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

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

  1. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    .....excellent, apart from the lack of category C.

    I've read my fathers AB64 and he was A+S 46C which has been crossed out and replaced with A+S 47. He was borderline 46/47 but was hospitalised and had some compassionate leave at some stage so I'm guessing that accounts for the change from 46 to 47 but still leaves the question of what C means.
  2. kevin-of-york

    kevin-of-york Junior Member

    Regarding category C it is unlikely it was based on medical classification as in my father's case the 26C classification was written in his AB64 in May 1945 and he was not actually released until February 1946 in line with the 26 classification. He had not been a skilled worker before the war so category B would not apply. In the Army he was Nursing Orderly Grade II in RAMC. My mother's recollection is that he was hospitalised back in the UK somewhere in Scotland in late 45 and upon recovery was retained at that hospital as an orderly until his release. There is a hint that his hospitalisation was due to mental fatigue but that would not have been evident in May 45 when the C classification was written. So, still a mystery.

  3. Brian Smith

    Brian Smith Junior Member

    I am sure members have access to war diaries showing discharge by A&S group and there may be a pattern there to give a clue on the a, b and c suffix.

    Not wanting to go off at a tangent but my Dad was released class A from A&G 28(c).The class of discharge and the A&G suffix are perhaps 2 different things. Could not the suffix just be a way of breaking down the A&S groups in to more manageable numbers?
  4. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    From BBC People's War
    CLASS C Release
    "I came out on Class C Release when the war finished because I had three brothers at home and I had to go look after them. I had to wait until it came on the wireless to say that Class C had been released, I just happened to have the wireless on and I heard it."
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  5. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    From BBC People's War
    Class B Release

    I think mine must have been one of the quickest of anyone in the services. During those post VJ days there was little to do except keep ourselves and our men reasonably occupied. I took a weekend off to go and stay with friends in Cambridge and, while I was there, the official announcement was made outlining the government's plans for demobilisation, notably (under what was termed a class B release) that anyone who had a university place could be released within weeks in order to resume or start their studies.
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  6. Brian Smith

    Brian Smith Junior Member


    Good examples (as always) of different Class of release but I still think this is different from the A&S Groupings - already several examples on this thread of people in A&S groups (c) with a class A release to believe there is a connection.

    Just not sure why different suffixes.

  7. kevin-of-york

    kevin-of-york Junior Member

    I have stirred something up here. The chart does appear a couple of times elsewhere on the forum and one member Joe Brown would appear to own a copy of the booklet titled Release & Resettlement issued to explain the system to forces members. I will message him to see if he can check the document.

    Meanwhile I know of one other forum member who' father was in the same unit as mine and who was released earlier. I will ask him if he knows his fathers A&SG.

  8. PeteT

    PeteT Senior Member

    I have recently been sent a copy of the booklet, but unfortunately, despite best efforts, I have not been able to find mention of any suffix.


  9. hutt

    hutt Member

    Attached is a newspaper article concerning delays in the release process that I found with a bundle of my fathers letters and from its content and position in the pile, would date from late 45. No mention of the letter sub classification though.

    Attached Files:

  10. Wiffer

    Wiffer Member

    I've seen a reference in a letter regarding my Uncle's release from the Royal Artillery in 1945 quoted as a group number, in his case, group 24. In the same letter, my Father regarding his release, mentions he [his brother-in-law] beats me by ten, suggesting his number is presumably 34.

    Can anyone throw any light on the significance of these numbers. The only other categories of release I have come across have been referred to as classes. For example, my Father was released in early 1946 under class B. He was a stone mason by trade.


  11. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Yours is a question which has been posed many times before.

    If you use the forum search facility and the phrase "service groups" you will turn up many references - including

    Age and Service Group for Release

    In a nutshell - to facilitate an orderly and equitable post war demobilisation of conscripts 1945/47 a formula, based on a mans DOB + enlistment date, was used to create groups of service personnel who were released in "group" order to Army Reserve Class Z (T).

    It only applied to conscripts as regular enlistments would be released to Army Reserve Class B as per their enlistment obligations.

    Steve Y
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  12. Wiffer

    Wiffer Member

    Thanks Steve for the helpful link. I can now see from the chart how my Uncle's group number was calculated as 24 and my Father's 34.

  13. Hi Yeoman. Picked up this thread & wonder if you can help?
    I'm nearly at the end of my fathers war diaries, 11 months from start date!!!!!
    He served with the 270th Field Coy. RE ending his war 39 to 46 in Graz Austria. He was demobbed in May 46 & I have 2 date stamps in his soldiers "Release Book Class A". 1. That he disembarked 28th May 1946. & 2. No 10 G.M.D & D.C.U. 29th May Aldershot.
    My question is any ideas how he would get home from Italy? Disembarked implies that he sailed home? Did he go back into Italy? Or would he travel through Europe in a Troop Train then a ship over the channel?

    I know he was in group 29 c to be demobbed! In his war diaries the Coy Staff are complaining that all the experienced men are leaving and the damage it is doing to the Company as the new replacements have no battle experience. Wont even mention the football scores of the Company team as all the good players are being demobbed. They had all been fighting with this Company for over 3 years and by the middle of May they then became the 107th Field Coy RE. AS we say "That's Life in a Blue Suit"
    Regards Gordon Guthrie.
  14. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Gordon

    Yeoman has not been on the site since Oct 2012.

    I would guess that many were brought back by boat as there were quite a few sailing between the Med and the UK at that time

  15. Pete Ashby

    Pete Ashby Junior Member

    The mode of transport for return to the UK on Demob appears to depend very much on where exactly the man was stationed at the time of release, my father for example returned from Milan in 1946 via train, truck and cross channel ferry.
  16. HAARA

    HAARA Well-Known Member

    This is an extract from a letter home, dated July 1945 a member of 76th HAA Regt, based in Italy, that hopefully gives some idea of the demobilisation procedures from Italy. Following cessation of hostilities the Regiment was allocated to PoW guard duties at Cesenatico. During this period many were able to take advantage of leave in UK, as described below. Also attached is a copy of the demobilisation allocation table. The name PYTHON, as below, is believed to come from the legend that pythons eat their own tails.

    " LEAVE. Let me tell you all I can that it may clear up all the fuddle. First I implore you don’t take any notice of what you read about leave in the papers at home. They publish statements purporting to have been made by members and which are twisted and thwarted. I have repeatedly noticed that they are consistently incorrect, always showing the brighter side of things – over optimistic. Whereas the newspapers have to make their sales on scoop news – hence so much “….it is rumoured in official circles” – whereas the actual pukka gen is never published by the War Office until they are ready. By then the thing is so far from the truth it’s macabre.

    But I digress. There are numerous types of leave, LILOP, LIAP, AIR-LIAP, PYTHON being a few examples, and these do not embrace compassionate leave and are not in any way to be confused with “demob”. (Alex came to say “Goodbye” to me the day before yesterday. He was just off to Naples en route for England and demob. He was very excited and said he’d not been sober for a week after hearing the news. Says he and Marjorie will call and see you when he can. You’ll think he looks very old. Like all of us, this climate in Italy has left its mark on him. Incidentally, he’s group 9 – so slowly but surely we’re getting on.) Of these leaves LIAP is the only one that concerns us (the others being PYTHON men with 4 years abroad. One bloke here comes from a Regt due for Python – LILOP, leave in lieu of Python).

    LIAP (Leave in addition to Python). 1. Anyone who has done a minimum of 18 months abroad and has not been back to the UK. 2. Anyone who is not within 6 months of Python (i.e. been abroad more than 3½ years, because after 4 years they have their leave in England and get posted somewhere in Blighty or B.L.A. [British Liberation Army]. Those are the points that make one eligible for leave to UK under LIAP.

    Now for allocation. There’s been the most utter balls in the papers about the numbers that will be coming home. Half of them haven’t a clue. You will have heard about this new “overland LIAP” as it is called where the troops get treated so well en route and get beer at 1½d a pint in Austria. That’s all right. But not everyone knows that this only applies to troops in Austria and Nos 1 and 2 Districts. We just scrape home on one of these districts so come under the scheme. All the other units have to go via Naples by sea taking rather longer. Incidentally owing to the vast scale this will eventually be on N.C.O.s of rank of Sgt upwards, and officers are supposed to be flown home – this on account of the limitations of ranks. So that should be interesting.

    I say vast scale eventually, because it will take quite a time to get it organised. Once a steady flow has been built up it will be easy to maintain. To get it started is not so easy, but gradually our vacancies increase. Before the war finished we were getting allocations that meant we’d not get the whole regiment home under 19½ years!! About 12-14 days ago I was present at a draw for names. It was decided that as allocations were coming through so unexpectedly that ten names would always be kept available in order of priority. People of age groups up to 21 are NOT included in our draw. I believe this to be more than a Regimental order. Also excluded are those who have not been out 18 months – very few indeed if any, and those who have already been home. The majority is unfortunately around 22s, 23s, 24s, so the numbers are nearly as large as before. My candid opinion is that I shall definitely be home before December.

    I hope the above explanation does help in clarifying the leave problem. It’s complex and is made more misleading by these papers. Curse ’em."

    In actuality, matters turned out differently, with LIAP requiring travel through Italy and France back to the Channel by trains, and then ferry and train home. But this was a short lived leave, requiring troops to return by the same means, somewhat demoralised having seen civilian life again, to their units to finish winding down. In the case of 76th HAA Regt after being discharged from duties at the PoW camp, they moved south to Bari, where the Regt was wound down and put into 'suspended animation', all troops who had not been discharged being transferred to 51 HAA Regt. Travel for the final return home was, as with LIAP, by train, ferry, and train again.

    A full account of the winding down of 76th HAA Regt is included in the book "Ever your own, Johnnie, Sicily and Italy 1943-45"

    Ever your own, Johnnie, Sicily and Italy, 1943-45 by Nick Kemp (Paperback) - Lulu

  17. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Illustrated London News 10 November 1945
    Illustrated London News 10 November 1945.jpg

    Attached Files:

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  18. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member Patron

    Demob Finnish style:
    Many years ago I was talking about demob with the foreman stevedore in Kotka, Finland. He had been in the Finnish Army in the Winter War against the USSR. When he joined he was told that every soldier needed a rifle and a uniform; he was given a knife and told to find a Russian about his size 'and don't get blood on the uniform.' When demob came he was given a bottle of vodka, 'that night I was a happy soldier, in the morning i was a civilian with a headache.'
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  19. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Catalogue number D 26311
    Regimental Sergeant Major Stilwell is fitted with his demob suit at the army's Demobilisation Clothing Depot at Olympia in London.

    Catalogue number
    D 26323
    Regimental Sergeant Major Stilwell selects a jacket for his demob suit and the army's Demobilisation Clothing Depot at Olympia, London.

    Catalogue number
    D 26324
    Regimental Sergeant Major Stilwell has his measurements taken for his demob suit by a tailor at the army's Demobilisation Clothing Depot at Olympia, London.
  20. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Catalogue number BU 8062
    Private Bill Krepper of the Pioneer Corps enters the demobilisation clothing depot at Olympia in London.

    Catalogue number BU 8063
    Private Bill Krepper of the Pioneer Corps is assisted in the selection of his demob suit by a civilian tailor at the demobilisation clothing depot, Olympia, London.
    Catalogue number BU 8066
    Private Bill Krepper of the Pioneer Corps tries on a pair of civilian shoes at the demobilisation clothing depot, Olympia, London.

    Catalogue number BU 8067
    Mr Bill Krepper, late of the Pioneer Corps, leaves the demobilisation clothing depot at Olympia, London, as a civilian, wearing his demob suit.
    Incredibledisc, Tony56 and ozzy16 like this.

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