Author Topic: Deciphering WW2 Service Record  (Read 2746 times)

Offline K8T

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Re: Deciphering WW2 Service Record
« Reply #9 on: Wednesday 13 December 17 18:28 GMT (UK) »
Thanks MaxD, I wondered what the XIVA meant.  It was definitely written in capitals, but take note that it is not the usual way.
The history of 3CLY is very interesting a much appreciated

Offline K8T

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Re: Deciphering WW2 Service Record
« Reply #10 on: Wednesday 13 December 17 19:03 GMT (UK) »
Thanks CPercival.  I would love to have more information on the convoy.  He must have been on board that ship. 
I haven't mentioned the soldier's name as he is a relative of a colleague.  There are a few things I am trying to work out but have deciphered most of the abbreviations.
He appears to have been involved in Operation Husky - The Allied Invasion of Sicily.  But he appears to have been moved from 'Manallel' Manquell' (writing is a little unclear) to Husky Force on 29 June 43. (The 'n' could be an 'r').


Offline MaxD

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Re: Deciphering WW2 Service Record
« Reply #11 on: Wednesday 13 December 17 19:26 GMT (UK) »
If you want to post a scan of the bit that is unclear (plus a bit round it to see the context) we may be able to clarify.

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


Offline K8T

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Re: Deciphering WW2 Service Record
« Reply #12 on: Wednesday 13 December 17 19:29 GMT (UK) »
I'll try and scan it in and post as soon as I can.
Thanks
K8T

Offline cpercival

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Re: Deciphering WW2 Service Record
« Reply #13 on: Thursday 14 December 17 17:12 GMT (UK) »
Troop convoys round the cape 1940 - 1943.  For most of the war transit of the Mediterranean was considered too hazardous for the transport of troops for the Middle East and Far East.  They were therefore transported around the cape in convoys known as the Winston Specials.  The subject of your enquiry seems likely to have travelled in convoy WS24.  This was assembled as follows:  Six vessels were assigned, "Athlone" and "Stirling Castle" sailing from Liverpool, "Empress of Scotland" from the Clyde and "Arawa", "Tamaroa" and "Largs Bay" from Avonmouth.  They were joined by a stores ship, "Indochinois" from Newport.  In view of the fact that our man was joining from Bovington it is likely that he embarked in Avonmouth on either "Arawa" or "Largs Bay".  ("Tamaroa" was only going as far as Takoradi in West Africa).  All together the convoy was carrying 18,213 troops. 7,525 for the Middle East, 4,017 for India and Ceylon and 2,948 for Iraq. "Tamaroa" carried just 1,755 for Takoradi and Freetown. Embarkations began at Avonmouth on 26 October and the vessels were under way on 28th.  They joined up with the Liverpool and Clyde ships off Orsay and the convoy sailed on 29th.
Their normal first replenishing stop would have been at Freetown but, unlike the previous convoys in the series, WS24 was to use Bahia in Brazil almost certainly due to the allocation of their escorts to support of the Operation Torch landings in North Africa but also as Brazil had recently joined the allies.  This decision cannot have been taken lightly though as it added 1,500 miles and 5 days to the voyage between UK and Durban. Arrival in Durban was on the morning of 4th December.
The routine was then to transfer troops from the liners, "Empress of Scotland" and "Largs Bay" to other vessels in Durban for onward shipment so as to allow the liners to return to the UK. Here they landed 4,264 for the Middle East among others. 1,656 were also landed for the middle East from the Liverpool vessels which were carrying on to Bombay.  "Arawa" was to continue with her 1,655 troops to Suez along with 4 other troopships which had taken on those others disembarked from the liners. These others were "Aronda", "Ekma", "Ascanius" and "Felix Roussel".  These all left Durban on 13 December as a combined convoy, "Arawa" as WS24A and the other four as CM36. "Ekma" subsequently detached for Mombasa with an East African contingent. "Aronda" and "Ascanius" were cleared at Suez on 3rd and 4th January and "Felix Roussel" left Aden on 28th December and arrived Suez on 2nd January.  "Arawa" was last to leave Aden on 30th arriving Suez on 3rd.
I would speculate therefore that our soldier embarked at Avonmouth on "Largs Bay" (If it had been "Arawa" he would have stayed on there and not arrived at Suez until 3rd), and transferred to "Felix Roussel" in Durban.  If you Google SS Felix Roussel there are pictures of the ship.

CP

Offline K8T

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Re: Deciphering WW2 Service Record
« Reply #14 on: Thursday 14 December 17 22:40 GMT (UK) »
MaxD
I'm having trouble attaching.  I have reduced the size and am reposting.  I hope you can read it.

Offline K8T

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Re: Deciphering WW2 Service Record
« Reply #15 on: Thursday 14 December 17 22:42 GMT (UK) »
MaxD
This is the lower half

Offline K8T

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Re: Deciphering WW2 Service Record
« Reply #16 on: Thursday 14 December 17 22:46 GMT (UK) »
Many thanks CP for your information on the convoys.  I is very interesting and explains why it took so long to reach their destinations.

Offline MaxD

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Re: Deciphering WW2 Service Record
« Reply #17 on: Saturday 16 December 17 10:45 GMT (UK) »
I'm afraid I can't find anywhere (it is a place I'm sure) that looks like the name in the record.  Looking at the 3 CLY diary together with your man's record dates, it seems that D Squadron became, for a short period, 40 Sqn RAC - there is a war diary for just the month of Jun 43 and that they went off, attached to 2 Bn Highland Light Infantry for some months in 1943, rejoining the regiment proper in Oct 43 when they were by now in Italy.  The answer may lie in the 40 Sqn diary http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C1010163 or in the 2 HLI diary for the period http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C1011037  There is probably more of interest in this period which the diaries may clarify.

Sorry not to have got that one!

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