89coy RASC Hq platoon war diary?

Discussion in 'RASC' started by Hillmanimpster, May 5, 2021.

  1. Hi, new member here, joined after a hearty recommendation.

    my grandad served as a GPA driver 1st British Corps RASC 89coy hq platoon, landed 6th June possibly Juno or could have been sword. Base established at tailleville a mile or so inland of Juno where they dug in for a couple of months.

    tried desperately to find war diary but to no avail. They were attached to Canadians for some months I believe until breaking out of France.

    any help gratefully received.

    image is of my grandfather T.E.Mason with the gpa. Tac sign is red over green diagonal with white stripe on top.

    many many thanks in anticipation of any help.

    Rhydian Mason

    Attached Files:

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  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    89 Coy. | The National Archives
    Reference: WO 166/13010
    89 Coy.
    Date: 1943 Jan.-Sept.
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description

    89 Coy. | The National Archives
    Reference: WO 171/2376
    89 Coy.
    Date: 1944 Apr.- Dec.
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description

    89 Coy. | The National Archives
    Reference: WO 171/6186
    89 Coy.
    Date: 1945 Jan.-Dec.
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description

    These may or may not be those you are after - although where the one that covers Oct 1943 to March 1944 is to be found I dont know

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  3. hutt

    hutt Member

    A couple more to add to TDs list - he beat me to it!
    Start with these and see what it turns up
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  4. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member


    I think I might have a bit of that diary for 1944. I’ll try to post again tomorrow.


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  5. Thank you all so much.
  6. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member


    I noted a certain name in this nominal list taken from WO171/2376. :D


    I'll have a look tomorrow and see if there is a mention of the GPA. It looks like one platoon landed (or at least was due to land) on D+1 on MIKE Sector but there is also an intriguing note to a single vehicle with driver landing (or due to land) on QUEEN Beach on D+1 and being attached to 1 Corps Def Coy.


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  7. Wonderful, although I seem to remember he said his service number was 99693, (10290024 on enlistment to national service) I think his war service records confirms that, so 99698 probably a typo! Yes he was L/cpl.
    Many thanks for this, stuff like this really means a lot to a doting grandson.

    I believe GPA sometimes referred to as ¼ton vehicle amphibian.
  8. Rhydian,

    Thanks for posting this very nice photo of your granddad and his GPA! It appears to have been shot in winter, possibly in the Netherlands? The AoS Serial 54 over RASC Flash with a white bar above is the General Transport Company in Corps Troops.

    If you have more photos please do post them here, there might be more markings or surroundings for us to ponder about.

    Below is the (undated) Unit Staff Table for 89 Corps Transport Company RASC, part of 1 Corps Troops, supposed to list how and when its constituent parts were scheduled to sail for the Continent. Note that no GPA appears here. Note also that the earliest estimated date of sailing is D Day, therefore arriving after 6 June. This is consistent with the available Landing Tables for the three Assault Forces S, J and G, which do not list any element from 89 Coy.
    T-7620 - 1886 - Unit Staff Table - 1 Corps Tps - A 1039 - 89 Corps Tpt Coy RASC - 31621.jpg
    T-7620 - 1887 - Unit Staff Table - 1 Corps Tps - A 1039 - 89 Corps Tpt Coy RASC - 31621.jpg

    However, the Unit Staff Tables must have undergone some changes, because Follow up Force L, some parts of which commenced offloading late on 6 June, does include some elements of 89 Corps Tpt Coy. See these extracts from Naval Force 'L':

    Serial 3002 – 12 3ton 4x4 Ford with 21 men from 89 Corps troops Company RASC
    Serial 3005 – 10 3ton 4x4 GS with 21 men from 89 Corps Transport Company RASC
    Serial 3008 – 13 3ton 4x4 Ford with 22 men from 89 Corps Transport Company RASC

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  9. Hi, and thanks for that Michel.
    I'm sure that he landed on 6/6/44 whilst there was still some fighting going on. One of their despatch riders (Gordon Prime - still very much alive and living in Pembrokeshire) landed on Juno - although my grandfather may have landed on Sword (he recalled it may have been sword beach but of course they were active in the area for weeks after the landings so maybe over the course of time the memory failed a bit in his recall). It may have been that their coy was spread out a bit, but they were dug in slit trenches until at least mid august at Tailleville.

    The photo I posted may well be Holland - they were billetted with a number of welcoming local families (I will find out from Gordon what region it was) and I believe that's where that photo might be taken - with the family that my Grandad was staying with at the time.

    I've attached another photo showing a very clean GPA - not sure when this was taken - could have been before they left for Normandy, could be well after - my grandfather third from left, with his very tall good friend Tommy Haslop (they stayed in touch for many years after the war) and the rest of their drinking gang (I guess!). You can see the 1st Corps spearhead on the front corner.

    Anyway, looking through his service record (which I got many years ago - poor photocopies in no particular order), here's what I know:

    Enlisted 17/7/39: No2 GHQ Coy RASC
    18/11/40: 927 Coy RASC
    9/7/41: 32 M C Coy (MC?)
    7/11/41: 89 Gen Tpt Coy
    2/1/44: Appointed U/A/L/Cpl
    21/1/44: Apptd P/L/Cpl having held u/rank for 21 days.
    1/6/44: Embarked

    There's lots more details of course but the italic writing is not particularly clear.

    The names of the Majors he was under (that I remember him telling me about) was Major Reeves, Major Walker, and the name of the chap that signed his discharge paper was Major Addey (I think it's addey, could be Addie?).

    He also recalled dealing with a boat/ship called the Rigno/Rigano or could even be Regina (unfortunatelly, he suffered a stroke late in life at the time where I was getting to my late teens which is when I got more interested in his service and his memory and speech were affected so details were not as clear as they could be).

    I remember he told me the Major (in Munster, where his discharge was sorted) begged him to stay on and was offering further promotions of rank, but he wanted to get home to his parent's farm at a small village near Aberystwyth in Wales (the same house where I was bought up), and also, back to his sweetheart who he married shortly after coming home.


    Attached Files:

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  10. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member


    Fantastic photos - thanks for posting. I'm thinking that they are most likely autumn 1944 or early 1945. It's pretty unusual but there is a mention of the unit receiving a jeep on 1 June 1944:

    Amphibious Jeep - 1 Jun 44.JPG

    The company was split up into 9 serials for Normandy - some platoon size (@ 35 odd vehicles) and some much smaller - arrival of the whole company was scheduled to take until D+17 if I'm reading that right, although with the majority coming in over the first few days. The diary was written by someone at Coy HQ and it is not entirely clear when the other serials landed.


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  11. Bruneval

    Bruneval Well-Known Member

    Hi Tom,

    The CWGC has the following service personnel from 89 Corps Tpt Coy listed:

    21 Jun 44:

    • LCpl Walter Ronald MURCH (Bayeux).
    • Sgt Reginald Henry HERRING (Ranville) - listed as Killed in Action.
    • Pte Alfred Archibald WEATHERILL (Bayeux).
    • SSgt Daniel James SUTHERLAND (Bayeux).
    • Pte Arthur Charles THOMPSETT (Bayeux).
    19 Jul 44:
    • Sgt Thomas Shepherd DEANS (Ranville).
    I know that sometimes ORs are not mentioned in the War Diaries, however, do these names feature on your copy of the Unit's War Diary?


  12. Tom, that's amazing, thanks. So I guess the photo I posted of it with the 'gang' having a beer had to have been taken immediatelly after it was delivered then - maybe a last drink before they were locked in at Tilbury docks - and that would explain why it looks so clean - it's brand new.

    I'm not the best at reading in the old italic handwriting style but can make out: 1x5cwt AMPHIBIAN JEEP received - this JEEP has been on demand for past siz weeks and now delivery has been affected. ???? no time for training and practice in the handling(?) care + maintenance of it. JEEP to be ???? surplus to W.E.?

    Gordon Prime told me that after the main battle of normandy had settled down, with a bit of down time during late summer, my grandfather would drive the jeep, loaded with comrades in their shorts/underpants, out to the sea a few hundred yards - at the exit point at Gray Sur Mer (the road where "1 Charlie" Churchil tank with Petard Mortar is now parked as a memorial) and they'd swim back to shore. My grandfather only swam once in his life and hated the sea. That was at Dunkirk 4 years previous.

    This photo is a nice one of the gang 89coy: Photo shows (l-r):
    Front Row: Gordon Prime, Burt Stinchcombe, George Rothwell, Langley Harper
    Back Row: ???, Cpl Pasmore, Sgt Waron, L/Cpl T.E. Mason

    A copy of this photo was given to me by Gordon Prime. This was taken at the Belgium-Holland Border at the time of the battle for Arnhem.

    There was one or two of these renowned for falling into the canals after drinking the local cognac which was highly regarded apparently. Gordon tells my my Grandad was one of them.

    They also 'rescued' a piano from a shelled out posh french chateau apparently, which ended up being hidden in the back of one of their trucks and was taken all the way to Germany. A number of impromptu sing songs were held according to Gordon!.

    Of note, 2nd August 1944: Lawrence 'Taffy' Sutton KIA whilst in his slit trench at Tailleville. He was one of the gang, from Pontypridd, south Wales.

    Attached Files:

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