Monday, 15 April 2013

A-Z 2013 'M' is for Military

(Grandad's WW1 certificate)

Military records can often produce hitherto unknown details - precisely because the armed forces were required to maintain accurate records (although, in the earlier years those details were largely taken on trust, as it was assumed applicants would be truthful in the information they supplied!)

I've come across those members of my family who chose military careers, as well as the faithful ones who responded to their nation's call in times of war.

This is my 2xGreat Grandfather William Routledge in his uniform as a corporal in the Royal Artillery:
(this is the family who travelled to Bermuda, mentioned in 'J' is for Journeys... )

My maternal Grandfather, Joseph Edward Beattie, a 'sapper' in the Royal Artillery, WW1:

.....and James, one of his brothers:

Interestingly, another two of my Grandfather's brothers had earlier emigrated to Australia, but duly enlisted to fight for 'King and Country' and were sent to France as members of the ANZAC forces. Unbelievably, they met up with my Grandfather during a lull in the fighting, having not seen each other for nearly a decade. (there's a semi-fictionalised account of the hair-raising outcome of that here !)

Rolling forward to the next world-wide conflict, here's my Dad in his RAF uniform:

The 'boys in blue' (slang reference to members of the Royal Air Force, mainly the 'fly-boys'!) are often remembered for dog-fights over London and the Battle of Britain; but they also needed ancillary staff - thus my Dad was a motorcycle despatch-rider posted in Italy and North Africa. He sometimes had to ride out behind the enemy lines with the LRDG's (long range desert group). The tales he told about them would make your hair stand on end - they were the inception of the now world-famous British SAS! :-o

Here's Dad looking a bit smarter in his 'dress' uniform, getting married to Mum in 1942:


  1. You are really blessed to have gotten so much info on your family. What really amazes me is the photo's, Your photo's are incredible.

    I just received a reply to an email today from my grandfathers niece who I tracked down (it was not easy!). We have never met and indeed before two months ago I didn't even know her father existed.

    Funny but more than anything I would really love to see how much her father looked like my grandfather his younger brother.

  2. Thanks for sharing. It was very interesting.

  3. Those are some great pictures! I collect abandoned WWI soldier portraits, there's so many of them in antique shops just stuffed in boxes.

  4. I come from a long line of military. I am the first generation to not join. The Army did not like me for some reason.

    Dropping by from A to Z. This is my first year participating and I am having a blast.

    Brett Minor
    Transformed Nonconformist

  5. I think it is so awesome that you have these pictures and such a great history!
    Blessings, Joanne

  6. It still amazes me how much you were able to find on your family...and how far back.

    It seems like all pictures taken around the time of the top one makes the people in them look like evil zombies! But then they couldn't smile could they.

    Chuck at Apocalypse Now