Frederick Jones 4974186 1st Bn Sherwood Foresters

Discussion in 'Theatres of War' started by CAMRyan, Nov 5, 2020.

  1. CAMRyan

    CAMRyan Member

    Hello, I'm hoping someone might be able to unravel a mystery (several, in fact). A friend has asked me to try and make some sense of his grandfather's WW2 Service Record: Frederick Jones 4974186.

    I can see that pre-war he was with his unit, Sherwood Foresters 1st Battalion, in Jamaica from 8/10/36 to 15/2/39. What role would the British Army have in the West Indies at this time? This covers the period of the West Indian labour unrest 1934-1938, of course, so I'm assuming they were involved in attempts to quell the riots and disturbances.

    He is then transferred home for a month (via Guernsey where he marries local girl, Olive) and then to Palestine. He is now Acting Corporal and remains in Palestine 10/3/39 to 5/4/40. Again, what was the unit's activities during this time? I understand this period covers The Arab Revolt 1936-39.

    The next period of activity in his record makes no sense at all. From Palestine he is sent home to undertake Draft Conducting 6/4/40 to 7/12/40, which seems an unusual role for a serving soldier of 24 years of age. I was thinking perhaps he was somehow 'unfit', but there was no mention of wounding or Class W.

    I jump to the year 1942 where the mystery takes a turn for the worst when he is charged with desertion 11 Jan to 16 Feb and sentenced to 112 days, remitted to 72 days. There is a gap in the records covering months from 28 March to 29 July - does this mean he was at Tobruk in June when the 1st Battalion was captured? How would I be able to find out? What is recorded later suggests he was injured (mentally or physically?) because on the 30 July he is granted sick leave (E sick LRRA, whatever that means), then 18 September it reads Unit No.2 Infantry Depot Released to Class, Royal Army Reserve on compassionate grounds for 3 months.

    I apologise for lengthy ramble - this is the abbreviated version - but if anyone can help with any insight or knowledge or point me in the right direction to find out more that would be wonderful.

    Thank you,
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    LRRA, mentioned several times on the forum.

  3. CAMRyan

    CAMRyan Member

    Ah, many thanks
  4. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron


    Welcome aboard. Others may come along and help. Always apply for his Service Record, even if the turnaround is reported as a year plus now. See: Get a copy of military service records Upload the records here once you've obtained them and then the forum can get to work on them.

    Please do not pay for any site on the internet who promise you his service records they will not have them, and you would have wasted your money.

    Adding what you have already found can help, saves others from duplication. A Date of Birth and a Service Number help, though the experts here can surmount that gap.

    I have noted the 'Other Ranks' rarely feature in Google searches unless they have been awarded gallantry medals or written their memoirs.

    Searching Google will sometimes bring you back here and there are often threads. So for example: 1st Sherwood Foresters (MOT) Infantry Battalion

    The site’s search engine is rather simple; two examples 53rd will bring back all mentions of 53rd; an Army unit can have after 53rd an additional official name, in one case 53rd (Bolton). You must be agile and keep going.

    War diaries can contain almost anything. At the very least, they give the daily movements and most important actions of every unit. They may also contain information on casualties, message logs, rolls of officers (but not O.R.'s), maps, orders, and much else. They are available at the PRO to everyone. Drew5233 and some others are willing to scan them for the benefit of those who cannot get to the National Archives at Kew.

    It depends of course how much you want to know, just one battle or campaign for an example.

    Please come back and tell us what you found. Scanning threads it is clear some discover the site years after your posts and add their information or request help. Good luck.
  5. CAMRyan

    CAMRyan Member

    Thank you for this advice, much appreciated. I have Frederick Jones's War Service Record, along with DOB (1917-1992) and service number (4974186), the record is proving difficult to decipher and follow mainly based on what it leaves out. Such as, why he was on extended sick leave and then a month later relegated to Class W on compassionate grounds for 3 months with no record of an event or battle where he might have incurred injury.

    This is probably a dumb question (one of many), but would the record include every place/country the soldier was sent to with his unit?
  6. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    Post the records you have and the experts can help.
  7. CAMRyan

    CAMRyan Member

    I've attached a jpeg of 3 scanned pages from the War Record, they cover 1941 only and, unfortunately, record Frederick Jones's desertion, which then, mysteriously, results in him being transferred to Class W on compassionate leave for 3 months. Am i missing a posting where he might have been involved in battle (Tobruk at this time). By the time he leaves the Army, he has attained the rank of General, so he must have done something right.

    PS The scanned files were too large (4 pages), so trying again with images taken on my phone, hope they are legible.

    Attached Files:

  8. Gary Bainbridge

    Gary Bainbridge New Member

    My Grandfather was 4974148 and I happen to have quite a bit of information passed down by him to me over the years, I have some photos from the battalions time in Bermuda some from my grandfather’s collection and I purchased a large photo album many years ago from another 1st Battalion member.
  9. CAMRyan

    CAMRyan Member

    Hello Gary, many thanks for following up my original request and your offer to help, which is extremely kind. My friend's grandfather was in Jamaica for the duration of the unrest in the West Indies rather than Bermuda, but it sounds like you have an absolute goldmine of images, you're very lucky your grandfather left so much information.
  10. Gary Bainbridge

    Gary Bainbridge New Member

    Would make sense as some of the Battalion were spilt between the 2. My Grandfather served from 1934 until 1945. He was a Bandsman and ended up as Battalion Medical Cpl. He was captured at Tobruck and spent the rest of the war as a POW mainly in Stalag 8b.
  11. Richard Lewis

    Richard Lewis Member

    Maybe I need new glasses, but I can't read them. :cool: Couldn't you resize the scanned images to below 2MB with something like Microsoft Paint?

  12. Bermuda's History 1900 to 1939 pre-war
    This includes information on the 1st Battalion Sherwood Foresters from dads photographs
    He was in B company and was transferred to Jamaica in support of I believe A and D companies

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