Trooper William Campaigne, Royal Armoured Corps

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by Redetin, Nov 6, 2018.

  1. Redetin

    Redetin Member

    I am researching the service of my late father-in-law, TROOPER WILLIAM CAMPAIGNE 6028576. Willie Campaigne was enlisted at Blandford Camp, Dorset for the duration of the emergency on 15 August 1940, aged 24. He was released from Royal Armoured Corps to Royal Army Reserve at Catterick Camp, RAC Depot on 21st April 1946. Willie died in October 1975, aged 59.

    While I wait for his service records to be delivered, I will share the information I have from his Soldiers Service and Pay Book (Army Book 64) and army forms contained therein.

    Record of Service (Army Form W5258 dated 4/4/1946) gives Willie’s regiments as:

    Essex Regiment 15/8/40 – 12/3/41

    Royal Armoured Corp 13/3/41 – 20/4/46

    Lothian and Border Yeomanry 24/7/41 – 12/8/43

    I can place Willie in Florence in late 1944. A permanent pass to visit Florence daily is dated 26/11/44. This is signed by C. Chambarlam, Commanding. The Regiment on this pass is given as:

    No 4 AFV Maint. Sect. RAC. ATT. ‘A’ VEH. DET. 3 GROUP 38 VEH COY RAOC.

    I can also place Willie in Rome from a photograph when he attended a papal audience, but no date is given.

    Otherwise, my wife and sisters in law have the most meagre of anecdotal information that he served in Africa and Italy; that he served in a tank; that his tank was blown up with only Willie surviving.

    His Army Book 64 records that he was awarded an Africa Star with 1st Army Clasp (signed by OC 54 T.Regt. RAC 23/3/44).

    Among his service materials there are 3x 1339-1945 Medals; 1x Italy Star; 1x 1939-1945 Star.

    I have a number of photographs that I will post although they are not dated and individuals are not identified. But they may provide information that my untrained eye won’t discover.

    I've been doing some reading on Africa, Sicily and Italy to get a general impression of the movements of the RAC
    in these campaigns and would like to get something more specific.

    Thanks and Regards,
    Dr James G Parker

    Trooper William Campaigne.jpg
    Chris C likes this.
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    1339 ?? - :-P can I suggest you post an image of the medals - personally I dont understand 3 x 1939 - 1945

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  3. Redetin

    Redetin Member

    Here is a photograph of the medals that were in the possession of William Campaigne.

    There are three medals with the dates 1939-1945; one of the three is The Defence Medal. The other two seem to be identical.

    There is one 1939-1945 Star and one Italy Star.

    Medals of William Campaigne b.jpg
  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Cant open the attachment - is it possible just to upload the file via a post ?

  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    1939 to 1945 Star

    The Italy Star

    The Defence Medal front and back

    War Medal 1939 to 1945 front and back

    So in total he had 4 medals
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  6. Redetin

    Redetin Member

  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    For some reason he has 2 x War Medals - wonder where the other came from??

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  8. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member


    Can you just confirm you have applied for Trooper Campaigne's complete service records through the MOD?

    The papers you have are most helpful, but you will not get the full picture without the stuff from Glasgow.

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  9. Redetin

    Redetin Member

    Thanks for helping me understand this, TD.

    I have no idea where the other War Medal came from.
    As I mentioned in my original post "His Army Book 64 records that he was awarded an Africa Star with 1st Army Clasp (signed by OC 54 T.Regt. RAC 23/3/44)." So I believe he should also have an Africa Star. There may be other possessions that we have not found yet.
  10. Redetin

    Redetin Member

    Thanks, Gus.

    We applied to the MOD for Trooper Campaigne's records using the online search and next-of-kin forms. This was before I had his service book.

    I sent a further note giving his Service Number and noting that his service book and other papers have his Date of Birth as 6/7/1916 while I applied with the date on his Birth Cert, ie, 5/7/1916.

    We applied in August 2018 and I believe there can be quite a wait for records to be provided.
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  11. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    1939 Register shows his Date of Birth as 6th July 1916, living in Newfoundland Street, Bristol, occupation Miner. Spelt as Campangne
    Accents and dialect may mean there are multiple versions of his surname
    Could his day of birth have been misread, mistranscribed? He obviously thought it was the 6th!
  12. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member


    Be careful not to fall in the same trap I fell into by assuming that because someone has a specific star it means that they must have been to that country.

    My father was awarded a Italy Star and never went to Italy. He got it for going to Greece!

    His service records when they arrive should eliminate any chances to getting this wrong.

    Your patience will reap rewards.

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  13. Redetin

    Redetin Member

    Trooper Campaigne was born in Govan, Glasgow (Birth Certificate). He lived at the time of his marriage (1942) in Burnbank, Hamilton (Marriage Cert). His occupation given at the time was Coal Hewer. I know of no link with that address in Bristol. Indeed, the name is frequently mis-spelled.
  14. Redetin

    Redetin Member

    "Be careful not to fall in the same trap I fell into by assuming that because someone has a specific star it means that they must have been to that country"

    Indeed, Gus. As a scientist, I do always try to seek verification. So, for instance, I know from Trooper Campaigne's Army Form B295 that he was is Florence, and from the photo mentioned that he was in Rome. From his Army Book 64 that he was awarded an Africa Star with 1st Army Clasp (signed by OC 54 T.Regt. RAC 23/3/44).
  15. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    Noted. Does seem strange that a person with a very similar and unusual name would have a similar or same birth date, similar occupation and yet not be him. I'm just putting out there what is on the 1939 Registration and may not be him....
    I didn't even know there was any coalmining around Bristol until I Googled the Somerset coalfield!!

    I don't suppose he had a brother, James, a year older, a police constable in Harrow?
  16. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    In his photo he has a Royal Tank Regiment tank on his arm but his cap badge is that of the Lothian and Border Horse.

    If he served with them in a Italy then that would place him in 2 Lothian and Border Horse who were part of 26 Armoured Brigade who themselves were part of 6 Armoured Division.

    2 Lothian & Border Horse were at the Fourth Battle of Monte Cassino and they were allocated the task of supporting 12 Infantry Brigade who were in 4 Infantry Division.

    I have quite a lot of information on their time at Cassino. There is also a Regimental History called Driver Advance, a Short Account of the 2nd Lothians and Border Horse 1939-1946. DG Antonio.

    If that helps, get in touch with me by starting a conversation and I will send you what I have.


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  17. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    That seems an unusual pistol and holster, with bullets clipped on the outside? Is that significant for an OR with a pistol, not an officer?
  18. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Many ORs carried pistols especially when their allotted role meant carrying a rifle would be an encumberance ie: Motor cyclists.
    Interesting pistol in the photo though. No doubt someone will enlighten us as to the type.

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  19. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

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  20. Redetin

    Redetin Member

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