Help tracing my Great-Grandfathers WWII History - Royal Engineers 1015 Docks Operating Coy

Discussion in 'Royal Engineers' started by nik221293, Oct 20, 2018.

  1. nik221293

    nik221293 New Member

    Hi all

    I am completely new to tracing my history so I'm a bit unsure where to start. I am trying to trace my Great-Grandfathers WWII history, we know he was killed travelling between North Africa and Italy but after that my family know very little.

    If anyone could point me in the right direction or offer some kind of knowledge I would be so grateful (and so would my Grandmother).

    The only information I hold is

    Name - Joseph Barnett
    Service Number - 13112852
    Died - 20/09/1943

    Pioneer Corps
    attd. 1015 Docks Operating Coy.
    Royal Engineers


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  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Nik

    To anyone in your postion the first place to start is by obtaining the service records of the person involved and these can only be found from this link - Request records of deceased service personnel, this will provide the framework on which to build the rest of your research

    UK, Army Roll of Honour, 1939-1945
    Name: Joseph Barnett
    Given Initials: J
    Rank: Private
    Death Date: 20 Sep 1943
    Number: 13112852
    Birth Place: Staffordshire
    Residence: Staffordshire
    Branch at Enlistment: Other Corps
    Theatre of War: At sea
    Regiment at Death: Pioneer Corp


    It would seem his body was not recovered and was lost at sea, as yet I cannot find the actual incident, but obtain his service records first

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  3. DannyM

    DannyM Member

    The War Diary for 1015 Docks Operating Coy is in the National Archives, Kew.

    Reference No : WO 169/10833 Royal Engineers: 1015 Docks Operating Company (RE) Date : 1943 July- Dec.

    This may or may not contain information on the location of the unit and what they were doing that day.

    If you are thinking of getting a copy and cannot get to Kew yourself you could contact PsyWar.Org (Lee) or Drew5233 (Andy) on the forum who both offer a copying service that will be cheaper than the National Archives.


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  4. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member


    He wasn't the only member of his unit to be declared missing believed killed at sea between N Africa and Italy on 20 September 1943 and are on the Cassino Memorial.

    1080423 Private APPLEBAUM DAVID Pioneer Corps 1015 Docks Operating Coy.
    13112852 Private BARNETT JOSEPH Pioneer Corps 1015 Docks Operating Coy.
    13007081 Private BROWN ROBERT Pioneer Corps 1015 Docks Operating Coy.
    4865157 Sapper TOMLINSON FREDERICK ARTHUR Royal Engineers 1015 Docks Operating Coy.

    Extracted from an RE WW2 Order Of Battle.

    1015th Docks Operating Coy, RE. With First Army in Dec 1942. Served with CMF (probably Italy). Disbanded Sep 1945+.

    Hope this helps

    Last edited: Oct 21, 2018
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  5. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Have just checked out RN losses in the Mediterranean for September 1943. British naval vessels lost at sea in World War 2 - 1942-1943

    There isn't an entry for 20 September for any vessel but the following landing craft were sunk between N.Africa and Italy - I am assuming that the Pioneers were on a landing craft - perhaps someone can put me right

    September 2 - Landing craft infantry (Large) LCI(L) No.107 (380-384t), wrecked off Reggio, Italy

    September 9 - Landing craft tank (MkIV) LCT No.572, 626 (total 2, 611-640t), lost in Mediterranean

    September 24 - Landing craft assault LCA No.675 (11-13t), lost during gale at Salerno

    September 28 - Landing craft personnel (Ramped) LCP (R) No. 1019 ()-11t) sunk during heavy weather in Salerno Bay Italy

    As always, the service record is the only way forward,

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  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    I noticed that when I looked in UK, Army Roll of Honour, 1939-1945, its just those 5 who died on that day "At Sea", so I am wondering if something happened to the boat they were in, where they being transferred to shore etc, the WD's might indeed tell us.

    David D Applebaum Private London E 20 Sep 1943 At sea

    Joseph J Barnett Private Staffordshire 20 Sep 1943 At sea

    Robert R Brown Private Greenock 20 Sep 1943 At sea

    Christopher C Henderson Private London E 20 Sep 1943 At sea

    Frederick F A Tomlinson Sapper Leicester 20 Sep 1943 At sea

    The top 4 are Pioneer Corps, and the last one is noted as Royal Engineers


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