Tracing someone from WW2 when all you have is their surname and Regiment

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by SDP, Mar 29, 2018.

  1. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    Is there any way this can be done when, as it says in the title of this thread, all you have is their surname and Regiment, in my case this being 3RTks aka 3RTR in 1944-45?
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Give us the details and lets see what we can do for you

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  3. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron



    Note: all were members of 1 Troop 'A' Squadron 3RTR in March/April 1945
  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hmm you said someone not a whole regiment

    OK -
    Have you checked them against CWGC
    " " " " " War Diaries


    No ranks??

    Contacted - The Green Flash - Home
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018
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  5. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    Thanks TD.

    Apologies for the number of names. Thought I would give you a choice :) and hopefully, if a relative searches one day, they will discover this thread.

    My understanding is that all these chaps survived the War - so CWGC won't have anything - and all were Troopers except for Brindle and Redpath who were Cpl.

    None are mentioned in the 3RTR War Diary.

    My current plan is to visit Bovington but that might be some time away. All these chaps, if any survive, will be in their 90s so time is running out.
  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Any captured? They may be listed in the WO 361 Missing Men file (assuming there is one for this regiment).
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  7. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    None captured or, to the best of my knowledge, wounded. My understanding is that all these chaps made it through fully intact to the Wars end.....and hence the paradoxical situation I'm in where I'm trying to trace a living member of my dad's Troop which means, by definition, that they won't appear on lists of KIA/wounded/etc. I don't even think any of them won a decoration/award etc!
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  8. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  9. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    Thanks TD. Good advice.
  10. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    The Tank Museum has tracer cards, but not sure if they are in name or number order or even if you can go through them - for some of the less common names I guess there would only be a few cards to check who they were with at the point your looking, but others may take a bit of trawling.

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  11. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron


    Bovington do indeed have the Tracer Cards which, I understand, are in name order. I've used that resource in respect to my fathers RAC postings and a few others but addresses are not included on the Cards. I similarly understand that Cards have to be requested as Joe Public is not allowed to just browse the Cards for (presumed) obvious reasons - don't want to get them mixed up after all.

    Some of the above requires clarity - I'll ask next time I visit them.

    Thanks for your comments.
  12. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    Tracer cards would hopefully help by giving the full name, do they also show place of enlistment? (I only have a couple and can’t remember the details they show), that would help with the 1939 register possibly.

    Good luck with it
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  13. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    If you can find some initials, or even better forenames then we can start to search as I guess all these guys would have been born between 1915 and 1925. Also if you happen to find any other what may seem to be spurious details then include them as sometimes a parental name or spouses name, approximate area of birth/residence will aid the search.

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  14. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    Some of the names turn up on FMP, as troopers with RTR, but it is not possible to say they are who you are looking for. The results came back on roll of honour. I discounted any before June 1944.
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  15. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Just remembered to check out another site that sometimes has names etc -

    Royal Tank Corps in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -
    If you scroll down the page there are some names 2 of which correspond to surnames in your list but I think they say 6th Bn RTR, but may/may not have transferred - something either worth keeping an eye on or contacting the web site

    Royal Tank Corps 3rd Royal Tank Regiment in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

    3rd Battalion, Royal Tank Regiment in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

    Could you also make your list alphabetical as its easier on old eyes when checking against other sites - cheers

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  16. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    I was finding a very similar problem ;-) with just some surnames and even nicknames I have/had seen. Though the "nicknames" often just turned out to be the "common army nicknames" for someone with a particular surname

    - I wonder if there is a list of these "common army nicknames" - with how they were generally derived - somewhere ;-)

    Especially - for instance for the 9th L.

    The Bright book (9th L's Regimental History) -
    Regimental Histories - 9th/12th Royal Lancers Museum
    - with its very comprehensive index of those that served in the 9th L Regiment during the period covered by the book - was helpful to ascertain some more certain details but the chances of ever tracking down a person - either alive or now sadly deceased - by just a surname - seemed vanishingly remote, especially, particularly, if that surname was not a very uncommon one.

    That said though just by googling one or two - with the Regiment's name - and some date criteria i.e. even just WW2 - can have some quite remarkable results - not least in that if it's mentioned by someone "on-here" google will find it ;-)

    Another option is to think about who might have known them and stayed in touch, as well as the chance, that there might have been, sadly, an obituary, mentioned somewhere.

    The Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeths' Own) Association – Looking after our Lancers Always

    is "search-able" and will ref. some death notices (relevant to them) so if any of them were at any time ex-Lancers i.e. for instance: Death Notice – Captain William Birch Reynardson (24L and 9L) – The Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeths' Own) Association

    The Association being contactable (through email nr. the bottom of the webpage): HHQ Personalities – The Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeths' Own) Association
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018
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  17. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    Thanks chaps for the input. Let's leave it at that for the time being. I've a lot of reading to do in order to establish exactly what I've got and will post the information when I've had a chance to collate it into a more helpful document.

    This is basically how it started. The image is from a book called 'The Sharp End' written by my fathers former Troop Commander Major John Langdon. I already have some details of three - all sadly now deceased (Langdon, Elstob and my late father Dennis Pannell) - and that's why those particular names were not on my list in post #3



    Incidentally, I already know a fair bit about Langdon and Elstob. My fathers former Tank Commander, Peter Elstob, became an author after the War and wrote the widely acclaimed novel 'Warriors for the Working Day' which is actually semi-autobiographical! I'm also close to hopefully being in contact with his family as I have enough leads to go on in his case and the same with Langdons family.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018
  18. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    3455040 Trooper A. CHARLTON 3 R.T.R. wounded in action 13.4.1945 (originally enlisted in the Lancashire Fusiliers)

    7954187 Trooper A. LANGTON 3 R.T.R. Wounded in action 18.7.1944
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  19. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    Gosh! Thanks Guy.

    Both are highly likely to be matches. The Langton wounding predates by fathers time with the 3RTR (dad transferred from 24th Lancers in August 1944) but he could clearly have recovered and returned to the Regiment by 1945. Charltons wounding is also plausible (bear in mind there could have been more than one of them in the Regiment, the other one not being wounded) because that was the day their Comet tanks were bogged in full sight of the enemy. Bearing in mind he is shown as Langdons Driver, Langdons book will hopefully have details. As I said, I've got a lot of reading to do.

    I guess the question is 'where are they now'!?
  20. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    Thanks Guy.

    Spot on re Charlton! Here is Langdons account for 13th April 1945.

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