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Belsen and raoc april 1945

Discussion in 'REME/RAOC' started by Henleyblue, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. Henleyblue

    Henleyblue Junior Member

    My late father landed at Gold Beach on 6th June and was a member of the Ordnance Group moving north east following the breakout from Normandy. I know that he was part of the group that went into Belsen on April 15th to assist with the liberation of the camp. Having read much about the liberation and from the briefest of references made about it by my father it was obvious that the horror was unspeakable. However, I am trying to put together an accurate picture of the RAOC's time there and the likely tasks my father would have undertaken. If anybody has any information about this period or is aware of any living veterans who would be prepared to share their experiences please get in touch.
  2. CL1

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

    Welcome Henleyblue

    if you could post details of your Father (if not deemed to personal),I am sure forum members will be able to add information.
  3. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    Hi Henleyblue - Welcome to the forum. :)

    Do you know which RAOC unit(s) your father was with during this time?

  4. Wren1984

    Wren1984 Member

    Hi wondered if someone could help me my grampy was one of the first into belsen in April 1945. He has said he was in the 53rd regiment RAOC I have searched the internet to see if I could find any information to show when he went in and how long he was there but with no luck wondered if anyone had any information his real name is Cornelius Egerton but he has always used his middle name of Sid (Sidney). Thank you for reading this x
  5. Wren1984

    Wren1984 Member

    Can anyone help me please?
  6. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    If he was indeed one of the first into Belsen, then he is likely connected in some way to the British 11th Armoured Division (who would have been supplied by elements of the RAOC). Your best bet would be to get his Service Records and a copy of his RAOC units War Diary and then compare the two in order to confirm or otherwise his various locations etc.
  7. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    From History of the RAOC, by Brig. Fernyhough;

    304 mobile laundry were operating in Belsen less than 48 hours after its liberation, followed shortly by 304, 105, 305,and 310 bath sections.
  8. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    As has been suggested by SDP getting the service records would be the first step then go from there.
    The units I mentioned above were reinforced by troops from other RAOC units to cope with the demands of the situation at Belsen.
  9. Wren1984

    Wren1984 Member

    Hi all

    I know you said I need to get my grandad's service record but thankfully my grandad is still here to tell some story but he is extremely vague about his division or unit but he gave me his soldiers service and pay book and said his was in the RAOC and was there on D-day and told a funny story about him having to take a bike when he got off the boat. The thing that is confusing me is he said he was bomb disposal but all the websites I have visited never detail the RAOC as bomb disposal. When I asked him about belsen he again very vague said yes we went into belsen but we weren't there very long???? Very confusing PLEASE could someone shine some light on the subject. Thank you X
  10. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron


    It is possible that, even after all these years, your grandfather does not want to talk about something that would have been an exceptionally traumatic experience, the likes of which we in the younger generation have no chance of totally understanding. It is very common, indeed 'normal', that veterans want to forget. We all like to forget bad experiences after all and it is common for people like you and me to be in this situation where we want to learn and understand but the 'teacher' is unwilling. Frustrating but true.....and for totally understandable reasons.
  11. CL1

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

    hello Wren1984
    send off for his service records
  12. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    In the early days of the war bomb disposal was exclusively RAOC responsibility, but during the Blitz many unexploded bombs were buried and had to be dug out first. As the Re already had machinery for digging down to and lifting out buried bombs, RE slowly took over responsibility for unexploded bombs.
    However ordnance belonging to the british army that needed to be made safe (unexploded artillery shells, land mines being returned to storage etc) was still the responsibility of RAOC.
  13. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    As CL1 suggested, CL1 do send off for his service records, include a note explaining he needs them urgently, they may perhaps give priority so you can get them quicker?
  14. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Incredibledisc likes this.
  15. Wren1984

    Wren1984 Member

    Hi Thank all for your input do I need his permission to request his service records? I shall look into it Thank you x
  16. Wren1984

    Wren1984 Member

    When I fill out the form it asks what information I require what do I ask for?
  17. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    Fill out the forms as if he is requesting the records, ask him to sign forms.
    Information required = full service history.
  18. Raoc_joe_m

    Raoc_joe_m Member

    My father is no longer alive but I would love to get his records. He was a private 635 h.398 raoc as listed on my parents marriage certificate. I know he went into bergen belsen as he talked about it a bit.
  19. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Raoc


    You can apply for his service records the forms are available for download from this link - Request records of deceased service personnel - GOV.UK fill them in send them off with the cheque and hopefully in about 3 - 4 weeks you should receive them

  20. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    635 h.398 doesn't look right, should be 7 numbers, sure that h isnt a 4?

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