"The Story of my Fathers WW2 Army Service"

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by rockape252, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. rockape252

    rockape252 Senior Member

    View attachment 87768 Hi,

    "The Story of my Fathers WW2 Army Service"

    Charles Edward (Ted) Domoney was born in Wallsend, Newcastle-upon-Tyne on the 16th of October 1918. This is a brief account of my fathers Army service during WW2.

    The first photograph, see "St_Peters_June_1939.jpg" shows a smart young man 20 years of age standing relaxed outside the front door of his family home at 90 St Peters Road, Willington Quay, Wallsend.

    Later that month my father received his Military Training Act certificate for medical assessment, see "Mil_Trg_Act.jpg", with the medical result of "A1", and "Med_cert.jpg".

    Having been a Grammar School lad my father volunteered for service with the Royal Air Force hoping to become Aircrew, see "RAF_Volunteer_Reply.jpg" for the reply he received.

    My father received his enlistment papers dated the 10th of October 1939 for service with the Territorial Army. He was ordered to report to the Third Cavalry Training Regiment, Redford Cavalry Barracks, Edinburgh, see "Call_Up_10_Oct_39.jpg".

    Strangely the photograph see "Trooper_Ted_October_1939.jpg" is dated on the back "Oct 1939" and shows him in uniform. Perhaps he had kitting out and training locally before reporting to Edinburgh ? see "Dads_Spurs.jpg" which is a recent photograph showing their condition, plus both the name of their manufacturer and the date when made.

    The photographs see "XMas_Party_1939.jpg" and "Trooper_Ted_Edinburgh_1939.jpg" were taken during his training. On completion of his cavalry training "Trooper Ted" was given leave and then ordered to report to the "Forth Cavalry Training Regiment" at Colchester on the 14th of March 1940, see "4th_Cavalry-Trg_Regt.jpg".

    "Trooper Ted" arrived in the Middle East expecting to join The "Royal Scots Greys", due to an administrative error he joined "The Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry". I have no record of when my father was posted to the Middle East, but his first photograph from there is, see "On_Digger_Jenin_Palestine_1940.jpg". The photograph see "Italian_POWs.jpg" shows Italian POWs being fed at a "C Squadron" field kitchen. I can only assume that this photograph was taken in Palestine because it is mounted in my fathers album with other photographs named Jenin, Hadera and Nathanya all dated 1940.

    "The Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry" deployed to Iraq in 1941, see "Iraq_Pipeline_Patrol_1941.jpg". "Trooper Ted" is rear left in the photograph. The photograph see "Iraq_Syrian_Border.jpg" is dated 1941, the truck in the centre of the photograph see "Iraq_Syrian_Border_Truck.jpg" has the number "57" painted on the radiator, also there are 2 x Armoured Cars "Rolls-Royce ?" in the shot. I`m not sure if this photograph was taken before or after the action at Palmyra against the Vichy French.

    Many years after the war my father had told me about an incident at Palmyra in Syria when the "Vichy French" enticed British troops into the open by showing a White Flag and then opened fire on them killing and wounding the troops in the open. There is a newspaper clipping which was published in a British newspaper in "Trooper Teds" Photo Album with the handwritten note "Syria" next to it. The clipping describes the murder of British Troops by Vichy French Forces during an engagement at Palmyra, see "FFL_Murders.jpg".

    My father told me that during the final assault he and his mates armed with Thompson Sub Machine Guns loaded with Drum Magazines had chased the Vichy French Foreign Legionnaires through the pillars at Palmyra ... they took no prisoners.

    I have no records of the deployment of "The Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry" to North Africa. All I know is his regiment had been issued, first "Honey" then "Grant" and then finally "Sherman" Tanks and "Trooper Ted" had became a Wireless Operator/Loader in a Troop Commanders tank. The following is taken from "The Army at War", "The Eighth Army September 1942 to January 1943" page 86. (Action on the 2nd of November 1942.) Quote "The 3rd Hussars had twelve tanks left, the Warwicks seven, and the Wilts none at all."

    That`s when "Trooper Ted" became a casualty, an 88mm Anti-Tank Gun had knocked his tank out in front of Miteirya Ridge. Quote from my Fathers Diary. "3 Years Late" "Lost in the dark so moved forward slowly then stopped. Opened up on dark shapes to the front, no return fire. Waited until dawn came and German guns fired at us hitting our tank"

    --- Editors Note. However, there is much more to the action than this simple description describes. The following information was related to both my Father, Mother and Sister by Mr Daws (spelling of surname ?) at a regimental reunion after the war. ---

    "When the Sherman Tank was hit it caught fire, the commander who had been sitting on top of the turret was blown out, the gunner was killed and the driver "Trooper Daws" escaped from the tank and started to run for cover. Looking over his shoulder he saw "Trooper Ted" hanging in the remains of the shattered turret, he doubled back, grabbed "Trooper Ted" and carried him to cover whilst the tank burned and it`s ammunition exploded. The remnants of the crew waited and soon a British jeep joined them. There was no room for all of the remainder of the crew, so the tank commander was taken back in the jeep." The 2 remaining troopers waited for rescue but were captured by a German patrol. Both troopers were taken to a German Field Hospital and were given First Aid, "Trooper Teds" left arm was so badly damaged it was amputated above the Elbow.

    "Trooper Teds" family received a Telegram informing them that their son was missing in the Middle East with effect from November the 2nd 1942 see "Tel.1.jpg". They then received a Red Cross Post Card see "RED_X_Post_Card_Front.jpg" and "Red_X_Post_Card_Text.jpg" dated exactly 3 weeks after "Trooper Ted" was wounded and captured. Further information about "Trooper Teds" progress to Germany was by 2 more telegrams see "Tel.2.jpg" and "Tel.3.jpg".

    --- Editors Note. My Father told me that when his Hospital Ship crossed the Mediteranian Sea from North Africa it was attacked by Royal Australian Air Force Beaufighters causing deaths and further wounds among the allied POWs. ---

    "Trooper Ted" became a POW in Stalag IX A/H which is a large monastery in Kloster-Haina South of Kassel. The reason the monastery in Kloster Haina was chosen as a POW camp was to house prisoners in the monks cells and also to be able to provide some medical aid using the monasteries medical centre for the more badly wounded prisoners. See "POW_Group_Front.jpg" and "POW_Group_Rear.jpg". This Post Card appears to have been sent in an envelope see "POW_PC_Env_Front.jpg" and "POW_PC_Env_Back.jpg".

    "Trooper Ted" was repatriated back to England via the Swiss Red Cross. The repatriation process started in the middle of 1943, "POW_German_Repat_doc.jpg" He first landed in Sweden see "Welcome_RX.jpg" and then sailed on to England by Hospital Ship in late 1943 see "HS_Atlantis.jpg" and was moved to a military hospital for examination. see "Im_Home_Post_Card_Front.jpg" and "Im_Home_Post_Card_Text.jpg". Finally "Trooper Ted" met his Mother and Father at Newcastle-upon-Tyne Central Station on the 23rd of November 1943, see "Hello_Mum_and_Dad.jpg". Photograph "Copyright Newcastle Chronicle Limited".

    Whilst on home leave "Trooper Ted" and other ex POWs were introduced to the Lord Mayor of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in early January 1944, see "Meeting_The_Lord_Mayor.jpg." Photograph "Copyright Newcastle Chronicle Limited".

    Then "Trooper Ted" was discharged from the Army on the 23 of February 1944, see "Discharge.jpg". My father joined "The British Limbless Ex Service Mens Association" (BLESMA) as a volunteer helper and served for 50 years giving men like himself help to get work and support.

    After returning to Wallsend my father applied for a job as a Teacher. However, even though he was accepted by letter when he went for his interview the committee changed their mind.Explaining that the articulated (12 pound in weight) false left arm my father wore would frighten the children because it creaked when it moved see "Dad_and_Raffles_1945.jpg".

    Unperturbed my father applied for and got a job in "The Neptune Offices" of a major shipyard, "Swan, Hunter and Wigham Richardson" ... as a Draftsman.

    My father married a local girl "Mary Bradley" in 1947 and they raised 4 children. Michael, Paul, Catherine and Marie during the dire post war times. Living in Walker in a Victorian slum for 14 years with no electricity only Gas for lighting and 2 Coal fires for heating, a single cold water tap in the scullery and an outside toilet. The family moved to a modern house in 1961.

    My Father passed away on the 28th of August 2002 and my Mother passed away on the 18th of August 2012.

    Without their love I could never have told this history.

    Regards, Mick D.

    Attached Files:

    Marabout, AB64, gpo son and 5 others like this.
  2. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Great work there Mick D.

    Oh how I wish we still had such photos and paperwork regarding my Grandad. I see you mention Colchester, was that the Cherrytree barracks by any chance? I only ask because Grandad was posted there for a while when he was with the 9th Devons in 1941-42.


  3. Joe Brown

    Joe Brown WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Dear Mick,

    Thank you for kindly putting up the story of your Dad, which I read with great interest. It is good to see the wonderful collection of photograhs and documents which I am sure are now treasured by the family.

    It tells what we had to face and go through. I was just about three years younger than Ted, joining the local TA in May 1939.

    With warm regards,

    Joe Brown.
  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Superb set of photos & documents.
    Thanks for posting.
  5. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Lovely photos Mick.
    Thank you for posting

  6. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Well done Mick !

    Thanks for sharing this super collection

  7. At Home Dad (Returning)

    At Home Dad (Returning) Well-Known Member

    great photo's and history, Mick!

    In the photo "hello Mum & Dad" - how ever
    did they keep their side hats on like that!
  8. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    Thanks for posting the photos and the summary about your father. It was really interesting to read.

  9. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    Thank you for letting me have a glimpse of your fathers interesting war time, and the excellent photos
  10. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Excellent work, Mick!


  11. gpo son

    gpo son Senior Member

    That's great thanks for sharing.
    Wasnt there a thread a few weeks ago were someone was described as sitting on top of the turret and others said that was just not done. and yet here we have another commander sitting on top a turret. Does any one remenber this or is it me?
    Again nice Rockape.
  12. rockape252

    rockape252 Senior Member


    Thank you to all who viewed and also commented about my fathers WW2 history.

    I think it very important that such history is recorded and hopefully learned from.

    Kind Regards, Mick D.
  13. rockape252

    rockape252 Senior Member

    Hi gpo's son,

    Ref your question about Tank Commanders sitting in their turrets.

    Please see attached photographs Miteirya_Ridge.1.jpg and Miteirya_Ridge.2.jpg

    taken from

    "The Army at War", "The Eighth Army September 1942 to January 1943" pages 86 and 87.

    I had to enhance the photographs from very dark pictures pages on either side of the book, but you can make out the humped shaped of Tank commanders sitting on the turret with their legs inside as well as standing on the turret directing their gunners fire.

    The Text under the photographs speaks for itself.

    Regards, Mick D.

    Attached Files:

  14. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Sitting and even standing on their turrets ?

    Never, at least, not in my time !

    Standing in their turrets ? Always !

  15. rockape252

    rockape252 Senior Member


    Read the text below the photograph in Miteirya_Ridge.1.jpg

    It explains that because there is a slope to the front and the German tanks were in dead ground behind the slope the tank commanders stood on the turrets to give fire control orders to their gunners who couldn't see the targets.

    Regards, Mick D.
  16. gpo son

    gpo son Senior Member

    never doubted it just brought it up as a point of info. as some where esle probalbly the 'catch a tiger' thread there was much ado about that not being down and yet your post demostrates it was. I know when Canada sent its aging Leapards to Aghanistan in 2008 there was a great deal of talk about the crews having to deal with the heat which would exceed 40C outside and 50+ inside, that dehydration would be a major problem, the solution was for the crews to wear the 10L water packs while on patrol. Anyhow I could imagine the same problem existed in the desert in 1941-43 (unless they had AC ;) ). So I could see crews with their head up all over the place of course except in battle of course.
  17. rockape252

    rockape252 Senior Member

    Hi bamboo43,

    I'm sorry about the long delay in replying to your question.

    I dont know the answer I'm afraid.

    I do know my Father was trained as a Wireless Operator so maybe that's were he did his training.

    There are more photographs to publish, unfortunately they are in Newcastle and I'm stuck in Lincolnshire with mobility trubs ATM.

    I'll get back to you ASAP I get any gen.

    Kind Regards, Mick D.
  18. rockape252

    rockape252 Senior Member


    Today being the anniversary of my late Fathers death I have posted up another photograph of him.

    This was taken in Cairo in October 1942 and my Father was aged 24 years old.

    The date of the photograph is important because 1 month later my Father was in action at El Alamein.

    Regards, Mick D.

    Attached Files:

    dbf likes this.
  19. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Great story of your Fathers active service - regarding the lack of information on the Wilts etc - google for Viii Brigade which Monty thought a great deal of so much that he invited them to join him for D day - they left Tunisia early after the final battle there for the Uk and well deserved leave

  20. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Mick,

    Good to have the chance to re-read your story and view the new photograph.

    Best wishes


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