What Does This All Mean? RE Tracer Card

Discussion in 'Royal Engineers' started by Acorn, May 16, 2023.

  1. Acorn

    Acorn New Member

    Hi all,

    I've been searching for some information on a relative of mine. I had no information on him other then his name and t hat he was in the Royal Engineers. His name was Hugh Glen McGiure from Paisley, Scotland.

    I finally found this card on FindMyPast. The thing is I dont understand anything it says.

    Can anybody help me to decipher it please.

    Also the service number at the top does not seem to come up with any further information.

    I've searched other service numbers like my Grandfathers in the past, and they have shown medal index cards, but this number shows nothing.

    Could the number be wrong?

    He sold all his medals not long after the war so we never knew what he was awarded or what he did during the war sadly as he would never speak of it.

    Any help would be great :)

  2. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    The number will not be wrong. It is a WW2 number. It is hardly surprising you’ve drawn a blank on the internet as there is very little available in the public domain on WW2 era soldiers as UK MOD still hold the service records - although they are in the process of transfer to UK National Archives.

    There are no WW2 “medal index cards” in the public domain.

    His full record will be available on application to UK MOD and payment of a fee via this link -

    Request records of deceased service personnel

    The tracer card holds some but not all of the detail in his full file. It was meant to be used as an index card hence the use of abbreviations - fuller details are in the service record.

    I hesitate to attempt to interpret the tracer card as it contains so many abbreviations you could easily be mislead. The best way forward us to get the full file.

    Last edited: May 16, 2023
    4jonboy and Tony56 like this.
  3. sjw8

    sjw8 Well-Known Member


    As Steve (Tullybrone) says, this a copy of the index card held by RE Records Office and summarises his service. The only way you can be certain of the details of his service is to obtain his full service records.

    However you help you along, I can let you know the following -
    First Image -
    18/01/40 - he is enlisted for the Duration of the War - "D of W (AC)"
    20/05/43 - transferred to Pioneer Corps

    No information as to his unit between his enlistment on 18/04/40 and 17/07/41.

    Second Image - details starts on right-hand side of Tracer Card -
    17/07/41 - appears to join Holding Company, Kent Corps Troops R.E.
    06/08/41 - posted to 554 Field Company
    09/04/42 - posted to 3 (Lines of Communication) Depot Battalion (3 L of C, DB) (E Company), pending Draft Serial RGHZF (i.e. awaiting posting overseas).
    25/05/42 - posting to HQ Movement Control Northern Command cancelled
    04/07/42 - posted to 4 Training Battalion (4 T B) R.E. from 3 L of C, Depot Battalion.
    24/09/42 - posted to 1 Port Construction & Repair Group, Transportation Training Centre, R.E.
    12/10/42 - posted to Depot Wing, Transportation Training Centre (Tn.T.C.), R.E.
    20/10/42 - posted to 165 Railway Survey Company (Rly. Survey Coy), R.E.
    31/12/42 - posted to Commander Royal Engineers (CRE)
    10/03/43 - posted to 3 (Holding) Depot Battalion (3 (H) DB) (C Company) - note change of name of 3 Depot Battalion
    26/04/43 - posted to 125 Combined Reinforcement Depot
    19/05/43 - posted to 12 Training Centre, Pioneer Corps (12 T.C.P.C)

    Note - All the above were UK based units

    Steve W
    Tullybrone, 4jonboy and Uncle Target like this.

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