14025093 Arthur William HODGSON, East Lancs & RASC: Deciphering Service Records

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by Mark Ay, Mar 14, 2024.

  1. Mark Ay

    Mark Ay Member

    Hi all, I wonder if someone might be able to help me. I have received a copy of my Grandads war records.I thought it would give locations, but there are a lot of numbers. Is it possible to work out what the numbers mean?
    He used to talk of his time in Italy, often talking about Venice, Trieste and repatriating Jews to Palestine. I'm not sure if he actually spent time in Palestine, but I know he certainly spent time in Venice and I have photographs he took at the victory parade in Trieste.
    Below is a scan of the documents if anyone can shed further light, or direct me to where I might get more detail I'd be very grateful.
    Many thanks, Mark

    Attached Files:

  2. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Mist over Dartmoor

    Lets get the name right before we begin, these are Service Records. Records a persons Service not a War Record.

    You are showing Form B103 Service and Casualty Forms which is what we need to see in order to decipher the codes.
    There are a number of members who can do this so I will go through them and come back later.

    Its not a competition so expect others to help you as well. I tend to be slow at typing and tend to look at Royal Artillery.

    Together we will sort you out once it becomes apparent which part of the Army he was in.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2024
  3. Mark Ay

    Mark Ay Member

    Thanks for correcting me, I'm a novice with this.
    Thanks in advance :)
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  4. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Mist over Dartmoor

    A few general guides to the codes and Acronyms.

    The most confusing to some is the X List
    The ‘X List’ was used to identify a soldier and his status in the system for accounting and pay purposes.
    All time was accounted for particularly if the soldier was unavailable for duty, necessitating alteration of pay.
    The ‘X’ was followed by a Roman numeral,

    X(i) for all ranks waiting for a posting to a unit.
    X(ii) for all ranks held on medical grounds, wounded, injured or on a sick list.
    X(iii) was for prisoners of war, deserters, and soldiers held further to disciplinary action.
    X(iv) soldiers waiting to be posted to a unit from reserve holding / training camp.
    X(v) soldiers attending training/courses.

    Whilst not exactly correct, some records are written with arabic numerals X1, X2 etc.

    TOS= Taken On Strength
    SOS= Struck Off Strength
    w.e.f. = with effect from
    Home = UK
    CMF = Central Mediterranean Force
    U/A = Unpaid Acting
    P/A = Paid Acting
    w/s = war substantive
    83 (Br) GH = 83 (British) General Hospital

    He joined the East Lancs Completed a Signals course and was transferred to RASC.

    Not my speciality I'm afraid so will wait for someone else to take over who understands the authority codes.

    I will watch for a while and come back if no one else turns up.
    I won't leave anyone in the lurch but might take longer having to look up a few items.

    From Scarlet Finders website
    83 British General Hospital
    Hatfield House 5/42 to 11/42 then overseas; La Calle 1/43 to 5/43 then to Ain Fousna; Ain Fousna, North Africa from 5/43 to 6/43 and then on to Robsa; Robsa 6/43 to 8/43 then to La Calle; Bizerta 8/43 to 9/43 and then to Augusta; Augusta (Sicily) 9/43 to 9/43 then to Catania; Catania 9/43 to 10/43 then to Roggio [this entry and the following one, Foggia, might refer to the same place but they are both quite clearly written in the original]; Foggia 10/43 to 11/43 then to Barletta; Barletta 11/43 to 2/44 then to San Ferdinando; San Ferdinando 2/44 to 5/44 then to Larino; Larino 5/44 to 8/44 then to Osimo; Osimo 9/44 to 10/44 then to Riccione; Riccione 10/44 to 1/45 then to Cesena; Cesena 1/45 to 6/45 then to Udine; Udine 6/45 to 6/46 then to Trieste; Trieste 6/46 to 12/46.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2024
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  5. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Mist over Dartmoor

    Could do with a member with RASC knowledge to go through the timeline sheet by sheet but will come back later to see how its looking.

    Italy is prominent in 1945. Not looked closely at the dates might be after hostilities ceased in May 1945.
    Mostly post war, Trieste and Palestine come to mind.

    The RASC had a lot of work to do carrying stores & equipment from the coast into what is now Syria, Lebanon and Israel.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2024
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  6. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    Welcome aboard. There is plenty of knowledge and expertise here.

    It is vital you add his full name, Date of Birth, Service Number and if known their unit. Members can check their resources and do some online research. Others may be looking now and in the future for them; we regularly have people join who have found a post or thread about a relative.

    It might be worth checking if there is a local newspaper article about him. Most public libraries have access to the British Newspaper Archive when in the library, not online.

    It helps to add a ‘tag’ when you create a thread, only you can do this. It is for the formation / corps involved or a theme like intelligence. Searching tags can identify threads, otherwise it takes a bit longer.

    Some help via PM next; which is a now four pg. PDF. Also available on: WW2 Soldier Research - Tips and Links for New Researchers (update) Plus: How to Start a new Thread / Edit Post / Upload Image
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  7. Mark Ay

    Mark Ay Member

    His full name was Arthur William Hodgson
    DOB 17 April 1927
    Service number 14025093
    Looks like he joined the East Lancashire Regiment unit 19 ITC and transferred to the RASC unit 25 IHB
  8. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Mist over Dartmoor

    Last edited: Mar 14, 2024
  9. sjw8

    sjw8 Well-Known Member

    Hi Mark

    Further to previous replies, I don’t know whether you have been able to decipher any more of your grandad’s Service Records. However in the absence of further replies I have taken a look at the records posted. My interpretation of these are as follows, which I will reply in two separate posts. Note that there are several entries out of order or duplicated, so I have re-sorted these into date order.

    Page 1 -
    03/05/45 – Deemed to be Enlisted at 52 Primary Training Wing – where he does his basic training and is tested to see how best to “employ” him. During this time he would be “badged” as General Service Corps.
    14/06/45 - Following (or during) basic training, he is then transferred to the East Lancashire Regiment and posted to 19 Infantry Training Centre (who took in recruits from the East Lancashires), where he undertakes further training to enhance his infantry skills. It appears that his aptitude for signals is such that he earmarked for further signals training and thus on -
    18/09/45 – joins the Infantry Signals Training Wing, at Aske Hill, Richmond, Yorkshire (as Uncle Target states Royal Signals school based in Richmond).
    10/11/45 – he qualifies as Infantry Signaller, and on -
    14/11/45 – he is re-classed as Class I.
    19/11/45 – is posted back to 19 Infantry Training Centre, joining “T” Company to continue training.
    04/01/46 – having completed training, he is posted to 25 (Infantry) Holding Battalion pending transfer to a new unit / posting.
    02/02/46 – posted to Draft RPQKM. (Note - This is a random set of letters allocated to units / individuals who are proceeding overseas to ensure they arrive at the correct place – think of these as similar to the baggage tags placed on your luggage at the airport etc.)
    05/02/46 – arrives in Central Mediterranean Forces (CMF), is entitled to Medical Allowance, and posted to 205 Transit Camp and placed on the unposted reinforcement list
    05/02/46 – posted to the RASC Training Depot from the X4(A) unposted reinforcement list. Note – at this stage is still badged as East Lancashire Regiment.

    Page 2 -

    15/03/46 - passes his Specialist Trade Test (STT) as a Clerk, Group “C”, Class “III”
    16/03/46 - passes his Specialist Trade Test (STT) as a Clerk, Group “C”, Class “II”.
    16/03/46 – posted to No 1 Corps Reinforcement Unit from the X4(A) unposted reinforcement list.
    16/03/46 - posted to HQ 13 Corps from the X4(A) unposted reinforcement list.
    16/03/46 – compulsory transfer to Royal Army Service Corps from East Lancashire Regiment.
    23/07/46 – Struck off Strength to 83 (British) General Hospital - X(2) list.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2024
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  10. sjw8

    sjw8 Well-Known Member


    Page 3 -

    Again I have re-sorted these into date order.

    28/07/46 – returns to HQ 13 Corps from hospital.
    26/08/46 – posted from Rear HQ 13 Corps to (main?) HQ 13 Corps.
    26/08/46 – promoted to Unpaid Acting Corporal.
    26/08/46 – promoted to Paid Acting Corporal.
    26/08/46 – reclassified as “Two Stars”.
    ? 01/10/46 - posted to GHQ, CMF and Taken on Strength.
    27/10/46 – detrained (? location unknown)
    24/11/46 - granted War Substansive Corporal.
    11/12/46 – promoted to Unpaid Acting and Paid Acting Sergeant.
    19/04/47 – embarked at Villach for 19 days Priviledge Leave to UK, Medical Allowance ceases. (Note – Villach in Austria was a main transit point for those returning to the UK on leave or on posting)
    12/05/47 – detrained Villach from UK leave, and Medical Allowance resumes.
    08/06/47 – granted War Substansive Sergeant.
    08/12/47 – Struck of Strength CMF for UK. Local Overseas Allowance ceases.
    20/12/47- granted 14 days Xmas leave, entitled to 14 days Ration Allowance (RA) @3/2 per day.
    31/01/48 - Struck of Strength GHQ, CMF to Regimental Depot, Thetford.
    31/01/48 – Taken on Strength - Depot Battalion.
    25/03/48 - Struck of Strength - Depot Battalion and posted to Y/7 List.

    With regards to 13 Corps, according to the Imperial War Museum, this formation occupied Austria and North East corner of Italy, including Trieste. This ties in with your grandad’s recollections of being in Venice and Trieste. 13 Corps disbanded in 1946 hence his posting to GHQ CMF.

    Hope all this helps,

    Steve W
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2024
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  11. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Mist over Dartmoor

    I was hoping you might turn up Steve W, many thanks for helping the Original Poster.
    Your comment regarding XIII Corps is correct.

    This is the easier bit.

    XIII Corps (United Kingdom) - Wikipedia
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  12. Mark Ay

    Mark Ay Member

    Thank you Steve W, hugely helpful. Thank you to Uncle Target too. All great information.
    We know he contracted and was hospitalised with malaria while in Italy, so that will account for the period in hospital.
    I spent some time at The National Records Office yesterday and looked through the War Diaries for HQ RASC 13 Corps for Jan to April 1946. Fascinating what is available, it's just finding the right documents to look at. I do now have an address for the HQ in Trieste when he would have been there.
    He always wanted to return to Italy, but never got there. Next month we are taking my Mum to Venice and Trieste to see some of the places he would have been. I've looked at his photographs of the Victory Parade in Trieste, looked at locations on Google maps and worked out roughly where he would have been standing too.
    The information from you both has helped make the trip far more informed, thank you!
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  13. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Mist over Dartmoor

    Mark Ay,
    Good to know that you followed this up yourself.
    I often wonder how far to go in transcribing Service Records as it might spoil the Enquirers fun in researching themselves.
    Steve W is very quick and capable.
    It seems that we got it right this time.

    Enjoy your trip to Italy..
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2024
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