Saturday, 2 February 2019

Finding "new" casualties

With the digitisation of records from archives ...

Soldier's Effects on Ancestry is very useful aas it often gives the soldier's first name, place and date of enlistment and names of his next of kin which makes genealogical research possible in the absence of service papers. As a rule, service papers for deceased soldiers were destroyed.

I have used Soldier's Effects to find the names of soldiers who died at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley, Hampshire in the UK after they had served at the war in South Africa. I extracted a list of names with death dates between 10 October 1899 and 31 December 1902. Then, cross referencing this list with The Register and medals rolls I was able to update existing casualty records; where men had been wounded but not recorded in the casualty rolls as dying, and add new records for men invalided from the war who died at Netley.

Existing casualty records updated - 48
New casualties identified              - 44

These men are included as casualties.

I cross referenced these men against Steve Watt's "In Memoriam" as he lists Netley deaths and there are five net "new" casualties, and seven updates to dates and units compared to that information in Watt .

There was a third category of men who died after the end of the war 31 May 1902 - these are not included as casualties unless they had been wounded or invalided with an illness during the war. Their deaths are recorded in the Biographical Notes section, there are 44 men in this category.

The vast majority of the men identified served in the British Army, however individuals from "colonial" units also found themselves at Netley and some unfortunately died there: British South Africa Police, Cape Medical Staff Corps, Canadian Artillery, Imperial Yeomanry Scouts, Prince of Wales Light Horse, Rand Rifles and Rhodesian Regiment.

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