Author Topic: Deciphering my dad's army service record  (Read 822 times)

Offline Elaine Williams

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Deciphering my dad's army service record
« on: Saturday 07 September 19 13:09 BST (UK) »
Hi I am new to this group so I hope I am posting in the right place. I am researching my Dad's Army service history and today I received copies of the contents of his service file from Glasgow (which is very exciting). However, as like many others, I'm sure, I am trying to decipher some of the acronyms etc to make sense of it all. From 1939-1943 (ish) he served with the 2nd Battalion Royal West Kent Regiment in Malta but didn't travel on to the ill fated Dodecanse campaign as he was unfit to do so. In three weeks time I am travelling to Malta to follow in his footsteps and would love to have a clearer understanding of his time there (I have general knowledge from the regiment's war diaries). Trouble is I have two different 103 forms one three and the other four pages long with lots of handwriting! Is it too much of a long shot but I guess what I am basically asking is whether there is anyone on this forum who could help me.

Offline rogerwinnett

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Re: Deciphering my dad's army service record
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 07 September 19 15:11 BST (UK) »
Hi Elaine

When I requested my father's service record, a list of abbreviations accompanied it to assist me deciphering it.
If you list your abbreviations here that you're having difficulty with, they might appear on my list, although many abbreviations that appeared in my father's record weren't on the list.

Regards
Roger

Offline philipsearching

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Re: Deciphering my dad's army service record
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 07 September 19 17:37 BST (UK) »
A warm welcome to Rootschat.

There are several Rootschatters with experience of military abbreviations and acronyms - between us we can solve most puzzles.

If you can post image snippets with the troublesome abbreviations (in stages - not all on a single post) you should get great results.

Philip
Please help me to help you by citing sources for information.

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Offline MaxD

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Re: Deciphering my dad's army service record
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 12 September 19 16:20 BST (UK) »
Elaine

I know you have checked back to the forum recently an perhaps there is a problem posting the records?

If you make two more posts even just saying hello, we can use the personal message system where I would invite you to send the records to me direct if that is easier.

As Philip has inferred, we'd love to help!

MaxD
I am Zoe Northeast, granddaughter of Maximilian Double.
 
It is with great difficulty I share with you that in the early hours of 07 August 2021, Maximilian passed away unexpectedly but peacefully.

With deep sadness,
Zoe



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


Offline Elaine Williams

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Re: Deciphering my dad's army service record
« Reply #4 on: Friday 13 September 19 09:56 BST (UK) »
Thanks Max, Philip and Sue for your responses and I'm grateful for any help you can give.

I had hoped to attach a scan of one page from his Army Form B 103 - Service and Casualty Form but it is too large to upload so I'll list a few acronyms instead. However some of it appears to be written in pencil so I hope I've made it clear enough to decipher. I have lots more but I don't want to take advantage!

T.O.S X(v) MKD. RE CAMP from X (iv) Malta Supply Deport R.A.S.C
T.O.S (could be) N6?5 ADV O2E Malta from X (v) MKD. RE CAMP
S.O.S Malta to UK (LSA) Authy

Later in his army career he served in 31AA W/S Coy REME (TA) - I wonder where that was?

Also his record shows that he was admitted to hospital four times during his service in Malta. I guess there's not way of finding out why? I do know that he did have an operation on his foot which wasn't successfully completed because while on the operating table the hospital (45th General Hospital) was bombed. I think this is why, when his battalion left Malta in June 43, he remained on Malta for a further 8 months presumably because he was now unfit for active service?

Finally on 19/646 He was released from Class A and relegated to Section B Regular Army Reserve then on 26/5/50 he was transferred to Class Z Royal Army Reserve.

Tomorrow I am going to The National Archives in Kew to read through the 2RWK War Diaries from my Dad's time in Malta to get more of an overview and hoping to find more references to 2RWK B Company so I'm quite excited. I just hope that I can make sense of them. If not I am sure you'll guide me through!




Offline philipsearching

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Re: Deciphering my dad's army service record
« Reply #5 on: Friday 13 September 19 10:16 BST (UK) »
Just the easier ones to start off:

RASC - Royal Army Service Corps

31AA W/S Coy REME (TA)
- 31 Anti-Aircraft Wireless Signals Company, Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers (Territorial Army?) 31AA Brigade was a unit of the Royal Artillery based in the North Midlands and posted to France/Belgium in 1944-45 - see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/31st_(North_Midland)_Anti-Aircraft_Brigade

REME was formed in 1942 so I think it likely that when your father joined the army he had technical skills which made him most useful in a service role, thus he was posted to RASC.  RASC provided wide and varied support in administration and some technical services.  Later, he was posted to the new REME.

I had hoped to attach a scan of one page from his Army Form B 103 - Service and Casualty Form but it is too large to upload so I'll list a few acronyms instead. However some of it appears to be written in pencil so I hope I've made it clear enough to decipher. I have lots more but I don't want to take advantage!

Don't worry about "taking advantage" - by giving us challenges you are enabling us to have fun solving problems and sharing knowledge  :)

Philip

ADDED: if you give the dates next to the abbreviations it would be useful.  The experts on Rootschat may be able to pinpoint precise locations where the units were at the time, and what they were doing.
Please help me to help you by citing sources for information.

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Offline MaxD

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Re: Deciphering my dad's army service record
« Reply #6 on: Friday 13 September 19 10:22 BST (UK) »
I think we may have to see the document as it is always useful to cross refer one entry with another and to avoid the possibility of the initials being mis-read.  In addition, the dates are vital particularly in the query about 31 AA W/S

TOS is Taken on Strength - goes on the "books" of another unit (from the one before this entry)
The reference to X (v) means he is away from his normal unit.  X (iv) is when a man is awaiting posting.

So the first line is saying he left Malta Supply Depot where he was awaiting posting and went to MKD RE (need to work on that one)** where he is now X (v).

In the next line he moves from X(v) MKD RE Camp** to somewhere else**

In the last line he is Struck Off Strength Malta (leaves Malta for UK)  LSA is a type of pay allowance (more work needed)

The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Workshop Company which was the support element of 31 Light Anti Aircraft Regiment Royal Artillery, in Italy 1942-45.

Translating the initials is usually only half the story.

MaxD

PS - in touch via PM

**Added - Deciphered as Mixed Reinforcement (MXD RF) Camp but with no number - . work in progress.
Sonwhere else also being worked on
I am Zoe Northeast, granddaughter of Maximilian Double.
 
It is with great difficulty I share with you that in the early hours of 07 August 2021, Maximilian passed away unexpectedly but peacefully.

With deep sadness,
Zoe



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

Offline MaxD

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Re: Deciphering my dad's army service record
« Reply #7 on: Friday 13 September 19 10:37 BST (UK) »
LSA is local subsistence allowance - money instead of being fed by the army.
MaxD
I am Zoe Northeast, granddaughter of Maximilian Double.
 
It is with great difficulty I share with you that in the early hours of 07 August 2021, Maximilian passed away unexpectedly but peacefully.

With deep sadness,
Zoe



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

Offline Elaine Williams

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Re: Deciphering my dad's army service record
« Reply #8 on: Friday 13 September 19 11:36 BST (UK) »
Hi thanks for these! Dad was a clerk in the army after his time in Malta and I have photos of him in Brussels, Hanover and Belsen dated 1944-1945 so I guess that's what he was doing in 31AA W/S Coy REME (TA) during his posting to NWE? He was also attached to the 8th Armoured Brigade Workshops.

When his battalion (2nd) left Malta for the Dodecanse campaign in 1943 he stayed behind for a further 8 months. As the RWKs were no longer in Malta I suppose he had to be attached to some unit or another which is why I think we went to the RASC. Then the 2RWK was abandoned and so he moved to REME.