As some of you know I’ve been working on transcribing a First World War diary for some time, and am currently tidying up the text and filling in some gaps before a final push to get it published. One of the jobs is to make sure that every person mentioned has a little note explaining who they were: name, rank, years of death and birth. To that end, on my last visit to The National Archives at Kew I collected as many service records as possible. However, I’ve only just finished cataloguing them in the past week (on which more in due course), and have found quite a few glaring omissions, one of which I found just this morning.
One of the officers who needs a note is Commander Frederic Gerald Stuart Peile, who served as navigating officer, Commander (N), of the dreadnought battleship Emperor of India in the Grand Fleet from September 1914 to December 1915, in which capacity he is mentioned in the diary. Normally his service record in the ADM 196/4# series would be expected to have his date of death. So I plugged in Frederic Peile into my laptop search engine and nothing came up. ‘Bother’, thought I. I tend to always be in a rush at archives, so It is always possible that in my haste I may have missed a record or two. Just to be sure, though, I checked the The National Archive’s Discovery catalogue. There was no mention of his ADM 196/4# service record.
I therefore proceeded to the index in ADM 196/57. Peile is mentioned there. Plenty of his term mates from his 15 January 1895 entry to H.M.S. Britannia are listed in the relative section of ADM 196/46. So where is Peile? Was his page just missed when the records were microfilmed, or when they were digitised? Or was his entry trashed, as occasionally happens. Time to inquire of the Discovery team at Kew, who will hopefully supply answers, and also the record.
2 thoughts on “One of our Records is Missing”
He has records in several of the other RN officer series and looking at one of these, ADM 196/142/390 http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D8121651 and looking at the new “Other Possible Matches” feature at the bottom the page suggests that in ADM 196/46 his surname has been mistranscribed as Peilo and his record is ADM 196/46/20 http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D7603527
A mistranscription is always the most likely reason a record is a little difficult to find, so I started searching in the guided search for RN papers (in the relevant research guide) but using just his forename Frederic (as the spelling without a K is less common) and for surname I used the wildcard search feature and just searched for P*
If you confirm that this is the correct entry, please do submit a catalogue correction
Thanks for the comment, David. I’ve sent the Discovery team a message (and another one on another record).