Tuesday 13 November 2012

Boy Soldier and internet things

Yesterday LL from the Cudworth History Group asked me to take a look at a WW1 soldier record for a cousin of hers.  After a bit of kerfuffle because people don't give you all the information when they ask these questions (!!) I found the record in question on Ancestry in the WW1 Service Records. 

William Henry Knight lived in Pontefract.  He enlisted at the age of 14 years and 9 months.

The top of William's Attestation Form 1917 showing his date of birth
The bottom of Williams Attestation Form 1917 showing date of Attestation
As you can clearly see in the snips above taken from William's Service Record he gives his date of birth as 17th November 1902 when he signs up on 17th August 1917.

LL's correspondent had asked if she was aware of such young men (boys!) enlisting with the knowledge of the authorities.  We have all heard of the ones who lied about their age, who walked around the block and added a year to their age to get in and so on, but this appears to be a different case altogether.

The next page of William's record shows his service from 1917 to his discharge in 1919.

There are a lot of regulations referred to in the third column and abbreviations in the first column that I am investigating.  'YS Bn' means Young Soldier Battalion, but they were meant for young men from age 18 years and 1 day and were training battalions linked to named regiments.  William is 16 years of age on in November 1918, still 2 years too young to be enlisted.

A correspondent on the Genealogist's Forum has suggested that William may have been enlisted as a drummer boy or bugle player, but there is no mention of this in the service record above (that I can see?) 

That brings me to the "Internet Things" of the title of this blog ... I wanted to post a picture of the service record above on the forum but you had to link to an already uploaded image - I couldn't put it on my Facebook account as I strictly limit access to that to friends.  Ditto with this blog.  I do have some webspace for my family tree, but I upload to that using Dreamweaver which is on my other laptop and given my current feeble state I really can't be bothered to boot that up, wait for it to update everything, and so on and so forth just for one picture.  Eventually I put it on Flickr and tried to link to that - but Flickr doesn't let you link to the image anymore only to the page with the image on ... it was getting more and more complicated just to show a picture.   I'm obviously missing something somewhere.  I ended up changing my name on Flickr to Barnsley Historian just so the two accounts matched and posted a link to the Flickr page to the Genealogists' Forum.  Whew!

Back to William ...

On his discharge  in May 1919 William is suffering from Nephritis, an inflammation of the kidneys.  He obviously recovers from this and is keen to return as he enlists in the Territorial Force of the KOYLI (Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) in 1921.  On his new enlistment papers he proudly refers to his previous term of service.

He gives his service number 44839 and regiment, the York and Lancashire Regiment in response to question 7 - Do you now belong or have you ever served ...?

William serves in the Territorials, appearing for camp every year and renewing his term in 1924.  He is finally removed (stuck off the strength) from the list of service men in December 1927.

I can't find out anything more about William (yet!) as my original information was sketchy and surprisingly there are quite a lot of people with the name around.  But his family apparently didn't know he had been in the Army at all, let alone served in WW1.  If I find out more I'll let you know.

I will also be Googling how to upload random pictures for forums, as I hate being at a loss.  I even tried to buy a magazine about Windows 8 whilst I was in town today as one of the elderly chaps at the Archives has had a new computer with it on and insists on telling me all about it everytime he sees me.  There was nothing suitable yet though.  I'll look again in a few weeks - there's bound to be a lot of Windows 8 "for beginners" stuff coming out!


Robyn said...

Photobucket is what I always used. It lets you "insert image" using standard [IMG] tags into forums etc, and you can have your account completely private too. Alternatively you could use a free website provider like Weebly and only use it for that purpose.

BarnsleyHistorian said...

I just had a look at Photobucket and got scared half to death by an advert for a video game with tanks ... note to self, turn down the sound on the laptop! Seems to do exactly what I want, thanks Robyn.