Q Movement Control Southern District & Dunkirk

Discussion in '1940' started by Queencorgi, Mar 15, 2021.

  1. Queencorgi

    Queencorgi Member

    I am interested in Lieutenant Trevor Southgate, who had served in WW1 and was called up again in 1939. He returned at first to his original battalion (2/Essex) and was then posted to Q Movement Control. My information consists of two lists of dates he wrote himself which aren't totally consistent and give only the briefest details. On one of these he says that he was appointed as a train conducting officer (14 April 1940). The next entry says that he was 'evacuated from B.E.F. on 9.6.40', arrived at St Mary's Hospital S.W.15 the same day but posted back to the Essex Regiment the same day, which doesn't sound as though he had much wrong with him.
    My questions are: what would his responsibilities have been as a train conducting officer, and where would he have been based? and
    Why was he evacuated on 9 June? The Dunkirk evacuation ended on 4 June, I thought?
    Many thanks in advance for any help you can give me.
  2. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Welcome to the forum.

    I can’t assist re your first query. The answer will be in his service records available from MOD.

    A large large body of troops remained in France post Dunkirk. Various further evacuations took place throughout June - Operations Cycle & Aerial are well covered on the internet.

    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  3. Queencorgi

    Queencorgi Member

    Thank you Steve for your quick reply. Unfortunately the two lists Trevor wrote are literally all that survive of his service record! As you know some officer's SRs got thoroughly 'winnowed' and his was definitely amongst them. i am interested to learn that further evacuations took place during June and will look for further information as you suggest.
  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    That may be the case for his WW1 records but I doubt that happened for his WW2 service records - are you getting mixed up?

    For WW2 records use these forms - Request records of deceased service personnel

    WW1 service records : War Office: Soldiers' Documents, First World War 'Burnt Documents' (Microfilm Copies) | The National Archives
    In September 1940, as the result of a fire caused by an incendiary bomb at the War Office Record Store in Arnside Street, London, approximately two thirds of 6.5 million soldiers' documents for the First World War were destroyed. Those records which survived were mostly charred or water damaged and unfit for consultation and became known as the 'burnt documents'.

  5. Queencorgi

    Queencorgi Member

    Hi there, thank you for your response. These two lists (which cover his service in both wars), plus a shorter official list covering his WW2 service, a few details of his application to join the Indian Army in 1917, and a form completed in 1939 giving his home address and NOK was all there was. Trevor's two lists were both filled in on copies of Army Form B199A, if that clarifies matters at all.
  6. Temujin

    Temujin Member

    Here’s a page from the Joint “Q” Planning School documents, later in the war, but may help describe what “Movement Control” was about

  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    these forms came from ? - assume he stayed in the military until 1945 or after? - might be interesting to see what you have - up to you

  8. Queencorgi

    Queencorgi Member

    Temujin, thank you for that information!
    TD, do you mean you'd like me to post the relevant portion of the lists (as I said, he listed all his WW1 service as well)? And yes, he left the army in September 1945. I'd be very grateful if you or anyone else wants to cast an eye over them as they don't mean too much to me -- I am normally dealing with WW1.
  9. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    What I'm saying is that I still believe his service records (as I understand them to be) for WW2 are held by the MOD at their Army Personnel Department in Glasgow, and look like many of the Army service records that have appeared on this site. I am unsure if what I think of as his service records are exactly the same as you have in front of you, or are in your possession. If they are the same great we are on the same wavelength, if we arent then there is a chance that his service records need obtaining and could help answer some of your initial questions

  10. MarkN

    MarkN Banned

    It is a popular misconception that "Dunkirk" was the end of the British effort in France.

    "Dunkirk" was the end of the fight for Belgium, but not France.

    Over 1/3 of of the BEF on a headcount was still in France after "Dunkirk".

    Fighting formations were still being sent to France after "Dunkirk"

    There are many threads on this forum giving a huge amount of detail on some of the BEF's activities and effort after "Dunkirk". I suggest you browse around the site a little more and maybe use the search function too.
  11. MarkN

    MarkN Banned

    On a train transporting troops from a single unit, one of that unit's officers would be designated to act as the go-between with anybody wanting to know who was on the train, how many, where they were going etc.

    On a train carrying lots of unattached troops or many different units, movement control would appoint one of their own to be that go-between. The train conducting officer. It would be his responsibility to liaise with the appropriate people in regards to exactly who was on the train and where they were going and to iron out any problems with the movement should they arise.

    Train conducting officers often traveled on trains carrying military stores with the same roles and responsibilities.
  12. Queencorgi

    Queencorgi Member

    MarkN, thank you for this clear definition of a train conducting officer's duties. I certainly didn't know about the other evacuations after Dunkirk until yesterday but have now already done some browsing.
    TD, thank you for your concern but I can assure you that I obtained Trevor's records from the MOD. I have done this process before and was very disappointed by what came back for Trevor -- but there we are and I have to work with it!

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