RASC in Italy and Africa

Discussion in 'RASC' started by Neuron, Nov 11, 2015.

  1. Neuron

    Neuron Member

    Hi Guys
    My Uncle served in the RASC in Africa and Italy and I have a number of documents which refer to various units in both theatres. I know he served in the First Army as I have his medals which has the Africa Star with 1st Army clasp and a number of photo's taken in Naples and Rome. The problem I have is that I do not know what higher formation he served with. These are the units listed in my documents:
    183 Provost Company RMP ( a letter written to my uncle by a friend?)
    104/117 LAA Regiment RA ( I think he drove ammunition lorries to the guns?)
    1926 Civilian Transport Platoon
    557 Base Ordnance Depot CMF
    'B' Platoon HQ 288 Tipper Company RASC

    I know he was a lorry driver and had a number of Italian personnel working with him. He also met his brother who was serving in the REME in the desert on Christmas Day totally by coincidence (I have a newspaper cutting of the event). Unfortunately he is now passed away and so I wish I could have asked more questions when he was alive.

    Any help would be appreciated

    Attached Files:

  2. hutt

    hutt Member


    Have you tried obtaining any of the diaries at Kew for the above units? They are likely to include references to their higher formations. Presumably you have the full service record for your in uncle?

    Image below shows possible reference to a 288 in the order of battle for the invasion of Sicily (July 43)

    For 117 LAA Regt Coy RASC try
    WO166/9502 01 04 42 to 31 12 42
    For 117 LAA itself
    WO169/4941 01 04 42 to 31 12 42
    WO169/10061 1943

    Attached Files:

  3. Thomas Norton

    Thomas Norton Member


    I know this is an outdated thread so sincerely hoping this reply gets picked up. I am particularly interested in the 288 Company (RASC), I have got my hands on very limited documents at this stage, and am still researching.

    My grandfather was in Africa with 288 Coy. However, he was awarded an 8th Army clasp. Would be extremely grateful to hear back from original poster and we can compare notes.

    Many thanks

  4. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Tom, not sure what 'limited documents' you have, but what you need are his official service records, these are only available here:
    Get a copy of military service records

    You don't need any military details, also consider that he may have been transferred between units and his records should disclose that and enable you to research the correct unit at the correct time. For info:
    Blake, John (IWM interview)
    4jonboy likes this.
  5. Thomas Norton

    Thomas Norton Member

    Thank you Tony.

    Have just sent off for records. Some items were dispersed and lost through the years but we have some photos with good handwritten notes. It turns out his Company also formed a reunion group called the Black Circle Club, after a close attachment to 30 Corps. We have one letter about their annual meetups from 1997.

    The John Blake interview is highly interesting and John Blake is also mentioned on the letter that we have in possession as is my grandfather. John Blake talks about the Black Circle Club in the final interview reel I think.

    Thanks very much for taking time to respond.
  6. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member


    Best practise is, once his service record arrives, use it to establish a clear timeline of his time in the Army, noting which units he was in with the start and end dates.

    Note any time he was withdrawn for whatever reason and where he went (sick, hospital etc)

    Then get a copy of the war diaries for each unit over the dates on your timeline. This will be tricky at the moment as Kew is shut.

    However you could then try using the internet and books to establish the background as to why he was in N Africa, Italy etc.

    If there are any language or abbreviations you don't understand in his service record post you query here.

    Good luck in your research.

    Charley Fortnum, Tony56 and 4jonboy like this.
  7. Thomas Norton

    Thomas Norton Member

    Thank you both for the swift and helpful advice.

    Best wishes.

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