BEF/DUNKIRK/Army field wkshop 9

Discussion in 'REME/RAOC' started by Jaxster, Jan 29, 2020.

  1. Jaxster

    Jaxster Member

    hello all,
    I'm trying to find out more about my grandpa. Staff Sargent Reginald John Matthew's. Territorial, embodied and sent to France. Evacuated from Dunkirk. Then served in the med and Iraq. Where can I source the war diaries? Please dont say Kew...I'm miles away.
  2. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    You don't actually need to go there yourself. There are a number of forum members who will take copies for a reasonable fee. Get a copy of his service record from MOD to find which units he was in and then if you need to see the diaries first do a search on the forum (there may already be a copy posted or linked to) and if necessary post details of which ones you need and I'm sure they'll be in contact.
    Jaxster likes this.
  3. Jaxster

    Jaxster Member


    Attached Files:

  4. Jaxster

    Jaxster Member

    Hi Robert,
    Thanks for your reply. I have his service records . I know he was in AFW 9 , 22 BATTALION RAOC. But then there are numerous letters/numbers/locations etc. Would the place to start be 22 Battalion RAOC?
  5. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Post a copy of the record to the forum - there will be people here who can interpret those letters etc and give you a record of his movements. This can often be more revealing than a war diary
    Jaxster likes this.
  6. Jaxster

    Jaxster Member

    Telling me the photos on my phone are too large. Seems odd as it's already posted 3 of them. Oh well never mind. Plan B
  7. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member


    My Dad was in 11 AFW RAOC with the BEF and 1st Arm Div and REME later.

    From my notes

    AFWs allocation in France

    1 Div 1,2 & 11

    2 Div 3,8 & 14

    48 Div 4,9

    Saarforce 10

    At TNA
    WO 167/1209
    Description: 9 Army Field Workshop Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC)
    Date: 1940 May-June

    Not finding much on 22 Battalion. However,after Dunkirk there was a increased threat of Germany invading and so all of the troops in UK were given the job of preparing for the invasion.

    All of the RAOC units including AFWs in the Nottinghamshire/Lincolnshire are were merged into what was to be called 1st RAOC Infantry Corps.

    Each AFW or OFP was effectively turned into a small sized infantry battalion and were all given a airfield to defend. My dad went to RAF Syerston. Their HQ was in the town hall in Newark.

    I can only guess that the same might have been done further north and he was in 22 Battalion of whatever corps they created up there.

    The RAOC Mobilisation center was at Arnold which was just to the north of Nottingham. Dad went there many times before finally going to N Africa.

    At TNA
    WO 169/12457
    Description: Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers: 23 Workshop Company (REME)
    Date: 1943 Mar.- Dec

    Reference: WO 169/17266
    Description: Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers: 23 Workshop Company (REME Wksp)
    Date: 1944 Jan.- Apr., Dec.

    Hope this helps

  8. Jaxster

    Jaxster Member

    Hi Gus
    Every little helps. Looking at his service record.
    Embodied Sheffield 2/9/39
    Disembarked France 31/1/40
    Then acting and promotions between 8/3/40 and 8/6/40.
    Then " Evacuated UK"
    Then joined No 4 ?/Bn 29/5/40
    Trans medical grade B2 4/6/40
    Posted to 6th division Ond W'shop RAOC SEASCCYL ? 25/7/40 62 section RAOC
    Posted SANAI 31297 from Arnold RAOC W'shops All'd mob centre RAOC 14/7/41
    Posted to 31st Tank Bde w/s from Sanai 31297 18/8/41
    Then it gets confusing on various forms but I'll try and keep it in date order .
    Proceeded with 31st tank bed CTBA mob centre RAOC Arnold 5/10/41
    Admitted connaught hospital aldershot 29/12/41
    Discharged hospital Aldershot 13/12/41
    ( as written dates back to front)
    Posted to 31st A.T.B 30/12/41
    Posted to 22 or 23 W/Shops coy R.E. Stirling 27/20/42
    RAOC ARNOLD NOTTS 27/10/42
    Posted to 23 W/S coy REME from 22Bn RAOC
    Proceeded with 23 W/S coy 15/12/44
    Embarked from ? ? ???? 14/12/42
    ( I know the troopship was chased by UBoats. Route took them acrosd to Argentina, and then back across the Atlantic to SA)

    DISEMBARKED P.A.I.Force 15/3/43
    DISEMBARKED S.A.(sth africa) 19/1/43
    DISEMBARKED S.A. 13/2/43

    6Div W/S 31st tank brigade 18/8/41 427/43 PAI 23 W/shop 27/8/43
    31 T B'de ??? Coy 30/12/41 PAIF 69/45 XIV 26/4/45
    22Btn 14061 25/9/42 20x/45 XIV ME 30/4/45
    100 Coy REME 1/10/42 146r/454 base W/S 20/5/45
    23 W/S coy 28/10/42 1398/45 TOSME 30/4/45
    23 W/S coy 13/12/42 1331/45 TOS Y LI??E 23/7/45
    PERSIA 14/12/42 2863/45 4 BASE W/S to VIII A SIDI BISHR

    DISEMBARKED IRAQ 15/3/43 2036/45 M.E.F UK & S.O.S. M.EF. 11/7/45

    44/43 PAI X list II 20/8/45 2021/45 class 2 (t) 24 OCT 1945

    23 W/shop admitted to hosp PAIF 20/8/43
    ( I know that was sadly fever)
    Discharged hosp 27/8/43
    Awarded 1939 / 43 Star
    Posted to x-(IV) from 23 W/S 26/4/45
    REMAINS XIV entitled to Mediterranean allce 30/4/45
    Document from 02E paic to 02E MEF 30/4/45
    or acting REMÈ BD
    4 BASE W/S posted this unit 20/5/45
    LEAVE with HRW in Egypt 9-23 june
    Medically examined for release and found for for further service
    Posted to XVIII a 26/6/45
    Embarked for UK ME W/S/SGT 11/7/45

    Ta Da !!
  9. Jaxster

    Jaxster Member

    Sand fly fever....
  10. Mr Bradbury

    Mr Bradbury Junior Member

    Hi Jaxster, well done on deciphering the Service record!

    As said there are guys on the forum who can help. Here is a link to a search engine to help find the diaries you need War Diary Search Engine -

    Also, this website can help identify the convoy and possibly the troopship ConvoyWeb


  11. Southern Comfort

    Southern Comfort New Member


    just found your query. My great uncle Lt Col Arthur Levesley commanded 9 AFW from its formation in Sheffield prior to joining the BEF until they got back from Dunkirk and his posting away in July 1940. Just as he did in WW1 he kept a war diary and subsequently had them typed up and bound and distributed them to his brothers and sisters plus one unidentified unit museum. I have my late grandfather's copy. Its a lot to photo copy and/or scan (64 pages just for the period you're interested in) but that's one option of getting it to you. I live in the New Forest, don't know how local we are but in better times maybe we can meet up? Is there anything specific I can look up for you?
    Rich Payne and Tricky Dicky like this.

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