Convoy routes to Mid and Far East

Discussion in 'General' started by Alan Allport, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. PeteT

    PeteT Senior Member

    Red Ling

    I am by no means an expert on this subject, but my understanding is that the fast portion only arrived 24 hours before the slow portion, presumably to enable them to clear the quayside (but not necessarily the port) due to limited berthing.

    If you can let me know which port in Egypt / ship you were interested in I will see what I can find for you

    LionBoxer

    Are you able to e-mail me a copy of the document that provides the 3rd November date?

    Regards

    Pete
     
  2. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    Pete, it's on my father's service record for overseas service India 3/11/42 - 25/12/45. Have telegram's sent to my mother dated 6th Nov '42 letting her know he'd arrived at his destination and another dated 25th Dec '45 letting her know that he'd arrived at Liverpool.
     
  3. PeteT

    PeteT Senior Member

    Lionboxer

    As I say, I am no expert, I just find the convoys interesting in relation to aircrew training (which is my research field).

    I can find no Bombay arrivals for that date on any of the convoy sites; there are arrivals on 3rd November 1943

    Do you have a departure date and/or ship name?

    Regards

    Pete
     
  4. red ling

    red ling Member

    Hi Peter,
    Thanks for your help.
    I have attached photos of my fathers which show coming into Cape Town. I think the 3 funnelled ship is the Empress of Britain which means he could be in the "fast" covoy.
    Did they go into Cape Town to dock or Simonstown the naval base further down the coast?
    My father was with 1st Battallion The Royal Sussex and the arrival port is not mentioned on his service record
     

    Attached Files:

  5. PeteT

    PeteT Senior Member

    Red Ling

    I have managed to decipher the WS2 convoy and work out the port arrival and departure dates for all the ships.

    The information I have is that the ships berthed in Capetown (but I repeat I am not an expert in this field, I am just piecing information together from various sources).

    Did you need any further information regarding any parts of the convoy?

    Regards

    Pete
     
  6. red ling

    red ling Member

    Hi Pete,
    THanks, but at the moment I think I have decifered by photos and arrival date in Egypt which convoy he was in. I think "the fast" as the photo is of the Empress of Britain. As far as I can find this ship was the only one in the convoys with 3 funnels. I am still wondering if they docked in Simonstown or Cape Town and where they docked in Egypt. Port Said or Alexandria?
     
  7. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    Thanks Pete. I'm afraid I have no other info. My father may have gone on another sort of convoy as he wasn't with any large formation of troops ie division. He was on his way to India as part of the permanent staff with the reinforcement camps to instruct and supervise reinforcements to the various frontline units. I wonder if there are other records for all shipping movements?
    Lionboxer
     
  8. PeteT

    PeteT Senior Member

    Red Ling

    I have checked and the ships are listed as berthing in Capetown (not Simonstown). In addition, the Egypt bound ships berthed in the port of Suez (15th September 1940).

    Lionboxer

    If you go to the following link you can obtain a listing of all the ships that berthed Bombay on 3rd November 1942 (plus or minus 5 days)
    http://www.convoyweb.org.uk/port/index.html?home.php~armain. This may enable you to track ship movements to see if you can find the relevant ship(s). It may also be worth doing the same for Karachi (formerly part of India) as some ships from the convoy sailed there.

    Regards

    Pete
     
  9. PeteT

    PeteT Senior Member

    RedLing

    I have just established that "as there were no suitable berths for large ships, the troopships were dealt with at anchorage at Suez Bay, by the laborious and time consuming means of disembarking all the troops into dumb lighters towed by ancient steam boats"

    LionBoxer

    I think the convoy that you are looking for may be WS22 (as it had a complicated disembarkation procedure which includes the dates you mention). If you can e-mail the service record (or let me know which unit he was with) I should be able to confirm.

    Regards

    Pete

    Source: "Winston Specials" by Archie Munro.
     
  10. red ling

    red ling Member

    Hi Pete
    Thanks for the info.Sounds like fun!!
    My fathers next voyage was from Port Said 25.12.1940 to Port Sudan 30.12.1940. According to George Forty in his book "The First Victory" 1st bat The Royal Sussex/4th Indian Div.were moved from Alexandria. Would the same ship have docked at both Port Said and Alexandria? and did they go in a convoy?
     
  11. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    While I remember.

    The SS Franconia on which we sailed to North Africa was originally a cruise ship that catered for 1200 paying passengers.

    On our trip to Algiers we had 4000 plus troops aboard.

    No wonder we felt crowded at the time !

    Ron
     
  12. injection

    injection Member

    Hope you can help.

    My late Dad was with the Beds and Herts Reg. On his records it says SOS RNMNP (or RNHNP) on 11/11/43.
    He embarked for service overseas on 12/11/43
    Disembarked and posted to X1V North Africa 27/11/43 and 5/12/43 posted to 2nd Battalion.

    Other abbreviations on his records include:
    SOS
    BNA7 to MEF
    TOS From ME ITD
    SOS MEF to CM7
    Previously reported missing (BC) now located CM9 AC SOS x6 to X4
    Y list "C" Relegated to Class W.CT Res
    Place of casualty CMF
    In close arrest (he wandered off !) at No 1 CMC adm. No. MP & DB
    ULC
    RPNQB
    UA/CPL
    PLC
    Three star private

    Sorry its a lot of questions but hope you can help :)
     
  13. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Injection

    A word to the wise ?

    It might help others to help you if your questions on this thread were confined to asking for help on your Dad's movements by sea, i.e. Convoy details.

    For help on Abbreviations use this thread: http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/9614-abbreviations/

    Having said that a few basic abbreviations for you:
    SOS. Struck of strength, always followed by the present situation
    TOS. Taken on strength
    CMF. Central Mediterranean Forces
    MEF. Middle East Forces
    UAC. Unpaid, acting Corporal

    Be prepared for the long haul. :)

    Ron
     
  14. PeteT

    PeteT Senior Member

    I haven't had a chance to do any detailed research on this for you but a possible start point for his outward journey is Convoy KMF26 which departed Clyde 15th November 1943 (see details on http://convoyweb.org.uk/kmf/index.html).

    If you want me to take a more detailed look let me know and I will do so over the next few days.

    Regards

    Pete
     
  15. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Injection......

    Hope you don't mind if i re write your posting........ in November '43 he sailed and landed at Algiers - where the 2nd Bed & Herts were part of the 4th Inf Division...but he was transferred to th Middle East force (MEF) - from the British North

    Africa Army (BNAF) at the Infantry Training Depot (ITD) - then embarked from MEF - to Italy (CMF) where by then the 4th Div were probably gearing up for the Operation Diadem in the Liri Valley near Cassino....the rest is the usual rubbish of

    paid or acting unpaid lance corporals etc......by the way..there is NO such thing as a three star private in the British Army...
    Cheers
     
  16. PeteT

    PeteT Senior Member

    Just adding to Tom's post:

    If Algiers was the port of disembarkation the ships listing would be narrowed down to FRANCONIA, MONARCH OF BERMUDA, SAMARIA and
    SCYTHIA (all part of KMF26). These arrived in Algiers on 26th November.

    (All information from convoyweb site)

    Regards

    Pete
     
  17. injection

    injection Member

    Thanks for the help and info to you guys.

    Pete, I would appreciate very much if you could look further into it at your leisure.

    Tom, that's fine rewriting my post. Just checked on Dads service records and "private 3 star" has been crossed out

    Ron, thanks for the advice. I will remember to separate my billions of questions into the right categories (LOL)
    Thanks again
     
  18. jetson

    jetson Junior Member

    I would'nt dream of taking issue with a respected veteran but if you recall, the star grading was the infantry classification for skill at arms, fitness etc and drastically affected your pay if you were reduced in your star status i.e failing your firing skills on the range. Back in the fifties, myself and one or two mates were four star but only because in the butts that year on the ranges, we had a sympathetic Sergeant who made bullseye holes in the target thus maintaining our grading which if lost, or reduced meant a drastic pay reduction. The Coy Comd was suspicious but let it go!
     
  19. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Jetson

    that rating of stars must be for Infantry wallahs only as I have never heard of that system until this thread so just goes to show we learn something new everyday

    Cheers
     
  20. popeye1975

    popeye1975 Junior Member

    Hi all. I was directed to this link as my own father, RN Signalman Lewis Hale, according to his 1942 diary, left the UK for the middle east on February 4 1940. I have checked the WS convoys and no merchant or troop ships sailed on that date from the UK. That leaves me with either departing on an RN ship or leaving by air, which given the perilous state of affairs at the time seem highly unlikely. Any thoughts on this? I have no record of what he did in 1940 other than photos taken in Haifa in May and June of that year
     

Share This Page