Help! My Grandfather Gunner/Driver Arthur Small

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by Daveysmalls, Feb 15, 2018.

  1. Daveysmalls

    Daveysmalls Member

    Hi, I need some help please!
    We have limited information regarding my granddad's history.
    We know his service number
    1596538 and his service start date, demob date etc. We think he served in 288 field battery Royal Artillery defo 8th army.
    We know he served in Africa and was in 2 pow camps one in Germany (stalag IIB ) and sector 53 in Italy.
    I'm trying to find out why he didn't qualify for the Italy star (we have the Africa Star, 39-45 star and the war medal) as we have proof that he did active service there as well as escaping from there!
    Any help would be gratefully accepted!
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Dave

    The very best to start is with there service records and the ONLY place they can be obtained from is the MOD - the link to the forms etc is - Request records of deceased service personnel - GOV.UK
    Once you have their service records then members will help you understand them and provide info etc for you to further research their military service
  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    UK, British Prisoners of War, 1939-1945
    Name: A Small
    Rank: Gunner
    Army Number: 1569538
    Regiment: Royal Artillery
    POW Number: 140380
    Camp Type: Stalag
    Camp Number: XI-B
    Camp Location: Fallingbostel, Lower Saxony
    Record Office: Royal Artillery (Field) Record Office, Foots Cray, Sidcup, Kent
    Record Office Number: 5

  4. Daveysmalls

    Daveysmalls Member

    Thanks, we have that bit already. He has correspondence relating to an Italian pow camp too and pay details for service in Italy. Its that particular bit I'm interested in
  5. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello Dave,

    If a Field Battery, 288th Bty served with 124th Field Regiment, RA, 50th (Northumbrian) Division.

    If an Anti-tank Battery, 288th Bty served with 102nd (Northumberland Hussars) Anti-Tank Regiment, RA, 50th (Northumbrian) Division.

    Both mostly but not wholly throughout WWII. If you can be precise with dates of service with them, as PoW, etc. I can provide better information.

    Both units served with 50 Div in the Western Desert, Sicily and NW Europe. If your granddad served with either of them in Sicily he would be entitled to the Italy Star.


    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018
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  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Where was he captured??

    MOD regs:
    The Italy Star is awarded for operational service in Sicily or Italy between 11 July 1943 and 8 May 1945. Those who served in Yugoslavia, Greece, Corsica or Sardinia between certain other specified dates will also qualify.
    To apply for the Italy Star, you must have:
    1 day of operational service in the army
    1 day of operational service as ground crew in the RAF
    1 operational sortie as aircrew in the RAF
    1 day afloat in operational areas in the Royal Navy and already qualified for the 1939 to 1945 Star
    The colours of the ribbon represent the national colours of Italy.

    You can always apply on his behalf and see what they say - Medals: campaigns, descriptions and eligibility - GOV.UK - however there may be something on his service records that will answer that question for you


    If he was captured in Africa and was transported to Italy as a POW, not sure if that meets the criteria
  7. Daveysmalls

    Daveysmalls Member

    Thanks Steve
    We have 2 listings of him in a pow camp. One is Italy one is Germany. We also have pay details for service in Italy. We can't make the dates out for the German camp but a letter sent to him was post dated 24/09/1943. We know he escaped from this one and think he returned to active service in Italy. We also have this train of thought.
    Captured in north Africa, taken to another Italian camp. Captured again and sent to sector 51. We know he escaped from here and was sent to stalag XIB.
  8. Daveysmalls

    Daveysmalls Member

    I was told by the service record guys that his record might not even show anything other than what we already know but we'd still have to pay?! What's the forces war records site like, its 8.95/ per month
  9. Daveysmalls

    Daveysmalls Member

    This is him and 2 pow letters he received at 2 camps

    Attached Files:

  10. Bazooka Joe

    Bazooka Joe Member

    A bit of a waste of time and money. The only place where you can get his service records is from the MOD. Unit diaries and such like, can be found in the National Archives.
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  11. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello Dave,

    You need to apply for his service records from the MOD, per Tricky’s post #6 (above). Ask for his ‘full’ service records. They are as cheap as chips... That will reveal if he had active service in the Italian theatre and is therefore entitled to the Italy Star.

    When you get the records and if you need help with them, post them on this thread and someone will be along to help you interpret them. I’ll keep a look out for the thread popping up.

    Advise you don’t register and pay for Forces War Records. They just peddle expensively what you get from the MOD and on this forum for little outlay.


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  12. Daveysmalls

    Daveysmalls Member

    Thanks chaps for all your help, going to apply for them, just costly as if he is eligible for the Italy star it's going to be another £60 or so I've been told!
  13. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    It shouldn’t do if the Italy Star was due but never issued. That’s my understanding anyway.


    It looks from Tricky’s post #3 and from what you believe that your father was in 288th Bty (Field), Dave.

    Have you seen this: 124 th (Northumbrian) Field Regiment Royal Artillery (TA)

    On page 4 you will see the origins of the 288th Bty (Field) and that it was originally in the 72nd Field Regiment, RA. The latter was duplicated pre-War as part of the drive to double the size of the Army in case of war, the duplicate being 124th Field Regiment, RA. The 288th Bty (Field) was transferred from the 72nd to the 124th at this time.

    My father’s oldest brother was in the 285th Bty and stayed with the 72nd Field Regiment, but didn’t survive the war. I believe, but have not yet confirmed, that another relative served in the 124th Field Regiment. That’s for another day.

    On page 5 is a current day/recent picture of Fenham Barracks, which was the HQ for the 50th (Northumbrian) Division and at one time, Regimental HQ for the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers and Durham Light Infantry. My father once told me that his brother had been based there, but I have never confirmed that. Is it possible your father was based there too - was he from Newcastle upon Tyne or its surrounds?!?


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  14. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member


    Please listen to what we are telling you, we have done this enough times to know.

    Reading the application form for medals I can find no mention of another £30 - Ministry of Defence medal form - GOV.UK

    As for the £30 for his service records it will stop you and members ofthis forum supplying you with useless information because we ahve gone down the wrong avenues etc etc .

    Steve Mac likes this.
  15. Daveysmalls

    Daveysmalls Member

    That's ace! He's originally from Glasgow, moved to Halifax when he was around 2, for some reason he joined up at Bishop Auckland, god knows why! From there we think he went to Kent or Essex, probably for training.
  16. Daveysmalls

    Daveysmalls Member

    Thanks! Been given bum info from someone else, again!! I'm only listening to you lot from now!
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  17. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Bishop Auckland is not far from Newcastle. It’s really Durham Light Infantry country, as they were HQ’d then at nearby Darlington, as were the 50 Div Signals. The Green Howards were HQ’d at nearby Richmond. The RAC had a training centre also nearby at Barnard Castle. I guess if a volunteer chose Royal Artillery it was quite easy to send him up to Newcastle.

    Let’s not get too carried away with all this though. Get the service records and we can investigate from there!


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  18. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member

    Royal Artillery attestations 1883-1942:

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  19. Daveysmalls

    Daveysmalls Member

  20. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    The first document is an extract from the Royal Artillery enlistment registers which are available on Ancestry.

    The second one is an extract from an official WW2 British Government Casualty List which are available on Findmypast.

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