The Manchester Regiment Forum

The Boer War => 1899 - 1902 => Topic started by: threejays on September 05, 2010, 10:18:10 AM

Title: William Henry Hansford
Post by: threejays on September 05, 2010, 10:18:10 AM
Hello Everyone:

I am very new to this Forum, and probably on something of a wild goose chase, so please bear with me.  I have read the information and posts on this website for about a week, and have found them very useful.

I am trying to find information on my husband's grandfather, William Henry Hansford, who fought at Ladysmith and had a pension from his service in the army. He lived at 9 Back Fountain Street, Manchester, after leaving the army in 1908.  Sorry, but as yet we don't know which battalion, or even regiment, he served in.

Of course this is very sketchy information, but if anyone can advise on how to trace this person's service record, then please do post a reply.

Many thanks.
Title: Re: William Henry Hansford
Post by: harribobs on September 05, 2010, 11:16:58 PM
Hi Threejays

and welcome to the forum

i will move this over to the Boer War section and we will see if we can find out any information for you

Title: Re: William Henry Hansford
Post by: mack on September 06, 2010, 12:17:13 AM
hiya TJ
his he the william,henry hansford who was buried in phillips park cemetery on 29-3-1930,grave ref.I.C.1951

mack ;D
Title: Re: William Henry Hansford
Post by: ladysmith on September 06, 2010, 10:09:52 AM
Hello TJ

I've checked the medal roll of the 1st battalion Manchesters (which was in the defence of Ladysmith) as well as the rolls for the Royal Engineers and all the regular cavalry regiments but he's not on any of these.

There were a relatively small number of units involved in the defence of Ladysmith but many more in the relief of Ladysmith. At one time I assumed that family stories of a man who 'fought at Ladysmith' meant it was established that he was in the defence. However, it sometimes turns out that he was in the relief force which fought its way to Ladysmith but didn't fight in the town itself.

Your best bet is to check the regular soldiers' service papers in series WO 97 at the National Archives in Kew. These are arranged alphabetically, not by regiment, and William Henry Hansford isn't a common name so there are unlikely to be multiple possibilities. There is about a 70% survival rate for papers from this period. Findmypast is supposed to be making these available online this month. Otherwise you'd need to go to Kew or get a researcher to do a search for you.

Good luck.

Title: Re: William Henry Hansford
Post by: threejays on October 24, 2010, 07:35:55 PM
Hello again: 

Many thanks for the replies about William Henry. Apologies for taking so long to respond, but my family and I have been struggling with illness for a month or two now.

Yes, this is indeed the William Henry Hansford who was buried in Phillips Park Cemetery on 29th March 1930.  The family always called it "Bradford Cemetery."  We found his grave in 1996. 

Thank you also for the tips about locating his army record.  I will try that next.

Title: Re: William Henry Hansford
Post by: ladysmith on October 25, 2010, 06:09:31 PM
On Findmypast the only William Hansford (no middle name shown) who served in the Boer War and whose papers are available is 7946 Pte. William Hansford, Rifle Brigade. He was born in Oxford in 1881 and only joined up in August 1900. This was too late to have been at the defence or relief of Ladysmith but he served in South Africa from December 1901 to September 1902. However, it looks like he probably isn't your man.