Author Topic: Serious sleuthing needed  (Read 739 times)

17124

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Serious sleuthing needed
« on: October 26, 2019, 05:50:00 PM »
 I could really do with some serious sleuthing with this.

I’ll start by saying I have such limited information that it may be impossible to find any answers.  I’ve spent over 15 years trying to find out what happened to him.  Below is what I have been “told”
 
Peter Burns/Byrnes born Belfast 1878 (father recorded as soldier on siblings records)  is alleged to have died approx 1918, when the ship he was aboard was torpedoed. 
He set off one day saying goodbye to the family & never returned
No information whether it was a military or civilian ship but it is believed he was in “the forces” at the time. 
There was some kind of “military funeral” likely Belfast.
 
He is not with the family in 1901 census.  Occupation unknown.
I have tried to find him amongst the army/naval/merchant records & failed.
No record found in CWGC
Failed to find a marriage.
Failed to find a death record prior to 1918.
His elder brother went to Scotland sometime after 1908 & died in Glasgow 1948 (single – confirmed Scotland people death records).
Could he have worked the ships between Ireland & Scotland (name like Burns, nightmare)
Rest of family all remained & died in Belfast.
 
Where was he in 1901 census?
Could he have left for pastures new?
Could he have been in prison?Could he have worked the boats?
I appreciate there were many WW1 casualties reported in the newspapers in Belfast but wondered whether there could be something about this incident, particularly a military style funeral of sorts to the men who died, or civilians who were caught up in any incident involving torpedoes ships?
 
 So, as always, to break down this brick wall, I’d appreciate any focussed info on this fella.

Argo

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Re: Serious sleuthing needed
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2019, 08:16:37 PM »
Hi. Could you be a bit more specific on your details? Burns or Byrnes? Also where did you find his birth record? I can't find him on Irish Genealogy site. Not quite sure on how he would have military funeral if he died when his ship was torpedoed, that is if he died at sea?

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai001504624/            Peter Burns

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1901/Antrim/Falls_Ward/Earls_Court_Street/979985/             Peter Burns different  guy date close to his birth age.

What was his fathers name? Hope this helps you get a better response. Good luck.

17124

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Re: Serious sleuthing needed
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2019, 06:51:06 PM »
Hi Argo

Peter's baptism/birth records show him as Peter BURNS however, his father is shown on various records as Peter or Patrick BURNS. 

 His birth year was 1878, but of course, there is the little porkies that were told about age, especially when it came to getting work.  His niece was in her late teens when he died and remembered him well.

 As for the "military funeral" I did say it was what I was "told" andobviously as you say it would be difficult to have a funeral if he perished at sea.  I have wondered if a civilian ship had been torpedoed that could have brought the people out onto the streets to pay their respects & maybe  something may have been reported in a newspaper. Peter doesn't appear to be in the 1901 or 1911 census (he could have been on a merchant ship as crew).  His father was in the army until Peter was born   not that I can find any army records for him either.  If Peter had joined up it may add some credence to his being on a torpedoed ship?

 I think if other eyes could take a look at merchant or army records, as I may have missed something, might find something to help move forward (I'm not the best at researching the forces records) and the newspapers may throw something up too.  With no more information than his name, year of birth or occupation, I am floundering.  Perhaps, I will never find out.  I do however appreciate your help.

Many thanks
 17124

Argo

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Re: Serious sleuthing needed
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2019, 08:06:46 PM »

17124

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Re: Serious sleuthing needed
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2019, 09:09:34 PM »
Thanks Argo, I have Peters's correct birth/baptism records.  It's what happened to him around 1918 that I need to establish  ???

Hopefully someone will find something relating to him in  the newspapers.  I can only keep searching and thanks for looking.  17124


Argo

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Re: Serious sleuthing needed
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2019, 10:24:01 PM »
Here is some info that looks promising.
https://wartimememoriesproject.com/greatwar/allied/battalion.php?pid=6945
HMS Drake was torpedoed off Rathlin Island 2/10.1917 a Peter Burns service number Z/1656 Drake BN Royal Naval Reserve died 21/08/1918 he is buried in ACHIET-LE-GRAND COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION Sp. Mem. 3.
This looks very interesting.This record is on the Commowealth Graves Commission site.

17124

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Re: Serious sleuthing needed
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2019, 12:27:10 AM »
It is interesting

BURNS, Patrick, Able Seaman, RNVR, Clyde Z 1656     https://www.naval-history.net/xDKCas1918-08Aug.htm 
Able Seaman BURNS P
Service Number ClydeZ/1656
Died 21/08/1918
Drake Bn. R.N. Div.                                               
 Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve

Patrick CZ/1656 was born in 1880 according to National Archives, sadly not my Peter (even were he using an alias)

Patrick wasn't on board HMS DRAKE when torpedoed as Drake Bn fought as infantry.

On October 2nd 1917 HMS Drake had just finished escort duties for convoy HH24 from America, near Rathlin Island off the north coast of Ireland. The convoy dispersed at 08.03 am , but just over an hour later HMS Drake was torpedoed under the second funnel by U-79 under the command of Lieutenant Commander Otto Rohrbeck. The U boat was on patrol in the area and had laid a string of 11 mines between Rathlin Island and the mainland only a few days before.

So, back to the drawing board for now  ::)


JimG

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Re: Serious sleuthing needed
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2019, 01:10:08 PM »

your Peter Burns  b Belfast, aged 22, Stoker engine room 416, is in 1911 census England  Medway Kent so possibly born younger than expected.
he is listed as far I can deduce as part of the crew of HMS Indomitable an armoured cruiser redesignated as battlecruiser see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Indomitable_(1907)  it doesnt mention this ship as been torpeded it was dismantled or mothballed 1919

genesreunited also gives 7 records for a peter burns b in 1889, 3 in Stockton on Tees, 3 in Dumfriesshire, I without location of birth with tree holder Kaye. you need to join to take further.i would suggest this is best left to consider at a later date.   
An annual Navy list was published but they might only have included officers. the navy book
keep going

JimG

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Re: Serious sleuthing needed
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2019, 01:31:21 PM »
books in linenhall library, belfast . Not checkanble by me in England
The Royal Navy list or who's who in the Navy : a book of reference relating to the personnel of the  .London (Witherby and Co., 1915. [/font][/color]
The navy list corrected to the 18th July 1899.  London : For H.M.S.O : printed by J.J. Keliher, 1899. [/font][/color]

JimG

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Re: Serious sleuthing needed
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2019, 01:49:01 PM »
Argon your man in [size=0px]http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai001504624/[/font][/size][size=0px]            Peter Burns  is 34 years old so rule out for time being[/size]

JimG

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Re: Serious sleuthing needed
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2019, 02:09:06 PM »
https://www.emeraldancestors.com[/font][/color]
no births relevant[/font][/color]
marriages[/font][/color]
 need checking Argon has the first entry and ruled out[/font][/color]
1907   Peter  Burns  m Lavinia  XXXXXX   Lisburn           Antrim / Down          [/font][/color]
1908   Peter  BURNS m Elizabeth  XXXXXXX         Belfast            Antrim [/font][/color]
1916   Peter  BURNS Brigid  Emmerald      Castleblayney            Armagh[/font][/color]
1918   Peter  BURNS m        Ann Elizabeth  XXXX Belfast            Down[/font][/color]
[I tried English marriages in freebmds without success][/font][/color]
 [/font][/color]
deaths 2nd one needs checkinh[/font][/color]
1909   Peter Burns                           Down             [/font][/color]
1919   Peter Jun Burns                    Antrim / Down [/font][/color]

[/font][/color]
i also tried Eddies extracts unsuccessfully. but am unsure i searched it correctly[/font][/color]

[/font][/color]
HMS Caroline Belfast Docks might be worth writing to. running out of suggestions [/font][/color]
I dont think I can offer more, so lots of luck and dont give up[/font][/color]
my memory thinks somewhere like Portsmouth had a naval memorial listing all who lost their lives at sea known or otherwise remembered[/font][/color]

17124

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Re: Serious sleuthing needed
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2019, 05:11:57 PM »
JimG, thanks for all your time and searches.  He's certainly a difficult man to find.

I just want to throw something into the pot here to see what you guys think.  I'm wondering whether jumbled up memories could well explain some confusion re the "military funeral story"  Seems plausible to me!  It makes for a good read all the way to the end.

http://historyhubulster.co.uk/peace/

Anyone have any views on newspaper articles re this man's death?

Argo

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Re: Serious sleuthing needed
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2019, 01:26:40 PM »
I have seen on St Patrick's baptism record that Peter Junior's father put his own name as Peter on his baptism record instead of Patrick. Just wonder if Peter the son did likewise with his name that is used both Peter and Patrick?

cookstown

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Re: Serious sleuthing needed
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2019, 07:39:09 PM »
just like to put this one in the pot for consideration. I dont have the name but what I may have is the possible incident so here goes.  On the 10 October, 1918 a ship called the RMS Leinster set sail from Ireland to go to Holyhead.  It was one of four ships called after the Irish Provinces i.e. Munster, Ulster, Connaught and of course Leinster.  It ran the mail service between Ireland and the UK.  The people on board were a mixture of nationalities both made up of civilians and Service personnell.  During the course of its journey to Holyhead it was torpedoed by a German U Boat (UB123) and sank with the loss of over 500 lives both civilian and service people.  Needless to say it made the headlines and only last year was a major article in the Irish Times.  Fair to suggest there possibly was both military and civilian funerals. As I said at the start cant find your name your looking for but think this is worth some thought.
Regards Cookstown  PS  If you google british/Irish ships torpedoed 1918 you should see bits/bobs there.     

Argo

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Re: Serious sleuthing needed
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2019, 01:18:06 PM »
https://rmsleinster.com/people/_people.htm
Sadly there are  Burns on the casualty list but not Peter/Patrick.