What is "draft REOFY" and help with Royal Artillery service record

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by Loubie, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. Loubie

    Loubie Junior Member

    Hi to all,

    I have just received my husband's grandfather's war record and amongst other things that I will need to seek help with I wondered if anyone could shed any light on what REOFY is or was?

    The whole line reads:

    WO. TPM D/7145 Depart - Posted to Draft REOFY

    WO (War Office) :)

    TPM D/7145 - what does this mean?

    The abbreviation REOFY is mentioned several times and I cannot find any reference to what it may be anywhere on this site or on the wider 'web'.

    Many thanks for any help

  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    As a couple of the Veterans will say in a moment.
    It's just a code that only meant something to the clerks .
  3. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    Hi Loubie. Welcome to the forum. The draft code was an ID code assigned to a group of men when they were to be posted overseas. Does it mention an embarkation date too?
  4. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    when issued with any draft code of that nature - we had to paint it on all our kit and caboodle and it was inscribed on all our documents ....BUT..... we didn't actually know what it was all about until about 100 miles offshore...too late to swim ashore

  5. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    Welcome aboard!

    REOFY ?

    That meant nothing more than REAYK.

    This last group of letters was my own personal overseas draft number and, like my Army Number, is one of the few things that I don't have to write down to remember :)

    My record sheets, however, confirm it for me:
  6. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    Somewhere in the historical record there will be an OBE or other shiny bauble awarded to a movements officer for alphabetic dexterity in time of conflict. Someday a records bod at the MoD (formerly War Office) will stumble across the complete works. From A to Z and beyond. I have no doubt it was not a random list.
  7. Loubie

    Loubie Junior Member

    Arrh I see thank you everyone - yes I do have an embarkation date I think - here is what it says:

    WO TPM D/7145 Deport - Posted to Draft REOFY - UK
    d. 20 10 43 RA
    AFW. 5169 Draft REOFY Embarked - UK - 12 Nov 43
    Draft REOFY Disembarked - NA - 28 Nov 43

    Does this mean then that Francies (the name of my husband's grandfather) embarked from the UK on the 12 Nov 43 and disembarked in North Africa on the 28 November 43.

    If so is there any way that we can tell what he did next?

    There is a stamp above the info which says Commanding 175 Field Battery R.A.

    Many thanks

  8. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    That would be the date the troops were to embark. They would often have to wait a few days before setting sail.

    If you are happy to post the relevant documents in a thread, it can make it a bit easier for us to understand what he was doing, what unit(s) he was with, where he was, etc.

  9. Loubie

    Loubie Junior Member

    Thanks Jules - I think that's probably the best thing, there are lots of questions I have on what various things mean - will just need to get the documents scanned and uploaded tomorrow.

    Thanks again,

  10. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    the first thing he did was to cover his nose from the stench of Algiers - then probably marched to a transit camp ten miles to the East to Cap Matifou or other - then await posting to his unit - 12- 16 days was a usual trip to Algiers from Greenock...
  11. Loubie

    Loubie Junior Member

    Hi All,

    I would really appreciate some help translating what my husband's grandfather's army record is showing me. I have the abbreviation list but even so knowing what the translation is to the abbreviation is, is just as confusion.

    I hope I'm not asking too much - I would like some specifics so that I can research Francis' record further without flailing around in the dark.

    Many thanks for anything you can help me with.


    Attached Files:

  12. Mr Bradbury

    Mr Bradbury Junior Member


    There is a website which lists all WW2 convoys:

    Arnold Hague Ports database

    You may be able to identify the convoy.


  13. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Can see your problem - some idiot clerk has decided to re -write page two which also mentioned his draft overseas - but the rest is fairly clear as to his movements- so don't worry about it
  14. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    Loubie hopefully this will get you started...

    He started his training in Lincoln in Janary 1943 and then was transferred to RA (Royal Artillery) and posted to 37 Signal Training Regiment Royal Artillery. So initially his role was a signaller within the RA.

    I believe the RA use the rank of Gunner instead of Private.

    He was then posted to 180 Field Regiment RA in August 1943.

    There are war diaries for many regiments. There is a diary for 180 Fld Rgt RA, but it is dated only as January 1943. It could be that there is only one month of entries for this diary or it's a typo:

    WO 166/11312 180 Field Regiment 1943 Jan.

    The Arcre - War Diary Search Engine is great for finding out which diaries are held at The National Archives in Kew.

    If you change your thread title to include Royal Artillery, you may find you get more forum members taking a look at the thread too :)
  15. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    After disembarking in NA he is attached to 1 Field Depot Regiment in November 1943.

    Then is attached to 146 Field Regiment in December 1943 where he stays for a short while before being posted to what I think says 71 Field Regiment in January 1944.

    WO 169/9404 1 Field Regiment Depot 1943 Oct.-Dec.
    WO 169/9524 146 Field Regiment 1943 Jan.- Dec.
    WO 170/956 Field Regiments: 71 Field Regt 1944 Jan.- Apr., July - Sept.

    SOS means Struck off Strength of BNAF (North Africa) and Taken on Strength of MEF (Middle East Force) in March 1944.

    X(4), X(8) etc is explained here: http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/service-records/19949-x-lists-service-records.html
    4jonboy likes this.
  16. RWM-1948

    RWM-1948 Junior Member

    My fathers-in-law Draft RNMTL embarked UK 14- 11-1943 disembarked BNAF 27-11-1943.
    He sailed on the Duchess of Bedford (3753 Troops) as part of convoy KMF. 26 Departed Clyde on the 15 November 1943 for Alexandria.
    Other troops ships in this convoy Ranchi (3542 troops), Reina Del Pacifico (3046 troops)and the Samaria (4446 troops) this convoy contained 22 Merchants and 15 escorts ships, date of embarkation may not be the sailing date as convoys had to form up.
  17. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    Might be a little mixed up there as - Alexandria was in MiDDLE EAST FORCES - NOT BNAF..so a 13 day journey would have taken him to Algiers and whereas the Mediterrean was open it would still take 16-17 days to Alex - and 11,000 troops were not needed in the Middle East at that time but rather as reinforcements for Italy - via North Africa ( Algeria - Tunisia etc )
  18. Loubie

    Loubie Junior Member

    Thank you so much everyone for your help with deciphering these records you've certainly given me much to look at.

    I will also try and change the title to include Royal Artillery to see if I can learn some more.

  19. Loubie

    Loubie Junior Member

    Hi Guys - what does - SOS means Struck off Strength actually mean? Loubie
  20. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    It's all about rations - as any unit had to apply for food etc for x amount of men on the strength of that unit on a daily basis - as a man being transferred INTO another unit was TOS ( Taken on Strength) whereas a man transferred OUT of a unit was SOS ( Struck off Strength ) - it's just Army talk to make sure everyone was fed....

Share This Page