WW1 Military Records for Begents
Extracts from the UK Public Records Office
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The Public Records Office in Kew, Surrey, holds military records for servicemen and women who have served in the UK armed forces. The WW1 records were partly destroyed by enemy bombing during the WW2, but the major part survived and can be viewed by researchers. The WW2 records are still subject to the 75 year privacy law and require payment and evidence of direct family relationship to be viewed. The following is a report recently prepared by Andy Begent on Begent WW1 records .
British Army records First World War Campaign Medal Index - Public Records Office reference WO 372 This index which is available on microfiche contains details on all individuals eligible for campaign medals such as the British, Victory or Star medals. Consequently it provides a useful index of some, though not all, soldiers who participated in the war. I initially searched the index for Begents and found the following. The roll and page references can be used to search the actual medal roll wjich is available under class WO 329: Rank Number Name Corps Medals Roll Page Comments Gunner 105718 Albert Begent RGA Victory & British medals RGA159B page 5935 Lt 201541 Arthur Begent Northampton Regiment Victory & British medals K1101B8 page 1320 Gunner 2504 and 253809 Alfred E Begent RFA and RE Victory & British medals; and 15 Star RE101B30 page 28751; and RE3C8 page 923 1st served France theatre, entered 23/8/15; reserve from 6/4/19 Private 13277 then 447803 Benjamin T Begent R W Kent Regt then Labour Corps Victory & British medals LC101B65 page 16775 PW F/164 Charles Begent Middx Regt Victory & British medals E1102B page 40 Private 49430 Charles Begent Manchester Regt Victory & British medals H1104B23 page 4864 Gunner 71182 Clarence W Begent RGA Victory & British medals RGA265B page 15696 Private 307064 then 653683 Ernest E Begent W Rid R then Labour Corps Victory & British medals LC101B265 page 27017 Gunner 133624 Frederick H? Begent RE Victory & British medals RE101B72 page 15260 Private 9808 F G Begent Essex Regiment Victory & British medals KH102B3 page 129 Private SR/1026 George H Begent 13th/R Fusileers Victory & British medals; and 15 Star SRTP104B page 69; and TP51A page 3 1st served France theatre, entered 30/7/15 Gunner 159808 Harry B Begent RGA Victory & British medals RGA193B page 9358 CSM 57124 Harry Charles Begent RE then Beds SD Entry incomplete - roll RE2572. Enlisted 6/11/14, discharged 7/11/18 Sapper then A/Cpl (T)1335 then 552247 Henry C Begent RE Victory & British medals; and 15 Star RE101B210 page 51605; and RE12B page 4711 1st served France theatre, entered 15/3/15 2/Cpl 126834 Percy C Begent RE Victory & British medals RE101B67 page 14207 Private 9674 Thomas A Begent RGA Victory & British medals; and 15 Star A101B page 77; and A11 page 33 1st served France theatre, entered 19/12/14. Dis 22/5/16 Private R/32742 Thomas Charles Begent KR Rif C Victory & British medals M101B31 page 3874 Private L/9724 W G Begent E Kent Regt Victory & British medals; and 14 Star E2102B14 page 2183; and E23 page 12 Clasp & roses - IV2091C d 26/8/21 Clasp 1/4116 entered France 7/9/14 Private G/24728 Wyndham H Begent The Queens Regt Victory & British medals E1101B13 page 2441 Private 6329 and GS/63214 William Robert Begent 3 London Regt and Royal Fusileers Victory & British medals TP104B19 page 2561 Private 1349 and 435084 Cyril A Beagent 10th London Regt and Labour Corps Victory & British medals; &15 Star LC101B59 page 16164; and LC166C2 page B10219 Entered theatre 29/7/15 Private 46698 George Beagent MGC Victory & British medals MGC101B32 page 2907 Private 6491 and 309357 Harold J Beagent RFC and Tank C Victory & British medals TC101B19 page 3143 Private 7563 and 493530 Stanley H Beagent 13 London Regt Victory & British medals TP13/101133 page 319 returned (1743KR) 7956/adt First World War Soldiers Documents WO 363 Over 60% of soldiers records were lost due to enemy actio in the second world war. The surviving Begents were found under WO363 B1497. WO364 was not checked. The following provides a summary for each surviving Begent record. Copies of the orginal records are available from teh PRO at Kew. 201541 Arthur Begent of 1/4 Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment - PRO ref WO363 B1497 (microfilm) Arthur Begentıs short service attestation took place on 31st July 1915 at Warwick. His record shows that he was aged 31 years and 9 months, five foot six and a half inches tall, with a 34 inch chest that expanded by three inches. He was unmarried, with no previous service, and was employed as a gamekeeper, and was resident at The Gardens, Knowle House, Knowle (near Solihull). His next of kin was his mother, Sarah Begent, of Hastingleigh, Kent. He was transferred to the Northants Regiment on 13th February 1916. The WW1 campaign medal roll shows that he attained the rank of Corporal. He was discharged, aged 35, on 25th July 1919 and intended to live at Rose Cottage, Walcot, Haselor, Alcester, Warwick. He had sustained 50% deafness and was granted a pension of 20 shillings per week from 16th September 1919, to be reviewed after 67 weeks. He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory War Medal and signed a receipt for those on 2nd September 1921. Private 4930 Charles Begent of Manchester Regiment - PRO ref WO363 B1497 (microfilm) Charles Begent was attested on 16th February 1916. His record shows that he was aged 19 years and 5 months, weighed 126 pounds, was five foot six and a half inches tall, with a chest measurement of 36 and a half inches that could expand by 4 and a half inches. His next of kin was his mother Jennie Begent of 6 Lees Street Gorton, and later of 1472 Ashton Old Road Openshaw. After attestation he was placed in reserve and mobilised on 1st March 1917, and posted as a Private the following day. His record shows that on 4th January 1918 while serving with C Company of the 19th Battalion Manchester Regiment he suffered a moderate/severe sprain to his right ankle when he slipped while walking up duckboarding back from the front line. He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory War Medal. Private F/164 Charles Begent of 17th and 23rd Middlesex Regiment - PRO ref WO363 B1497 (microfilm) Charles Begent was attested on 16th January 1915 at Hammersmith. At that time he was described as 29 years and 5 months of age, employed as a brewers labourer and resident at 36 Bransome Park Road in Hammersmith. He was five foot eight and a quarter inches tall, with a 36 inch girth that could be expanded by 3 inches. He weighed 130 pounds and had a mole on his right abdomen. He was married to Ellen (nee Wenborn) of the same address. His record shows that they had married on 4th August 1912 at St Johnıs Church Hammersmith, and they had one child, Dorothy Louis Begent, who had been born at South Hammersmith on 14th August 1913. After his attestation he was immediately posted as a Private to the 17th (Footballers) Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment. He was appointed unpaid L/Cpl on 11th February 1915, and posted to the 23rd (2nd Footballers) Battalion as a Private on 3rd July 1915. After his initial period of Home service he was with the BEF in France from 3rd May 1916. He was appointed as an unpaid L/Cpl on 1st September 1916, but was killed in action on 10th October 1916. His service totalled 1 year and 208 days. His widow, then living at 20 Albion Gardens, Ravenscourt, Hammersmith, was granted a pension of 18 shillings and 9 pence per week from 7th May 1917. He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory War Medal. Gunner 159808 Harry Charles Begent of the Royal Garrison Artillery - PRO ref WO363 B1497 (microfilm) Harry Charles Begent was attested on 8th May 1916. At that time he was described as aged 31 years and 8 months, employed as a dispatch manager, and living at 43 Bradmore Park Road in Hammersmith. He was 5 foot 7 inches tall, with a girth of 37 and a half inches that could expand by 4 inches. His next of kin was his wife Helen Begent of the same address. On 9th May 1916 he was put in reserve and was posted to the Royal Garrison Artillery on 7th May 1917. On 17th November 1917 he appeared before Major B P Hume and was given five days OFP no 2ı (imprisonment?) for neglect of duty the previous day. He was discharged on 20th March 1919, aged 34, to 75 Milson Road, Kensington W14 and granted a pension of 27 shillings and six pence per week from 21st March 1919, then 24/9 pw from 26th June 1919 to be reviewed in 13 weeks. He was given allowances for four children of 30/ pw from 7th April 1919 and then 18/ pw from 25th June 1919. An undated note in his record remains, showing that his correct address should be 3+5+7 Wenlock Road, City Road N1. CSM Instructor 57124 Henry Charles Begent of the Royal Engineers - PRO ref WO363 B1497 (microfilm) Henry Charles Begent was attested at Hounslow on 6th November 1914. At that time he was described as aged 50, a messenger, with previous service with the Royal Engineers and resident at 87 Standard Road in Hounslow.. He was 5 foot 7 inches tall, weighed 163 pounds, had a 40 inch chest that could expand 2 inches. He had grey eyes and brown hair and a large number of tattoos across his chest and both arms. His record shows that he had married Mary Ann Lydia Chase at Kings Chapel in Gibraltar on 1st June 1893. On 7th November 1914 he was promoted from Sapper to CSMI, a rank he retained until his discharge, on the grounds of his age (54 years), on 7th November 1918. He was granted a final weekly allowance of 7/6 from 20th November 1918, to be reviewed after 60 weeks. 126834 Percy Charles Begent Royal Engineers - PRO ref WO363 B1497 (microfilm) Percy Charles Begent was attested on 16th February 1916 at Chichester. He was described as aged 18, born at Shepherdıs Bush, and employed as a clerk-telegraphist, and resident at Elm Dene 66 Kipland Road in Worthing. He was 5 foot 9 inches tall, weighed 132 pounds, and had a 37 inch chest that could expand by 3 inches. On 17th February 1916 he was placed in reserve and was mobilised on 23rd September 1916. He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory War Medal. Soldiers service records 1883-1913 WO97 The book index in the microfilm room revealed the following Begent references; 1883-1900 index - Begent under WO97 2283 1900-1913 index - Begent found under WO97 4338 I then ordered the original documents for checking and found; WO97 4338 - no Begents found (1900-13) Driver 1721 James Begent of the Royal Artillery - PRO ref WO97 2283 (original document) James Begent was attested at Pembroke Dock on 28th September 1860. He was described as aged 24 years and 7 months, born Kingston Surrey, 5 foot 4 and seven-eights inches tall, with a fresh complexion and a chest of 33 and 3/12ths inches. He left the service on 7th May 1869, having served 9 years 137 days, and indicated that he intended to live at Kingston, Surrey. Royal Air Force records Index of Airmen AIR78/12 AIR78 is a microfilm index of names and service numbers of those that have served in the RAF. I conducted a search for Begents and found the following; Name Number Notes Arthur George Beagent 1632112 militia Basil James Beagent 540428 militia H J Beagent 6471 Lily Eileen Beagent 458556 militia A N Begent 155150 F Alan James Begent 2486398 nba? Annie Louie Begent 2142136 nr Eric Begent 2359631 militia Geoffrey Howard Begent 5068230 H G C Begent 216577 F Herbert Julius Begent 1766586 KYD John Thomas Begent 1609315 Ralph Begent 1289736 militia Ronald Begent 2234129 militia Having obtained the service number the original service record can be requested from AIR79. The PRO only holds records under service number 320000, which meant that only two records could be accessed; 155150 Arthur Norris Begent of the Royal Air Force PRO ref AIR79 1392 (original document) Arthur Norris Begentıs service record shows that he was born on 30th October 1900 at Canterbury. He was described as being 5 foot seven and a half inches tall, with a chest of 32 and a half inches and with a civilian employment as a motor mechanic. The person to be informed of his casualty was his father, Richard John Begent, of Boxley Cottage, Stowting, Kent. He entered the army (Royal Flying Corps) on 6th October 1917 for the duration of the war, as a boyı. Initially he was posted to 1SFG. He trasnferred to the RAF on its formation the following April. On 3rd August 1918 he was posted to 1FS and on 30th October 1918, his eighteenth birthday, his Omanı service began and he was rank was described as Private 2 with a trade of Fitter AE (aircraft engines?). On 1st January 1919 he was reclassified as Aircraftsman 2nd Class, and a few days later on 28th January 1919 he voluntarily extended his service for another 4 years. He was posted to Turnberry on 21st June 1919, ERPD Renfrew on 14th September 1919, and Montrose on 16th October 1919. However, he was discharged from the service on 27th April 1920 from Uxbridge due to heart troubleı. He was awarded a 20% pension of 8 shillings per week from 28th April 1920 to 26th October 1920. 216577 Henry George Charles Begent of the Royal Air Force PRO ref AIR79 1949 (original document) Henry George Charles Begent joined the Royal Navy Air Service for the duration of the war on 14th June 1916. According to his record he had been born at Hammersmith on 19th July 1890 and worked as a clerk in civilian life. His wife Beatrice lived at 7 Tabor Road in Hammersmith. He was described as 5 foot 6 and a quarter inches tall, with a 33 inch chest, dark hair, brown hair with a medium complexion and no scars. He was posted as an Aircraftsman 2nd Class (AC2) on joining on 14th June 1916, initially at Kingsnorth, and promoted to AC1 on 30th April 1917. He transferred to the RAF on its inception on 1st April 1918 and was discharged as a class g reserve on 30th April 1920. Prior to leaving the service he had been transferred to Cranwell on 20th March 1919 and Prices Heath on 26th June 1919. Royal Navy records Ratings Service Records 1853-1891, 1892-1912, 1913-1923 (ADM 188) I first checked the indexes on microfilm to look for any Begents in these three periods. I found the following; Ref Name Number(s) DOB Joined Place of birth ADM188 246 Thomas Begent 75836 & 71523 15 Feb 1838 1858 Hythe Kent ADM188 1133 none ADM188 1156 Sydney Thomas Edgar Begent J36186 1898 1915 Paddington ADM188 1156 Henry George Begent F16577 1890 1916 Hammersmith Although I ordered the original documents under ADM188 64, 628 and 593 respectively, unfortunately I did not have time to view them. From RNVR records held at PRO Yeovilton: L9/2967 AB Jas. Henry Begent RNVR Joined Hawke Bn. 7/9/14. Escaped from Holland between 6/7/15 & 16/7/15. HMS "Europa" (Base ship Mudros) 25/11/15-7/3/16. Listed in the 1914 Star roll as receiving his medal 17/6/19 at the HQ RNVR London; & his Clasp & Roses to the 1914 Star 21/12/20. (Also entitled to the British War & Victory Medal)
With thanks to Andy Begent firstname.lastname@example.org
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