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ww1 miners

mac

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#1
Hi
I am trying to solve a mystery about my maternal grandfather, Noah Thain
He returned from the war in Feb 1918 apparently fit but within 3 months had gone into a serious decline and never worked again.
The mystery is that I can find no trace of any army service. I was watching a history channel programme and they mentioned that the miners employed to dig the tunnels under the trenches were often civilians. He is listed as a miner in the 1911 census. The family remember that he was assessed for a pension by a civilian inspector who refused a pension and recommended that his wife sold the sideboard!!
My understanding is thst if he had been in the army he would have been eligible for a pension.
Anyone got any info.
mac
 

izabel

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#2
I should think with mining experience he would have been with the Royal Engineers. There is a medal card for Alexander N. Thain on the list who was with Engineers. Could he have had other names
 

mac

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#3
Hi Izabel
I have committed the cardinal sin of muddling the surnames of two subjects that I am researching. The correct name is Noah Bailey, all other details are correct. I am almost certain that he was not in the armed forces as he would have been 38 in 1914 and he returned home to Ipswich in Feb 1918 at a time when the army was desperate for manpower. However the family believed he had been to war and his subsequent health problems would indicate some kind of trauma, like shell shock, or maybe the results of a gas attack. It was only when I found out that civilians had been employed in mining and tunnelling that I thought it worth a try. He also had a twin brother who we can find no military trace of and in view of the prevailing attitude of the general public to able bodied males (white feather etc) it all seems a bit strange.
The Thain that I am researching was injured in the Boer war and received a small but adequate pension until he died in 1945 so the flat refusal to even consider a pension for Noah Bailey makes me think he was not a soldier but a civilian.
Please accept my apologies for my mistake and thank you for your interest.
Mac
 

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