Service book destroyed? why? 3rd RTR

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by Crock, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. Crock

    Crock Active Member

    Hi all,

    Anyone got an idea why a service book would have been destroyed mid war?
    The obvious presumption would be because of damage of some description, any other reason?

    Below is a pic of my grandads book, written in pencil top left inside the opening page is

    DUPLICATE - original destroyed in my presence
    then appears to say major 18-5-43

    And any idea what the 5MDU meant on the opposite page?

    SDP likes this.
  2. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Could it mean not that the original was destroyed as some kind of punishment or example, but rather the officer witnessed its destruction in an accident or combat and was attesting to the fact that the loss was unintentional and a duplicate should be issued without any formal charge for the bearer?

    I have, for instance, read a note to the effect that a month's war diary was lost when the intelligence officer's vehicle was destroyed from the air.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    What unit was he during the war?

  4. Crock

    Crock Active Member

    He was with the 3rd RTR
  5. Crock

    Crock Active Member

    true.. hadnt thought of it that way round
  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Silly me I can see if I read the title

    5 MDU

    Could be demobilisation unit or perhaps dispersal unit

  7. PackRat

    PackRat Well-Known Member

    No.5 Military Dispersal Unit at Queen’s Camp, Guildford?

    First image below is called ‘The Last Lap’ and is the final cartoon from a booklet called Westward Bound: Advice and Help for Your Journey Home, shows the MDU abbreviation.
    Second is a stamp in my grandad's Release Book showing 'Military Dispersal Unit No. 5' from the day he was demobbed.


  8. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    If a book was in a really rough state it was often replaced and a new book issued and details copied over - the majority of books were replaced at some point - I'd say this entry is just the officer confirming he has observed it being destroyed, I think this was to stop old books making there way out and being used as fake ID etc - often men discharged during the war had books stamped "DISCHARGED" - like passports these days, if you get a new one when your old one is defaced and made unusable. Having said that I know a couple of Border Regiment veterans whose books were replaced after being soaked (one in the Med off Sicily and one swimming the Rhine from Oosterbeek) and who got to keep their old ones as souveniers.

    timuk and Tricky Dicky like this.
  9. Crock

    Crock Active Member

    Thanks for the all the info guys,

    Very helpful as usual :)

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