Hi everyone. I'm so glad I found this site. Been trying to track down a long lost grandfather for ages and thanks to the AVL's that were so kindly sent to me I now know where he was during the 1st WW. Anyone who knew Irwell Place or has photo's of the area i'd love to see. Thanks Audrey
Post by Hawker Hurricane on May 27, 2012 12:15:08 GMT
Welcome Audrey, and thanks for joining us. Glad to hear you found something useful to help in your research. That's what SWARM is all about!!
I know that the Salford Local History Library have an extensive (and impressive, if slightly disorganised) collection of photographs. I'm not sure when I'll next have a chance to pop in, but when I do, I'll have a butchers for any photos of Irwell Place and surroundings. Unless someone else beats me to it!!
Many thanks for joining us and thank you for allowing us to tell some of your grandfather's story. I hope I have detailed the story "so far" correctly, but please feel free to add/correct anything that I write hereunder.
Outside the Imperial War Museum North hangs a banner with the words “War changes lives” Audrey’s grandfather’s life confirms that war does change lives.
Audrey knew very little about her grandfather, she had met him once in about 1945 and she remembers him as “a mild, gentle, short man and that was about 1945. Since he gave me a bracelet I thought him lovely!” Audrey asked us to send the absent voters list to try and track her grandfather. Upon receipt of the AVLs she discovered her grandfather Thomas Andrews living at 12 Irwell St, Salford. The AVL listed Thomas as serving with the 8th Lancashire Fusiliers, service number 3381. As Audrey lives in Australia we offered to try and find any information that may be available with regards to Thomas Andrews. We checked the usual on-line resources but could not find a Thomas Andrews who had served with the Lancashire Fusiliers, however, there was a Thomas Andrews, service number 3381, who had served with the 1/5th South Lancashire Regiment.
Please see medal card hereunder:
Our first concern was; is this the correct man? Our second was; the words “medals restored” written on the medal card. As far as we understand the term “medals restored” normally means that there was some doubt as to whether the medals should be issued to the soldier because of serious misconduct. We carried out some more searches and found a second medal card for the same soldier.
Please see medal card hereunder:
Thomas Andrews had won the DCM. We quickly checked whether Thomas Andrews name was in the index cards for the presentation of a illuminated scroll from Salford Council.
Please see index card hereunder:
Please see citation hereunder:
The address given is 12 Irwell Place, Irwell St, Salford. We had the correct man. This information was sent to Audrey whom replied “ I’m so impressed, though I did hear from my mother that he had got a medal and it would have been the VC if he hadn’t punched an officer! That’s obviously the incident when they took some medals away!” Is this why the Army had had doubts about issuing Thomas’ medals? Thomas never attended the civic reception as it is now known that he no longer lived at 12 Irwell Place in 1920. His illuminated certificate still lies in a box in the Salford archives.
In 1918 Thomas received the news that his wife had died due to the Spanish Flu pandemic. His children were taken into care by his disapproving mother-in-law who had always held Thomas with little regard.
Thomas returned from the war suffering, it is believed, from shell shock. He spent many years recovering from his mental trauma and due to this and a disapproving mother-in-law he saw very little of his son and daughter. Audrey writes “My Mum’s grandmother didn’t like him but apparently she didn’t like many people particularly those that married her children! So Ma was kept away from her Dad though she told me he’d been in and out of mental hospitals after the war so presumably would have been unable to look after 2 small children.”
In 1937 Thomas married, Francis Lewis, a nurse who had helped him overcome the effects of the war.
Audrey is now trying to gather further information with regards to her grandfather and any help that members of the forum can offer would be appreciated.