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Thread: Trying to find WW2 service records for my grand father

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    Default Trying to find WW2 service records for my grand father

    I hope this is the correct section to post this.
    I am trying to find service records for my grand father, now deceased, for my uncle (his son).
    The RAF member concerned is as follows:
    WW2
    Ernest Harwin service No. 1879437
    RAF Station, Grimsby, Lincolnshire.

    This is is the only information I have on him.
    My Uncle was sent to an orphanage when Ernest joined the RAF an he never saw his father again.
    My Uncle is now in his 80's and would like to know what his father did in WW2

    Any help would be greatly appreciated, I am from Australia

  2. #2
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    ozengines, Hi - and welcome to the Forum.

    You need to apply to get his RAF Service Record (see https://www.gov.uk/get-copy-military-service-records). Work through that. If you have any problems then come back on this forum - there are many who will help you through the various hoops! This Service Record will be full of acronyms, RAF shortened forms, and arcane abbreviations. Do not worry. Again, many here will help decipher them!! It will tell you where he was posted (and from/to when), it will tell you what Training Courses he might have been on, it will tell you if he was hospitalised at any time, it will tell you quite a lot. It will cost you 30 GBP and take a couple of months to arrive - but you will have some difficulty in progressing your researches without it!!

    Ernest Harwin's Service Number (1879437) is in the allocated block 1869809-1889800. These were issued at Cardington in May 1943. Do you have his DoB, and/or DoD? It makes finding him in the UK Births/Marriages/Deaths databases, and/or newspapers, that much easier!

    Good luck!!

    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    I've looked up FINDMYPAST and can find the following information.

    Born 7 May 1902 - there's a coincidence today. Died 1977 in Peterborough. I could find no other deaths of a similar name.

    This leads to some new potential lines of enquiry. First, Harwin's birth certificate and entry in the 1911 census and probably the special census done at the start of the war (can't think what it's called offhand). Next the death certificate will show who registered the death and where it took place and the cause. This might lead to a second family being identified.

    Can we establish if Mr Harwin's son is now living in Australia and if so, was he shipped to that country under one of the many schemes?

    If ozengines wants me to look at the 1911 census, please let me know.

    However, don't delay with taking Peter's advice as a parallel search path might produce all sorts of information.

    Colin Cummings

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    Mr Ernest Harwin is my grand father, his son Derek Harwin (my uncle) lives here in Australia. Derek does not use computers so I am searching for him. Derek's daughter here says she looked once and got a reply that Ernest Harwin's records were never to be released. What would the reason for that be, he joined the AirForce after coming off a farm so I don't know what secrecy would be involved in his Service having no airforce skills.
    i guess I will have to pay the 30 and see what happens.
    I think my uncle came out as a 10 Pom and re-settled here as did my later mother.
    Regards
    Peter
    Last edited by ozengines; 7th May 2016 at 23:30.

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    Morning all,

    My interest was piqued when I saw RAF Grimsby mentioned!! Grimsby was, of course, commonly known as Waltham, and was home, at various times in the war, to 142 Squadron, 100 Squadron, 550 Squadron, and 9100 Servicing Echelon.

    I've searched my 100 Squadron aircrew database and no Harwins flew operationally with 100, so unless he was with 550 (142 Squadron had left long before Ernest joined up) then we can safwly assume he was a groundcrew trade, either on the strength of RAF Grimsby, or with 9100 Servicing Echelon. Colin and Peter's advice re: obtaining a copy of his service record is definitely the best way forward, as once you have it, we'll have something concrete to work with. I have the records for RAF Grimsby in WW2, but (in common with most station records during the war) they rarely mention individuals. However, they do give a good "overview" of station and squadron life. Once we know for sure when he was there, and what he did, I'll be happy to go through the records for you and see what I can find.

    L/O

    Greg
    "You can take the boy out of Wales,
    But you can't take Wales out of the boy!!"

    Greg Harrison
    100 Squadron and 100 Squadron Association Historian
    100 Squadron Researcher 1917 - present day
    1 Group Researcher 1940 - 1945

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    Thank you Greg, I will apply for his service records and let everyone know how I went.

    Regards
    Peter

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    Hello, ernest harwin was my granddad i have his service and release book. So i guess you must be my cousin. I have been trying to locate Uncle dereck for my mum barbara for afew years as she misplaced his contact details. Would love to talk to you. Donna

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    Hi Donna, you might want to click on Peters username and click on send email option, it will give you an email address for him. He's not logged on in 2 years, might not be seeing this message.
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by dennis_burke View Post
    Hi Donna, you might want to click on Peters username and click on send email option, it will give you an email address for him. He's not logged on in 2 years, might not be seeing this message.
    Hi Dennis I did try but couldn't get it to work. I would really love to get in touch with him, my mum was so excited thinking she can talk to her brother Derek again. I will have another go.
    If it works for you would you be able to send message for me I would be very grateful.
    Kind regards Donna casbon

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    Hi Dennis I have managed to send Peter an email so fingers crossed.
    Donna

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