True Identity of a fallen soldier in the Great War Part 1

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cnosni
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Postby cnosni » Fri 27 Jun, 2014 3:03 pm

On another thread i recently mentioned that i had done some research on one of my relatives that i would have liked to post on SL but felt that it wasnt perhaps appropriate to do so.

After a prod from Kango i have deciede to try and put something up on here.

Its more of a story of Family History research but with a distinct Leeds connection.

The story has some brick walls, not only in finding answers to questions but also in what sources of archive material was available.

There are also brick walls with official government bodies.

I started this vein of research in 2009, and to be fair its quite long and drawn out so i will post a bit of the story every couple of days or so people can read at their leisure, pass comment or offer any similar stories.

So iw ill sign off this part and put on part 1.

Cheers for the indulgence.
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Postby cnosni » Fri 27 Jun, 2014 3:28 pm

As with many people i have been researching my Family Tree and in this particular instance i have been looking into the fate of my great uncle/ brother of my grandmother,Margaret Anne Hoolahan, whom, i was told by my aunt, had died in World War One whilst in the army,though my aunt did not know his name as she was not born until the 1930's.

My grandmother and her brothers were all born in Leeds.

They were thildren of a first generation Irish immigrant, Andrew Hoolahan born Dublin 1866 and his wife a second generation Irish immigrant Mary Ann Costello born Leeds 1864.

I had already identified, from birth registration and census returns, that my grandmother had just two brothers,James and Robert Hoolahan,all of the siblings were born in Leeds.

The 1911 census for England and Wales the siblings,along with their mother,are living at
54 Acorn Street,York Road ,Leeds.

Husband/ father Andrew Hoolahan is in Ireland at the time, he appears in the 1911 census for Ireland.

The census shows that the mother of the children,Mary Ann Hoolan (nee Costello) had been married 16 years,having given birth to 3 “live” children,with all 3 of those children still living.

This confirms that my grandmother only had 2 brothers to be the brother killed during the war.

One of the brothers,James, died in the 1960's,which left the only other brother,Robert,to be the World War One casualty.

Before commencing a search of military records i searched civil registration records for England and Wales for a marriage or a death of a Robert Hoolahan to see if he had actually survived the war and that my aunt may have been mistaken.

As Robert,James and Margaret appeared in the 1911 census with their mother I knew to search records for Robert from April 1911 onwards.

There were no civilian records from 1911 to 2005 for Robert,only his siblings and parents,the mother Mary Ann dying in 1912 and father Andrew in 1914.

As James and Robert were both old enough to have fought in the First World War i searched for any war records,including Naval, that may still exist for them on the Ancestry online military records database and at Kew.

        
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Postby cnosni » Fri 27 Jun, 2014 3:36 pm

The search of the military records yielded an Army Service record and Medal Card Index record for James Hoolahan/ Hoolan but nothing for Robert.

James' war record showed his surname recorded as "Hoolan" rather than the correct spelling Hoolahan.
.
"Hoolan" ,or more accurately 'Oolan" is how the family pronounce the surname,a pronunciation which is derived from the Leeds dialect and its inclination not to pronounce the letter "H"

Page 2 of James' Army Service record,dated 6th August 1915 showed two next of kin,one being his sister, my grandmother, Margaret "Hoolan",whos address is shown as being
7 Sloe Street,York Road,Leeds,an address about 300 yards from where the family were living in the 1911 census.

The other next of kin is his brother named as Robert "Hoolan" who's address is shown as 2nd Batt West Riding Reg,that is the 2nd Battalion The Duke of Wellingtons Regiment (West Riding).

James’ siblings are shown as his next of kin because,as previously mentioned his parents were dead and he was unmarried,James never married.
    
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Postby cnosni » Fri 27 Jun, 2014 3:50 pm

Page 1 of James Hoolahan/Hoolans Army Service record shows his address as being 4 Moorhouse Terrace (not far from the Cherry Tree pub, now demolished) and that his trade was "Boot Maker"

He undertook a specialist role in teh Bootmaking trade.

My aunt told me that James (Jimmy) was a “Boot Clicker” which was the person who cut the uppers for shoes or boots from a sheet of leather. The job was named after the sound that the operator's machine made. It was a skilled trade because it was the clicker's responsibility to maximize the number of uppers which could be cut from a piece of leather, avoiding any thin areas.

Boot Clicker was also his trade in the 1911 census, as well as that for his brother Robert    
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dogduke
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Postby dogduke » Fri 27 Jun, 2014 5:06 pm

Living in the Moorehouses and working in the boot trade they
will probably have worked at Parsons in Mushroom St.
My late dad worked there pre war also I think as a clicker.
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Postby kango » Fri 27 Jun, 2014 10:28 pm

I'm surprised you found any records at all Chris, as I believe a lot were destroyed in world war two.


Plus today I found out what a boot clicker was, good stuff.        
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Postby cnosni » Sat 28 Jun, 2014 1:52 am

@ Dogduke.
He could well have done so indeed, but there will be something coming up a little later on.

@Kango

Unfortunately the records that i really wanted were destroyed, as i will explain in the coming parts.

Stay tuned....
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Postby liits » Fri 11 Jul, 2014 12:24 am

Without wishing to be rude [and because I don't want to spoil the story], is he one of the "40" who were not included with the other "306"?


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