World War 1 from 28 July to 11 November 1918

+7 votes


Does anyone by any chance know why my Great Grandfather is recorded in the United Kingdom, World War 1, service records? When WW1 was start 1914 and end 1918? Don't have a problem with it, just interested in the time frame. He enlisted in 1897. Do you think he could have been in the service that long? don't seem to find much evidence, except of coarse the write up in his Bio from a newspaper clipping, stating that he helped the British forces in South Africa?

WikiTree profile: Herbert Doust
in Genealogy Help by Shaun Doust G2G6 Pilot (345k points)

3 Answers

+9 votes
Best answer
Although this record appears in the World War 1 collection on both FamilySearch and Ancestry, it doesn't look to me like he actually served during World War 1. Viewing the image on Ancestry his service was as follows:

Home - 10 August 1897 to 17 October 1899
South Africa - 18 October 1899 to 22 September 1902
Home - 23 September 1902 to 9 August 1909

He was discharged on 9 August 1909 having completed the 12 years service for which he enlisted. I can't find any record of him re-enlisting later.
by Paul Masini G2G6 Pilot (258k points)
selected by Pip Sheppard
Good digging, Paul!
+9 votes
If he enlisted in 1897 then he was probably involved in the Boer War. If he was a career soldier then it is quite feasible that he was still serving during WW1.
by Lynda Crackett G2G6 Pilot (633k points)
Thank you Lynda, yes it was in South Africa so probably the Boer war, but would he then still be in the Queens employ?
Quite likely. I don't think there was any conscription to the Boer War, so he may have chosen a military career. Try looking for him in census records between the Boer War and WW1. If you cannot find him then that could be another clue that he was still serving somewhere.
+4 votes

From my Great Grandfathers Bio (Newspaper Article)

He seemed to me to still be in the British Army, maybe he re-joined?


Check out the Bio, right click the image icon and select open in another tab

by Shaun Doust G2G6 Pilot (345k points)
edited by Shaun Doust
I see from his children's bios that he was already living in South Africa when World War 1 started. He might therefore have re-enlisted in a South African unit. I know people didn't always re-enlist in their original units, as my great grandfather William John Manley (Manley-1808) served in the Royal Artillery from 1884 to 1907 but then re-enlisted in the Middlesex Regiment in 1915.
I hear you Paul, thank you, but somehow I was under the impression he was deployed with the British troops to South Africa. Sure enough it was before the Great war. He was back and forth from here to the UK. and visa versa. his wife was in the UK. initially while he was here. He was a boxing champion among the British soldiers and played soccer for Tottenam Hotspur. He was responsible for Shipping mules to the British forces fighting in the South African war. All points to a British soldier. His first born son came into being in the UK. Thereafter he brought his wife and son to live here in Africa. this is what prompted my question, were the British active in the South African war (the Boer war) at the time and then it just ran from  there into the Great war?

It would be about the right time.

He certainly took part in the Boer War, as that lasted from 11 October 1899 to 31 May 1902 ( and he was posted to South Africa from 18 October 1899 to 22 September 1902, so the dates match almost precisely. His service record also says that he was entitled to the Queen's South Africa medal plus 3 clasps and the King's South Africa medal plus 2 clasps (see and There doesn't seem to be any mention of him in the UK military records after his discharge in 1909, but not all the records survived so that doesn't prove that he didn't re-enlist.

Thank you for your help Paul, most appreciated!
Thank you for the links Paul, wonderful History of the war!

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