understanding service record

Discussion in 'RASC' started by hendrix17, Jan 11, 2015.

  1. hendrix17

    hendrix17 Active Member

    Im new to the site but have been doing family tree research for few years. I'm trying to understand bit about my granddads war. I have his service record and release book. I have a couple of stories from his time in Sicily and Italy. But I really want to be able know his full story i.e was he involved in combat. I am very confused by different units, companys(coys), brigades. I can't find anything on web relating to those. If anybody can help id be so grateful.
    grandad release book.jpg
    grandad release book 3.jpg
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    grandad release book 1.jpg
    iphone july09 045.JPG
  2. Lotus7

    Lotus7 Well-Known Member

    Hi hendrix17, welcome to the forum, you have come to the right place. The are many members here who can help. Good luck with your research. Look forward to more postings.

  3. hutt

    hutt Member

    Hi and welcome to the forum.

    From my limited knowledge I would say that the reference to 1546 is initially referring to a Royal Army Service Corp unit and the LAA part indicates it was (originally) designated in support of a Light Anti Aircraft regiment or group of regiments in a Brigade perhaps. I suspect it may well have then converted or perhaps just given a more accurate description to say it was an Amphibious Platoon so may well have been operating DUKWS to provide beach and cross river supply capability something that would have been anticipated as being needed particularly in Italy.
    As the 1546 Independent Amphibious Platoon it appears in the Husky Order of Battle so he would have been involved in the invasion of Sicily from day one on the 10th July 43. From his record and this is confirmed in the attached, his unit went out direct from the UK and appears to have operated under Canadian command?

    Being in Sicily on day one of Husky would have meant that the Italian and Germans would not have been best pleased to see him but I suspect he would not have been directly involved in combat. Having said that, men in RASC units carried rifles and there would have been at least a Bren Gun available near by.

    There are 3 diaries at Kew that look highly likely to be referring to your Grandfathers unit and particularly as they seem to have been involved in Husky right from the start so could be well worth getting hold of.

    WO169/12060 for July to December 43
    WO175/990 June 43

    Further down is a reference to a 105 Bridge Company so I suspect this would have been specific support to the Royal Engineers to supply equipment and materials such as parts for Bailey Bridges.

    I’ll dig around to see if I can find any other references. Can you share the stories?

    Good luck

    Attached Files:

  4. hendrix17

    hendrix17 Active Member

    thank you so so so much for you message. I've been researching for so long and within 24hrs of joining this forum i have learned so much.
    so the stories (don't know if true may its just been passed down the family):

    both stories come from when he was a dispatch rider on a norton bike.
    • whilst taking a message he rode along a road , he passed another allied motorcyclist. my grandad continued on and delivered a message. On the way back he came across the same rider dead. A had hit a booby trap had been placed in short period of time, a wire across the road head height.
    • again whilst he was riding one night, he had to take cover under a bridge during a bombing raid.
    • he went to italy through belguim and passed through germany (not sure if that order) their was also a mention about him coming cross a concentration camp (belson? or something sounding like that, i know it starts with a B).
    theres also a some secret about him being in navy from one of my great aunts but she had said cryptically "for us to find out". since all elderly relatives are gone that will remain a mystery ...for now.

    on another note my nans story of when war broke out.
    • she worked at lyons tea restaurant (oxford street, london i think) and when war was announced a woman broke out in hysteria so the manager put a salmon down her back to calm her down.
    • my nan was evacutated from camden area to salisbury, dorset area. Then she worked in a ammunition factory.
    • during air raid siren in camden she was running to underground shelter carrying her little sister and tripped and fell land on her sister.
    Only story i heard direct from anybody that lived in wartime era was from my nan saying it was best years of her life. i know her sister had married or had relations and a child with an american soldier. so i know for sure she 'enjoyed' the war.

    Sorry if stories don't belong on this topic. i shall copy and paste in correct topic.
  5. hutt

    hutt Member

    Glad to be of help
    A number of people on the forum can help in copying files from the National Archives at Kew and I am sure will offer the service if you are interested in obtaining these unit diaries. Unless of course you can get there yourself.
  6. hendrix17

    hendrix17 Active Member

    I've ordered an estimate from national archive for the unit diaries. Im not sure what price to expect so when i get that back ill come back to here.
  7. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Make sure you are sitting down when you receive the cost :biggrin:
    The National Archives charge about £1.20 or more per page. A couple of members on here will copy them for about 10 to 15 pence a page.

    It's up to you :wink:

  8. hendrix17

    hendrix17 Active Member

    I have copies of the 1546 unit war diaries. I'm now ready to move on to 105 coy from jan 1944 to 46 from what I understand i will be needing:
    WO 170/2431
    WO 170/2432
    WO 170/2433
    WO 170/5689
    am I right as 105 coy is also referred to as 105 br coy?
  9. hendrix17

    hendrix17 Active Member

    P.s the quote from national archive was in excess of £500 pounds! I got it for £4.20 and received copies before I even got a quote back.

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