I know I'm asking a lot here, but I need all the help I can get

Discussion in 'Royal Signals' started by Keith Burkitt, Mar 26, 2021.

  1. Keith Burkitt

    Keith Burkitt Member

    Grandad was Royal Signals, No 5 AASC and No 1 ASSU are the two units I can identify. I'm going to attach some pictures and ask questions, and hopefully I can get some help identifying some things

    I know this is Royal Signals, but can someone nail down the year and type of uniform this is? (In America we have BDUS, dress blues, service blues etc)

    Sorry for the wall of text, the uncropped photos and the barrage of questions but I'm stonewalled. I have acquired a fair bit of knowledge but didn't want to flood this post with it, so if you need more specifics about anything, please ask.


    I'm assuming this is in North Africa or Iraq/Iran. There appears to be a vehicle to the right of my grandads (on the right) head. Can you identify it? Are the uniforms just service overalls?

    Can anyone identify the type of fan/exhaust system he's working on? And is that a "forage cap" on his head?

    I think this is during the Austrian Occupation period. Anyone have insight on the type of unit or anything else this could be?

    Not much to go on here lol but does the guy in the back left have a cap that specific to a certain Scottish unit? and the guy kneeling in front with a cap on, does that have any identification value? Written on the back in handwriting is "Benghazi"

    What's he working on?

    I'm having trouble reading and deciphering this. I also feel it's incomplete. some pages aren't worth trying to open; it's falling apart. Let me know your thoughts on some of these abbreviations. For example, I can see he was awarded the Africa Star, but I don't know what the rest of it means. The o2e for example.
    Paybook 1.jpeg
    The stuff on the right page is what I don't get. Whats AFW3149 for example
    Paybook 2.jpg

    And lastly, this uniform appears different, and he looks like he's 14 in this picture. Can you identify it? 221618_6773686487_3581_n.jpg
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  2. idler

    idler GeneralList

    The 'Mention in Dispatches' is for a not-quite-medalworthy deed. Unfortunately, the citations - the descriptions of the actual acts - don't usually survive.

    It would be worth applying for his full service records from our MoD though it's a long wait at the moment.

    Get a copy of military service records
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  3. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    I can’t assist re the various uniform photographs but in relation to the pages you’ve posted from his AB64 book I can offer the following comments. There is an extensive topic showing numerous AB64 books created by forum member AB64 who may assist you further.

    in relation P4 in your first image -

    1. Experience “D M” in gas chamber 29.9.41. I don’t know what D M means but it was common practice in training to give soldiers a “taste” of potential battlefield chemical irritants.

    2. Awarded Africa Star Authority OE2 Part II order 22.2.1944 etc. The OE2 is reference to 2nd Echelon - an administrative unit responsible for, amongst other things, maintaining a man’s service records in a theatre of war. So they approved his entitlement to the Africa Star by way of a Part II order.

    3. Mentioned In Desptches etc. The London Gazette will record this award. It is an oak leaf that is attached to the medal ribbon of the War Medal. Other members may be able to post a link to the specific issue of the London Gazette.

    4. Awarded 8th Army Clasp etc. Confirmation that he was entitled to the Arabic numeral 8 to be worn on the Africa Star medal ribbon.

    • The 8th Army Clasp was awarded for service with the Eighth Army between 23 October 1942 and 12 May 1943 inclusive. An Arabic numeral "8" is worn on the ribbon bar in undress to denote the award of this clasp.
    • (sorry formatting gone wrong)
      You will need to have sight of his full service record to identify his unit and then consult the unit War Diary,

    • 4.Granted W/S Rank of Cpl 29.1.1945 and 5. Granted W/S Rank of Sgt 5.12.1945. W/S means War Substantive

    • I’ll start another reply to avoid continuing the formatting errors.

    • Steve
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2021
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  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Africa Star - Wikipedia - with 8th army clasp

    The Mentioned in Dispatches award
    A Mention in Despatches is an operational gallantry award given to all ranks for an act (or acts) of bravery during active operations. This award is available posthumously.
    You can replace a Mention in Despatches if you meet the criteria.

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  5. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    P5 of the AB64 lists his trade qualifications. I don’t know what F S on the first 2 entries (possibly Fitter S?) means but the remainder ought to be self explanatory - he was a vehicle mechanic.

    In relation to your AFW3169 query - it is the name of the army form used for pre discharge medical examinations of soldiers.

    The Age/Service Group 28C entry is the calculation of his demob group - an equitable system to ensure an orderly post war demobilisation based on age and date of enlistment (pre war service didn’t count - the start date for all was 1st September 1939).

    Last edited: Mar 26, 2021
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  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Keith Graham Burkitt
    BIRTH 10 AUG 1921 • Birmingham, Warwick, England
    DEATH 2015 • Petoskey, Emmet, Michigan, USA


    When did he emigrate to the USA?
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  7. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Last edited: Mar 26, 2021
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  8. Keith Burkitt

    Keith Burkitt Member

    I've already sent it off, but I understand there's quite a wait at the moment. Patience, I suppose.
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  9. Keith Burkitt

    Keith Burkitt Member

    Is war substantiate the same as, say, a brevet rank or battlefield commission?
  10. Keith Burkitt

    Keith Burkitt Member

    I've got it, and the leaf. E.jpg D.jpg
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  11. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Sailed for Montreal on the Arosa Kulm from Plymouth on 23 Septmber 1952
    Keith Graham Burkitt , age 31, Last UK address 5 Middle Drive Birmingham, Occupation draughtsman, intended residence Canada
    Arosa Kulm - Wikipedia
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  12. Keith Burkitt

    Keith Burkitt Member

    1955 to work for Ford. A resume I found from the early 80s states he was a vehicle mechanic and tank driver, and on a clergy application he added reconnaissance duties. I've got some documents that give him release from class z to reside overseas as well as all his immigration stuff. Man was an immaculate record keeper.
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  13. Keith Burkitt

    Keith Burkitt Member

    Where did you find this? I haven't seen that before and I've scoured the internet for years
  14. Keith Burkitt

    Keith Burkitt Member

    But he did spend a few years in Canada
  15. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    If you were searching Ancestry then you probably wouldnt find it because

    UK and Ireland, Outward Passenger Lists, 1890-1960
    Name: Kelton Graham Borritt
    Gender: Male
    Age: 31
    Birth Date: abt 1921
    Departure Date: 23 Sep 1952
    Port of Departure: Plymouth, England
    Destination Port: Montreal, Canada
    Ship Name: Arosa Kulm
    Search Ship Database: Search for the Arosa Kulm in the 'Passenger Ships and Images' database
    Shipping Line: Arosa Line
    Master: Sverre M Johnsen


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  16. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Online genealogy site Findmypast (other sites are available but obviously difficult to find him !!!!)
  17. Keith Burkitt

    Keith Burkitt Member

    The line I'm the most interested on is on page 4 of the paybook (First paybook picture) at the bottom. Starts No 1 ASSU. Can you interpret that final line for me?
  18. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    Searching for "No 5 AASC" returns Army Air Support Control and one book mentions them. See: The Decisive Campaigns of the Desert Air Force 1942-1945 by Bryn Evans on pg.32.

    For No 1 ASSU try Air Support Signals Unit, albeit this is later in WW": John Brade | ParaData

    I expect both abbreviations appear in this PhD thesis 'Intelligence and Anglo-American Air Support in World War Two'. See:
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  19. Keith Burkitt

    Keith Burkitt Member

    It certainly doesn't help that in several records the MOD spells his name as BurkEtt
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  20. Keith Burkitt

    Keith Burkitt Member

    I have read both of those and contacted Mr. Evans. They were very helpful.
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