Dear Sir: Driven by curiousity to identify his place in the family tree, I have gleaned the following information about John Duckenfield of the Royal Rifles. Having found images of his (much worn and not in their entirety) enlistment papers I find that he was 18 years and 6 months old, 5 feet 5 and 1/4 inches tall, 166 lbs, chest 32 1/2 to 34 inches.
Fresh complexion, Grey eyes and brown hair. Church of England; Tattos on forearms. His occupation is listed as file forger; he appears to have still lived with his family.
Has the word "spiecal" in quotation marks in the comments box; I'm assuming that this is supposed to be "special"?
This document is dated 30-10-99 (October 30, 1899). If he was 18 and 1/2 then, he must have been born circa 1 May 1881. He would have been nearly 34 years at the time of death in March 1915.
The enlistment was for 12 years (first 7 active, remaining 5 in reserves). As John was killed in action in France/Flanders in 1915, one must assume he either renewed his enlistment or was recalled.
Unfortunately, I've yet to identify his parents, as no next of kin was listed on the one page left of his enlistment documents, but I will continue to search and update you of any discoveries.
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