Great Granddad photo!

Discussion in 'Australian' started by Indy, Jun 15, 2020.

  1. Indy

    Indy New Member

    I'm not sure if this is the right forum or the right section to post this on.
    I'm of Indian(India) origin born in the UK and my Great Grandfather (my Mothers Mothers Father) was in Australia and was in the army. Other than this we really do not know much about him. He moved to Australia as a little boy with his father but we don't even know the actual date. We have a photo of him as a boy looks around 9 years old with his father in Australia. We then also have this photo of him in uniform. I know nothing about the war! I'm in my 20s and only recently started reading about the war.

    He only visited India once (early 30s) to get married and left soon after, his daughter (my Grandmother) never met him, he never returned. My Grandmother said they received a letter when she was really young stating that he passed away in an accident. Sadly my Grandmother has passed away as well and nobody really asked her more about this letter. Other than this we really do not know anything about him.

    He's the guy in the hat, can anyone tell me more information by looking at his uniform? what can i find out by his uniform? does it give much away? Just want to know more about what he would of done ...


    AB64 likes this.
  2. Waddell

    Waddell Well-Known Member


    He is Australian army.

    What is his full name or did he Anglicise it? There are a few Singh's on the nominal roll, see here-

    DVA's Nominal Rolls

    Of the men listed, two were born in India- Sarwan and Daleep.

    You should be able to locate his records on the Australian National Archives ( you may have to pay for them to be digitsed).

    Last edited: Jun 16, 2020
  3. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member

    Welcome Indy.

    I think the place to start is the National Archive of Australia. Searching for your Great Grandfather, and his Father, may turn-up service, immigration and naturalisation records. While some records have been digitised on an ad hoc basis, most probably haven’t been, so you may need to request a copy and pay the requisite fee.

    Although your narrative suggests to me that his death was pre-WW2, it would be worth checking the CWGC database yourself as they should have a record if he died in service during the war, regardless of cause. I have tried Puran Singh as forename and surname with no results. I have also tried Puran Singh as a surname which returns 114 individuals, but none in Australian service. Singh on its own brings up 13,523 individuals, with 3 in Australian service but no obvious candidate. N.B. They do not record deaths between the wars.

    If you feel able to share more details the group may be able to assist you with more specific information.

    Best of luck.
  4. Indy

    Indy New Member

    Hello thanks for the replies. I'll have a look on the links posted and see if i can find him.
    To my surprise i also found his photo on a Facebook page called Australian Indian History! They also have a website with an email, so i'm going to email them and ask if they have more information.

    Chris C likes this.
  5. Temujin

    Temujin Member

    This info was also on the Facebook page info:

    Norma Mann
    My mother remembers Puran Singh and he was from Pind Chokaran, the other person is my father’s older brother Rattan Singh Johal from Pind Jandiala. These two men were friends and they attended school in Teven. Puran Singh was killed at a young age, in a tractor accident in North Queensland

    Puran Singh was married but he did not declare that he was married when he enlisted in the Australian army, so his wife was not entitled to any payment on his death for any military service.
  6. Waddell

    Waddell Well-Known Member


    There are some real problems with that information. Firstly I cannot find a death record for a Puran Singh on the Queensland Births, deaths and Marriages site. Secondly, if he had been serving in the army whilst he had the accident you could assume that he show up as a war casualty. CWGC have three Singhs buried in Australia, of which only one is in Queensland and doesn't match details you have provided.


    I think you need to go back to basics and locate his birth records and identify when he travelled to Australia and where he was located in the country. It is possible he served under another name. As it stands the only information you can glean from the photograph is that he served in the Australian army.

    Can you post the link to the webpage where you found his photograph? Maybe ask the facebook poster for more specific details like approximate date and place where the accident occurred. North Queensland covers a lot of area.

    Last edited: Jun 27, 2020
  7. Waddell

    Waddell Well-Known Member

    Here is the Facebook item as listed by the original poster-

    Australian Indian History

    It doesn't really add much to the story.


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