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TOPIC: Did he serve in the Boer War-William Eli LEWIS

Did he serve in the Boer War-William Eli LEWIS 5 days 10 hours ago #61131

  • Sommevr6
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Hi everyone, I am currently researching my family tree and have found a relative William Eli LEWIS b: 1875 at Peckham and an attestation certificate dated 2/9/1915 for him joining the Labour Section, Royal Engineers service no:118476. On the form it is written that he had previous military service between 1891 and 1902 with the Coldstream Guards. He was discharged from the Engineers 27/6/1916.
I have not been able to locate him so far on the 1901 census and was wondering if this would indicate his service in the Boer War with the Coldstream Guards? I was under the impression that the Coldstream’s were one of only two guards regiments to retain their records but on speaking to staff at the Guards Museum today it appears they no longer do so and they have been centralised. I am therefore looking for help or guidance in confirming that LEWIS did serve with The Coldstream Guards and in what capacity and if he was with them in South Africa and if he would have received any campaign medals as a result.

Many thanks.

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Did he serve in the Boer War-William Eli LEWIS 4 days 23 hours ago #61135

  • Frank Kelley
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If you have looked at WO363/WO364 and it states that your family member had served in the Coldstream Guards, then I would suggest that he will have done.
The War Office had duplicate papers for the Foot Guards, but, the actual original papers were retained by the regiment itself, so if there are none present in WO97 the best thing to do would be to contact RHQ Coldstream Guards, not the museum and wave your wallet at them.
I think FMP were recently in talks with the Household Division with particular regard to some the original papers they hold and I would think, in due course many more papers with became available on line.
The dates you mention are interesting, with quite a lot happening, certainly from memory, at least, the 1st Battalion was out in the Sudan before the Anglo Boer War and he may well have taken part in that, I suppose it would all depend upon the actual engagement that he had with the regiment, long or short, if the latter, he might have been recalled before the war, or indeed, during it, but, he may not have actually served in South Africa.

Sommevr6 wrote: Hi everyone, I am currently researching my family tree and have found a relative William Eli LEWIS b: 1875 at Peckham and an attestation certificate dated 2/9/1915 for him joining the Labour Section, Royal Engineers service no:118476. On the form it is written that he had previous military service between 1891 and 1902 with the Coldstream Guards. He was discharged from the Engineers 27/6/1916.
I have not been able to locate him so far on the 1901 census and was wondering if this would indicate his service in the Boer War with the Coldstream Guards? I was under the impression that the Coldstream’s were one of only two guards regiments to retain their records but on speaking to staff at the Guards Museum today it appears they no longer do so and they have been centralised. I am therefore looking for help or guidance in confirming that LEWIS did serve with The Coldstream Guards and in what capacity and if he was with them in South Africa and if he would have received any campaign medals as a result.

Many thanks.

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Did he serve in the Boer War-William Eli LEWIS 4 days 21 hours ago #61136

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Hi Frank, many thanks for the response. The attestation form came up during a search on a genealogy website as opposed to an actual search of War Office docs. The form stated 12 years service in the Coldstream Guards in ink on the side- I don’t know whether that was continuous service or a period with the colours then reserve.

The War Office records you refer to in your reply, are they available online to view/download or does it require a trip to the National Archives?

Many thanks again for taking the time to respond.

Neal.

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Did he serve in the Boer War-William Eli LEWIS 4 days 11 hours ago #61142

  • Frank Kelley
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Hello Neal,
You can only search the digitised folio on line in the case of WO363 for the Great War they have never been released to the public because of the condition.
You could attest for long service for a period of twelve years continuous or, more usually, serve less than that with the "Colours" followed by a period as a Reservist and a great many did so, I would think the continuous engagement was more common in the Household Cavalry regiments than the Foot Guards.
Yes, WO363/WO364/WO97 all available on line, that is, of course, all available folio, none are complete, I think these days, sadly, a manual search in WO97 would be frowned upon at Kew, moreover, they tend to be fruitless.
Notwithstanding, my point was simply that I would think that the mentioned service in the Coldstream is far more likely to be actual rather than fictional, a fellow could "embellish" his attestation, the War Office had no intranet in the way the MOD does. but, assuming he did serve with the regiment, his original papers should be extant, the Household Division have been most diligent when it comes to records.
Regards Frank




Sommevr6 wrote: Hi Frank, many thanks for the response. The attestation form came up during a search on a genealogy website as opposed to an actual search of War Office docs. The form stated 12 years service in the Coldstream Guards in ink on the side- I don’t know whether that was continuous service or a period with the colours then reserve.

The War Office records you refer to in your reply, are they available online to view/download or does it require a trip to the National Archives?

Many thanks again for taking the time to respond.

Neal.

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