Did any of your family serve during WW2; if so what did they do?

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Paul Reed, Mar 3, 2004.

  1. Dieppe

    Dieppe Senior Member

    Malcolm - Thanks very much mate.

    Would you be the same Malcolm from the GWDF? If so, then see you in 7 days at the Ensign Ewart :)
  2. Doug Lewis

    Doug Lewis Member

    This is a picture of my Great Uncle Harry Ryder,I have no other information as yet but will enjoy trying to find out.
    Regards Doug
  3. MalcolmII

    MalcolmII Senior Member

    Originally posted by Lee@Mar 8 2004, 03:05 AM
    Malcolm - Thanks very much mate.

    Would you be the same Malcolm from the GWDF? If so, then see you in 7 days at the Ensign Ewart :)
    Hi Lee,
    See you at the Ensign Ewart and I'll bring a copy of the Commonwealth ORBAT with me.
    MalcolmII as distinct from that old fart on the Great War site. :lol:
  4. Simon Furnell

    Simon Furnell Junior Member

    Evening all.
    A marvellous idea,Paul,although,at the moment,i haven't got any pictures to post.
    Due to the First World War,my family history is a little complicated.
    Both of my Great-grand-mothers were widowed,during WW1,and re-married in the early 1920's,the pair of them,having son's in the late 20's.
    My list includes,Grandads,Great-Uncles and Step-Great-Uncles!
    I have not done much research,but this is what i have learned.
    Walter George Furnell,my Grandad,signed up early in the war,and originally served with the 1st Royal Berks.
    At some point,during the war,he was transfered to the R.A.O.C,and was based at Didcot,now part of Oxfordshire.
    He used to ride his bike home for weekend passes,a 30+,mile,round trip.
    He landed,D+2,and spent his time in Europe,as a Tank,Transporter,Driver,although he never,ever,drove after the War.
    His brother,Eric,served with the Artillery,and i am sure i have seen a picture of him in the Desert.
    My Grandads other brother,Oscar"Bob"Furnell,served with the RAF,and was a trainer on Radar,in Canada.
    Walter,Eric and "Bob",had a step brother,called William Furnell-Harding.
    "Uncle Bill",was my Godfather,and served as a Royal Marine Gunner,on H.M.S Howe,in the Pacific,during 1944/45.
    My Grandads,brother-in-law,Roy Sellwood,also served as a Marine Gunner,though i don't know which ship.
    My other Grandad,Joeseph Curry,was reserved occupation,during WW2,the same as his father was,during WW1.
    He was a dairyman,but try as hard as he could,they wouldn't let him in the forces.
    Army,Navy,or Airforce.
    He joined the Homeguard,and did a sort of,all arms,course,with the Rifle Brigade in 1943.
    I have his qualifying papers here,somewhere.
    His war was still a little hairy,though.
    He lived in West Sussex,during the war,and his little village,saw quite a bit of action,including a V-1 hit.
    Grandad Joe's wife,my nan,was trained as an Ambulance Driver during the war,but didn't pass her driving test,until the 1970's.
    My other Gran,had to put up with the odd bombing raid on the local aerodrome,and look after my Dad,while her hubby,was at war.
    It is going to take me years,to sort out this lot!
    Looking forward to your help,chaps.
    All the best.
  5. Joy Dean

    Joy Dean Junior Member

    My father, William John Brooks (7 March 1914 - 30 October 1987), of whom I am very proud, and love dearly, served in the TA, in the RAMC, Staff-sergeant 7349297. He returned from Dunkirk - thank goodness, otherwise I wouldn't have been here! - and having recently seen drama-documentaries on television about the evacuation from Dunkirk, goodness, how harrowing that must have been!
    Later Dad was on a ship bound for Singapore, but Singapore fell, and the ship was diverted to India.
    I do not have many photos of him in uniform, but am (hopefully!) attaching ones of: my Dad by himself; and taken in India - of people in uniform with a nurse - and a group photo with my Dad (standing on the right).
    An extract from a letter received soon after my father's death from the Hon. Sec. 17 BGH RAMC Old Comrades' Association:
    'Bill was, of course, a member of the original 1st (1st County of London) which became the 17th on the embodiment of the Territorial Army. He was with us in France and India, and I remember him playing hockey, and singing ("J'Attendrai" etc) in our Band Concerts. He also spoke in the Debating Society and never neglected a chance to bang the drum for the Boy Scout Movement!'

  6. Joy Dean

    Joy Dean Junior Member

    PS I think I am having to attach the other two photos separately. Still a novice at this!
  7. Joy Dean

    Joy Dean Junior Member

    PS And here's the last one. Still on an upward learning curve!
  8. plan_D

    plan_D Junior Member

    I know little about the one war veteran in my family, my grandfather was part of the 75th Indian, he was in the Chindit Operations in 1943. He never talked much of his life in Burma to me or to my father. I'm trying my hardest to find more about him as he has five medals, which even those I do not know what they all are except one I know is the Burma Star.

    His name was Fred Carter and I've always been looking for information because I'm proud of such a history. He was even 'injured' when apparently biten by a bug and catching some disease which forced him in hospital for 6 weeks.

    I will try and find some photos of him, but I'm not promising anything.
  9. Dieppe

    Dieppe Senior Member

    To add to my list of family members:

    My great grandfather George William Dean who served in the Civil Defence (doing something medical).
    All I know about him is that he served in the Great War in the RAMC but was discharged in 1917 - he had the 1914-15 Star, War & Victory Medals and a SWB and added the Defence Medal at the end of WW2.

    There are a couple of photos of him in his CD uniform, but I can't get hold of them at the moment.
  10. Charles Fair

    Charles Fair Junior Member

    My maternal gfather was CO of No 1 Port Construction & Repair Company RE, and was built Mulberry B at Arromanches - I think he was 2 i/c of constructing the whole harbour under Brigadier Bruce White.

    On the other side of the family my father left school in summer 1943, went to OCTU, then gunner training after commissioning and was posted to 6 RHA. He was on his way out to the far east when the war ended, so stayed in India until 1947.

    His two sisters served in the WAAF and ATS. The husband of one was a captain in the RASC, and was one of the first british officers into Belsen when it was liberated. The husband of the other served in the Abyssinian campaign in 1941 as a major in the Devonshire Regt.

    My paternal grandfather served in WW1 as a Lt-Col i/c an infantry battalion, and enlisted in the home guard in WW2 as a private.
  11. Christina

    Christina Junior Member

    Hi Lee
    We have been to Kananchaburi War Cemetry and have video of the cemetery, some shows gravestones, it is only general video as my husband is interested in War Cemeteries, so wherever we go we have visited them. If you would like a copy of this e-mail me, horseluvver@dodo.com.au I found the cemetery visit very moving it had an atmosphere about it, as if all those there were reaching out to us. We visited and rode on the Burma railway, it was sad to realise that for every sleeper there was a death, that too is on the video.
  12. Dieppe

    Dieppe Senior Member

    Hi Christina - Thank you very much, I'll contact you off forum.
  13. Christina

    Christina Junior Member

    My interest started on two fronts, firstly with my Grandad Harry James Tucker aka Robert Tucker, whilst tracing my ancestors for my family tree I encountered great difficulty in tracing my grandad, couldn't even find a GRO entry. Anyway to cut a long story short I came on to the site to see if any help was forthcoming. Chris Baker did a search for me on Robert Tucker, this unfortunately only came back with a list of possibles as I had no information to give him. Eventually I tracked Robert down he was born Harry James Tucker, he served in the Royal Berkshire regiment in WW1 in France and lost a leg. I have got no further with his service record. This created my interest in WW1.
    My interest in WW11 came from my father Horace George Crawley, known as George. George first went into service with The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry in 1930 and was posted to India, I believe he did some sort of army school teaching out there, he rose to the position of Warrant Officer. I have a photo of him leading the new recruits in at the beginning of WW11. At that time the RAF was poaching army officers and he transferred to the Air Force. He served with three squadrons; 295 squadron A flight o.c.a flight 298 Squadron B squadron of the same flight and the famous 644 squadron, his duties ranged from wireless operator, navigator and rear gunner, he was a flight sergeant. His pilot was squadron leader Norman, so if he's still out there perhaps he'll contact me. He took part in dropping the paras over Arnhem. I have some photos to post but the scanner is not working at present so I'll update this later.
  14. john w.

    john w. Junior Member

    My dad was in the HAC as a bombardier and fought at El alamein and up through Sicily. He never talked much about the war, but soon I hope to have his service record and can see what he did as he never liked to talk about the war.
    His brother Norman was in the Middlesex Regt but was blown up by a mine in the desert in what seems to be part of the similar campaign.

    I was in Egypt 18 months ago but didnt get time to see the memorial upon which my uncle's name is written

  15. RASigs

    RASigs Member

    My Father joined the Australian Citizens Military Force in 1938 and volunteered for o/s service early Sept 1939. He served with the 6th Division Signals Regt, initially in the Western Desert then onto Palestine and Syria, Greece and Crete. He was captured on Crete and transferred to a prison camp in Poland. Survived that and was on a death march from eastern germany to near munich in Jan - Feb 1945. Of the 12000 who started app 2000 survived. He was 6'5" and weighed when released by US forces 42kg.
  16. DirtyDick

    DirtyDick Senior Member

    My paternal grandfather was in the Queen's Regiment TA; served with BEF in April-May 1940, leaving Dunkirk on 31 May 1940. Invalided out after training accident in UK in mid-41 - lost two fingers when thunderflash exploded too close to him - then became Special Constable (and watchmaker - only joking!) for remainder of War.

    My maternal grandfather was only 18 in '44 and was already in a reserved occupation working in Portsmouth Dockyard as an apprentice draughtsman.

    One of my maternal g-grandfathers served in the RN as a three badge AB throughout both world wars; sunk several times in both wars - echoes of Uncle Albert! - and awarded MID in 1941.
  17. angie999

    angie999 Very Senior Member

    This is my dad, Sgt Cyril Walter Davis, RASC, army no. S/7662514.

    He was called up in early 1940 and served in the UK until posted to East Africa in 1944. He came back in January 1946 and was demobbed from Military Dispersal Unit no 5, Guildford, on 24 January 1946.

    In his Soldier's Release Book (Army Book X801), his military conduct was stated as "exemplary" and this is part of his testimonial from his last unit, CSD, EAASC, Nanyuki (Kenya):

    "Sjt (sic) Davis has served for two years throughout East Africa including nearly 18 months in British and Italian Somalilands. During this time he was for 4 months solely responsible for a Supply Point at Scuscuban (sic) where he received, issued and accounted for supplies satisfactorily as the only European rank at the Supply Point under very trying climatic conditions.
    "At this depot he has been in charge of the Fresh Ration Store which he managed efficiently and latterly has been largely concerned with Unit Administration." (dated 24 December 1945)

    The reference to climatic conditions means hot, dusty Horn of Africa desert.
  18. Chris P

    Chris P Junior Member

    I've read with interest for a few months, but this is my first post.......Hello all!

    My father joined the Royal Navy in early 1941, by December of that year he was serving as a gunner in B turret, HMS Onslow on a Russian Convoy....This was the famous 'Battle of the Barents sea' in which the Onslow, a destroyer with 4" guns attacked the German battleship Admiral Hipper....Capt Sherbrooke of the Onslow was wounded in this action, & awarded the VC. Many of the company were wounded or killed in this 'suicidal' action........ After this he served on HMS Penelope during the seige of Malta, Minesweepers converted from trawlers in the North Sea, when he was mined & rescued by a MTB out of Lowestoft......Sometime after this he joined the Royal Naval Commandos, & trained at Loch Fyne in Scotland. Part of his work with them was sneaking to france in a submarine & taking soil samples prior to the D Day invasion. When he trained for this, they practised going out in a sub, launching out in a dingy, & paddling back to an English beach to take the samples.....They were not to be spotted by the Brit defences........or so they thought......When some of the men asked when they were going to do it for real, they were told they had already been to France.....Part of his time as a RNC was spent on a sub called Thrasher......
    He took part in the Italy invasion,at Salerno & Palermo & on D Day was a gunner on a LCT. He spent some of his time training DEMS gunners, picking up US lease lend destroyers, and somewhere in the middle of all this was torpedoed & sunk on another ship......A varied career! He was demobbed in early 1946.....just short of his 21st birthday. I cannot begin to imagine my sons, of a similar age having to do the same.....Thanks to those who have gone before, they don't have to.

    Chris P.
  19. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Egad! was I everlooking like this?
  20. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    This is oes like the 80 year old Sapper

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