I need service record explained. Royal Engineers, Movement Control Group/Pool

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by Bob Ivison, Apr 12, 2018.

  1. Bob Ivison

    Bob Ivison Member

    1D4C8456-4EA4-49C6-96DA-CA2104A90416.jpeg A7AA3632-35FC-4759-9597-CD372AF14A62.jpeg Hi, I’m a new member and in awe of the volume of information available, also have a headache from reviewing said information.
    My dad’s army record show his involvement at Dunkirk, in Ireland and in British Army of the Rhine.
    Ultimately I’d like to know what he did in each of these 3 locations but am stumped about which unit/s he served.
    Is anyone able to translate the entries on the attached images?
    (I hope they upload)
    Thanks in advance for any info or guidance
    von Poop and RichyC like this.
  2. sjw8

    sjw8 Active Member

    Hi Bob
    Welcome to the forum.
    The two extracts you have posted just give the "bare bones" of his service with Movement Control (MC). From a brief glance this shows his Rank/Trade as Driver progressing up through the ranks to Corporal - this may suggest he was part of a pool of drivers assigned to MC to ferry around the MC personnel (e.g. oficers etc.).
    If you could you post more of his records, it will help us to provide more assistance in deciphering units etc. In addition, you could obtain copies of the unit War Diaries - depending on your location, a couple of members visit National Archives on a regular basis and can provide copying services at very reasonable prices. A quick check shows the following War Diaries:
    5 Movement Control Group -
    WO 167/874 - 5 Movement Control (MC) Group Royal Engineers - 1940 Apr.
    WO 166/3478 - ROYAL ENGINEERS: MOVEMENT CONTROL: 5 Movement Control Group (MC) - 1940 May - 1941 Sept
    6 Movement Control Group -
    WO 166/3479 - ROYAL ENGINEERS: MOVEMENT CONTROL: 6 Movement Control Group (MC) - 1940 Aug.-Sept
    WO 166/15210 - (ROYAL ENGINEERS: MOVEMENT CONTROL) 6 Gp. - 1944 Jan.-July

    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
    4jonboy and Tricky Dicky like this.
  3. Bob Ivison

    Bob Ivison Member

    8365C778-1FE4-4196-8DBC-5E71633AED91.jpeg Hi Steve, thanks for your response. It seems dad’s war records are all bare bones, there’s only one other page with similar info, nothing else with more precise details. Do you think there be more that I’ve not been sent? I’m trying to downsize the 3rd page image to add here. (Watch this space)
    I’ve already been in touch with Andy about the war diaries, but I want to give him dad’s most likely unit number for his search at Kew, which is the reason for my my post.
    Image to follow...
    thanks again for taking the time to respond, much appreciated.
    RichyC likes this.
  4. sjw8

    sjw8 Active Member

    Movement Control comprised a number of elements - Port Control, Traffic Control etc so, as part of the "pool", could be assigned to any of these by HQ 21 Army Group.

    I see that he was posted from 6 Movement Control Group to the 21 Army Group's Movement Control Pool on 22/11/44. I have had a search of National Archives records but the only War Diaries covering the BAOR GHQ Movement Control Pool are in the WO 267 series which start at WO 267/89 covering the period period 1/7/46 to 30/9/46 i.e. after your dad had been discharged.

    Bob Ivison and Tricky Dicky like this.
  5. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Yes the 21 Army Group Movement Control Pool was just that, a pool of staff officers and RE personnel who could be used where and when they were needed. Tracing an individuals employment would be very difficult. Initially they were concerned with embarkation in the UK and disembarkation in Normandy, including Mulberry. Detachments coordinated the move across France and into Belgium, the port of Antwerp, the transfer of Canadian troops from Italy to Belgium and the Rhine crossing, to name but a few.

    There is a War establishment table but as far as I know there is no separate War Diary.

    6 Movement Control Group was absorbed into the Movement Control Pool.

    Some information can be found in the Trux 21 AG section of this forum. Look under Royal Engineers.

    Bob Ivison, sjw8 and Tricky Dicky like this.
  6. Bob Ivison

    Bob Ivison Member

    Hi Steve, thanks for your efforts which seem to indicate rather a big hurdle for dad’s time in Europe after D-day.
    I know he was in Belgium in 1945, medical record says he had pleurisy and his 1945 subscription to Movement Control Branch of REOCA was paid in French Francs.

    Is it possible to get any info about his time around Dunkirk, and in Ireland after his return? Or will these have the same issue you’ve already pointed out?
  7. Bob Ivison

    Bob Ivison Member

    Mike, thanks for the extra information, I’ll do some more investigation in the forum you suggested.
  8. sjw8

    sjw8 Active Member

    Hi Bob
    Re Dunkirk - in view of the confusion at the time, the War Diaries for your dad's unit(s) may well show it's location or just a general area, what it was doing (e.g. personnel going to certain traffic control points to direct traffic movement, marshalling the troops along evacuation routes etc.) - it would be unusual for individuals to be mentioned, but not impossible particularly if that individual was involved in a particular action or injured.

    Re Ireland - generally speaking these War Diaries can be more precise, especially if the unit was in a static location; the diaries can be illuminating in that they often show the day to day routines (e.g. drills, training courses, guards, alerts etc.). Based on my dad's war diaries, sometimes these include copies of unit orders showing lists of personnel attending courses, being posted out or joining the unit.

    As you can see it all depends on the circumstances - in a fast moving scenario, it may not be possible to record precise details and may just be an overview of the situation, also diaries can be lost and reconstructed on return to UK using informal personal papers/memories, whereas once back at a base in UK, there is more time to accurately record events in the Diary.

    Steve W
  9. Bob Ivison

    Bob Ivison Member

    Hi Steve,
    To be honest I haven’t expected anything detailed about dad’s service, but thought there would be at least some general overview of his units location. Oh well, I’ll have to make do with his vague service records.
    Many thanks for bearing with me and answering my questions, it’s much appreciated.
    sjw8 likes this.
  10. RichyC

    RichyC Member

    Hi Bob,

    Very interesting to read your post and uploads...my Grandad also served in 6 MC Group, 21st Army Group also...and was in Belgium in 1944...he was also in the RE as a Railway Clerk (his civvy profession)...I've uploaded his Service Records also, and a loth very detailed in abbreviations, they look similar to your Dads (I think lol)...also have uploaded a photo of my Grandad in Belgium...Ghent Railway Station (St Pieters)....have some more photos also.....whats the chances of your Dad being in them??


    Attached Files:

    Bob Ivison and von Poop like this.

Share This Page