I am searching for the service records for 'Bernard Evans' who passed away homeless in 1974. He is my mother-in-law's father.

(1) We have a copy of his NSW marriage certificate of 1948 which says he was born in Essex, England and his occupation in England (prior to 1948) was as a "deck hand".

(2) Also we have a copy of one of his children's NSW death certificate in 1954, which shows our family was living in army hut "121A Hargrave Park, (Warwick Farm) Liverpool, NSW".

 When Bernard Evans passed away in 1974, he was homeless and estranged from his family. He was buried in an unmarked grave at Rookwood Cemetery. Recently, with the assistance of staff at Rookwood Cemetery, we have been able to locate and identify the plot where he was buried.

We would like to obtain Bernard Evans'

  • Australian army records, and if possible his British service records also, and
  • any service medals he may have been entitled to, for his family to cherish in his memory

Our goal is also to have

  • his unmarked grave identified with an appropriately inscribed plaque, and
  • his death certificate amended so that it shows he did have family, instead of many entries of "unknown"

Could you please advise me where and how I can start searching for his service records.

Greatly appreciated, thankyou,

Sam Puglisi

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Sam,  You can search for any war record on this site via Record Search

If you know his approx birth date it would help identify him as there are a few possibles

 

I am not sure if you can have his death certificate amended as that was the record when he died - The NSW bdm registry office will be able to advice on this

 

Elizabeth

Thanks Elizabeth. I don't know if I'm doing something wrong, or I'm in the wrong area of Record Search, but no where does it ask me for his date of birth. His date of birth is 9th May 1924. If you can send me the link to where I should be at, would be appreciated.

Many thanks,

Sam Puglisi

Sam,  To search for service records I only ever put in the name and not a birthdate as often people joined up with different birthdates for various reasons and they are not always accurate

Just try putting his name into record search or use the name search and try WW2 records - all depends on whether he was in the Navy, Army or Airforce but you can select which records to search

If you cant find him there I can have a look for you as I am used to using these NAA records or you could see if he is listed on the War Memorial Site www.awm.gov.au

His full records are probably not online unless someone has requested them but on the NAA site here you can request copies of his records

Sorry I confused you with the comment about his birth date - what I meant is if you know it it will help identify the correct record if there are several with the same name

I will have a quick look and see if I can find it

Let me know how you go

 

Elizabeth

Sam,  I have done a quick search of NAA and there are quite a few Bernard EVANS listed but only two born in England & neither of them were born in 1924

I then checked the War Memorial site and found all the Bernard EVANS listed so hope you can access it through this link

http://www.ww2roll.gov.au/NameSearch.aspx

If not you can try a search of the War Memorial site for WW2 records (Nominal Rolls)

It is possible he signed up under another name or a different birthdate

 

Elizabeth

Hi Sam,

Bernard was in the Army long after WW2 so his records will still be with the Department of Defence.  Details are here http://www.defence.gov.au/foi/onbehalf.htm  Your mother-in-law would have to apply.

If you are able to get his records then they should document any previous military service and so then you can work backwards from there.

I do wonder if he would have served in WW2?  If he was born in 1924 he would have been aged between 15 and 21 during the war years, and the earliest he could have enlisted in Australia would have been 1943 when the minimum age was lowered to 19 - he would still have needed consent from a parent or guardian.  Of course he could have lied about his age if he could get away with it.

It seems unlikely that he would have served in the UK and then enlisted again in Australia at such a young age, but if you find that this is the case then the UK service records are still with the MOD. Details are here http://www.veterans-uk.info/service_records/service_records.html

The marriage certificate would give his occupation at the time of marriage, not previously, so if he isn't a soldier on that certificate then I think it is more likely that he joined the army after his marriage.

Cheers,

Debra

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