Discussion in 'WW2 Militaria' started by EarlyDoors, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. EarlyDoors

    EarlyDoors Junior Member

    My late grandfather was a career soldier in the British Army. He joined up in 1936 initially serving in what became the RAC in North West India. I have a letter addressed to him as

    M/Sgt Jackson
    25th Dragoons

    I'd always thought that he was more of a mechanic / transporter than a tank crew member (although he may have been tank driver).

    Does anyone know what M/Sgt means?

    The US Army appears to have a Master Seargeant rank but I don't think that's applicable for British Army. Furthermore I am assuming that its not the notation for Seargeant Major. Is there such a thing as Mechanic Seargeant ?

    Any help appreciated.
  2. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Earlydoors - in those far off days of Cavalry -this might be QUARTER MASTER SERGEANT - QM/Sgt

    the Cavalry were amlgamated in 1922 into the Tank Corps but the big arguments raged on until very late in the 30's when the Tank Corps became a regiment in the Royal Armoured Corps

    Many units in India still had horses in 1940 and 16/5th Lancers gave theirs up in Egpyt on the way home to be mechanised and join 26th Armoured Bde in 6th Armoured Div along with 17/21st Lancers and Lothian and Border Horse.
  3. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    If he was a tradesman his trade would reflect in his rank designation.

    More so pre WW2. However the titles could have still been used.

    Tradesmen: "When tradesmen in the army were being recognized, their trade was that as already indicated by their skill-at-arms or proficiency badges. As they were frequently assumed for the trades it is difficult to say which wearer is which unless precise dating or circumstances can be quoted. Some of the oldest badges date before 1864. There is the horse shoe of the farrier which was worn on his headdress in the 18th century but much later as an arm badge. As a trade badge the farrier-sergeant wore the shoe over his three chevrons. The bit was the sign of the saddler and collar-maker (not in cavalry regiments but artillery, etc.). The wheel of the wheeler and carpenter could also be worn by as high a rank as wheeler-major, and in modern times by the pattern maker, the shipwright, carriage, and wagon repairer as well as wood turner and machinist. The crossed pincers and hammer of the fitter or smith continue un use for a variety of trades like armourer, blacksmith, boilermaker, electrical fitter, engine fitter, and many other fitters, grinder, metal machinist, and many other trades. This badge can be worn with rank markings."

    From "Badges and Insignia of the British Armed Services."

    Someone have a copy of this book?
  4. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Hello and welcome to the forum.

    Have you applied for his service records yet? Amongst many details they will have all trades/courses passed with dates in them.

    Army Personnel Centre - British Army Website

    If you can't wait until they arrive (2-6 months) give the tank museum a call at Bovington.

  6. CTNana

    CTNana Member Patron

    My Dad was with REME but I don't know which regiment(s) he was attached to, only knowing that after training he went to North Africa to Sicily and then Italy before being demobbed. When I got his service record, they initially sent a one page printed summary which said that his rank was Mechanist Staff Sergeant. When I applied for his full records (for which I had to pay again), they showed MSS. Maybe it stands for Mechanist?
  7. EarlyDoors

    EarlyDoors Junior Member

  8. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Just as an aside.........

    When I was due to go home from Italy on PYTHON my O/C "Loopy" Kennard offered me various bribes in order to persuade me not to leave the Squadron.

    One rank he brandished as an inducement was TQMS, Tech Quartermaster Sergeant, and he even raised the ante by saying "most TQMS's find this an easy route into getting a commission"

    I was not, however, to fall for his blandishments and was soon back in civvie street.

  9. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    Thanks for your help. It must be Mechanist Sergeant. He was a fitter and Motor Mechanic. There is an example in the motor machine gun regiment of RAC from 1940 (page 4)

    Glad we could clear this up.

Share This Page