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I don't know if it is possible to shed light on this record but I don't like to blindly attach a reference to a person without some valid basis to do so.

This question relates to Confirming if relative received medal in WW1 before death in the sense that I am researching Sidney Truckle's eldest brother William James Truckle who is another of my Great Great Uncles.

This is the reference:

  • Name: William James Truckle
  • Military Year: 1914-1920
  • Rank: Private
  • Company: WO 329
  • Regiment or Corps: Leicestershire Regiment
  • Regiment Number: 42867
  • Medal Awarded: British War Medal and Victory Medal

I am intrigued with the fact that it associates him with "Liverpool" and Sidney made a journey to Turkey from Liverpool. But this is the only document I have been able to find for William. I can't find any other document that makes reference to next of kin etc.

This is the information I gleaned from census logs:

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  • William James Truckle
  • Birth Oct 1882 approx. (Amesbury)
  • Death Sept 1957 approx. (Christchurch)

Is it possible to establish that this William James Truckle (with the medal card) was my Great Great Uncle?

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Some of the specific techniques that can be used are to be found on the Long, Long Trail's "How To Research a Soldier".

There are several points that might be raised:

  • How many William James Truckles are there in the first place? (Bearing in mind that officialdom may omit middle names);
  • How many were in the Forces during WW1?
  • Of those in the Forces, do they have any distinguishing features that can be related back to your chap?

As @ColeValleyGirl has mentioned, Ancestry shows two William J Truckle soldiers in the Medal Index Cards (MICs). We know that these two are unique (errors excepted) because each soldier only had one MIC for their campaign medals. We have William J Truckle, 35240 of the East Surrey Regiment, and the William J Truckle who was in 3 different regiments (87572 of the King's Liverpool, 51575 of the Lincolnshire and 42867 of the Leicestershire). The Medal Index Cards were designed to point to the Medal Rolls which are on Ancestry in UK, World War I Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920. Both Medal Rolls can be found on Ancestry and both actually contain a bit more data than the MICs (not always the case).

35240's entry shows that he served in the 5th Battalion of the East Surrey, then the 9th.

T'other chap (who finished up as 42867 of the Leicestershire) served in the 11th Bn of the 'Liverpools, 2/5th Bn of the Lincolnshire then the 6th Bn of the Leicestershire. Which is the item you have already seen. (Battalion numbers are not always seen).

Except.... MICs and Medal Rolls only give details of service outside the UK, so it is not impossible that both those chaps could have served in other units inside the UK, e.g. during training.

Still - we have no details there that help us know whether either is your WJT. Until we do what we are instructed to do and get all the data that we possibly can - that means that we go to FindMyPast and look there. I cannot see any service papers for either chap on either site. But I do see several entries on FMP for Truckle, William in their Prisoners Of War 1715-1945 Interesting - I never knew they had this - it's some (at least) of the Red Cross PoW cards and is for 35240 of the East Surrey. One at least of his several cards refers to Salisbury and a next of kin - but also a birth date that doesn't match any WJT that I can see. Sigh...

The Red Cross Prisoners of the First World War site probably has 35240's cards for free but be warned - it's less of a computer system and more of a very big deck of cards. I get lost each time I use it.

Those are things that occur to me for researching the soldiers.

As for coming at it from the other end, you should look for any clues in newspapers, for starters. But in addition to those, my favourite sources for this purpose are the Absent Voters' Lists - effectively these are lists of postal voters with their name, rank, unit and number. They are separate from the main Electoral registers. However, not all survive and I have horrible suspicions from previous researches that the Wiltshire ones don't.

NB FMP has at least 4 William J Truckles in the 1911 - 2 in Wiltshire.... So, you need to find something to distinguish them... Hmm

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  • Thanks for your guidance here. Nov 19 '20 at 22:01

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