Interpreting Service & Casualty Form B 103

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by BobbieL, Jun 19, 2016.

  1. BobbieL

    BobbieL Member

    Hi, I have recently received the attached documents and would appreciate some help in interpreting them. My Dad fought in North Africa and Italy and was twice wounded.

    I have attached his Form B 103, which indicates that, during 1941, he was granted leave about every 3 months (he was married with a small child at the time). However, he does not appear to have had any leave between December 1941 and October 1942, when he was sent to North Africa. I would like to know if I can accept the accuracy of this document.

    I would also appreciate some help in deciphering the handwriting as well as the abbreviations used in the document.

    Thanks so much

    Bobbie View attachment Service and Casualty Form.pdf
     
  2. RCG

    RCG Senior Member

  3. BobbieL

    BobbieL Member

    Thanks, I shall look forward to that. I have a copy of an old newspaper cutting which says my Dad was badly wounded during the invasion of Sicily and again whilst fighting in the Gothic line in Italy - wish he's spoken more about it whilst he was alive!
     
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Do you have scans the correct way round? I'm happy to go through them if they are and ID the units he was with and when, assuming you want to email me a copy of them the right way up.
     
  5. RCG

    RCG Senior Member

    Drew, You will have to do like I did lie, on the floor to read them. :lol:.

    Alterative; click view box, then rotate.
     
    Drew5233 likes this.
  6. BobbieL

    BobbieL Member

  7. RCG

    RCG Senior Member

    Page one.
    On 1th April 1940 Your Dad aged 24 years 11 months became
    Private 0677870 George Henry Jones signed up by 2nd Lieutenant *** Suter, Officer Commanding D Company for Infantry Training Centre Somerset. (Not sure where this Training camp was SLI HQ was in Taunton ). So he would be in the Somerset Light infantry (P.A.). PA = Prince Albert.

    Somerset Light infantry.
    < Raised in 1685 by James II to suppress the Protestant rebellions led by the Duke of Monmouth and the Earl of Argyll, the regiment has gone through several reincarnations - from the 13th Regiment of Foot to the 13th Somersetshire Light Infantry, before being awarded the honour in 1842 of being re-titled the 13th or Prince Albert's Light Infantry. In 1959 the regiment amalgamated with the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, before defence cuts saw the amalgamation of all the Light Infantry regiments in 1968.>

    All other info shown on this page date of birth next of kin etc.
    Attestation paper : B200 D would show more personal details such as hair colour, build and distinguishing marks.

    14th May 1940 his birthday he was then classed as having A1 fitness.
    This looks to be halfway through his basic training. As on 26th June 1940 he was transferred and posted to 6th Battalion Royal West Kents.

    Other bits and pieces on this page have been added at a later date.
    Such as this: Overseas service of one year and 325 days, Age and service group 25c.
    Which would determine when he was eligible for demob.
    http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/54599-age-and-service-group-for-release/
     
  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I have a stiff neck already :lol:
     
  9. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Looks to me that first 0 is in fact a 5
    5677870.JPG
    5677870

    Somerset Light Infantry 5662001 - 5718000
     
  10. RCG

    RCG Senior Member

    Yes you a right Owen, his writing is a good as my glasses.

    Anyway page two.

    26th June 1940 he was transferred and posted to 6th Battalion Royal West Kents. Field.
    Not sure whether it is an actual place or if it was an outside camp.

    The 6th and 7th Battalions Royal West Kents had been part of the BEF in France and Belgium and had been overrun at Doullens and Albert so by the time they got back to England via Dunkirk they would be in a bad state. So I am guessing that this is why your dad was posted there to build up the strength again. This would also account why he was lucky enough to get leave every three months.
    4th June 41 it seems that the battalion was fit and ready to go as he received 7 days embarkation leave, but seems the embarkation was cancelled (not figured out where they would have been going to yet). So they carried on doing what they were doing.

    Until suddenly on the 13th of Oct 1942, they embarked from the UK.
    And on 8th Nov 42. Disembarked and entered theatre of operations North Africa.
    In other words were involved in operation Torch.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Torch
     
    dbf likes this.
  11. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  12. BobbieL

    BobbieL Member

    This is all very interesting! I really appreciate the effort.
     
  13. RCG

    RCG Senior Member

    Page 2 part 2

    13th Oct 1942, Embarked from the UK.
    8th Nov 42. Disembarked and entered theatre of operations North Africa.
    24th April 43. Admitted 159th field ambulance Effects of blast (B C) Battle Casualty
    26th April 43. Discharged R.T.U. Returned to unit.
    24th April 43. Reported missing (BC)
    24th April 43. Not Missing, admitted to 217th field ambulance.
    18.4.43 4 has been altered to 5 so correct date is
    18th May 43. Pay Classified Scale D Class 1 (A)
    26th June 43. Appointed unpaid L/CPl (Lance Corporal )
    26th June 43. Granted pay of appointment
    27th July 43. Embarked Craft LCI/L02 Landing Craft Infantry Large 02
    26th June 43. Granted pay of appointment
    1st Aug 43. Wounded (BC) CMF. Central Mediterranean Force.


    8th Aug 43. 54 G H to X(ii)
    9th Aug 43. to Hospital ship Somersetshire.
    http://uboat.net/allies/merchants/1509.html
    8th Aug 43. Disembarked Tripoli.

    Notes.
    Entries 13th Oct 42 to 8th Aug 43. Appear to be entered on the form, sometime after 8th Aug 43 as signed off by one person enclosing them by curly bracket or brace.
    This might also explain the two reports of his wounding on,24th April and two entries of 26th June 43. Granted pay of appointment. the clerk was just copying from other reports. Not sure if the 159th field ambulance was in the 78th division in Nth Africa or is a copying error and should be 152nd as both 152 and 217 were in the 78th Division in Sicily.

    Medical units with 78th Division in Sicily.
    11th Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps
    152nd Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps
    217th Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps
    47th Field Hygiene Section, Royal Army Medical Corps

    The Field Ambulance was a mobile front line medical unit (it was not a vehicle),manned by troops of the Royal Army Medical Corps.

    54 British General Hospital was at Floridia just inland from syracuse Sicily from 7/43 to 9/43.

    THE X (ii) LIST comprises all ranks evacuated on medical grounds beyond RAP [Regimental Aid Post]. Personnel so evacuated cease to be on the effective strength of their units.

    The 78th Infantry Division was formed on 25th May 1942 in the U.K. It had foughtin the North African campaign of late 1942 and early 1943. The division remainedin North Africa, until sailing for Sicily on 23rd July 1943. It began to arrive in Sicily from the 25th July 1943 and was involved in the Battle for Adrano between the 29th July and 3rd August 1943. The division left Sicily on the 22nd September 1943, moving onto the Italian mainland and served the rest of the war in Italy.

    At a guess your Dad was wounded somewhere nr Centuripe close to Adrano NW of Catania as Centuripe is a RWK Battle honour.
     
    dbf likes this.
  14. BobbieL

    BobbieL Member

    Dad told us he was wounded in North Africa. The story goes that he came face to face with an enemy soldier and they both shot at the same time. The German was killed and my Dad was hit by a piece of schrapnel, when the bullet ricocheted off a rock, and entered his body just below the right ribcage and exited at the back (he had terrible scars). He rolled downhill and was only found next day when the stretcher party went out to pick up the dead. He was taken to hospital in Sicily where, apparently, the bedbugs were huge!
     
    dbf likes this.
  15. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    That can't be correct as when the fighting in North Africa was taking place, Sicily was still enemy territory.
    The invasion of Sicily came after the fighting in North Africa was over.
    Seems that's 2 stories mixed into one.
     
  16. BobbieL

    BobbieL Member

    You could very well be right, Owen. My Dad was wounded again, in Italy, so maybe that's when he was hospitalised in Sicily, although I'm sure he spent time in a hospital outside Napoli as well
     
  17. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    As RCG says he was wounded in Sicily.
     
  18. RCG

    RCG Senior Member

    24th April 43. Admitted 159th field ambulance Effects of blast (B C) Battle Casualty. N Africa.

    1st Aug 43. Wounded (BC) CMF. Central Mediterranean Force. Sicily.

    15th Oct 1944 Wounded in Action (BC) Italy (Hamps Reg)

    Still working on that page.

    At a guess your Dad was wounded somewhere nr Centuripe close to Adrano NW of Catania as Centuripe is a RWK Battle honour.

    Pretty hilly there.

    https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@37.6242174,14.7366882,3a,75y,90t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1szIAEXqLt93nxt-Km0pvQIQ!2e0!6s//geo1.ggpht.com/cbk?panoid=zIAEXqLt93nxt-Km0pvQIQ&output=thumbnail&cb_client=maps_sv.tactile.gps&thumb=2&w=203&h=100&yaw=0.33352411&pitch=0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en-GB
     
  19. RCG

    RCG Senior Member

    Page three. Tripoli.

    29th Dec 43.... Discharged 5 C.D. To X(4)
    .........................To M.E. ITD
    .........................S.O.S BNAF to MEF X(4) list
    30th Dec 43 ....TOS MEF from BNAF X(IV)a lists ME ITD
    ......................Compulsory transferred to Hamps Regt
    17th April 44 ..Posted to 5th Bn SOS RWK & X(IV)a

    To recap, George was wounded 1st Aug 1943 in Sicily, taken to 54 General Hospital, Florinda, then evacuated to Tripoli where he spent 5 months recovering. (Actual place unknown).

    Then on 29th Dec 43 he was discharged from 5 C.D. (Possible Casualty Division) and put on the X (4) list, which is for unposted reinforcements. (Be pointless to send him back to his regiment the RWKs, as they were now somewhere in Italy.) and was assigned to M.E.ITD. Middle east Infantry training division. Which explains the next two lines.
    S.O.S BNAF to MEF X(4) list.
    Struck off Strength, British North Africa Force to Middle East Force (Another area of Command).
    30th Dec 43 TOS MEF from BNAF X(IV)a lists ME ITD
    Taken on Strength, Middle East Force from British North Africa Force X(IV) a Middle east Infantry training division.
    Compulsory transferred to Hamps Regt.
    This is possible due to the Hamps Regt gearing up to reinforce or relieve other troops in Italy. (Will check later)
    17th April 44 Posted to 5th Bn, SOS RWK & X(IV)a.
    Now as he had been giving a defiant posting with 5th Battalion Hampshire Regt he was Struck off strength of the Royal West Kents and the X list.

    Note: Different writers using Roman and Arabic numbers in x lists.

    The a on the end of X(IV) indicates, fit for general service at home and abroad.

    George is also back as a private due to this rule of X lists.
    Temporary or acting rank will be relinquished 28 days after being so transferred to X (ii) list.
     
    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  20. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

Share This Page