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Thread: London Gazette - Appointment to Commission

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    Default London Gazette - Appointment to Commission

    Responses to Resmorah's recent post about WW2 Convoy Passenger Manifests (http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...nger-Manifests) included one identifying three meteorologists returning to the UK as passengers on the SS Pasteur during January 1944.

    The three men were Downie Gillies Armour, Arthur H Armstrong and Jack Davidson. The commissioning of Armour and Armstrong as P/Os was published in the London Gazette dated 31 October 1944, with a seniority of 1 September 1944. The commissioning indicates the two men had completed a forecasting course after returning to the UK.

    I have good reason to believe Davidson also completed the same course, but a commission was never gazetted as he was killed in an aircraft accident at Leuchars on 14 September 1944. However, I understand from his nephew that the family believe he was only on the aircraft as he was on his way to have a uniform fitted - which implies he had been advised of his commissioning.

    If the family's understanding is correct I'm curious as to the sequence of events - would he have been fitted for a uniform before completion of the necessary paperwork, or only after being told of his commission at the beginning of the month? In the latter instance I assume the fact he was killed before being gazetted would negate the commission and make publication pointless.

    I would appreciate any comments, but suspect I will have to obtain Armour's service record to answer the question.

    Brian

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    Hi Brian,

    I have an image of an AM communication regarding commissioning that I am struggling to attach. Nevertheless, the relevant section notes:-

    ...
    3. Copies are also enclosed of memoranda dealing with conditions of service and uniform and outfit required. Immediate steps should be taken to obtain uniform and outfit in accordance with the particulars given and for this purpose the authorised number of clothing coupons together with an authority to purchase officer's uniform, which must be produced to the tailor, are enclosed.
    ...
    This communication is dated 25 Aug 1944 for a J/88258 William Gerald Sorel. He was lost 29 Jul 44 and his commission was effective from 21 Jul 44.

    I would have assumed that if your man knew he was to be commissioned then it would have followed in due course, whether he had been killed in the mean time or not, and it would have had an impact on things like pensions and war gratuities for his next-of-kin. I gather it wasn't unknown for those who could afford it to have NCO's outfits tailored of a higher quality than general issue, but that is well into the realms of speculation!

    Hope this helps,

    Jeff
    Last edited by RecklessRat; 7th May 2019 at 19:39.

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    The three men were Downie Gillies Armour, Arthur H Armstrong and Jack Davidson. The commissioning of Armour and Armstrong as P/Os was published in the London Gazette dated 31 October 1944, with a seniority of 1 September 1944. The commissioning indicates the two men had completed a forecasting course after returning to the UK.

    The three men were Downie Gillies Armour, Arthur H Armstrong and Jack Davidson.
    The commissioning of Armour and Armstrong as P/Os was published in the London Gazette dated 31 October 1944,
    with a seniority of 1 September 1944.
    The commissioning indicates the two men had completed a forecasting course after returning to the UK.


    Walter John DAVIES (182998)

    Downie Gillies Armour (182999).

    Arthur Henry ARMSTRONG (183000).

    Missing ?? Jack Davidson 183001 ???

    Walter Clucas CALLISTER ( 183002).

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    Jack Davidson



    Born
    DAVIDSON
    JACK
    M
    1921
    490/ 21
    Stirling



    Death
    DAVIDSON
    JACK
    22
    1944
    446/ 13
    Logie (Fife)

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    Thank you, Paul. I was aware of the sequence of events in respect of Armour and Armstrong, in particular the dates.

    I started researching this story about 13 years ago, and even visited Davidson's home town and grave, but clues were very hard to come by. In the event I let the matter rest, but Simon's response (#6) to Resmorah's recent thread WW2 Convoy Passenger Manifests (http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...nger-Manifests) reminded me about Davidson and prompted another attempt to complete my story.

    Having enlisted the help of the Peebleshire News it included an item about Davidson in a recent edition. I hadn't really expected a response to an event which was nearly 75 years old, so was pleasantly surprised to receive an early response from Davidson's nephew.

    It had always puzzled me as to why he was on the aircraft (Liberator BZ961 of 206 Squadron) which had diverted to Tain during the early hours of 14 September 1944 but, as I explained in #1, his family was under the impression Davidson was on his way to be fitted for a uniform.

    Knowing that his erstwhile colleagues, Armour and Armstrong, were gazetted on 31 October (seniority 1 September) left me with a gap to explain. I am now reasonably sure that he was on his way to sign up in Edinburgh and obtain kit, prior to mobilisation. I'm hoping, once I've received Amour's death certificate and obtained his service record, that his documents will include sufficient information confirm my ideas.

    Brian

    Edit

    I think that the reason Davidson's name does not appear on any passenger list for the westbound crossing to Canada in 1940/41 was because his ship was sailing in convoy. The SS Pasteur, on which he returned to the UK, sailed at high speed, unescorted, and was treated as an 'ordinary' passenger arrival on reaching Liverpool.
    Last edited by Lyffe; 10th May 2019 at 14:06.

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