Class Z - Class A - X Code : X (viii) - British Army - WWII

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by Philip of Lee, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. Philip of Lee

    Philip of Lee Active Member

    Going through my father's WWII (British Army) Service Record, I have found the following stamp at the bottom of the last page of one document:

    RELEASED TO CLASS ‘Z’ (T) – ROYAL ARMY RESERVE – DATE 27-7-47 (CLASS ‘A’ RELEASE)”. To the right, in the margin, is the signature (with name) of an officer with the rank of captain (Capt.).

    Traditionally, “Class Z” stood for the Army Reserve: when a soldier was demobilised, he was first transferred to Class Z.

    What is a bit strange is that I have read somewhere that Class Z was abolished at the end of WWI.

    Apart from that, I was wondering what the "T" in capital letters next to Class Z and what "Class A Release" would mean. Would the T refer to the Territorial Army (as the next unit, as it were) or to the fact he was in Transit? And does Class A mean he was fit (to A standard) when released?

    Regarding the X code, I know this has been discussed at length in another Thread but there is the mention of a "X (viii)" in my father's Record and all the explanations I have seen do not go beyond "X (v)", so I wonder what (vi) and (vii) and (viii) stood for. In his case, the X(viii) is used in relation to his "Release" from the Army, precisely.

    Any help will be welcome. Thanks.

    Note for reference: The ‘X List’ was used to identify a soldier and his place/role in the system. The ‘X’ was followed by a Roman numeral, as follows: X(i) for all ranks posted to fill vacancies; X(ii) for all ranks evacuated on medical grounds (and the idea being that they would return to their unit of origin in due course); X(iii) was for prisoners of war, deserters, and soldiers held further to disciplinary action; X(iv) are un-posted reinforcements, i.e. soldiers waiting to be posted to a unit; e.g.: an escaped PoW who is fit for duty and has returned to Army lines would be on the X(iv) list while waiting to be posted to a unit.


    Attached Files:

  2. Brian Smith

    Brian Smith Junior Member

    There are many steeped in this subject whom I am sure will help. From memory there was a listing of the Canadian X list where X(viii) was return to Canada. I believe all the other X list numbers were the same as for British troops so could be simply returning home?

    Cannot help on the rest, my Dad was released class A in to Group P for recall to age 45.

  3. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

  4. Philip of Lee

    Philip of Lee Active Member

    Thanks and I had seen the Canadian list of X options and the initial ones (reproduced below) seemed to differ a bit, so I thought that maybe they were not a good guide.

    From what has been said, I suppose we can confirm that "Class Z" means the soldier has been demobed and "X(viii)" means he is in transit and/or being sent home.

    No one has commented on the "T" in brackets I pointed out was next to the "Class Z" mention: it was added by hand. And no one has commented on the "Class A Release" expression that is used (it is actually part of the official stamp itself).

    I must say I am a bit surprised there is not a complete list of X options somewhere on the web, for the British Army. I have tried to find one but you get bogged down along various avenues of research that eventually seem to lead nowhere. It is odd there is not one on this on line.

    I have reproduced the X list for the Canadian military below, for reference.

    Thanks for help all the same.


    The X List [CANADIAN]

    X1 - prisoner of war (P.O.W.)
    X2 - detention
    X3 - hosptial
    X4 - reinforcement
    - reinforcement in transit
    X5 - on course
    X6 - missing
    X7 - on loan
    X8 - in transit
    X9 & X10 - waiting return

    21 AG = 21st Army Group, which was made up of the Second British Army and the First Canadian Army, hence - 21st Army Group

    SOS = stricken off strength
    TOS = taken on strength

  5. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    A little amendment if I may :wink:
    SOS Struck off strength
  6. Philip of Lee

    Philip of Lee Active Member

    Agreed: I did not write it, but it was on that recap for the Canadian Army. Must be the Canadian spelling. :P
  7. BrianM59

    BrianM59 Senior Member

    Class Z was indeed abolished at the end of WW1 - in fact in 1920 - and reinstated after WW2 in anticipation of war with communism in the east. If I read my dad's war record right, he was in fact a Class 'A' reserve after his demob in 1948/9, (he joined in 1940 for so many years as a regular and so many in the reserve, I forget exactly how many, )then he was recalled to the colours in 1950 to fight in Korea, then again to class 'Z' in 1952?
  8. Philip of Lee

    Philip of Lee Active Member

    This is interesting since you confirm that "Class Z" was abolished at the end of WWI (and let us leave aside the fact that it may have been reinstated in the 1950s...); I read this on an official MoD website or military archives. What is odd is that the "Class Z" mention is on my father's Service Record and this was in 1947.

    It sounds like "Class A" refers to being demobed and integrating the reserve.

    On my father's Service Record, both mention appear on the official stamp. It is not a hand-written note.

    No one has commented on the "T" mention...
  9. Brian Smith

    Brian Smith Junior Member

    Just done a quick google search for "army release class Z(T)" and "military release class Z(T).

    Both throw up examples of discharge in the1940s.

    There is an interesting one on medal card indexes for WW1 which refers to "T" as "terms of engagement". May be released before end of service as no longer required? Not sure of relevance to WW2 though.

    Sorry unable to cut and paste in to posting and limited IT skills - worth a look?

  10. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    My understanding is that the (T) stands for Territorial.
  11. Philip of Lee

    Philip of Lee Active Member

    Thanks: I think we have covered, as far as is possible.
  12. BrianM59

    BrianM59 Senior Member

    Nothing odd whatsoever about class Z reference in 1947 - My reference to the 1950's was to my dad's records, Google has many references to records of class Z reservists in 1946.
  13. Philip of Lee

    Philip of Lee Active Member

    OK, so "Class Z" would have been done away with at the end of WWI and reinstated by the end of WWII. Thanks.
  14. Simon A

    Simon A Active Member

    [SIZE=10.5pt]Can someone help me interpret my Grandfather's Service Record. He went over to France on the 11/07/1944 but from family word of mouth I believe he was shipwrecked sometime between 6/06/1944 and 11/07/1944. He was a Corporal in the 22nd Dragoons.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=10.5pt] [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=10.5pt]The Record shows a date of 16/06/1944 with what maybe X(iv) List although to me it looks like X(14). Can anyone confirm what this says and what the other abbreviations mean? - 21 A.G and 264 S.D.S Also what might the other date be - 22/06/1944?[/SIZE]



  15. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    If you look further up the thread you will see an explanation of 21 A. G. = 21st Army Group.

    There is also an explanation of the X liists further up the thread - X4 (usually Xiv) appears to be a reinforcement in transit posting per the Canadian list. If you search the forum for x lists you will no doubt find more.

    Sorry can't help with 264 SDS although in some contexts DS is a Dressing Station.

    The unit war diary may assist.

    Good Luck.

    Steve Y
  16. Simon A

    Simon A Active Member

    Thanks Steve. I didn't pick up on the 21st Army Group. I have a copy of the diary and will check for 21 AG references. I had read about the X lists but wasn't sure that the service record said X(iv). It looks more like x(14) which there is no explanation for in this thread.

  17. Philip of Lee

    Philip of Lee Active Member

    I can confirm what was said earlier, to the effect that the proper mention would have been "x (iv)" and not "x (4)": in another part of my father's Service Record, for the same date, it does say "x (iv)". For list of abbreviations in relation to this, see above, as it was discussed earlier.

    Regarding the 21st Army Group, there is some information here:

    It came under SHAEF, alongside 2 American Army Groups and an airborne army group:

    The 21st Army Group included 2 army formations, one British and one Canadian. It was under Field Marshall B L Montgomery's overall command.
  18. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    He was placed on the X(iv)list awaiting transfer- by 21 AG 0n 16/6

    Transferred to 22 Dragoons - 22/6

    Then embarked for NWE on 11 th/7

    DISEMBARKED next day - 12th /7th

    alieneyes likes this.
  19. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy Junior Member

    Working out my late father in law's record.
    It has him:
    30 Nov 1944 Posted to Z IV list India, Holding Bty LAA, Authority Special Force letter ???????
    1 Dec 1944 Posted RA Depot Deolali

    He came out of Burma on 14 Aug 1944 , so I'm trying work out what the Z IV list was.
    He went back into Burma in April 1945 with a new unit.

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