John (Jack) Dennis Bastable - 7th btn, Royal Sussex Regiment/109AA

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by Samuel Bastable, Feb 22, 2019.

  1. Hey, I'm trying to find more info on my grandad's service during WW2.

    I know he was in the 7th btn, Royal Sussex Regiment/109AA and was part of the D Day landings and Belsen liberation.

    He was seriously injured, burnt, shrapnel wounds and sent to Sunderland for treatment before going back.

    I have loads of photos of him and his mates during that era but no record of his service number or his other experiences.

    He died a few years back now, but it would be nice to get more info and share stories/photos with anyone who might have links with him/his regiment.
  2. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    Hello and welcome aboard
    You only mention D Day and Belsen etc, but do you know more about WHEN he joined? He'd need to be at least 17.
    The reason I ask is that Wiki notes for the 7th Battalion as follows
    which appears to indicate that if he was a 7th Battalion man, he'd have been in France and at Dunkirk, after which he'd have been transferred into the 109th LAA Royal Artillery, and gone back to Normandy with them.

    Did he come from Clapham, near Worthing in Sussex?
    There's a 1st Qtr 1938 marriage in Brighton area to Phyllis Shaw, is that him?
    BASTABLE, RAYMOND WILFRED. Private. Service Number 6409467. Died 11/09/1943. Aged 22
    Royal Army Service Corps
    Son of John and Minnie Bastable, of Clapham, Sussex.
    Buried at MEDJEZ-EL-BAB WAR CEMETERY Plot 7. Row F. Grave 4.
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  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    ozzy16, Tony56 and CL1 like this.

  4. He’s from Brighton. Married Phyllis G Shaw. He lived well into old age (1914-2005)

    I wanted to get his service records, but I don’t know his service number or anything. Can’t afford to get them at the moment either. Was hoping I might be able to find them another way.
  5. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    I’m afraid there is no “free” shortcut to getting a post WW1 Soldiers Service papers. Everyone needs to apply to MOD and pay the fee. If what you say about him being wounded is correct you may find him listed on the official casualty lists which are available via FMP. Lack of a service number isn't a bar to a service papers application as MOD will search on full name and DOB only - however if he is on the Casualty Lists you will have his Army service number.

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  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Service numbers are not required to obtain WW2 service numbers as Tullybrone states. What you do need is a death certificate, and a cheque for £30 which to be honest will save you a lot of time & trouble going down alleys and wasting your time plus possibly others. Its not a lot of money considering what they gave.

    You need to start off from factual details

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  7. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    If its any help, 357; 358 and 359 Batteries were in the 109th LAA Reg't.
    They had two casualties buried in Bayeux in September 1944, one definitely 359 Battery;
    Another was buried in Brunssum, Holland in December 1944, one in Riechswald in Feb 1945 and they ended the War in Hamburg.
    In fact, your grandfather may well have been a Pal of this other Sussex lad
    UDELL, CECIL JOHN. Lance Bombardier. Service Number 6399993. Died 30/04/1945. Aged 25
    109 (7th Bn. The Royal Sussex Regt.) Lt. A.A. Regt. Royal Artillery
    Son of Frank and Edeth May Udell, of Arundel, Sussex.
    Buried at HAMBURG CEMETERY Plot 2A. Row E. Grave 9.

    Obviously that doesn't add much, but it may help Pals looking at Casualty Lists for you to head for those months first to see if your grandfather was wounded in any of those actions.
    Tony56 likes this.
  8. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Totally agree, service records are necessary, do you know for certain that he only served in one regiment? It was not unusual for service men to move regiments and quite common to move between battalions.

    The casualty lists reveal 11 service men with this surname and the initial J, the only one in the Royal Sussex had the initials A H J and was in the 1st Bn, was wounded in Italy on 17/2/44 and later amended to 'not battle casualty.

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  9. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Casualty list 1759 dated 17 May 1945
    6399993 Udell, Gnr C.J., 109 Lt. A.A.R., died of wounds 30.4.45.
  10. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member

    Bastable Household (2 People)
    48 Lower Bevendean Road, Brighton, Sussex
    John D Bastable -16 May 1914 - School Caretaker And Furnace Stoker (Heavy Work)
    Phyllis G Bastable - 25 Dec 1917 - Provisions Shop Assistant
  11. Yes I know it’s not a lot of money, but when you’re living hand to mouth, it is.

    I’ve already said I will when I’m able to, but that food/living is currently priority at the moment.
  12. Ok. Thanks. Good to know I don’t have to have service number to access records. Just thought I’d check just in case. Living hand to mouth at the mo so £30 is an expense I can’t afford for now. Will hopefully be able to do it in a few months.

    What’s FMP?
  13. Thanks. Yep, that’s definitely them. They lived just over the road from the school for the remainder of their lives after he left that job and always had fond memories of the staff and pupils.

    My dad grew up at the school house, which was a beautiful cottage on the edge of school grounds.

    He (grandad Jack) lived til 2005....ripe age of 91....and had 3 sons and subsequent grandchildren.

    My dad is the youngest of the three.
  14. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Find My Past - its a genealogy web site along similar lines to Ancestry

    I understand that you might have financial problems I am trying to provide a clear route for you and others that it is the best way to start military research on someone who served in WW2. If members keep chasing their tails all over the shop they will soon become disinterested, so as stated better to start with facts.

    Patience is a virtue - so in my humble opinion its best to cut back on the speculation and await the time until you have his service records

  15. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Sorry for using’s Findmypast genealogy site... as per links in post 8. It should be accessible for free via your local library.

    Ancestry site access is also usually accessible for free as well as British Newspaper Archive which may turn him up on a name search.

    Good Luck



    Don’t bother with Forces War Records site.

  16. Ah ok. Thanks Steve. I’ve used FindMyPast in Manchester library. It’s ok, but prefer Ancestry.

    Good to know about the newspaper thing as another avenue for general info.

    Thanks for letting me know about the Forces War Records. I did see that and contemplated it as an option when I can get some money together. I’ll make sure to avoid it then.



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