Help deciphering army records

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by Mollyolly, Jun 7, 2019.

  1. Mollyolly

    Mollyolly Member

    Hi, hoping someone can help me decipher some of the details on attached record. This was my grandad who was in 4th Bn Lincolnshire Regt. Don't know a lot of what he was involved with other than what is in his records here. I do have his Polar Bear arm badges so I assume he was in the 49th Infantry Division. Would that be a correct assumption ?

    He was in Iceland and I have been told the photo I have attached is of him standing in a doorway outside a Nissan hut in Iceland.

    On the records it says he was in Hereford after Iceland but I can't make out what the letters are before the word Hereford, and why was he there. It looks like it says disch, (discharged ?)
    Then he was at Hamilton, any ideas where that is or what was there ?

    Some of the dates on the forms vary slightly, is this just clerical error. One says he went to Iceland 25/11/41 and another one says 6/12/41 disembarked Iceland or was the gap period just them getting ready to go to Iceland from the "barracks". Where were the Lincs regt based ?

    Also what sort of things would he have been doing in NWE during 1946.

    The photos attached are of his records, one of his polar bear badges, I guess a spare as it has not been cut and sewn, I do have another that looks used that was from him and the photo of all the soldiers is when he was back in England. My grandad is seated in front on right, with slanted cap

    Many thanks for any help.

    Attached Files:

  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    I havent read this book yet but it seems to cover the 4th Bn Lincs

    Polar Bears - Monty's Left Flank
    Author - Patrick Delaforce

    Content - Originally a Territorial unit with its roots in the West Riding of Yorkshire, the 49th Infantry Division saw action in the ill-fated Norwegian campaign in 1940, before it was appointed to garrison Iceland where it stayed for two years. In August 1944, under the command of the Canadian Army, the Polar Bears acted as Monty's left flank after the invasion of France. Following the battle for Normandy, the Polar Bears played a key role in the capture of Le Havre, campaigned vigorously in Belgium and garrisoned the 'island' between Arnhem and Nijmegen during the winter of 1944. They helped to take Arnhem and then liberated Utrecht and Hilversum; and the Recce regiment were the first to arrive with their armoured cars in Amsterdam. In the final weeks of the war the Polar Bears played a humanitarian role by bringing desperately needed food supplies to the starving population of Holland.

    Might help you understand his journey

    PackRat likes this.
  3. Mollyolly

    Mollyolly Member

    Was there a barracks in Hamilton that he may have been at ?
  4. Mollyolly

    Mollyolly Member

    Many thanks for that. So as he was in 4th Bn and wore polar bears, is there no doubt that he was part of the 49th infantry ?
  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    I read his records as showing that after his ITC (Infantry Training Course) or basic training he was in the 4th Bn Lincs his whole military career.
    It shows he trained as an 'Equipement Repairer' (gained 9 1 42) - what that equipment was I cant be sure - what was his trade following the war ?

  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    49th (West Riding) Infantry Division - Wikipedia
    Service in Iceland, 1940−42
    The division, now with only the 146th and 147th Infantry Brigades left, departed for Iceland, the 146th arriving there on 8 May,[11] the 147th on 17 May,[12] and the divisional HQ arriving on 23 June, when it was redesignated HQ Alabaster Force and, in January 1941, Iceland Force before finally being redesignated HQ British Troops Iceland.[5] Both brigades were thereafter stationed in Iceland until 1942.[13] As a result, a new divisional insignia, featuring a polar bear standing on an ice floe, was adopted.[5] Also stationed there from late October 1940 was the 70th Independent Infantry Brigade.[14] In 1941, at the request of British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, the division was trained in mountain warfare and also in arctic warfare.[15] By April 1942, responsibility for Iceland had been handed over to the United States

    Order of battle
    The 49th Infantry Division was constituted as follows during the war:[16]
    146th Infantry Brigade[11]
    4th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment

  7. Mollyolly

    Mollyolly Member

    All I know is the after the war he worked in a garden nursery, Hill Brothers in Epsom and then in a factory to do with sheet metal where he eventually became caretaker. I did know my grandad but didn't really chat to him much as I was young and he got into a religion and was quite busy "in the front room" a lot doing paper work and things. He never really spoke to my mum about the war. He died in 1996.
  8. Mollyolly

    Mollyolly Member

    So would he have been trained in the mountain and artic warfare or did he arrive after that, Nov 1941.
  9. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Thanks for sharing the papers and photographs. I see he was a boot repairer (cobbler) on “call up” so wonder if he became the Battalion boot repairer with the generic title of Equipment repairer?

    Have you any information on the group photo? I’m no expert on cap badges but the Sgt seated in the middle of the front row and the “Private” standing immediately behind him look to be wearing Coldstream Guards cap badges. Wonder if it taken on a drill course with Guards Instructors?

    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
  10. Mollyolly

    Mollyolly Member

    No, I have no idea of anyone or anywhere in the photo except grandad in the picture and that it is dated on the back Sept 26th 1942.
  11. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Training would be continuous, any new replacements or additions would have to do any & all courses to keep themselves on the top of their game weapons, procedures, etc etc

    so yes after all that Artic & Mountain training in normal army tradition they would probably be sent to Eygpt - thats my little joke

    SteveDee likes this.
  12. Mollyolly

    Mollyolly Member

    He was in Hamilton before NWE, would that be likely to have been more training in Scotland?
  13. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    They would be doing training daily for certain things, and they would nominally be doing exercises every few days for however long the exercise was set for.
    Reading the details of my Dads regiment they could be doing some for 1 day and others for 3 days or longer depending on what they were required to learn, then 2 or 3 months later do it all again - thats how the Army trains you, keep doing it until it becomes automatic

    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
  14. PackRat

    PackRat Well-Known Member

    Time spent 'at sea' on the way to a posting counted as overseas service. When his overseas service time was totted up, it was worked out from the day he boarded a ship at a UK port to the day he set foot back in the UK, rather than from the day he arrived/left the overseas station.

    25/11 would likely be the day he embarked in the UK (but not necessarily set sail - loaded ships could be held in port for days while convoys formed up, for example) and 6/12 would be the date he set foot on Icelandic soil (although again the ship might have arrived at port earlier - men could be stuck on board for days waiting for a free slot at a busy harbour to disembark).
  15. Mollyolly

    Mollyolly Member

    Just ordered the book you mentioned so will find out more when I read that.
  16. Mollyolly

    Mollyolly Member

    OK, thanks for that.
  17. Pat Atkins

    Pat Atkins Patron Patron

    Dont know what CRS Hereford was, but to me the next record looks like "Disch. Hosp." - "discharged hospital"?

    Cheers, Pat

    Edit: a very quick Google around suggests Camp or Corps Rest Station for CRS
  18. Mollyolly

    Mollyolly Member

    Yes that's what I thought, hosp. wondering what CRS Hereford is or is it G RS. Have googled variations but can't find anything that fits really. I will keep trying though
  19. Mollyolly

    Mollyolly Member

    Just found a web page that is part of an engineers war diary and in it it says someone was admitted to C.R.S Bradbury Lines, Hereford 1942 then discharged Lichfield hospital. If you google Bradbury Lines It says, In 1960, the SAS moved to a former Royal Artillery boys' training unit, Bradbury Lines in Hereford, which was renamed in 1984 to Stirling Lines in honour of the regiment's founder, Colonel David Stirling. So was it a hospital within an army barracks back in 1940's
  20. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

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