16289 Captain (T/Major) Alfred McEwan Window, RA - Service with BEF?

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by PackRat, Nov 1, 2018.

  1. PackRat

    PackRat Well-Known Member

    Trying to solve a minor mystery regarding this officer. Can anyone find any details of which regiment he served with in the BEF?

    I'm currently reading a short memoir by Sgt A.C. Smith of 315 Battery, 130th Field Regiment RA. In it is the following line:

    "We were expecting a new Bty. Comd. and I was about to close down when I saw a figure approaching across the paddy field. I recognised the gait at once, it was Major McEwan Window, a Bty. Comd. I had served with him in the T.A. before the war and with him in the B.E.F. in France. I realised the Battery was in for a shake up."

    The Field Returns from 130 Fld Regt's war diary show Captain (T/Major) Window joining the regiment on 22/06/1942 (written as "Window, A. McE").

    130 (Lowland) Fld Regt didn't go to France, but had an exchange of troops with 139 (4th London) Fld Regt in August 1940, in which 60 ex-BEF men (including my grandfather) from 139 joined 130. I've been making the foolish assumption that, in the very early part of its Burma Campaign at least, any man with BEF experience had joined the regiment during this exchange.

    Is it possible to find which regiment Captain Window (and therefore Sgt Smith) was with in France short of requesting his service records? Would his TA attestation show his regiment?

    Window won the MC with 130 Fld Regt during the First Arakan Campaign (citation kindly provided by Sol):

    Window_Alfred_McEwan.jpg

    And he might be the man mentioned on this BBC page (seems to be talking about combined ops training in late 1943/early 1944 - 130 Field, now reorganised as an assault regiment, itself was in Juhu in Jan 1944): BBC - WW2 People's War - Further Training in India - Combined Operations Bombardment Unit
     
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  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Can't help directly but I note he was born in India

    India, Select Births and Baptisms, 1786-1947
    Alfred Mcewen Window

    and died on The Canaries - from his probate
    Name: Alfred Mcewen Window
    Death Date: 18 Mar 1981
    Death Place: Canaria Spain
    Probate Date: 23 Dec 1981
    Registry: Ipswich

    TD
     
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  3. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Found these:
    1
    First name(s) Alfred Mcewen
    Last name Window
    Service number 16289
    Rank -
    Service Royal Artillery
    Event year 1943
    Gazette date 16 Dec 1943
    Award MC
    Commission Captain (Temporary Major)
    Theatre Burma
    Country Great Britain
    Period 130 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
    Medal type Royal Artillery Honours & Awards, 1886-2013
    Dataset Royal Artillery, Military Cross awards 1916-1945
    Record set Britain, Campaign, Gallantry & Long Service Medals & Awards
    Category Military, armed forces & conflict
    Subcategory Medal Rolls and Honours
    Collections from Great Britain, UK None

    2
    First name(s) Alfred Mcewen
    Last name Window
    Service number 16289
    Rank Captain (A/Major)
    Service Royal Artillery
    Event year 1940
    Gazette date 20 Dec 1940
    Award Mentioned in Dispatches
    Remarks on award Put up for MC
    Recommended by BEF 19/8344
    Theatre BEF France 1940
    Country Great Britain
    File number 68/Gen/6974
    Medal type Royal Artillery Honours & Awards, 1886-2013
    Dataset Royal Artillery Honours & Awards
    Record set Britain, Campaign, Gallantry & Long Service Medals & Awards
    Category Military, armed forces & conflict
    Subcategory Medal Rolls and Honours
    Collections from Great Britain, UK None

    From the 1911 census, his father, Alfred Serapis Window was a Sergeant Major in the Royal Field Artillery, born at sea in 1870, HMS Serapis.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
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  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    UK, British Army Lists, 1882-1962 results for A Window
    A . McE. Window 1939 Royal Artillery-Territorial Army Capt

    A . McE Window 1940 Royal Artillery-Territorial Army Capt

    A . McE. Window 1941 Royal Artillery-Territorial Army Capt

    A . McE. Window 1942 Royal Artillery-Territorial Army Capt

    A . McE. Window 1943 Royal Artillery--Territorial Army Capt

    A . Mce. Window 1944 Royal Artilirty-terrltorlal Army Capt

    A . McE. Window 1945 Royal Artillery Capt

    Nothing more detailed than that I'm afraid - service records may be the best way to go to answer your question, unless something can be turned up in WD's

    TD
     
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  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    1911 Census

    Born in Campbellsport, Punjab, India

    Name: Alfred Mcbean Window
    Age in 1911: 14
    Estimated Birth Year: abt 1897
    Relation to Head: Son
    Gender: Male
    Birth Place: Cam, India
    Civil Parish: Plumstead
    Search Photos: Search for 'Plumstead' in the UK City, Town and Village Photos collection
    County/Island: London
    Country: England
    Street address: 18 Vernham Road, Plumstead
    Occupation: SCHOOL
    Registration district: Woolwich
    Registration District Number: 30
    Sub-registration district: Plumstead West
    ED, institution, or vessel: 9
    Piece: 2891
    Household Members:
    Name Age
    Alfred Serafis Window 40
    Martha Fraser Window 44
    Alfred Mcbean Window 14
    Christina Annie Pottie Window 10
    Hugh Drummond Herbert Window 9
    Ada Elliott 23

    TD
     
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  6. PackRat

    PackRat Well-Known Member

    Many thanks TD & Tony. TD's post on the 1911 census makes me think that the Window mentioned on the BBC site is surely him. It says:

    "Lt. Col. A McEwen Window, a veteran of World War One and holder of a Military Cross"

    If he was born about 1897 then he was prime age to have served in WW1, and had the MC from the Arakan.

    The regiment's war diaries are sadly of no help on this one, the 1940-42 diaries are extremely sparse in every respect, only getting more detailed with the move into Burma at the start of 43.
     
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    He was a Temporary Major, Substantive Captain with 139 Field Regiment in May 1940.
     
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  8. PackRat

    PackRat Well-Known Member

    Well now I'm really confused...

    You're absolutely right Drew, thank you - he was indeed with 139 Field Regiment in France. Had a comb through 139's WD and found this one mention of him:

    139Window.png

    That means Sgt A.C. Smith must have been with 139 as well.

    In August 1940, the personnel exchange with 130 Field Regiment took place, but Window was not one of the officers who transferred:

    139Aug40.jpg

    Window then somehow turns up in India in mid-1942 - two years later - and joins 130 Field. Here's the field return for the period. The only officer mentioned in the 1940 exchange still on strength is Lt. Crow. Crow's date of joining the unit is 6.8.40, Window's is 22.6.42:

    130Officers.png

    I'm a bit baffled by this. There don't seem to be any special links between the two regiments, apart from the 1940 order from on high to exchange 60 men to impart some ex-BEF experience to 130 Field. 139 was from South London, 130 from the Scottish Lowlands. I think 139 did go to India, but didn't arrive until late 1942, well after Window arrived and took over 315 Battery of 130 Field.
     
  9. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    As he was born in India, perhaps he asked for a transfer ??

    TD
     
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  10. PackRat

    PackRat Well-Known Member

    I think that may be it, he had the India connection and was perhaps itching to get back to the action. From A.C. Smith's memoir the chap sounds like a bit of a terror:

    McEW.jpg
     

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