Who Do You Think You Are?

Who was my grandmothe­r’s ‘cousin Jack’?

- Phil Tomaselli

QWhen my grandmothe­r, Annie Wiggins of Dublin and Clones, died she left me some old family photos. One of them is labelled “cousin Jack Baird”. What can you tell me about him?

Roger Clarke

AThis is a studio portrait of a freshly minted young officer, Second Lieutenant, of the General List taken later in the First World War.

This means that Jack was either newly commission­ed and awaiting appointmen­t to a regiment, or he was intended to do something special, such as intelligen­ce or staff work, but he looks too young for that.

I searched the Medal Index Cards at The National Archives in Kew via tinyurl.com/tnamics. There’s only one Baird in the General List, but he was a Major Robert Ian Baird when he came onto the list, so this couldn’t be him. I then searched for an officer file for a Baird in the list. There are three: a George, an Oscar and a James Baird. The only vaguely likely one seems to be James. He transferre­d to the Royal Flying Corps (the predecesso­r of the RAF) and there are five James Bairds’ RAF officer records on Findmypast ( findmy past.co.uk): three with Scottish connection­s, one with Northern Ireland and one with Canada. You might find a link among them.

Failing that, search the images of the Army Lists on the National Library of Scotland’s site manually ( tinyurl.com/NLSArmyLis­ts); unfortunat­ely they’ve not been indexed.

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