REME - Grandfather's Service Record

Discussion in 'REME/RAOC' started by RosyRedd, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    I have recently received a copy of my grandfather's service record and from what we understood he was there during the Sicily Invasion - ahead of everyone else (I started a different thread a while ago asking if anyone had heard about REME landing early).

    However, his service record shows that he wasn't part of the CMF until July 1944 (I think). In one of the right hand columns it is stated 8th August '43: 47/44 (off) REME/ME & 13 Oct '43 P20.48/44 (off) REME/ME - does this mean that he was away from REME on those dates? There doesn't seem to be anything like that prior to August.

    I have attached the two pages I am referring to. Does anyone have any ideas please?

    Thanks.

    Jules.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    It shoiws he was in BNAF British North African Force prior to it being changed or moving into the CMF.
    The REME/ME could be just REME/ Middle East Force I stand to be corrected by anyone with a wider knowledge.

    Hope this helps you.
     
    Ped61 likes this.
  3. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    It shoiws he was in BNAF British North African Force prior to it being changed or moving into the CMF.
    The REME/ME could be just REME/ Middle East Force I stand to be corrected by anyone with a wider knowledge.

    Hope this helps you.

    Mike,

    I believe that you are correct.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  4. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Have a look at Ron's post :-

    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/allied-units-general/18801-bnaf.html

    I'm sure that he'll be along in a moment.

    I see that your Grandfather was with Paiforce in the Middle East which is another area you can research.

    The promotion from Quartermaster Sergeant to Lieutenant and then Captain Quartermaster was a route to a commission which occurred quite often. I'd suspect that he would have had to undertake some training courses prior to the promotion (dealing with mess bills, that sort of thing :))
     
  5. jeffbubble

    jeffbubble Senior Member

    I salute the Man - In at the birth of REME, the Royal Warrant was dated 19th May 1942.

    In 1943 16 Base Wksp landed at Algiers and then moved to Bone with its 470 personnel.
     
  6. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Rosy -
    I am having trouble with the scribbles but- if you keep in mind that there were four main areas of British Army activity out there with the PAIF - MEF - CMF and BNAF to consider
    PAIF was Palestine and Irag Force(Basrah) - MEF - Middle East Force ( Egypt and desert) BNAF -British North Africa Force ( Algeria /Tunisia) -CMF - Central Mediterranian force ( Sicily/ Italy) - this might help you trace his movements
    Cheers
     
  7. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    Thanks Mike and Tom. Do you know what the "(off)" might mean? And also did you notice the dates on the left go from August '43 to October '43 back to September '43?

    Rich - I took a look at the link, thanks for that. If Ron was BNAF when he was in Sicily/Italy then it seems more likely that the story we have about my grandfather could be right. Does anyone know where the No 1 Advanced Base Workshop was? As the date is 1 September '43, it would help to confirm whether or not he was around the Med at about the right time.

    Also, I was looking to get a book on REME history. The museum recommends 'Craftsmen of the Army' by Kennett & Tatman. Are there any others that you think would be of interest?

    Again thanks very much

    Jules.
     
  8. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    Rosy -
    I am having trouble with the scribbles but- if you keep in mind that there were four main areas of British Army activity out there with the PAIF - MEF - CMF and BNAF to consider
    PAIF was Palestine and Irag Force(Basrah) - MEF - Middle East Force ( Egypt and desert) BNAF -British North Africa Force ( Algeria /Tunisia) -CMF - Central Mediterranian force ( Sicily/ Italy) - this might help you trace his movements
    Cheers

    The scribbles are becoming a bit clearer now that I have been staring at them for some time! Thank you also Tom for the abbreviations it is definitely a help and I had for whatever reason got the P in PAIF wrong.


    I salute the Man - In at the birth of REME, the Royal Warrant was dated 19th May 1942.

    In 1943 16 Base Wksp landed at Algiers and then moved to Bone with its 470 personnel.

    Jeff that is also a big help. Thank you both very much.

    Jules
     
  9. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Jules

    You appear to be getting plenty of help and I have nothing else to add other than MELF was, I believe, Middle East Land Forces.

    Good luck with your research !

    Ron
     
  10. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    Jules

    You appear to be getting plenty of help and I have nothing else to add other than MELF was, I believe, Middle East Land Forces.

    Good luck with your research !

    Ron

    Yes, every bit of help is a real bonus. I appreciate it all. Thanks Ron :)
     
  11. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Rosy -
    the fact that the dates on the left appear to wander from August to October and back to September wouldn't bother me too much as some company clerks had trouble with the time of day - but then they were in the fighting units and were usually exhausted but base wallahs had it a bit easier on the whole - now in the November of 1943 - it appears that they landed at Algiers (BNAF) - then moved on to Bone(Annaba to-day) - and at that time near Bone - actually Penthevrie was our 21st Tank bde of some 200 Churchill Tanks and not too far away at Ain Mokra was Gerry Chesters 25th Tank bde with another 200 Churchill Tanks - all at some time or other landing up at a REME base depot for repairs after running up and down the hills there - plus - I think it was the 4th Division with a few carriers here and there and another few assorted units - so there was plenty of work to be had for REME experts at that time as we were all gearing up to move to Italy(CMF) in the New Year - while Ron and his 78th Division along with 5th Division -1st Airborne -6th Armoured were still in Tunisia - had already done a stint in Sicily and the 46th at Salerno and were now hanging about around Bari and the Foggia airfields in Southern Italy(CMF)
    Cheers
     
  12. jeffbubble

    jeffbubble Senior Member

    Craftsmen of the Army
    ISBN 0-436-23295-2
    Leo Cooper with Secker and Warburg

    Order it at your your local library it will only be about £1 booking fee

    Best of luck - oh by the way its Volume 1
     
  13. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    If you want a copy for your own records try ABEBOOKS they are normally quite reasonably priced.
     
  14. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    Rosy -
    the fact that the dates on the left appear to wander from August to October and back to September wouldn't bother me too much as some company clerks had trouble with the time of day - but then they were in the fighting units and were usually exhausted but base wallahs had it a bit easier on the whole - now in the November of 1943 - it appears that they landed at Algiers (BNAF) - then moved on to Bone(Annaba to-day) - and at that time near Bone - actually Penthevrie was our 21st Tank bde of some 200 Churchill Tanks and not too far away at Ain Mokra was Gerry Chesters 25th Tank bde with another 200 Churchill Tanks - all at some time or other landing up at a REME base depot for repairs after running up and down the hills there - plus - I think it was the 4th Division with a few carriers here and there and another few assorted units - so there was plenty of work to be had for REME experts at that time as we were all gearing up to move to Italy(CMF) in the New Year - while Ron and his 78th Division along with 5th Division -1st Airborne -6th Armoured were still in Tunisia - had already done a stint in Sicily and the 46th at Salerno and were now hanging about around Bari and the Foggia airfields in Southern Italy(CMF)
    Cheers


    I am going to look for a better map of the region and locate those places!! Thanks very much Tom. The information about the other divisions is also very interesting too.

    I am reading about the Eighth Army in North Africa at the moment - specifically El Alamein. The book doesn't go into great detail, it mentions recovery and repairs without actually mentioning that it would have been REME, but it all helps to get a better idea.

    Jules.
     
  15. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    Craftsmen of the Army
    ISBN 0-436-23295-2
    Leo Cooper with Secker and Warburg

    Order it at your your local library it will only be about £1 booking fee

    Best of luck - oh by the way its Volume 1


    Thank you! Good thing you mentioned which volume ;)

    If you want a copy for your own records try ABEBOOKS they are normally quite reasonably priced.

    I have ordered the book from AbeBooks and it was a good price too. Thank you. Can't wait now!


    Jules.
     
  16. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    Rosy
    When reading about El Alamein and such you will have to remember that REME was then the RAOC.
    It can be quite odd at first but you will get used to it, I am pleased that Tom has pointed you in the right direction.
     
  17. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    Rosy
    When reading about El Alamein and such you will have to remember that REME was then the RAOC.
    It can be quite odd at first but you will get used to it, I am pleased that Tom has pointed you in the right direction.

    Never straightforward! :) Do you mean then that REME was called RAOC after it's formation? I read on an internet site today that all but one of the workshops were RAOC and just became REME from October '42. Is that correct?

    Jules
     
  18. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Rosy -
    Oldman has it right - REME was spawned from RAOC about the time of El Alamein when it finally penetrated the ivory towers that the WW2 was a bit more vehicle orientated than WW1 and thus mechanics would be better utilised in fixing Tanks etc than just humping ammunition etc....

    All Tank squadrons had two or three REME mechanics - along with a member of the Signals Corps - attached in what was known as "LAD's" - Light Aid Detachments and they could reasonably fix most problems - the bigger problems were then sent to the REME Base Depots - usually at Brigade or even Divisional HQ's
    Cheers
     
  19. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    Rosy -
    Oldman has it right - REME was spawned from RAOC about the time of El Alamein when it finally penetrated the ivory towers that the WW2 was a bit more vehicle orientated than WW1 and thus mechanics would be better utilised in fixing Tanks etc than just humping ammunition etc....

    All Tank squadrons had two or three REME mechanics - along with a member of the Signals Corps - attached in what was known as "LAD's" - Light Aid Detachments and they could reasonably fix most problems - the bigger problems were then sent to the REME Base Depots - usually at Brigade or even Divisional HQ's
    Cheers

    That is great. The Trux thread mentions the lines and echelons. It is finally starting to sink in a bit I think. Thank you!
     
  20. jeffbubble

    jeffbubble Senior Member

    A bit more info, from the REME PAST & Present site.

    TOS is taken on strength
    SOS is struck off strength
    MELF Middle East Land Forces
    FARELF Far East Land Forces
    Embark means he got on a ship and Disembark means he got off a ship, the dates will show how long the voyage was and he was between postings.
    Capt (QM) means he held the rank of Captain and was employed in quartermaster duties ie. supplies, food clothing equipment etc.
    He was commissioned 8 August 1943 and posted to MEF ???, BNAF CMF ?? between '43 and '45 don't know what they are before my time but it seems he was in Italy towards the end of 1944 and came back to the UK 31 August 45 and I am not sure what he was doing up to 1947, seems he was in some sort of "holding" position or reserves but he was promoted from Lieutenant to Captain about 25 Feb 47 although there is no date or authority shown.
    Then he got on a ship on 17 March for the Middle East and arrived after 2 weeks. He was in various REME workshops for about 20 months in the Middle East, I have no idea whereabouts in the Middle East! Cyprus? Aden? Egypt? thats not shown.


    Then on 20 Dec 1948 he set sail for the Far East arriving in Singapore on the 8 Jan 1949.
    "permitted to defer PYTHON" ( A three year stint of duty) in march 1950, seems he volunteered for an extra 6 months in Hong Kong. Then back to Depot REME England 24 October 1950.
     

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