Captain Arthur A. Smith, Royal Engineers

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Jan2000, Mar 9, 2018.

  1. Jan2000

    Jan2000 Member

    Dear all,

    A while ago I registered myself here. The main reason is, that I am looking for a man from whom I own a Battle Dress, Service Dress and cap. I am looking for:

    Arthur A. Smith
    Royal Engineers
    Captain (first lieutnant by looking at the pips)
    Unfortunately I do not have a serial number.
    He has the 5 year service stripes on the right sleeve

    I really hope someone can help me out.

    Thanks very much in advance,

  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Re member

    Hi Jan

    What research have you already done??

    Did he survive the war? - i.e. he is/isnt on the CWGC database

  3. Jan2000

    Jan2000 Member

    Thank you very much for your reply. I have tried the Gazette but was unable to find him. I also contacted an organisation of the RE. He is not on the CWGc

    I have found him on forceswarrecords, but I have to pay to see details. I also do not know how many details I get.
  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Re member

    Jan - dont bother with them (who cannot be mentioned here)

    Which RE organisation did you contact?

  5. Jan2000

    Jan2000 Member

  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Re member

    OK then we need to see the uniform, details of any labels, images of the pips, anything that will give us a lead, at the moment I am assuming he was WW2 but that may not be the case - dont know until we start to see some images, from what you have provided so far its going to be very difficult. Searching London Gazette for someone called Smith who we assume is noted somewhere between 1939 and 1945 is something I cant do as I have enough on my plate

    OK in Ancestry there is a database, the records throw up files that need paid subscription to Fold3 which I dont have but

    UK, British Army Lists, 1882-1962
    A . A . Smith 1941 Royal Engineers 2nd Lieutenant
    A . A . Smith 1943 Royal Engineers 2nd Lieutenant
    A . A . Smith 1944 Royal Engineers 2nd Lieutenant
    A . A . Smith 1945 Royal Engineers 2nd Lieutenant
    A . A . Smith 1945 Royal Engineers Capt
    A . A . Smith 1962 Corps of Royal Engineers 2nd Lieutenant

    Maybe these are him ?? - what is does do is narrow down the LG search to 1945 only, maybe you will need to join Ancestry or FMP to check out more details on the records

  7. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    TD is right. We need a photograph of the uniform. I've not heard of '5 year service stripes' on a British Army uniform. Is this a confusion with the cuff badges of rank which were discontinued in 1920? If so we're looking at WW1. Although Battle Dress does not fit that criteria.
  8. Jan2000

    Jan2000 Member


    Thanks very much for your replies. I will send some pictures tomorrow. The Battle Dress is a Serge BD from 1941 or 42 (stamp has faded) Another option is that he has served in WW1 but drilled soldiers in WW2?

  9. Jan2000

    Jan2000 Member

    Dear all,

    Excuse me for not catching up. Here are some photo`s. There are 5 red stripes on the right sleeve, I think you call them overseas stripes?

    I will also try and describe the items as accurately as possible.

    The Battle Dress:
    The Battle Dress Serge, the so called P37 Battle Dress. The date stamp is a P(1941) or an O(1942) There is another stamp, wich seems to be an anti-gas stamp.
    The name A. A. Smith is written in the collar.
    On each shoulder, there are the shoulder titles of the Royal Engineers. On both sides there are also 3 pips, wich indicates the rank of Captain. The 3th pip is attached to it later, wich indicates an promotion.

    The Field Service Cap:
    Written in the cap is A. A. Smith. There is no date, but there is a manufacterer`s label. Army & Navy Stores, limited. Victoria Street. Westminster S.W.I
    An FS cap also indicates early service in my opinion, as this was later replaced by the GS Cap.

    The Service Dress:
    Stripped from the pips, collar titles and the medal bar. It has however an label in it wich says Arthur Smith.

    No makers mark but the initials A.S

    I hope this will give you all an idea. I have posted the photo`s on another forum, but I do not know wheter or not I am allowed to put the link here?

    Thanks very much for all the help,


    Attached Files:

  10. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Apologies. The stripes do indeed seem to be service stripes but they are not something I have seen/noticed before on.
  11. Jan2000

    Jan2000 Member

    Thanks very much for your reply. This might give us an idea of when he served. It must have been early in the war, otherwise I can not be that he has 5 years of service.
  12. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    Could it be that AA Smith is a Late Entry Officer - an Officer commissioned from the ranks.

    I suggest this because of the number of stripes but also because his first two pips line up nicely - probably because they were stitched on by a tailor at the same time - it was usual for LE Offrs to go straight to Lt, whilst the third pip is not stitched on straight. He probably did it himself when promoted to Capt. No criticism of LEs' ability to sew implied here.

    The side hat is unusual. The sapper side hat normally had the 'Ubique' bomb rather than the 'Royal Engineers' wreath.


  13. Jan2000

    Jan2000 Member

    Your theory could very well be correct. Today I attached the shoulder pips. What do you think? 2 were in line and the 3th was differently placed.
    Could he not have been a lieutenant at the start of ww2? Maybe he served as a sapper (private) in ww1? It is a shame that I do not have a serial number.
  14. Jan2000

    Jan2000 Member


    I registered myself on ancestry but I can not find any ww2 records?

    Who can help me out, thanks very much.
  15. CL1

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

  16. Jan2000

    Jan2000 Member


    That will be impossible, I do not know his birth date. Thanks anyway.
  17. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Re member

    For the records you need his death certificate or a copy at least, it helps to have his birth date but its not essential, anyway his death cert would have his date of birth anyway


Share This Page