Unit Locations

Discussion in 'General' started by It matters, Jul 29, 2018.

  1. It matters

    It matters Member

    My father was in the RASC at the end of WW2. I have found from his transcribed service record that he served with the following:

    1. 53 Primary Training Wing.
    2. 12 Training Battalion.
    3. 25 Personnel Section.
    4. Supplies & Transport No 5.
    5. Middle East Unit 129.
    6. Middle East Unit 94, India Command.
    7. 136 Corps, India Command.
    8. Bulk Supply Depot, Singapore.
    9. No 1 Depot, Malaya.

    Can anyone help me in identifying the exact location (town or camp) of these units or point me in the right direction. Any assistance will be much appreciated.
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  3. It matters

    It matters Member

  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Online Collection | National Army Museum, London

    Photograph: Permanent staff 'Y' Company, No. 12 Training Battalion (Clerks) R.A.S.C., Buller Barracks, Aldershot, 1943; captioned and mounted group photograph originally the property of L/Cpl Brenda Dorothy Copus; L/Cpl Copus is pictured on the front row, far right, 1942-1945; associated with World War Two (1939-1945).

    If you keep looking you will find them
  5. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    It Matters

    53rd PTW at Bury St.Edmunds ?

    I remember it well !

    Thursday 1st October 1942

    The long awaited buff envelope had arrived on our doormat a fortnight before informing me that I had been called up into His Majesty's Army and that I was to report to the 53rd Primary Training Wing (run by the Beds and Herts Infantry Training Regiment) at Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk.

    The Army had thoughtfully provided a railway ticket (ominously a single, one way only) and on arriving at Bury St. Edmunds we were met at the station by a three-ton lorry, our first acquaintance with this favoured form of military transport.

    We got to the barrack gates, dismounted and formed up into ragged ranks for identification against a master roll on a clipboard held by a very important looking sergeant.

    Allocated to various platoon numbers we then marched through the barracks to a series of catcalls coming from young men in denim uniform lining our route.
    "Go home while you can you stupid b******s!" was but a mild example of what we were subjected to and it was only weeks later that we realised the troops who 'gave us the bird' on our entry into camp had only themselves been in the army for two weeks and that this was a favourite pastime every Thursday lunch time when the new intake arrived at the Depot.

    On this Thursday however I was not to know about such things and found myself looking around me and absorbing like a piece of blotting paper all the atmosphere of an army camp in wartime.

    We were marched around the perimeter of a large parade ground getting various items of kit on the way and were eventually broken into squads of about twenty strong and allocated to squad leaders. My particular squad leader was a sergeant, looking as tough as old nails. He marched us to our barrack hut and then gave us a short lecture based roughly on the "You play ball with me and I'll play ball with you" syndrome. He then told us to fall out and get our gear into the hut.

    As luck would have it, I was the last person to file into the hut, and found my way impeded by what looked like a pair of size ten army boots worn by this imposing sergeant. "Your name's Goldstein, isn't it?" he demanded. "Jewish, aren't you?" he continued. Everything I had ever imagined concerning anti-Semitism immediately came to mind and with much misgivings I promptly replied "So what!"

    "Don't be a bloody idiot," he replied, "My name's Kusevitsky!" (or some such equally Jewish sounding name).

    Within seconds he had established the fact that my new comrades would soon find out that their Platoon Commander was Jewish, and therefore in order to avoid complaints of favoritism he would have to be extra tough with me during training, but that I should understand the motives behind it and ignore the harassing. When the course eventually finished we had a drink together and had some fun out of the situation.

    The six weeks primary training passed in a flash, my main memories of this period being those of inoculations, usually performed three at a time and the strange diet.My new found friends soon discovered that I couldn't eat bacon and used to arrange to sit next to me in the dining hall.

    Once we'd had our jabs and had learned how to look reasonably presentable in uniform we were allowed to go into town in the evening and we used to swagger there in groups of about six strong.

    We learned very quickly that the cheapest place to get a meal off duty was at the Y.M.C.A or the Salvation Army, affectionately known as the Sally Ann and we all became heavy smokers, lung cancer not having even been heard of in those heady days.

    Whilst at Bury St. Edmunds we were given various psychological tests and apparently it was discovered that I had an aptitude for reading Morse code, for, when the course finished and the 'postings' were put up on the camp notice board I found that I had been transferred to the 52nd Anti Aircraft Driver Training Regiment, R.A, a Royal Artillery Driver/Wireless Operator training unit in Whitby, in Yorkshire.

    Orginal story on the BBC site here: BBC - WW2 People's War - Early Army Days, October 1942

    ozzy16, Tullybrone, Seroster and 4 others like this.
  6. It matters

    It matters Member


    Thank you for sharing your memories, for which I find very interesting, not least because it gives me an insight to my fathers experiences.

    I have since found out there were two camps at / near Bury St Edmunds, Gibraltar Barracks and Blenheim Camp. I appreciate a fair few have passed but can you confirm which one was mainly used by 53 PTW.

  7. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    "My" unit was, I believe, at Blenheim Barracks but I also remember that the late Tom Canning said that he was at Gibraltar Barracks........ both units it appears were part of the 53rd PTW
    Tricky Dicky and dbf like this.
  8. It matters

    It matters Member


    I can understand that it would depend on barrack space and the timing of intakes. Thank you very much for your time and information, it is much appreciated, especially as it adds a little more to my fathers story.

  9. It matters

    It matters Member


    Thank you, yes, there was another.

    Clerical Course notebook compiled by Pte Ernest C Farmer, Royal Army Service Corps, whilst training with No 12 Training Bn (Clerks) at Buller Barracks, Aldershot, 1942 (c); associated with World War Two (1939-1945).


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