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WW1 & WW2 Service Records Are A Godsend.


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I found my great grandmothers first husbands WW1 Royal Garrison Artillery service records online and they contain a mine of info on him and my great grandmother. I have found references to her mum in the records.

My great gran Catherine Isabella Coombs wed George Samuel Hart in 1914 in Camden Town, London. He was called up in 1915 and was of 110 Grays Inn Buildings, Holborn, London. He died in Iraq in July 1917, not through enemy action, but through dysentry.

Catherine Hart was awarded a 22 shilling a week widows pension from February 1918 for herself and the upkeep of their two children born in 1915 and 1917. Sadly, the second child died just weeks after Catherine was awarded a pension. After her husbands death, she moved back to 99 Kings Road, Camden Town.

Catherine then met my great grandfather George Musgrave in London, who was in the Coldstream Guards. They wed in October 1919 in George's home county of Durham. My grandmother was born the following May. George Hart's service records say that his medals were to be sent to Catherine.

In July 1920 The RGA Office HQ staff visited Catherine's mums address in Camden Town. It said "We have visited 99 Kings Road, Camden Town, NW1, where we spoke to Mrs K Coombs who informed us that her daughter Catherine Isabella had remarried and her name was Mrs Catherine Isabella Musgrave and her current address was 16 Arnold Street, St Helen Auckland, County Durham". My nan Connie Musgrave had been born there at 16 Arnold Street in May 1920.

Shows that service records can be a huge goldmine, and can produce a biography of an ancestor or ancestor husband, sibling, other relative etc.


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