UK to Egypt 1942

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by TraceyH, Mar 14, 2018.

  1. TraceyH

    TraceyH Member

    IMG_0126.JPG Hi
    This is part of my Grandad George Key’s service record. He was with 2/11 battery 3rd reserve medium regiment RA in the early part of 1942 and I cannot see that he was SOS with them but he was embarked and TOS 17/7/42. I think this would tie in with WS 21P convoy but according to a book I have on the 3rd medium Regt RA they did not depart until January 1943. If anyone could explain this discrepancy to me I would be grateful. What Regiment would he have been under whilst sailing?
    Many thanks
    Tracey
     
  2. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Hi,

    He sailed on a ship with a batch of reinforcements, from a mixture of units, under the command of Officer IC troops on his ship but likely with an RA chain of command at lower levels.

    He was posted to his Middle East convoy from 3rd RESERVE Medium Regt RA - a home based unit - where personnel would serve pending posting as a reinforcement to an active service RA unit either at home or overseas. It should not to be confused with 3rd Medium Regt RA - an active service unit.

    He was posted to RAOC on arrival in Egypt.

    Steve
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
  3. TraceyH

    TraceyH Member

    Hello
    When he was SOS from the AMPC he was posted to 2/11 battery 3rd medium Regiment RA. Looking at his record again he was later posted to 3rd reserve medium Regiment. Is it usual to be posted from a regular unit to a reserve unit?
    Regards
    Tracey
     
  4. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Hi,

    There can be a variety of reasons for a posting to a Reserve unit. In your case I’d suggest the most reasonable assumption is that he was posted in anticipation of a posting overseas.

    He was only there about 7 weeks which would include a period of pre embarkation leave.

    Steve
     
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  5. TraceyH

    TraceyH Member

    Hi
    Many thanks for your help.
    Regards
    Tracey
     
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  6. TraceyH

    TraceyH Member

    On the 23/9/42 it says posted, TOS (taken on strength) 8 Army. I cannot read the next words on that line. Can anyone help me with what it may say?
     
  7. jmcq

    jmcq Junior Member

    It looks to me like 8th army ??? w/shops
     
  8. TraceyH

    TraceyH Member

    Thanks for that, I can see how that would fit.
     
  9. sjw8

    sjw8 Active Member

    Hi Tracey
    It reads -
    "Posted & TOS X6 (i) 8 Army Tps W'shops (8 Army Troops Workshop)
    from X6 iv BDRA (Base Depot Royal Artillery)
    SOS MEF (Middle East Forces) to BNAF (British North Africa Forces)"

    Steve W
     
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  10. TraceyH

    TraceyH Member

    Thanks for deciphering that. When he was TOS BNAF from MEF the place of casualty changes from the Middle East(ME) to Fd. Do you have any clue what or where Fd is?
     
  11. sjw8

    sjw8 Active Member

    Tracey
    Fd = Field i.e. a general description to cover the area of operations, as the location of bases etc could be quite fluid (e.g. due to the fluidity of battle, mobile workshops etc. would travel around, temporarily set up shop, then later move on to new locations, unlike fixed Depots / Reinforcement Camps / HQs which could remain in one place).

    Steve W
     
  12. TraceyH

    TraceyH Member

    My Grandad George Key wrote “ July 16 1942 sailed to Egypt Middle East Cairo Alexandra then up desert to El Alamein getting ready for the barrage after that up blue again to Tobruk, Benghazi upto Tripoli”. “Feb 16 1943 re-kitted out then went over the water to Italy “. “April 28 1943 invaded Taranto had two weeks on Sherman tanks mounted 6inch howitzer guns on them”. “April 28 1943 thou to Nov 1945 Taranto Barrie Naples Cassino Salerno went on both fronts right up to Trieste.” According to his service record he was TOS BNAF 29/9/43. Did BNAF go over to Italy? I thought that would be CMF but the first mention I have of CMF on his service record is dated 14/1/45.
     
  13. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Hi,

    Are you sure about the date he “invaded Taranto” as Allied forces didn’t land there until 9th September 1943.

    Operation Slapstick - Wikipedia

    You often find that clerks updating individual soldiers B103 records 1943/45 regularly interchanged BNAF/CMF acronym and also often used the acronym AAI - Allied Armies Italy.

    Steve
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
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  14. TraceyH

    TraceyH Member

    He has definitely written April 28th 1943 for Taranto. He wrote his recollection in 1973 so maybe his memory was not totally accurate but he does seem very precise about his dates.
     
  15. TraceyH

    TraceyH Member

    IMG_0142.JPG Hi
    These are my Grandad George Key’s recollections of the war, written in 1973. He says that 16 Feb 1943 he went over the water to Italy. Is this more likely to have been Sicily than mainland Italy? The line dated April 28th 1943 is causing me confusion as Tullybrone kindly pointed me in the direction of Operation Slapstick, which happened in September. As I have previously said, Grandad was very precise with dates. From his service record he was not SOS MEF until 29/9/43 when he was TOS BNAF W/S REME. At this point his location changes from ME to Fd. There is no mention of CMF until 14/1/45 but he definitely fought in Italy as he was awarded the Italy Star.
    Could he have been in a REME workshop near Taranto working on artillery prior to the invasion in September? There are no entries on his service record between 29/9/43 and 15/3/44 so there is nothing official to support his recollections other than his medal.
    Thanks
     
  16. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Hi,

    I’ve numbered your queries above for ease of reference -

    1. No. If you check the internet you’ll see that the invasion of Sicily didn’t start until 10th July 1943.

    2. No - as per attached link Allied forces did not land (invade) on the Italian mainland until 3rd September 1943 at the earliest.

    I’d say he more than likely simply got the year wrong and first set foot in Italy on 16th Feb 1944.

    Steve

    Allied invasion of Italy - Wikipedia
     
  17. TraceyH

    TraceyH Member

    Thanks for that Steve
     

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