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Nettie Edwards
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Joined: 07/01/2020 11:29:14
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Hello! I?m helping a friend to find out about her grandfather. Family lore has it that he served in the early Special Forces, was awarded the Freedom of the City of Hereford and was buried wearing his green beret. Today I?ve been told that he was a Commando at the battle of Dunkirk where he had a finger shot off. We know that he had a missing finger. I?m an experienced Amateur genealogist but have never had reason yo research Military records. I appreciate that a search of the local newspapers may throw up details in funeral/obituary notices but local resources are not available online and it will be some time before I can get over to Hereford.

So where to begin? I?m sure that someone here can point me in the right direction!
Any advice will be gratefully received. Here?s what we have:
Ernest Llewellyn Jones
Born Burghill, Herefordshire 1916
Married in 1944, address given as Stretton Sugwas, Herefordshire
Occupation given: clerk

I assume that my friend would need a service number before she can apply for any records that might exist?

Thanks and best wishes, Nettie
NIC
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Joined: 10/04/2007 22:56:27
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Location: Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire
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hi Nettie,
Your friend doesn't need her grandfather's service number to apply to the MoD, the only custodian of WWII service records, for his service record as long as she knows his Date of Birth.

Here are the two forms she will need to apply, she will also need a copy of his Death Certificate - also available online from Gov.UK if she doesn't have one...


https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/711147/20180524-request_service_details_NOK_part1_v6.2.pdf

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/545060/request_for_service_details_army_application_part2_1_.pdf

The MoD charges a one off payment of 30 but for that she'll receive a scan of his original, handwritten service record from enlistment to demob. It should include training, postings, promotion, demotions (if applicable), embarkations and dis-embarkations to overseas theatres, woundings and hospitalisations. It will also give his medal entitlement...

Nick

Nick Collins,

Commando Association Archivist & Photographer.

Proud son of Cpl Mick Collins, 5 Troop, No5 Cdo

"Truly we may say of them, when shall their glory fade?"


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NIC
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Just as a follow up, I would suggest that Ernest joined the Army and went abroad as part of the BEF (British Expeditionary Force) then, following the Dunkirk evacuation, he would have volunteered for special service...

The letter from the War Office asking for 'Volunteers for Special Service' went out in June 1940. The letter stated that, "Officers and men who have been approved for the Force will be taken off strength of their units..."
However, the volunteers who became commandos were only 'on-loan' from their parent regiment and wore their regimental cap badge on their headdress which, in 1942, became the green beret...

I would say that it is likely that Ernest was in a Welsh regiment - maybe the South Wales Borderers or Royal Welch Fusiliers - and many men from the Welsh regiments were recruited into No.1 Commando - but that will be confirmed when your friend receives his service record...


Nick

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 07/01/2020 20:54:32


Nick Collins,

Commando Association Archivist & Photographer.

Proud son of Cpl Mick Collins, 5 Troop, No5 Cdo

"Truly we may say of them, when shall their glory fade?"


[Email]
Nettie Edwards
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Joined: 07/01/2020 11:29:14
Messages: 3
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Thanks Nick! I have Ernest?s birth certificate and a copy of his death certificate should arrive on Friday. Then I?ll do as you have kindly advised. Will report back!
All best wishes,
Nettie
NIC
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Location: Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire
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Please do keep in touch Nettie and if you or your friend have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask - either on this thread, or you can contact me by PM or Email (the buttons at the bottom of my posts are shortcuts).
With the help of a couple of friends I compiled comprehensive nominal rolls for all the Commando Units where previously there were none (that were known of)...
There are errors, duplication and omissions but we strive to update and correct these - and, once you have evidence of Ernest's commando service, he can be added to the relevant nominal roll.

Are there any photos of Ernest in uniform? These can often give us an idea of which unit he was in...

Nick

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 07/01/2020 22:36:50


Nick Collins,

Commando Association Archivist & Photographer.

Proud son of Cpl Mick Collins, 5 Troop, No5 Cdo

"Truly we may say of them, when shall their glory fade?"


[Email]
Nettie Edwards
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Joined: 07/01/2020 11:29:14
Messages: 3
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Thank you Nick, it would be wonderful to be able to add something to your archive but one step at a time: I need to confirm the family story! Sadly, my friend has just one photo of her grandfather, very blurred and taken in later life. However, if I find a Hereford Times funeral account or obituary, their may be an accompanying photograph. Won?t be getting over to the archives there until mid February so not holding my breath!
NIC
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Joined: 10/04/2007 22:56:27
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Hi Nettie,
Thank you for your email.
I have tried to reply but all three of my replies have been returned as 'unable to deliver'.
I have sent you a PM.

Nick

Nick Collins,

Commando Association Archivist & Photographer.

Proud son of Cpl Mick Collins, 5 Troop, No5 Cdo

"Truly we may say of them, when shall their glory fade?"


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NIC
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Joined: 10/04/2007 22:56:27
Messages: 3223
Location: Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire
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Hi Nettie,

Have you received the Private Message I sent you?
(see top of page for PMs)

Nick

Nick Collins,

Commando Association Archivist & Photographer.

Proud son of Cpl Mick Collins, 5 Troop, No5 Cdo

"Truly we may say of them, when shall their glory fade?"


[Email]
NIC
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Joined: 10/04/2007 22:56:27
Messages: 3223
Location: Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire
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Nettie has just sent me a newspaper clip which confirms Ernest Llewelyn Jones was in the Commandos and took part in both the Dieppe & St Nazaire raids.

Nick

Nick Collins,

Commando Association Archivist & Photographer.

Proud son of Cpl Mick Collins, 5 Troop, No5 Cdo

"Truly we may say of them, when shall their glory fade?"


[Email]
 
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