Researching Lt-Col John R Buckley

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by DFeakes, Dec 9, 2020.

  1. DFeakes

    DFeakes Member

    I'm trying to find information about my great-uncle, Lt-Col John R Buckley. I've tried searching on Forces War Records and via FindMyPast but haven't come up with anything. I have the attached photos from my parents' house but I don't know anything about the uniforms etc. I'm also not clear on what the other two photos are, maybe he was involved in governing post-war Germany? After the war, he wrote a couple of books about classic cars and eventually moved to Mallorca where he passed away in the late 1990s. Any information about his rank, regiment from these photos and about his service history in general would be gratefully received. Thanks! 20191027_203231485_iOS.jpg IMG_3443.JPG 20191027_205522244_iOS.jpg 20191027_205718494_iOS.jpg
  2. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member


    60 HQ Control Commission in Germany was located at Lübbecke in Nord-Rhein, Westfalia.

    An excellent glossary of terms involved in the BAOR can be found here.

    You don't mention your great-uncle's middle name so I can't look him up. Other members will be happy to look him up when they see this.


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  3. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    He wears the wings of a British Military glider pilot.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2020
  4. DFeakes

    DFeakes Member

    Thanks for this. Unfortunately, we don’t know his middle name, nor his date or place of birth. He’s a bit of a mystery really.


    r th
  5. DFeakes

    DFeakes Member

    Ok, thanks! There was a family rumour about him being involved in Operation Market Garden, so that makes sense.
  6. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    There`s a
    (Hon) Lt Colonel J R Buckley service number 66601 retired 1962.?

    Input his number or name in the London Gazette and follow his promotions. It`s the only one I can find at Lt-Colonel Rank?

    2nd Lt. J. R. Buckley to be Lt. 14th Dec.1938

    Maj. (Hon. Lt.-Col.) J. R. BUCKLEY (66601)
    having readied the age limit relinquishes his
    Commn., 9th June 1962, and is granted the hon.
    rank off Lt.-Col

    Last edited: Dec 10, 2020
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  7. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member

  8. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    If you dont already have his service records then suggest you apply for them and they will answer certain of your questions. The are only available from the MOD and the forms are here - Request records of deceased service personnel

  9. DFeakes

    DFeakes Member

    Thanks for the suggestion. The problem with that process is that it requires a copy of the death certificate, which I don't have as I haven't yet been able to find out when he died. Also, he died in Mallorca which probably makes it harder to get a death certificate.
  10. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    In photo one he has three pips on his shoulder, which is the rank badge for a captain.

    In that photo he also seems to be wearing a single medal ribbon, that of the 1939-1945 Star. The star started life as the 1939-1943 Star & ribbons were issued from late 1943. The only other ribbon for a WW2 star available this early was the Africa Star, so as he is not wearing it this may indicate an area he did not serve in.
    1939–1945 Star - Wikipedia
    Africa Star - Wikipedia

    Most of the other WW2 stars & medals were not issued until 1945/6, and he is shown with those ribbons he qualified for in the first photo, which is post war.
  11. DFeakes

    DFeakes Member

    Great, thanks. Sounds like that could be him, the retirement date sounds about right as he published a book on classic cars in 1964. The photos I posted earlier in the thread show him wearing what travers1940 said were glider pilot wings. But one of these entries is for the Royal Artillery. I've read that the glider pilots were volunteers from all parts of the Army, so is it possible he started in the Artillery and then volunteered for the GPR?
    travers1940 likes this.
  12. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    At the start glider pilots were volunteers from all three branches of the services, but later came from the army only, though via RAF selection process & still volunteers.

    This society may be helpful.

    Once their glider had landed the pilots were expected to fight with the forces they had transported.
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  13. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member

    From Wikipedia

    British cavalry on active service in the Sudan (1898) and during the Boer War (1899–1902) sometimes wore epaulettes made of chainmail to protect against sword blows landing on the shoulder. The blue "Number 1 dress" uniforms of some British cavalry regiments and yeomanry units still retain this feature in ornamental silvered form.

    Is this what I can see on his dress? If so he could have been in the RAC/RTR.

    Or was there any other corps/regiments in ww2 that had similar chainmail epaulettes?

    travers1940 likes this.
  14. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

  15. DFeakes

    DFeakes Member

    Yep, that's him! I have a copy of Classic Cars but it doesn't provide many other clues. One problem when searching his name in the context of WW2 is that most hits come up for the historian Prof John Buckley (author of Monty's Men etc).
  16. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    If he didnt die in service or in the UK then I think you may have to contact the FCO to see what details they may hold for him. Its also possible that FMP may have something as they have, I believe, a database for Brits who died overseas. I am not a subscriber to FMP so cant help there. I hjav e looked at Ancestry but there are too many results that I cant narrow down as I have no idea where or when he was born, or if he married etc etc

  17. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello DFeakes,

    Do you know if he collected classic cars and displayed them, whilst he lived in Mallorca?

    Do you know if he ran a business in Mallorca and if so, what type of business?

    A long shot, but I know a place in Mallorca where classic cars were collected and are still displayed. It’s somewhat off the beaten track.


  18. DFeakes

    DFeakes Member

    Many thanks for this lead. I contacted the GPR regiment via Facebook and it turns out he wasn't a glider pilot but an air observation pilot with 653 AOP Squadron. Makes sense that he was in the Royal Artillery as the AOP pilots were mostly gunners. I've ordered a copy of "Above the Battle" by Ronald Lyell Munro which tells the story of the squadron and according to a Google search even mentions John Buckley a couple of times.

    So, thanks again for putting me on to the GPR society.

    DSCF6108_zpsf7729fbd.jpg gunners.
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  19. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

  20. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    Just having a look at my copy of Unarmed into Battle.

    J R Buckley was in the 8th air OP course out of 43 courses

    The book has no index but I didn't see any other mentions, sorry.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2020
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