Help with Father's service.

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Stephen Arrowsmith, Mar 23, 2020.

  1. Stephen Arrowsmith

    Stephen Arrowsmith New Member

    Hello Drew
    I'm new to this so if I am going over old ground please forgive me.
    My Dad enlisted in the Essex Regiment on 9th November 1939. According to his war record he was posted from the Infantry Training Centre Warley to No.2 Infantry Base Depot on 17th April 1940 located seemingly at Rouen thereby being incorporated into the ad-hoc units of the Beauman Division who were evacuated from Cherbourg in the middle of June. I guess my questions my main question is as the concluding evacuation of the Beauman Division took place around 17th June, why did Dad not return to England until 4th July and do you have any idea what he may have been doing in the 2 weeks or so since the main body left? And any other information you may have in regard to what may have been his activities in France.
    He was promoted and posted to the 9th Battalion Essex Regiment on 23rd August 1940. He stayed in England presumably engaged in Home Defence duties until 9th January 1942 when he embarked for India in the RAOYK unit. I cannot find any reference to this anachronism would you have any idea what its stands for?

    I trust that you and yours have not been affected by the Covid19 pandemic.

    Kind Regards
    Owen likes this.
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

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  3. bofors

    bofors Senior Member

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  4. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    Welcome aboard!
    I'd suggest that, as it was such a confused time, men straggled back in boats wherever they could be found, and even after the French signed an Armistice on 22 June, men continued to trickle back well into August, wherever they found help and boats willing to take them to Britain. Using their wits, this meant that i could be some time before they rejoined their parent unit. He could have also been granted some leave while he recovered from the stress of the evacuation.

    As recommended, the first thing to do, is to apply for his Service Records, presumably you have his Service Number, medals or other memorabilia?
    Otherwise all we are doing is guessing and possibly sending you and others on a wild goose chase until we have some facts to help us help you.
  5. Stephen Arrowsmith

    Stephen Arrowsmith New Member

    Thank you Gentlemen for your welcome and informative and prompt replies, this is a fascinating site.

    I can now stop fussing over the relevance of RAOYK , thank you.

    I do have my Father's Service Record with the documents received citing postings and their dates etc. His Service and Causality Form and Army Form B200B shows a posting to No.2 Infantry Base Depot, France on 17th April 1940. The next entry on both documents shows him being posted back to the Infantry Training Centre, Warley from the BEF on 4th July 1940.

    At the time my Mother was living at West Bay, Dorset it is entirely possible that he was granted leave when disembarking at Weymouth or Portsmouth or another south coast channel port in June 1940, thereby not reporting back to his Regiment until July. I do recall that he told me that prior to his leaving France one of his boots had been badly damaged from a concussion of some description but like most of his service he would not elaborate. It is therefore possible he may have been injured and on sick leave on his return to England.

    I am intrigued by the Ray, Davies and Meredith Rifles of the Beauman Division to one of whom he may have been attached. I have read Major Ellis' "The Final Phase" but is there any other comprehensive reading material that I may pursue in regard to these units that you could recommend? A Google search does not tell me too much.

    In brief, should it be of assistance to others, his record and medals show he was posted to Iraq, India, North Africa and Egypt, the latter as a Military Policeman, presumably because he had been a member of the boxing team; amongst others I have a photograph of him with the contingent of the HQ of the 502 Independent Mobile Provost Company, Middle East 1944. I am also aware from his record that he was hospitalized on two occasions, although it does not record for what reason.

    Being something of a retiring personality, he did not request and receive his campaign medals until March 1974.

    Once again thank you all for your help, I am most grateful. I shall continue piecing together this jigsaw.

    Owen likes this.
  6. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    I have read elsewhere that some men on return from Dunkirk & after assembling at a base, got a weeks home leave, before rejoining what was left of their old unit, or a new posting.

    Am not sure how widespread this was.
  7. Stephen Arrowsmith

    Stephen Arrowsmith New Member

    Thank you Travers1940

    Given the confusion surrounding the evacuations and some further research it would appear that Dad was evacuated from Cherbourg on 17th June 1940, landing in Portsmouth. It is unknown if he went on sick leave or was granted leave but as he had married my Mother in January 1940, having spent only 3 months with his bride it is possible the Army was compassionate and granted leave of some description until July 4th, whereupon he returned to his base where I believe he stayed as part of the Home Defence until being posted to India in January 1942.



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