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  1. #1
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    Wink Serendipity Strikes

    Eight years ago I discovered my g'dad had an older brother. "Oh that will be the pilot killed in the war" said one of my aunts.
    Two years later I found his Death Cert on LancsBMD and discovered he was killed in a pit accident the day before his 28th birthday. That was bad enough but then I realised I had no idea who the 'pilot 'was or which war
    Fast forward to Monday inst. I was searching for my g'ma's eldest brother in America, 5 records popped up the last being for his son's memorial at Runnymede.

    UK, Commonwealth War Graves, 1914-1921 and 1939-1947
    Cemetery: The Runnymede Memorial Part II
    Berry, Sgt. Richard Alan, 754402, R.A.F. (V. R.). 7th November, 1941. Age 23.
    Son of Richard & Clara Agnes Berry, of Shotton Colliery, Co. Durham. Panel 39.

    He and all his crewmates were killed on a raid to Berlin, he wasn't a pilot.

    After EIGHT years of bewilderment and frustration I have found the mystery 'pilot'. He was my g'ma's nephew.

    Now I have another mystery. Did his parents go to America or Canada or is that another family member?
    I favour the latter, the prime suspect being the son of the person who started the kerfuffle, my g'dad's elder brother!

    Oh happy days!

    Regards,
    Malcolm

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Lesley Robertson's Avatar
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    Congrats!

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    Super Moderator Ladkyis's Avatar
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    Doncha just love families? We discovered the birth of a child that died age 10 days. This was a sister to my late father-in-law. My husband agonized about how to tell his father this discovery because he had never heard a mention of this child in the whole of his life.
    We took the family tree and the birth and death certificates to his Dad and showed him.
    "oh yes," he said "that's my sister that died before I was born. I thought you knew about her."

    It seems that humans assume that if they know something then those nearest and dearest will know it, almost by some strange osmosis. All we have to do is devise the wording of questions so that they divulge what they think we already know - not hard eh?
    *sigh*
    Ladkyis

    “You can’t give her that!” she screamed. “It’s not safe!”
    IT’S A SWORD, said the Hogfather. THEY’RE NOT MEANT TO BE SAFE.

    I am fluent in three languages, English, Sarcasm and Profanity

  4. #4
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    Smile Serendipity Strikes Again!

    Just been searching the 1939 Register for a brother of my g'ma, found him, his wife and 2 children, one closed.
    Since I didn't have any children in my tree I decided to find them, when the results came up I got curious about
    who else was searching for them, one tree contained a photo of a grave in Hyde, Manchester, Lancashire, on
    the headstone under the son's name it said "Fighter pilot killed in flying accident."
    You can imagine how stunned I was/am.
    I owe my aunt an apology, she was right, there was a pilot in the family.

    from CWGC

    Pilot II
    BERRY, THOMAS NELSON
    Service Number 1559206
    Died 20/03/1947 Aged 26
    Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    Son of Samuel Nelson Berry and Elsie Berry, husband of Noel Berry, of Gee Cross, Hyde.


    He was a cousin to Richard Alan Berry mention above.

    One other oddity is that the closed record is his. (at least I believe it is as I can only find two births for the family)

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    Super Moderator almach's Avatar
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    Well done! Your perseverance has paid off

    One other oddity is that the closed record is his. (at least I believe it is as I can only find two births for the family)
    Have you considered Elsie may have had a child before she married Samuel?
    Alma

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    Quote Originally Posted by almach View Post
    Well done! Your perseverance has paid off



    Have you considered Elsie may have had a child before she married Samuel?
    Thanks but it was pure serendipity, Again. I didn't even know Samuel had married let alone had children

    I hadn't. They married Q2 1920 in Wigan and the two children I found, Thomas and Elsie, were registered in Easington in Q1 1921 and Q4 '23 respectively. So Thomas would only have been 18 and probably working with his father and/or uncle at the pit.

    Added:-
    Just checked FreeBMD 2 ashurst births in 1920 but after their marriage, previous ones were in 1915-17. Mind you it can't be ruled out she was older than I realised, they were both born in 1894.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator - Completely bonkers and will never change. Pam Downes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by macwil View Post
    One other oddity is that the closed record is his. (at least I believe it is as I can only find two births for the family)
    If I remember correctly, records for people who died abroad (even if as long ago as 1947) are still redeacted on the Register.
    There's a bell ringing about a similar event, and that person's record is still closed.

    Um, she says, about an hour later, having had inspiration but then not being able to confirm what I thought I'd remembered.......
    Might have sort-of half-remembered.

    'Tis annoying that I can't find a death registration for Thomas, either in England and Wales or Scotland, or the Armed Forces overseas deaths to prove where he died, so I will probably have to say that the reason Thomas' entry is still closed is because he died before the NHS came into being in July 1948. And being born in late 1920/early 1921he's not yet 100 years old so is redacted under that ruling too.

    Added: I found the same information re Samuel and Elsie re birth and marriage years, plus daughter Elsie's birth, as Malcolm did.
    Hadn't considered Alma's suggestion.

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

  8. #8
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    Hi Pam,

    Would you consider Isle of Man abroad?

    Since my earlier post I have found a probate record which states;- ...died 20th Mar 1947 at Manghold Head Manghold Ramsey Isle of Man" (sic) I think they mean Maughold.

    There were at least two RAF stations on the Island from 1939 to 1960s.

    I have not been able to find any crash reports except one for a Lancaster off the coast of Ireland on the same day, but I'm a tyro at looking for that sort of info.
    I have e-mailed a museum on the island asking if they can provide any info.

    Regards,
    Malcolm.
    Last edited by macwil; 13-05-2018 at 5:30 PM. Reason: correction

  9. #9
    Super Moderator - Completely bonkers and will never change. Pam Downes's Avatar
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    As regards BMD registrations the Isle of Man is definitely 'abroad'.

    I looked on the British Newspaper Archive site for Thomas by name, but couldn't see anything.
    Nothing in The Times Digital Archive for air crash or Isle of Man.

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

  10. #10
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    Thomas Nelson Berry died 1947 Maughold died age 26 Vol 187 page 861
    This is what it says in Isle of Man death records

  11. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to sandiep For This Useful Post:

    macwil (13-05-2018), Pam Downes (13-05-2018)

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