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50 pence well spent or how research can really pay off

Article about: Hi Guys, I bought this single identity disk many years at an aviation show for 50p. I bought it because it was named to a man with my family name of Stevenson. The disk is a Canadian WW1 iss

  1. #1

    Default 50 pence well spent or how research can really pay off

    Hi Guys, I bought this single identity disk many years at an aviation show for 50p. I bought it because it was named to a man with my family name of Stevenson.

    The disk is a Canadian WW1 issue. It lists his name, serial number, religion, etc. One thing I did not understand at the time was the designation "46 Can"?

    Then a few years ago I discovered that WW1 Canadian attestation papers are available online. So I was then able to discover much more about the man, Frederick Stevenson. Like many men who manned the Empire, the place where he lived was not the place where he was born. He was a Scotsman by birth and was aged 28 when he enlisted.

    It turned out that he was a "Mountie", a member of the Mounted Police with three years service. I did not realise that the organisation changed names over a period of time and was not always known as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police that is so famous worldwide today.

    Archives

    I have written to their historian to see if his Police service records are still in existance?

    I have checked the CWGC website and he is not listed as a casualty. More on this in the next post!

    Cheers, Ade.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: 50 pence well spent or how research can really pay off

    So the good old National Archives got another two quid out of me!

    Here is his medal card index roll entry. He was a Sgt Now there are no entries for any awards, but note the MM mentioned in the note at the top of the card? Military Medal?

    "46 Can" is now explained as "46th Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force."

    Not knowing anything about the unit I did a little research and found where they fought. Here is one extract I found:

    As part of the 10th Infantry Brigade of the 4th Canadian Division the 46th Battalion had played a pivotal role in the capture of a feature on Vimy Ridge known as the Pimple. The Pimple is the highest point on the Ridge and was the last part wrested from the Germans on April 12/13, 1917.

    So the chances are he fought at Vimy Ridge!

    Now have a read of this website:

    http://esask.uregina.ca/entry/46th_c...alion_cef.html

    Did you read of the casualty rate of his Battl? We all know WW1 was a bloodbath, but 91.5% is still a real shocker!
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  3. #3

    Default Re: 50 pence well spent or how research can really pay off

    I next discovered he was awarded the Military Medal!

    He was a Lance Corporal when he was awarded his MM, on July 1st 1917. As is usual, there is a difference in the date of actual award and when it was annouced in the London Gazzette:

    http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/e/e045/e001112454.jpg

    Cheers, Ade.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: 50 pence well spent or how research can really pay off

    Found out he was also wounded in April 1917 at Vimy Ridge which is mentioned here:

    http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/e/e045/e001112155.jpg

    Cheers, Ade.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: 50 pence well spent or how research can really pay off

    I have been back to the National Archives website and checked on the online MM records which I had not looked at before.

    I entered all his details and no exact match came up? I soon discovered that the Archives have missed the number "5" from his service number on their records: as when I did another search all the other details matched fine. So I took the chance and paid the 2.

    This paid off, as my hunch was correct and the online number is wrong! So it just goes to show how human error can throw a spanner in the works.

    Here is the MM index card for him. Looks like he as a Lance Corporal but an acting Sgt.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: 50 pence well spent or how research can really pay off

    Here is his entry in the London Gazette. He is listed in the left hand column along with all the other Canadian MM winners
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  7. #7

    Default Re: 50 pence well spent or how research can really pay off

    And finally as I mentioned in my original post I had written to the historical section of the RCMP. I got this nice reply and some great additional info:

    Hello,

    I was able to find two men named Frederick Stevenson that served with the Royal North West Mounted Police around the same time and who also served in WWI. One of the men had the middle name Eady. I assume that this is not the man you are looking into. That being said Frederick Stevenson joined the Force on May 19, 1913. He was a Constable while with the Force. His regimental number was 5591. He served the Force for ten years retiring on September 22, 1923. He was involved in a case where he located and recovered a kidnapped girl named Mildred Shaw in 1913 and he was acknowledged for his good service in this instance. I hope this information is helpful. I was not able to verify which Frederick Stevenson you were looking for by the links you emailed because our internet server blocked them. We have high internet security. If it was Frederick Eady Stevenson please let me know and I will provide you with the information we have on file for him.

    Thank you,

    The Historical Section


    This has been a really enjoyable and interesting exercise for a chance buy for 50p.


    Cheers, Ade.

  8. #8

    Default Re: 50 pence well spent or how research can really pay off

    Great research Ade & well worth the extra few quid gamble,i'd say. Stewy S

  9. #9
    Ed_Haynes
    ?

    Default Re: 50 pence well spent or how research can really pay off

    Very interesting. And good evidence as to how even the most basic research can transform a cheap little "thing" into a fascinating piece of history and recapture a person's history.

    Well done!

  10. #10

    Default Re: 50 pence well spent or how research can really pay off

    ade you always have a great story of research or have/own a piece of history to share with us

    I kneel before the king of entertainment.

    rgrds, Ty

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