Help please with RE, North Africa service record

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by alib, Sep 19, 2020.

  1. alib

    alib Member

    Hi. I've been trying to decifer my grandfather's military service record. It looks like he was in North Africa for around 14 months, 1942-1944. There isn't much recorded for this time and what there is is hard to read. Could anyone help me to understand what has been recorded please?

    Attached Files:

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  2. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    That looks like 996 DO Coy - whatever that is?

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  3. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Could it be (Royal Engineers) - 996 Docks Operating Coy ?

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  4. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    D.O. Coy is usually Docks Operating Company, but that's usually Royal Engineers.
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  5. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    And from the address listed here, 996 D.O. Coy were in Gabes, Tunisia in July 1943., shortly before this man left the unit.
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  6. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Good guess minden1759. The full title of the unit was 996th Docks Operating Company, Royal Engineers. It served in North Africa under 1st Army. That is all I know about the unit.
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  7. alib

    alib Member

    Thank you, that's helpful. I had worked the unit out. DOC and POC seem to be used interchangeably - is that correct, or was there a distinction between the two? In the rest of the service record the unit is listed as 996 POC.

    Can anyone help with the notes in the third column? (the widest column on the picture).
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  8. alib

    alib Member

    Thank you, that's very interesting. Can you tell me how you found the location from the service notes please?
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  9. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Here is a list of GHQ and LOC Engineer units assigned to First Army on 22 July 1942, before the invasion of North Africa. As you can see, it is a quite complex organisation. Docks Operating Company and Port Operating Company, I believe, were interchangeable designations.

    Field Engineers

    HQ GHQ Troops Engineers

    228th, 229th, 230th, 264th, 579th, 582nd, 583rd, 584th Field Companies, RE

    297th Corps Field Park Company, RE

    HQ 5th Chemical Warfare Group

    HQ 7th Chemical Warfare Group

    77th, 79th, 84th, 85th Chemical Warfare Companies, RE

    83rd, 86th Chemical Warfare (Mortar) Company, RE

    3rd Anti-Gas Lab, RE


    14th Corps Field Survey Company, RE

    2nd Map Photo Section, RE

    1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th General Survey Sections, RE

    Bomb Disposal

    8th, 15th, 19th, 20th Bomb Disposal Companies, RE

    1st, 4th, 5th, 8th, 10th, 44th, 48th, 49th, 62nd, 90th, 95th, 96th, 105th, 108th, 136th, 141st, 147th, 156th, 157th, 158th, 159th, 160th, 161st, 162nd, 163rd, 172nd, 173rd, 174th, 182nd, 183rd, 184th, 186th, 193rd, 194th, 195th, 196th, 217th, 219th, 220th, 227th Bomb Disposal Sections, RE

    Works Engineers

    1st Chief Engineer (CE) Works

    9th, 10th, 11th, 12th CRE Works

    2nd, 3rd, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th CRE Aero Construction Group

    1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th Stores Sections, RE

    103rd, 110th, 212th, 568th Army Troops Companies, RE

    541st Electrical and Mechanical Company, RE

    HQ 1st ESBD

    1st Stores Section (9102nd FF Section attached)

    2nd Stores Section (9104th FF Section attached)

    653rd, 657th, 665th, 674th, 677th, 686th, 688th, 689th, 690th, 694th, 696th, 697th, 698th, 699th, 700th, 701st, 702nd, 706th, 707th, 709th, 713th, 714th, 725th Artizan Works Companies, RE

    HQ 135th, 136th (ex BTNI), 137th, 863rd Mechanical Equipment Companies, RE

    3rd, 5th, 13th, 17th, 18th, 19th (ex BTNI), 20th (ex BTNI), 22nd, 32nd, 33rd, 38th, 39th, 48th, 49th, 50th, 51st, 52nd, 53rd, 54th, 55th Mechanical Equipment Sections, RE

    862nd Mechanical Equipment Workshop and Park, RE

    109th Workshop and Park Companies, RE (ex BTNI, 9156th, 9157th FF Sub-Sections attached)

    594th Workshop and Park Companies, RE (9105th, 9049th FF Sub-Sections attached)

    803rd, 805th, 807th, 809th Road Construction Companies, RE

    851st, 854th Quarrying Companies, RE

    2nd, 8th Boring Sections, RE

    HQ 1st, 2nd, 5th Docks Group

    991st, 992nd, 993rd, 994th, 996th, 997th, 998th, 999th, 1010th, 1013th, 1014th, 1015th Docks Operating Companies (9096th, 9041st, 9050th, 9147th (ex Orkneys), 9148th, 9149th, 9150th (ex Western Isles), 9151st, 9051st, 9152nd, 9153rd, 9154th FF Sections attached)

    990th, 995th Port Maintenance Companies (9052nd, 9101st FF Sections attached)

    945th, 947th Inland Water Transport Port Operating Companies

    HQ 1st Port Construction and Repair Group

    930th, 931st Port Construction and Repair Companies

    975th, 976th Floating Workshops

    HQ 1st Railway Workshop Group

    163rd Railway Workshop Company

    2nd, 4th, 5th Railway Mobile Workshops

    HQ 1st, 2nd Railway Construction and Maintenance Groups

    150th, 152nd, 160th, 161st, 162nd, 607th Railway Construction Companies

    29th, 165th Railway Survey Companies

    HQ 167th Railway Bridging Company

    1st, 2nd Railway Bridging Sections

    HQ 1st, 3rd Railway Operating Groups

    154th, 164th, 181st, 189th Railway Operating Companies

    HQ 186th, 187th Mechanical Equipment Companies (Transport)

    41st, 42nd, 43rd, 44th, 45th, 46th Mechanical Equipment Sections (Transport)

    156th Transport Stores Company (9103rd, 9107th FF Sections attached)(ex Home Depots)

    197th Transport Stores Companies (9144th, 9145th FF Sections attached)(ex Home Depots)
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  10. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Apologies--I failed to post the link!

    From an 'airgraph' address cited here:
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  11. alib

    alib Member

    Thank you. Is the airgraph written in the left most column?
  12. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    There's no image, but the listing is here (405):

    Screenshot 2020-09-20 at 04.07.38.png
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  13. Richard Lewis

    Richard Lewis Member

    Here's my attempt:

    4th Battalion 1 General Base Depot. Embarked UK for service overseas. 21.12.42.

    4th Battalion 1 General Base Depot. Disembarked North Africa. 3.1.43.

    996 Dock Operating Company. Posted to this unit from 1 General Base Depot with effect from 28.1.43. (Arrived on 30.1.43)

    996 Dock Operating Company. (Non Battle Casualty) Admitted 5 General Hospital and taken on strength of X (2) List [Evacuated on medical grounds beyond Regimental First Aid Post] 27.6.43.

    X (4) List [Personnel discharged from X (2) to Training Depots, fit for duty, are transferred to the X (4) list of their corps, until posted to a unit].
    Discharged 5 General Hospital and taken on strength X (4) list on joining 1 General Reinforcement Training Depot with effect from 12.7.43.

    996 Dock Operating Company. Posted in from 4th Battalion No. 1 General Reinforcement Training Depot and struck off strength X (4) List. 3.8.43.

    996 Dock Operating Company. Passed Trade Test and reclassified Stevedore DII with effect from 24.11.43.

    996 Dock Operating Company. Embarked for UK and struck off strength British North Africa Forces with effect from 28.1.44.

    996 Dock Operating Company. Disembarked UK. 11.2.44.
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  14. alib

    alib Member

    Thank you. This is extremely helpful
  15. alib

    alib Member

    Thank you. This is extremely helpful
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