Last Piece of the Jigsaw

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by JohnEds, Jan 4, 2020.

  1. JohnEds

    JohnEds Member

    I've been working on my Father's war record for quite a while now and I wonder if anybody can help with this last little bit.

    He was originally Royal Berks and was in France between Sept 39 and May 40 when he was evacuated from Dunkirk. After some time in Ireland on "special training" and a stint on the "defence of Londonderry", his Bn became an officers training unit which made him homeless for a while. He was posted to Burma but was redirected on route to the Middle East where he was posted to Leros. He must have had his lucky charm with him because by the time he got into position Leros was taken and he was withdrawn.

    The next couple of months are slightly unclear but he was x(ii) on 7/3/44 and we know he had an operation. He was declared fit x(iv) on 9/4/44 and the entry says; "To x(iv) MEITD XCON depot".
    I take that to be Middle East Infantry Depot but does anybody know what XCON is?

    The next entry is; "TOS BNAF to x(iv) 4BN IRTD 29/4/44.
    I've found references to 4BN IRTD but can find no details? Would it be possible to pinpoint location from this?

    We know his injuries eventually made him unfit for active service and he was transferred to the Psychological Warfare Branch in Sept 44 where he finished the war. He was a CSM but not substantive so was demobbed 5/1/46 as a C/Sgt.

    So, can anybody help with XCON? and 4thBN IRTD?

    PS. When did BNAF become CMF? I thought it was earlier than April 44.

    Much appreciated.
  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Post it on here much easier for forum members to interpret it for you
  3. JohnEds

    JohnEds Member

    Do you mean post the record? I'll do that tomorrow - no access to scanner at mo.
  4. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Members are reluctant to try and interpret a transcription - in case it is wrong - and always prefer to see the original.

    Pending having sight of the original I’d hazard a guess that your “XCON” is the Army clerks shorthand for “ Exiting a Convalescent Depot” - the oft used halfway house for a soldier leaving hospital before he returned to his Battalion or in your specific case moving to a “IRTD”.

    An Infantry Replacement/Reinforcement Training Depot would be where a soldier would be in a reinforcement pool having further training before being sent to an infantry Battalion when the need arose. As well as there being several IRTD at different locations the personnel there were posted to a numbered “Training Battalion” for administrative ease.

    From service records I’ve seen over the years BNAF/ CMF and AAI (Allied Armies Italy) seem to be interchangeable acronyms for UK forces in various location around the Mediterranean - used according to the Army clerks preferred personal choice when updating B103 and other forms until the end of the war.

    Please post the original document for a definitive opinion.

    Last edited: Jan 4, 2020
    Guy Hudson likes this.
  5. JohnEds

    JohnEds Member

    Record Card Attached.

    Attached Files:

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  6. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    My last post is still appropriate. The compressed/shorthand detail on the B102 index card is usually amplified on the B103.

  7. JohnEds

    JohnEds Member

    Unfortunately that's all we have. I double checked with the records office but they have nothing more. We have a B200, which looks like the equivalent of the B103, but it covers pre-war from 1932 up to Nov 1940 and stops there. We have his service book which lists countries and dates but no detail. We also have some written documents and some medical documents which refers to the operation in March 44 on his nose and ear, which was due to being shelled. He was definitely fit afterwards and did something between April 44 and Aug 44 but I'm not sure we'll be able to work out what? The notes say he was downgraded to B1 in Cervinara, Italy due to deafness in one ear sustained from the shelling. He was then transferred to Psyc Warfare Branch.

    What does 4 Bn IRTD mean? I know IRTD is infantry reinforcement training depot but were IRTDs divided into battalions?

    Also, the med notes say "normal convalescence - condition on discharge good". Can't find any reference to XCON anywhere?
  8. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    I thought I’d covered 4th Battalion IRTD in my original response? At any one time there could be several thousand men passing through a Replacement Depot - some recently recovered from wounds/sickness and others “brand new” just off the boat from UK/North Africa. The army needed a structure to manage these men pending their posting to a fighting unit so they were divided into Battalions/Companies etc with a bespoke training regime.

    I don’t understand your query re XCON? It doesn’t mean X - as in number 10 - but as I said above it is shorthand for Exit ie he left/departed/was discharged from the Convalescent Depot.

    Last edited: Jan 6, 2020

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