HI I am trying to find some record of my grandfather who was a soldier in WW2 and I am not having any luck.

Hi name was Hector Arnold Padman. He was born in Smithton Tasmania on 25/9/1916. He tried to commit Suicide after the war and I can find 2 court notices saying that he was remanded into custody for this dated 10/9/1952. My father says that he was in the light horse and he was sent to France. But when my aunt died we lost his service medals. He apparently was sent to live in Hobart Tasmania in a place for soldiers who couldn't cope after the war and he died 19/3/1958 there.

I'm not sure where to search or where to look now as its almost as if he didn't exist. Any help would be appreciated.

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Hi Jocelyn,

Your grandfather does not appear on the WW2 nominal roll at http://nominal-rolls.dva.gov.au/

My best guess is that the story was made up to explain away his health problems.  You should purchase his death certificate which will show you exactly where he died, which may have been an institution, and also cause of death. 


If he was admitted to the Lachlan Park Hospital then the records are on open access which is surprising as they are normally closed for 100 years.  Some information here:


The link to the online enquiry form seems to be wrong so use this one:


Hi Jocelyn,

I’d waited a bit before answering as I’d had the same gut feeling as Debra, but didn't want to step on any toes. I am aware that not everything is online yet and could be wrong here, but things don’t seem to be adding up.  

- Sites like http://www.lighthorse.org.au/  and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Light_Horse#Post_World_War_I seem to indicate that the Light Horse went to the Middle East and Asia during WW2, but Europe does not appear to be mentioned.

- I have found Hector mentioned in Tasmania in 1942 (newspaper) and 1943 (elec roll), but cannot find anywhere that he ever left Tasmania during WW2.

- It is also very convenient that the medals just disappeared … (And if they really existed ….maybe they were never Hector’s to start with, but had been issued to another family member (in WW1?))


Mental health issues can still be a painful topic nowadays, but previous generations would acknowledge them even less. I’ve just been debunking various stories (re mental illnesses, criminal records, inheritances etc) in another family, so family “white lies” are not uncommon.


Debra has already made some suggestions.  Additionally, I was wondering whether there might be an inquest into his 1958 death or some hints in his 1947 marriage certificate as well. You could also contact http://www.lighthorse.org.au/ , to determine once and for all whether there really was a relationship with these regiments.


Good luck



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