Transferred from Trade at own request? Was this normal? Great Grandfather's service records.

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by EvoBlue_NZ, Apr 2, 2019.

  1. EvoBlue_NZ

    EvoBlue_NZ Member

    Hi there,

    I have recently been going through my Great Grandfather's service records from WW2 with my Grandfather and we've come across something a few things that we're curious about. Unfortunately my Great Grandfather died when I was too young to be curious about this sort of thing so I'm asking you all for help! :)

    So far we have: enlisted in 1940, sent to reserves, recalled and posted to 9th btn, Devonshire Regiment which was then disbanded and soldiers were retrained as part of 147 Regiment RAC (and other regiments too), before this he attended conversion training in the 59th and 57th Training Regiments, RAC. He qualified as a Gunner/Mechanic (for a Churchill tank I assume - Grandfather said he was a driver but maybe this was a fable he was told by his father), arrived in NWE on 01/07/1944, then transferred from his trade on 28/01/1945, was classiffied 1A or A1, completed trade training as a Cook on 01/04/1945 and was classified 1A again (but in another document he was classified as B3 which was changed to A4 in 1943 according to this document which would make him suitable for "ordinary purposes, but not shooting or driving"). On 25/06/1945 it looks like he was permanently transferred to the ACC where he served with 1st btn, Manchester Regiment.. but on his release form it says that he was a truck driver who turned his hand to cooking - the plot thickens!

    Condensed service record card:

    RAC training card:

    A couple of questions:

    Removed from trade at own request - was this normal? See documents below:


    What we could decipher was something along the lines of "Removed. from trade of G/M (gunner mechanic) and reverts to normal rates of pay at own request" On the same day he was classified as 1A which I thought was weird because he would presumably be physically (maybe not mentally) fit for service.

    As shown above training to be a cook was completed on 01/04/1945, there is something about "Remains PA..." and "Remains P/A this way" in the bottom red box - remains permanently assigned or something - what does this mean?

    More zoomed in photo:


    Other oddities include

    Reclassification as B3 (A4) upon completion(????) of Cook training

    Big blank section in the middle of records where "all the interesting stuff should be i.e when posted to the combat zone"

    "P/attd 147 Regt RAC" - what does this mean?


    Discharge papers:


    Apologies for the wall of text!


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  2. PackRat

    PackRat Well-Known Member

    P/A was usually short for Paid Acting (e.g. Paid Acting Lance Corporal) - a 'local' rather than 'substantive' rank that applies only within his unit and is easily lost. That would probably be noted in the 'rank' field too, though, so in this case perhaps it is 'permanently attached'. Could well be wrong, but to me it looks like:

    "Transfers to ACC from RAC in rank of Private & mustered as Cook [Gp B?] CL [Class?] 3. Remains permanently attached this way [or could be wef - 'with effect from'] Unit Authority" [followed by order reference authorising the transfer]

    This one seems more certain to be 'permanently attached' - assigned to 147 Regiment RAC as a cook, although officially an ACC rather than RAC man. The regiment's Medical Officer would similarly be attached to the unit from the RAMC, and signallers attached from the Royal Corps of Signals.
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  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    A complete guess - but perhaps he saw enough of what was happening inside tanks and decided to move out of RAC into Catering for self preservation??

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  4. EvoBlue_NZ

    EvoBlue_NZ Member

    Thanks you PackRat and Tricky Dicky for your answers! I thought along the self preservation lines too after the tank losses in Monty's Normandy offensives, followed by the void then the recovery of the Wehrmacht + Ardennes Offensive in late 1944 where resistance stiffened again.

    I still find it interesting that he was allow to transfer out considering how short of infantry the 21st AG were at this stage, and the fact that Operation Veritable had been planned to commence then was postponed until just after his transfer - maybe he found a sympathetic officer.

    In a related question - I couldn't find a trade description online of what the duties of a "Gunner Mechanic" were. Can anyone shed some light on this? I assume that gunner was his primary role, followed by mechanic when out of the line/maintenance was required.
  5. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    In the context of his papers I’d say the terms P/A and P/attd mean the same thing - Permanently Attached.

    You mention lack of “interesting bits” on his statement of services form. That is quite normal as it is used to record movements at a “higher level” and the “interesting bits” ie “minutia” are recorded on the B103 forms which you have attached.

    In respect of the mention of him being a truck driver on his discharge reference I would rely on the other documents and put it down as an error by the officer who was probably completing multiple similar documents on the same day.

    It’s unclear to me when you mention Class1A and BIII recorded on various documents. In the context of the records you have attached I’d say they are “trade grades” rather than “fitness grades”. Apologies if I’ve missed the point you are trying to make.

    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019
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  6. EvoBlue_NZ

    EvoBlue_NZ Member

  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Tank battalion
    Trades included
    carpenter and joiner
    13 X clerk
    94 X driver mechanics
    103 X driver operator
    5 X electrician
    equipment repairer
    gun fitter
    92 X gunner mechanics
    89 X gunner operator
    6 X storeman (technical)
    39 X vehicle mechanics

    Its out there somewhere

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  8. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    Difficult to comment on particular cases but transferred or demoted 'at own request' often meant that he was persuaded to request a change.

    EvoBlue_NZ likes this.
  9. EvoBlue_NZ

    EvoBlue_NZ Member

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