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. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    A possible as he was apparently born in Birmingham:
    Birmingham Gazette, Saturday, 28 August, 1937
    "School Certificates Pass List"
    JimHerriot likes this.
  2. Keith Burkitt

    Keith Burkitt Member

    He was, 1921.

    I haven't seen this. Thank you!
    JimHerriot likes this.
  3. bofors

    bofors Senior Member


    With "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"
    Cap is a Tam o' shanter (cap) - Wikipedia, I am not sure if for a specific regiment though, pity the picture is a bit out of focus.
    With the cap, the badge on it should show which regiment he was in, but again not detailed enough.
    You are fortunate to have all those pictures and other details including the MID certificate.
    Service records will tell more, but you will probably need help to understand them all.
    Check through this site for abbreviations.


    Tony56 and JimHerriot like this.
  4. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    Photo 6 "What's he working on?"

    It's a small petrol engined generator (in the tubular frame) used for charging batteries for wireless R/T sets.

    The frame would keep it safe and secure in a vehicle (jeep/truck) whilst allowing it to be lifted out for servicing. There were different frame sizes (for best fitment) and the generator engines were made by a whole host of different manufacturers.

    Thank goodness for chaps such as your grandfather. A working radio was often the difference between life or death in the desert, and he was one of the chaps that kept them working (the sort of work that over a protracted period in tough circumstances would earn an MID).

    Kind regards, always,

    4jonboy and Tony56 like this.
  5. Keith Burkitt

    Keith Burkitt Member

    This is incredible, thanks
    JimHerriot likes this.
  6. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Brevet and battlefield commission terms are not applicable as he was not an officer.

    An army expands greatly in wartime so if all war time promotions were “open ended” there would be alot of high ranking regular army personnel when the army shrunk to peacetime numbers.

    War substantive promotions - officers and non commissioned officers - lasted only as long as hostilities were ongoing and once the army reverted to “peacetime establishment” men reverted to their peacetime substantive rank.

    You see regular officers recorded as war substantive Lieutenant Colonel, acting Brigadier General but reverting to substantive Captain post war.

    JimHerriot likes this.
  7. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    It’s a continuation of the entry “Part II orders” on the line above and refers to an army form (AFW) being updated. More detail will be in his service record B103 form.

    JimHerriot likes this.
  8. Keith Burkitt

    Keith Burkitt Member

    I understand the concept perfectly now, thanks
    JimHerriot likes this.
  9. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    Those might be components from a Ford flathead V8 as used in the Matilda I, Bren carrier and Ford CMPs. Four blade fan and generator are similar and the curved part looks like the ignition wire conduit. There was one on each cylinder bank and they curved down to the distributor mounted on the center front of the engine

    bofors, Tony56 and JimHerriot like this.
  10. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    Some more about your grandfather's school;

    "WAVERLEY COUNTY GRAMMAR SCHOOL, Small Heath. Waverley Rd. Higher Grade Bd. Sch. opened 1892 by Birm. Sch. Bd.

    Accom. 555, as a Standard VII sch. Additional accom. in another building nearby provided from c. 1903. Enlarged 1906. In 1895 it was said to be the only Birm. sch. with a 'commercial' course, and its bias was mainly industrial and commercial. By 1899 it included standards V and VI. Elementary part of school closed 1905.

    Name changed 1933 to Waverley Council Secondary Sch. A.a. 1899: 378. N.o.b. 1914: 465, 1961: 451 B, G.(28) In 1911 c. 90 per cent. and in 1937 99 per cent. pupils came from elementary schs. Fees £3 a year at first, £8 by 1926; by 1937 no pupils paid full fees.
    Average leaving age 1910–13 and 1937: 15–16, 1953: 16–17 (ex inf. M. of Ed.)."


    "Waverley Road School was opened in 1892 as a higher grade school, offering a further two years of education, largely technical and commercial, to able children, after the age of twelve. At the time of opening, the facilities included a chemical laboratory, a lecture room, and workshops. Its educational approach followed that initiated by George Dixon, the long-standing Liberal chairman of the Board, who had in 1884 opened the Bridge Street Central Board School, in the premises of the former Cadbury factory, for promising boys. Waverley Road offered places to 600 girls and boys at its opening. The elementary part of the school closed in 1905. Waverley Road became Waverley County Secondary School in 1933 and, with the passing of the 1944 Education Act, Waverley County Grammar School; it is now Small Heath Lower School, run in association with the Small Heath Upper School and Sixth Form Centre, which is on another site.

    An extension was built to the south-west corner of the school in1904 by Buckland and Farmer, a notable Birmingham practice employed by the Council's Education Department from 1903 until the 1930s, during which time they built eight new schools, and made numerous additions to existing schools. In circa 1985 the spire of the ventilation tower was taken down for safety reasons; a good proportion of the components, including gargoyles, remain in storage."

    There's a listing regarding the school in your grandfather's time within The National Archives here in the UK. Here's the link to same:

    Birmingham: Waverley Secondary School (formerly Waverley Road Council Secondary School)... | The National Archives

    The next link below will tell you about Small Heath (the district in Birmingham where your grandfather's school was). If you scroll about half way down the page there and click on the image on the right (four from the left!) you'll see a photo of the school in recent years. Large Victorian (old) building it is, and would have been in your grandfather's day too. Small Heath would be called "inner city" in today's vernacular, a stone's kick from Birmingham City centre both then and now.

    Small Heath

    No mean feat for your grandfather to have gained his "School Certificate". He must have applied himself to his school work. An educated chap who took to education.

    Kind regards, always,

    papiermache likes this.
  11. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    His name is listed in the book "Honour those mentioned" by Michael Maton. Spelt Burkett.
    JimHerriot likes this.
  12. Keith Burkitt

    Keith Burkitt Member

    He was. A very well spoken and educated man. He's my hero and I'm honored to be named after him. He was raised in a broken home with an abusive alcoholic father and his mother was a prostitute. He wound up as a senior draftsman for Ford, became township treasurer, owned several successful business, was in the clergy, was in the masons/shriners. Taught college courses. He literally is the definition of against all odds.
    JimHerriot likes this.
  13. Keith Burkitt

    Keith Burkitt Member

    WOW! Will be looking at that now. If it's more than just the same information in the gazette I'll be ordering it
    JimHerriot likes this.
  14. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    That explains much.

    Lack of census information, your grandfather's enlistment date, subsequent emigration.

    I guess he never went home as there was no "home" to go to.

    And, whilst not proffering any excuses, do have a look at your great-grandfather's Great War service (if you haven't done so already). It may explain, but never pardon, his behaviour towards your grandfather.

    Good luck with all your searching,

    Kind regards, always remember, never forget,

    ecalpald likes this.
  15. Keith Burkitt

    Keith Burkitt Member

    already done. He was royal navy then air force. Served aboard the HMS Furious for a while. Never saw combat. He was a dressmaker in civilian life, suppose he worked on the cloth wings of the fighter planes. HMS furious was the first aircraft carrier if I remember. After that he was at a shore establishment whose name I forget, but it was HMS XXXX II, and it still exists as the headquarters for the navy accounting office.
    JimHerriot likes this.
  16. Keith Burkitt

    Keith Burkitt Member

    Little coincidence, my school district back in Michigan was Waverly Community Schools, 4 different levels, separated by age. Elementary K-4th (5 to 10) Intermediate 5th-6th (10-13) Middle 7th and 8th (13-15) and Waverly High School 9th-12th (15-18)
    JimHerriot likes this.
  17. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    Don't buy the book as it does not tell you anything. I'll take a photo of the information tomorrow.
  18. Keith Burkitt

    Keith Burkitt Member

    After taking a look on Amazon and the preview, I determined it's just the same as whats listed in the Gazette, which I already have a copy of. Thanks though
    JimHerriot likes this.
  19. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    Wow! That certainly was a whirlwind of replies and information...feeling quite dizzy reading it all!
    I would just “mention” though that I thought mention in dispatches were not just awarded for gallantry but also for good or exceptional service over an extended period of time.
    JimHerriot likes this.
  20. Keith Burkitt

    Keith Burkitt Member

    His paybook says gallant service and he has the bronze device and not silver, so it's the exceptional service award I believe
    JimHerriot likes this.

Share This Page