New member from Northumberland

Discussion in 'User Introductions' started by Bob Smith, Nov 5, 2016.

  1. Bob Smith

    Bob Smith Member

    Hello to everyone. I came across this site as I am looking into my father's military career during WW2. Unfortunately he passed away more than 10 years ago, so I only have those details I can remember him talking about. He transferred from Kings Own Scottish Borders to 8th Btn Northumberland Fusiliers in 1941, after surviving Dunkirk. I know that 8th Btn Northld Fusiliers became 3rd RECCE and have received copies of his service records from MOD. The information in these records is rather limited, as I was hoping it would give details of exactly which unit/platoon/squardon he was in and also the places he was based or served. Can anyone suggest further areas I can explore to find this information. He continued service with 3rd RECCE until he was wounded just before the end of the war and eventually discharged as medically unfit for service. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks.
     
  2. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

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    Welcome to the forum, Bob.

    The 8th Bn Royal Northumberland Fusiliers joined the British 3rd Infantry Division as its Recce Battalion in November 1940. They were redesignated 3rd Recce Regiment (NF) in the spring of 1941. They stayed with the British 3rd Infantry Division for the duration.

    His service would have been 'Home' service until circa D-Day, 6 June 1944, when the British 3rd Infantry Division was an assault Division on Sword Beach that day. Co-incidentally, the other British assault Division that day was the 50th (Northumbrian) Division on Gold Beach.

    If kept well, his service records should tell you where he was stationed, when promoted, punished, etc. However, if you need to follow his path through WWII you will likely need the 8th Bn Royal Northumberland Fusiliers/3rd Recce Regiment War Diaries and books published about them. Unless he was an officer or won a bravery award (or the Adjutant kept impeccable records of the nominal role - unlikely but I have seen them for some units) it is unlikley that he will be specifically mentioned. War time photographs of his unit, friends, locations, etc. can help identify his precise unit...

    There is 'The History of the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers in the Second World War (Barclay), which covers some of this.

    There is also quite a bit of information already on this forum; Richard Lewis has especially posted a lot about the 3rd Recce Regiment - see the thread below for War Diaries:

    3rd Reconnaissance Regt (NF) War Diaries

    You will be able to find more via the search facility...

    Best,

    Steve.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2016
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  3. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum Bob, I have just been reading about another KOSB who was taken off the beaches at Dunkirk. My man was then posted to the 13th Battalion of the King's Regiment.

    I see that Steve has given you some great information, so I will just wish you well going forward.
     
  4. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce

    Hello Bob and welcome to the forum. Great to have another Recce on board.
    Steve has pointed you in the right direction re war diaries:).
    May I suggest you read the books "The British Reconnaissance Corps in World War II" by Richard Doherty, an Osprey Book. Also
    "Only the Enemy in Front", also by Richard Doherty. Both excellent books providing lots of information about 3 Recce and other Recce units in WW2.

    Lesley
     
  5. CL1

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

    Welcome to the forum Bob

    Regards
    Clive
     
  6. Bob Smith

    Bob Smith Member

    Thank you all for the information. I already have copies of "The History of the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers in the Second World War" and "Only the Enemy in Front" but will search for a copy of "The British Reconnaissance Corps in World War II". I will have a look through the War Diaries but doubt if he will mentioned by name as he wasn't an Officer. According the his service record he was a Corporal in 1941 although he was later promoted to sergeant (although this page of his service record was missing from the papers I received from MOD). If I could find out which platoon/troop he was in I could at least track his progress. I have some photographs of him in Belgium/Holland which I will try to post on the site. When war was declared he was called up as he was in the reserves as he had served in the Kings Own Scottish Borders from 1928 - 1935. thank you again for your help.
     
  7. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    Hello Bob, welcome to the forum

    Regards Peter
     
  8. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

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    Hello again, Bob.

    With reference to those books Lesley mentions, there is also 'This Band of Brothers - A History of the Reconnaissance Corps of the British Army' by Jeremy Taylor.

    I should have mentioned these earlier; my apologies for the oversight.

    Best,

    Steve.
     
    Bob Smith likes this.
  9. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    Hi Bob welcome to the forum. Great to have another Recce on board.

    Cheers
    Paul
     
  10. Bob Smith

    Bob Smith Member


    Thanks again Steve,

    I will add it to my "wish list".
    Regards,
    Bob
     
  11. Richard Lewis

    Richard Lewis Member

    Hello Bob,

    Welcome to the forum. What was your father’s name? In the routine orders of 30 Apr 1945 under “Wounded in Action” it lists 3185227 W/Sgt Smith R A, ‘C’ Sqn. Could this be him?

    See the orders in post #31 of 3rd Reconnaissance Regt (NF) War Diaries, “3 RECCE 1945 04 19 & 30 Routine Orders” or click here.

    Regards,

    Richard
     
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  12. Bob Smith

    Bob Smith Member

    Hello Richard,

    yes it is my father as his service number (3185227) is listed, although his initial is "R" and "R A". I knew he was wounded on 28th April 1945 (and was back in Britain on 9/5/1945), but I now I know where he was and also which Squadron he was in, so can now go about tracing his service in RECCE. I will have to do more research to find out which platoon of 8th Northumberland Fusiliers he was in, before they became RECCE, so that I can trace his service from transferring in, on 26/2/1941 from Kings Own Scottish Borderers. I can't believe I have found out so much in such a short period of time, since I joined the forum and can't thank everyone enough for the help and information I have received.

    Thank you to everyone.

    Regards,
    Bob
     
  13. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

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    Hello Bob,

    If your father was at 'Dunkirk' he must have served with the 1st Bn KOSB? If so, he would have seen service with the British 3rd Infantry Division throughout WWII, as the 1st Bn KOSB were in the 9th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division...

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  14. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Bob and welcome to the forum.
     
  15. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    Welcome to the forum Bob.
    That needle in the haystack seems a bit bigger after a few informative posts.

    Cheers
     
    Bob Smith likes this.
  16. Bob Smith

    Bob Smith Member

    Hi Steve,
    thank you for the information. Something else for me to follow up.
    Regards,
    Bob
     
  17. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

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    Hello Bob,

    The answer to which Battalion of KOSB your father was in should be stated on his service records in the second and possibly third, column from the left in the main body of the record; that dealing with transfers, promotions, embarkation, etc.

    If you are struggling with interpreting these, if you post them up on the forum, or if keeping them private on a PM to me, I could look this up for you/confirm!

    There are notes in the Admin section on how to post scans, photos, etc.

    Best,

    Steve.
     
    Bob Smith likes this.
  18. Bob Smith

    Bob Smith Member


    Hi Steve,

    Thank you for your offer of help with the service records.......they could be written in ancient Greek as far as I am concerned, but I am gradually starting to make sense of them. I have had another look at my father's records and under "Unit" it does state "1st", which I now assume is 1st Battalion KOSB, and when he transferred to Northumberland Fusiliers "8th" and then "3rd" when it became RECCE.

    I had hoped the records would show his actual postings, so that I could track were he trained etc, but this doesn't seem to be the case. I remember him talking about training at Fort George (I think this was when he was in KOSB from 1928-1935) and at Dufftown (I don't know if this was 1928-1935 or after he was called up from Reserves at the outbreak of war). I will just keep on hunting and doing the research, which I find totally fascinating and I am starting to look at my father in a totally new light.

    I have 2 or 3 photographs, 1 when it looks like he was doing signal flag training and 2 others when he was off duty in Belgium/ Holland/Germany. I am more than happy to post these on the forum if they could be of interest to anyone.

    Regards,

    Bob
     

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