My Father's war record

Discussion in 'North Africa & the Med' started by Gavsmum, Mar 9, 2017.

  1. Gavsmum

    Gavsmum Member

    Thanks Frank. Dad was called up when he was 18 so I assume he was put into the infantry.
  2. Gavsmum

    Gavsmum Member

    Thanks for that Charlie. Yes I agree but at least he was able to carry on in the REME for the war effort.
  3. Gavsmum

    Gavsmum Member

    That's an excellent idea Steve, I will definately do that. Thanks very much.
  4. Gavsmum

    Gavsmum Member

    Just been on to Newcastle Library's web site and they have one copy of this book to view in the library! Next time I am in the town, I will go in and see what I can photocopy (which will probably be quite soon).

    Thanks both of you.
  5. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    You're quite right--certainly no implied criticism from me.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
  6. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    No need to assume.
    Army Number was 4868148 according to the first file you added.
    That shows he ENLISTED into the Leicestershire Regiment 4848001 - 4904000
    Army Number Block Allocations

    edit....says so on another page.

    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
    Charley Fortnum likes this.
  7. Gavsmum

    Gavsmum Member

    Can't believe I missed that!!! He lived in Leicestershire so that would make sense. Thanks very much Owen for pointing that out. So glad I found this site.
    Owen likes this.
  8. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Forgot to add: there are some high quality images of 6 RWK at Cassino and - I think - in North Africa at the Imperial War Museum website.

    It's a complete stab in the dark, but it may be worthwhile scanning them for faces
  9. Gavsmum

    Gavsmum Member

    I've had a look Charley but unfortunately not. I only found two photos is that correct?
  10. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    You've done very well to get the first form you posted. I've never seen one before so presume it was completed when he may have been under consideration for transfer to (R) ASC.

    It isn't usual to get any medical "forms" from MOD so I expect the MOD clerk didn't/couldn't decipher the hand written "medical" history noted on the right of the form.

    Sad to read the details. It puts into focus the hardships endured by infantrymen in WW2.

    Steve Y
  11. Gavsmum

    Gavsmum Member

    Oh I see!! I found it very upsetting when I read it and still do. I knew absolutely nothing about it but I'm so glad that a mistake was made and it was sent to me because it told me so much.
  12. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    I think part of the unwritten reason that MOD don't send medical information is to avoid upsetting relatives by making them aware of matters of which they had previously been ignorant. The official reason for witholding information is FOI.

    Canada and Australia have full disclosure protocols so they release all information on their service files.

    If UK files are anything like those Commonwealth files they should contain full details of hospital admissions and medical treatment provided.

    Steve Y
  13. Gavsmum

    Gavsmum Member

    I have just read the letter again that came with the records and it does say "You have been provided with all the information that we hold about your father" so I'm wondering if the rules have changed now.

    By coincidence, we have a cruise booked for the summer and will be calling at Sicily so I will be thinking about Dad and what he was going through I'm sure.
  14. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    No change in policy. You have received the standard worded reply.

    It's just the case that the MOD clerk has missed that the "medical" information is recorded on a non
    medical form. His medical and discipline papers will still be in his MOD file.

    Steve Y
  15. Gavsmum

    Gavsmum Member

    Hi all

    I would just like to thank you all very much for your help. I have just been to the library to look at the book recommended, "The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment 1920 - 1950" by H D Chaplin and found it excellent. I have photographed all relevant pages with my phone.

    Many thanks again

  16. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    That I recall, there are three at Cassino:

    One shows men operating a mortar on Castle Hill during the second part of the third battle (and is available in high-def).
    One shows a group of men posing in some kind of dugout (IIRC not a simple sangar)
    One shows a couple of signallers with radios on a precarious looking slope.
  17. Gavsmum

    Gavsmum Member

    Yes that's right there was but at least I know he would have most likely been in that position as well. Thanks Charley.
  18. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    There are a lot of threads on this board about Cassino and a number of excellent online interviews of veterans at the IWM website.
    If you decide that you want to find out more about his battle in particular, the consensus seems to be that this is the best modern publication:

    6RWK had the not wholly-pleasant task of taking over garrison duty from 1/4th Essex and a mixture of 1/6th & 4/6 Rajuptana Rifles in the Castle that was overlooked by Monastery Hill.
    There were enemy positions within 100 yards to the West and South, and evacuation and resupply demanded nocturnal climbs up a steep rock face.

    After an initial period of relatively good fortune, 6 RWK took heavy casualties from artillery fire and the attrition of fending off successive attacks. There were also a few doomed attempt to operate outside the walls and even an accident or two: 10 officers and over 100 other ranks became casualties between 19th and the 27th March, before the battalion was relieved by 8th Argylls.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2017
  19. Gavsmum

    Gavsmum Member

    Thank you so much Charley. I will look at the threads and think about sending for that book.
  20. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member


    If it helps to get your head around everything that Charley F has described and you will have now read in Chaplin's book, you are welcome to join the group that I am taking to Cassino on 8-11 Jun 17.

    More detail at



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