Base Ordanance Depot & The Lancastria

Discussion in 'REME/RAOC' started by Manicdic, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. Manicdic

    Manicdic Member


    Just joined and don't know if this is the correct place to post so apologies if it isn't.

    I'm looking to put some history to my grandfather who was with 1 Base Ordanance from 1939 to June 1940 and sadly didn't come out of the Lancastria. Wanted to piece together unit movements etc and give life to someone my father never knew, (he was an infant when my grandfather went to war).

    I've started with birth certificates and have enquired with the National Archives for specific w/o documents but wondered if I could find any useful sites or info, the cheaper the better!!

    Or has anyone connections with the unit and the period who could help?

  2. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    1 Base Ordnance Depot was at Nantes, when the order came to evacuate they left from St. Nazaire, 50 RAOC troops on board the Lancastria lost their lives.
  3. Manicdic

    Manicdic Member

    Thanks RemeDesertRat

    Interesting to learn they were based in Nantes.

    I was aware of the St Nazier connection, strangely though he is remembered on a memorial in Dunkirk.

    Do you know what his unit would have been doing as we don't have specifics just base ordinance?

  4. hutchie

    hutchie Dont tell him Pike!!

    More than likely supplying ammunition to the front line troops,
  5. Manicdic

    Manicdic Member

    Cheers Hutchie

    Just found a piece on the BBC where someone from 1 base has told his story, supplying munitions, he stayed on and missed the Lancastria.

    This could get very addictive!
  6. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    Hi Ade - welcome to the forum. My grandad was also with 1 BOD for a period of time - he had already left France before June 1940. However, I have part of the War Diary for 1 BOD which includes the evacuation. I'll post the pages when they finish uploading to PhotoBucket.

    I have a photo of my grandad in a group and there are the signatures on the back of it. I believe it was taken at Didcot just before they went to France. What was your grandfather's name? I'll check the photo.
  7. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    These are the pages from WO 167/1168 - Kindly copied by Lee ( -

    I've just noticed that when I copied the images to pdf, the location of the unit has been cut off. Location is Nantes for the first six pages then on 17/6 Nantes 1145 hours; Savenay 1230 hours; St. Nazaire until 19/6 when unit is At Sea and finally at Plymouth on 20/6.











    Buteman, Rich Payne and Owen like this.
  8. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    It's not that strange as that is where the decided to place the Mmeorial to all the Missing of the 1940 campaign in France & Flanders no matter where they were actually lost.
  9. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading that ordnance diary. You can feel the man's frustration as he loses all hope of saving the stores that he was responsible for.

    It's perhaps worth mentioning that RAOC were responsible for most stores for the front line units. Not just weapons and munitions. Vehicles were a large part but also other hardware.

    I wonder when the diary was written up ? It seems reasonably contemporary and it's interesting that at that stage they were already talking of 6000 on board Lancastria.

    It might be reasonable to assume that those from 1 B.O.D. lost on Lancastria were from the parties initially sent with stores to be evacuated.
    RosyRedd likes this.
  10. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    A very detailed and interesting diary, thanks for posting.
  11. Manicdic

    Manicdic Member


    Many thanks this is amazing, Rosy Redd double thanks!!!

    Grandad was John Marshall from Tredegar (Bedwelty).

    Rosy Redd could you PM me the details of how to obtain copies of these diaries and approx cost as I want to put a piece together for my father to include the memorial medal as recognised by the Scottish Parliament, it would be appreciated as currently I'm awaitng a qoute from the Archives.


  12. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    I'm pleased the pages were of interest.

    No need to buy the diary - I'll share it with you ! PM me your email addy and I'll send you a link to access the file on my google drive.

    If you ever want someone to copy files, Lee - who I mentioned above already and Andy (Drew5233) offer copying services. Their copying charges are really reasonable.

    Rich Payne likes this.
  13. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

  14. BrianM59

    BrianM59 Senior Member

    Nice one Rosy - above and beyond mate.
    RosyRedd likes this.
  15. Manicdic

    Manicdic Member


    Sorry for delay, hectic evening

    Many many thanks

    Owen and RosyRedd like this.
  16. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    Thanks Brian !

    And you're very welcome Ade - pleasure to be able to help. :)
  17. Hi all, I have just created a separate post and then came across this thread. I realise I am posting 6 years after this discussion but in the hope any of you are there I would welcome a copy of the war diary. I recently discovered that my grand uncle died in the Lancastria and was part of 1 Base Ordnance Depot so am trying to track down any information related to him, his unit and what they were doing immediately prior to and during the incident. His name was: Thomas, John Colin (22) Pte 1 Base Ordnance Depot RAOC 7594156*.
  18. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    1 Base Ordnance Depot (BOD) Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC) | The National Archives
    Reference: WO 167/1168
    1 Base Ordnance Depot (BOD) Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC)
    Date: 1939 Sept.-1940 June
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description
    Access conditions: Open Immediately

    If you cant go yourself we have members who provide a service, much cheaper than TNA, to copy files

    UK, Army Roll of Honour, 1939-1945
    Name: John Thomas
    Given Initials: J C
    Rank: Private
    Death Date: 17 Jun 1940
    Number: 7594156
    Birth Place: Warwickshire
    Residence: Birmingham
    Branch at Enlistment: Other Corps
    Theatre of War: France and Belgium Campaign, 1939/40
    Regiment at Death: Royal Army Ordnance Corps

  19. Thank you very much for the quick reply! Do you know how much it costs? My sister lives in Bristol, UK (I live in NYC,USA, and my dad and uncle are in Perth, Australia so a bit far to come!! but I am checking with her).
  20. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Looking fully at the thread there are pages/images from the War Diary posted above [see post no 7] - so they may be what you are after rather than going to the trouble of obtaining your own


Share This Page