John Lyall Ross.... Pioneer Corps

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by royalscot 2012, Jun 8, 2020.

  1. royalscot 2012

    royalscot 2012 Junior Member

    Hello , this is a shot in the dark .
    I`m currently doing a family tree and been trying to trace my grandfathers war service , the relatives i can ask are well into their 80`s and their memories are not what they used to be .
    This is what i got from my Aunt ( bless her ) the other day .....

    He was in the Pioneer Corps , he was a Sergeant Major and he was to be made up to a Lieutenant but decided to leave because my granny wanted him home , he was in charge of the Gurkha`s .

    I can only presume he served from 1939 to the war end .
    He was born in Edinburgh on 17th July 1914 and died there on the 1st of July 1970 .
    I will apply for a death certificate and then his service records when this Covid things ends and we get back to normal .

    Just wondered if anyone could fill in the pieces in the meantime .
  2. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member

    Hi Brian

    Welcome to the forum.

    May I suggest you apply for his service record as soon as you can as there is already a delay.

    Tony56 likes this.
  3. royalscot 2012

    royalscot 2012 Junior Member

    Hi Gus

    Thank you for your reply

    As soon as the office that deals with Death Certificates opens i will

  4. royalscot 2012

    royalscot 2012 Junior Member

    Further news on my Grand Father John Lyle Ross , apparently he was in the Royal Scots , i managed to get a picture and have uploaded it .
    The picture doesn`t give much away so hoping an expert can unravel this



    Attached Files:

  5. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    You can order the death cert here online at teh moment. I ordered a birth cert last week & was quoted a 10 day "estimated" delivery.

    EDIT: ignore this as have now seen the death was in Scotland.
  6. royalscot 2012

    royalscot 2012 Junior Member

    Could the sleeve badge be a Warrant Officer ?

    Attached Files:

  7. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    He appears to have been a Warrant Officer Class 1 (RSM or equivalent). WO1s were permitted to wear the Sam Browne belt but it's more commonly seen with Service Dress rather than Battledress. That his collar has been tailored and he's wearing a tie suggests that the photo dates from early 1945 onwards.

    Quartermaster Captain was a common promotion for RSMs, and was always from the ranks. The promotion was not always accepted. It meant membership of the Officers' Mess with all the associated costs which a family man often couldn't afford.

    I'd have thought it quite likely that he had been a pre-war regular. Did your aunt say that he had been in the Pioneer Corps, or that he'd been a Pioneer ? Pioneer Sergeant is a rank in an infantry battalion and a quite possible stepping stone to becoming a warrant officer. Was he a carpenter or similar in civilian life ?
  8. royalscot 2012

    royalscot 2012 Junior Member

    Thanks for your reply Rich , your comments are well noted

    His wedding certificate says that he is a General Labourer , not got a clue when he begins his journey into the military .
    My Aunt says he was in the Pioneer Corps but her younger brother says hes was in the 1st Royal Scots , could he be a pioneer in the Royals ?
    My aunt sent me these pictures of his medals , i remember my mum speak about him not wanting to take promotion because he wouldn`t be with his mates ?


    Attached Files:

  9. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    The medals tell you something about his service. The qualifications I have given for each one are very general & you should read the links to get more specific info as qualification was very varied & exact dates are specified.
    From top:

    1939-1945 Star: army personnel 180 days service in an operational command overseas.

    Africa Star: one day service in North Africa or Malta between 1940 - 1943 or East Africa 1940 - 1941. He does not appear to have any of the three bars awarded for serving with the 1st Army, 8th Army or 18th Army Group HQ.
    Africa Star - Wikipedia

    Defence Medal: for the army 3 years non operational service in the UK, or one year non-op service in certain areas abroad.
    Defence Medal (United Kingdom) - Wikipedia

    War Medal: for full time military personnel 28 days service, irrespective of where they served.
    War Medal 1939–1945 - Wikipedia

    The other thing is whats not there, in your photo I can't see any other non WW2 medals such as General Service Medal, or Long Service Medals, which may indicate that if a regular soldier pre or post war he may not have fought in any major campaigns, or served long enough to get a long service award.
  10. royalscot 2012

    royalscot 2012 Junior Member

    Thank you for your reply Travers ,

    Until i get the service record there is not much more i can do , i take it i cant access the medal rolls index card either ?

  11. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    I believe that for WW2 there are not similar index cards to the Medal Index Cards for WW1. WW2 medals had to be claimed by the soldier, and his entitlement is marked on his service papers, unlike those medals for other ranks in WW1 which were issued automatically. There is an MoD medal office at Gloucester, for those who are still claiming medals, or for official next of kin. Although you know the medals were issued, I think any enquiry there will just result in a reply stating which medals were issued, when & not what he did to be entitled to them. Even if this yields a service number (not sure if it does), this may not speed up the process of applying for his service records. Also have no idea of timescales there, may be the months that service records will now take.
    Apply for a veterans badge or a medal

    Non World War campaign medals/General Service medals were however issued with out the soldier requesting them & up to 1949 (ie up to the Korean War) the roll for each medal is indexed in this collection on ancestry, UK, Military Campaign Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1949:

    If you ever find a service number, maybe from docs in the family, you can see which regiment or corps it was originally issued to on this site:


  12. royalscot 2012

    royalscot 2012 Junior Member

    Thank you Travers for the great advice , i will try these lines of inquiry



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