When I originally volunteered to contribute to the this series I planned to submit two posts: the first about a Tommy whoÂ fought on the front line and died of his injuries,Â and the second about a Tommy who remained on home soil doing a very different type of war work. Unfortunately, my research did not go to plan.
The person I had hoped to write about was my fatherâ€™s paternal grandfather, Frederick James Newing. Frederick was a domestic chauffer for most of his working life, and I have always been told that he spent the war driving military vehicles on to transport ships at a port somewhere in Kent. The only item we have in our family collection related to Frederickâ€™s war service is the photographÂ on the right.Â We found it in a box of miscellaneous family photos and it is unlabelled. My dad thought the two men pictured might be his granddad, Frederick, on the left, and his great uncle Harry, Frederickâ€™s brother in law on the right. However, as both men passed away when he was a child he couldnâ€™t be sure.
Unfortunately, despite searching extensively through the Soldiers Records (the so-called burnt records) on theÂ Ancestry website and the First World War Army Medal cards on The National ArchivesÂ website,Â I could not find anything about Frederick. It surprised me, as he has been very easy to track through the rest of his life. However, I know this is how research can sometimes turn out.