Very often on this forum we get requests from members for help in understanding their relatives records.
The most common requests are for help with acronyms and usually this help is readily forthcoming from our large circle of knowledgeable forum members.
What I’d like to address on this thread is how the strictly factual records can be used to make a fuller and perhaps more readable record of your forbears wartime activities using my own records as an example.
What follows is my own account of what I experienced during those fateful years, based largely on information contained within my Army Records but augmented by Regimental and personal diaries and a scrapbook created in 1946/7 (Shown in the Members Gallery under Ron’s Army Album)
List A is based entirely on my Army Records (these can be seen in the Member’s Gallery).
List B is the expanded diary that gives a fuller and perhaps a more understandable description of events. (Place-names shown in brackets are not in actual records but included for continuity and information purposes)
List A. Ron’s Army Records:
1/10/42 Posted to 53rd Primary Training Wing
(Bury St. Edmunds)
11/11/42 Posted to 52nd Driver Training Rgt RA, (Whitby)
1/2/43 Posted to 112 Lt AA Rgt.RA (Hove)
11/3/43 Posted to 228 Signal Training Rgt RA, (Congleton)
17/3/43 Posted to Woolwich RA Depot, granted 7 days Embarkation Leave
10/4/43 Embarked from Liverpool in Draft REAYK (En route to North Africa)
21/4/43 (Disembarked at Algiers)
(War ended in North Africa 13/5/43)
22/5/43 Posted to 49th LAA Rgt RA (Tunis)
23/7/43 Embarked Destination unknown (Sicily)
13/3/44 Admitted 11th Field Ambulance
17/3/44 (Cassino in Italy) Transferred to 93rd Gen Hospital (Naples)
30/3/44 Posted back to 49th LAA
13/12/44 Transferred to RAC Training Depot (Rieti)
19/3/45 Posted to “E” FDS x (4)
29/3/45 Posted to 4th QOH (Ravenna area)
(8/5/45 War ended in Italy)
26/9/45 Detrained (Milan) ex leave in UK
14/10/45 to 10/11/45 Granted 28 days leave in UK
18/11/45 Mustered as Tech Storeman Class III
15/3/46 Appointed unpaid Acting Lance Cpl
15/3/46 Entrained (Villach) for leave UK
23/5/46 Granted 28 days leave LIAP
24/6/46 Detrained (Villach) after UK leave
15/6/46 Mustered as Tech Storeman Class II
20/7/46 Promoted Unpaid Acting Corporal
20/7/46 Granted pay of L/Corporal
15/10/46 Entrained (Villach) for Regimental Duties (Churchill Dinner) (Trieste)
18/10/46 Granted War Substantive rank of Corporal
10/12/46 Passed Driving Test Group I Vehicles
17/1/47 Entrained (Villach) for UK PYTHON
18/1/47 Arrived back in UK to be de-mobbed
19/3/47 Received Notification of Impending Release
29/3/47 Medically examined Pending Release
11/4/47 Released from RAC depot at (Barnard Castle)
(Demobbed at York same day)
12/4/47 Home address: 105 Manor Rd., Stoke Newington, London 1April, 1947
22/7/47 Transferred to the Army Reserves
22/8/53 Taken off Strength as W/Bdr RA
List B. Diary of events
1st Oct ‘42 Called up at Bury St.Edmunds on Thursday Oct 1st, aged 19, and posted to 53rd Primary Training Wing for 6 weeks basic training.
11th Nov ’42 Whitby, Yorkshire. Posted to 52nd Anti Aircraft Driver Training Regiment, R.A to be trained for 12 weeks as a Driver/ Op.
Dec ’42. Whitby
Jan ’43. Whitby
1st Feb ’43, Haltwhistle, Northumberland. Posted to 112th L.A.A. Regiment.who were just starting a 2 week’s infantry battle training course.
Mar ’43 Hove, Sussex, Congleton, Cheshire. Bty guns protecting the Hove coastline. Then taken off strength of 112 Rgt and posted on 11th March to Congleton where the overseas draft REAYK assembled. 17th March. Posted to Woolwich and sent home for 7 days embarkation leave.
10th Apr ’43 Liverpool, Embarked on S.S.Frankonia, the troopship that took us to North Africa.
21st Apr ’43 disembarked at Algiers
May 13th ’43 War ends in North Africa
22nd Posted to 84 Bty, 49th Light Anti Aircraft Rgt, stationed
June ‘43 Carthage, Guelma, Hammamet.
Jul. ’43 Syracuse, Bronte, Adrano, Messina.
Embarked for Sicily at Sousse on 23rd July.l
Aug. ’43 Sicily
Sep ’43 By landing craft to Reggio di Calabria, then on to mainland Italy, Crotone, Bari, Foggia, Termoli.
Oct. ’43. Adriatic coast Italy
Nov. ’43. Italy
Dec ’43 Carovilla, Cantalupo, Agnone, Riccia, Campo Basso, Bagnolia.
Jan’ 44 New Years Day 1944 snowed in at mountain village of Carovilli.
Feb ’44 Ortogna, Mignano, Cassino (Regiment responsible for smoke laying beneath the monastery), Caserta, Afragola, San Vittorio.
17th Mar ’44 Two weeks in dock in Naples and not a wound to show for it. Returned to Rgt.30th March
Apr ’44 Vanairo, Vanafro, Ceprano, Lake Trasimeno, Rome.
May ’44 North of Rome
Jun ’44 Day leave in Rome
Baschi, Tiber, Frosinino, Taranto. Pulled out of the line. 78th Div goes to Egypt to re-fit and re-form. S.S.Empires Pride The ship that took us to Egypt .
Jul ’44 Alexandria,(Egypt), Cairo, Ishmalia, Amiryah. S.S.Homer Lee The American ship that took us back to Italy. Augusta, (Sicily) Assisi (Italy), Vasto,Termoli, Sangro, Pescara, Scarperia, Florence, Firenzuolo.
Oct ’44 now with RHQ , Sienna, Tavernelle, Naples, Ancona.
Nov ’44 Firenzuola
Dec ’44 The 49th LAA Rgt. disbanded and I was posted to Royal Armoured Corp Training Depot at Rieti on 13th Dec.for re-training as a tank Loader/Op.
Jan ’45 Rieti
Feb ’45 Rieti
19th Mar ’45 posted to Field Delivery Station en route to joining 4th QOH.
29/3/45 Posted to “A” Sqdrn 4th Queen’s Own Hussars as SSM “Busty Thomas’s Loader/Wireless Operator. Gubbio, Ravenna, Rocciano, Rimini. Churchill’s old regiment.
Apr ’45 Comacchio, Traversare, Ferrara, Lugo, Santerno, Reno.
2-4th April Operation “Roast”, Ray Jefford gets his MM
May ’45 War ends in Europe 8th May. Venice, Ferndorf,(Austria) (Set up a POW camp for 16th Panzergrenadiet SS Cavalry Division), Lienz, Spittal Paternion, Grafenstein, Trieben,Villach,
Jun ’45 Austria
Jul ’45 Velden, Klagenfurt,Salsburg,
Aug ’45 Munich, Ulm in Germany. (One month running staging camp for troops going home on leave under LIAP. LILOP & PYTHON.
Oct ’45 Peacekeeping between Italians & Yugoslavs, Trieste, October 1945 to January 1947
Nov ’45 Udine, Milan, Brig, Calais, Folkestone,London, (First home leave since Apr ’43) Folkestone, Calais, Milan, (Italy) Palmanova, Trieste,
Dec ’45. Opicina (Above Trieste)
Jan. ’46. Opicina
Feb. ’46. Opicina
Mar ’46 Became “A” Sqn Tech Storeman
May ’46 28 Days home leave (LIAP)
Jun ’46 Milan, Calais, Folkestone, London, (My second home leave)
Trieste, (Italy) Monfalcone. Victory Celebrations, 8th June 1946
Jul ’46. Opicina
Aug ’46. Opicina
Sep ’46. Opicina
Oct ’46 Now full Corporal in charge of “A” Squadron Tech Stores
Milan, Dieppe, Dover London, Dover, Dieppe, Trieste (Regimental re-union with the Colonel , Winston Churchill in attendance)
Nov ’46. Opicina
Dec ’46 Monfalcone, Our first Post-War New Year’s Eve
17th Jan ’47 posted on LIAP to the UK. Milan, Calais, Dieppe, London, Barnard Castle (Worst winter for many years)
Feb ’47. Barnard Castle
Mar ‘47 Barnard Castle. Received notification of impending release
Apr ‘47 Released from RAC Depot, Barnard Castle, York and finally demobbed at York !. Home is now Manor Rd., London N16
May ’47 London on demob leave
Jun. ’47 London on demob leave
Jul ’47 Transferred to Army Reserve
Total service. 4 Years 294 Days
Total overseas 3 Years.319 Days (included in aabove)
Total in UK. 340 days (approx 11months)
Approximate length of time in each area of the UK.
Bury St Edmunds. 6 weeks. = 42 days
Whitby. 12weeks. = 84 days
Haltwhistle. 2weeks. = 14 days
Hove. 2weeks. = 14 days
Congleton. 1week. = 7 days
Woolwich. 2 weeks. = 14 days
Demob period 24 weeks.=165 days
Total. 340 days