Father's service record, 11 DLI & 1 Dorsets

Discussion in 'Durham Light Infantry' started by Martin Brayshay, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. Hi folks

    Have just come across this forum and hope somebody can help me regarding my dad's service record which I have just received. His name was Jack Brayshay 14391400 joined army 17-12-1942 ( born 24-04-1924 ) After training at Brancepeth county Durham posted to Durham Light Infantry 11 Battalion 25-05-1943. 31-05-1943 admitted to Llanelli general hospital 20-06-1943 posted to y list having been in hospital over 21 days. Fist question how do I find out what he was in for?

    Secondly, 28-08-1944 transferred to 1st Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment 04-10-1944 wounded in action adn 3ccs 07-10-1944 discharged to 47rhu how do I find out what happened.

    Many Thanks in anticipation

  2. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Hello Martin, glad that you have your father's service records, it is the only place to start. Unfortunately medical reports are still restricted so it is probably unlikely that you will get a definitive answer. Best bet is war diaries for the unit that will at least give an indication a to what they were involved in at a particular time.

    Also search this forum for references ie:
    War Diary - 1st Battalion, The Dorsetshire Regt, June 1944
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  3. Tony
    Thanks for the quick reply, will there be a diary / daily report for when he was training and admitted to hospital first time? and do you think it will be worth using researchers that advertise individual reports on soldiers cost about £100

  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  5. TD
    Thanks for the info I will check out both.
    No dad was a private from start to finish.

  6. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Welcome to the forum.

    Obviously I don't know if you searched the internet for 11 DLI in 1943 but I’ve turned up this hit which has the transcribed War Diaries -

    11th Battalion, The Durham Light Infantry War Diary 1943 - 70 Brigade

    As a “newcomer” to research it may be worth your while posting your father’s service records on the forum so that the “experts” here can have a look and possibly interpret it in more detail for you.


    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  7. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum, Martin.

    There is a link between your dad’s service with the 11th Bn Durham Light Infantry and the 1st Bn Dorsteshire Regiment. Is detail of this link of interest to you?


    stolpi likes this.
  8. Hi Steve
    Sorry I have taken a long time to reply busy with decorating at daughters house! yes, the link would be of interest to me to build up the picture of dads war.

    Many Thanks
  9. Hi Steve
    I'm not ignoring you very busy decorating at the moment. I have printed out the war diary from this link and I am looking into ordering a
    copy of the war diaries. I will post dads service record as soon as I can get my daughter to do it as I have not got a clue how to do it.

  10. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello Martin,

    It is not straight forward but this is how the link works...

    At the start of WWII 70th Infantry Brigade (10th, 11th and 12 Bns Durham Light Infantry) was brigaded with the 69th Infantry Brigade (5th Bn East Yorkshire Regiment, 6th & 7th Bns Green Howards) in the 23rd (Northumbrian) Division. At this time the 11th Bn Durham Light Infantry was a second line outfit and duplicate of the 8th Bn Durham Light Infantry, 151st Infantry Brigade, 50th (Northumbrian) Division.

    The whole 23rd (Northumbrian) Division was a duplicate of the first line 50th (Northumbrian) Division, the latter which being a motorised division had only two (rather than the usual three brigades). Following ‘Dunkirk’, it was decided that the motorised Divisions should be returned to three brigades and the 23rd (Northumbrian) Division was broken-up. The 69th Infantry Brigade was transferred to the 50th (Northumbrian) Division; the Geordies and the 70th Infantry Brigade was transferred to the 49th (West Riding) Division; the Polar Bears.

    The only other matter of note in this background is that on the 1 January 1940, the 12th Bn Durham Light Infantry was renamed the 1st Bn Tyneside Scottish and moved regiments from the Durham Light Infantry to the Black Watch.

    Fast forward to D-Day, 6 June 1944 and the 50th (Northumbrian) Division was an assault Division on Gold Beach. It’s formation now was the 151st Infantry Brigade (6th, 8th & 9th Bns Durham Light Infantry), the 69th Infantry Brigade (5th Bn East Yorkshire Regiment, 6th & 7th Bns Green Howard’s), the 231st Infantry Brigade (1st Bn Hampshire Regiment, 1st Bn Dorsetshire Regiment & 2nd Bn Devonshire Regiment) and the 56th Infantry Brigade - the latter being temporarily attached to the 50th (Northumbrian) Division for the purposes of the landings and fighting immediately thereafter.

    The 49th (West Riding) Division entered the fighting in Normandy on 14 June 1944.

    By mid-August 1944, the British were experiencing an Infantry manpower shortage, with a great need for replacements. On or around the 19th August it was decided to break-up the 59th (Staffordshire) Division, to which the 56th Infantry Brigade had been recently moved from the 50th (Northumbrian) Division. it was also decided to replace the 70th Infantry Brigade with the 56th Infantry Brigade in the 49th (West Riding) Division and to break-up the former. It’s personnel were then moved to mainly the 50th (Northumbrian) Division and the 51st (Highland) Division. There was a natural link between the 70th Infantry Brigade and these two Divisions, with the 70th having two battalions of Durham Light Infantry and one battalion of Black Watch. However, the 50th (Northumbrian) Division now had more than Durham’s serving and this is how your dad found himself transferred to the 1st Bn Dorsetshire Regiment, 231st Infantry Brigade, 50th (Northumbrian) Division.

    Hope this is helpful to understanding the logic and connection of his transfer from the 11th Bn Durham Light Infantry to the 1st Bn Dorsetshire Regiment.

    The only other thing to note is that the 1st Dorsetshire Regiment, along with the 9th Bn Durham Light Infantry, was transferred to the 7th Armoured Division (the Desert Rats) as ‘Armoured Infantry’ in early December 1944 for the duration. Their war finished in Germany on VE-Day.


    PackRat, ozzy16 and dbf like this.
  11. Hi Steve,
    Please find attached service records for my father. This appears to be all the information available about his service.

    Attached Files:

    Medwyn Edwards likes this.
  12. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Thanks for posting.

    The unique feature I’ve spotted is that he declined his TAB innoculations - of all of the service records I’ve seen posted on the forum this is the first one I’ve seen with such an endorsement!

    Have you picked up on the fact that he was recalled for 2 weeks training in July 1951 - during the Korean War? I can’t make out the unit where he spent his training period.

  13. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello Martin,

    Your dad was wounded in action on 4 October 1944 and would likely place him just north of the Nijmegen Bridge on ‘The Island’, between Nijmegen and Arnhem (The Netherlands), at a place called Bemmel.

    To understand exactly what was happening in the Nijmegen Bridgehead I recommend that you read this excellent thread fully: NIJMEGEN BRIDGEHEAD: II.SS Pz Corps' counterattack in October 1944 and for the 50th (Northumbrian) Division's involvement pages 26 to 55, and specifically for the 1st Bn Dorsteshire Regiment on that date pages 33 to 34.


    4jonboy, timuk and Tricky Dicky like this.
  14. Hi Steve
    Must admit posting was daughters effort, not mine. That said the place he trained was Brancepeth castle in County Durham. The training in 1951 was at Church Broughton. Notice to join for training dated 12-07-1951 acknowledged 16-07-1951 joined for training 08-09-1951 completed training 22-09-1951. As for the unit column, none of it makes very much sense to me! After training posted to 11 DLI did he stay in this unit until 28-08-1944 as there are references to postings to Y and X lists and upgrading to scale 1 class 1.
    After transfer to 1 battalion Dorset,s again references to x lists 47RHU PA303 something else I cannot make out 25-11-1945 RAOC
    Released 21-08-1947. Was he with the Dorsets until he left the army? Would be good to now timeline so I can order war diaries for the time he was with each unit, any help from anybody would be much appreciated.

    Many Thanks
  15. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    THE “X” LIST
    1. All personnel are held on the posted strength of a unit or are carried on the “X” list.
    2. The “X” list is maintained in 5 sections, and all transfers to and from it – or from one section of
    it to another - Units will, of course, casualty movements within the sections of, or involving
    transfer to, or from the “X” list.
    3. THE X (i) LIST comprises all ranks posted to fill vacancies in authorised War Establishments of
    a Headquarters or an extra-regimental unit (such as a base depot, school etc.). An officer placed
    in X (i) list will be seconded.
    4. THE X (ii) LIST comprises all ranks evacuated on medical grounds beyond Regimental First
    Aid Post. Personnel so evacuated cease to be on the effective strength of their units. Temporary
    or acting rank will be relinquished 28 days after being so transferred to X (ii) list. Personnel
    remain in X (ii) list until they are classified as fit for posting when they are transferred to the X (iv)
    list of their corps and marched out to the appropriate training depot, or until discharged by a
    medical unit direct to their original units.
    5. THE X (iii) LIST comprises
    a) Confirmed prisoners of war,
    b) Personnel officially declared missing,
    c) OR under un-suspended sentence of detention or imprisonment (personnel undergoing
    field punishment remain on unit strength),
    d) Deserters
    Missing personnel will NOT be transferred to X (iii) list until the official notification is received.
    Deserters are NOT struck off unit strength until [notification] is received and personnel are
    declared deserters through Part II Orders. Temporary or acting rank will be retained by, and
    extra-duty pay will continue to be payable to, personnel posted missing or PoW [Prisoner of War].
    6. THE X (iv) LIST comprises all unposted reinforcements and incoming reinforcement drafts.
    Personnel discharged from (x(ii)) to Training Depots, fit for duty, are transferred to the X (iv) list of
    their corps, until posted to a unit, when they are struck off X (iv) and taken on unit strength.
    Reinforcements in transit between the Base and a unit remain on X (iv) (and the Base Depot
    strength) until they actually reach and are taken on the strength by the unit to which they are
    proceeding. Escaped PoWs [Prisoners of War] who until such escape have been on the X (iii) list
    are transferred to X (iv) list on reaching their respective training depots.

    ozzy16 likes this.
  16. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    It’s pretty clear from his B103 and Statement of Service form that he was posted to 11 DLI until his posting to Dorset Regiment 28th August 1944.

    After his recovery from injuries received in action he was posted to 47 Reinforcement Holding Unit.

    I presume his injuries prevented his return to active service with an infantry unit so he may have been employed on the staff of 47 RHU until he is permanently attached to 303 Mobile Laundry & Bath Unit in mid May 1945. - attached from 1st Dorests his parent regiment.

    He is transferred to Royal Army Ordnance Corps in September 1945 and based at 15 Advanced Base Ordnance Depot which was renamed 15 Base Ordnance Depot in March 1947.

    You have already had sight of 11 DLI transcribed War Diaries so you need 1st Dorset for the short period he was with them - from late August 1944 until he was wounded in early October.

    Many Units had discontinued War Diaries in Europe by June 1945.

    ozzy16 likes this.
  17. Hi Steve

    Thanks for deciphering dads records the information is invaluable to me. Can you help with some background information?
    1. Is there any way I can find out what his injuries were? he had nothing visible and was very active
    2. what did a reinforcement holding unit do and where was the 47th based
    3. Did the 303 mobile unit keep records of movements presumably in Germany
    4. RAOC where was the 15 advanced base located?

    Many Thanks
  18. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    There may be medical records but generally these are like finding hens teeth and access is normally only available to them [if you can find out where they are] 100 years after the event for data protection safety - I know I have been there

    An RHU held the reinforcements until they were allocated to another unit - theres a small clue in the name - not sure where the 47th was, but there might be clues in :
    1944 - 47 Unit | The National Archives
    1945 - 47 Unit | The National Archives
    1946 - 47 Unit | The National Archives

    303 M. L.B.U. | The National Archives
    Reference: WO 171/6886
    303 M. L.B.U.
    Date: 1945 Jan.- Oct.
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description

    Search results: 15 Base Ordnance Depot | The National Archives

    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
    ozzy16 and Tullybrone like this.
  19. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    In the casualty lists he is recorded as 'wounded' date given as 4.10.44. Remember that admission to hospital can cover almost anything, in some theatres malaria for example or even illness, appendicitis etc.
    dbf likes this.
  20. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Hello Martin,
    Using the searchbox (top right) type in RHU Units, then click search.
    It should throw up lots of threads concerning RHU units.


Share This Page