Thursday, 16 May 2013

Back Into the Archive World

...But just as a punter.

I've been off-line for a couple of days as I've been down to the National Archives in Kew.

It's over 15 years since I've visited TNA (then the Public Record Office), and probably 30 since I used it as a customer.  But the trip went well. The main reason for going down was to help my sister trace some of her husband's ancestors, but I took the opportunity to call up some military records.

The main problem was the journey.   We ended up changing at Colchester and then getting a train that seemed to stop everywhere in Essex before getting to Stratford.  Then there were the trials of traveling across London from Stratford (the site of the 2012 Olympics) to Kew.  On the way back, in order to get a reasonably-priced ticket, we had to wait until 19:26 before we could catch a train back.  All very tiresome... 

There was the initial hassle of registration (despite me reading from the list on their website, my sister hadn't brought the required forms of id), but we were soon off  Not having a reading ticket, Liz wasn't able to come into the reading room and consult original documents, but there was plenty for her to do with the surrogates and I took photos of the rest.

I managed to consult the war diary for my grandfather's unit in the Third Afghanistan War...

...and some odds and ends for fellow medal collectors...

As well as the the records of an ancestor who took part in the 1811 invasion of Java and all sorts of naval relatives (which included the discovery that one took part in the Sydney-Emden engagement).

All in all a fruitful day and I'll be back.


  1. I wish Kew wasn't such a long trek from hereford, as I'd love to look up my grandad and his brothers WW1 records.

    1. Army or Navy? If the latter, you can download the service record for £336 from the TNA website. If the latter, you might be able something through

      Send the details, and I'll see what I can do.

    2. That's very kind of you sir! I've got their medal records off ancestry, so will dig them out :)

    3. Here we go...

      They were both army. My grandad, who survived, was Pte. Walter T Price, Devon Rgt (service no 32789) and Duke of Cornwall LI (32516 or 0) victory medal C/1/101.B.10 page 865

      His brother, who died in Salonica in 1918 was Pte. John L Price, 9th Gloucestershire Rgt (12934). Victory medal L/101 B22 page 3849. 1915 star L/2B page 513.

    4. I'll have a look at what I can see - at the very least I'll be able to look at the war diary for the 9th Glosters around that date.

  2. You sir are a gent! Consider your blog pimped when I get some free time.
    I have discovered that John was with the 2nd Gloucestershires when he died, on 1st September 1918 after being wounded during the attack on the Roche Noir salient in Salonica.


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