RASC service record query

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by meghw, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. meghw

    meghw Junior Member

    I was wondering if I could get some help working out my father’s service record. :confused:
    I have had his record for some time but am not sure how to go about understanding what it all means.
    He was called up 16 Dec 1943 and ended up as a driver in the RASC.
    If I understand it correctly the RASC units were attached to different brigades, would that be correct?
    My father thinks he was attached to an English artillery brigade.
    His service record says
    29 Jan 1944 Unit - 9 Sig or Tig Bn (D) RASC Transferred to the RASC from GSC in the rank of Dir and Posted to this unit tos (sic) B Corp from 61 PTW wef 26 Jan 44 Prefix T added to army number auth WOUM 112/misc/4106 (MPIB) d/d 14 Jan 44
    25.3.44 Posted to 1663 Arty Regt Pln RASC
    Then there is an entry which is v difficult to read but think is being sent for training 26 Mar 1944
    Next entry - 54 Coy (inf Bd) – reclassified to Class IV (et) 16 June 44
    Then – 54 Coy (illegible) - Embarked for BLA 16 July 44
    Two periods of agricultural leave
    505 Occup Div TPS – Posted from 54 Coy RASC (1B) TOS (sic) this unit DEF 5 Feb 46
    54 Coy INF BDE 505 to 505 COY (GT) 4 Feb 46
    52Y COY 505 this unit to BAOR on class B release 13 Apr 46
    In the past I have written down that 54Coy might be East Anglian – might that be right? If it is how do I find out what actions they took part in? I have the release papers which shows that he spent 2 mo France, 3mo Belgium, 4mo Holland and 13mo Germany.
    Any pointers would be most welcome
    Which brigade would he have been attached to?
    How do I set about finding out the exact movements of this unit for the duration?
  2. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Meghw - have you tried typing "54 Coy RASC" into Google or Wiki?

    It would appear that the units mentioned were part of 43rd (Wessex) Infantry Division.

    Support Units
    8th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment (Vickers machine gunners)
    43rd Reconnaissance Regiment, Reconnaissance Corps
    94th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
    112th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
    179th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
    59th Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery
    13th Bridging Platoon, Royal Engineers
    204th Field Company, Royal Engineers
    207th Field Park Company, Royal Engineers (from Bath, Somerset).
    260th Field Company, Royal Engineers (from Chippenham, Wiltshire).
    553rd Field Company, Royal Engineers
    54th Company, RASC
    504th Company, RASC
    505th Company, RASC
    506th Divisional Company, RASC
    110th Light Anti Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery

    In the Second World War it fought in Normandy, where it initially was earmarked as a reserve for Operation Epsom. It then launched an attack against the German 9th SS Panzer Division at Hill 112 in July, though they were beaten back after both sides had suffered horrendous casualties. It performed well, and was considered one of the best British Divisions in the Second World War.

    It was the first British formation to cross the Seine river, with an assault crossing at the French town of Vernon opposed by the German 49th Infantry Division (see 'Assault Crossing, The River Seine 1944' by Ken Ford). This enabled the armour of XXX Corps under Gen. Brian Horrocks to thrust across northern France into Belgium.

    43rd Division later played a major role in Operation Market Garden , as the support to Guards Armoured Division. During Market Garden, a Battalion (4th Dorsets) successfully crossed the Rhine as a diversion, so that 1st Airborne could withdraw more safely, but many men of the 4th Dorsets were themselves left behind on the north Bank of the Rhine when the Division withdrew.

    The division later played a small part in the Battle of the Bulge, where it was placed on the Meuse as a reserve, and a large part in the invasion of Germany and the Crossing of the Rhine (Operation Veritable).

    By the end of hostilities the 43rd had reached the Cuxhaven peninsula of northern Germany.
  3. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    I wonder if "54 Coy (illegible) - Embarked for BLA 16 July 44" - means his moving over the channel to the British Landing Area at Normandy?

    Were all troops still coming into theatre over the beach by this time??

    If it helps "TOS" is Taken on Strength whereas if you see "SOS" it is Struck off Strength - terms used as a member joins or leaves a unit.
  4. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    9 Sig or Tig Bn there is record of a 9 Training Bn RASC so I believe Tig is Trg. (D) Driver training. I will have look at the rest;

    A copy of this would be handy for future requests;

  5. meghw

    meghw Junior Member

    Thanks very much for your replies, I will try to get some more research done on the back of this. My dad has certainly mentioned seeing the gliders going over towards Arnhem. He also says that he spend a winter in either Eindhoven or Nijmagen billetted in the attic of a Dutch family. He also thinks they were nearer Lunenburg when the war finished.

    Thank you very much for all your help

  6. nrsmith

    nrsmith Junior Member

    Meg, have just joined forum and found your posts interesting as my Dad was RASC and seems to have been in the same places as yours. Did you get any further with your research? I have found it tough. I am waiting for service history from MOD but am expecting a long wait.
    Rgds. nrsmith.
  7. Sussex by the Sea

    Sussex by the Sea Senior Member

    I have just received my grandfathers service records, one of the things that is puzzling me is the acronym: SEWLROM and 3 days. Ithink it is a punishment of some sort. Does anyone have any ideas?

  8. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    Correction: This from Hansard

    Mr Jack Lawson (Chester-le-Street)I must say I had to inquire about this matter myself, and 1 think anyone else in my position would have had to do so also. S.E.W.L.R.O.M. means Special End of War Leave for Regular Officers and Men. Twenty-eight days' special end of the war leave is only given to Regular soldiers who have at least a further 12 months to serve. Time-expired men who have not re-engaged or deferred their release are not eligible for this leave.
  9. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    13.Mr. Garry Allighan
    asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that time-expired men who are released in Class B lose the 28 days' S.E.W.L.R.O.M. leave to which they are normally entitled; and whether, in order to encourage all men to accept Class B release when it is offered, he will remove this disability.
  10. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Meghw /Daveb

    Before anyone gets carried away with inaccuracies - it should be pointed out that in Dave's list of support units for the 43 Division the RASC units were just that - support units -
    valuable in doing many jobs- mainly bringing up supplies to the fighting troops-to at least brigade level - driving ambulances etc - but not actually fighting.....

    Dave the "BLA" was the BRITISH Liberation Army- not a landing Army - more commonly known as the 21st Army group consisting of the British 2nd Army and the Canadian 1st Army- in the same way as the 1st Army and 8th Army's in Tunisia were known as the 18th Army Group- 8th and 7th US were known as the 15th Army Group - 5thUS and 8th armies were NOT known as the 13th Army Group for obvious reasons - and yes the beaches were still being used in July in Normandy

  11. meghw

    meghw Junior Member

    Thanks to everyone for their input, sorry I ahev not replied sooner but have been preoccupied looking after my father who has sadly now died at the age of 90. I was aware that the RASC were not a fighting division but my father was delared medically unfit (due to a spinal deformity) for active fighting.

    He did recall landing on a beach in Normandy from a duck and the ship which took them over was called the Farmer.

    I was able to buy him the book about the Wesex Wyverns and although not a reader he was pleased to look at the illustrations.

    Does anyone know if the regiments liberated any camps as I seem to remember him talking about prisoners with tattoos on his truck.?

    I hope to be able to go to Germany and retrace some of his footsteps, although we spoke about it once or twice his general failing health after retiral meant it never happened, ironic therefore that he managed to reach 90, good old NHS for all it's failings
  12. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce

    May I offer my condolences to you and your family on the death of your father.
    Hopefully some of the forum members may be able to help you further in your research.

  13. hutt

    hutt Member

    I have also been researching my fathers time in particular RASC units but in North Africa and Italy. Not the most glamourous bit of the army but I have found quite a lot of interesting snippets that are helping me build a picture of his overall movements.
    Both 1663 RASC and 54Coy RASC appear to have diaries at Kew which can be found using their Discovery search engine. If you can get down there I would reccomend taking a look.
  14. meghw

    meghw Junior Member

    Hi Hutt

    Thanks for taking the time to reply, I had decided that consulting the diaries should be my next move, but since I live in Scotland it is going to be cheper to try to get someone to copy them for me.
    I have managed to get the basics but want to get details of how where he overwintered in Holland, that was one of the few things he spoke about. Although not on the front line I think he still saw a lot of awful things
  15. Rayspurr

    Rayspurr Junior Member

    I am trying to trace my fathers war records for WW2. I know that he was in the RASC, and he was a driver. I understand from my sister that he went to Belgium, and France and was at the D Day landings, but that is all I know.
    I have obtained his death certificate for when he died in 1967, but do not know who to contact to get these records. Can anyone help.
    Kind regards Ray Spurr
  16. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce

    I am trying to trace my fathers war records for WW2. I know that he was in the RASC, and he was a driver. I understand from my sister that he went to Belgium, and France and was at the D Day landings, but that is all I know.
    I have obtained his death certificate for when he died in 1967, but do not know who to contact to get these records. Can anyone help.
    Kind regards Ray Spurr

    Welcome Ray
    Here is the link to apply for service records. They cost 30 pounds and there is a wait of approximately 9-12 months, although some members have received them quicker:

    Have you any photos you can post please?

  17. meghw

    meghw Junior Member

    Hi Ray

    as Lesley says you need to get the service records from the link give, when I sent for them it did not take nearly as long as that although as my dad was still alive they were really for him and maybe they prioratise living exservicemen - that would make sense really as time is passing. The RASC is a wee bit complicated as you have to find out which army brigade the RASC co was attached to to work out where they were. My dad was in FRance. germany, Holland and Germany. i take it his service book is no longer in family possession? This was a small A2 sized red backed book that all soldiers had to keep in their possession at all time. I still have my dads and it gives a small amount of detail you could maybe have worked on before the full record comes.


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