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  1. #1
    Newcomer to Brit-Gen
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    Feb 2021
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    Default Robert Hall, Manchester, World War II

    Hi,

    I have spent the last year looking for information on my Grandad. I have quite a lot of personal information about him and his family but can not find any of his Military history at all. My Nana used to talk about him briefly and my mum only remembers bits as she was 4 when he died. I want to learn more so I thought I would post on here to see if it leads me anywhere.

    What I know,

    NAME: Robert Hall
    DOB: 13.09.1914
    LIVED: 86 Bell Street, Ardwick, Manchester (he also lived a various other numbers of Bell Street growing up)
    DIED: 6th July 1960
    OCCUPATION: Railway food porter(drove a van not trains) London and Great Eastern Railways.
    MUM: Ellen Hall(nee Gudgeon)
    DAD: Edward Hall
    SIBLINGS: Sarah Elizabeth(died as infant) Edward(DOB:1896) Florence(Died as infant) Frank(DOB:1900)Bertha(DOB:1903) Harold(DOB1905) Ernest(1908) George(1911)
    MARRIED: Mary Hall in 1946(nee McGahan) she later got married again to Thomas William Ferguson in 1962.

    My Nana when she was alive used talk about him being a POW in Japan and that he was really poorly afterwards because of a head injury from a machete and also from what they injected him with. Family recall her saying he was in the Royal Engineers? However I have looked and looked through the POW records and cant find a thing(maybe due to his injuries etc he didnt give details?)

    Any Help would be fantastic, as I want to know him more(I have never even seen a photo of him)

    Thank you

    Davina

  2. #2
    Brick wall demolition expert!
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    Sep 2005
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    Lancashire
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    Default

    First of all the MoD has not released any service records after 1921. They can applied for by relatives, but it is taking time, and is quite expensive. The link below will take you to other posts explaining how to go about doing so:

    https://www.british-genealogy.com/fo...-including-WW2


    Secondly, as you don't have any information about your grandfather's service number, I suspect that you will probably need his service record to be able to work out when and where he was captured. The National Archives have published a guide to searching for PoW records:

    https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/...ar-korean-war/

  3. #3

    Default

    Davina, welcome to the British Genealogy Forum.
    The reason that you can't find much about his WW2 records is because the MOD has not released them for online publication yet as there are still living people involved.

    The good news is that, as a member of the family, you can buy a copy of his service record. See the post HERE for an explanation.

    Do you have his service number by any chance? And/or his rank?

    Please note that our TOC do not allow the publication of details of (potentially) living people on the forum.

    PS When I bought my own Father's records, it took about 3 months (they get very busy) in normal times. It may be slower in the time of the virus...

    Message crossed with Megan's!

  4. #4
    Newcomer to Brit-Gen
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    Default

    Hi,
    Thank you for getting back to me, no unfortunately I dont have any military information as all of the people who might have known have passed away. I understand the TOC all the people I have put in there have passed away also, my nana (and step Grandad) are still blanked out on census documents even though she died in 2008 and he died in 2005 but as I know the DOB of other family members I knew the black lines were them.

    I will look into applying for his documents, I just wanted to see if there was any other way that I may have missed first that would lead to me finding him.

    Many thanks
    Davina

  5. #5
    Newcomer to Brit-Gen
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Megan Roberts View Post
    First of all the MoD has not released any service records after 1921. They can applied for by relatives, but it is taking time, and is quite expensive. The link below will take you to other posts explaining how to go about doing so:

    https://www.british-genealogy.com/fo...-including-WW2


    Secondly, as you don't have any information about your grandfather's service number, I suspect that you will probably need his service record to be able to work out when and where he was captured. The National Archives have published a guide to searching for PoW records:

    https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/...ar-korean-war/
    Thank you, I will have a look again(there were so many R Halls, Robert Halls) I haven't found many from Manchester or even with matching parent names (as I thought that maybe he had given a different DOB for what ever reason)

  6. #6

    Default

    Find my Past have a 4273829 Cpl Robert Hall in their POW Far East category. The ref they give is National Archives (see Megan's message #2) WO 361/2005. You probably have to look there for things such as the regiment.
    Apparently, the Japanese had a lot of POW camps all over the Far East. He might not have been in Japan itself...

    I think that the best thing you can do is order his service records. They are usually happy with name and birth date, and they will want a (photo)copy of his death certificate. Have a look at the link marked HERE in my first message.

  7. #7
    Newcomer to Brit-Gen
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lesley Robertson View Post
    Find my Past have a 4273829 Cpl Robert Hall in their POW Far East category. The ref they give is National Archives (see Megan's message #2) WO 361/2005. You probably have to look there for things such as the regiment.
    Apparently, the Japanese had a lot of POW camps all over the Far East. He might not have been in Japan itself...

    I think that the best thing you can do is order his service records. They are usually happy with name and birth date, and they will want a (photo)copy of his death certificate. Have a look at the link marked HERE in my first message.

    Thank you, I think I will send off the forms and keep my fingers crossed.

  8. #8

    Default

    One thing that I noticed when searching is that some people were indexed by initial, others by a short version of their forename. If you ever do a National Archive search, remember to try all possible variations!

    There were 2 other Robert Halls on the list, but they were both officers.From what you said, it didn’t sound as though they were likely.

    Good luck!

  9. #9
    Administrator
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    Dec 2012
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    Default

    The MOD application is the only definitive way I should imagine. Those records are currently taking around 18 months to come at present as the disclosures units are swamped/short staffed and heavily affected under covid restrictions.

    FWR have quite a few FEPOW records so you can rule out 4273829 Cpl Robert Hall as he's from Northumberland and was already married in 1945.
    Unfortunately there isn't a match within theirs for a R(obert) Hall a resident of Manchester held as an army POW, but he could be somewhere else in the files.

    Only the service records will give you the definitive data to finish a search, especially given the names aren't very unusual.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator - Completely bonkers and will never change.
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by timbo58 View Post
    The MOD application is the only definitive way I should imagine. Those records are currently taking around 18 months to come at present as the disclosures units are swamped/short staffed and heavily affected under covid restrictions.
    I know it's going way off-topic, but in that case I'm highly likely to see my dad in the 1921 census before I see his service records.
    I wish I'd known that the wait is about eighteen months last week when I replied to someone else about applying for service records, as I definitely under-estimated the wait time I told them.

    Pam
    Vulcan XH558 - “Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

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