Leslie Wilkins - What unit?

Discussion in 'General' started by Welsh Cav, Aug 20, 2019.

  1. Welsh Cav

    Welsh Cav Member


    seeking some help to identify what unit our relative Leslie Wilkins served in during WW2.

    Photo attached. Clue? Lanyard right shoulder and unit recognition flash left shoulder.

    It's thought he was a PoW (European theatre of ops).

    Record of Birth
    Registration Date: 1923
    Registration Quarter: Apr-May-Jun
    Registration district: Walsall
    Inferred County: West Midlands
    Mother's Maiden Name: Johns

    1939 Register
    Name: Leslie Wilkins
    Gender: Male
    Marital status: Single
    Birth Date: 30 Apr 1923
    Residence Year: 1939
    Address: 13 Dorothy St
    Residence Place: Walsall, Staffordshire, England
    Occupation: Shop Assistant Grocery Dept

    Record of Death
    Name: Leslie Wilkins
    Death Age: 81
    Birth Date: 30 Apr 1923
    Registration Date: Oct 2004
    Registration district: Walsall
    Inferred County: Staffordshire

    Subsequently trying to identify service number and when he enlisted

    Attached Files:

  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Best route would be to obtain his service records - the forms are on this link - Request records of deceased service personnel this is the only way to obtain his records and will tell you what units he was with, when he was with them and where they were.
    You do not need his service number if that is the reason you are asking above

    Do you have any further details for him, medals, personal diaries, cap badges, etc etc

    Tony56 likes this.
  3. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    You have enough info to get his service records for £30, here; Get a copy of military service records
    I have done a quick search on find my past but there are several men with the same name and more than 3 listed as POW. TD beat me to it.
    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  4. Welsh Cav

    Welsh Cav Member

    Many thanks for the replies. So service number and unit not required?
  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Not required - check out the forms - what you will need is a copy of his death certificate, which should also show his date of birth, if it doesnt then you need to add that as details when applying.

    Its a common misconception that service number is needed

  6. Welsh Cav

    Welsh Cav Member

    If anyone does have some suggestions as to unit drawn from scant clues on photo they would be welcomed
  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    The 2 shoulder flashes that come to mind would be Royal Engineers and Royal Artillery

    the problem is in black & white photos its often difficult to know which way round they are - at least for my eyesight. But this is the reason we always suggest service records as there is no way of making an error in answering the question 'which unit'

  8. Welsh Cav

    Welsh Cav Member

    White Lanyard Right Shoulder Unit Recognition flash Left Arm = Royal Artillery?? (Thanks for your input)
    Rich Payne likes this.
  9. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Loads of L Wilkins on Findmypast but only one RA that I can see;-

    932592 Gnr Leslie Wilkins according to the 1939 Attestation there`s a pencil entry `1944 Commissioned `?? However he wasnt ! He was captured in 1944 held at Stalag 4B PoW Number 278991 rank still listed as a Gunner?? Leslie Wilkins posted `missing` Italy 8th February 1944 later confirmed PoW with same date given for capture.Unit given 19 Field Regt. Earlier Mentioned in Despatches for North Africa gazetted 23 Sep 1943

    Of course there`s a chance this may not be your Leslie Wilkins

    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
  10. Welsh Cav

    Welsh Cav Member

    Nice one Kyle thanks for your thoughts
  11. Welsh Cav

    Welsh Cav Member

    Please could you send me a link to the Attestation detail?
  12. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Links won`t work in subscription services . The RA Attestations are on Findmypast. Have this one on me :)



    There`s an L V and a L E Wilkins RA on the PoW list also but you haven`t mentioned a middle name?

    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
  13. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    Welsh Cav.

    19 Fd Regt RA were one of three Field Regiments in direct support of 1 Infantry Division during their time at Anzio - 22 Jan-3 Jun 44. If Gnr Wilkins was captured on 8 Feb 44 then I am sure that he would have been part of an Artillery Tactical Group - the gunners who were up the infantry calling in fire. An ATG was commanded by a Captain Forward Observation Officer RA.

    If he had been on the Gun Line, he would not have been able to be reached by the Germans because the Line was a few miles behind the Final Defensive Line at the Flyover.

    On 8 Feb 44, the Germans were pushing from the north at British positions around Aprilia. It was a fraught few days for 1 Inf Div. The salient that they had established with a breakout from Aprilia towards Campoleone on 29-31 Jan 44 had failed and the Germans were now coming the other way with a great deal of success.


  14. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    This is the main reason why service records are so important - you need to know you are following the route of your relative not another L Wilkins RA

    Tony56, minden1759 and timuk like this.
  15. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member


    The above Gnr Wilkins was Commissioned, but in December 1946 (new service number = 373627).


    But TD is absolutely right. Unless you have absolute certainty that this is your man, then you are setting yourself up for a massive wild goose chase.

    If you are serious about getting things right from the very start, you need his service records.

    Hope this helps

    Tony56 and Tricky Dicky like this.
  16. Welsh Cav

    Welsh Cav Member

    Thanks for all the input and caveats. Appreciated.

    Best wishes


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