FLOCK HAA 14399461
Katey worked her magic again and tracked down the daughter of Henry Flock, she sent her a message through F/B and didn't reply to Katey for fear of it being a scam. In fact I think she left it a while before she contacted me through this website, I confirmed everything that Katey had said and told her I can either post it, or knowing her concerns about it all being a trap, said if she wanted to collect it from me it was great. After all, its less for me to do and saves the postage! She replied says that she was going away on holiday and would get in touch when she was back. I did wonder if I would ever hear from her again, after all, it wouldn't be the first time I have heard something similar. Who ever thought that giving things away would be difficult. She did eventually get back in touch and asked if she could come round that day. I am rather an impulsive person, so doing things at the last minute is always fine with me, so agree. Later that evening a knock at the door, it was Jackie and her husband. I invited them in and escourted them down to the office/war room and presented them with 2 of his dog-tags. Jackie opened an envelope that she had brought along with her and showed me a photograph of her father in his Para uniform, also she had his cap badge.
He was a member of the 1st Btn, 22nd Ind Parachute Company. He was transferred to Royal Armoured Corps right near the end of WW2. Hence we had his dog-tag. He left for the Normandy Invasion from RAF Harwell in Oxfordshire. The whole of RAF Harwell has since been replaced by new buildings, only one small piece of runway existed, upon it once sat my office which was only a temporary port-a-cabin. However during his flight it would have gone straight through the place my office sat all those years later.
Included with the items Jackie brought with her was a WW1 BWM, she never knew there were the owners details round the edge. I printed off the details of the owner from Forces War Records for her and she eventually tracked it down to be her Grandfather. I think overall she was very impressed with her visit and glad that I have restored a little
bit of faith to mankind and convinced her that not everything in life is a scam.
SMITH 'San' SW 7957130
I spend a lot of my time, what can best be described as wondering around the internet seeing what information if any I can find on these soldiers. I came across a website that I had come across many times previous, The Wartime Memories Project (WMP) www.wartimememoriesproject.co.uk a site I have looked over before in the past, but not to do with this project. I had wondered into a page all about the Derbyshire Yeomanry and for those not familiar with the website it lists memories of individuals from WW2. Usually entered by family members, it can include photos, documents and all sorts of interesting information that is being saved from vanishing from existence as these old veterans slowly succumb to time and more and more families show less and less interest in the members of their family who once served.
I saw only 2 names to the 1st Derbyshire Yeomanry, I checked them against my list and was very surprised to see Pte. Samuel William "San" Smith matches one of mine. I was only 100% certain it was a match because there were two telegrams posted, which were sent from Africa by San and they both had his serial number written on them. 7957130! The information had been posted by San's son, Ray. So of course I was now determined to get the dog-tag to him. I tried desperately to send a message through the website, but unknown to me, at the same time WMP were doing website maintenance and so I was totally unsuccessful, so I sent them an email asking about why I
couldn't send the message and if they were interest in helping with my project by sharing information. They replied the next day and that's when learnt about my bad timing during their maintenance. They told me they would love to help and at the moment we are formulating a plan, best of all they have messaged Ray and we're awaiting a reply. This could be a huge leap in the right direction for this project, to say I'm very excited would be putting it mildly.
14/11/2018 - It has been a few good months since I last updated the website and I feel we are now made a huge leap forwards. The Wartime Memories Project (WMP) did indeed put almost all the soldiers I have on my huge database onto their website with the text that I have a tag and want to return it to the family. We are now getting a steady stream of emails forwarded on from WMP which is excellent, however still the usual problems about people requesting tags that we can't possibly have, due to the fact they don't read what is written. Still people asking for WW1 soldiers, killed soldiers, Navy and RFC/RAF. I put an additional note on the contact us page to check those points before messaging us... fingers crossed.
WMP got their first home run a couple of days ago when I had an enquiry about William Pankhurst of the Reconnaissance Regiment, RAC from a chap called Benn. A quick check revealed that I did have a tag that matched the name perfectly, I replied and asked Benn if he had anything with the soldiers serial number on it. A bit of digging around and he produced a stunning war time photograph and a document with his number. That revealed it was a perfect match! Excellent, then the bit that I always worry the most as so many trails have stopped here... the point where I ask for an address to post the tag too. So many people get strangely nervous here and then stop replying to everything. However, Benn saw the light and replied with an address, within the hours it was wrapped up and ready to post.
I had a phone call from Benn that evening as I was working on the next book, was nice to explain all about our project and he thanked us lots for the work we do. I explained that it was Katey and I who think we are the lucky ones to be in the position to be able to run and work on this project and give something back. At the same time learning all about all the enlisted-men who were the backbone of the British forces.
The tags went into the post the next morning and of course I just went on to working on the next, the next ending task. The morning after a text came through on my phone saying the tags had arrived, good job Royal Mail a super-fast delivery and a thank you from Benn again.
Sadly at the moment not much is known about
Uncle Bills wartime history, however Benn did say that his Uncle Ron has a copy of his service records, so it will be interesting to see what it contains. The only details that popped up on FWR was a wounded report from Italy which states he was serving with the 80th Reconnaissance Regiment. The only other report is a correction to the previous report which states it should have read 1st Reconnaissance, not the 80th.
Others that we have returned too that didn't get a mention before, mainly as information was really limited and not even a photograph could be sourced :-
Dragoons 408843 BOHILL 7th Hussars
Royal Armoured Corps 7961130 GOODER 1st Lothians and Border Yeo
General Service Corps 14804625 ETCHES
General Service Corps 14216967 ANDREWS 12th RTR
Large Army Depot 21s 21037513 DANDO 4th RTR
Large Army Depot 19s 19143941 DOY 17/21st Lancers
Large Army Depot 19s 19008749 PIGGOTT 4/7th Dragoon Guards
General Service Corps 14868083 HUBBARD 4/7th Dragoon Guards
Lancers 323408 SKUSE Lancers
(Royal) Pioneer Corps 13116588 SHERMAN Pioneer Corps
Royal Armoured Corps 7958358 MASON
That lot bringing us up to a total of 132 home. However as I write this I am dealing with another enquiry about 6024213 PEARSON who enlisted with the Essex Regiment (so a chance they could be local) and we have a single tag that should be able to return home too.