictured) on Ancestry ( ancestry. co.uk) shows that he served from 1913 to 1922. An entry mentions RAF Manston (near Ramsgate) and appears to be dated 1966. Did he work there in a civilian capacity? That may be worth further investigat­ion. Antony Marr

 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom