My Gt Grandfather and Grandmother are a bit of mystery, the urban myth is they both may have been adopted as no family was ever mentioned. What I know is as follows:
Ernest Dunscombe, died age 69, 3rd quarter, 1945 and believe his date of birth was Feb 1876. He was in the army, I have photos and someone said they thought it was the medical corp and he was a warrant officer from the photo. He supposedly met my Gt Grandmother, Emma Coleby during the first world war, where she was working as a nurse and rumour has it she was in Belgium and France. My Gt Uncle was born in 1921 (Albert Dunscombe), followed by my grandmother, Miriam Evelyn Dunscombe in 1923 and Reginald in 1926. All were born in or around Watford/Radlett. Incidentally, all 3 served in the 2nd World War, Miriam was in the WRAF, but again can not find her information.
I found a mention on ancestry of 3 of them in 1939, when Ernest was working as a decorator. No marriage certificate found. I keep going on wild goose chases with the name coleby. We believe Emma was date of birth was 14th Feb 1888. I must stress we do not know if the names were changed. Apparently neither would speak about the past.
Any help, I can post photos if easier to look at military uniform etc. We are stumped.
Results 1 to 10 of 11
05-05-2020, 5:36 PM #1
- Join Date
- May 2020
Any help on mystery great grandparents
05-05-2020, 7:17 PM #2
- Join Date
- Sep 2005
Assuming Ernest’s birth date was given correctly in the 1939 register, and that his name really was Dunscombe, then he was not born Ernest.
A child born in February would have to be registered in either the first or the second quarter of that year. The following registration meet that criteria:
Albert John Dunscombe quarter 2
But if you were to include variants of the Dunscombe surname then you increase the possibles to include:
Arthur DUNCOMBE quarter 2
Edward ERNEST C DUNCOMBE quarter 1 Marylebone – whilst I thought this looked quite promising he seems to have died in 1956 in Harrow.
Frederick William Duncombe quarter 2
John Duncombe quarter 1
Joseph Duncombe quarter 1
Percy Samuel Duncombe quarter 1
Bcaumont Benjamin B Duncumbe quarter 1 - I haven't miss typed the name - that's what the index has!
William John M Dunscumbe quarter 1
You could obviously do all sorts of other permutations on this search, such as trying 2 years either side of 1876 – perhaps the birth year given in 1939 was wrong.
The 1939 Register gives a date of birth for Emma as 14 Feb 1886, not 1888. There is a birth registration for an Emma Helen Colby in Yarmouth in 1885, and she appears with her parents in the 1891 census in Great Yarmouth (RG12 Piece 1502 Folio 64 Page 15).
In 1920 an Emma Colby married an Edward Evans in Cardiff. There are other marriages, but that’s the one that’s closest in date.
Could they have met and married in Europe whilst still in the forces? If so I suggest that you read through this:
06-05-2020, 3:59 PM #3
- Join Date
- May 2020
Thanks for this, we know he was a warrant officer for the medical corp during the first world war and emma was a nurse, we believe due to her uniform, a civilan nurse. That is 100% accurate. Whether they changed their names or had something to hide who knows. I did find a reference to Emma Coleby in Find My Past, in a 1913 and a 1914 document, stating she lived in 3 Yan Yean cottage, Oxhey, near Watford. Not sure if this is her, interesting they lived in St Albans, from 1920 until they died which was why I was searching in the same area. I did find an Ernest Duncombe in the medical corp on forces war records, but again not sure if it is him.
Will keep hunting, many thanks for the assistance.
06-05-2020, 5:25 PM #4
- Join Date
- Jul 2007
There is an Emma Coleby in Oxley,Watford on the 1911 census at that address but her DOB is 1847.
06-05-2020, 6:51 PM #5
Following Megan's post (and needing to get off the couch in front of the TV), I had a look at Ancestry's WW1 medal index for members of RAMC.
Dunscombe: Only one, a Private Called Charles P.
Duncombe: 5 Privates, one Cpl and 1 SSgt. Assorted names. The SSgt was E. , listed only because he got a T Eff medal (?), but if I read the card correctly, he died in 1924.
Dincombe: JW, also a Cpl.
Dunscomb and Dunscome: none.
Of course, he could have been a non-medic attached to the RAMC without actually being in the regiment. For example, as a WO, he could have been in charge of Stores or Signals, or something else.
PS If he was still in the army after 1921, the MOD would still have his records.
PPS Can you post a copy of the photo of him un uniform?
06-05-2020, 8:17 PM #6
07-05-2020, 12:22 PM #7
Thanks, Chris. I'm now wondering what about this uniform suggested RAMC? He's certainly army.
07-05-2020, 8:43 PM #8
Unfortunately the photo does not include the parts of the uniform which would give us more to go on. That is the cap and more of the sleeves. Would a warrant officer have stripes on the sleeves? What about the cross on the sleeves?
ChristinaSometimes paranoia is just having all the facts.
08-05-2020, 6:39 AM #9
- Join Date
- Oct 2004
There is only one Ernest Dunscombe listed among the WW1 medal index cards and that is an Ernest John Dunscombe. His service record has survived and it is most definitely not your man.
12-05-2020, 8:22 AM #10
I can't help you with anything useful - but that is one splendid moustache!
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