Sgt Robert Rawling BREWIS 2657230 3rd Coldstreams 25/1/42

Discussion in 'The Brigade of Guards' started by AB64, Dec 29, 2017.

  1. Pete Marshall

    Pete Marshall Member

    Drew5233... any luck yet, perchance? Is there any way you could please let me know the document reference for the archives? Kind regards, Pete
  2. Pete Marshall

    Pete Marshall Member

    As an update... I have found out that Uncle Bobby was apparently engaged to be married to a Norah BOWIE or BOWEY... Norah was:

    -of the sister in law
    -of Ethyl Brewis
    -Ethyl Brewis was the wife of Ossie Brewis
    -Ossie was Bobby’s brother...

    Took me a while to understand that over the phone...
  3. Pete Marshall

    Pete Marshall Member

    Tullybrone ...


    I have Bobby’s records... they arrived yesterday.

    Bobby enlisted in December 1935 47721A03-70EC-410A-817F-06C2081238C3.jpeg 2A296D2C-0D6C-4B46-8891-98F2BE5027DA.jpeg ... aged 18... Standard 4 and 8.

    He was at home from Dec ‘35 to Oct ‘36... then alternated between Palestine and Egypt with just one spell at home in 1936/37... he is listed as entitled to the GSM with Palestine clasp... he was always 3rd Bn CG... might you have some unit photos or some more info?
  4. Pete Marshall

    Pete Marshall Member

    Drew5233 - have you by any chance managed to look at the missing file for 3rd CG yet please?
  5. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    If you send me a PM with your email I’ll send you some photographs.

    The 3 month tour in late 1936 has been described as a “holiday tour” as while they were sent out as emergency reinforcements to address Jewish unrest (Aldershot Guards Brigade were the rapid response force of its era) the situation had settled down by the time their troop ship had arrived.

    They were posted to Alexandria in November 1937 for a 2 year posting on Garrison Duty to replace 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards.

    The 6 month period in Palestine Oct 1938/April1939 was somewhat more difficult. The Battalion mounted a search and cordon operation in the old city of Jerusalem within a week of their arrival and suffered several fatal casualties to Arab snipers firing from the Mosque minarets. They mounted similar operations at various Arab villages throughout their tour.

    He has an 6 week detachment in Palestine in May/June 1940 (it may be explained elsewhere on his record?).

    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
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  6. Pete Marshall

    Pete Marshall Member

    710B01C0-ECE5-4AFA-9824-ACE0115F2465.jpeg 56184DCA-7B9D-4AF4-A5E4-D1A14FD34E84.jpeg 330C69CE-B311-42FF-AB1F-F09D333062FA.jpeg C33CC558-C829-49AB-AC20-EF7105948531.jpeg Tullybrone

    Hi Steve... his records are actually quite sparse given his 1935 enlistment and a large amount of what I was sent was standard correspondence about his missing status and dealing with a suitcase of his personal effects. Some of which appear to have went missing. My paternal great grandmother even writing back to the Guards to Enquiry. His belongings are few and it is quite sobering to read. He left some money to his fiancée Norah Bowie... and the rest of his belongings to his mother...

    Anyway... yes... looking at his records he appears to have been a qualified signaller. He had an annual classification in November 1939 and then attended what appears to be 5th Regimental Signalling Instructors Course 11 May 1940 to 22 June 1940... I have attached some more pictures of his records...

    There is nothing else on his records to cast any light at all on the circumstances of his loss. I can only presume that he was not accounted for on the roll call after the withdrawal / retreat in 25th January 1942 and posted missing. Then simply later presumed killed when nothing came through the Red Cross to indicate capture. Like I have said previously the family believed that a lorry he had been on may have struck a mine. I’ve no idea of the provenance of it. And surely this would have provided a bigger degree of certainty if it had been known. I just wondered if anything had got back to the family through comrades...
  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Just for info

    UK, Army Roll of Honour, 1939-1945
    Name: Robert Brewis
    Given Initials: R R
    Rank: Lance Serjeant
    Death Date: 25 Jan 1942
    Number: 2657230
    Birth Place: Northumberland
    Residence: Northumberland
    Branch at Enlistment: Foot Guards
    Theatre of War: North Africa
    Regiment at Death: Coldstream Guards
    Branch at Death: Foot Guards

    England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1916-2005
    Name: Robert R Brewis
    Mother's Maiden Surname: Rawling
    Date of Registration: Jul-Aug-Sep 1917
    Registration district: Morpeth
    Inferred County: Cumberland
    Volume Number: 10b
    Page Number: 788

  8. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    Pete, its possible there was a letter from his CO, chaplain or comrades as that seems to have been fairly common (I have a few examples to the family of casualties) , I'm sure your familiar with Rosie's letter as featured on the "Our War" series from more modern times.

    Its also interesting to see the memo moving him from missing to presumed killed is basically 12 months later - I wonder if it was policy to move the status after 12 months with no further information.

  9. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Hi Alistair,

    I know RAF flying casualties were presumed missing for 6 months and then were officially recorded on the date of their last mission if nothing was heard over that time.

    I’m not sure of Army process but having seen the missing person files on the forum I can see that extensive enquiries were made - often taking time as comrades might have been taken POW in the meantime - which might have meant an extended 12 month period was allowed.

    It might be an idea to compare the date of the official presumption of death Casualty list posted by Harkness with the entry on his service record.


  10. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    Just looking, the missing is from the list 6 March 1942, the presumed killed is 9 February 1943.

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  11. Pete Marshall

    Pete Marshall Member

    AB64 - I was hoping that I’d get a copy of such a letter but I am assuming these could often bypass regimental records and I’d have to hope they were retained by the family. With Bobby not having married and having no children and his mother dying in 1945, I can’t imagine anything was retained. My paternal grandmother (Bobby’s sister) was a nurse and a single mother - my paternal grandfather having left her and my then infant father to run off with another woman... my grandmother was housed by the family at my great grandmother’s address and her job was to look after the brothers... all away serving...

    Anyway... I still suspect that there may have been nothing to assist. A letter home could not have placed any certainty on the situation because surely, the military would have picked up on any such information and would have made their decision sooner...

    The missing personnel files may help... I was hoping that Drew5233 may have had a chance to have a look at his copies...
  12. Pete Marshall

    Pete Marshall Member

    45E2A873-DEEB-4975-BB4B-4E584BF38F08.jpeg 3C65DE86-2F6C-4FD3-8AD5-7BD02EEF415C.jpeg

    More photos of Bobby have materislised...
  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    All I could see is this

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  14. Pete Marshall

    Pete Marshall Member

    Hello Drew5233 ... thanks for looking... nothing at all from Jan ‘43 or evidence of any enquiries with other members of the unit?
  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Not that I noticed - The file contains 59 pages so only skimmed through it.
  16. Pete Marshall

    Pete Marshall Member

    Thanks Drew... much appreciated. I will message you...

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