Can anyone decipher this word on a WW1 army record?
TabbyCatPartyHat · 11/06/2020 20:29
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.
Iseethesilverlining · 11/06/2020 20:37
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 · 11/06/2020 20:47
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.
ButterflyWitch · 11/06/2020 21:06
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?)
MacavityTheDentistsCat · 11/06/2020 21:06
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.
Veterinari · 11/06/2020 21:08
Pw neck is likely shorthand for 'puncture wound neck'
Not sure about the mystery word though
Gingernaut · 11/06/2020 21:11
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TabbyCatPartyHat · 11/06/2020 21:24
@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
ButterflyWitch · 11/06/2020 22:19
I don't think it's correct but could it be 'longitudinally'
ButterflyWitch · 11/06/2020 22:20
I think 'posthumously RIP' might be correct although it doesn't read obviously like that to me
ButterflyWitch · 11/06/2020 22:30
Just read your update, and realised 'posthumously' can't be correct
merryhouse · 11/06/2020 22:57
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 · 11/06/2020 23:10
Try posting on greatwarforum.org - they have a section on interpreting documents
CatsOfSummer · 12/06/2020 18:09
Thanks all! Will definitely check our greatwarforum. I had another look today and still was no closer.
Gatekeeper · 14/06/2020 18:50
I don't think the word 'unfortunately' would have been on WW1 records- it's too emotive a word
FlamedToACrisp · 26/07/2020 02:12
I wondered if it might be 'prev (previous) neck deformity'
MargaretRiver · 26/07/2020 02:40
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
ConquestEmpireHungerPlague · 01/10/2020 13:26
Hey OP, I just happened on your thread. I've tried and failed to decipher the mystery word, but just thought it might be worth pointing out that the initial abbreviation is not Pw but g.s.w. for gunshot wound. It's clearer if you blow up the uncropped page that the letters are cursive lower case with three points on the line. It doesn't change much in terms of how to interpret the information but viewing the letter formation with that in mind may help make something click perhaps. It also made me wonder if the mystery word is actually two words run on to each other, with the first an abbreviation, as there's a mark below the line there that may be a misplaced point (or may just be a blemish of course). It reads a bit like devel. to me, as if the gsw led to something else developing. (What it actually looks like to me is devel.anomaly but that doesn't fit with the facts you have.) I hope that helps a tiny bit. I'll keep looking at it. I both love and hate a mystery!
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