Great grandad - Royal Artillery

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Fraser Angus, Dec 1, 2019.

  1. Fraser Angus

    Fraser Angus Member

    Hi all,

    I’m new to the forum. I have a major interest in WW2 history and am currently undergoing a project to unearth some information about my great grandad. I’m planning on creating a map with a story about where he was/what he did and giving it to my gran for Christmas.

    In terms of information, there is very little to go by and I’m struggling to work out who he was and what he did. My gran doesn’t know much information either as he didn’t talk about the war. But she’d love to know more.

    What I have so far:
    His name is William Mackie Baird. He was from Forth (Scotland) and was in the British 8th Army. I’m 99% sure that he was in the Royal Artillery and served in North Africa and Italy. The biggest clue I have is the postcard that I have attached to this post (see image). I think it says the following:

    141 light anti air battery/btn royal artillery.
    29 light anti air regiment royal artillery
    7 company
    *i have looked up both of these and they don’t seem to match up or make sense. So I think I’ve read the numbers wrong.

    I don’t have a service number. He has the 1939-45 star, the Africa star and the France and Germany star. This is a little confusing for me. I don’t know why he has the France and Germany star if he served in NA and Italy. Maybe someone could shed some light on this? My gran says everyone called him gunner (presumably because of RA) but he was also a dispatch rider later in the war.

    The main thing I have to go on is post cards. They were stuck into a book with superglue so I can’t see what was written on the back of them. But he has a number of postcards from various places, so I have made some notes. There aren’t many from North Africa. I’m guessing it was either harder to get post cards or the fighting was too bad/there wasn’t much r&r time. There is also a strange patch that I just can’t find any information on (please see pictures). It has three peaks. It also appears on the side of one of their military trucks. My notes are as follows:

    William Mackie Baird

    Light anti air

    Peebles (post card)
    Troon (post card)
    Perhaps stationed in perranporth before North Africa (post card)
    Coatbridge (post card)

    North Africa - until 1943
    Danse des ouled nails - Algerian (post card)
    Annaba (post card)
    Skikda (post card)
    • from bizerte or sicily?

    Taranto landings - but not first wave. Possible route:??
    • Taranto > brindisi > bari > pompei > Rome? 1944 June > Assisi > Ancona
    • All of the above locations were on post cards. Not sure about the route that was taken.
    Clues - Italian Christmas card Christmas 1943 or 44?

    Any help would be much appreciated! I’m going to keep working on this and I hope I can get something made for my gran before Christmas.


    Thank you!
  2. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Fraser, it won't help with your Christmas present but the only place to start researching a soldier is to get their official service records:
    Get a copy of military service records

    The important thing to remember is that, despite what it states, you DO NOT need any military details, this is explained on the NOK forms, just name, date of birth and death certificate.
    ozzy16 and CL1 like this.
  3. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    CL1 likes this.
  4. Fraser Angus

    Fraser Angus Member

  5. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Fraser as Tony stated if you want info the official route is the only way.
    Be warned there are some sites out there that promise you info which you have to pay for and then it is not available

    Apologies for repeating
    Use the link Tony gave you cost £30

    Death certificate £11 and date of birth is all you require

  6. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Looks like 22 to me not 29
    Underneath is CMF
    Central Mediterranean Force.

    22 LAA Regt were in Italy.
    RA 1939-45 22 LAA 22 LAA badge.png

    See the badge on there. Same as yours.
    RA 1939-45 Regimental Insignia
    PackRat and ramacal like this.
  7. Fraser Angus

    Fraser Angus Member

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