How do I find service information ?

Discussion in 'User Introductions' started by ClockMan, Apr 18, 2010.

  1. ClockMan

    ClockMan Junior Member

    I want to find details of my dad's WW2 service.
    I don't know his service no; however, I do know his leaving rank (CSM), his regiment (Royal West Kents) and the fact that he left No. 32 (Swindon) Tech Trg Group on 5th October 1945. (All of these details are on the clock that was presented to him on that date.)

    Could someone help me by pointing me in the direction of places (online or elsewhere) where I could find other information (e.g. where he served, what he did etc) - can I get a copy of his war record ? How do I find out if he was awarded any medal(s) and if so which ones and were they ever collected ?
     
  2. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Clockman
    all service records are held at Glasgow - so click on this link - ask for an application form - complete and send it off with 30GBP - wait for a few months and you will receive full details of what he got up to in the war - then come back here for translations etc .
    http://www.veterans-uk.info/service_records/a

    Cheers
     
  3. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Clockman - can you post your Dad's full name and date of birth etc.

    It might be possible to find a couple of bits of info with that data.

    Unless of course his name was John Smith and then then it gets a bit more difficult....
     
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hello and welcome to the forum.

    All the information you need to obtain service records is in the link below, if you get stuck just ring them, 'Glasgow' are very helpful.

    Army Personnel Centre - British Army Website

    If you have an interest in the West Kents, the link below maybe of interest to you:

    Murder at Nieppe Forest

    Regards
    Andy
     
  5. ClockMan

    ClockMan Junior Member

    Clockman - can you post your Dad's full name and date of birth etc.

    It might be possible to find a couple of bits of info with that data.

    Unless of course his name was John Smith and then then it gets a bit more difficult....
    DaveB

    I've been out of circulation for a while, but took the advice of Tom Canning and applied to Glasgow early in 2012. As I had heard nothing by the end of June, I sent a fresh application on 23 June. I have just received a reply stating that I will need to wait for about 12 months to receive the information, so here's dad's details if that might help :
    Bernard Dennis Evans, born 11th December 1909.
    Please let me know if there's anything else that you think might help someone to identify him.
     
  6. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Clockman

    This is very odd - so what happened to your first application which should be close to delivery if mailed at the beginning of 2012 - nine months is usually about right for records - so would suggest phone call to Glasgow - and gentle - soft strips to be shred ....
    politely - i.e. sugar not vinegar etc
    You have NO idea of which battalion he served ? The diaries are no use unless you know the battalion - or where he served from letters etc
    Cheers
     
  7. ClockMan

    ClockMan Junior Member

    Clockman

    This is very odd - so what happened to your first application which should be close to delivery if mailed at the beginning of 2012 - nine months is usually about right for records - so would suggest phone call to Glasgow - and gentle - soft strips to be shred ....
    politely - i.e. sugar not vinegar etc
    You have NO idea of which battalion he served ? The diaries are no use unless you know the battalion - or where he served from letters etc
    Cheers
    Thanks Tom - I'll try that.

    Dad was very close mouthed about his war service while we were young - I only saw any of it when I transcribed his memoirs a few years before he died. The only other information I have is rank (CSM), his regiment (Royal West Kents) and the fact that he left No. 32 (Swindon) Tech Trg Group on 5th October 1945

    A couple of lines from his memoirs (frustratingly, no date given) which contain a recognisable place name : "We stopped about three miles from Oudenade and a Capt. Marnham and myself were sent into Oudenade to control the roughly 1.1/4 million people fleeing through the town from Brussels and other places on route." and “We took over the evacuated town of Oudenade that evening and commandeered now unoccupied houses along the canal."
     
  8. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Clockman

    only thing to come out of that is the fact that he served in the BEF - but then again MOST RWK battalions did also- later - 1st - 5th - 6th served in BNAF Sicily and Italy - 4h went out to Burma - 2nd were at Malta -6th & 7th re overrun in BEF -6 th was reconstituted 7th ......? leaving only 3rd Battalion spare - so ? he could have been anywhere after Dunkirk ...
    Cheers
     
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    1st, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th Bn's served in France with the BEF.

    So far I believe I have got him down to 132 Infantry Brigade but can't find definate proof of his battalion which would be either the 1st, 4th or 5th battalion.

    Does he say anything else about Oudenaarde like what they were doing or what happened whilst they were there?

    Are you sure about the name Marnham (I have all the nominal rolls for RWK officers in France), I can't find him on any battalion field returns. Any other officers mention during 1940?
     
  10. Alanst500

    Alanst500 Senior Member

  11. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    They all appear to be naval (RN / RM) service numbers on the Ancestry page
     
  12. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Dave

    I thought the same- but 15524 - EVANS B.D. = B.E.M. seemed to fit better
    Cheers
     
  13. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member Patron

  14. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    "We stopped about three miles from Oudenade and a Capt. Marnham and myself were sent into Oudenade"


    I wonder if it was A/Capt Marnham, and if I'm reading between the lines correctly he was a POW from 1940 to 1945.......


    THE LONDON GAZETTE, 29 MARCH, 1935

    4th Bn. R.W.K.—Michael Hugh MARNHAM (late Cadet Lce.-Corpl., Eton Coll. Contgt., Jun. Div., O.T.C.) to be 2nd Lt. 30th Mar. 1935.



    THE LONDON GAZETTE, 29 MARCH, 1938

    INFANTRY

    4th Bn. R.W.K.—2nd Lt. M. H. Marnham to be Lt. 30th Mar. 1938.



    SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 17 AUGUST, 1945

    R.W.K.
    Lt. M. H. MARNHAM (64466) to be Capt., 11th Apr. 1945
     
    Drew5233 likes this.
  15. ClockMan

    ClockMan Junior Member

    Many thanks to Tom Canning, Drew5233 and Alanst500 for the time that you have put in. I have uploaded part of Dad's rather rambling memoirs (concerning the War years) to our family website with the URL http://www.evans-family.org.uk/bernard%20evans%20memoirs%20(War%20service).docx in case any of you can glean anything further from it. It mentions several places in Belgium (France ?) that I cannot place : Sheenboque and Morbecq ( Maubeuge ? )
     
  16. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum ClockMan - enjoy!

    Regarding the Green Howards Lt-Col; The 4th and 5th Bns Green Howards (150th Infantry Brigade, 50th (Northumbrian) Division), and 6th and 7th Bns Green Howards (69th Infantry Brigade, 23rd (Northumbrian) Division) were in Flanders in 1940, and were evacuated through Bray Dunes and Dunkirk. I will have a hunt around for any references to the event referred to in the paper and revert if found.

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  17. gankerman

    gankerman curious of XXX-Corps

    Dear People,

    My father (Gerard Jan Ankerman, "Gé") was working at the Provincial government of the province of South Holland. During WWII they tried to keep people, they counted on for the Dutch administration after the war, in a place where the chances were small that they would get deported / used for labor deployment in Germany.
    For that reason my dad was send to work at Philips in Eindhoven (on paper they worked for the German army, so they could keep their personnel) and, when the south of the Netherlands was liberated, he joint the XXX CORPS as an interpreter.
    The only thing I know is that he went with this corps to the north of Germany where they had kind of police-tasks; I know he was for quite some time in Cuxhafen and surroundings.
    After the war he returned to the Provincial government of South Holland and worked there till he died in a traffic accident in 1968.
    During his life he didn't tell anything about this time he spent in WWII, but I found some clues that he was in the XXX CORPS.
    I know that one of the officers was a certain Cyril Ward, but he is not alive anymore I guess; I met him last time in the 60ies, when I was in England with a scouting group.
    I hope that maybe someone can tell me some more about this part of the XXX CORPS and what happened with it after the war.
    Is there still a part left of the "Boars" or is there any museum about this part of the British army?
    Looking forward to hear from you,

    Sincerely,
    Geert J. Ankerman.
     
  18. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello ClockMan,

    In your Dad’s memoire at pages 12 and 13 he mentions:

    “I walked out of the town, or village, and suddenly heard a whistle. There was a British soldier, in a large old open-fronted shed beckoning me to him. Inside was a large Humber car of the type Generals are driven around in. When I got inside the was a Brigadier and a Colonel of the Green Howards and, of course, the man who had whistled to me, their driver. They suggested I stay with them as the driver knew the way through the enemy lines to reach the coast. At about 10.30 pm. we started off, with one or two near encounters somehow avoided by our driver, eventually arriving at Le Panne in the morning.”

    At Message #16 I said I would hunt for any references to the event your Dad refers to and have found this.

    The 23rd (Northumbrian) Division, now with only the 69th Infantry Brigade under command, had its HQ at Seclin and was under the direct orders of GHQ BEF. Orders were received for the 69th Infantry Brigade to withdraw some seventy miles to join ‘Usherforce’ on the River Aa at Gravelines, and take part in holding off a sustained German attack.

    Advance Divisional HQ set off at once for Gravelines, supposedly with reconnaissance parties of Brigade Staff, Commanding Officers and Adjutants. However, the order never reached the Commanding Officers and Adjutants of the 5th Bn East Yorkshire Regiment or 6th Bn Green Howards and in any case were later cancelled.

    “…The Brigade Commander, The Viscount Downe, the Brigade Major, A E Brocklehurst, the Staff Captain A/Q Richard Elwes, the Transport Officer Captain Scrope, together with the Commanding Officer 7th Bn Green Howards, Sir Charles Richmond-Brown, and the Battalion Intelligence Officer, Lieutenant Rupert Alec-Smith, mysteriously disappeared from the scene of battle. It was later found that they had arrived back in England on 27 May [1940].” The Story of the 5th Battalion The East Yorkshire Regiment TA – Garwood (Highgate).

    Unfortunately, the men of the 69th Infantry Brigade did not leave France until 31 May…

    It appears that the Brigadier was likely The Viscount Downe and the Colonel of the Green Howards was Sir Charles Richmond-Brown. That said, I/we have nothing that ties in dates or places, only the events.

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  19. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Many thanks to Tom Canning, Drew5233 and Alanst500 for the time that you have put in. I have uploaded part of Dad's rather rambling memoirs (concerning the War years) to our family website with the URL http://www.evans-family.org.uk/bernard%20evans%20memoirs%20(War%20service).docx in case any of you can glean anything further from it. It mentions several places in Belgium (France ?) that I cannot place : Sheenboque and Morbecq ( Maubeuge ? )

    Hello again, Clockman,

    The two places you refer to would be close together and I therefore think these are probably Morbecque and Steenbecque, which are near Hazebrouck. From your Dad’s memoire his unit was invovled in a lot of fighting here and there were many casualties. The is a CWGC Cemetary at Morbecque - LE GRAND HASARD MILITARY CEMETERY, MORBECQUE – where the Royal West Kent Regiment has 45 named burials, the vast majority of which are for the 4th Battalion and some for the 5th Battalion.

    These two Battalions were, as Andy (Drew 5233) says in an earlier message, in the 132nd Infantry Brigade, 44th (Home Counties) Division; along with the 1st Bn Royal West Kent Regiment.

    By process of elimination, I think he was in either the 4th or 5th Bns Royal West Kent Regiment, 132nd Infantry Brigade, 44th (Home Counties) Division, and most likely the former, whilst with the BEF. Only his service records will confirm matters for certain.

    I trust this assists with your search.

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  20. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Wish I had noticed this additional info while I was off last week - I'll do some more digging after work if I have time. Incase I forget send me a PM on Saturday and I'll spend the weekend on it.

    I think there maybe enough additional info to ID his Bn from the war diaries.

    Andy
     

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