Help with Service Records please

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by injection, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. injection

    injection Member

    Hi Again

    I am researching my late father, William James Presland who was called up in February 1942 (Beds and Herts 9th Battalion)and did his initial training at Bury St Edmonds. On 5/12/43 he was transferred to the 2nd battalion. He disembarked in North Africa on 27/11/43 and then was sent to the middle east 23/12/43. He then joined the Kings Reg.
    I now have his service records but am struggling to understand some of the abbreviations and initials.

    I have made contact with Ron Goldstein who has kindly advised to scan these records onto this website which I have attached.

    I would like to find out what ships Dad would have been on to and from home as well and also what Company he may have been in.

    Not sure where I should post this query, as am not great at navigation on computer (It's a woman's thing, you know!!)

    It would be great to source the war diaries.
    I can see that Dad spent time in hospital and would like to know why.
    I would like to know more about the time in prison due to his "missing" episode in Italy (Dad told me that a lovely Italian couple took him and his mate in for a while!!!!)
    Where else did Dad get sent to??
    I have so many questions.......................
    Dad never really spoke about the war but did say he was at Monte Cassino and went to Greece, Italy.
    I have in my possession a record which my Dad made which he sent to my Mum. As kids I used to play it on the record player. I think it was made in France???Called Voices from the Forces.

    It would be great to have an "idiots guide" to these documents.

    Thank you again for such a brilliant website
    I hope that I have posted this in the right forum

    Kindest Regards

    Attached Files:

  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I've moved your latest post in your intro thread to this new one for you.
  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    2 Kings war diary referenc enumbers for 1944 at National Archives.
    You can visit there & copy them yourself or there are other forum members who will do it for a reasonable fee.
    They come highly recommended by other forum members.

    2 King's Regiment (Liverpool)

    • 01 January 1944 - 31 March 1944
    • Reference:WO 169/16295
    2 King's Regiment (Liverpool)
    • 01 April 1944 - 31 December 1944
    • Reference:WO 170/1418
    war diary for 1945

    2 King's Regiment (Liverpool)
    • 01 January 1945 - 31 December 1945
    • Reference:WO 170/5028

    2 King's Regiment (Liverpool)
    • 01 January 1946 - 30 June 1946
    • Reference:WO 170/8009
  4. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    Go have a look at this interesting thread, which offers help on identifying wartime convoys based on overseas Draft Codes.
    My own draft cade was REAYK and I was given much help in finding the actual convoy in which I sailed.

    I've looked at your Dad's and I think it may be RNHNP (you must make your own choice)

    Try putting the draft code on this thread, plus the date against it, and asking for more help from some of our experts.


    Attached Files:

  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    You mention Monte Cassino.
    Here's a map that Paul Reed gave me of ''The Gustav Line The initial assault 11th and 12th May'' 1944..
    2 Kings were in 28th Brigade, 4th Infantry Division.

    Attached Files:

  6. injection

    injection Member

    Thanks Ron and Owen

    I will do as you suggest Ron and put a post on the forum

    Many thanks to you Owen for the map.

    Would I also be able to find out the abbreviations on Dad's service record and what they mean on that forum?
  7. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    I have a set of medals to a 2nd Kingsman from this period, with these came this information on the battalions engagements, these may in some way match up with those on your father's service record.

    2nd King's, Part of the 28th Infantry Brigade, 4th Division.
    28 Infantry Bde 24.12.43 - 31.8.45.
    Re-formed from 2nd Gibraltar Brigade, at Gibraltar on 1.12.43

    2 Somerset L I
    2 Kings
    1 A & S H (from 5.1.44)
    2/4 Hampshire’s (from 24.3.44)

    Medjez Plain 5 May - 12 May
    Tunis 1944
    11 May - 18 May: Cassino II
    18 May - 30 May: Liri Valley
    20 June - 30 June: Trasimene Line
    4 July - 17 July: Arezzo
    17 July - 10 August: Advance to Florence
    14 September - 21 September: Rimini Line
  8. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    No doubt just a transcription thing but just to confirm that the above should read something like:

    Medjez Plain: 5 May - 12 May 1943
    Tunis: May 1943

    11 May - 18 May: Cassino II

    the official labelling of the "Cassino" period is, of course, pretty misleading - "Cassino II" may be better described as the fourth of four..

    Also suggest that you get hold of one of the "Cassino" overview books (eg John Ellis) for a top down view of what went on during the period Jan - May 1944.

    the Kings had a pretty difficult Gari river crossing, it's fair to say.

  9. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    I can vouch for 4th Div being at the Coriano Ridge Sep 14- 21st as they were on the left flank of 1st Cdn Div at San Martino and were subject to the first outing of Monty's Moonlight on the night 17/18th Sep as i watched them being cut to

    pieces from a four stretcher jeep ambulance on my way to the CCS at Ancona- ------ - Cassino Four - Operation Diadem correctly describes the 4th Div in the liri Valley where they were on the right flank of 6th Armoured Div trying to meet up

    with the POLES coming down from the Monastery

  10. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Thanks for that correction bexley. Apologies to injection for misleading info.
  11. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Thanks Tom, I will add that info to my text for the medals.

  12. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Let's not confuse the new member chaps.
    He never joined 2 Kings until March 44.
    Then in June he went missing until arrested.
    So his time with the Bn in 44 was very limited.

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