Maj. Charles Longueville Willding Jones CCTU - map ref help

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Dafydd, Jul 4, 2019.

  1. Dafydd

    Dafydd Member

    Can anyone help with information on this major? He was commander of battle Camp Wing, Penmaenmawr, N Wales in march 1945. What does CCTU mean?
    Many thanks.
  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Hi can you post up an image of the source ?
    My immediate guess was ... OCTU - Officer Cadet Training Unit
  3. Dafydd

    Dafydd Member

    All I have is his name as a technical witness at a coronial inquiry in 1945 at the deaths of 3 boys who were tampering with a 2" HE mortar in Bangor. I'd mistaken another Major with exactly the same initials as involved in the inquiry; Maj. Charles Llewellyn Wynne-Jones. I obtained the coroner's files and it came as a big surprise it was Maj Charles Longueville Willding-Jones. However, many thanks for the abbreviation; the 'O' and the 'C' on an old typewriter are difficult to differentiate in the documents. It is as you say; OCTU. A boy witness had an army map of the mortar training ground in Aber falls; can you help further with this reference: 'Military Reading Sheet 42 131 915'? The last 6 digits might be coordinates?
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  4. gaspirator

    gaspirator Member

    The map is sheet 42 of the 1-inch series, Llandudno and Denbigh. It uses the Cassini grid system, forerunner of the modern National Grid. Download from: Llandudno & Denbigh

    Screenshot shows grid ref 131 915 area - hope this helps!

    Attached Files:

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  5. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member


    4th Bn. R.W. Fus.— The undermentioned to be 2nd Lts. 27th May 1939: —
    Charles Longueville WILLDING-JONES
    (late Cadet Serjt., Eton Coll. Contgt., Jun. Div., O.T.C.).

    NAME: Charles Longueville Willding-jones
    BIRTH: 19 Jan 1905
    DEATH: Nov 1988 - Chester and Ellesmere Port, Cheshire
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  6. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    The incident in question?
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  7. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member

    Name: Charles Longerwills [sic] Willding-Jones
    Baptism Date: 26 Feb 1905
    Baptism Place: Malpas, Cheshire, England
    Residence Place: Malpas, Cheshire, England
    Father: Charles Willding Willding-Jones
    Mother: Florence Willding-Jones

    St Edith Churchyard, Shocklach, Cheshire:


  8. Dafydd

    Dafydd Member

    Thank you all of you for your help. This is truly a most helpful forum. I can't thank you enough.
    I have managed to get the following information on Maj. Chas. L. Wilding-Jones:
    In the 1911 census he was living in Hampton Old Hall, Malpas, Cheshire, aged 6 with his parents: Chas. W Wilding Jones (46) and Insurance Agent from Warwickshire, his wife was Florance nee Griffith and they married in 1939. An outward passenger manifest on Sep. 1931 our Major departing Avonmouth, 1st class, an agricultural student aged 26 for Port of Spain, Trinidad and his return was 5 years later aged 31 (1936) from the Gold coast on 'Apapa' bound for Liverpool and as a Civil Servant. He as a major in 1944 in the RW Fus.
    It took ages to work out the coordinates for the bomb area in Aber; thank you so much for this. I have the Cassini 115 sheet and plotted the general area.
    Again; I thank you so much.
  9. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    The location can also be plotted by using the Co-ordinate translator

    Use the British Cassini Grid and the reference vJ131915 it results in this Location
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  10. Dafydd

    Dafydd Member

    Yes; this is the incident and I've had other threads on the same topic but since I had the coroner's documents I had to correct some misconceptions I had from the story in The North wales Chronicle.
  11. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    Good to see that you now have more info from the inquest papers on Major Jones.

    In January 1945 164 OCTU at Barmouth was the only OCTU in Wales, & used a Battle Training Wing as part of their course. There are several threads elsewhere on this forum about 164 OCTU but I can't work out how to include them as a link here.

    Elsewhere on the forum it also says that the OCTU Battle Wing of the Advanced Handling and Fieldcraft School somewhere in North Wales ran week-long battle training courses for officer cadets. No syllabus given but likely to be based around section and platoon tactics and weapons.

    But the army list shows Major C.L. Wilding-Jones as Wing Instructor (O.C.T.U.) Battle Camps, and appointed to the Advanced Handling and Fieldcraft School (Llanberis).

    This unit is commanded by Lt-Col I.T. EVANS DSO MC Reserve of Officers (appt 4th Aug 1942). It also has Instructors listed for its Sniper & Rifle Wings, as well as Admin Officers for the OCTU Battle Camp & OCTU Battle Camp No 1.

    From the Army Lists on Fold 3:
    In Oct 1942 Oct 1943 & Oct 1944: WILDING-JONES C.L. Maj (actng 18th May 1942) R W Fus. (T.A.) Appointed 4th Aug 1942 to Advanced Handling and Fieldcraft School (Llanberis) as Wing Instructor (O.C.T.U.) Battle Camps.
    In Oct 1945 Major Jones is listed as: R 2nd Lt Royal Welch Fus TA (war substantive Capt & Hon Major).

    Does the R & his rank of Hon. Major means he is now on reserve ?

    Advanced Handling and Fieldcraft School at Llanberis, Caernarfonshire
    This arduous course was for junior Officers and senior NCO's. One of the Rifle Instructor's there was Tasker Watkins, who was later awarded the Victoria Cross serving with the Welch Regiment after D Day. The course culminated in a section race over Mount Snowdon. Many Commandos attended this course whilst based at the Holding Operational Commando at Wrexham awaiting operational posting.
    Training Centres WW2 | ͏

    Sir Tasker Watkins VC

  12. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    Heres a try at loading the Army list for the Llanberis school in Oct 1944. Tasker Watkins, though by then In NW Europe is still shown as a Rifle Instructor.

    Attached Files:

  13. Dafydd

    Dafydd Member

    Hi Travers,
    Thank you again for your great help with this new information. Maj. W-Jones lived in Bryn Hedd, Penmaenmawr in 1945 according to the coroner's documents. This was a large and impressive Italianate house overlooking the sea and was a favourite holiday home of Gladstone once. It would appear that Maj W-J was in charge of multiple training areas and I think the one by Aber Falls was a temporary one. His testimony states: 'The ground is very like the ground we have fought over in Tunisia. We can practise better on these grounds because of the mountains. We have practices every week. The last blind bomb was reported on this ground on Nov 11th 1944. Four of these bombs only we have failed to find since we began firing there'. I wonder if the Aber ground was for Advanced Handling and Fieldcraft School you mentioned? I had no idea there was on at Llanberis; this is only about 10 miles away.

    On a different matter, there's an intriguing 2nd soldier connected with the inquiry; a 'Col Carter' in the press but in the coronial papers he's 'Mr Carter for the army'. I suspect they are the same person and, like Tasker Watkins, he trained as a solicitor as there is a practice called Carter Vincent & Co. I think Carter advised the coroner on public disclosure in sensitive matters regarding the army and national security.
    Many thanks for your invaluable help.
  14. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    The new information about Major Wilding-Jones & the army school at Llanberis links them to the entry about the incident in the SO 135 Accident Register. In another poston this site S.O. Book 135 Accident Register you asked what the bold letters on following entry meant:

    4181 17/3/45 (entry number and date) then O.S./443 WDAH&F School Civilian WESTCO

    AH & F School is the Advanced Handling and Fieldcraft School (Llanberis) in the army's Western Command (WESTCO). Still not sure what O.S./443 WD, maybe an Ordnance survey map no, followed by War department (WD). Civilian may be the unit/regiment of the deceased or that it was dealt with in a civilian court.

    It seems that Bryn Hedd would have been one of the many holiday homes taken over by the army for billeting troops, and maybe was an officers mess as well. After being owned by Owen Owen of department store fame, in 1907 it became a convalescent home for men, run by a fund based in Manchester and Salford. But in the 1939 register it is shown as a holiday home, with 12 staff and no residents. Certainly at Bry Hedd he was nearer to Aber than in Llanberis.

    I don't have a start date for the Llanberis Training school, but maybe August 1942, as the entry for it in the army list of 1942 shows appointment dates for all officers staffing it of between 4-21 Aug 1942. The 164 OCTU at Barmouth that probably also used the school moved to Barmouth in 1940.

    Although we don't yet know exactly where in the Llanberis area the school was, it does seem likely that the range at Aber, as you say possibly only temporary & from 1942 was one of several under the umbrella of the school, all maybe having different purposes, sniping, mortar training etc. Part of the training could have included marches to the Aber training area, as you say its only about 10 miles away. This would seem more likley if the school was perhaps not in the town of Llanberis itself, but at the head of Llanberis Pass, maybe Pen-y-Pass area.

    Major Jones states that We can practise better on these grounds because of the mountains. We have practices every week. The last blind bomb was reported on this ground on Nov 11th 1944. Four of these bombs only we have failed to find since we began firing there'. I am no expert on UXO clearance, but if Major Jones was giving the correct facts, I think that this rate of clearance in wartime & on an active range would have been acceptable at the time.

    Reguarding Col Carter & Mr Carter in the inquest docs. I feel they are the same person as we ID earlier namely the prominent local solicitor from Carnarvon, Henry Gordon Lloyd Carter MC (1893-1966). He had been a Lt-Col in the Home Guard, which was disbanded in Nov 1944 five months before the inquest, and by Oct 1945 had no active military appointment, except as a Military Member of the Territorial Association, Carnarvon. As a HG officer he could have continued his practice throughout the war, being referred to in local courts & court documents as Mr Carter. The newspaper has picked up his military rank in its report presumably to make his presence sound more offical ?

    In looking at this I can't help remembering how Captain Mainwaring in the TV show Dads Army was usually called Mr in the civilian scenes.

    Illustrations below: Bryn Hedd, the view from Bryn Hedd to the hills above Penmaenmawr near the Aber training area & the 1942 Army list page.

    Attached Files:

  15. Dafydd

    Dafydd Member

    Hi Travers,
    Thanks again for such an informative reply. I guessed Bryn Hedd would have been requisitioned by the WD to billet officers. Thanks too for giving the definition of WDAH&F school in the Accident Book. O.S 443 could be the reference to the Bangor district where the accident happened?
    I know that Glan Rhonwy Quarry in Llanberis was used as an ordnance store but I don't know where the training school was. I'm sure that Col/Mr Carter is one and the same. It appears he 'represented the army' and probably advised the coroner on public disclosure of sensitive military and national security matters. I wonder if he advised the coroner to direct the jury to the highest level of proof which was 'criminal negligence' against the army knowing a bunch of middle-class shopkeepers would never dare find the army criminals with VE Day just months away? 'Criminal negligence' was not reported in the press nor was it mentioned in the coronial files I have. It's an odd direction anyhow as all a coroner has to report death: who, when, where and how. In this case it was "accidental death". As you say, this rate of clearance of the UXO was reasonable given the rate of fire at the time.
    Best wishes.
  16. Dafydd

    Dafydd Member

    I forgot to ask would a training area for mortars also be used for hand grenades?
  17. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    I claim no expertise in army training, but can see that both mortar & grenade training could take place in the same battle area, as this seems to have been a training area, rather than a fixed range with many permanent buildings etc. Both types of weapon are used in a fluid battle situation.
  18. Dafydd

    Dafydd Member

    Thank you again. This makes sense as a fixed rifle range can still be seen today near the coast in Aber but a training ground has no boundary and as you say, more 'fluid' and movable as the needs of weapon training changes.
  19. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    This is a WW1 link, but has a nice photo of the terrain which looks like it is between the mortar range at Penmaenmawr and the Llanberis Advanced Handling & Fieldcraft school.
    The Penmaenmawr Quarry Boys
  20. Dafydd

    Dafydd Member

    This is such a great web link; thank you so much for your help. I've never heard of it before.
    I have my suspicion that the photo is of Sychnant Pass - a narrow valley that leads from Dwygyfylchi (near Penmaenmawr) over to the Conwy Valley. The picture seems to have been taken from the slopes of Foel Lus - hence the bilberries. You can see Llandudno on the horizon.

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