Indian Unit Deployments

Discussion in 'Royal Signals' started by Richard T Paisey RIP, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. I am representing7 our local History Society which has been researching the names listed on our village War Memorials. We have just discovered the village connection with the last of the previously unknown World War 2 names i.e Denis Louis Stebbins who served for the Royal Signal Corps (2375728) with the rank of sergeant. He died in India on 30th June 1944 aged 35 from malaria (information supplied by his son). He is buried at the Delhi War Memorial. As we intend to produce a pamphlet covering all 83 names listed on the War Memorials I am wondering if there is any way of determining which Royal Signals Corps Unit Denis was attached to and what was their deployment. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    In researching Denis I came across the death of another Royal Signals Corps member commemorated at Delhi i.e. Colin Parry Morris who died two days before Denis which at the time I thought might help locate Denis's deployment but as they were possibly deployed in small units this may not be the case.

    Pill History Society
  2. Red Goblin

    Red Goblin Senior Member

    Hi Andrew,

    I'd have thought his service record (standard 1st step) far more likely to answer that than the opposite (probably futile) tack of searching regimental records for an NCO who simply died in service (vs being more notably KIA). Can his son not also help you there?


    PS: CWGC also hold graves concentration data they're happy to share with anyone who can satisfy them of their relationship to any given casualty - his son could thus discover, if he doesn't already know, everywhere his father may have been buried before being 'concentrated' to Delhi War Cemetery and so help independently pinpoint the (presumably military) hospital where he probably died ...

    PPS: And how about his death certificate - what info does that give ?

    PPPS: On RootsWeb as having died in Muttra
    CL1 likes this.
  3. Hi Steve,

    I have only just traced his son (and as his Mum only died recently) it was too delicate for a complete stranger to ask such questions over the phone. I do intend to invite him back to the village (he was only four when the family left) and I can ask him if he has any additional knowledge then. I only have access to the public library records.

  4. Red Goblin

    Red Goblin Senior Member

    OK. That's unfortunate but not necessarily a show-stopper since, on reflection, Ancestry should directly answer your stated query from its 'UK, Army Roll of Honour, 1939-1945' transcript for Denis - this from their Help & Advice Centre (my bold re key info):
    (c/w FindMyPast's description &/or Looking for records of deaths in the First and Second World Wars | The National Archives) That said some of our members offer their services, at very reasonable rates, to photograph TNA originals should you require better proof than a mere transcript from their WO304 source page.

  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Ancestry Roll of Honour 1939 - 1945

    UK, Army Roll of Honour, 1939-1945 about Denis Stebbins
    Name: Denis Stebbins
    Given Initials: D L
    Rank: Serjeant
    Death Date: 30 Jun 1944
    Number: 2375728
    Birth Place: Bath
    Residence: Somerset
    Branch at Enlistment: Royal Corps of Signals
    Theatre of War: India
    Regiment at Death: Royal Corps of Signals
    Branch at Death: Royal Corps of Signals

    His probate record shows his address as:
    33 Severn Ave
    Weston super Mare

  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Also for C P Morris:
    UK, Army Roll of Honour, 1939-1945 about Colin Morris
    Name: Colin Morris
    Given Initials: C P
    Rank: Signalman
    Death Date: 28 Jun 1944
    Number: 14406036
    Birth Place: Wolverhampton
    Residence: Wolverhampton
    Branch at Enlistment: Royal Corps of Signals
    Theatre of War: India
    Regiment at Death: Royal Corps of Signals
    Branch at Death: Royal Corps of Signals

  7. Red Goblin

    Red Goblin Senior Member

    Thanks for those TD ... but branch=regiment - really?! Mind you, The Naval & Military Press' About The Army Roll Of Honour WW2 now suggests to me that it's merely a subset of what the CWGC currently give us:
    Maybe it's now time for Andrew to quiz Hugh - who probably got Denis' service info from his widow and may, therefore, have more handy to fill in the remaining blanks w/o too much more ado ...

  8. I had already got the Roll of Honour details from the CWGC database and I did find his probate record on Ancestry but no military record telling me of his unit and therefore deployment..

    My first clue that he was associated with the former Westminster Bank was via the November 1944 edition of the London Gazette advertising his death re claims on his estate. This also told me where the family was living in 1944 as per the probate record.The Archivist at the Royal Bank of Scotland then told me he had never worked at our village branch but always at the Bristol City office. I thought I had lost the village connection until I mentioned to a 92 yo old resident that I had intended to ask her if she could remember Denis working at the Branch and before I could finish she said she could remember him and that the family rented the flat above the Bank and attended the local church..
  9. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  10. Thanks TD I will follow up those links.

    And thanks Steve I missed the Muttra death location which might be helpful.

    Due to the kindness of a website called ScotlandsPeople I have today solved the mystery of why one of our villagers - a merchant Seaman who died in Glasgow on 11th August 1940 five weeks before his ship the SS Port Denison was sunk by a German aircraft off Peterhead on 27th September 1940 so we are making progress on the few missing links we have.
  11. Maureene

    Maureene Well-Known Member

    The impression I get is that you didn’t neceaaarily die straight away from malaria. So if in fact Denis Louis Stebbins died at Muttra, he may not have necessarily been stationed at Muttra, but may have been sent there for medical treatment from an area where malaria was more prevalent, such as Burma. Muttra, (now Mathura) was a long established cantonment, and there was a Military Hospital located there. It is situated about 50 km from Agra. Agra was I understand, a large Army centre during WW2.

    I could not find any reference to this death in the India Office Records at the British Library or in the Overseas British Army Death Indexes but at this time the records are probably fairly minimal.

  12. Thanks Maureen,

    I noted that the Royal Field Artillery Training Unit was based in Muttra in 1944 . In the 19th C Muttra itself was regarded as a very bad posting because of the prevalence of diseases including malaria.

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