Received Edward Poyser's army records. Now more questions than answers!

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by Nick Jay, Oct 7, 2021.

  1. Nick Jay

    Nick Jay Member

    Hello everyone

    Having posted this originally on the sister site, it was suggested I post it here by staff member and patron LRusso216 as he says this site is "a more Commonwealth point of view and someone may be able to point you in the right direction or even answer your questions directly." so here I am. :)

    We now have Edwards information for his service in the TA (Royal Signals Corps) and regular army (Royal Warwickshire Regiment) but they mention nothing about his medals or his postings to India and Burma, for example. We know from a newspaper article in October 1944 that he was with the ordnance branch of SE Asia Command at some point; that he had written home from Burma and mentioned that he had been out East for more than 2 years; that 4 years earlier he had met his brother in Calcutta; that he went to India in 1939 - where he had previously been excused wearing boots then somehow posted out to Burma and that he had been a member of a specialist unit, possibly doing air supply work?

    None of the above were mentioned in the papers we have for him other than he was in a hospital in India when he was given his PYTHON leave, which also suggests he may also have been in the SOE in some capacity?!

    We know he got the India Service Medal in June 1941 but no mention of those in his records nor any of the other automatic medals he should have received such as the WW2 general service medal for example plus the other one that those who served in WW2 would usually have got. Nothing about where or when he was posted or in what capacity etc. It's all rather odd.

    So the big question I suppose, having said all that, is where can I/we go to try to find out more about what he may have done out there, dates and so on. What should we be asking for and where? Please don't suggest the Royal Warwickshire Regimental Museum. With the best will in the world, we've had some wrong, misleading information from there already.

    For anyone who hasn't yet seen the newspaper article I mentioned, I'll post it here.

    Thank you. Nick. Ev. Despatch. 18.10.1944.jpg
  2. Nick Jay

    Nick Jay Member

    Further to the above, as my edit time has expired it would seem, here's the snip from his records I was referring to with Python and SOE (I think it says below 31.3.46). Does anyone know what the 110 might be after regiment or corps; the 7/5 nature of engagement; industry group CD; occupational classification 060-13 for example. We don't know what any of those mean. There is also some feint writing (pencil?) along the top which mentions overseas and 17 12 1946 but it's very hard to make out.


    JITTER PARTY Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't rely too much on the accuracy of newspaper reports. For Example; the India Service Medal was only awarded to members of the Indian Forces, and it would not be possible for someone that arrived in India in 1939 to be awarded one in 1941. It required three years service and it wasn't awarded before 1946.
    It would probably be best to scan the service records that you have received and post them on here.
    4jonboy likes this.
  4. Nick Jay

    Nick Jay Member

    Apparently it's what Edward himself told his son on whose behalf I'm doing a lot of research. The records hardly mention medals, as I said, other than this brief mention ...

    The section below for Army School and other certificates of education etc says Awarded 3rd class at Warwick on 11.3.38. Section 8, Medals and Decorations, clasps and annuities says 1939-1943 star. 2067.

    I would have scanned all of his papers but most were sent to me on A3 which are too large for my scanner plus the quantity of paper would be too much also.
  5. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    WO 100/500
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  6. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Just take photos of the records.
    No need to use paper either , just save the images on your device.
    4jonboy likes this.
  7. Nick Jay

    Nick Jay Member

    Thank you Tony. At least that proves he was in receipt of, or entitled to, the India General Service medal so we were right about that. He also could have applied for the Burma Star, too. I know it's something his son wants to do on Edward's behalf at some point.
  8. Nick Jay

    Nick Jay Member

    No disrespect, Owen, but you make it sound so easy. I use a PC not a mobile. I have a mobile but for one time passwords and very little else. It would take me a month of Sundays trying to photograph all the sheets - there are quite a few of them. It's only when the records were photocopied smaller, albeit still on A3 size paper, I was able to start scanning them. I transcribed the information from the larger ones prior to that happening.
  9. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    The 7/5 nature of engagement is 7 years regular Army Service with a further 5 year commitment to the reserve (liable to be recalled within that commitment in the event of a national emergency)

    The Industry Group I believe was discussed on here awhile back (sorry cannot remember exactly where ) but I believe CD was General Engineering, including Boilermaking ( but not marine which had a different clasification ? )

    The reference appears to be (may be wrong) S-O x E not S.O.E again theres another thread
    6th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
    where theres an answer `struck off establishment` for a similar enquiry?

    Last edited: Oct 7, 2021
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  10. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    From years of experience on this site I can only say that it best helps members to address service records queries if all original papers are attached. Notwithstanding your above reply I’d encourage you to do so as it’s been shown that a transcription can be inaccurate and lead to false assumptions being made.

    The Army had multiple use acronyms. We’ve had people post questions in the forum about a relatives SAS posting when it’s actually been a posting to Small Arms School at Hythe. SOE can also mean struck off establishment.

    Tricky Dicky, Nick Jay and timuk like this.
  11. Nick Jay

    Nick Jay Member

    Hi Steve

    Thank you for that and I know what you mean. If you scroll up this page, however, you can see the actual entry that mentions SOE, not a transcript. It's not mentioned anywhere else, nor is Python.
  12. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Thank You. I can read.

    If I had made the comment in relation to a transcript I would have said so and not have started another paragraph.

    Having just spent the best part of an hour posting information on another topic (where the OP requested my help via PM) I’ll not post any further on your topic.

  13. Richard Lewis

    Richard Lewis Member

    Two different medals being mentioned here:

    India General Service Medal 1936-39
    Instituted 1938.
    Issued with clasps: ‘North West Frontier 1936-37’, ‘North West Frontier 1937-39’.​

    India Service Medal 1939-45
    Award sanctioned in 1946. For three year’s non-operational service in Indian Forces in India or elsewhere 1939-45. British Officers, Viceroy Commissioned officers and British Other Ranks and Indian personnel of the Indian Army were eligible, as were British personnel, British or Indian Army provided they resided in India prior to 3 September 1939.
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  14. Nick Jay

    Nick Jay Member

    Sorry Steve, I can assure you I meant no offence. Nor was I trying to belittle your help or advice in any way I assure you.
  15. Nick Jay

    Nick Jay Member

    Thank you for that information, Richard. I hadn't realised there were two such similar sounding medals but having checked, it was the top one that was mentioned rather than the bottom one.
  16. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Contact the MOD Medal Office
    You can contact the Medal Office in writing or via email.
    MOD Medal Office
    Room G36
    Innsworth House
    Imjin Barracks
    GL3 1HW
    Telephone enquiries are handled by the Joint Personnel Administration Centre (JPAC).
    Freephone (UK only): 0800 085 3600
    Telephone (from overseas): +44 141 224 3600

    PS as there is no other file in his name at the National Archives I would suggest that SOE as you mention does not stand for Special Operations Executive but as others have mentioned above - the S O E reference you mention is dated 31- 3 - 1946

    Special Operations Executive - Wikipedia
    After the war, the organisation was officially dissolved on 15 January 1946
  17. Nick Jay

    Nick Jay Member

    Thank you very much indeed, TD. I appreciate that information. We know he did something secretive so I just thought that's why SOE might have been the Special Operations Executive but ok 'a posting to Small Arms School at Hythe. SOE can also mean struck off establishment.' seems to be the more likely.

    Mr Jinx, I missed your posting with the link. Thank you for that. I'll check it out later today.
  18. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Back in November 2011, forum member DaveB sent me the following newspaper article about an Edward Corin Poyser. Could this be your man? I believe the excerpt is from the Adelaide Mail April 1951:

    Poyser Edward.jpg
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2021
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  19. Nick Jay

    Nick Jay Member

    OMG bamboo43 - you're a star! I was told that Edward had indeed done some kind of walk to Australia but I've never been able to find any reference on the British Newspaper archives or Google. The only thing puzzling me is the Corin middle name but the rest of it certainly looks right. I believe he actually did the walk the next year, 1952 (53?) for the Queen's coronation or something perhaps but certainly it could well be our man so thank you again. I'll forward the information to my friend (Edward's son) and see what he thinks/says.
  20. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    I agree totally with Tullybrone. I am active on a Facebook site where we help people research their relatives who served in India or Burma. Loads of times we have people misreading the handwriting or abbreviations on records from the MOD and elsewhere, or assuming it means one thing when it means another.

    I spent an evening during lockdown researching an individual who served in Burma after they had posted some details only to get a reply that most of which I had found elsewhere 'was on the next sheet but I hadn't thought it worth posting'. It was crucial to their question!

    I think that if one wants others to spend their time helping the least one can do is get a phone out, photograph the records and post them.
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