Looking for more occupational records of Walter Cowin



Looking for occupational records of a Walter Cowin, born circa 1910. He can be found on the 1939 register living at 6 Mill Street Chester, as a "public works labourer".

He was between the age of 18 and 41, and I don't see that as a reserved occupation so I assume he was conscripted into the army. Where can I look for more records about his occupation? I've tried British Newspaper Archive but it costs money to use.


Posted 2017-09-04T19:16:40.840

Reputation: 1 523

2As written this is a duplicate of the finding WWII service record question, but I think could be reopened into a useful question - does the 1939 register entry suggest he likely was conscripted? It is very expensive to apply to MoD every time for service records not having a clue whether there are any records to produce. Active service members were not included on the 1939 Register, but of course that does not mean he was not enlisted after that date. Depending on the nature of the "public works" he may have had a reserved occupation. – Harry Vervet – 2017-09-04T20:49:10.677

1@HarryVervet I'm not sure if he was conscripted or not, but I would highly suspect so as I don't think it is a reserved occupation. However, £30 is an awful lot to pay. If he was conscripted it was after the 1939 register – Charlie – 2017-09-04T21:01:04.270


Am I correct in thinking that you have a 1939 Register entry and nothing more? Can you find out more about his occupation from other sources (e.g. newspapers)? See https://genealogy.stackexchange.com/help/how-to-ask

– Jan Murphy – 2017-09-04T22:08:06.207

@JanMurphy the 1939 register is all I have. The 1921 census would have been a Godsend. I'll try looking in papers – Charlie – 2017-09-04T23:07:57.933

2@Charlie There are other avenues of research I would turn to before jumping to service records in the case of WWII, which is why I think it would be useful to edit and reopen this question. For example, if you know his local church, many have rolls of honour that list congregation members who served in each World War. – Harry Vervet – 2017-09-05T01:11:37.530

@HarryVervet edited the question so it can be reopened – Charlie – 2017-09-05T10:35:51.110

Do you have a birth record for Walter to confirm where and when he was born? – PolyGeo – 2017-09-05T12:15:40.900

@PolyGeo there's a few candidates, but if the 1939 reg is correct it's likely Walter Cowin born 1910 on the Wirral, Cheshire – Charlie – 2017-09-05T12:30:41.530

@PolyGeo however as I've learned people do lie on these records so I can't be 100% sure – Charlie – 2017-09-05T12:31:58.797

@PolyGeo not only lie but also make mistakes as well so I know to take records with a pinch of salt – Charlie – 2017-09-05T12:38:33.840

Charlie, FindMYpast (I think you have access) has the same newspapers as the British Newspaper archive (albeit the OCR and so indexing is pretty poor). Depending on where you are, your local library may have a subscription to online newspaper archives as well. – ColeValleyGirl – 2017-09-05T17:11:11.013



If I am correct, I think that this is family of Cowin as required by you living at 137 Market Street, Hoylake on the 1911 Census. However the surname is misread and mis-transcribed as Crown. Walter Cowell Cowin or as it is correctly listed on Ancestry listed as Walter Cowell Crown. Walter Cowell Coin was born in Chester in 1910 and is Seven months old on the 1911 Census. His birth certificate was issued Oct-Nov-Dec Wirral,Cheshire, 8a,403. He married in 1947 to either Ann Williams or Ann Poole, 10a, 1358 and died Sept. 1959. If I am correct at that stage he was listed as an Electrical Engineer, all in the Wirral Cheshire. From this and details on his father John James Cowin of 137 Market St., Hoylake Cum West Kirby. It should now be possible thanks to the correction of the reading of the surname, to extend back your coverage of this family and establish his occupation and that of his father from as you do so.


Posted 2017-09-04T19:16:40.840

Reputation: 330

1I suspect this was downvoted because it does not answer the question. A record about Walter as an infant, however useful, does not answer the question about occupational information. Following up alternate leads is best done either in comments (if brief) or in chat. – Harry Vervet – 2018-03-15T02:17:20.343