Discussion in 'Service Records' started by Temujin, Mar 16, 2020.

  1. Temujin

    Temujin Member

    Hello everyone. Some of you know me, I’ve been researching and helping people with Service Records for years......and now it’s MY TURN.

    I recently received the Service Record of my father in law. He served in WW2 in the Perth Regiment, joined on 17 Sept 39, served in Canada, England and Italy and was awarded an MM for an action near Conventello, Italy

    I’ve “deciphered” his records and have made a document for his tree........BUT, I found some information at the end of his career, when he returned to Canada that I’ve NEVER seen before in any of the hundreds of service files I’ve looking for someone smarter than me to give me a hand.

    The page is below, and you can see in the red box, and unit called “ARMED FORCES SLEEPER COMPANY, RCASC”, and the location is Montreal. He was with this unit from approx Jun 45 until Sept 45. NOTE: this unit in the box has a typo....the rest of the record confirms it’s RCASC

    I have NEVER heard of a “SLEEPER COMPANY” before. Of course I’ve researched all my info, my on line sources, LAC etc etc etc......and I’ve found NOTHING that tells me “what the heck this unit is, does, etc”.

    I thought it may just be a “paper unit” so men waiting for discharge had a Unit on their file, but having never seen this before, I do not think that is it


    One other item that may help. He was hospitalized in Italy Approx Feb 45, so he did NOT go to NW Europe with the Perths. But after he was discharged from Hospital in Italy, he was sent to a unit that “guarded Canadian prisoners” (yes, Canadians who were being held for various crimes) and when they were sent home, UNDER GUARD, he was assigned to the ship as one of the GUARD DETAIL. Ship was the US Liberty Ship that had been converted to a troop transport. They left thru Leghorn Italy, to Oran, and in Convoy to New York City..........and I’m not sure if possibly THIS had anything to do with the “SLEEPER COMPANY”

    When he was discharge in Oct 1945, he decided to remain in the ARMY was joined the RCR and then re-mustered to the C PRO C, and was stationed mostly at Service Detention Barracks in Canada and the “stint” as a “guard” in Italy may have encourage him to try the C Pro C.

    Anyway, ANY HELP or suggestions or information on what is a ARMED FORCES SLEEPER COMPANY, RCASC would be most appreciated

    Last edited: Mar 16, 2020
  2. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member

    Looking at the LAC website, it is referred to as the “Armed Forces Sleeper Company, Royal Canadian Army Service Corps” so it would seem to be RCASC specific. Other than that, I have been unable to find anything, but shall keep looking.
  3. Temujin

    Temujin Member

    Thanks BFBSM, yes I saw the reference in the Abbreviations on LAC website, but that’s it, still not sure what a “Sleeper Company” is........and I’m waiting for someone to say “it’s where they keep all the “dozy soldiers” who like to lie around and sleep a lot and get out of work”
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2020
    BFBSM likes this.
  4. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member

    I wondered if using the term within the abbreviation page would prompt another’s memory, or search.

    I believe it is likely to be a unit established for those awaiting demobilisation.

    I also note I should have read all of your original post. :S
  5. Temujin

    Temujin Member

    Did more searching on LAC’s website and found this record:


    Unfortunately, LAC just announced a closure of all their reading rooms because of CORVID I now know some type of records exists, but will have to wait until all this is over before I can investigate further.

    Last edited: Mar 16, 2020
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  6. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member

    While the closures seem to be relevant, they are frustrating. We are experiencing the same closures here in Australia.

  7. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member

    I just spent some time looking through the publications, on, covering the RCASC, and found a few posts by a Gord Jenkins, with an email address. I emailed him, asking what "Sleeper Company" meant, hoping he may know.

    This is his response:

    This may not be what you were looking for, but it is something.

    I am still leaning towards a holding company for those about to be demobbed.
  8. Temujin

    Temujin Member

    Thanks Mark. I’m aware of all these names (and others) having spent 18 years in the Canadian Army myself....but, LAC and the Military would NEVER use a “nickname” for a Unit in Official Documents like the ones in I’m not sure that this is the answer to the question.

    Thanks for the info and help
  9. BaldyBob

    BaldyBob Junior Member

    Thinking a bit outside the gentle with me!

    I presume repatriated Canadian soldiers arrived at the Atlantic or St Lawrence ports(Montreal)?
    Any men from the west would be sent by rail.
    Did the Canadians run any trains similar to the US sleeper troop trains?
    If so, I presume the 'hospitality section' :D, would be manned by the RCASC?
  10. Temujin

    Temujin Member

    Actually, my father in law arrived thru New York. Many of our returning troops arrived thru NY on the “Queen ships” (and many LEFT from NY)

    I have records of all the “troop train movements” TO ENGLAND (to meet the troop ships going oversea’s from Halifax), but nothing about troop trains back.

    I’m still not sure “what” this Sleeper Company his records, he goes to Halifax, I “believe” while still with the Sleeper Company..........

    Here are more of my thoughts:

    First, in Italy just before he returned to Canada, he went to Avallino, Italy, where he was employed as a disciplinary NCO in a detention camp for long-term offenders (Canadian offenders) for 4 months

    He then was part of the Guard Detail that accompanied just under 300 of these offenders from Italy back to Canada, thru NY City on a US Liberty Ship the MV Joseph Gale, Convoy GUS 91 (I have the convoy records for this convoy, and the Embarkation list of the Guard Detail and the Prisoner list. I suspect that he would have remained part of the Guard Detail until the Prisoners were back in Canada.

    Then his records show him as part of the Armed Forces Sleeper Company, RCASC in Montreal. He was with the Sleeper Company from 11 Jun 45 until 14 Sep 45.....During that time, he is granted Disembarkation Leave from the 11 Jun 45 until 10 Jul 45 (30 days)

    SO, I’m thinking that “maybe” during his time he was retain as a “disciplinary NCO” for the Prisoners and they were held in Montreal??? But this is just a guess.......I probably have to see if I can get the records of this Company (as I posted above) from LAC and see what it was all about..........BUT as you suggest, it may have just been a “holding unit” until men were discharge from the Army?

    Thank you for your suggestions and help
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2020
  11. BaldyBob

    BaldyBob Junior Member

  12. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    This is a bit left field & maybe the preserve of the Canadian Forestry Corps, but could it allude to railway sleepers (wood or metal). Could any of the construction, milling, supply or storage of these for RCASC Rail Transport units or other army units.

    If you know someone on facebook you could ask them to post here at the RCASC Veterans facebook page..

    The RCASC Association is now part of the Canadian Forces Logistics Association

    However, strengthening the "returned soldier holding unit " theory, this soldier, Sgt J W Drake, who served in Armed Forces Sleeper Company RCASC in June 1945 on his return from UK, with no other apparent connection to the RCASC:

    After various postings in London, Chatham, Listowel and Stratford, Ontario, he was struck of strength from the Candian Army and taken on strength by the C.A.O.S. (Combined Air Observers School) at Leavesden, England on December 12, 1942. He held the rank of Acting Staff Sergeant from February 1, 1943 to March 12, 1943, reverting back to Sergeant.Drake returned to London in September 1943 until June 1945 when he was transferred to Montreal, Quebec. He is listed as "Repub from Armed Forces Sleeper Company RCASC (Royal Canadian Army Service Corps)" in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Calgary, Alberta and Toronto, Ontario throughout June 1945. He is listed "On Command" to Halifax, Quebec and Vancouver, then to the United States in November 1945. He returned to Canada in November with the A.F.S. (American Field Service) Company, transferring to the Medical School at Woodstock, Ontario in December. Drake was discharged on April 30, 1946 at London, credited with having served in the United Kingdom and the United States during World War II.
    eMedals | Militarian & Historica | eMedals
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2020
  13. Temujin

    Temujin Member

    Got it,
    Very interesting Travers, and MORE interesting that he also “moved around” as part of this Sleeper Company, and was in Halifax, as was my father in law.

    This is a confusing one to me, as my Father in Law was in the Infantry, NOT in the RCASC......but having said that, he had previously qualified on Wheeled and Tracked vehicles it’s NOT impossible that he could have been assigned to the RCASC until his discharge.........

    I am hoping a RCASC type comes on and tells us EXACTLY what this is, but last resort will be examining the records of this Company at LAC.......which isn’t going to happen for a while right now.

    Thanks for the info and suggestions
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2020

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