Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Complete Story Can Be across Several Records; Life of Ballina-Born Noel Irving Horsfield Reveals That He Joined Army in March 1936

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Complete Story Can Be across Several Records; Life of Ballina-Born Noel Irving Horsfield Reveals That He Joined Army in March 1936

Article excerpt

WHILE searching the War Memorial records for service personnel, it is wise to check in more than one of their indexes as sometimes the complete story is spread over several records.

When they enlisted, many men (and possibly women) often gave incorrect information so they would be accepted by the armed services. This usually meant that a soldier was really under age, older than the maximum age, or had enlisted previously and been discharged or rejected for some reason.

Incorrect information could be given for age, date or place of birth, parent's name, spouse's name, or residence. If questioning the information in a record, it is wise to then try to check with other sources -- BDM (in all states), electoral rolls, family history databases and so on.

Take for example the case of Noel Irving Horsfield. According to the BDM(NSW), he was born at Ballina in 1905 to parents Joseph V.H. and Fanny A. Horsfield. In 1927, according to the BDM(Vic), he married Christina Edith Ralph.

Family history and other records tell us that his parents were married in Casino in 1896, that they had children born at Ballina, Casino and Glen Innes, that his father died in Tasmania in 1918 and his mother died in Victoria in 1949. Noel was living in Victoria in the 1930s and his occupation in 1934 is given as stevedore.

On March 5, 1936, he enlisted at Fitzroy, Victoria, and joined the Army.

He stated that he had been born in Glen Innes on October 18, 1905 (i.e. this year tallies with the BDM record but not the place of birth). He gave his next of kin as his wife, Christina, but no details of his place of residence.

He was discharged (date unknown) while attached to the 29 Battalion. The 29th was a famous First World War battalion which had become part of the militia in the 1920s and then amalgamated with the 22nd in 1930. …

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