Sunday, 18 December 2011

Family History Trail - William Anderson.

For a number of years I have been researching my Family Tree, I have collated quite a bit of information from living relatives, and bit n pieces from local newspapers etc. I have to say that not all information I have been given has been true - I have found out some very, very sad stories and of course they have not been told to me 'as it was' more conjecture, folklore and misleading stories.

Anyone who knows me well, will testify that I am determined to get to where I want to go, using all avenues that will lead me to 'the truth' - here is one example!

In November I blogged about gate crashing / going to a book launch at the Somme Centre at Conlig, near Newtownards on Remembrance Day 2011. The books Remembering Their Sacrifice of the Great War - The Ards & North Down by Barry Niblock - I bought 2 x copies of each, 1 set for me and 1 set for my good friend Jack Greenald.

I have read through extensively but found no reference to William Anderson, my Great Uncle, so I decided to contact the Mr. Niblock to see if he had any information on William Anderson.Within 24 hours Barry e-mailed me back with a holding e-mail then a week or so later he forwarded me some exciting and emotional news!

Here is part of the e-mail regarding Uncle William :-

Born in Ballymacarrett, Belfast, William Anderson enlisted on 17 September 1914 in Newtownards.

He was a mechanic, 5 feet 8 inches tall and he was aged 19 years 10 months.

He was posted to 'B' Company, 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles (No. 17148). On 22nd December 1914 he was transferred to the Motor Machine Gun Section of the Royal Artillery (No. 32504).

He went to France on 8 February 1915.

On 1 December 1915 he was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps.

He was hospitalised in July 1917 due to the effects of gas poisoning.

He was later discharged from the army on 10 February 1919 on a pension of 11 shillings per week.

At that time his next-of-kin was his aunt, Jane Anderson, who lived at 157 Greenwell Street, Newtownards.

He was single when he was discharged and some time later he got married.

In January 1926 his widow applied to the military authorities for financial assistance.

So it may be assumed that William died around December 1925/early January 1926.

Well I was totally surprised and a little shocked - I am very grateful to Barry Niblock for his prompt response and wonderful information! However I don't like where this is taking me - I have the feeling there is going to be a very sad story at the end of this trail!

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