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Thread: Researching my Granddad's Service records.

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    Default Researching my Granddad's Service records.

    Hello All,

    Im Matt and I am researching my Granddads service records. While I wait for my Mum to find Granddad's death certificate so that I can get the details from the RAF/MOD I was able to find the following on the National Archives website:



    Pretty cool really, but what I cant work out is what the F on the card means, and was hoping someone here could offer me some assistance with it. I found on the National Archives website the F means forfeited mead issue, though that was referring to the First World War, also its listed on this site as being class F reserve, though that is stamped. The writing on the top right corner I'm guessing is Militia as that would make sense.

    Our family as a whole know very little about my Grandad's time in the RAF in the Second World War. We know he met my nan, a mental Health Nurse at Winwick Hospital towards the end of the war. I believe they married in 1945 and in their wedding Photo Granddad is in his uniform. Unfortunately the photo is too small to make anything out on Granddads uniform. Family story goes that he was a navigator on Lancasters, though now I'm a bit more dubious of this. I know RAF Padgate was a training base, though I dont know/forgotten what for. Of course RAF Burtonwood isn't a million miles from Winwick either. I remember reading somewhere on the web that RAF Navigator training was up around that part of the world too, but for the life of me can't remember or find where I read it. Hopefully when I see my parents this tuesday I will get a copy of Granddads death certificate and be able to send it off to the MOD along with 30 to get the details of Granddads service.

    Matt

    Edit: not too sure why the image link didn't work as intended, apologies.
    Last edited by The Smiffy; 31st August 2014 at 20:38.

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    Matt,

    Your Grandfather's service number is 1191101. Service No's. 1150001 to 1250000 were issued in April 1940 at Cardington.The next batch was issued to Cardington in April 1941 (so April 1940 to April 1941), probably 3rd or early 4th Quarter 1940 when he joined up so Padgate looks likely as his initial reception centre.

    I cannot find him listed in the London Gazette.

    Regards,

    Nick
    KenFenton'sWar.com

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    Hello Nick,

    Thanks very much for your information. Very interesting to know know roughly when Granddad was enlisted. I had a look for him on the London Gazette too but found nothing, so that limits him to being a NCO.

    Thanks
    Matt

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    Matt,

    It may limit him to an NCO but do not knock that, they all played a very important part, whether they were ground crew or air crew so good luck with your research.

    It does look like something did happen to hold him back though, whether Training Command or a POW so keep asking.

    Regards,

    Nick
    KenFentonsWar.com

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    Hi Nick,

    I'm not knocking the fact that he was an NCO, I really look forward to getting his service record off the MOD, mostly so as a family we know what he did. When my sisters and I were children we would go round Nan's house in the summer holidays and I remember finding a pair of issue flying goggles in the dressing up box. Many fond mermories of acting out in my head scenes from The Battle Of Britian movie while wearing the goggles. It was assumed by the whole family he was air crew because my Nan had these goggles but then my Uncle said recently he remember Granddad talking about being on guard somewhere and claims he never mentioned flying at all. So who knows? It will be nice to find out, and I', sure I will be back with more questions once everything is received from the MOD.

    Thanks
    Matt

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    Matt,
    I was not suggesting you were, my Father remained as an NCO for most of the war but as a POW so there were some duties that did slow your prospects down.
    You Grandfather's service record is the next thing required but will take a while to get.
    Around this time, on sign-up, the recruit had the option of returning home to await call up for their chosen trade and risk being called up into another service or signing up immediately, in which case they were just as likely to be put on ground crew, i.e. guard duty and there are many examples of this, where this is where they remained.
    Only the service record will tell you.
    Regards,
    Nick

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    While I wait for the authorities to get a new copy of Granddad's death cert. to my Mum, she managed to find the following documents. Hopefully some of the knowledgeable members here can provide more information on them. The are rather large images so apologies to those whom life me are stuck with poor rural broadband speeds.

    Not really related to my Granddad's service in the RAF but his wedding cert. Interestingly states his trade in the RAF as Aluminium Die Caster


    Leave book for 45/6


    Various Driving licenses


    Not much but its a good start and can see that toward the end of my Granddad's service career he was Stationed at RAF Stradishall. Unfortunately the Wiki page for Stradishall is a bit lacking for the second world war displaying only a picture of a 214 Sqn. Wellington. It would be nice if someone could point me to somewhere that will allow me to decode the unit codes on the rear of the driving cards.


    Thanks in advance Matt
    Last edited by The Smiffy; 16th September 2014 at 19:51. Reason: Updating

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    Steve "Smudger" Smith is your man in these parts for anything relating to Straddy in WW2. I've got to ring him in the morning, so I'll tip him off that you're looking for gen relating to the place.

    L/O

    Greg
    "You can take the boy out of Wales,
    But you can't take Wales out of the boy!!"

    Greg Harrison
    100 Squadron and 100 Squadron Association Historian
    100 Squadron Researcher 1917 - present day
    1 Group Researcher 1940 - 1945

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    Quote Originally Posted by greg View Post
    Steve "Smudger" Smith is your man in these parts for anything relating to Straddy in WW2. I've got to ring him in the morning, so I'll tip him off that you're looking for gen relating to the place.

    L/O

    Greg
    Much appreciated Greg, thanks very much!

    Matt

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    I cant believe it was just over 2 yrs ago I started this. Unfortunately ill health and moving home delayed things. Today I received a rather large envelop from RAF Disclosures, containing 4 sheets of rather fine quality A3 copies of Granddad's form 543A. Unfortunately I'm not in the possession of an A3 scanner so excuse the improvisation.


    On initial inspection I found this bit quite interesting, the codes mean little to me and will require some googling. It seems strange to me that on the 26/1/42 he was recommended for training a a pilot F58 Fit Pilot, w. op (which I presume is wireless operator)/ Aerial Gunner, Obs (radio) [not too sure what this is]. Then marked unfit Observer 26/1/42. I have no idea what WSI is let alone 68 over 41 WSI - could it be eye sight?


    Not really too sure what Time Forfeited is?


    No.2 RC at Cardington is the Recruit training so what would have been essentially what basic training was when I did it at RAF Halton I guess. No idea about No.9 RC at Blackpool my initial googling has come up short. 92 MU all I find is info from the 1950's. ACRC from what I understand is Aircrew Reception Centre, though which one whos knows? As it doesn't say. 8 ITW Is the Initial Training Wing at Newquay which I think would be pilot/Observer training. This bit confuses me as the previous page states unfit Observer dated 26/1/42, yet here we are 24/7/42. Then in October for 42 he's at 2856 (D) Squadron which becomes 4183 AAF which were based at Sibson and Watton in 42/43.

    I think I need some time off work to go through all these units and dates to get a better Idea of whats going on. AAF and AA Flt. I'm guessing are Anti Aircraft Flights? My google skills seems low today as Im having no luck with 2952, 2772, 2774 ad 2753 Squadrons Though I suspect these might all be Anti Aircraft squadrons?




    The Gunner trade listed here I'm guessing is Regiment Gunner


    I'm assuming Depot Grantham to be RAF Regiment Depot, Belton Park and would correlate to the Gunner trade listed on the previous page. 102 PDC being Cardington Dispatch Centre



    It looks like I have an awful lot of work to do to piece together Granddad's service life, he certainly got around a bit while he was in the RAF.

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