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Can anyone decipher this word on a WW1 army record?

(26 Posts)
TabbyCatPartyHat Thu 11-Jun-20 20:29:49

I’ve unexpectedly found an ancestor that died in 1917, in northern France. As part of his WW1 Army Service Record, there is a section labelled as his ‘Military History Sheet’ - and under the part for ‘Wounded’ it says ‘pw neck’ and then this word followed by some numbers...and I can’t make out the word at all. Later on in the record it details his injuries/cause of death as gun shot wounds over most of his body including his neck, but I can’t see any other references to this word.

It was one of those discoveries where I just came away from the computer feeling so sad, and the poor lad has been on my mind since. Can anyone decipher it? I’ve done lots of genealogy and even some paleography training but I just can’t work it out.

OP’s posts: |
ButterflyWitch Thu 11-Jun-20 20:36:50


Iseethesilverlining Thu 11-Jun-20 20:37:59

Could you put up a photo of any more of the document? It helps to be able to match letter formation from known words.

TabbyCatPartyHat Thu 11-Jun-20 20:47:35

Thank you both for replying!

@ButterflyWitch I wondered that but there seems too many letters between the d and the f? Plus as he died of his wounds I wouldn’t have thought they’d have recorded that? But it could be! It’s a tricky one for sure.

@Iseethesilverlining I will try do that - there’s only really that line (you can see it in the left pic) written in the same hand, but I’ll give it a go.

OP’s posts: |
TabbyCatPartyHat Thu 11-Jun-20 20:49:34

Here’s more of the page.....

OP’s posts: |
MacavityTheDentistsCat Thu 11-Jun-20 21:06:29

My guess would be that "PW neck" means "puncture wound neck" and that the unknown word pergaps describes the direction of travel of the bullet.

ButterflyWitch Thu 11-Jun-20 21:06:28

What does pw stand for ? Puncture wound? And do you know what the letters after the 'word' are? Could it be C for cervical (cervical spine?)

Veterinari Thu 11-Jun-20 21:08:10

Pw neck is likely shorthand for 'puncture wound neck'
Not sure about the mystery word though

Gingernaut Thu 11-Jun-20 21:11:35

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

TabbyCatPartyHat Thu 11-Jun-20 21:24:50

@ButterflyWitch that was my guess too - any Googling of ‘pw’ for military records just brings up PoW which I know he wasn’t, so I think it must have been puncture wound.

Not sure what the numbers are following the mystery word. Looks like P17319 but that isn’t recorded anywhere else as a number associated with him.
That’s a really interesting idea about direction of a bullet. It’s very sad reading further on - he was wounded on 2 Feb 1917 (gsw to feet, head, legs neck, and hands) and transferred to a field ambulance, then to a casualty clearing centre where he died on the 3 Feb, with the cause of death recorded as gsw to neck and legs sad

OP’s posts: |
ButterflyWitch Thu 11-Jun-20 22:19:12

I don't think it's correct but could it be 'longitudinally'

ButterflyWitch Thu 11-Jun-20 22:20:14

I think 'posthumously RIP' might be correct although it doesn't read obviously like that to me

ButterflyWitch Thu 11-Jun-20 22:30:13

Just read your update, and realised 'posthumously' can't be correct

wowfudge Thu 11-Jun-20 22:33:10

I think it's 'Unfortunately'.

merryhouse Thu 11-Jun-20 22:57:37

Could you see if any doctors could take a look? More likely to have some idea of what words might go there...

I agree that there are too many bumps for "deformity". I'm almost certain it's a d not an l though.

Aren't the vertebrae given numbers? could that be what the number refers to?

Buryit Thu 11-Jun-20 23:10:45

Try posting on - they have a section on interpreting documents

CatsOfSummer Fri 12-Jun-20 18:09:46

Thanks all! Will definitely check our greatwarforum. I had another look today and still was no closer.

FoolsAssassin Sun 14-Jun-20 17:59:06

I think ‘unfortunately ‘ as well.

Gatekeeper Sun 14-Jun-20 18:50:14

I don't think the word 'unfortunately' would have been on WW1 records- it's too emotive a word

Ellmau Sat 04-Jul-20 19:48:25

Is it dangerously?

FlamedToACrisp Sun 26-Jul-20 02:12:10

I wondered if it might be 'prev (previous) neck deformity'

Itsalwayssunny Sun 26-Jul-20 02:32:21


MargaretRiver Sun 26-Jul-20 02:40:25

Could be "Inferiorly" ie Anatomy-language for lower down / in a downwards direction.
It would make sense, but I'm not convinced by the letters

TerracottaTortoise Sun 26-Jul-20 02:46:45

Or uniformly?

justilou1 Sun 26-Jul-20 06:03:28

I think it looks like prev. neck deformity

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