Service & Personal Files RASC, RA North Africa, Italy

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by Lynda, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. Lynda

    Lynda Member

    T/5681695
    Sgt Coburn E
    1514 Hy. AA Regt
    Platoon RASC
    C.M.F.

    2/1/44

    My Dearest
    Thank you darling for your letter 14th Dec also for Greeting Cards
    received from all & diary which I received a few days ago. I hope love that you & Valerie had a nice Xmas. I had a very good one & also quite a ripping New Year's Eve, with all that helps it along. Xmas was really good, with a very good feed, & a fair spot of drink. We had quite a jolly time Boxing day as we have a theatre here & I have been getting back to the back stage days again, anyway must admit the talent does not rival that of good old London shows but they do help to pass a couple of hours away when one is free. It was great sport Boxing Day night in the mess, as I went to the show with a promise to be back early, but some how that did not come off, but when I did arrive I was so tired that I went to sleep & the rest just carried on. Of course love I have been told of all the things that I had been doing before going to sleep & believe me they must have seemed funny. Well thats all over now. Well dearest am pleased to hear that Valerie is making a good hit at school & am looking forward to your next letter to hear how she faired in the concert, & I bet it was a fine show so hurry along with the news. Have just received some JB's books from Freda, sorry to hear that she has had a nasty cold also that of yours but I do hope darling that you are alright again now. We have been fairly busy just of late, as you know just as in business as in the Army, one always has the end of year affairs to clear up, but now that is over am hoping to be able to catch up with some writing, so please let all the folks know that letters will be on the way soon. I had a card from Press just before Xmas, so espect he received mine. Did you & Valerie. I do hope so love, as I know how much you cherish them. Well my one & only adorable one must close now as it is getting on & the space wont permit for much more, so dearest till next time.
    All my love darling. As ever yours, Eric xxxx xxxx xx

    Dear Little One
    How did the concert go?
    All my love dear one.
    xxxxxx Daddy xxxxxxxx

    1944 Jan 2b.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Lynda

    Lynda Member

    Late in January 1944 whilst they were still in town Eric talks of a party with some American friends..

    "We had quite an enjoyable time the other night with some friends we had met in our travels. They invited Basil, myself & Cpl Batts to a party, & what a party done in real Yank style. There was about 70 of us, we being the only British troops, but that did not matter as we were made quite at home. There was plenty to drink in the way of wine & plenty of eats. There was a fair good band playing & some local girls who are quite good dancers. Of course we did really get awfully pickled & to crown the picture we gave a turn on the stage, which went down tops."

    But by the 7th February 1944 they had moved into more rural scenery..

    "You can tell sister that there is plenty of animals around these parts, as it is quite a farming place, so different to where we were before, but there is still a show that we can go to but not quite so near."

    This was also when the regularly mentioned Sgt Freddie Trump moved on, but Eric was disappointed and didn't get made up to full Sgt, as there was another Sgt surplus somewhere else.
     
  3. Lynda

    Lynda Member

    Letters are far less frequent than they had been (down to once a month) and talk little of what Eric has been doing. The 1514 HyAA Regt, RASC Platoon address is consistent until May when it become 1514 Artillery Platoon, RASC (Light). If anyone knows why I would be interested to hear. Also not sure why Eric underlines 'Bridge' in his letter and pushes the point of spending time with the O.C. and officers, maybe he was trying to communicate something else?

    T/5681695
    Sgt Coburn E
    1514 Artillery Platoon
    R.A.S.C. (LIGHT)
    C.M.F

    16/5/44

    My Dearest
    Many thanks for your letter of 10th May which I received today, quite good going these days only 6 days. Am pleased to hear that all is well with you & Valerie & that my cable arrived in time, as I wondered how long it would take. It seems that our precious one had quite a good time & my some presents, well love I trust that her next we will all be together to celebrate & my we will have one. Well love things here are just about the same, keeping well etc, with quite a bit of work to do, as am not in the office so much now, & instead am seeing more of the outside world which makes quite a good change. Have been seeing one or two shows lately mostly opera, which is very good. I see precious that Joan C. has been over to see you, so will expect quite a long account in your next letter. I hope all is well with her now, what has happened? Yes love have replied to W.H.P, & have to reply to sister, also Phyl, as have received letters from them so will get cracking on some, but must explain that am getting quite a Bridge expert these days, as Basil & myself have been having quite a few rubbers with the O.C. & other officers, so one will understand that there has not been much time to write to all. We have a rubber on tonight but not till later as I said that I must catch up with some writing. Well my darling I guess there is little else so- Bye Bye my love till later
    Fondest love darling
    Eric xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    My Dearest Valerie
    Daddy is pleased to hear that you recd his cable & about all these presents you have received.
    Love Daddy xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    1944 May 16b.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Lynda

    the "bridge" might have been a reference to the Bridgehead at the Garigliani in which the 56th Div were involved in X corps - but conflicts with the 6th Armoured as they were not involved with those battles - as the 16/5th Lancers supported the 28th Maori bde at Cassino Station during the 2nd battle of Cassino in February '44.
    Cheers
     
  5. Lynda

    Lynda Member

    As I mentioned before Eric was working under the U.S. 5th Army. I believe he wrote his letter on the 16th May having spent the previous few days and weeks setting up the ammunition supply for the U.S. 5th Army artillery of 600 guns for the final battle of Monte Cassino which involved bridgeheads of the Garigliano and Rapido.
     
  6. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Lynda -

    Yes I do know what was happening around the 16th May '44 at Cassino- it still doesn't tell us what division he was with at that time as the 6th Armoured was over the way from 5th US army -near Aquino - as the French four divisions were about to take off from the Gari bridghead over the Arunci's and I think - that 56th Div had returned from Anzio before that time - but Owen and Paul will have the facts on that move..
    Cheers
     
  7. Lynda

    Lynda Member

    I have also attached a scan of a spare U.S. 5th Army arm insignia that he kept.

    5th Army.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  8. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    Lynda - I have tried to see what is in the 3 pdf's which you have links to in your first two posts, but they don't appear to show anything other than horizontal or vertical lines.

    Can anyone else see them properly or is it just at my end?

    Jules.
     
  9. Lynda

    Lynda Member

    Thanks for letting me know Jules- just in case I have attached the Service and Casualty Form pages as jpgs here. It may be a version issue with Acrobat.

    View attachment 45460
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Lynda

    Lynda Member

    Eric Coburn Medical Grade Card_Page_2.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Lynda

    Lynda Member

    T/5681695
    Sgt. Coburn E
    1514 Artillery Platoon
    R.A.S.C. (LIGHT)
    C.M.F
    14/6/44
    My Dearest Darling

    Mant thanks for your letter of 28th just received. Am pleased to hear that all is well with you & Valerie. I am very well, & am having quite a change of job. We are on supplies & have been put in charge of the staff, which helps me very much to refresh ones knowledge of the old market days, it is a real good change from the old office life, although I have a lot of bookwork to keep going. By the news today it seems that we are doing very well with the 2nd front. It was great to hear that it had been started as no doubt it will certainly help to bring this to a quicker close, and a speedy reunion for a large number of families & relations. Have just had a letter from Mum & WHP in reply to mine. All seems to be quite well in the market as according to the letter there is quite a bit doing. Mum's letter seemed quite cheerful, but expect that the house business is getting one down now, as she is not getting younger, but it is as well to hold on for now. Well love there is very little here in the way of news, as all has passed us, but that may not be for long as I expect that we will soon be wandering again like we have in the past, & it will be good to be on the move, as being stationary for a while tends to make one feel lazy.
    So my sweet as there is very little else will close with all my love and kisses my darling, till a later dates. So Bye Bye Pet.

    Your loving

    Eric xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    My dear big girl
    Daddy hears that you are getting quite a big girl now and that you are helping Mummy quite a lot, that's great
    Lots of Love Daddy
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    1944 June 14b.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Lynda

    Lynda Member

    This letter was redirected from Eric & Gladys' home in Riffel Road, Cricklewood, London NW2 to Gladys' parents' house in Mildred Avenue Hayes for reasons which become apparent in later letters...



    T/5681695
    Sgt. Coburn E
    1514 Artillery Platoon
    RASC (LIGHT)
    C.M.F.

    2/7/44
    My Dearest
    Many thanks for your letter of 20th. I have just returned to camp from a weeks detail, so you must please excuse if this letter seems a while overdue, but it is hard to find places for writing when one is out on vehicles. Well my darling everything seems to be moving along nice & steady now, so guess it won't be long now. I have been keeping very well, but must say the heat here is something to contend with, but to be out & see the country is a pleasant change so one manages to put up with the warmth. Am pleased to hear that you are much better & Valerie is quite well. No doubt this Robot business is a bit disquieting but I don't think they will last for long as the damage is not so great.
    At the moment the sups business has finished as all are moving along, as you no doubt understand we are in the same old place, but have plenty to do, at the moment I am waiting to take some of the vehicles & boys out on another detail, but this will only be a day one. I had an offer a little while back to go to another HQ as a chief-clerk, but I refused as by what I was led to believe I would if suitable be made up to full Sgt, but I felt that at this stage of the war to have to make new friends & to leave those who I have been with for so long was rather a hard thing to do. So I don't really know if I have done right or not, but I am sure you will understand how one feels about things. Darling have just received some cigs, but do not know who they are from as there is no marking or slip inside, but they are Craven 'A' so maybe you could let me know. They were sent off on the 26' 5 44, so please love let me know so that I can thank whoever sent them. By the way have heard from Press, a rather funny letter, he tells me that someone had been in the market & that they had seen me out here, & that I had not been too well. Well I don't know who the someone was, but I do know that I have been in the best of health for ages, so maybe when he next writes you you will hear the above. Well my love space is short & times getting on for me to start moving so will close.
    Bye bye my dearest love.
    Lots of Love & Kisses
    Eric xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    My Dear Valerie
    Daddy hopes that you are having a nice time & that you are being a very good girl.
    Lots of Love
    Daddy xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    1944 July 2b.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Lynda

    Lynda Member

    This letter was addressed to Mildred Avenue in Hayes, but was forwarded to Vera Cottages, Holmdale, Sidmouth, Devon...
    Note this one again using the phrase that Eric has been 'fairly busy of late'- this generally means they were supporting some significant frontline action

    T/5681695 Sgt Coburn E.
    1514 Artillery Platoon
    R.A.S.C. (LIGHT)
    C.M.F.

    21-7-44
    My Dearest
    Many thanks for your letter of 8th received yesterday & pleased to say all is well here with me, still doing the same jogging along here, there & everywhere. We have been fairly busy of late so have not had much time to myself, but hope things will ease up now. I see that you have returned to Hayes, no doubt it is a bit safer than up home, but I don't think that you will have to put up with these night & day raids for much longer, as it seems by what we hear in the news that things are not going so well for Jerry on his home front. Any how lets hope it will soon come to an end & then to be together again will be fine. We have been having a few Americans in the mess just of late, they seem to be a real good crowd. Basil is fetching a few tonight, as we have now got a piano in the Mens Canteen. I have just received another package of Cigs, they had the right chit inside this time- they were from Mum & Stan, so guess the first lot were from you. Am looking forward to receiving the snaps as it seems ages since the last lot arrived. No doubt I will notice a big change in our precious. Well my darling there is very little in the way of news, have not heard whether Alec arrived home or not.
    Well love will close now
    Bye bye my sweet.
    Fondest love Darling
    Eric xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Hello Darling
    Daddy hears that you are having a nice time with Aunty. Keep smiling.
    Lots of love
    Daddy
    x
    1944 July 21b.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Lynda

    Lynda Member

    T/5681695
    Sgt Coburn E.
    1514 Artillery Ptn. RASC
    (LIGHT)
    C.M.F.
    6-8-44
    My Darling

    Your letter of 20th received on my return today. It was a great shock to hear that the old home had been blasted, but am greatly relieved my love to hear that you & Valerie & Mum were safe. No doubt it was a great shock for mother so it is well she has gone away. I have not heard from her & as I don't know the address at Beccles I cannot write yet, but no doubt I shall have a line from her or Stan soon. Well my love am very sorry to hear about our home, but it is better for that to be damaged than you my precious. I see no difficulty for your evacuation as having relations must have helped a lot. It is very good of them to have you both, & I thank them very much, so now you are out of the danger zone it is up to you to keep up that good work you have been doing & keep in the best of spirit my love as it won't be long now. By the way love you have altered some since the last set of photos arrived, the latest ones have just been handed to me. My what a change in our dearest girl, she certainly is getting tall & most prim, that is the best of having such a real good mother & to me a great little wife. Darling do please let me know to what extent the home is damaged as I would so like to know what can be done about it also what damage did the house receive. I see Sister & Bill are going to have a spot of a change, it is a pity you, Mum & Dad don't do the same, as by the photo of Dad, he is certainly not looking so much in the pink as he used to. I see Bill has not altered much nor Sister Freda or Sid. How is our lady going to get on re school now, is she going to carry on at Sidmouth. I do hope so, as I think it will be a great pity if she cannot. Well my dearest only one, space is short so will close now my sweet. Hoping to hear more news from you soon love. Bye bye precious.
    Your loving husband
    Eric xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Dear darling Valerie
    Daddy is greatly relieved to hear that you are safe & well
    Lots of love
    Daddy
    x
    1944 Aug 6b.jpg

    A later letter mentions a quote for repairing the house of £85 which came as quite a shock to Eric.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Lynda

    Lynda Member

    Eric's birthday was 20th September.


    T/5681695
    Sgt Coburn E
    1514 Arty Pln
    R.A.S.C. (LIGHT)
    C.M.F.
    22/9/44
    My Dearest
    Thanks a million love for your most welcomed letter & telegram which I have just received on my return from a rather long detail. I understand that the telegram arrived for me on the 19th which is good going. I also had one from Freda & Mum, & a letter from Stan & Mum. No doubt love you have been wondering how things were with me, as I know I have not written for quite a while, but dearest you will no doubt understand that when one is travelling around for long periods one does not get much time, but love will try & write more often when I am not away so as to make up for lost ground. Dearest am pleased to hear that you both are keeping well & enjoying yourselves, also its great to hear that Valerie is carrying on her schooling, as it would have been a pity for her not to, as by what you tell me she is getting on so well for her age. It seems darling that this affair won't be long now we have gone so far ahead on all fronts. So my sweet you must keep on the good work & still look ahead for all those good times to come. Stans & Mums letter was not very cheerful, all about the house etc, which after all is not so much to worry about as no doubt as to what I read in the papers, we'll be made good by the country after all is settled, but there I cannot say so to them as I suppose it would only upset Mum, & I know she has done a lot in the place during 17 years but am afraid I have grown more hard since I left home & have seen worse sights of whole villages & towns gone for good. Well my precious one will have to call this a bit short as am tired out, dirty & in need of a refresher, so darling will say cheerio for now, will write as soon as I can again. Bye bye sweet.
    Your loving
    Eric xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    My Darling Valerie
    Daddy will soon be home,
    Lots of Love
    Daddy xxx
    1944 Sep 22b.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Lynda

    Lynda Member

    T/5681695
    Sgt Coburn E
    1514 Arty Pln. R.A.S.C.
    (LIGHT)
    C.M.F.
    8-10-44
    My Dearest
    Your welcomed letter just received also the Greetings Cards, which although a little late are greatly appreciated, especially the anniversary one, which is very good. Well my sweet pleased to say all is well with me except the weather is breaking up a bit now, & we are getting a fair share of rain, & quite a number of colds, otherwise still jogging along, looking forward to an early return. I quite understand my precious how you feel when you don't hear from me for a while but as I explained in my last letter, it is often a job to be able to write as am often away for quite long spells, but dearest will try & send more to you, as am now not going out so much, so love look out for them. I know I have not written Freda for a very long time but you can tell her I have not forgotten her & Stan. Oh by the way have just received a package of Cigs from her & Mum, so will try & drop a line to thank them. Well my dearest I had just a quiet birthday, I had just returned from a trip at midday on the 20th, & was looking forward to a spot at night, when I had to go out again, so that got knocked on the head, but anyway have had one or two since. Yes we have been moving about but thats to be expected. Am pleased to hear that you & Valerie are feeling much better now, & that things are more settled in the way of accounts etc. I have not heard from Mum again re the house, but I suppose going back to it is the only way repairs can be done, well that is up to Mum. Yes the rise helps a bit, but not much yet as am not a full Sgt. ao only get 1/- a day till Dec when it will be 1/6. Well my precious loved one space is short so all the best Love.
    Your loving Eric xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    My Dear Valerie
    Daddy sends lots of love & kisses xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    1944 Oct 8b.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  17. Lynda

    Lynda Member

    T/5681695
    Sgt Coburn E
    1514 Artillery Pln
    R.A.S.C. (LIGHT)
    C.M.F.
    20/10/44
    My Own Darling
    Many thanks love for your letter of 12th, sorry to hear that you have not heard for a while, but I wrote you on the 8th & since then have been kept very busy again, but am now expecting a rest for a little while at least. Yes love all our winter gear is here, & being QM of the unit am fitted quite well, but still have a darn rotten cold, but they are general here so must not grumble. I see that you have been doing some useful work in collections for the British Legion. Yes my love by all means help yourself to whatever you like out of the deposit I made, as love what is mine is yours & Valerie's also, so dear one if you want anything just go ahead. Have just received a sea mail letter from Press, he seems very cheerful & am now going to quote a para from his letter. " I think with you the time is not far distant when we can reasonably expect you back, and I want you if necessary to show this letter to your C.O. when the time comes to tell him that your job is open and as we are so short handed we want you back as quickly as possible. It (would) be nice if we could get you back in time for the Xmas rush. With our united good wishes to you.
    Yours truly
    W H Press"
    Well my lone one I think that gives us a very good idea as how WHP feels in the way of the future. I am now going to write him in reply thanking him for the good words.
    Darling space is so short now so will write you later re policies etc, so my love one till next time will close.
    Loving you more & more Bye Bye pet
    Your own Eric xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    My Dear Valerie
    Daddy wishes you all the best of wishes
    Lots of Love
    Daddy
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    1944 Oct 20b.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Lynda

    Lynda Member

    There were a few more letters during this period that talked about how the weather was getting very much colder and as soon as one cold was recovered from another seemed to be mentioned in the next letter.

    Gladys & Valerie were still evacuated from their home in Cricklewood, London down at Sidmouth in Devon and would spend Christmas 1944 there.
     
  19. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    What a brilliant thread and what a wonderful family resource for their story back then. Oh how I wish I could draw on such personal memories and feelings as these in regard to my Nan and Grandad.
     
  20. Lynda

    Lynda Member

    T/5681695
    Sgt Coburn E
    1514 Artillery Pln
    R.A.S.C. (LIGHT)
    C.M.F.
    27-12-44
    My Dearest
    Thanks a million for your letter of 19th Dec just received today. It has taken a bit longer than usual but expect there has been a heavy rush just of late. My sweet glad to hear that all is well with you & Valerie, I have at the present a heavy cold & no voice except for a whisper, this seems pretty general here, as the weather is very cold & will, I understand from the local people get colder still next month, so am pleased to say I shall be in more now, as am gradually getting back to my old job so will find it a bit warmer. Darling how did you & Valerie enjoy yourselves Xmas, shall be glad to hear, we had a good time but quiet. We had a guest night on X Eve when all the officers were invited to the mess & it went off very well. On Xmas day we were with the lads till dinner time, & then after dinner the rest of the members of the mess except George & myself went out to various civilian houses, but G & me had a nice quiet read with just a couple of drinks around an improvised fireplace. We are having a do for New Years Eve but don't know who will be there. All the same am hoping it will go off well & that it will be the last one abroad. Darling with regard to this War Grant business, will you please send copies of all correpondence as I would like to go into the matter as it seems absurd so don't forget love to send the letter. I have just had a nice letter from Mum, she does seem to be worrying a lot, but as I have explained to her she must not as no doubt all will come out alright in the end. Am sorry to hear about Fred & Flo affair, it seems that this bug business is getting rather warm again, as according to photos seen in the locals from Freda they certainly cause some damage. Well my sweet will have to sign off as have a bit to do now so dearest one do let me know how things are with you soon. Bye bye my sweet precious thing.
    Lots of love my darling.
    Keep smiling it won't be long
    Eric xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    My Darling Valerie
    Daddy hopes you had a nice Xmas with lots of presents. Write & let daddy know dear one.
    Lots of love Daddy
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    1944 Dec 27b.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

Share This Page