Draft recognition codes.

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by bamboo43, Dec 7, 2013.

  1. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi All,

    Very much a long shot here.

    I have been helping another member with research into their father's involvement in the 13th Kings.

    The 142 Commando War diary for 1942 has this draft serial code assigned to it: RZGHA.

    I know this probably is just a collective serial code for the unit, but does anyone have any idea what it actually stands for? I have thought about this before, earlier in my studies, but have come up with nothing.

    The same question has been posted on the Commando veterans website a while back, but I thought I would broaden the search for information.

    Many thanks

  2. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    My personal opinion regarding draft numbers is that they are meaningless and just a collection of characters chosen at random.

    My own was REAYK and referred to my passage from Greenock to Algieirs in April 1943

    Archaepon likes this.
  3. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Thanks Ron,

    I am almost relieved to hear that from you, as it will mean no more hours of pondering on something that is meaningless and impossible to decipher anyway.

    Thank you again.

  4. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    ……..and I have been thinking all this time that the Franconia sailed from Greenock to Algiers in April '43…The codes were meaningless to most except the people who made them up as we discovered after 100 miles at sea after we had th

    chance to scrub the codes off all of our kits and documents..we dummies could have saved ourselves the trip…in my own case FOUR Sea Cruises…however they were all free so musn't grumble

  5. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Thanks for that additional information Tom. I've been so busy with my research it is a relief to be able to put one question to bed and leave it there. :)
  6. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    New Year Resolution No.2

    Stop posting on my iPad when I have been dozing off in the lounge.

    Algiers it certainly was

    (Alexandria came much later)

    Duly altered.


    Here's a coincidence
    On another thread I wrote about sloppy research.
    When I make a post on my PC I have all my diaries and records to hand and can check before I post.
    On my iPad I rely on my memory.
    Say no more :(
  7. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    Can anyone help with these initials from my fathers service record?

    86/42 Pt III M+S Draft RBHWY Promoted to rank of A/CSM At sea C4 30/9/42

    Could the latter C4 be the convoy number?

    Also Granted FDA date looks like Feb either 44 or 45 while in India. Any ideas?

  8. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

  9. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    C4 doesnt seem to be a convoy code.
    Convoyweb.org.uk is a great site for finding convoys if you have a embarkation/disembarkation date.
  10. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    Seem's then that RBHWY was a code rather than an acronym. Would the C4 be a ship within the convoy? I think he embarked on or around 28/9/42 and reached India (somewhere) on 3/11/42.
    Anything for FDA? I wondered if it was leave of some sort but can't work out any relevance to the initials.
  11. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2018
  12. Red Goblin

    Red Goblin Senior Member

    Not my subject but Patrick Clancey's Allied Convoy Codes list (c/o Naval History) gives "C - Colombo to dispersal (1942)" - right part of world and year limitation may account for low sequence number ...

    :twocents: Steve
  13. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    Convoy WS 23 sailed on 30 September 1942. According to Archie Munro's book The Winston Specials, "The cruising order of four columns was formed and a WNW course set..." (Page 350) Just an idea - perhaps the "C4" in this case could mean "Column 4"
  14. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi RosyRedd,

    I had a look at WS23 as the most likely convoy from Lionboxer's dates. I was put off by the arrival dates in Bombay, 24th November. Then if you look at the information on Convoyweb, the group splits as per usual at Durban and 4 vessels head off for Bombay.

    Here is the link to that site:


    And the make up of the WS23 convoy as it left Durban:

  15. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    Hi - no, it doesn't seem to fit with the arrival dates. I'll read through and see if there is something that might help - do you know which battalion Lionboxer's father was with? Some are mentioned in the chapter.
  16. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    Am afraid reading the chapter through entirely hasn't helped and ties in with the info you found online.

    WS23 all ships arrive Durban by 1330 on 5th November

    BI Dilwara reaches Durban on 25th October from Tamatave and begins to embark personnel for Bombay. Balance of those awaiting on-carriage from Durban are carried forward in convoy CM 35 which left 13 November.

    BI Dilwara arrives Bombay 24/11/1942.

    Incidentally, I hadn't meant to give the impression that this was the correct convoy, it was a suggestion as to what C4 might be - another possibility an escort group code ?
  17. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi RosyRedd,

    Sorry if I gave the impression I was correcting you in any way, I wasn't at all, we were both just adding info to the post to help Lionboxer.

    Best wishes

  18. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    Hi Steve - When I re-read my initial post I thought it was a bit misleading. No need for apologies :) Am curious about the dates too now ;-)
  19. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    Thanks for all the input. Father was in the Royal Norfolk's but at the time was posted away from the regiment specifically to the Reinforcement Groups in India because of his experience. The draft it seems was under the command of a Lieutenant from the Royal Engineers though I can't make out his name. They crossed the equator on 23 October 42 if that helps.
  20. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    Hi Lionboxer - yes that helps - it says in the WS 23 Chapter "On the 23rd while heading ESE into the Gulf of Guinea, the cruiser Despatch and sloop Milford caught up and joined the escort..."

    My geography isn't too good, so had a quick look on google and found "The Gulf of Guinea is the northeasternmost part of the tropical Atlantic Ocean between Cape Lopez in Gabon, north and west to Cape Palmas in Liberia. The intersection of the Equator and Prime Meridian is in the gulf. Wikipedia"

    Is there a copy of the service history on the forum ?

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