Joining the Army in WW2

Discussion in 'General' started by SteveDee, Nov 28, 2018.

  1. SteveDee

    SteveDee Well-Known Member

    This may be a stupid question, but when men signed up, what determined which regiment they joined?
    Did their physical condition determine what kind of role they would assume?
    Was there any kind of selection process which determined their role?
    Did personal choice even come into it?
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    My mate's Dad volunteered for the RASC so he wouldnt be called up for the Infantry (he had served in the infantry TA pre-war).
    Later in the war all army conscripts were enlisted into the General Service Corps where the Army found the a home for them.
    See Ron Goldstein 's posts about that.

    Just looking at my copy of 'A Conscript at War' by Les Pinner.
    He was ordered to present himself at St Edmund's Club , Salisbury, Wilts not long after the outbreak of war. He had his medical examinations & was invited to express a preference as to which arm of service he preferred.
    He & many others opted for the RAF, not wanted to be involved in trench warfare in the army.

    He eventauly got his call up papers & reported to Le Marchant Barracks , Devizes on 15th March 1940 becoming a Private in the Wiltshire Regiment. With whom he served with through the war with the 7th Bn & then from November 44 in the 5th.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
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  3. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    My Dad was called up September 1940 when he was 28.He signed up in Narbeth/Narborough cant read it properly .He was assigned to the Royal Artillery eventually after driver/mechanic training he was posted in March 1942 to 116th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery (RWF) by this time he was 30.It was during his training and a placement to Kinmel Park in North Wales he met my Mother.Over to Normandy 21/22 June 1944
    .In December 1944 he was transfered to the 92nd ( Loyals) LAA where remained until injured in November 1945.

    In answer to the role fulfilled, before the war my Dad was a Miner then a Milkman (horse drawn) so not sure what determined him to be placed as a driver/mechanic
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
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  4. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    My Dad volunteered in September 1939 as war was declared and joined 35th LAA. It would appear that, certainly at the start, Regiments were to some extent responsible for their own recruiting.
    35TH LAA Regiment - Royal Artillery | COFEPOW
    This Regiment was born on 2nd September 1939 when War was a foregone conclusion - a rash of yellow posters appeared on the hoardings of Oxford appealing for recruits to defend Oxfordshire against air attack - age 25 to 50.

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  5. Osborne2

    Osborne2 Well-Known Member

    Have a look through search engines about the medical criteria for being put in to the Pioneer Corps. You will find plenty of examples of people being classified as too short, deafness, partial sightedness or one eye, mental problems, low IQ etc going to the AMPC/PC. Despite this many Pioneer Companies made it into the front lines, especially after the collapse of the fronts in Belgium and France. Others with lesser medical conditions and older age were posted to Home Defence Battalions.
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  6. Shiny 9th

    Shiny 9th Member Patron

    This is my dad's call up paper. He was 24 and initially 9th Royal Sussex were on defence duties. Later went out to India and Burma. A source of numerous tales and experiences which are now part of our family history.

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