143 Coy TT RASC looking for all new elements

Discussion in 'RASC' started by Johan Van Damme, Jun 3, 2018.

  1. Hallo
    We are building a new house, that's wat i am not responsief so soon. I promesse i Honda do these evening
  2. Hazel Martell

    Hazel Martell Member

    Hello Johan - and thank you for replying. I'll look forward to hearing more from you when you have time!
  3. My mother died in 2013 and we found 58 letters of Arthur Robson a driver of 143 Coy TT RASC. When the Coy arrived on 24 september 1944 my mother lived in the 5de Januaristraat 54 in Sint-Gillis. She was 17 and had no notian of English. The most of the 398 soldars stayed by hostfamilies in Sint-Gillis, Lebbeke and Baasrode. 23 of them married a girl from those towns. Arthur moved to Tasmania. We are still in touch with his son (Donald) and daugther (Kay). There are 20 families still in contact with each other. I've written a book of the seven months stay from 24 sept 1944 till 26 april 1945. It's in flemish but it will be transeladet in English at the end of 2019
  4. Hazel Martell

    Hazel Martell Member

    Hi Johan - it was good to hear from you yesterday and I'll look forward to reading your book in due course. Meanwhile I have found a copy of the letter Dad wrote to Mum in January 1945, when the snow was thick on the ground in Sint Gillis. It's on my old computer, so I'll probably have to re-type it and maybe send it to you a little bit at a time as it's quite long but very interesting. Regards, Hazel
  5. Hazel Martell

    Hazel Martell Member

    Hi Johan - I've now started to type out the letter I was telling you about. It was sent to my mum from my dad in Sint Gillis, written on January 21st 1944 and posted on January 23rd. They had met when 143 Co. was in Morley in December-January 1940-41 - when Mum was 17 and Dad was 20, and by the time this letter was written they were engaged to be married. The first part of the letter describes the convoy which Jim Sinton describes on pages 103 to 109. I think Dad was in the first section of the convoy. This is what he wrote:
    "I'm sorry that I never wrote to you last week. But you know that it wasn't my fault I was unable to write. You can guess that I was out on a convoy and, believe me, I hope that I'll never have to go on another convoy like the last one. By the time I got back t our HQ, I was deadbeat. As a rule everyone is glad to get away from HQ, but, believe me, I think everyone was glad to get back here this time.
    We went out on Monday afternoon and got to the place where we had to load the tanks just before it got dark. So then we had our tea and we thought that we had finished for the day. But while we were having our tea, our OC came in and told us that we had to load up that night as, you see, it was a secret job and we had to load the tanks on in the dark so that the civilians couldn't see what sort of tanks they were. Well, we got the tank on and covered it over with a big tarpaulin sheet and we managed to get finished about 12 o'clock that night.
    The next morning we set off at 8 o'clock. The roads were covered in snow and ice. Very often we were doing the Skaters' Waltz, but we did the first 60 miles all right. But it was then that the trouble started. So far it had been in flat country, but then we ran up against a few hills so we had to crawl along as our tractor wheels were spinning because we hadn't any snow-chains. Well, we stopped for some dinner at 4 o'clock, then after dinner they told us we had another 8 miles to do for that day. So we thought we were well off. But to do that 8 miles took us about 6 hours, so you can guess what the roads were like.
    Well, during the night it rained a little and as it was raining it was freezing as it was coming down, so it was worse than ever. But we made a start at about 1 o'clock in the afternoon. We didn't do too badly that day, though it was nearly 12 o'clock when we finished that night again. I was glad when we unloaded and started on our way back. When we did get back, our OC sent round to say that we could all stop in bed until half-past twelve the next day - and, believe me, I did. I could tell you a lot more about the convoy, but I hadn't better say any more or else I'll be having you in tears...
    Friday night I was on guard. I was just going to start to write to you when the electric was shut off and I had to leave it. When I was on guard it started snowing at about half-past ten and it kept on for a few hours. What a night it was! By morning it was about six inches deep. Then it snowed again that night and it was snowing when I got up for breakfast. Then this afternoon the sun was shining but it didn't melt the snow. I haven;t done any work today. We were supposed to do maintenance, but we can't do any in this weather and anyway it's Sunday."

    I'll try and type the rest of it up for you later this week, but meanwhile I've found two pictures of my dad in The Long Trailers. On page 121 he's the one on the left in the group of three men and on page 123 he's the third man from the left.

    Hope this is of interest to you. Kind regards, Hazel
  6. Hazel Martell

    Hazel Martell Member

    Hello again, Johan! Here's the second part of the letter I promised you.

    "After dinner I came down the house and sat in the armchair. The old lady [Mrs Claessens] made me put my feet up on another chair and put a blanket over me. I was soon asleep and I didn't wake up until half-past five. I can sleep any time and any where. I think that I have nearly caught up with the sleep that I lost last week.
    I think that's enough of what's been happening this past week. Before I say any more, I must thank you for the lovely parcel I had last week. I had it the day before we went on convoy. Thank you for everything and of course thank your mother and Dad as well. I'll write and thank them if I'm not on guard tomorrow night. Oh, that cake you put in was lovely and it was such a surprise. It was lovely and it hadn't been broken. I shared it with the old lady and gent [Mr and Mrs Claessens] here. They also said it was very good. You see they haven't been able to get any currants, sultanas or raisins for the last six years. So they were pleased when I gave them some of it. I had a job making them have any because they said you had sent it for me. But I made them have some as they are more than kind to me.
    Yesterday I had a parcel of cigarettes, so I say thank you very much. I had a nice parcel from my mother yesterday with cocoa and some coffee. The coffee is for these people as they can't get real coffee. I don;t know what sort of stuff they get, but it's a long way from being coffee. They can get coffee on the Black Market, but they have got to pay 300 Franks for it. That's a kilo and I think a kilo is somewhere around the two pounds mark. They can get nearly everything on the Black Market, but the prices they have to pay are terrible.
    It's still snowing. It will be very deep by morning. The news is very good these past few days. If things keep going as it is now, this B----- war will soon be over. I know it can't finish soon enough for me."

    Hope it's of interest to you! Kind regards, Hazel
  7. back again
    give me three weeks
  8. Philip Gordon

    Philip Gordon New Member

    Here are two pictures of my uncle Alfred George Symonds, who was in Sub-Park 12. He never spoke about his experiences. I have obtained his service record and am trying to match it to the operations recorded in The Long Trailers, of which I have a copy. The copy I have was signed by Major R Hartham. Does anyone know why they were called Sub Parks?

    Attached Files:

  9. I'm sorry that i didn't reply buth we were building a new house. I'm back. Ihave a lot to tell about "our" Coy 143 TT Rasc.
    My E-mail adress : johan_700@hotmail.com
  10. first p. : This foto is taken in Baasrode februari 12 1945 at De Grote Plaats. From that time the soldars had to sleep in the trucks. Workshops and Hq went to Baasrode. See "lThe Long Trailers" page 110
    Second : Lebbeke 1940 the people of Lebbeke kept their Church bell for them self. When the Germans discover their secret, they went to Lebbeke. But the locals berried the Church bell. The Germans never found it. On march 30 1945 our Coy with Captain J. Marchall brought the Bell back to the church.
    trirth : the first of april the Church Bell back home.

    Attached Files:

  11. Please Hazel can you contact me again

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