Saturday, July 18, 2009


I have a mystery that every now and again draws my attention.

I've spent the afternoon sitting at the computer taxing google with all kinds of requests.

In a box of family keepsakes there are medals belonging to one William Jennings.

He served with the 2nd West Surrey and received a service medal for the Relief of Chitral 1895 ( India )

He served with the 1st Scots Guards and received the medal at right for the South Africa campaign.

At some point he left England and worked as a miner in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia and in Feb. 1916 joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force and served with the 4th Canadian Mounted Regiment. ( or Rifles as sometimes listed)

He named a sister, Mary Howarth of Rushdale ( Rochdale?) Lancashire as his next of kin and stated that he had served with the 'scotch' guards for 13 years.

An uncle of my mother's served with the 2nd CMR and from what I can tell the two units joined at some point during the war. Frank was killed in 1918 and is buried in the Vis-en-Artois British Cemetery in Haucourt, France.

Did they meet and did William come to see the family after the war? Would he have left his medals with them?

I don't think I will solve this with my research skills but I think these medals should go to the appropriate military museums or better yet a family member who knows his name and has heard his story.


Leenie said...

Good luck finding the answer. The internet should be a good source for getting help.

Jayne said...

There should be records for his service which would include his movements to and from battlefields/hospitals/R&R, etc.
You could also contact the regiments/groups he served with to see if there has been official histories written - sometimes anecdotes/photos get included into histories that aren't noted in official records.
Other than that all I can suggest is to start posting queries on genealogy boards, there's a plethora of people who might have the answers or could point you in the right direction ;)

Kathleen said...

It's gonna be hard to find the connection with your family, I would guess, without personal knowledge from a family member. But Jayne gave some good advice for finding his "relatives".


I can access his Canadian records in Ottawa or hire someone to do the search for me. I have all the info I can get on line already.

I think a good winter project would be to write/email newspapers in the places he lived and see if I can connect with someone.

I'm the kind of researcher who likes to stumble on things and them throw them out for someone else to find the answers. Lazy no, just more a thinker than a doer. *chuckle*

K. left you a reply in the Morton thread.