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  1. #1
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    Default Desperate For Help

    Hi everyone,

    I am new to the forum and just wondered if anyone can help, I am trying to trace more about my great grandfather who served as a volunteer in the Great War.
    I never got the pleasure to meet my great grandfather he passed away in 1972 I believe but i was passed down lots of bits by my great grandmother who didn't want them around after his passing, including tobacco tins, gun cleaners and his medals, but I know nothing of his footsteps during WW1.

    Walter Eaton
    DOB 1896
    Barnsley
    Enlisted as a volunteer aged 17

    The 3 medals he was awarded were
    1914/15 star
    Victory medal
    British medal

    He was wounded in action loosing his middle fingers on both hands (although these apputations I think happened later through gangrene) and had a bullet to the knee.

    My great grandmother used to talk about the Ypres Salient a bit so I'm not sure if he was posted to this area.

    I'm purely guessing he joined at some point in the first few months of the war as I was told he lied about his age being 17 almost 18.

    Again pure guess work but I'm thinking perhaps he would have been in the York & Lancaster not sure of Battalion and was maybe posted to France 1915.

    Any help guys would mean so much to me, where did he see action? Where and when was he wounded? Etc.

    If it helps he had a brother who was killed in action and went onto to marry Norah Gill also of Barnsley becoming Norah Eaton

    Thanks
    Jonny

  2. #2
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    60 per cent of all World War 1 service records were destroyed during an air raid in World War 2.

    Ancestry and Findmypast hold the surviving service records.

    Ancestry also have a data set called "WWI Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923" - that shows up a Walter Eaton from Barnsley who served with the Yorks & Lancs who got a pension (for injuries), and who lived in Albion Street and Dyson Street.

    Now if that's your great grandfather, you will need to act quick to get a free copy of the record, because Ancestry's Free Access to war time records ends at midnight tonight, and whilst you still be able to see a summary which doesn't give information, the actual record is held on their sister site Fold3 for which you need a separate subscription. But if you act tonight you should be able to download it for free.

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    Thank you so much Megan for your guidance yes that is him.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator christanel's Avatar
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    Welcome to the British-Genealogy forums jonny.

    In WW1 only the recipient's service number, rank, name and unit were impressed on the back. Are these on the medals you have?

    Christina
    Sometimes paranoia is just having all the facts.
    William Burroughs

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    Hi Christine, thanks for the reply. From the info Megan kindly provided on the war pension the addresses in Barnsley matched perfectly to him it had a service/ regiment number 3/3088 this number matched a medal record card I had looked at previously but wasn't sure But this 100% confirmed it. From this information I found out so much it's unbelievable I am truly touched
    Mr Walter Eaton
    3/3088
    York & Lancaster 7th Battalion, 17th Division B company
    I never knew he became a Lance corporal always thought he was just private rank I also found out he was wounded on 04/061918 after being posted to France 31/07/1915 .

    Just wondering now if anyone knows what areas in this division he would likely to have served? And roughly what location his division could have been in June 1918. I am want to produce 6/ 7 short story books just for the family so we can try and appreciate the horrors and sacrifices my grandfather and some not so lucky souls endured.
    Thank you so much for all your help and responses so far guys really couldn't have found info without your help.

  6. #6
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    You best starting point will be to see if the National Archives have any relevant War Diaries. The link below takes you to their research guide.

    http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/h...rst-world-war/

  7. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Megan Roberts For This Useful Post:

    christanel (13-11-2018), Jonnyc (13-11-2018)

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