Deciphering Great Uncle's Service Record - India

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by John Geenty, Jul 17, 2018.

  1. John Geenty

    John Geenty New Member

    Hi Guys,
    I'm in the process of researching the war service of my Great Uncle Jimmy. He served with the RFC/RAF as a boy during the last days of WW1 and then signed up again in 1940 with the Royal Engineers. He was with the BEF as part of 660 Construction Company and his time in France the UK seems fairly easy to understand. However he left the UK in 1941 for service in India and the attached file is all the MoD had on file for him. He left the UK as a Sapper but eventually made WO1, but I can't see any indication of promotions on this file. Equally apart from the 1st Indian Survey Regiment and 251st Indian Tank Brigade its tough to work out the units and movements. I wondered if anyone could help? He ended up as a Chelsea Pensioner and died in 1977, but all they have is the most basic details. Any help appreciated!
    Thanks,
    John
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Hi,

    Welcome to the forum.

    You’ve attached the reverse of an army form B102 - the Central Registry Index Card - maintained to log (in military shorthand) a soldiers movements and promotions etc with information received from his unit and recorded there in more depth, usually in chronological order, on the soldiers personal Army form B103.

    Have you been provided with any B103 forms? If so it would probably assist members if you could post them as the details recorded there are usually more legible than on the B102 (reverse side).

    There is some information in this old topic about the WO 1 (Sub Conductor) rank/ appointment in the British Army.

    Conductor / Sub-Conductor

    Good Luck

    Steve
     
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  3. John Geenty

    John Geenty New Member

    Hi Steve,
    Thanks for the reply and the welcome! I got several documents from the MoD. Number 3 below is how I've managed to piece together his time at Home and with the BEF. Number 2 is what I think you might be after (the B103) but I'm not sure. There appears to be some very faint evidence of pencil marks on the document, but they've faded and aren't legible. Hence the only thing I got back concerning his India service is on the B102. Thanks for the information on the Sub Conductor rank! Does anything on the B102 make sense to you?
    Thanks,
    John
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Hi,

    You’ve attached excerpts from his 4 page Attestation and military history papers which would have been subject to update during his service with information recorded on his B103.

    If you haven’t been provided with any B103 forms you should contact MOD Glasgow and ask them to check his file again. Other members have had similar experiences and discovered the B103’s have been missed due to a clerical error.

    On the other hand it may be the case that his B103’s have been misplaced in the 70 odd years since he was demobbed.

    I’ve attached a link to another topic that has a specimen B103 form so you have an idea of what one looks like - files can contain anything from from one to 6 or more B103 forms - dependant on the amount of information to be recorded.

    Novice needs help with Grandads service records 119/268 & 92nd

    I’ll have another look at his B102 to see if I can decipher it but I’m sure an “old India hand” will be along shortly to assist you further.

    Steve
     
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  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Re member

    Interesting in that the 660 Construction Company War Diaries only seem to start in July 1940

    Search results: 660 construction company | The National Archives

    Reference: WO 166/3845
    Description:
    ROYAL ENGINEERS: COMPANIES: 660 General Construction Company.
    Date: 1940 July - 1941 Feb.
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description
    Access conditions: Closed For 29 years

    I would guess it was called something else prior to July 1940, although the service record doesn't give the same story

    TD
     
  6. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Hi John,

    I’ve had a closer look at the B102 but I’m afraid I can’t glean anymore about his movements than you have already posted.

    One thought has just sprung to mind. I’m sure a copy of his Army papers would’ve been provided to Royal Hospital Chelsea as part of his admission process. If you draw a blank at MOD Glasgow you might consider dropping RHC a line to see if they have retained any copy papers there.

    Steve
     
  7. John Geenty

    John Geenty New Member

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for your efforts, its appreciated. I'll go back to the MoD and ask about the B103 and see what comes up. We did ask RHChelsea but they said they didn't keep service records on the file at the time he was admitted unfortunately.

    I managed to locate the Jan-June 1940 War Diaries for 660 Company and had a good look through at the National Archives. Some interesting stuff as the Company falls back to Dunkirk and at one point being rushed into use as a part of Mac Force.

    Would an Indian Army unit like the 1st Indian Survey Regiment have a war diary located somewhere? I can't seem to find one at the National Archives. But thanks again for your help!
    John
     
  8. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Hi John,

    I’m sure the unit will have a War Diary held somewhere. Several members offer a look up and copy service - Ive attache’d a link to a member’s (Lee) website and the other to another members forum profile. I’d send Andy a personal message on the forum system (drew5233) and ask the question as he knows his way around the NA Discovery search engine.

    Steve

    Archive Research - www.arcre.com

    http://ww2talk.com/index.php?members/drew5233.6786/
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2018
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  9. John Geenty

    John Geenty New Member

    Thanks Steve, advice appreciated and I'll speak to Andy!
    John
     

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