Another Info Seeker

Discussion in 'Royal Engineers' started by jblacky, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. jblacky

    jblacky Junior Member

    Hello to All!
    I like so many are trying to find out about my fathers time in WW2, he has gone to his grave with all the stories. I am the youngest of 8 children myself the only one born in Australia, every year we celebrate Anzac day and people tell wonderful stories about their fathers and grandfathers and this year it really got to me ( I know little and apparently neither do my siblings). I have custody of some of dads war photos and I want to share them with the family and I had an idea of making a picture book of them but I want to tell a story as well. I have combed through the forums and I must say it is a wealth of info, I would love to personalise it somehow and I think this may be through the diaries, am I right?
    Many vets seem to have similar war experiences but obviously in different units etc. Apparently dad had 2 brothers and 5 brother in laws that saw active duty but never crossed paths, amazing!
    My oldest sister applied for his war service back in the mid 90's but gives little detail, I get the impression from what I have read here that this could be different now should I re apply?
    He was in the RE from 22.01.40 to 18.06.46, he saw duty in BEF, North Africa, Middle East and Italy.
    I really look forward to hearing from you all
  2. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    Hi and welcome.
    Is the service record you have a typed summary? What you get now is a photocopy of the originals. It takes about a year to receive them, but is well worth it.
  3. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    P.S. post what you know of your Fathers war service and we may be able to add more info.
  4. jblacky

    jblacky Junior Member

    Yes it was a typed record. BEF was posted to 675 Artisan Works. Attended P.T course No.29 in Edinburgh. Posted to 23 field company 23.08.44, Posted to 156 transit company 07.09.45, posted to 23 field company 13.11.45. He was a Lance Sergeant on release 18.06.46
  5. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    Theres nothing on there I am familiar with.It would be worth posting in the Royal Engineers thread to find out how to trace the movements of these units.
  6. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    A couple of snippets of my somewhat limited knowledge, which might underpin some elements of the war service details.

    23 Field Company, Royal Engineers supported British 1st Infantry Division in Italy - soon after 23.8.44, the 1st Division were involved in fighting in north Italy on the Gothic Line. They went off to Palestine in early 1945.

  7. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    The war diaries for the 23rd Fld Coy RE are available at the National Archives at Kew.

    If you need help getting copies of them I or several other members of the forum can arrange that for you:
    WO 170/1611, Companies: 23 Coy. (1944 Jan.- Dec.)
    WO 170/5158, Companies: 23 Coy. (1945 Jan.)
    WO 169/20210, 23 Fd. Coy. (1945 Feb.- Dec.)

    And for the 675:
    WO 167/1042, 675 Artisan Works Company Royal Engineers (1940 Jan.-June)
    WO 166/3859, ROYAL ENGINEERS: COMPANIES: 675 Artisan Works Company. (1940 July - 1941 Dec.)
    WO 169/5341, 675 Art. Wks. Coy. (1942 July- Dec.)
    WO 169/10738, 675 Art. Wks. Coy. (1943 Jan.- Dec.)

  8. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce

    Welcome to the forum.
    Could you please post any pictures you may have of your father? As others have suggested, the best route is to apply for the FULL service records which is a more comprehensive account of your fathers movements. Here is the link if you don't already have it

    Ministry of Defence | About Defence | What we do | Personnel | Service Records | Making a Request for Information held on the Personnel Records of Deceased Service Personnel and Home Guard records

    Good luck with your research

  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Hello and welcome to the forum.
  10. jblacky

    jblacky Junior Member

    thank you Richard
    I remember dad telling me about being fed by Italian peasants in the Apennines so there's a common thread I think he may have also said it was snowing. He hated snow as a small child I always wanted to go to the snow, his reply was I've seen enough snow in my life I'm not visiting it! And yes he was in Palestine hopefully when I get his records I can put dates to it.
  11. jblacky

    jblacky Junior Member

    Here are a few photos, I hope they are of interest to someone

    Attached Files:

  12. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce

    Lovely photos!
    Thank you for posting

  13. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum jblacky - enjoy!

    675th Artisan Works Coy, RE; were later renamed 675th Gen Cons Coy, RE.

    They served with BEF in 1940 and appear to have been GHQ line of communications troops.

    By September 1940 they were in War Office Reserve.

    They served in Italy 1943-45.

    I hope this helps.


  14. jblacky

    jblacky Junior Member

    It was two years ago that began my journey around WW2 talk, I remember feeling ashamed for not knowing more about my dads war story when hearing all the stories about Anzac Day. Our family knew little snippets but like so many he didn't talk about his service, not only that he packed up his family and started a new life in Australia. Also he was only in his early 70's when he died, so not a lot of time to reflect life!
    I have his service record but I have to say it doesn't tell me much, once overseas there's not a lot forth coming. No mention of Italy!
    I realise the war diaries may provide more info however I'm not sure what to order. I'm fascinated about the 1940 era, how these new recruits managed to find their way to St Nazaire after Dunkirk. How they were allocated a ship to return to U.K? There was a story that dad should have been on the Lancastria but instead evacuated on the Georgic, but he did see it bombed (tragic)! We plan a first trip to the U.K & Europe later this year and would love to connect in some of the areas dad served, so some advice would be welcome.
    I would also like to thank all the members who help on this forum, the information that is delivered is fantastic and will hopefully serve to help lots more families seeking their family war history.

    Attached Files:

  15. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce

    Hi Judith

    (Info for members)

    Looks like your father arrived in France with 675 AW-Artisan Works Company 3/3/40, arrived back in UK 18/6/40

    To ME-Middle East Force with 675 AW Coy 9/11/42,
    Transferred to 23 Field Coy August 44

    Thread here about them, which lists the war diaries available.

    It does look like they were in Italy

    Have you any photos or his medals you can post?
    I am sure members will be along to help in due course.

  16. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce

  17. jblacky

    jblacky Junior Member

    Yes Lesley

    Gosh maybe it was three years ago! Yes I have posted some photos and will continue to do so and many more questions, but I really want to get the relevant war diaries. Our fathers seem to have had a similar journey

  18. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce

    There are a couple of members who can copy war diaries very cheaply at Kew if you cannot there.
    Just PM (Private message) either members, Drew5233 or
  19. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    675 Coy left St Nazaire on the 16th May, the day before the Lancastria was sunk. They left on the Duchess of York and as you mentioned the Georgic. Oddly both ships sailed to Liverpool arriving on the 18th. That's the first time I've noticed a ship sailing further than the southern coast during the evacuations.
  20. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

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