Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Newcomer

For some time now I have been awaiting an answer from "Curious Barbara" who was - on the BBc war series - asking about her Father's travels in the WW2 - I recommended that she contact Glasgow for his records - and once they had arrived to contact me for any assistance - this has finally come through and as it became a little complicated - I asked her to contact Andrew - th host of the BBc message board for my e-mail address - he then responded that he was bound by the Data protection act but suggested that she contacted the blog for further help - so anytime now she will be asking for some assistance !

52 Comments:

Blogger Boabbie said...

HI TOM LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS. I HOPE IT TURNS INTO A SAGA LIKE SOME OF THE EARLIER STORIES WE HAVE HAD.

BOB.H.

Tuesday, 11 March, 2008  
Blogger Tomcann said...

Bob- it's been a saga until this point already - this started - must have been 18 months ago when she applied for her Father's service record - she waited and waited - then the series packed in - I thought she had packed it in also and lo and behold - she turns up this week - see the BBc message board for the re-beginning of this under "D Day - Curious Barbara" - there is another one but that is an arguement about the initials by people who seldom now what they are talking about ! - the usual !
Cheers

Wednesday, 12 March, 2008  
Blogger Boabbie said...

Tom I do remember this one on the BBC and can't wait for Barbara to get going again.
Bob.H.

Wednesday, 12 March, 2008  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

The length of time taken to get the information is likely due to the large number of people researching their 'family history' (service record of father, mother, grandfather, uncle etc). Compared to the Red Cross in Geneva, who hold records about POWs, the MoD records seem to take ages. From what I gather, the Red Cross have volunteers who do the relevant research in the files for family members.

I don't know whether the MoD have volunteers who can do a similar thing for the service records, but possibly they could advertise for a few students who might be interested in doing this kind of research for several months in a 'gap year'.

I hope Barbara has found what she was looking for.

Monday, 17 March, 2008  
Blogger Tomcann said...

Joseph - Barabara had finally found what she was looking for - her Father's service record - and the next trick is to decipher the information therein -

this is where the "gang of four ' excelled on the BBc series - I wouldn't even try to guess how many people we helped out during that series - and the MOD never even tried to interpret the various shorthands used - just take the money and mail it out !

Tuesday, 18 March, 2008  
Blogger Tomcann said...

Any day now - Barbara will be with us on the blog - she is having a bit of trouble trying to understand it all - shades of me not too long ago,

Wednesday, 19 March, 2008  
Blogger curiousbarbara said...

Hello

I hope this time I can get help.

Friday, 21 March, 2008  
Blogger curiousbarbara said...

I now see my post on the site. My Dad was in the R.A.M.C mostly 33G.H.He served in Italy,Egypt,Malta. What is P.A.I Force Iraq? I know he was in Sicily as he told me about that. He said he was injured and went to hospital there. In his records it does not say that. Another unanswered question is did he go on a hospital ship to help the injured on D Day?

Friday, 21 March, 2008  
Blogger Tomcann said...

Barbara - Welcome to our blog !

Like everthing else - it's simple - once you know how....it took me a while !

The PAI force - was "Palestine And Iraq" force which was held in Palestine to keep an eye on things there - usually at the time when the 4th Indian Division was sorting out the not so Free French in Syria - before El Alamein.

He would also have been in MEF ( MIddle Easst Force- and CMF - Central Mediterranian force(Sicily) ))
So he was in the RAMC - with 33 Gen Hospital - now there is a co incidence right there - as I was a patient in the 33rd Gen in Sicily being skin grafted - long after your father's time there.

By that time it had reverted to a civilian Maternity Hospital but the Brist still had a wing there for the sick and wounded - some of us were on the Blighty Ship - and were thrown off at Catania for treatment !
From the sounds of it so far he was in the XXX corps(50th - 51st and 7th Armoured Divisions) and went home for D day around the December of 1943 - where he would have been a member of a Hospital Ship at that event in all likelyhood.

Now the whole object in getting you on this blog was to give you my E-Mail address - without the whole world getting it - but we still have to be careful as they have electronic means to pick up a signal so.....

TomcanATshaw.ca - all you have to do now is to change the AT for an ampersand and connect with me - then when you get to your son'e place - you can scan the relevant pages to me for a look - see !
Ok
and again welcome - I'm sure the otheres will want to say hello as well !
Cheers
Tom

Friday, 21 March, 2008  
Blogger Boabbie said...

Hi great to see Barabara finally made it. You will have to keep us up to date on her progress Tom.

Friday, 21 March, 2008  
Blogger niccar said...

Hi everyone and a special welcome to Barbara I got my own army records back recently and had a good laugh as to some of the things I got up to as a young man like going home for the weekend when I wasn’t entitled to and paying for it at the extortionate rate of two weeks pay at 7 shillings and sixpence a week plus fourteen days jankers and as to deciphering some of the abbreviations if it was some other persons details they would certainly need people like Tom Ron Peter and Frank and maybe Bletchley Parks deciphering teams assistance as well to sort things out for instance BNAF elementary dear Watson everybody knows that stands for British North African Forces or do they? with MEF. CMF.and even an HQLFG and a few SOS’s whoever would have thought we had the time to do our bit in Sicily and Italy and to crown that I was reminded that I had been called back in 1951 on Z reserve (possibly because I had ignored two letters from Infantry Records Warwick)
and was posted to the Honourable Artillery Company and as an infantryman I had never seen a gun with such a long barrel possibly a seventeen pounder the whole experience turned out to be like a real live episode of Dads army but that’s another story and as a footnote I would just add on discharge my service was described as exemplary

Friday, 21 March, 2008  
Blogger Tomcann said...

Niccar -
great to see you here on the blog -
look forward to more from you...


On the call up in the 50's for the Korea thingi - I too heard ye olde bugle once more as I was "invited" to join the very posh Inns of Court Regiment- not everyone joined them I should add

So off I trotted for the medical by a very beautifully dressed Irish Doctor in Birmingham - everything went too well - until he squirted some liquid in my ear- which promptly squirted right back at him and all over his 50 guinea suit !

On the way out I asked about a pension as obviously this was the result of wounds - I thought he was going to fall off the chair laughing !

Saturday, 22 March, 2008  
Blogger Peter G said...

Barbara

WELCOME!!!

Send me an email (even a blank one). The address is petergyATyahoo.com

Just replace AT with the usual @

I need you to do this so that I can auto-trigger a Google invitation to you.

Once you are a full Member you can initiate threads (Posts) as well as commenting on existing threads. For example, if you wanted to ask something you would have to Post it for us to see it and reply to it.

Saturday, 22 March, 2008  
Blogger Peter G said...

Niccar

Welcome aboard. Looking forward to reading your Posts. :)

Saturday, 22 March, 2008  
Blogger Tomcann said...

On a slight nudge from Ron - I find that a correction is needed on my advice to Barbara to utilise the ampersand on my e-mail address - this of course is wrong and should read the "AT" symbol which is of course this one - @

With my aplogies all around !

Saturday, 22 March, 2008  
Blogger niccar said...

Tom

Lots of luck with the unravelling of Barbara’s dads army records such a pity they
seem to come out so tricky for people’s descendants to understand but I suppose
In all fairness to the workers in the MOD in all probability they don’t know themselves what the abbreviations mean after all they were written by a host of different officers in parts of the world in an assortment of handwritings with smudges and blobs and code numbers for convoys and I can just about manage my own
records still it was nice to know that in those days all that was wrong medically with me was that three teeth needed filling I think the dentist had been a builders labourer at some time he probably filled them with concrete because they lasted till I was 82

Regards to all

Sunday, 23 March, 2008  
Blogger Tomcann said...

You will be pleased to learn that Curious Barbara has now made contact via e-mail while I was in Vancouver for all of Sunday and so
I would expect to hear from her early on Monday a.m.

Monday, 24 March, 2008  
Blogger Frank mee said...

@Barbara,
Welcome aboard? well my Naval friends did used to say I spent more time at sea than they ever did.
You will now learn there are lies dammed lies and Army records, they make strange reading.
Hi Niccar, yep remember the Z men and Dads army it certainly was to us hardened by then desert men watching. I often wondered how you sloped arms with those big long guns, with great difficulty I would assume.
That was a picnic compared with the Suez call up, now that was debacle and the only good thing to come from it was the reorganisation that followed plus the SLR Rifle, I still think it was the best weapon we ever had.
Happy days.

Monday, 24 March, 2008  
Blogger Tomcann said...

Niccar -
talking about teeth -
When I was at the training regt in Barnard Castle - I broke a tooth
chomping on an Army Biscuit circa 1914...so it was off to the dentist who told me it was no problem ss he could fit me with a new one.

So after six weeks drilling up towards my left eye - he fitted this tooth - on a great long spike - and handed me a mirror - I blurted out that it was blue grey in colour - he assured me that it would turn white - in time

Well it never did - and after a few years overseas-it moved and damn near destroyed all of my teeth. The civilian dentists couldn't do anything and so they all came out ! So when I have trouble now - I just mail them to the dental mechanic - he fixes them and mails them back !

Monday, 24 March, 2008  
Blogger Frank mee said...

At Brancepeth it was discovered I needed several fillings and I was to go the next day, a Battalion yeary General inspection.
So I reported in best bib and tucker gleaming all over like a gold filling as I was to be in the seat when the General looked in.
The Dentist gave me a mouthfull of shots, he did not want me screaming when the General came in and we sat and chatted.
The General was late so to be sure I got another mouthfull of shots.
When the General was heading in they all went into action, Nurses holding my hand people running round with glasses of purple stuff and the Dentist using a road drill on my teeth.
The General walked up to the seat looked in my mouth said can you feel the drill. I told him I could not feel my body above my ankles.
He remarked you are a braver man than I, turned to the Colonel and said give this man a long weekends leave and marched out.
I duly got my long weekend and why do I love Generals? well it was a General who pulled me from the middle of the promotion list and gave me my WO1 badge in Germany.

Monday, 24 March, 2008  
Blogger Tomcann said...

Frank -
Always thought that there must have been a load of apple polishing for you to get a W01 job !

Didn't meet too many Generals but during an inspection by King Georgs V1 in Italy - he spoke to me - he said " get the hell out of my way ! "

Monday, 24 March, 2008  
Blogger Frank mee said...

Tom,
When a General surrounded by his sycophants and all our own officers stops you and says "I take it you are Mr Mee", you do wonder what is coming. 56 days in Colchester came to mind.
When he then says "You are no lover of rules and regulations" you see the 56 days stretching to two years.
I replied, "Sir I obey all the rules and regulation every time a General comes round on inspection" I could see my CO standing back trying not to laugh out loud and hoping he did then I would have company in Colchester.
The General then told me our WO1 was leaving and I would be taking his place, blurting out I doubt that Sir I am not even in the middle of the promotion list, his reply was "you are now top, I said so" shook hands and walked off for his free booze in the mess.
Of the many weird and wonderful things that seemed to happen to me I think that about takes the biscuit.
Sure enough I was informed by letter it was then put on orders and I was in charge, now I often wondered why the lads had a party? Was I so lenient I ask?

Tuesday, 25 March, 2008  
Blogger Tomcann said...

Frank -
A lot of people criticise many Generals for not doing as they think best..but most Generals got to where they were by working at it...same with WO1's...most were tough guys - and had to be
in dealing with people who didn't want to be there in the first place....your General had what many people don't have .... common sense !

Tuesday, 25 March, 2008  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

May I also welcome niccar to this site. As the 'old stagers' will no doubt remember, one of my uncles served in the RAMC in WW2 (1939 - 1945). He took part in the Normandy D-Day Landings, while his best mate in training was sent out to the MEF and Italy.

I have some information about the Medical Corps, Normandy and Malta in WW2. If I can also be of assistance to Barbara in learning about her Dad's WW2 record, just let me know and I will try and see if I have anything that might fit the bill. While it will not be first hand information there may be something that would answer one or two uestions.

Regarding Generals, is it true the best ones keep their hands off their Privates? (OK, it may be as old as the hills ......).

Tuesday, 25 March, 2008  
Blogger niccar said...

Frank

Enjoyed your tale of your meteoric rise to the exalted rank of Warrant Officer
about two months after the end of hostilities in Europe I was informed by our platoon officer that I had been promoted to unpaid lance corporal this shows on my records as
U/lc but all that was on my mind was “I’m outer here” so I respectfully asked to see the Company Commander and asked to remain a Pte but as the Regiment was spread all over the place we never saw battalion orders or even company orders so I left it in his capable hands the next entry in my record shows a week or so later I was a paid lance corporal but I had never worn the stripe and was duly charged for being improperly dressed and reverted to the ranks meteoric in the opposite direction to yourself I did inform people that I was made a General but decided to leave the last part of the General Nuisance bit off and talking of rifles as a young lad I volunteered
To do some fire watching in the warehouses along the Thames during the blitz on London it turned out to be the forerunner of the home guard and we were given a khaki armband with LDV printed on it we had two rifles between six of us and did a night shift between us the rifles being called I think P14s from WW1 the barrel protruded about six inches from the end of the stock and was really heavy but the guard commander opened a tin of salmon every night possibly to build our strength up
with salmon sandwiches so when I joined the army the Le Enfield was a doddle to handle well enough of this old twaddle

Wednesday, 26 March, 2008  
Blogger Boabbie said...

Barbara may be conspicuous by her abscence but she has definitely started something.I loved the story of F Mee's promotion and Niccars demotion. so keep it going at least untill CB gets herself sorted and starts in with the questions.
Bob.H.

Wednesday, 26 March, 2008  
Blogger Tomcann said...

Boabbie -
Give the girl a chance she just got back from an Easter break with her son in Hull and is about to become a grandma for the first time as her daughter is due in May...so I I guess she is knitting up a few things...as they all do !

Wednesday, 26 March, 2008  
Blogger Frank mee said...

Well Niccar, we are twos up on that experience.
I was told by the S/Major at Catterick my name was on orders to be promoted to L/Corporal. He then told me I was also on orders to be in front of the Adj on a fizzer next morning.
As the promotion went from midnight that day I was told to tack on a nice new stripe so the Adj could rip it off next day which he duly did.
In my book that was the quickest step up and down ever.
I was finally promoted full sub stantive paid Corporal some time after so really missed out on the joys of being a L/Corporal what ever they were.
I got a field promotion to Sgt, then after much schooling for my Armament Artificers rating was promoted to S/Sgt when my pass mark came through.
Promotion to WO2 followed fast and then I settled down without expectation of ever making the one, very few did so the General seeking me out and sorting me out came as very much of a shock.
I saw him a few months later on a field exercise with 7th Armoured.
He asked what I thought my duties were, my reply was "to keep those tanks moving no matter what or what ever rules get broken". It was very obvious he had heard of my commandeering a truck full of RAOC spares when they refused to issue them without the correct computer papers. (Computers were new then amd full of bugs). I did get a complaint from their WO1 that I had threatened to shoot the storeman if he did not get out of the way, we got the spares and the tanks moved on.
Those of us who were up with the Regiments had a different outlook to the main base blokes.
I hated being tied in base workshops and it must have showed, I was soon shipped back out. Probably because we knew what had to be done and did it.

Thursday, 27 March, 2008  
Blogger Frank mee said...

Niccar,
That rifle was a Canadian Ross Rifle.
As a young Army Cadet we were issued with them when the Home Guard got Short Lee Enfields and gave us their old stuff.
I was always in the shooting teams so to get a Ross was something.
One problem, if you did not lock the bolt down properly it flew back and took half your ear off.
We got so wary of them we could not hit the target which when you think about it, holding your head a foot away from the stock was not good for the aim.
We did not have them long, as trainees for the next round of cannon fodder they wanted us cadets to know the drill so we got WW1 five shot Short Lee Enfields.
I loved them and the shooting team started to win again.
The life we have led niccar, some one should write a book about it.

Thursday, 27 March, 2008  
Blogger Boabbie said...

Hi Frank there is only one person who could do the story justice and that is you. The same goes for Niccar.
I would be first in line on publication day.
Bob.H.

Thursday, 27 March, 2008  
Blogger curiousbarbara said...

Hello everyone
I have left my Dad's records with my son to scan and copy to me. His firm has a better scanner. I have also had to help my daughter. Her dog who is quite old is very ill. As my daughter is pregnant I had to carry the dog to the vets.
As soon as Adrian gets the pages to me I will send them to Tom.I am also keen to see what Dad got up to.He told me some things,but he also did not want to remember some. I gather he was in bother as he signed up a week after my brother was born. He said he wanted to choose his regiment. How true that is I don't know?

Friday, 28 March, 2008  
Blogger Frank mee said...

Hi Barbara,
Many who joined up to choose their Regiment found it did not pan out, even in my time you were shoved to where they wanted you to be.
In my case it turned out for the best I suppose but choice in the forces is not sacrosanct.
We are all waiting to see what your Dad got up to, Tom will sort it.

Friday, 28 March, 2008  
Blogger niccar said...

Barbara

As Frank has saidwhen men were called to the colours you would be at the mercy of the powers that be as to where you were sent but in my own case as a volunteer I asked be put in a machine gun regiment and it was shown on my records that my request was granted and I was put in the Middlesex regiment so if your dad had made a similar request for a particular regiment it is possible the could have got the same result , there are so many people standing by to help with unravelling your dads records but Tom Ron Peter and Frank are experts and you couldn’t have found a better crew if you tried

Friday, 28 March, 2008  
Blogger Tomcann said...

Yikes - the expectations are very high on this case of Barbara's Dad- sure hope we don't blow this one !

Regarding the choice of regiments - I asked to go to my Father's old regiment - the K.O.S.B.'s - they sent me to the Beds & Herts regt at Bury St Edmunds and from there to the Tank mobs !

It was really well organised training though - I trained on Armoured "Pursuit" tanks - Crusaders- Cromwells et al - then I was sent to an "Assault" regt with Churchills - never seen those before - then when that was broken up - I trained on Armoured ( recce) Cars - so they sent me to a "pursuit" - Sherman Tank regt.

Wonderous are the ways of the Army !

Friday, 28 March, 2008  
Blogger curiousbarbara said...

Hello everyone
I have sent Tom 3 pages from Dad's records. So he will be very busy although I have already got one page sorted.
If you have information about the RAMC or the 33rd Gen. Hospital I would be pleased to hear about it.I have photographs of his time in the army, which he "enjoyed". That is not the correct word for the terrible loss of life and suffering he saw, but to him it was like a family which meant a lot.

Sunday, 30 March, 2008  
Blogger Frank mee said...

Barbara,
My only experiences of BMH was being carried in and walking out.
First time at Harowgate, dont remember going in but still have the scars, I was the only one in the ward so you can imagine the service I got, I did not mind the bed baths but when I saw that enema tube yet again I fled.
The posh girls school up the road sent some of the girls in to give small gifts to the wounded soldiers and talk to them, well being the only one and not quite kosha from the wound point of view, you can imagine the scene when a snap inspection by the director of the area arrived. He wanted to move into the next bed.
The next time BMH Fayid was much different again I do not remember going in but was glad to be carried out again to convalescent camp with its blue uniform white shirt and red tie in the heat of the desert they very nearly did for me.
What with doing guard duty sitting in a Bath chair with German POW's as my chair pushers then having to play the piano all hours with beer lubricating the fingers from inside, you can understand why I was on light duties when I eventually got back to Base.
Sorry it does not help but that was the view from the other side.

Sunday, 30 March, 2008  
Blogger Tomcann said...

Right you lot - pay attention....

Here is the first page of Barbara's Father's service record - and if anyone has anything to add
which is close to being relevant - then jump in .....

Barbara -
It would appear that your Father did his early training in Scotland at Peebles in the Border country although some clown has tried to cover up the location of the 33rd Gen. Hospital - came back to Leeds for training as N.C.O. - was Leeds his home town ? - as it is strange that he should join the RAMC without some connection to the Corps ???....anyway here is the gist - bearing in mind that OP2 0r 11 means Orders - Part 2 - which ruled all of our lives on a daily basis whereas Orders Part One - was the Law of the Unit !

1) - Training for RAMC at - BOYD (?) barracks -30th Apl '40

2) - Mustered - (passed exams) - Class 111 ( means he got 3 pence extra )

3) - Posted to "I" company from "F" company- Peebles (?)

4) - Posted to 33 Gen Hosp

5) - leave 7 days - 21st Aug '40

6) - more leave for Christmas - ( Most unusual)

7) - Made him sick though with three weeks in hospital !

8) - Sick leave - Feb '41

9) - More leave - July '41

10) - passed N.C.O. course at Leeds - oct '41

11) - More leave - Nov '41

12) - Promoted - Acting - Unpaid - Lance Corporal -Jan '42

13) - Confirmed promotion and PAID ( another 3 pence !)

You will note that all leaves were "priveleged" which means that they could take it away - it was NOT mandatory - in that way he had as much leave as anyone given the time served !

This page was not too bad - except for the scribbles - which are to be expected !

Cheers
Tom

Tuesday, 01 April, 2008  
Blogger Tomcann said...

Barbara’s Father’s records – Page two

1) – More leave Feb 11 – 19th 1942 – seven days.

2) – Even more – this time embarkation 14 days –Apl 12 – 25th l942

3) - Embarked from – no draft code - ? to ? May 26th ‘42

4) - Dis embarked July 21st ’42 – suspect Greenock – Capetown – Durban – Port Tewfick – Egypt as 8th Army piling back to El Alamein from the Gazala Gallop or just after they had settled down.!

5) – Struck off strength Middle East Force with warning of move to Paiforce
( Palestine and Iraq force) 30th Aug ’42 ( Monty had arrived 12th Aug)

6) - Posted to 33rd British Gen. Hospital Iraq – 11 Sep ’42. ( Alum Halfa battle – 31st Aug – 7th Sep’42)

7) - left Eqypt 6th Sep – arrived Iraq 10th sep ‘42

8) - Attached to First Aid Party for escort duty to ??? – 14th Oct ‘42

NB – It is at this point that the Company clerk must have gotten into the beer as from now on – things are a bit hazy !


9) - 27th APRIL ’43……long time details missing……Embarked and S.O.S. Paiforce

10) - 26th JUNE ’43 – promoted Unpaid – Acting Corporal - at Sea ???

11) - 13th May ’43 – Dis-embarked – somewhere –NB. Suspect embarkation point as Basra in Iraq –to Port Tewfik Egypt – nine days at sea – about right !

12) - 27th may ’43 – embarked again – dis-embarked and Taken on Strength Malta from Middle East Force 1st June ‘43 – again about right for sailing time BUT the Mediterranian was NOT cleared at that time and the Invasion of Sicily was not scheduled until 10th July ’43 …….So – was 33rd Gen Hospital sent under escort to Malta to set up in readiness for the casualties to come - this is extremely doubtful as a Canadian Hospital was sent out from U.K. to land on D + 1 but was sunk and the nurses and doctors saved and landed as scheduled but had to scrounge equipment to set up for casualties !

Page 2 – 2 cont’d

By now the Company clerk has sobered up and attacks his backlog viz –

24th April ’43 – Promoted U/ A/ Corporal

24th April ’43 – Promoted and Paid !

23rd April’43 – Promoted U / A / Corporal

That Iragi beer must have muscles and Muslims are not supposed to drink

Tom

Tuesday, 01 April, 2008  
Blogger Tomcann said...

Barbara’s Father’s records – page three

These are extremely odd records and I trust that the patients records were better organized although it does not give me great confidence that this was so.

The long gaps between moves and locations in Page two have been followed by the same long gaps in Page three with apparent moves to and from Middle East Force – British North African Force and only one reference to Central Mediterranian Force – and that on Embarkation to the U.K. when his unit – the 33rd Brit. Gen. Hosp. was still in Catania – Sicily just two months before – to the writer’s sure and certain knowledge as he had been discharged from that unit in the December of ’44 !

Very odd record keeping – to say the least – however…..

1) – Struck off strength Malta – 14 Aug ’43 ( Invasion of Sicily – 10 July ’43 )
2) - Moved to unknown destination – Middle East Force – 12 Aug ‘43
3) - Taken on strength B.N.A.F. – 20 Aug ’43 ( This has to be very odd as Catania was cleared of battle by 5th Aug but the ship probably popped into Tunis to pick up reinforcements etc for a couple of days )
4) - Finally - awarded Africa Star –20 Aug ‘43
5) - WOW – Nothing – between August ’43 – to February 1945 – with embarkation from C.M.F. - 28th Feb ’45 what a good boy the Corporal must have been – or starving and no pay as he was not T.O.S. C.M.F ! in Catania perhaps ?
6) – Dis embarked U.K. – 13th march ‘45
7) - Dis embarked leave from Hatfield– 16th Mar – to 6th April ’45.
8) - Posted to 221 Field Ambulance 14th April ‘45
9) - Posted to # 3 company R.A.M.C. 21st June ‘45
10) - Taken on strength – Air Evacuation staff from 221 F.A. 21st June ‘45
11) - Awarded 1939 / 45 Star and Italy Star – 29 October ’45 ( so he had to be in Sicily)
12) - To Miltary Collecting Pool – for de mob – 30th dec ‘45
13) - De mobbed to Z reserve until 50th Birthday – 27th jan ’46 !

as I said – very sloppy records !

Wednesday, 02 April, 2008  
Blogger Tomcann said...

I find it extremely disturbing that almost 18 months of service is not accounted for in Cpl Povey's records and not as if a whole page has gone astray but no mention between these dates of 29th Aug '43 to 28th Feb '45 of any activity whatsoever.
1944 did happen - I can assure you - quite unbelievable..... and bears questioning !
This during a period of high activity in the Italian area where hospitals in Sicily were still accepting casualties until the massive Hospitals Complex of 98BGH and the Sth African in Bari were brought into service with some 3000 beds around the October '43 when Ron and his chums landed and took over the Foggia Airfields north of Bari.
Very odd indeed !

Wednesday, 02 April, 2008  
Blogger Ron Goldstein said...

Tom

Firstly, congratulations and well done on a masterly analysis of Barbara's father's records, you really have done your homework !

One tiny quibble with regard to dates.

I see you say "Oct'43 when Ron and his chums landed and took over the Foggia airfields"

I checked my own records and found the following:
Ron’s regiment (49th LAA) providing covering fire from Messina on Operation Baytown.
Ron’s 84 Battery crossed over the Messina Straits on the 20th of September.
On 3 Sep supported the movement over the Straits of the Op BAYTOWN units, the invasion of Italy.
On 6 Sep the regt reverted to under command 78 Div.
On 8 Sep the Regt, less 90 Bty, moved to a cone area at Fumari. 90 Bty remained in defence of Milazzo port and airfield.
On 13 Sep 90 Bty joined the regt in the cone area. The regt was now under orders to move to Italy and On the 20th 84 Bty embarked on the Ferry service to Reggio. RHQ followedOn the 22nd and between 23 and 25 Sep moved via Crotone and Taranto to Bari and was established in a house on the outskirts of Trani.

Looking forward to Boabbie's comments

Wednesday, 02 April, 2008  
Blogger Frank mee said...

Well done Tom, now you know why I do not always trust army records, even in so called peace time they went astray. It took a while for my records to catch up with me when I went from Egypt to Cyprus in a bit of a hurry.
Some of the entry's I saw were not a what actually took place in a graphic way more a bare bones and shorthand from a clerk who did not know shorthand.
Barbara will now have a better idea of what her Dad did do though.
Frank.

Wednesday, 02 April, 2008  
Blogger curiousbarbara said...

Thanks to Tom for sorting out Dad's complicated records. I only have a sheet with years and days of service. On it, it says he was in N Africa 29-8-43 to 12-3-45.Then he went on home leave. Who were the record clerks?

Wednesday, 02 April, 2008  
Blogger Tomcann said...

Ron -
I was thinking more of the main Infantry brigades of 78th Div who landed at Bari along with 4th armoured Bde for the attack on Foggia that would be around the 25/ 27 September ?

Barbara - Company clerks - drunk or sober - no real excuse for a base clerk to make such a mess !
Different for one whose company was in action with men being killed etc.

Wednesday, 02 April, 2008  
Blogger Boabbie said...

What can one say.
I just sat back in amazement.
Bob.H.

Wednesday, 02 April, 2008  
Blogger Tomcann said...

Ro -
Having consulted Monty's "bible"
I find that 78th Div with 4th Armoured Bde did in fact land at Bari on 22nd / 23rd Sep and captured the Foggia Airfileds on 27th Sep ' 43 thus it is therefore possible that the Hospital Complex of 98th and Sth African could have been operational around early October - thus easing the pressure on the 33BGH in Catania.

Wednesday, 02 April, 2008  
Blogger Tomcann said...

Yet another sheet from Barbara showing days in each sector with the final tally of service to be a toatl of 5 years and 304 days...but still the same gap from '43 - to '45... and as big a gap as the claim of service with 33BGH at HOME between 13-March-'45 -and 27-Feb '46 for some 352 days...

all very mysterious so I went hubting and found a very well documented history of the 98th BGH which can be found here and confirms that 98thBGH set up shop at Bari in December of 1943 and not Oct as I had thought - just in time for the big explosion after the infamous Air raid which knocked out the Ammunition ship and which bumped into the American ship carrying Mustard gas - causing all sorts of problems..

http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/92/a2090792.shtml

Thursday, 03 April, 2008  
Blogger niccar said...

Tom

Without a doubt a painstaking piece of deciphering and a frustrating part with no records for over a year who knows what happened during that time to Barbara’s
Dad it can never be known now anyway a job well done Tom and as I said only you could have done it. I know this sounds a strange request Tom but after Sicily and crossing the straits of Messina with the 1st Princess Louise Kensington’s I have no recollection of being seaborne again concerning the 78th Divisions Infantry landing in Bari I think Ron may have the answer though concerning the Baytown units whatever they were perhaps we came under them but I distinctly remember we landed at Reggio de Calabria and drove up the Adriatic side of the country via Taranto possibly with 56 recce and units that had their own transport even though we were infantry we had 4.2 mortars and ammo to carry and the Vickers machine guns so we were classed as heavy infantry perhaps that answers my question as to why I don’t ever remember going into Bari itself but remember passing it, perhaps Ron’s mob with their AA guns travelled the same route with your expertise Tom I wonder if you can throw some light on the situation. I hope this doesn’t sound too trivial after all these years but I never was one for dates and times unlike now at our age with all the time in the world to sit at these confounded computers

Regards niccar

Friday, 04 April, 2008  
Blogger Tomcann said...

Niccar -
Forgive the tardiness in answering but as you know Part one Orders beats all and Friday is shopping day....so while waiting for 'er inside' came out of the bank - a car ran into my drivers door - with me just looking at him - so here we go again !

My main reference of Baytown was the OB laid down by Monty - 26th August '43 - where he states that the ARTILLERY of 50th - 51st AND 78th Divs - would handle the barrage over the water to Reggio - and Brit 5th Div and 1st Canadian would land there- 5th would then split up west coast towards Salerno - and 1st Canadian inland to Crotone-Spezzano-Potenza -
along with 1st Airborne who would land at Taranto - split with three columns - Potenza - Brindisi - Bari - to meet up with 78th Div and 4th Armoured Bde.landing at Bari on 22/23rd September.
All this is on pages 388- 394 of "Monty" by Nigel Hamilton Vol 2

So you with your heavy tack must have lumbered after Ron's mob to the coast after Crotone.

At the same time it must be remembered that Monty was having a hard time trying to get some sort of plan out of AFHQ - but they never did have one !
Cheers

Friday, 04 April, 2008  
Blogger Ron Goldstein said...

Niccar, Tom et al
One thing is for sure, after I travelled in a TLC (Tank Landing Craft) across the Messina Straits we stayed strictly on dry land as we made our way up the Adriatic coastline.
The other thing I can confirm is that we passed through Bari and even had a day leave there, as per my brief piece seen here :http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/74/a2370674.shtml.

Sunday, 06 April, 2008  
Blogger curiousbarbara said...

Hello
It looks like I will never know what happened in the missing years.He did say he was injured and spent time in Taomina.I have just been getting myself ready for work tomorrow and cleaned my shoes. Dad was very keen on that. I picked up a brush with his army number on it which I didn't know I had.I am getting the book Tom recommended about W.W.2 medicine. If anyone knows more about the 33 Gen. Hospital in any of the countries he served in I would be grateful.I am not suprised there is a mystery with Dad, his whole life was like that. I have spent quite a lot of time finding his birth parents.I now know who his mum was.

Sunday, 06 April, 2008  
Blogger Tomcann said...

Ron -
sorry about this but all get from your link on comment #52 is two items on currencies - one on a Rusty the spaniel from Bristol by some guy who hates war - as if we laal loved it - and my tale on the blog of the Vienna Tattoo and the comment by Rita who never did get in touch !- Nothing about your sojourn and day leave near Bari !!!

Monday, 07 April, 2008  

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