Author Topic: I have my Father's British Army Records and want to find his War Diaries  (Read 957 times)

Offline khdavies

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I have my Father's British Army Records and want to find his War Diaries
« on: Tuesday 24 October 17 16:27 BST (UK) »
I was told that I would need my Father's records and his Army number to obtain his war diaries.  I have now obtained them and I am not having any luck.  I wonder if there is a specific way to go about the search and can it be done online?

His name-Alan Frederick Davies; Army number-14514304; Rank-Trooper Private (TPR); Unit-58T Regiment RAC-3rd Royal Tank Regiment-Westminster Dragoons; Tank-Sherman Crab Flail Tank; Served-England: Jun/1943 to Jul/1944 and France, Belgium, Holland, Germany: Jul/1944 to Demobilisation (11/10/1945)

He was sent into Germany as part of a small group of snipers intended to take on German Officers who were in retreat and resisting British, American and Russian soldiers advancing on them. It is this operation that I am hoping to find.

I would appreciate it if anyone is able to help in any way. Regards, Karen
Essex: STANLEY
London: KENDALL, BRYANT, STANLEY

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Offline MaxD

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Re: I have my Father's British Army Records and want to find his War Diaries
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 24 October 17 16:45 BST (UK) »
Karen

The WW2 war diaries are not on line so each one would have to be copied.  However, before doing that, it would be sensible (essential)  to identify which unit he was in on which dates (for example, 3 RTR has all these diaries http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_p=1925&_q=3+royal+tank - cost a fortune to see all of them).

Are you happy to scan in the appropriate parts of his records which give dates/units.  From your particular interest, it would be the post D Day time that might include what you have mentioned.

MaxD

PS  58 T is 58 Training Regiment in UK so can be ignored (if you wish)
The Crab would have been when he was with the Westminster Dragoons
Double  Essex/Suffolk
Randle/Millington Warwicks
Sokser/Klingler Austria/Croatia

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Offline khdavies

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Re: I have my Father's British Army Records and want to find his War Diaries
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 24 October 17 17:49 BST (UK) »
Thank you very much for your reply, Max. I have attached a record which has a list with dates. Would this be helpful? Are you able to ascertain his unit in 1944-1945?
Thanks again.  Karen
Essex: STANLEY
London: KENDALL, BRYANT, STANLEY

Online Regorian

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Re: I have my Father's British Army Records and want to find his War Diaries
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 24 October 17 18:07 BST (UK) »
Regimentally, you need to see Westminster Dragoons. I don't think 3 RTR. Westminster Dragoons in 30th Armoured Brigade, 79th Armoured Division 'Hobart's Funnies'.

 

Offline Drew5233

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Re: I have my Father's British Army Records and want to find his War Diaries
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 24 October 17 19:22 BST (UK) »
58 is a training regiment. He then went on to serve with the Westminster Dragoons in France ie D-Day and then later on in the war was posted to 3 RTR.

I already have a copy of the original Westminster Dragoons diary for 1944 but I'm not allowed to post anything on here. That said I'm moving house on Thursday so everything is pretty much packed now anyway. Feel free to drop me a message and I can send you the references for all the war diaries covering his service.

Cheers
Andy


Offline MaxD

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Re: I have my Father's British Army Records and want to find his War Diaries
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 24 October 17 19:33 BST (UK) »
I agree.  He served with the Westminster Dragoons from Jan 1944 to Jan 1946.  The period in France and Germany (which includes D Day) is covered by just two diaries  http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_aq=westminster%20dragoons&_ep=diaries&_nq1=home&_nq2=italy&_dss=range&_ro=any&_p=1925&_st=adv

A very brief outline history (you can find others on Google) is here:
http://www.westminsterdragoons.co.uk/history.html  (explains what Regorian means by Hobart's Funnies!)

I'll send you a PM later this evening.

MaxD

PS Andy - crossed in the post
Double  Essex/Suffolk
Randle/Millington Warwicks
Sokser/Klingler Austria/Croatia

Offline Brewins girl

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Re: I have my Father's British Army Records and want to find his War Diaries
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 31 October 17 16:09 GMT (UK) »
I am intrigued by MaxD's response to Karen's query about her father's war diaries. Does this mean that all soldiers (& airmen?)irrespective of rank had war diaries that have been kept at the National Archives?
Brooking (REME)
Robinson (RAF)
Southall (Pedmore, nr Stourbridge UK)

Offline MaxD

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Re: I have my Father's British Army Records and want to find his War Diaries
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 31 October 17 16:17 GMT (UK) »
The war diaries are the diaries of the units not the men.  One recommends getting the war diaries if possible only to follow the progress of the war for that unit and hence the men in it.  Absolute bonus if the individual is mentioned.  Officers often, men seldom - if ever.

MaxD
Double  Essex/Suffolk
Randle/Millington Warwicks
Sokser/Klingler Austria/Croatia

Offline Brewins girl

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Re: I have my Father's British Army Records and want to find his War Diaries
« Reply #8 on: Tuesday 31 October 17 19:04 GMT (UK) »
That's useful to know MaxD thank you. Looks like a trip to Kew!
Brooking (REME)
Robinson (RAF)
Southall (Pedmore, nr Stourbridge UK)