Finding the man whose name is behind a 1914-15 Star medal

+2 votes

I recently acquired a British 1914-15 Star medal and I would like to find out more information about the person to whom it was given. This is what's on the reverse:


After searching a bit I know he was a driver in the Army Service Corps, but I'm VERY new to this so I have no clue where to start looking for a full name. has a lot of J. Foster, but how to find the right one? I also checked and it seems he didn't die in war). 

How can I find more information about J? Any help will be greatly appreciated!

in Genealogy Help by Yisela Alvarez Trentini G2G4 (4.9k points)
edited by Yisela Alvarez Trentini


Like the 1914 Star, the 1914–15 Star was never awarded singly and recipients of this medal were also awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal, but only one of the two Stars could be awarded to the same person. The three medals were sometimes irreverently referred to as Pip, Squeak and Wilfred after three comic strip characters, a dog, a penguin and a rabbit, which were popular in the immediate post-war era. Pip represented either of the two Stars, Squeak represented the British War Medal and Wilfred represented the Victory Medal.[5][6]

Some 2,366,000 medals were awarded to soldiers and supporting personnel of British military forces and the various forces of the British Dominions, India and the Colonies.[3][7] This included:

Good Day

Some additional hints include:

His service number (T4) indicates the Army Service Corps of the British Army.  The ASC became the RAMC and is today known as the Royal Logistics Corps.  There also exists a Royal Logistics Crops Museum.  They may of assistance. Note the museum is in the middle of move but should be available for electronic contact.

Another suggestion is The RASC-RCT association.  They may be able to provide some guidance how to proceed.

According his medal card, in addition to the 1914-15 Star, he also was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. His first name is James.

I found on Ancestry the register where your medal is listed.

Another suggestion is to contact the RASC-RCT association - they have a website with a Contact link.

I tried to find his personnel file but could not.  There is a distinct possibility you may never find that as I understand there were some service file destroyed as a result of the London Bombing raids of WW2.

3 Answers

+5 votes
Best answer

The National Archives in the UK have information on medal recipients and can be searched by the regimental number (

Using his number (T4-086242) I got James Foster. (

His War and Service record would be on Ancestry (UK version). I don't have access to see what the details are. You can search by name but add the regimental number. The regimental number is the key to finding the right person.

by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (557k points)
selected by Yisela Alvarez Trentini
Thank you Doug!! I don't have an Ancestry account either, but I bought the PDF for £3.50 from the national archives and got a (difficult to read but) good document. James Foster served in Egypt and France (5 victories), and was discharged in 1916 because he was sick. (UPDATE) I found his complete military file, over 15 pages, and I now know where he lived, who his parents, daughter and wife were, even how tall he was :)
Happy I could help.
+2 votes

J. Foster

mentioned in the record of William Healey and Ada Brown

Name J. Foster
gender Male
Daughter Ada Brown

Other information in the record of William Healey and Ada Brown

from India Marriages

Name William Healey
Birth Date 1902
Age 22
Spouse's Name Ada Brown
Spouse's Birth Date 1902
Spouse's Age 22
Event Date 12 Sep 1924
Event Place Rangoon, Bengal, India
Father's Name W. Healey
Spouse's Father's Name J. Foster
Marital Status Single
Spouse's Marital Status Widowed

Citing this Record

"India Marriages, 1792-1948 ," database, FamilySearch( : 10 February 2018), J. Foster in entry for William Healey and Ada Brown, 12 Sep 1924; citing Rangoon, Bengal, India; index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City; FHL microfilm 527,575.

  • No image available

India Marriages, 1792-1948

Indexing Project (Batch) Number M75053-2
System Origin India-EASy
GS Film number 527575
by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.7m points)
Hi Frank, thanks for searching. How do you know this is the same J Foster? There are dozens of entries for the same name for the great war alone.

I don't know if it's the right person. It's my best guess after searching at . 

There may be some military records sources that could provide more certainty. The T4-086242 number might narrow it down and show better validity. 

The T in his service number may help narrow him down?

The man served in the Horse Transport section of the ASC. The prefixes A(HT), B(HT), T1(SR), T2(SR), TS and T1 to T4 are also often seen. A(HT) and B(HT) mean that the mad had enlisted into the ASC’s Special Reserve. T1 and T2(SR) had also enlisted on Special Reserve terms but for service with a unit of the New Armies. TS means that the man was specially enlisted for his trade: in other words, he came from civilian employment in a trade that was of direct value to work in the Horse Transport: he may have been a shoesmith, for example.T1 to T4 mean that the man was enlisted into the first to fourth New Army depending on the number after the T. T4 was also used for men affected by the compulsory transfer in 1916 of men who were serving in ASC units of the Territorial Force on to regular army terms.
Thanks Tess! Really good info on the meaning of the T!
+4 votes

You might want to look into some of the following sources:

Army Records | National Archives


Search Army Records in the Access to Archival Databases (AAD) Army History links provided by the Archives Library Information Center (ALIC) Research in ...

Veterans' Service Records | National Archives


Oct 24, 2017 - Request Military Service Records. ... Research Using Military Records. magnifying glass. What's available online? Locate older (pre-WW I) ...

Military Service Records · ‎About Military Service Records · ‎Military and Veterans ...

Research in Military Records | National Archives


What military records does NARA have? The National Archives holds Federal military service recordsfrom the Revolutionary War to 1912 in the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C. ... Military records from WWI - present are held in the National Military Personnel Records Center ...

How can Military Records ... · ‎How do I begin?

Veterans Documents and Personnel Records | USAGov


Jump to Request Military Records - You can order military records from World War I to the present ... Most requests are free for veterans and next-of-kin.

by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.7m points)
Thanks Frank, these are great for American soldiers, but I'm not sure I will find much about British ones. Will look, though!

Have you checked at Kew? A cousin of mine found extensive records there of our ancestor who was in the British Military from 1777-1787, first in the USA and then in Canada. The following could be another possibility:

British Army WW1 Service Records, 1914-1920 (Soldiers) There were about 6-7 million soldiers (Other Ranks and Non-Commissioned Officers) who served with the British Army in the First World War. Each soldiers' record of service was stored by the War Office after the First World War was over.

British Army WW1 Service Records, 1914-1920 (Soldiers)

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