93rd Searchlight Regiment

Discussion in 'The Women of WW2' started by RichyJ91, Mar 26, 2024.

  1. RichyJ91

    RichyJ91 Junior Member

    Good afternoon,

    I'm currently researching the all-female 93rd Searchlight Regiment (Basic Information Here) that my Grandmother was a part of, and am looking for any additional information that any members may have or whether they can point me in the right direction please.

    My Grandmother, Patricia Longland (formerly Baxter) passed away in 1987 so I've so far been unable to request her service record without the death certificate (whereabouts unknown), and do not know her service number.

    So far I've been able to find:
    - A memoir she wrote in 1985 about her time in the Regiment (makes for interesting reading!)
    - Numerous high quality photos of her that my Grandfather passed onto us
    - A photo of a group from the unit which we believe was featured on the front cover of British Vogue at some point

    I'm keen to link up with anyone who may have an interest or further information on the regiment if possible, such as where my Grandmother might have been station or any other specifics.


    PS: We're also looking to confirm whether or not she would have received the War Medal for her time in the regiment.

    PPS: Gallantry award has been found to be awarded to a different women of the same age, name and location.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 19, 2024
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  2. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member

    Last edited: Mar 26, 2024
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  3. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Mist over Dartmoor

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  4. RichyJ91

    RichyJ91 Junior Member

    Hi Guy,

    Big help - thanks so much! My mum knows nothing of this so she's going to ask around the family as we'd like to confirm that this is the same Patricia Baxter. The age and location matches, but other than that she never mentioned it.
  5. RichyJ91

    RichyJ91 Junior Member

    Thanks mate. Would I probably be right to assume she'd have most likely been part of "3 Anti-Aircraft Group, 47 Anti-Aircraft Brigade" within the 93rd, seeing as that was Southampton and she lived in Portsmouth? And served after it became all-female?
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  6. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Mist over Dartmoor

    It appears that she was awarded the BEM before she was in the Search Light Regt working as a telephonist in The Auxiliary Fire Service in Southampton 1941.

    If she joined the 93rd SLR when it was all female in 1943, then it would indeed fit the criteria.

    Firstly you need to confirm that this is the same person.

    You might find the answer on Ancestry or Find My past 1939 Census sheet which should list the address and occupation. Other family members might also appear on the Census Sheet.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2024
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  7. RichyJ91

    RichyJ91 Junior Member

    Having talked as a family we’ve come to the conclusion that the award wasn’t for her. None of her children are aware of it and the address listed on the original isn’t one they knew her to have lived at unfortunately. Same name, age and general location but will need further research via the census, as you say. Thanks for your help anyway.
  8. RichyJ91

    RichyJ91 Junior Member

    Before too much time passes in this thread, would any of chaps happen to know whether my Grandmother was likely to have received the War Medal or not? I have one, with my Grandads medals (her husbands) but I not sure where it has come from, and it's not his and he has one already. Thanks.
  9. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

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  10. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Do you not have some idea of where she lived? Could this be her? Remember that you do not need any military details i.e. service number to send away for service records, just a date of birth and death certificate:-

    First name(s) Patricia E
    Last name Baxter
    Birth registration year 1921
    Registration quarter 1
    Mother's maiden name Ruffell
    District Portsmouth
    County Hampshire
    Country England
    Volume 2B
    Page 832

    First name(s) Patricia Eileen
    Last name Baxter
    Birth date 04 Jan 1921
    Baptism date 13 Feb 1921
    Baptism place Southsea, St Bartholomew
    Residence 11 Rugby Road
    Father's first name(s) Douglas Frederick Alfred
    Mother's first name(s) Kathleen
    County Hampshire
    Country England
    [My note: Douglas Frederick Alfred Baxter married Kathleen Ruffell 29 May 1920 @ St Marks Church, Portsmouth]

    First name(s) Patricia E
    Last name Baxter
    Marriage quarter 4
    Marriage year 1946
    Patricia E Baxter married one of these people John J Longland
    District Portsmouth
    County Hampshire
    Volume 6B
    Volume as transcribed 6B
    Page number 876

    First name(s) Patricia Eileen
    Last name Longland
    Sex Female
    Birth day 4
    Birth month 1
    Birth year 1921
    Death quarter 3
    Death year 1987
    District South East Hampshire
    Register number 787
    County Hampshire
    Volume 20
    Page 1499
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  11. RichyJ91

    RichyJ91 Junior Member

    Yes, that's her. I hadn't realised how easy it would be to request the death certificate after all this time, so just assumed it'd all be quite difficult. I'll purchase a copy today and get on to ordering the service record. Thanks.
    Tony56 likes this.
  12. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    1921 Living @ 24 Trafalgar St, Landport
    Douglas Frederick Alfred Baxter, age 23y 9m, born Portsmouth, Hampshire, Electrical fitter, HM Dockyard
    Kathleen Baxter, age 22y 3m, born Stockbridge, Hampshire
    Patricia Eileen Baxter, age 5m, born Portsmouth, Hampshire

    1939 Living @ 114 Chatsworth Ave, Portsmouth
    Baxter, Douglas FA dob 13 Sept 97, Electrical draughtsman HMD
    Baxter, Kate dob 26 Mar 99
    Baxter, Patricia E dob 4 Jan 21, Ladies outfitters shop assistant
  13. RichyJ91

    RichyJ91 Junior Member

    Interesting! As a family, we’re leaning towards this likely being a different Patricia Baxter but you never know! Her children have no memory of her living at the address listed on the original document scan in Southsea. I’ll pass on the photo and see of they think there is a resemblance. Much appreciated, big help.
  14. Red Goblin

    Red Goblin Senior Member

    Have you also seen this ATS Remembered history page? I'm especially wary of their crew enumeration omitting the oft-forgotten #10 usually hidden away behind a hedge where no barn was available. Did they normally dispense with one member so as to reassign #10's role to #9 !?

    Maybe then also see my defence of #10s over on Uncle Target's 2021Searchlight unit Organisation & operation
    thread in which I hark even further back to Fighting Lights - a slim 1942 paperback which ends up backing ATS SL takeover.

    Last edited: Apr 16, 2024

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