I am stuck at first-base in trying to trace my UK ancestry.

My grandfather died in World War 2 in 1945 at 39 years of age (according to the War Grave Commission). He was discharged from the Royal Artillery on medical grounds in January 43 (eleven men of his gun battery - that is almost the entire group - had been killed after a German shell hit their position at Reach Court Dover November 9, 1942.) I assume that the discharge and the event are connected.

He died two years later at St Hellier Hospital Sutton from a 'stress induced?' pulmonary condition.

Recently I found a 1939 register entry that states he was born on 25/10/1905, and his marriage certificate records his father's name as Arthur Frederick. However none of the combinations of Frederick/Charles/Frederick yield any clear matches - all entries show a father's name that doesn't match and you can't see the specific date of birth. Furthermore, I can't identify him on the 1911 census either. I rather wish we had a less common name than Evans.

I should add that I don't know his mother's maiden name, place of birth, where he lived before 1939, nor is there any knowledge passed down to me of any siblings. Therefore I lack background information to correlate his name against.

I know the date of death and I have seen the probate record. However I can trace no link between that death and a birth of a person of that name.

So is there anything to be done other than a scatter-gun approach of applying for multiple certificates - which would be very expensive as I can't really be sure about the dates or names accuracy given he's a bit of an enigma.

Update (15 Oct 2018):

@sean007 is correct in that he did serve in the Royal Artillery costal defence Dover. However the census information he has is for the wrong man. His headstone says about 39 years old and this fits with the 1939 register where he gives his date as 25/10/05. In 1911 he would have been 5. There's no record of a charles Frederick born in the final quarter of the 1905 birth register.

What there is a Frederick John Evans baptised in Mitcham Surrey on 29 October 1905 along with his sister at the parish church. His birth is registered in the last quarter of 1905. This is an intriguing possible because the father has the same name as given on a marriage certificate.

The problem is that there are lots of siblings, so you would have thought some would have survived and we'd know them.

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    @Trevor: there certainly doesn't seem to be a uniquely obvious "CF Evans" in the birth records. It's entirely possible a name changed or was reported incorrectly. But the GRO birth indices only have about half a dozen entries for each of CF and FC Evans (assuming I've expanded C and F appropriately), within 1 year of 1906, most of which have mother's maiden names given. I'd proceed by searching for each possible "Evans marriage to Maidenname" for those to see if any have an Arthur Frederick or similar.
    – AndyW
    Jan 3, 2017 at 11:38
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    Don't disregard the possibility that he was illegitimate and invented a father's name for his marriage certificate.
    – user104
    Jan 3, 2017 at 14:16
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    Never say never ;). You could easily find a tiny hint somewhere that leads to a breakthrough. A Dr Who episode where he spends billions of years punching through a wall comes to mind... Incidentally, you can use the @username syntax to alert someone (like @ColeValleyGirl) that you've replied to their comment.
    – AndyW
    Jan 3, 2017 at 14:50
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    Another possibility: his birth was registered with a surname other than the one he married under (his mother may have married his father after he was born, or remarried and he took his step-fathers name -- my sister was born XXJ but married as XXW using her step-father's surname). Nobody checks at the time! So look for the right forenames in the right period but a different surname.
    – user104
    Jan 3, 2017 at 19:25
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    May I encourage everyone to (eventually) start working up their suggestions into answers? And thanks @ColeValleyGirl for editing the Q to add the new information in. Also, Trevor now has more than 20 rep, so can participate in chat. The Conference Room is there, or you can make a separate room if SE starts nagging.
    – Jan Murphy
    Jan 3, 2017 at 19:38

1 Answer 1


If I am correct the Charles Fredrick Evans as required by you is listed as a Gunner in the Royal Artillery. His service number was 1801591 and you could follow him up on line via Forces war records, if required for a fee. He is also listed under find a grave index, death 28 Feb 1945 and Listed with his mother Emma Elizabeth Evans, aged 42, when he was aged 7, on 1911 census in Paddington, London, with his two brothers, Thomas Edward Evans, aged 13 and Harry George Evans, aged 5. Charles Fredrick Evans father was Daniel Edward Evans, who married Emma Elizabeth Reeves at St Jude, Kensalgreen West Minster on 29 May 1932.

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