Desciphering War Service Records (WW 2)

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by palawrence, May 8, 2019.

  1. palawrence

    palawrence Member

    I have received my father's war service record from the archives, and am totally flumuxed. Although I also have information from personal diaries of someone who served in the same unit (242Bty/69th Med Reg R.A.), that person was injured at Naples and returned home. In addition, my father was also injured and classed as B1 - would he have remained in the main fray? He was also transferred to Force 281 Signals in 1944. The service documents are full of army jargon and initials (as most of you will recognise!). Any advice? Thanks. Peter
  2. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Would you be able to post the documents on the forum please?

    It’s always best for members to have sight of original documents before passing comment.

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  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Generalisation of Medical Classes

    A – fit for general service at home and abroad,
    B – unfit for general service abroad but fit for base or
    garrison service at home and abroad,
    C – fit for home service only.

    So perhaps why he could have been transferred from RA to Signals - should know more when as advised by Tullybrone there is sight of the records


    In 1940, a system of categories was selected by the Army as
    · A1, A2, B1, B2, B3, B4, B5: These seven categories
    were based on vision in relation to shooting and driving,
    physical endurance, the ability to march and the
    manifestation of any other disease which would affect
    military duty. The categories also had caveats which
    determined both task and location worldwide.
    · C: Home service only.
    · D: Temporarily unfit.
    · E: Permanently unfit.
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
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  4. palawrence

    palawrence Member

    Of course, and thanks Steve. img096.jpg img097.jpg img098.jpg img099.jpg img100.jpg img101.jpg
  5. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Thanks for posting his papers.

    It’s a shame that the bottom of the first B103 appears to have frayed over time.

    In relation to wounds/injuries leading to a return to “Blighty” it all depends on the nature of the wound/injury sustained.

    There is mention of him suffering a broken wrist in October 1942 but there may be another medical issue mentioned in the frayed portion of the B103 that lead to a hospital admission in Feb 1943 and extensive rehab/convalescence in the following months until he is attached to an Anti Aircraft training unit in September 1943.

    He goes to Cyprus attached to a Signals Unit in April 1944 before being attached to HQ Raiding Forces in Dec 1944 and from there to Force 281 in March 1945. I’d hazard a guess he was performing Switchboard duties in all these postings - as mentioned in his Dec 1945 discharge reference.

    There are various Internet mentions of Force 281 - the War Diaries are available at U.K. National Archives so you may be able to discover his destination when he left Egypt for an unknown destination 6th April 1945 - likely one of the Aegean/Dodecanese Islands occupied by German troops since the Italian Armistice.

    Dodecanese Area: HQ Force 281 | The National Archives

    IWM article states - Force 281 was formed on 8 September 1944 and occupied Syme on 25 December 1944. From here the Force undertook the occupation of several islands and conducted a number of raids. After the capitulation of the German garrison in May 1945 the Force moved to Rhodes, at which time it took the title of Dodecanese District. As a District, it undertook internal security duties and civilian relief.



    You may find some more background in this MA dissertation -
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
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  6. palawrence

    palawrence Member

    Thanks Steve. Yes, that bit of the B103 corner is disappointing - to say the least. I had thought that he might have been posted to Force 281 Signals as a radio operator - I have a photo of him on one of the 'raiding' boats. He also has a 1944 xmas menu which displays the SAS wings and redacted info. I also have a couple of diary pages. InkedRaiding party, RN, RA, SAS, SBS, Signals, RMs_LI.jpg img113.jpg
  7. palawrence

    palawrence Member

    Diary pages.

    Attached Files:

  8. palawrence

    palawrence Member

    Thanks for the edit. Strangely, my daughter did her BSc/MSc in Lancaster Uni :)
  9. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    I’ve sent a link to this topic to a forum members with an interest in Special Forces to see if he has anything to assist you.

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  10. palawrence

    palawrence Member

    Thanks Steve - fingers crossed!


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