Service Records, Regimental and Personal Diaries

Discussion in 'Unit History' started by Ron Goldstein, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    I hope you will all bear with me, as at this moment in time I've no idea where this thread is going to take me/us :unsure:

    I was mulling over the thought that a large part of this forum's "output" is taken up with reference to Records and Diaries. In the same breath I also pondered on the fact that very little is known about the nameless clerks and junior officers who wrote these records, often under terrible conditions.

    This morning I paid a brief visit to the BBC WW2 Archives and found this piece by a John Armitt that touched on his becoming the Regimental Clerk for the 79th Scottish Horse Medium Regiment R.A. What I found of most interest was the fact that it was he who was responsible for keeping up the Regimental Diaries.
    BBC - WW2 People's War - My Experiences of the Second World War in the Scottish Horse Artillery by John Armitt
    I was an Artillery Clerk in the last war serving from September 1940 to March 1946. In September 1942 I was posted to the 79th Scottish Horse Medium Regiment R.A. I was very soon aware that I had joined a Regiment brilliantly led by their C.O. Lt.Col J.H.Beattie and I decided I wanted to stay with them. As a tradesman I was liable to be transferred to another posting and soon the call came for me to move. Through the Adjutant I requested my C.O. to let me stay with his Regiment and after an interview he agreed to ask for me to stay permanently with his Regiment. The request was granted by the powers that be.
    My position was the Clerk responsible for 620 officers, gunners and all types of tradesmen looking after their welfare. I also became responsible for the Regimental Diary and any movement of every kind by the Regiment was recorded. The Regiment is unique, being created from the Duke of Athol’s “Army” which is still in creation at the Duke of Athol’s castle situated at Blair Athol. Two Regiments were created, the 80th and the 79th Regiments of Medium Artillery firing 100lb shells and thus extremely destructive. The 80th Regiment were employed in the desert and later on in Italy.


    I wonder if any forum member (or any of their forbears) served as a clerk in the Forces and would care to elaborate as to the system of keeping records in general ?

    I am particularly interested in how records that started life in, for example, an RA Battery office found their way back to the War Office so that when I applied for my own Army Records I was able to read in detail the details of my charge for being AWOL for 12 hours in North Africa :lol:
    (A few weeks ago I posted all of my own Army Records into a photo album on my Personal Page so if I refer at any time to an entry in my records you will know where to look)

    Finally, if one of the Mods thinks that this thread should be merged with any other, please oblige.

    In anticipation

    Ron

    ps
    I've just realised what prompted this thread.

    I'm currently reading "The Autobiography of the British Soldier- from Agincourt to Basra, in his own words" and have found it difficult to put down.

    Everything from Agincourt in 1415 to Iraq in 2006, stopping on the way to read an account of the Charge of the Light Brigade and visit to a brothel in Naples.

    Wonderful stuff !
     
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Quite a few years on Ron, but here's a picture of me typing up the Troop Diaries for my Troop Commander (Probably around 10pm to midnight, end of April/Begining of May 03) in Basrah Palace, Iraq.
    [​IMG]
    It still happens but electronically.
     
  3. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Andy

    Super response and brilliant photo !

    Many thanks

    Ron
     
  4. militarycross

    militarycross Very Senior Member

    You take return fire, Andy, when that flash went off?

    Ron, I will see if I can get anything from a chap who was Bert Hoffmeister's clerk in Italy. Let you know what/if I can add anything here.

    I interviewed a lady once who told me that she was a records clerk in Ottawa and it was always so upsetting to her when she learned through her work that one of the lads from her home town had died. And the emotion was in her voices so very fresh as she recounted that to me.

    cheers,
    phil
     
  5. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

    Ron
    All the 10th Med Regt RA Diaries were written by the Adjt and some by the CO (signed).
    I see the 79th Med were part of
    4 AGRA
    F 3/43 Perth
    UK 1943-4
    D-Day 1944 - 1 Corps
    NW Europe 1944 - 29 Armd Bde, 1& 8 Corps
    NW Europe 1945 - 1, 30 & 2 Cdn Corps
    Rhine Crossing 3/45 - 30 Corps

    Rob.
     
  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Cheers Ron,

    Phil,

    I was always under the impression that I wasn't allowed to write them until hostilities finished.

    As someone on here told me a while ago, 'I wonder if in 90 odd years someone will be looking at my Troops War Diaries and discussing the finer points of Charlie Troop, 207 Sig Sqn, 7 Armd Bde's role.'

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  7. militarycross

    militarycross Very Senior Member

    True, true, Andy.
     
  8. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    You're typing up another post to WW2 Talk really.:lol:
    Quite a few years on Ron, but here's a picture of me typing up the Troop Diaries for my Troop Commander (Probably around 10pm to midnight, end of April/Begining of May 03) in Basrah Palace, Iraq.
    [​IMG]
    It still happens but electronically.
     
    Drew5233 likes this.
  9. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Quite a few years on Ron, but here's a picture of me typing up the Troop Diaries for my Troop Commander (Probably around 10pm to midnight, end of April/Begining of May 03) in Basrah Palace, Iraq.
    [​IMG]
    It still happens but electronically.

    Andy,

    You were responsible for writing a piece of British military history :D.

    There will be no talking to you now ;)

    Regards
    Tom
     
  10. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    Ron/Drew
    Thanks for the thoughts and great photo, the question I have is did they
    join as clerks or was it a posting they did not want and made the best of, eg the cushy number?

    Oldman
     

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