Demob thread: How, how long, age & service group numbers of release, etc

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by Paul Dorrell, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. Paul Dorrell

    Paul Dorrell Member

    How was the demobilsation of troops managed at the end of the war? Were troops returned the their regiment's home town / base and then processed from there? What did that process involve please?

    Any help gratefully received.

  2. yeoman97

    yeoman97 Junior Member

    There's a pretty good first-hand description by George MacDonald Fraser in one of his semi-biographical books of short stories about a Highland battalion just after the war. I think it's McAuslan in the Rough but I don't have the books to hand so it could well be one of the others. All three are well worth a read anyway.

    From what I remember his demob was a pretty mechanical affair with individuals from a wide range of units and ranks going through the process together, the only real distinction being officers lived in the mess overnight. He also commented on the sudden sense of loss everybody seemed to feel at finally getting out of the forces. Travel to home towns seems to have been by rail warrant, which was issued with the demob suit, ration card etc.

    Accounts from those who served in my (TA) regiment's wartime ancestor mention demob by groups with your demob number based on length of service and age. I think there may also have been some priority given for those with scarce civilian trades or professions.
  3. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    There was a hushed up, so called mutiny in RAF India,in protest to the slow moving demob proceedure based on the principles outlined by Yeoman97.

    None of the mutinees were brought to task.
  4. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Paul -
    On call up - everyone was given an age/service number- mine was #50- so when the war was over - the #1's were scheduled for release -which meant they were sent back to the depot from which they were fully trained initially- mine was from Villach in Austria to - 61st. Training regt RAC - Barnard Castle..where we passed the time just digging trains out of snow drifts during the awful spring of 1947 - then when the release staff had the time to clear us - off we were sent to York demobilisation unit - for final interview - hand in bits and bobs - issued with civilian clothing - asked what I would like to take up to make a living - so I asked to be sent to University - at which the Major nearly collapsed and offered me a course on Boot and Shoe mending - which I declined with thanks - paybooks to draw money from post offices - rail warrant to get home - and out the door.....on release class "A" with the proviso that should another war break out - we would be "invited" to rejoin - which I was for the Korea thingi with the Inns of Court regiment - happily my war wounds kicked in and I was rejected for fear of having to pay out a pension ....!
    That's how it worked for me- and millions of others
  5. Alan Allport

    Alan Allport Senior Member

    How was the demobilsation of troops managed at the end of the war? Were troops returned the their regiment's home town / base and then processed from there? What did that process involve please?

    Hi Paul,

    There's a book about this. I forget the title ...

    Best, Alan
  6. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

  7. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    Lots about Demob on this site.

    Use the serarch box, key in "Demob" and up will pop the various articles, including this one:

    As a Group 48 man I didn't finish my Army service until April 1947 and as for my demob suit... go take a look :smile:

    BBC - WW2 People's War - The infamous Demob Suit

  8. kevin-of-york

    kevin-of-york Junior Member

    I have seen in the Part 1 Orders which for part of the War Diaries at Kew reference to numbers which are Age And Service Group. These numbers which do not appear to go higher than 40 in the period I have been looking at (1945-46) determine the order in which troops were released from service (demobbed). Does anyone know how this number was generated or allocated?

    My father served in North West Europe and was called up in February 1940 and released in February 1946 at which point he was aged 30. His service number was 7377199. His AB64 was marked in May 45 with Service Group 26C.(the C is debatable as it is faded fountain pen ink)

    I have seen reference to A or B release what did they mean and was there C release?

    Hope someone can help clear this up.

  9. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    As a comparison, my Dad was called up in July 1940, was given an Age and Service Group of 25C and demobbed on 31-3-1946 at the age of 31. Other than that, sorry I can't answer your question.

    There was definitely a C release. I would also like to what A & B after the number relates to and obviously C.
  10. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

  11. PeteT

    PeteT Senior Member

    My understanding is that the number was calculated based on the year of birth and the month of commencement of war service.

    All men fell into Class A, other than some men in specific trades that were urgently needed for the purposes of reconstruction; these were released quicker under Class B.

    The only other release I can find was Compassionate Release, so perhaps this could be "C"

    Hope this helps


  12. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    My A & S release number was 50 from 3rd Dec '42 - May 1947 - class A release and was called to serve at Korea - fortunately old war wounds intervened and i

    didn't go - much to the disgust of the Col. in charge of the Regiment I was allocated ...

  13. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    To add to the confusion, I've looked at the rest of Dad's papers. He was a Class A release, but A/S Group 25C.

    Pete mentioned that men were exempted for reconstruction. Dad was a Slater & Tiler by trade and also never went to post war annual training camps.

    Medical Categories were A, B etc, so maybe the Class of Release was how fit you were at the time of being demobbed.
  14. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

  15. CL1

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

    Checked my Dads papers
    Gunner Driver/Mechanic
    116th LAA till Dec 44 then end Dec 44 transferred to 92nd LAA

    Injured 20/11/45 in NWE sent to Ronkswood Hospital,Worcester
    24/1/46 now medically fit
    Posted to Y list 2/2/46
    Class A release A/S Group 25 Discharged on completion of engagement
    Released to class Z Royal Army Reserve 16/4/46
    Attained to the age of 45 no further recall
    Class A release
  16. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    Thanks for the link but I am 100% certain that the chart existed and that it was posted on this forum.

  17. Brian Smith

    Brian Smith Junior Member

    Here is a chart. Dad was with RASC and all releases seem to have carried the suffix c from BAOR in 1946.


    Attached Files:

    RosyRedd, CL1, Buteman and 1 other person like this.
  18. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    Brilliant ! and many thanks.

    Who say's us oldies can't remember things :)

  19. kevin-of-york

    kevin-of-york Junior Member

    Thanks everyone. On rechecking dad's AB64 he had a medical board in February 1940 but enlistment was 4th April 1940. The chart that Brian supplied shows for birth in 1916 that A&S Group is 26 so it is spot on. It appears from the war diary documents that the actual release date forn each group was dependent upon the continuing requirements in the respective theatre and also on the rate at which personnel could be returned to the UK.
  20. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

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