I thought I had found the death certificate for my grandfather Thomas Jones (born 1905) but the recent availability of the 1939 register and the Midlands Electoral Rolls have proven me wrong (see Back to the Drawing Board if you want to review the gory details of how I know I'm wrong).
I now have the challenge of finding a death record for an individual with a very common name. What strategy should I adopt and which records should I search? And if I find a likely record, what corroboration might I look for?
What I do know (or have I been told):
My eldest sister (born 1946) "remembers him running his beard across her stomach"; his death followed by his mother's death led to a significant change in the circumstances of her and her mother after she was 4 (in 1950). Or possibly his mother died first... She does think he lived with her and her mother and his parents at sometime at a particular address in Birmingham, which isn't an address I have the family recorded at... yet. (My assessment: my sister was aged 0-5 at the time of her great-grandmother's death in 1951 so the order of events is unreliable. She does however have an account of 4-5 years after the last death before she returned to her mother (and step-father in 1956).
He was recorded "deceased" at my mother's marriage in 1954. (My assessment: this is often a convenient fiction to explain why an inconvenient parent isn't present but it does fit in with my sister's account).
My mother and her grandparents (his parents) lived in Birmingham, England from (at the latest) 1942 until 1954 (although her grandparents died in Birmingham in 1948 and 1951). (My assessment: these records are probably sound, as they tie up by address with other events around the same time in the family)
He is not buried in the same grave in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales (where he was born) as his wife (died 1931) and his parents.
He was not registered in 1939 at his parent's address in Merthyr Tydfil so was possibly in the Army by then. My mother suggested that he'd been a peacetime soldier before WW2 and maybe afterwards. (I'm awaiting his service record).
There's a family 'legend' that he died in an asylum or mental hospital in London from the results of drink possibly Barts but maybe Bethlem or the Maudesley (My assessment: this will have originated with my mother, who could knit convincing stories out of fog but usually with a grain of truth)
I'm hoping for a comprehensive answer that will be of value to others with the same problem in England and Wales.