Discussion in 'RASC' started by Casblue, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. Casblue

    Casblue Member

    I wonder if anyone can give me some advice.

    I have a photo of my Great Uncle in his RASC uniform. I am interested in tracing his military service as I have done for other family members.

    Unfortunately I don't have his service number. His name was Albert (Bert) Watts and in civilian life he was a mechanic (I know that doesn't necessarily mean much!)

    I would appreciate it if anyone can point me in the right direction.

  2. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Hello and welcome to the forum.

    Please post anything you have, photos etc and we will try to help you. Have you any idea at all where he served?

    The first thing to do is apply for his service records. You don't need his service number but you do need his FULL date of birth.

    Drew5233 likes this.
  3. Casblue

    Casblue Member

    Unfortunately I can't afford to get Uncle Bert's record at the moment.

    I have no idea where he served, like many he never spoke about his service & died when I was young.

    I will scan the photo in.

  4. Casblue

    Casblue Member

    Here is the photo of my Uncle. If I find anything else then I will post it on here.

    Thanks again.


    Attached Files:

  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    The RASC was a massive Corps with hundreds of different units that served all over the world. Without his records you'll not find anything out and to be fair, the £30 you'd spend on them is probably the cheapest part of your research unless you live in London.

  6. Gordon163

    Gordon163 Active Member

    In theory you can get records with full name and date of birth, but in practice you get a standard reply asking for the service number. If you employ the use of Find a Soldier, they can probably help you, even if you have not got the service number. You still need the date of birth and a death certificate.
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Gordon - If you apply for a copy of a soldiers service records from the MoD (which is dead easy to do, I've done it twice and I hate admin ;) ) they tell you all the units a soldier served with, where he served as in the theatre, date of enlistment, date of discharge, medical records and a copy of attestation. You definitely do not need a service number as both records I applied for we just used a date of birth. The MoDs website clearly states date of birth or service number or both.

    4jonboy likes this.
  8. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    I agree with Andy's comments above.
    I applied for my father's records and didn't know his army number. They found them from his date of birth.

  9. Gordon163

    Gordon163 Active Member

    The problem comes when the names involved are common e.g. John Smith. Several of these may well have the same date of birth!

    The following is a quote from Find a Soldier:

    “I operate a service whereby I can obtain full WW2 Army service records in about 8/9 months from the Ministry of Defence, I do this through my website www.findasoldier.co.uk .

    Using my service you have the added advantage of my knowledge base, I will answer any queries either by myself or my panel of experts until you have run out of questions.
    Maybe you have no Service Number

    The lack of a service number is a real STOP for you to obtain full service records but not such a stumbling block for me, due to my relationship with Ministry of Defence (Glasgow Service Records).

    If you give me enough background info I can obtain service records without quoting a service number. The minimum I require is full name and date of birth.”
  10. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    QUOTE Gordon163:
    The following is a quote from Find a Soldier:

    The lack of a service number is a real STOP for you to obtain full service records but not such a stumbling block for me, due to my relationship with Ministry of Defence (Glasgow Service Records).

    No-sorry I cannot agree with this statement.
    As others have said previously, lack of a service number doesn't stop you from getting the full service records from the MOD

    Could you tell me what your interest in Find a Soldier is please?

  11. Gordon163

    Gordon163 Active Member

    I am trying to identify my biological father. I was adopted as an infant. Mother died of polio soon after I was born. The Salvation Army gave me father's name (unfortunately not an unusual one), army corps and company, plus approximate age and place of birth.
    With this information I have a number of possibilities, for each of which I can get full name, date of birth and death certificate from public records (GRO). Sufficient, in theory, to get military record. I have applied several times. Each time I get a letter as follows:


    Note 'service number' in bold - so it is required. The GRO information provided is 100% accurate.

    When I have used the service of Find a Soldier (recommended by Corps Archives) they can get records, without trouble, using the information that I provide for them. So far the records provided have not produced a successfful match.
  12. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Gordon-many thanks for replying to my question.

    A couple of things puzzle me.

    First of all I would like to repeat what Andy and I have said before-you don't need the service number to get a record from the MOD. My father had a very common surname and I knew nothing about him except his date of birth and they found his records from that.

    The private researcher on the website (I won't repeat their name but I know the chaps name, I've looked it up) -he states "Glasgow Records Office (Part of Ministry of Defence), who we have a good relationship with and any problems are quickly sorted as they go to great lengths on our behalf....."

    You are giving this researcher the same information as you are to the MOD, so why can't you get it direct from them?

    What the heck is going on with the MOD here?
  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    What seems to be very complicated can be narrowed down to:

    Apply for Service Records yourself and they cost £30

    Get Find a soldier to do it and it costs £90

    I'll say no more after what happened with the other chap on here.
    4jonboy likes this.
  14. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Is FindaSoldier acting illegally?
    If that info is restricted & they selling it on from the inside, then that sounds dodgey.
  15. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    How can a private company have access to documents that are closed to the public?
  16. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Owen, Paul

    That's what I want to know.

    I wasn't going to say any more because as Andy said, we had enough trouble with that other chap on here :wink:
  17. Brian Smith

    Brian Smith Junior Member

    This is no different to those sites which try to charge you for applying for E111 cards and other services you can do for free or for a fix charged yourself. They are at best misleading and need to be avoided.

    It would be interesting to get a quote from the MOD on the implied special working relationship.

  18. CL1

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

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