Author Topic: Royal Army Ordnance Corps 1940  (Read 453 times)

Offline Johnrbee

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 25
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Royal Army Ordnance Corps 1940
« on: Tuesday 20 November 18 12:35 GMT (UK) »
My Uncle was 7581797 Cpl William Brown RAOC, missing presumed KIA June 1940 whilst attached to the RASC supply Column 51 Highland Division.  Is there any way of finding out how the CWGC got the info on him?

RootsChat is the busiest, largest free family history forum site in the country. It is completely free to use. Register now.
Also register instantly with Facebook or Twitter (and other social networks). Start your genealogy search now.


Offline MaxD

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 5,487
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Royal Army Ordnance Corps 1940
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 20 November 18 17:36 GMT (UK) »
Every service unit had an upward reporting process for all occurrences within the unit, including of course deaths, which ended at the regiment/Corps record office.  What started out as the Graves Registration Commission was a War Office organisation, useful history here:
https://www.twgpp.org/downloads/About_the_CWGC.pdf.  The registers that were compiled made use, no doubt, of the records already held so the information was passed from one War Office organisation to another.

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

RootsChat is the busiest, largest free family history forum site in the country. It is completely free to use. Register now.
Also register instantly with Facebook or Twitter (and other social networks). Start your genealogy search now.


Offline Johnrbee

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 25
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Royal Army Ordnance Corps 1940
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 21 November 18 08:47 GMT (UK) »
Thank You Max.   We know he worked in the Dockyard at Plymouth as a storeman and was an RAOC reservist in 1939, but have been unable so far to find out anything of substance about the period before his deployment with the BEF.

I expect he must have attestation papers somewhere which will shed some light on it. 

Offline MaxD

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 5,487
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Royal Army Ordnance Corps 1940
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 21 November 18 09:29 GMT (UK) »
Indeed, they will still be with the MOD as are all WW2 service records.  You can apply for them: https://www.gov.uk/get-copy-military-service-records.


There is a war diary for the 51st Div Supply Coulmn but it is not digitised:
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C162795.

Going missing 10-12 Jun 1940 sounds very much like the action that has been called the sacrifice of the 51st Highland Div to defend the perimeter of the Dunkirk evacuation to enable others to get away.  Well worth reading Dunkirk - fight to the last man by Sebag-Montefiore, whole chapter on it although (perhaps as expected) it concentrates on the infantry.


MaxD

MaxD

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

Offline Skoyen89

  • RootsChat Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 125
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Royal Army Ordnance Corps 1940
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 02 December 18 16:51 GMT (UK) »
Interesting account here:  https://51hd.co.uk/accounts/tom_garside_st_valery

That site came from a Google search on the subject '1940 St Valery' and loads came up. 

As Max said I would start with his records from the MOD.  Then I would get the War Diary to see what that says about events affecting the unit.  Other routes are to try to see if there is a 'Missing Men' file at Kew for the RASC of 51st Highland Division that mentions him.  You could also see if there is anything in any of the number of books on the subject (get them on Abebooks.co.uk).  You could try the Royal Logistics Corps Museum to see what they have and the Imperial War Museum library to see if the have books and unpublished manuscripts from veterans of the debacle.

If you cannot get to Kew yourself there are a couple of people who post on here and WW2Talk.com who provide that a copying service for you at a fraction of what the National Archives costs.

You may strike lucky....I have some times but others there is nothing at all and their fate remains a mystery.  But it should fill a few evenings fruitfully!!!!  And it is addictive.

Good luck!


Honeyman and Callaway Families
Men and Women commemorated on Tetsworth War Memorial

Offline Skoyen89

  • RootsChat Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 125
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Royal Army Ordnance Corps 1940
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 02 December 18 17:04 GMT (UK) »
Honeyman and Callaway Families
Men and Women commemorated on Tetsworth War Memorial

Offline Skoyen89

  • RootsChat Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 125
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Royal Army Ordnance Corps 1940
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 02 December 18 18:23 GMT (UK) »
The Casualty Lists on FindMyPast list him as 'Missing' with 'Date not recorded' in the Casualty List No. 283.  This list includes many of those killed, wounded or taken POW in 51st Division at St Valery.  Many 'Missing' in that list would turn out to be POWs once the Germans notified the British whp they were holding.  In his case his statuus was not changed to 'Missing - Presumed Killed' until September 1945 with the dates of 10th to 12th June 1940.  By September 1945 the freed POWs would have been interviewed, he was not among them and it is likely that there was some information that allowed them to reduce the date range when he was missing.  That may be in the Missing Men files at Kew.  The two files I would suggest are WO 361/100 RAOC and WO361/88 RASC.
Honeyman and Callaway Families
Men and Women commemorated on Tetsworth War Memorial

Offline Johnrbee

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 25
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Royal Army Ordnance Corps 1940
« Reply #7 on: Monday 03 December 18 09:22 GMT (UK) »
Thank you Skoyen 89 and Max for your efforts.  Addictive is the right word!  The detail from Major Shand's diary is compelling and probably supplies the real clues as to William Brown's demise -there are several passages that describe losses.   Also found another source - the written account of Lcpl Richard Seddon RAOC in "Retreat: Dunkirk and the Evacuation of Western Europe."  Seddon also provided the Imperial War Museum with some verbal recollections.   Putting all of that evidence together, it is likely that William Brown is one of the 63 unidentified British soldiers at the St Valery en Caux Franco British War cemetery "Known unto God".   

Offline MaxD

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 5,487
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Royal Army Ordnance Corps 1940
« Reply #8 on: Monday 03 December 18 09:26 GMT (UK) »
Delighted to hear you have been able to get a little closer your uncle's likely experience In June 1940.


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