Searching for fathers war history

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by peteden, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. peteden

    peteden Member

    My father (deceased) W.G.Denley 2383125 enlisted on 11/12/1941
    I know little of his service during the war as like so many he never talked about this time. I have since obtained his Service file and have gleaned a little knowledge of the abbreviated entries after searching through your site.
    He joined the Royal Corp of Signals and after passing trade test as Op W&L mustered in group E of that trade WEP.
    On 24/7/42 he was posted to 12th Corps of Signals, then to 8 Corps.
    He embarked UK 13/9/43 TOS MEF.
    Disembarked Egypt posted to this X list T.O.S from CHQ MEF M.O.4
    He then attended No 77 Parachute course and passed out and awarded his badge. 15/11/43
    He then went to Force 33. TOS from Sig Wing 22/12/43
    ME66 Posted to CMF SOS MEF 1/10/44

    26/8/45 he embarked from UK and disembarked at Bombay. He was also posted to 2nd Indian Airbourne Div Signals 1/11/45.

    I have been told by one of his workmates that he apparently served with the Yugoslavia (Tito) partisans and was also in Italy when Mussolini was killed.

    His record shows he was awarded the Italy Star (never saw any medals)

    I have photographs of him in khaki uniform sat with others on a jeep. (India?)

    If anyone can advise me where I should go next to further my enquiries or can throw a little light on what he did I would be most grateful.

    Peter Denley
  2. CL1

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

  3. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    Kahki was also worn in the Italian Theatre, which would have included Yugoslavia.

    Parachute training and signaller could well mean that he was indeed parachuted into Yugoslavia as a Liason unit attached to Titos fighters.

    It sounds like you have a very interesting history to research and I wish you well.

  4. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

    Welcome Peter, Im intrested in your mention of 2nd Indian Airborne Div, and can you post the picture you mention? regards Jason.
  5. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Welcome aboard Peter !

    As Tom said, it looks like an interesting story to research and you would be well advised to get help from the knowledgable types that we have on this forum.

    So, scan and post a few of the record sheets you have and perhaps a few photos.

    Then ask your questions.

    Good luck !

  6. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Certainly worth getting some scans up. The only Force 33 in the National Archives catalogue is Royal Navy.

    However, a very speculative search on Force 133 has a lot of the right sort of goings on in the right sort of place. Best of all, Force 133 has links to MEF (amongst the WO records) and there are some personnel lists in the SOE records, so it might be a quick way to prove or disprove it as a line of enquiry.

    I stress that this may be a complete red herring, but it is rather interesting...
  7. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

    Idler, I think you might well be onto something will watch this with intrest
  8. kingarthur

    kingarthur Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the forum Peter

    Also looking forward to reading this thread as it develops.
  9. WhiskeyGolf

    WhiskeyGolf Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum Peter, and good luck with your search. I too look forward to seeing how this thread develops.
  10. peteden

    peteden Member

    Thanks to you all, and due to your comments I look forward to filling in my fathers history. It sounds like I may be in for a lot of research.
    I will start by going through my fathers photographs, and together with his record, attempt to scan them in for you to see. Hopefully I will do this tomorrow.
    Once again many thanks.
  11. peteden

    peteden Member

    Here is photograph one.


    As you can see first time didnt work. see below.
  12. peteden

    peteden Member


    Photograph one shows my father, 1st left at rear.

    Signatures on the back are;
    T Smith, W Youldburn?, R Dunn, Marty Lyall or Ryall
  13. peteden

    peteden Member

    Photograph two


    On the rear of the photograph is

    "Pop" Bricknell S.... Smith Myself "Addis"
    Day Scheme - taken at Salt Flats.

    I seem to have added thumbnails also which are from his service record.

    Any help with decifering them would be appreciated.


    Attached Files:

  14. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

    View attachment 37305

    Photograph one shows my father, 1st left at rear.

    Signatures on the back are;
    T Smith, W Youldburn?, R Dunn, Marty Lyall or Ryall
    With the wings being worn on the left of the chest and the lack of the Pegasus flash, I would be sure that your Dad served with the SOE, Force 133 and to add that sure looks like 133 on his service record.But some Indian Airborne units also wore wings on the chest but on the right hand side, so it all ties in.Couple of links of intrest here. • View topic - Authentication of Uniforms of the 1940's original SAS-SOE wing? [Archive] - British & Commonwealth Military Badge Forum
  15. peteden

    peteden Member

    Thanks wtid45,
    Looks like I have an interesting time ahead. I think my next step may have to be a visit to the National Archives.
  16. ADM199

    ADM199 Well-Known Member

    HS5/646 & 647 might be amongst the more interesting Files on Force 133.

    Much more though.
  17. peteden

    peteden Member

    Can you explain how I see the files you mentioned. Not having done this type of research before. I'm thinking I have to go to the National rchives to view. is this correct.
  18. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    [FONT=&quot]Welcome to the forum

    Paul [/FONT]
  19. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    I have him on my SOE database as a Sgt at ME66
  20. peteden

    peteden Member

    Hi Jedburgh22,

    Do you mean my father William Denley is on your records or one of the other names mentioned in the photographs.
    From my fathers service record I can see only one promotion , that to W/ Cpl on 14/4/44.
    If my father can you tell me what ME66 refers to.
    Plans are to visit NA in the new year with my daughter who has now joined me in finding out what he did during the war years.

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