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Thread: Joining Age WW2

  1. #1
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    Default Joining Age WW2

    I have someone in the Coldstream Guards during the Second World War apparently in 1942. I guess he could have been conscripted when he was 18 but am wondering if there is a likelihood of him joining the Army at say 16 years of age.

    I don't think he was a Regular as he was back home and getting married in 1946.


    I am unable to obtain his records from the MOD - too expensive for one thing and he is not a close relative.

    Mary

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    Default

    If was 18 or older in 1942 then he may well have been conscripted.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cons...United_Kingdom

    I don't for certain but I feel sure that in the 1930s etc there would have been boy soldiers, but from reading the article on conscription it appears that they were not sent overseas.

    You say he was back home and getting married in 1946, but serving personnel got married. So do you have the marriage certificate which says that he wasn't in the army?

    Also don't forget that by that time he may well have been discharged for medical reasons rather than demobbed.

  3. #3
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    Default Joining age WW2

    Quote Originally Posted by Megan Roberts View Post
    If was 18 or older in 1942 then he may well have been conscripted.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cons...United_Kingdom

    I don't for certain but I feel sure that in the 1930s etc there would have been boy soldiers, but from reading the article on conscription it appears that they were not sent overseas.

    You say he was back home and getting married in 1946, but serving personnel got married. So do you have the marriage certificate which says that he wasn't in the army?

    Also don't forget that by that time he may well have been discharged for medical reasons rather than demobbed.
    Many thanks for this Megan. I am researching for someone else so will see if she has his marriage certificate.

  4. #4
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    Default Entry via Territorial Army?????

    Hello, MaryC, and a very warm welcome to BritGen

    One possible explanation might be that the young man had been in the Territorial Army; I have, though, not researched this fully. Instead, I will outline what happened to my own father, who was born in 1922, because there might be parallels with this young man's experience.

    My father left school in summer 1938, aged 16, and took articles to become a chartered surveyor. (An articled pupillage was a way of earning-while-learning-on-the-job.) But he wanted a bit more excitement and so, in spite of opposition from his widowed mother, he joined the Territorial Army (TA)and became a 'weekend soldier'. He enjoyed this immensely. Alas, his mother's fears were soon realised when war was declared on 3 September 1939, and my father - her only child - was drafted into the Royal Artillery. He was sent first to London and then to Dover, one of a team manning ack-ack guns. Then, in 1941 (I think), aged 19, he was sent abroad. His battalion became part of the Eighth Army, which saw service in North Africa and Italy. As a lad of 20 he was fighting at El Alamein in November 1942.

    To date, I have not applied to the MoD for a copy of my father's army record, but it is on the eventual To Do list.

    Perhaps this will give you a new lead in your proxy researches.

    Let us know how you are getting on.

    Swooping off now.

    Owl
    Families don't make sense - they make history.

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    Default Joining Age WW2

    Quote Originally Posted by thewideeyedowl View Post
    Hello, MaryC, and a very warm welcome to BritGen

    One possible explanation might be that the young man had been in the Territorial Army; I have, though, not researched this fully. Instead, I will outline what happened to my own father, who was born in 1922, because there might be parallels with this young man's experience.

    My father left school in summer 1938, aged 16, and took articles to become a chartered surveyor. (An articled pupillage was a way of earning-while-learning-on-the-job.) But he wanted a bit more excitement and so, in spite of opposition from his widowed mother, he joined the Territorial Army (TA)and became a 'weekend soldier'. He enjoyed this immensely. Alas, his mother's fears were soon realised when war was declared on 3 September 1939, and my father - her only child - was drafted into the Royal Artillery. He was sent first to London and then to Dover, one of a team manning ack-ack guns. Then, in 1941 (I think), aged 19, he was sent abroad. His battalion became part of the Eighth Army, which saw service in North Africa and Italy. As a lad of 20 he was fighting at El Alamein in November 1942.

    To date, I have not applied to the MoD for a copy of my father's army record, but it is on the eventual To Do list.

    Perhaps this will give you a new lead in your proxy researches.

    Let us know how you are getting on.

    Swooping off now.


    Owl

    Many thanks Owl.
    I have contacted his daughter who said he joined the Coldstream Guards 'when he was about 17 years old in 1942' (when he would have been 16) and married in 1946 at the age of 20. There are no other papers in the family. I guess he either lied about his age or was accepted as a 'boy soldier' He was born out of wedlock so there was a lot of secrecy surrounding him.
    Mary

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