Accidental death 10th April 1945

Discussion in 'Royal Signals' started by Mavis Williams, May 18, 2018.

  1. Mavis Williams

    Mavis Williams Well-Known Member

    Once more, TD, I am indebted to you, I have written to the first two websites and, one never knows, does one, they may come up trumps, or just another clue, but without your help, I would be very far behind finding what happened to Francis. Kindest regards, Mavis
  2. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Extracted from the Royal Corps of Signals Association Newsletter 2017. RSA NL Final v3.pdf
    Page 38
    'Joe' had this to say ..............
    "On the day following my 18th Birthday in March 1943 I was called upon for military service with the Royal Corps of
    Signals and must report to the Special Communications Unit No. 1., stationed at Bletchley. There followed 17 weeks of
    tireless effort on interception, learning to receive 25 words of morse code a minute, then attachment to a key
    substation and even special duties crossing close to the French Coast. Only 8 recruits from the intake of 18 successfully
    attained the level of accuracy required to be appointed an SCU Operator working with the Codebreakers at Bletchley
    I landed on to the Normandy beaches in late august 1944 attached to SHAEF, the Eisenhower command headquarters
    in Versailles, not too far from Paris. The headquarters provided a continuous contact throughout the war years.
    Of my many undertakings on behalf of the SCU I well recall our move to Rhiems in April 1944. We maintained constant
    communication with the Whaddon receiving station and continued incessantly to be in communication for 3 whole
    days. We ate and we slept at the side of our radio equipment until early in the morning of May 7th 1945, we learned
    the war had ended. We watched the procession of grey military greatcoats and braided peak caps file past our glass
    partition. Witnessing General Jodl being escorted from the building having signed surrender to the allied forces. The
    involvement of the SCU was at an end. Our duties now consisted of ensuring the role of Bletchley Park remained the
    epicentre of Government Security communications overseas."
    Compiled by W.E. (Joe) Wright and extracted from his book ‘The Other BP’ written in 2015.

  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    For correctness

    a) Reims - not Rheims

    b) April 1945 - not April 1944

  4. Mavis Williams

    Mavis Williams Well-Known Member

    Thank you Tim for this, and also TD making sure it's all correct,as we want it to be of course. So Tim and TD, do I take from this that Francis LLOYD was one of these men from Bletchley Park and although he was listed as a driver, was this just a cover for his secret work? This is such a learning curve but so very interesting and so brave of these men and boys, some of them so young. Thank you so much, Kindest regards, Mavis
  5. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    My opinion at present would be to agree with TD's hypothesis in Post 17 that Francis Lloyd was actually a driver. The Unit would require drivers to move their equipment around as well as carrying messages. There is nothing to suggest that he was a radio operator and so probably never went to Bletchley Park.
    If you follow the link in my previous post to the Royal Corps of Signals Association, on page 2 are contact details for the Association Secretary as well as the Signals Museum and they may be able to help you. Walter (Joe) Wright was still going strong in Nov 2016 (Page 38 of the link).

    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  6. Mavis Williams

    Mavis Williams Well-Known Member

    Thank you Tim, will do. I much appreciate you all going the extra mile, just want to tell Francis's story correctly. Kind regards, Mavis
  7. Mavis Williams

    Mavis Williams Well-Known Member

    Hello Tim, TD and everyone who helped, just a note to say I wrote to the Royal Signals as Tim suggested and Rob Gray did a look-up, this is his reply:-

    "Dear Mrs Williams,
    Thank you for your enquiry concerning Francis Lloyd. We have very little information regarding individual soldiers who served in the Royal signals, except for those whose families have deposited information with the archive. My initial search drew a blank, however I did find the Casualty Card recording his death.

    He was a driver in 8 Special Command Unit, 21 Army Group, who were active in NW France, Belgium, Holland and Germany during World War II. Francis Lloyd was killed in a traffic accident at Champaubert, France, which is east of Paris and south of Rheims, April 1945.

    The War Graves Commission lists his grave in Clichy Northern Cemetery, Plot 16, Row 11, Grave 7.

    I am afraid this is all the information that I have been able to find.

    I have attached a photo of the Casualty Card with all the available information in 1945. Sadly of note are the words “on duty” and “Not to blame” in the third column of the card, which I imagine would have been scant consolation for his family.

    There may be more information held at the Army Personnel Centre, Historic Disclosures, Mail point 555, Kentigern House, 65 Brown Street, Glasgow, G2 4EX, (Tel 0141 2242023) They hold the Army Personnel records since 1920. However this organisation tend to charge a research fee and only supply information to enquiries from direct family members.

    I wish you luck with your ongoing research.

    Yours sincerely

    Rob Gray BA (Hons)

    Head of Research

    Royal Signals Museum

    Tel: 01258 482683 (Civ)


    Thanks to this Forum, I wouldn't have got here without your help. Kindest regards, Mavis
  8. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Good result. Thanks for letting us know.

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