RASC Service History

Discussion in 'RASC' started by Mark Perkins, Feb 4, 2022.

  1. Mark Perkins

    Mark Perkins Member

    Hi. I have started researching my father's war service history and have a number of papers from the Army Personnel Centre, Historical Disclosures Dept (B199A, B200B and Officer's Record of Service Book. From these I've pieced to gather an outline chronology from 40-46.
    He enlisted in March 40 as a driver in the RASC and ended up an Acting Major in Palestine.
    I know he spent a short time in France with the BEF and his record also lists limited experience in Belgium - dates on the record are 19/20.05.40 to 23.06.40. Looking at the early entries I'm trying to make sense of some of the attached and wondered if anyone could shed any light for me. In particular, I can't find any explanation for the "DRAFT RMDDL" and "Posted Ex(?) UK" entries.
    I believe 1 GBD was 1 General Base Depot in Pornichet near St Nazaire.
    Thanks
    Mark
     

    Attached Files:

  2. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    CL1 and 4jonboy like this.
  3. Mark Perkins

    Mark Perkins Member

    Thank you for clarifying :)
     
  4. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    Mark.

    Could you show his full Service Record? Pte to Maj is quite impressive.

    Regards

    Frank
     
  5. Mark Perkins

    Mark Perkins Member

    Hello Frank.
    What a great resource this is - so helpful!
    I've attached photos of what I received from the Army Archives. Hopefully they are legible. I haven't been to Kew yet.
    Like many others my dad didn't talk about his war experience but he did mention that he was asked to stay in service but didn't think it was a good career with a family in mind. A shame really as I think it would have suited him.
    We have a number of annotated photo albums - mostly Palestine, Syria, Egypt and Cape Town. Appearances suggest he had a 'good war' if that is possible - and apart from nearly dying of Typhus/Dysentery.
    Any help or pointers in putting some flesh on the bones would be greatly appreciated.
    Regards
    Mark
     

    Attached Files:

    CL1 likes this.
  6. Osborne2

    Osborne2 Well-Known Member

    You mention 1 GBD at Pornichet, La Baule Brittany. If he was there 1 GBD was evacuated from St Nazaire France 16.6.40 and landed at Plymouth Falmouth and Liverpool.. The unit went to Marbury Park Cheshire where it replaced 3 GBD but was eventually disbanded at the beginning of July. I GBD was a transit camp for troops going on leave to and from France but did have a small permanent staff 1939-40 and which, because it took in stragglers from the battles after about 20.5.40, grew to about 4,000.

    I am not sure where Belgium fitted in but there were no British troops there on 26.6.40 as Belgium had been in German hands all that month.

    However, there were two 1 GBD's, that one in France and a very ad-hoc one at Chester racecourse. I GBD Chester created on or about 31.5.40 to receive evacuated troops, as was 3 GBD at Marbury.
     
  7. Mark Perkins

    Mark Perkins Member

    Thanks very much for that. In light of your comments and having looked again at his B200 form it seems more likely that he was at 1 GBD Chester Racecourse on his return from France although it is difficult to decipher the writing on the form - looks like 1GBD ... Posted (Ex? or To?) UK.
    Looks like it will be tricky to get any more info on his time in France from 19.05.40 to 23.06.40. Perhaps a war diary for his company (166 Coy)? Although it does seem strange that he would be sent to France when the allies were already retreating to the coast ...
     
  8. Osborne2

    Osborne2 Well-Known Member

    Troops were still arriving at Pornichet for the newly created 2nd BEF, including the Canadians, into the second week of June. However, my feeling is the 23.6 date is when he rejoined his unit, not when he was abroad. For men coming back from France, separate from their officers, they were all lumped together in camps until they could be sorted out, given a rail warrant and sent to their unit. Western Command in charge of Chester were especially disorganised and slow. The priority was getting fighting units reorganised and redeployed to repel the invasion they expected. One RASC man reached Britain on about 19 June but didn’t rejoin his unit until at least 5 July, held up by the sheer number of men stuck in the queue for processing. In addition, at this time, Every soldier was also allowed 3 days leave to see his family.From what l have seen, this 3 days was taken before they were reunited with their original unit.
     
  9. Mark Perkins

    Mark Perkins Member

    Thanks for the additional information. Unfortunately there isn't a lot to go on in his records and the return dates are conflicting - one entry has 16th June, another 23rd June and a third 26th June. The only thing that seems certain is that he went to France on either the 19th or 20th May. Therefore would it be correct to assume that he would have been shipped to Pornichet or other port in western France - rather than the Pas de Calais?
     
  10. Osborne2

    Osborne2 Well-Known Member

    He could have travelled through many channel ports. Sometimes the unit War Diary will have the travel details. Certainly did for my grandfather in April. Le Havre, Cherbourg, Boulogne Calais, St Malo, Brest and St Nazaire all possible.
     
  11. Osborne2

    Osborne2 Well-Known Member

    Just remembered, they were pulling lines of communication troops ( rear units) out of France from Boulogne and Calais on the quiet before the official evacuation from France began because the French collapse at Sedan rang alarm bells at an early stage. So he is unlikely to have gone in through the Pas de Calais. The quiet pull out was from 20 May.






    Edit. Last sentence added.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2022
  12. Mark Perkins

    Mark Perkins Member

    Ok great. Thanks for your help. I will follow up re war diaries - he appears to have been posterd to 166 Coy from 1 Holding Battalion on 30.04.40
     

Share This Page