Author Topic: John Ferns PTE 9509 1st Battalion  (Read 633 times)

Offline tracey

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John Ferns PTE 9509 1st Battalion
« on: August 07, 2019, 11:37:47 AM »
Hi all,

This is my first post so I hope I have posted in the right place.

My great grandfather was John Ferns 9509 of the 1st battalion.  He survived the war but unfortunately came home with what sounds like PTSD and made several suicide attempts and turned to alcohol and gambling.  He lost his brother Thomas Ferns of the Lancashire Fusiliers and 17th battalion 20024, 51652 in battle in France and Flanders in 1918.  In 1928, his wife died and he couldn't look after his children, one being my grandad and so they were all taken into children's homes.  He died in 1939 and was put in a paupers grave which is now just an empty space with no markings whatsoever.

His brother Thomas seems easier to find information on because he died in battle and we have pictures of his grave and a memorial in Stockport, as well as an RIP poster.  Very sad to lose his life at just 24 years old and deserved the grave and respect he received but also sad that the men who lived weren't looked after.

For my great grandfather, we have nothing.  I have managed to find a little info of the 1st battalions movements and I am hoping to get some information on doing something with the site of his grave but I was wondering if anybody had any information on him at all from the research that has been done or possibly any photographs of the 1st battalion from 1914-1918.  His parents were margaret and John Ferns and he lived on New Mount Street and Angel Street Manchester in the Angel Meadow area.

i would be so grateful.   Thankyou.

Offline charlie

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Re: John Ferns PTE 9509 1st Battalion
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2019, 09:10:15 PM »
Hello Tracey and welcome to the forum.
Your Great Grandfather arrived in France on 12.01.1915 and as far as I can tell remained with the 1st Bn throughout the war and was discharged on 08.07.1919. His number indicates that he was either a recalled reservist who had originally enlisted about 1904 or that he enlisted at the outbreak of war in 1914. His date of birth,if you know it, should help further.

There are two War Diaries for the 1st Bn, one for its time in France and Flanders and the other for the Middle East. Only the diary for France and Flanders has been digitized and can be view on Ancestry etc. Both diaries are available as downloads from the National Archives, they cost £3-50 each. The diaries are very unlikely to mentioned him but the day to day activities of the Bn are given in some detail.

Charlie
https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7356085
https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/ff4e9428b5514ac3ab41155dcd9aa16a

Offline tracey

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Re: John Ferns PTE 9509 1st Battalion
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2019, 10:44:12 PM »
Hi Charlie,

Thank you so much for your reply and welcome.

 I am on ancestry so will search for the diary.

His date of birth is the 18th June 1886.

Would you know if there are any photographs of the 1st battalion from that time?

Thanks again, Tracey

Offline mack

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Re: John Ferns PTE 9509 1st Battalion
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2019, 06:03:33 AM »
there is a platoon photo that includes his brother Thomas on our forum,thomas was previously in the 22nd manchesters.A.coy.1st platoon,one of the gang may post it for you

mack

Offline charlie

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Re: John Ferns PTE 9509 1st Battalion
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2019, 08:17:37 AM »
Tracey,
Here is a link to the photo Mack mentioned http://themanchesters.org/forum/index.php?topic=4784.0

There are some photos of the 1st Bn here in our Photo and postcard by battalion section
http://themanchesters.org/forum/index.php?board=10.0

There are also photos from all eras of the 1st Bn in the Regiment‘s image library
http://www.manchester-regiment.org.uk/index.php

As you have Ancestry you will be already aware that some of the indexing is „unusual“ to say the least, so a link to the battalion war diary.
https://www.ancestry.co.uk/interactive/60779/43849_3927_0-00000?backurl=&ssrc=&backlabel=Return And see the attached screenshot.

Charlie


Offline tracey

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Re: John Ferns PTE 9509 1st Battalion
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2019, 04:09:11 PM »
I really cannot thank you enough!  I will show my dad the picture of Thomas and see if he can work out which one he is and I am looking forward to looking through the other pictures.

Thank you also for the ancestry link, I had been struggling to find that.

I really appreciate this, thanks again.

Offline tracey

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Re: John Ferns PTE 9509 1st Battalion
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2019, 01:51:25 PM »
I watched the Carl Hinmarch film The Somme last night with the diaries of the 22nd battalion.  Charlie May featured in the film is in the photograph you gave to me with my great uncle Thomas.  I found it really moving.  Thankyou again.