My Dad: 866527 William James STIFF, Royal Artillery: India & Burma

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by PollyStiff, Feb 17, 2024.

  1. PollyStiff

    PollyStiff New Member

    Hi I am hoping for some help to decipher my Dads war service in WW2.
    His name was William James Stiff. 11/05/1917. He said he went up the Irrawaddy in Burma. Had his leg amputated in India. I have attached all the information I have. Could some help me with the tracer card. Thank you in advance.

    Attached Files:

  2. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    The casualty lists have him wounded in Italy 28.2.45, 77 light AA Regiment
    4jonboy likes this.
  3. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    The Tracer Card was a Royal Artillery HQ document for clerks to use and as I understand it was maintained at HQ (in the UK) based on regimental orders.

    You need to apply for his Service Record, which is the definitive account (details on PM).

    Caveat: Not my area of knowledge.

    The left hand column:

    44 77 LAA 13/9/44 (5/7/44)
    Xii? India 23/10/44 (12/77/44)
    X List 17/?/46

    The left hand column:

    286/77 LAA 1/11/43 (76/77/43)
    Xii ? (20/77/44)
    Xii ? India 28/3/44
    77 LAA Regt. 24/6/44 (28/77/44)
    77 LAA Regt. 24/6/44 (24/77/44)
    Y List RA India 17/8/44 (49/77/4?)
    77 LAA Regt. 24/8/44 (50/77/44)
    Xii B Ind 6/4/44 (3/77/44)

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 17, 2024
  4. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    The ever-useful RA site gives the history of 77 LAA and 286 was one of their batteries:
    From: 77 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment RA (TA) - The Royal Artillery 1939-45

    I cannot explain why Post 2 refers to him being wounded in Italy in 1945. Perhaps a bureaucratic mistake?

    Another gunner was killed 29/9/1944 @ Kohima. See: Swansea Family History - B (63)

    An officer killed at Rangoon, Burma in February 1945. See: Roll of Honour: World War 2 | Queens' College

    77 LAA was part of 13 AA Brigade and possible other clues: Grandads Army record Decipher

    (Error on web link; it was 77 HAA that became POWs). He was lucky some or all of the 77 LAA was taken prisoner in Java 8/3/1942, link refers tone who died: Prisoners of War of the Japanese 1942-1945 There is another web link for a death in May 1942.(Ends)

    It may have been disbanded as the need for LAA diminished, as the Japanese Air Force was weakened. Very likely to have been equipped with 40mm Bofors guns. Plus, there was a need for the British infantry units to be reinforced after heavy losses. This was a feature elsewhere, such as in NW Europe and Italy.

    Other threads on the regt. can be found using: 77 light anti aircraft regiment ra | WW2Talk
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2024
  5. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    It was 77 HAA that was captured in Java not 77 LAA.

  6. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    Cheers Tim. I double-checked just; it was the mistake on the web link. It is not a campaign I know in detail. I will update my post next.
    timuk likes this.
  7. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Although I know nothing about the movements of 77 LAA I also wondered this in view of the references to other theatres in the original post, I tried to search for a correction to the lists but nothing found.
    davidbfpo likes this.
  8. PollyStiff

    PollyStiff New Member

    Thank you for your research/information you have sent me. Very interesting. I will send off for his Army record. The bit that is puzzling me is, on the tracer card it says enlisted in 1937 then nothing until 1943 when he went from HAA to LAA.
  9. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron


    It is possible his original card was lost. Pre-war mobilization and then WW2 a far larger mobilization may have simply overwhelmed the RA HQ clerks. After all it was a tracer card, not his service record.
    PollyStiff likes this.

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