Lt Robert Edward Thomas Birch 232850. RA

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by Uncle Target, Nov 18, 2021.

  1. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Well-Known Member

    Lt Beadle Tunisia 24th November 1943
    I met a chap the other day of the old 6/8 (OCTU) who gave me news of other old “school friends.”
    To my annoyance I found that two of them were in a Light Battery which was attached to us in battle.
    Bobby Birch who once came to Woodside, was in a Medium Battery in an AGRA, also attached to us at one period of our travels.
    However maybe I’ll see them when we get moving again.

    Lt Beadle attended 123 OCTU Catterick 1941 being posted from there to 266/67 Field Regt in February 1942.
    He is referring to the 1st Infantry Division battles around Medjez el Bab, Banana Ridge and Gueriat el Atach April/May 1943.
    They met when Lt Beadle was a Bombardier in 373 Coastal Defence Battery in West Mersea 1940-41 and both left for 123 OCTU where they shared accommodation and Training due to their initials.

    March 1941
    You’ll be wanting to know about the (potential) commission.
    So far nothing further has happened except that the office lost my birth
    certificate and delayed things a week – unfortunately, I’m afraid because I
    had got past the Major as soon as I returned from leave, I might have gone
    onto an OCTU board which was sitting at the end of last week.
    Now it might be another three months to the next one.
    I still await the call to Easton Lodge. (Did I tell you that the Command Board sits there).
    Birch has been definitely selected for OCTU training and like me, though one step ahead,
    awaits the call.

    September 9th 1941
    This is a very short hasty note, written from Waterloo Station, to tell you that I am even now on my way to
    Salisbury Plain for my OCTU course.
    I heard the news at 8 o’clock last night and had to be away by 8 o’clock this morning.
    So I didn’t have a chance to say goodbye to anyone, or have a farewell binge.
    Birch who you saw in Buxton once is with me, so I shall start with the advantage of a trusty companion.

    16th November 1941 Catterick 123 OCTU
    This evening I’ve fixed a game of Badminton with friend Birch (the solicitor who came to Woodside).
    Funnily enough, to continue the series of coincidences which have kept us together since 18.7.40
    he is in the same squad as I, sleeps in the next bed, stands next to me on parade and sits next to me in lectures.
    These latter three facts, being more by virtue of alphabetical juxta positioning than fortuitous circumstance.
    Incidentally Birch and I have formed a society RSSOB which so far has only two members.
    Full title of the organisation is Royal Society for the Suppression of Old Boys.
    For your further information Old Boy is a disease of speech which afflicts 60% of our troop.
    Every day is “old boy” this and “old boy” that. It does get on your nerves a bit.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 19, 2021
    4jonboy likes this.
  2. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Well-Known Member

    Robert Edward Thomas Birch 232850 Commissioned 8th May 1942 London Gazette

    Attached Files:

  3. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Well-Known Member

    Moderators: could the title be changed to display his details: Lt Robert Edward Thomas Birch 232850

    Could we tag:
    Lt H N Beadle Lt R Birch, Capt Bert Webster MC and Sgt Merlin Wickes (Glider Pilot0 and Lt Roy Hewitson to make them easily searchable together.
    4jonboy and Owen like this.

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