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Service records of soldiers in the Brititsh army
People - 6 individual histories
Private/Army: Thomas Aageson
Officer/Army: JRR Tolkien
Officer/RAF: Indra Lal Roy
Rating/Navy: James Dellbridge
Member/WAAC: Annie Ellwood
Officer/Army (executed): Eric Poole

Private's service record: Thomas Aageson

Thomas Aageson (sometimes spelt Ageson) was born in Lanarkshire. Although none of the papers in his service record file in WO 363/A127 reveals his exact date of birth, the information on his medical history sheet - compiled in September 1916, when his age was recorded as 37 years and 10 months - suggests that he was probably born in November 1878.

Aageson was a ship rigger by trade and lived in Glasgow with his wife and five children. He was a little over five feet tall, with a large number of tattoos (including an eagle, a flag, a girl, and a sailor) adorning his torso and arms.

Aageson was not Glossary - opens new windowattested until December 1915 - perhaps unsurprising given his relatively advanced age when war broke out in August 1914. He was then mobilised for active service in the Glossary - opens new windowRoyal Engineers in September 1916 and posted to a training camp in Sandwich.

Aageson appears to have spent 21 months serving overseas from July 1917 until his demobilisation in May 1919. His file shows that he worked as a sapper in France, but gives little detail about his precise location and movements during this period.

Thomas Aageson conduct sheet - opens new window
Medical history sheet

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Very little in Aageson's file sheds any light on his character or his ability as a soldier. According to his company conduct sheet, he was disciplined for drunkenness on three separate occasions. In September 1916, he was charged with 'being in possession of spirituous liquor' and docked 28 days' pay. In May and July 1918, he was given similar fines for two further bouts of drunkenness, the first of which also saw him go absent without leave for two hours.

An interesting postscript to Aageson's wartime service survives in the form of a declaration that he signed in December 1933. This reveals that he had lost his discharge papers and other 'small belongings including meddles (sic)' in Wellington, New Zealand. The location of this mishap could suggest that he resumed his career as a seafarer after the war.

Conduct report - opens new window
Conduct report sheet(127k)

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