I had come across my mother’s Soldier’s Record and pay Book from her days in the Women’s Royal Army Corps, last night. Amongst the documents accompanying it was the receipts tor the announcement of her appointment to 2nd Lieutenant in the WRAC, to appear in the London Gazette Supplement.
I’d not heard of the London Gazette but figured that it was just another newspaper.
From what I can tell, it is actually where announcements from all over the UK, and historically, all over the British Empire, were printed. Everything from insolvency to announcements of the settlement of wills and the appointment to military positions.
I started out by looking for the announcement of my mother’s military appointment (which I found as well as her appointment to the same rank in the Reserves in 1953. Then I found the announcement of her cousin George’s appointment to the same rank. I started looking for the names of other relations and then tried the name Dubash, my step-Dad’s surname, and Shroff, (or Schroff) his mother’s maiden name. There were a few people with the surname Dubash and a few with the surname Shroff. However, the bulk of the entries, some going back to the 1790s, are for the occupation of Dubash (basically a “facilitator” – someone who acts as the agent for a ship or company to arrange for everything from offloading cargo, arranging the sale of cargo, ships chandler….) or Shroff (collector, as in debt or loan collector).
I’m not sure how many people are aware of the Gazette but it would be a resource for anyone doing genealogy research.