Old 04-04-2017, 12:32 PM   #1
ChristopherSuperstar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 12
Default Hello. The (un)usual(?) family history search

Greatings all. Thank you for having me.

I have a bit of a long story to explain, and my hope is to seek some assistance in my search to what might be a complex circumstance. I understand Military service files can be obtained from the Library and Archives Canada, and I will pursue this avenue promptly, however I suspect there must be some information available online which can aid my research, I'm just not having much luck finding it.

My name is Chris. I'm from Vancouver, Canada however I now reside in Western Australia. I'm the grandson of Winifred Stowe, who was in the C.W.A.C from approximately 1942 to early 1945.

Winifred immigrated to Alberta in 1914, from Kent with her Mother. Her father arrived earlier, and later went on to be the the chief gardener for the Province of Alberta until his retirement in 1952 (the family resided at Government House in Alberta from around 1928 or so, until 1952 when they relocated to Victoria BC Canada)

About Winifred Ada Stowe

Born May 6 1911
Erith, Kent, England
"P" Coy., C.W.A.C (basic training completed in Jan 31 1943 - #2 Vermilion Alberta)
No. W13782
Private (Stenographer / Bookeeper)
Discharged under routine order: 1029 5(a) - by reason of "To Return to Civil Life - On Compassionate Grounds." July 26 1945

Her name has been spelled incorrectly on differing occassions:

Winnifred Ada Stowe
Winifred IDA Stowe (As spelled on her Statement of War Service Gratuity from the DOND)

Now, on to the Story

My father was born during the war, in February of 1945 at the No. 4 Canadian General Hospital in Farnborough (as listed on his Birth Certificate issued 15th March 1945) while my grandmother was enlisted in the CWAC. His father is unknown - I have some clues, but very little to go by in regards to his identity etc.

His identity is primarily why I'm doing my research, however with so little to go on I have found myself chasing more information on my grandmother's time in service as a way to get a better idea of the larger picture.

I've pretty much stated already most of what I know about her as far as her military history or information. I don't even know where she was stationed, but suspect it was in the area of Farnborough/Aldershot. She would have probably fallen pregnant around May/June, and from Medical entries in her service book was out of service in Nov 1944 or shortly after.

She had my father, and remained overseas until they came back to Canada on the Ile De France which left Southampton on our around the 14th or 15th of June 1945, arriving on the or about the 21st of June in Halifax Harbor. From there, her discharge notice was signed a month later in Ontario, and she then most likely continued home to Alberta.

I have some questions, for now:

I have not been able to find the true dates in which the Ile De France left Southampton in June of 1945, and its subsequent arrival in Halifax the following week. Is that information online?

Are there records of passengers on Military ships from this period? Furthermore, they would have traveled by train from Halifax across Canada, would there be records of that Journey? I feel as though there is not, however I still must ask.

I cannot find anything other than a few minor references to the hospital my father was born at - No. 4 Canadian General Hospital in Farnborough. I believe this name does not actually describe the name of the hospital itself, but more the Medical Service Corps that operated said Hospital. If that is the case, is there a way I can find the actual name of this hospital? He has a birth certificate stating this hospital as his birth place, and also has a vaccination document from Aldershot as we know is located close by. All my research turns up the No. 4 Canadian General Hospital from the WW1, not WW2.

What are the chances of finding any medical records from my Grandmothers time at the hospital?

Is there any other information which might address the circumstances in which my grandmother 'got herself in to' while in service overseas? I'm sure it's not entirely uncommon in the big picture, however it is still somewhat of an odd situation.

I think I will leave it there for now. It's late and I should sign off. I will have more questions, which I can hopefully get some assistance on in the coming days. If anyone has suggestions on how to find the identity of someone going purely on a photo, I'd love to hear it. I do have a photo of a man I believe is my grandfather along with a few small other details (his first name was most likely Ed), but my grandmother had no interest in discussing him, and my father was raised with his grandfather filling the shoes of a father, so he didn't really consider it an issue (strange as that is). My grandmother Winifred died in 1976, leaving many questions remaining.

I hope this was ok to post as an introduction - I can redirect this if required, please let me know.

I appreciate any help or assistance, and would even be happy knowing someone just read the post! I don't have big expectations about answering "the big question" of my grandfathers identity, but I remain hopeful. The search to this point has been rewarding and educational, and has served as a way to get to know family I have never known. I am thankful of that and have taken it as a reward in itself.

Many thanks to you all,

Regards,
Chris.
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Old 04-04-2017, 12:46 PM   #2
Temujin
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 6,288
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristopherSuperstar View Post
Greatings all. Thank you for having me.

I have a bit of a long story to explain, and my hope is to seek some assistance in my search to what might be a complex circumstance. I understand Military service files can be obtained from the Library and Archives Canada, and I will pursue this avenue promptly, however I suspect there must be some information available online which can aid my research, I'm just not having much luck finding it.

My name is Chris. I'm from Vancouver, Canada however I now reside in Western Australia. I'm the grandson of Winifred Stowe, who was in the C.W.A.C from approximately 1942 to early 1945.

Winifred immigrated to Alberta in 1914, from Kent with her Mother. Her father arrived earlier, and later went on to be the the chief gardener for the Province of Alberta until his retirement in 1952 (the family resided at Government House in Alberta from around 1928 or so, until 1952 when they relocated to Victoria BC Canada)

About Winifred Ada Stowe

Born May 6 1911
Erith, Kent, England
"P" Coy., C.W.A.C (basic training completed in Jan 31 1943 - #2 Vermilion Alberta)
No. W13782
Private (Stenographer / Bookeeper)
Discharged under routine order: 1029 5(a) - by reason of "To Return to Civil Life - On Compassionate Grounds." July 26 1945

Her name has been spelled incorrectly on differing occassions:

Winnifred Ada Stowe
Winifred IDA Stowe (As spelled on her Statement of War Service Gratuity from the DOND)

Now, on to the Story

My father was born during the war, in February of 1945 at the No. 4 Canadian General Hospital in Farnborough (as listed on his Birth Certificate issued 15th March 1945) while my grandmother was enlisted in the CWAC. His father is unknown - I have some clues, but very little to go by in regards to his identity etc.

His identity is primarily why I'm doing my research, however with so little to go on I have found myself chasing more information on my grandmother's time in service as a way to get a better idea of the larger picture.

I've pretty much stated already most of what I know about her as far as her military history or information. I don't even know where she was stationed, but suspect it was in the area of Farnborough/Aldershot. She would have probably fallen pregnant around May/June, and from Medical entries in her service book was out of service in Nov 1944 or shortly after.

She had my father, and remained overseas until they came back to Canada on the Ile De France which left Southampton on our around the 14th or 15th of June 1945, arriving on the or about the 21st of June in Halifax Harbor. From there, her discharge notice was signed a month later in Ontario, and she then most likely continued home to Alberta.

I have some questions, for now:

I have not been able to find the true dates in which the Ile De France left Southampton in June of 1945, and its subsequent arrival in Halifax the following week. Is that information online?

Are there records of passengers on Military ships from this period? Furthermore, they would have traveled by train from Halifax across Canada, would there be records of that Journey? I feel as though there is not, however I still must ask.

I cannot find anything other than a few minor references to the hospital my father was born at - No. 4 Canadian General Hospital in Farnborough. I believe this name does not actually describe the name of the hospital itself, but more the Medical Service Corps that operated said Hospital. If that is the case, is there a way I can find the actual name of this hospital? He has a birth certificate stating this hospital as his birth place, and also has a vaccination document from Aldershot as we know is located close by. All my research turns up the No. 4 Canadian General Hospital from the WW1, not WW2.

What are the chances of finding any medical records from my Grandmothers time at the hospital?

Is there any other information which might address the circumstances in which my grandmother 'got herself in to' while in service overseas? I'm sure it's not entirely uncommon in the big picture, however it is still somewhat of an odd situation.

I think I will leave it there for now. It's late and I should sign off. I will have more questions, which I can hopefully get some assistance on in the coming days. If anyone has suggestions on how to find the identity of someone going purely on a photo, I'd love to hear it. I do have a photo of a man I believe is my grandfather along with a few small other details (his first name was most likely Ed), but my grandmother had no interest in discussing him, and my father was raised with his grandfather filling the shoes of a father, so he didn't really consider it an issue (strange as that is). My grandmother Winifred died in 1976, leaving many questions remaining.

I hope this was ok to post as an introduction - I can redirect this if required, please let me know.

I appreciate any help or assistance, and would even be happy knowing someone just read the post! I don't have big expectations about answering "the big question" of my grandfathers identity, but I remain hopeful. The search to this point has been rewarding and educational, and has served as a way to get to know family I have never known. I am thankful of that and have taken it as a reward in itself.

Many thanks to you all,

Regards,
Chris.
Hi Chris, Welcome to the CAW website. Yes were here, and reading your small book. We'll take a look and see what we can find and post up the results, so check back often.

Cheers for now

Last edited by Temujin : 04-04-2017 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 04-04-2017, 10:23 PM   #3
ChristopherSuperstar
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 12
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Many thanks Temujin!

Cheers
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Old 04-04-2017, 10:58 PM   #4
Temujin
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Join Date: Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristopherSuperstar View Post
I have some questions, for now:

I have not been able to find the true dates in which the Ile De France left Southampton in June of 1945, and its subsequent arrival in Halifax the following week. Is that information online?

Are there records of passengers on Military ships from this period? Furthermore, they would have traveled by train from Halifax across Canada, would there be records of that Journey? I feel as though there is not, however I still must ask.

I cannot find anything other than a few minor references to the hospital my father was born at - No. 4 Canadian General Hospital in Farnborough. I believe this name does not actually describe the name of the hospital itself, but more the Medical Service Corps that operated said Hospital. If that is the case, is there a way I can find the actual name of this hospital? He has a birth certificate stating this hospital as his birth place, and also has a vaccination document from Aldershot as we know is located close by. All my research turns up the No. 4 Canadian General Hospital from the WW1, not WW2.

What are the chances of finding any medical records from my Grandmothers time at the hospital?

Is there any other information which might address the circumstances in which my grandmother 'got herself in to' while in service overseas? I'm sure it's not entirely uncommon in the big picture, however it is still somewhat of an odd situation.
Hi again Chris. Well I've done "some" searching and not coming up with much I'm afraid. I will try so more so please check back.

For now, to help with some of your questions:

1. I haven't been able to find any passenger lists for the Ile De France. I will look further, but not sure what I will find.

2. Military records for shipping. The answer is "yes and no", their are records for the Convoy's etc that took troops over, but the records for "coming back" are harder to find. Of Course their ARE records, it was a requirement it both England and Canada/US......but just finding them is the hard part.

Also, YES, to the train across Canada, but records?? Again a tough one. BUT, please remember this, the ARMY RAN ON RED TAPE (still does today), so they were prolific record keepers. Most if not all of these records are at LAC Ottawa.....finding them is the tricky part. The only was to find some of these records is to physically visit LAC in Ottawa. Another option is to hire a private researcher in Ottawa to look for you. But this could get costly, if you don't know "where its stored" (box or file number etc).

3. Your comments on No 4 Canadian General Hospital, in that they were "probably" in a existing hospital. I will try and find this for you, and the Answer you suggest is correct, many times the Canadian Medical were "assigned" a British Hospital that they then operated......but they also "built" new hospitals for them to use. I will try to confirm "what Hospital" they may have been at, I've attached a map of "some" of the Hospitals operated by Canada in the UK below)



4. Chances of medical records?? Hmmm, that may be tough. Of course by ordering her military records, you "may" get what medical records are on them. Make sure you order the entire record, "NOT" the geni package. You'll have to prove her death, but the except a photo of the headstone, or death certificate, or even the post in the Royal Canadian Legion

5. Documents of "her circumstances"???? Again a tough one, probably not, but you never know, maybe a clue "may" be in her military records.

You also mentioned a "photo". It depends, if you have a photo of him in uniform, we may be able to determine his unit by looking for clues on the photo. If it's in "civilian clothes", not sure if that would be of any help to you

So that's my comments for now, will search, but it's not looking good right now, and her records may be the best "next step"

Cheers
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Old 04-04-2017, 11:40 PM   #5
Temujin
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University of Calgary has photo's of the hospital in their archives. You may be able to contact them to see if you can see them

https://searcharchives.ucalgary.ca/photographs-25
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Old 04-05-2017, 03:43 AM   #6
ChristopherSuperstar
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 12
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Wow Temujin, thank you so much for your help, I'm really thankful for the assistance so far. Even just confirming some of my thoughts is helpful! I just really appreciate you taking your time to do some searching for me and that map you posted is great! Cheers for that.

I have contacted the UOC and requested the photos from the collection you posted. If I can get access to them, and it is acceptable, I will post them in the forums for others to see in case it is of any interest for other researchers.

You confirming a few things will give me motivation to pursue records and such of travel by the troops, while I know that will be difficult, I can now concentrate on it without wondering if I'm chasing something that doesn't exist at all!

And I will begin the process of requesting the Military Files from the LAC.

Lastly. Unfortunately I do not have a photo of him in uniform - only plain clothes. I fear I might never get to know who is/was - but as I said earlier, the chase has been rewarding already and if that is what comes from the effort than I can take that as a positive. That being said, in the next few days etc I might create a separate thread, posting what I know, in hopes to get a few more pieces of the puzzle.

Cheers and thank you again for your help.
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Old 04-05-2017, 12:09 PM   #7
Temujin
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Good news, found a "piece" of info. The Ship was listed in Convoy Finder, so now we know 'which" convoy she was on and the convoy number. As you can see the ship was returning almost 5000 men and women.

With the Convoy number, T.A. 215, their "may" be records at LAC which could list the passengers on the ship. I will also look to see if I can find anything else.

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Old 04-05-2017, 10:17 PM   #8
ChristopherSuperstar
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Originally Posted by Temujin View Post
Good news, found a "piece" of info. The Ship was listed in Convoy Finder, so now we know 'which" convoy she was on and the convoy number. As you can see the ship was returning almost 5000 men and women.

With the Convoy number, T.A. 215, their "may" be records at LAC which could list the passengers on the ship. I will also look to see if I can find anything else.

You sir, are amazing. I'm still getting over your dedication to helping people on this forum.

Thank you so much. These bits of info you are providing are wonderful and very helpful!!!

I owe you a beer!!!

I've been scouring the net for more hospital information based on what you have provided, hope to get a break soon!!!
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