Service history for SW Bracebridge - Royal Artillery 224245

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by Helen Wood, May 15, 2021.

  1. Helen Wood

    Helen Wood Member

    Morning all,

    I wondered if anyone could help with any information about the service records for SW Bracebridge - 224245? (DOB 03/03/1918)

    I know that he enlisted (gunner 887833) in 1938 aged 20 and then was commissioned (by emergency commission) in Jan 1942 (2nd Lieutenant). He was stationed in Woolwich in July 1942 the traveled to Glasgow and sailed on the troop ship MV Circassia eventually arriving in Egypt via Freetown, Durban, Aden) in October 1942.

    I can see that he received the war medal, 1939-1945 star and later the efficiency medal.

    I have not been able to confirm what RA regiment he served in and am looking for any information on his service between enlistment. He became a clerk for an oil company after the war. I believe he was in the Territorial Army prior to being in the Royal Artillery.

    I think he served in the desert under Montgomery and family stores suggest he became a tank commander but I can find no evidence of this.

    I have as yet been enable to order his service records as he died in Australia and I have not yet bee able to get a death certificate to apply for these.

    Any help gratefully appreciated,

  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    hello Helen

    Do you have date of death.
    Without his records you will be only guessing based on family/friends memories which through the passage of time get a bit misty.
    have you tried to apply for his death cert

    The army number: 887833 indicates that the soldier's original unit or date joined was:

    "Royal Artillery (Field, Coastal & Anti-Aircraft) 1"

    I am sure other members will be along soon to add further

    Last edited: May 15, 2021
  3. Helen Wood

    Helen Wood Member

    Hi Clive - yes, I have looked into the application process but its taking some time - thanks for this information. I am hoping we can get hold of full service records in time. Much appreciated
  4. Helen Wood

    Helen Wood Member

    date of death - 26th December 1981 - Kalamunda, Australia
  5. Helen Wood

    Helen Wood Member

    The two service numbers are from London Gazette notification of commission and related documents in Ancestor and Forces War Records - I am pretty confident they they are correct
  6. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    one thing you mentioned on there we do not use so please be aware of that site
    you must be careful you said you think they are correct
    without official records you will go around in circles
  7. Helen Wood

    Helen Wood Member

    Interesting -hadn;t heard that before - is it unreliable?
  8. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    I cant say anymore than that just dont pay anything they do not have the records for WW2
  9. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    224245 is his Personal number (as an officer) rather than his Army Number so doesn't fall in the Regimental Blocks
    timuk and CL1 like this.
  10. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    edited thanks
  11. Helen Wood

    Helen Wood Member

    Thanks for the heads up - I was using them for a WW1 search for the previous generation and they have 2 records relating to this SW Bracebridge WW2 but I will bear that in mind
  12. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    other members will be along to help

    just dont pay for any site who promises WW2 records they dont have them (sorry for going on its a pet hate of mine)
    Last edited: May 15, 2021
  13. Helen Wood

    Helen Wood Member

    Are you able to explain what you mean by "doesn't fall in the regimental blocks"? Sorry for my lack of understanding
  14. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    April 1938
    Enlisted to Royal Artillery as "Other Rank" - Gunner - Service number 887833. Served in the ranks until receiving commission to 2nd Ltnt (officer) in January 1942

    24 Jan 1942
    Received commission as 2nd Lieutenant (Regular Army Emergency Commission) lowest commissioned officer rank in Army - commanding a platoon/troop. Service number replaced by "personal number" 224245. Received War Medal and 1939-1945 Star. Secondary unit.

    02 July 1942
    Part of Woolwich Garisson - notes from Private diary

    Granted embarkation leave
    03 July 1942
    Granted leave 3rd - 11th July before returning to Woolwich barracks Went to Barnehurst (Bexley) - Hilda and Kate lived here. Adeline also granted leave. Visited "Bengeo (Hertford)- Home of parents. 4th - 11th July Visited St Albans and London

    30 July 1942 • Gourock, Renfrewshire, Scotland
    Sets sail on MV Circassia bound for Freetown, Sierra Leone

    3rd Aug 1942 • Freetown, Western Area, Sierra Leone
    On route via ship to Freetown, Sierra Leone - expected to reach Freetown 7th-8th - notes from personal diary

    I would suggest you contact the person who created this family tree on Ancestry as they may be able to help obtain a copy of his death certificate in order for you to send off for his official service records from the MOD (and nowhere else)

    It also seems he kept a private diary


    Silly me the person who created that tree is you

    Suggest you contact State & Territory Registry Certificates (births, deaths & marriages). and ask them how to obtain a death certificate for someone who died in Australia
  15. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    When men joined up in the ranks they went to a unit and each unit had its own block of numbers, see Army Number Block Allocations | WW2Talk , S W Bracebridge must have joined the Artillery as he initially had Army Number 887833 which fall in the block " Royal Artillery (Field, Coastal & Anti-Aircraft) 721001 - 1842000" at some point he was selected for Officer training and when he was Commissioned he was then issued a new Personal Number of 224225 and would stop using his Army Number (it wouldn't be reissued or anything) - these Personal Number seem to be sequential so don't tie in with unit blocks - his 2 numbers are basically 2 different periods in his service life, being in the ranks and being an officer seem to be considered 2 totally separate worlds and I think the Army liked it to be treated as such.
    Helen Wood and CL1 like this.
  16. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    AB - they already know that its in the tree they created on Ancestry

  17. bofors

    bofors Senior Member

    With "Suggest you contact State & Territory Registry Certificates (births, deaths & marriages). and ask them how to obtain a death certificate for someone who died in Australia"
    I don't know if you will be able to get death certificate
    Historical records for WA are here - Online Index Search Tool
    Deaths go up to 1971.
    For other deaths they have this - Apply for a death certificate | Western Australian Government
    Which seems to say deaths over 30 years old (which his is) you can apply for- follow the guidelines.


    Helen Wood and CL1 like this.
  18. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Here is a copy of the page from the RA enlistment register from Findmypast site.

    It doesn’t add anything to what you already know. I would reiterate the advice to only go down the MOD route for his records and don’t pay for anything FWR may offer you.

    I’m afraid I can’t interpret the 3 figure hand written number annotated in the same column as his army service number.

    Good Luck



    Here is a link to the details of WS21 convoy with which he sailed to Egypt in late July 1942.

    WS (Winston Specials) Convoys in WW2 - 1942 Sailings

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 15, 2021
  19. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    Is it possibly 86Fd as in 86th Field Regiment?
    Helen Wood and Tullybrone like this.
  20. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Tullybrone likes this.

Share This Page