Mentioned in Dispatches WWII citation

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by angular, Mar 2, 2009.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Does anyone know how I can get a coy of the MiD citation for my grandfather, from WWII? Short, that is, of getting his full service records from the National Archives (there may be some family politics with his second wife that make access difficult).

    The Gazette entry just lists his name.

    He got it at El Alamein, but of course history books don't focus on the deeds of quality bakers...
  2. The word on the street is he designed a bread roll, kidney shaped, to celebrate the Kidney Depression feature. subsequently he was recommended for another mention, which for some reason he did not receive (professional jealousy, who knows?) for the croissants at the Rapido Crossing brunches...

    Seriously though, mentions citations could be very perfunctory and the only place you are likely to get a good view will be in either his records or the unit he belonged to's war diary.
  3. Probably some jealous Gunner, you know what they're like...
  4. msr

    msr LE

    Have you tried the Regimental Museum?
  5. All jesting aside angular, have you tried these types:

    Ministry of Defence
    Defence Records 2a
    Army Records Section
    Bourne Avenue
    Middlesex UB3 1RF

    Army Historical Branch
    Ministry of Defence
    Main Building
    London SW1A 2HB
    Tel: +44 (0)207 218 5463

    I reiterate though that finding citations for mentions is a bit hit and miss. An MiD could simply be number, so and so served in xyz for n months. MiD...
  6. I believe that the Army Historical Branch is called 'Corporate Memory' or something like that now - apparently, as it had the word 'history' in its title, it felt that it was irrelevant to current ops and therefore had to either change its name or be chopped... [​IMG]

    'Corporate Memory (Analysis)' is the name...
  7. MOD Corporate Memory (Analysis) is the new AHB! It is cunningly concealed within DG HRCS area, under D Info, D XD Info, Info CM(A)...
  8. Which unit was he with, and which regiment? There is a lot of stuff available about the Battle of El Alamein to be able to work out the possibilities. If any citation does not say much if his unit was involved in some of the heavy fighting it will put you in the picture.
  9. He was a master baker (Staff Quarter-Master-Sergeant) with a field bakery in the RASC. That's partly why I'm so curious; what did he do to get MiD?

    I'll try the addreses that Cuddles posted, for which thank you.
  10. angular, by stating "He got it at El Alamein, but of course history books don't focus on the deeds of quality bakers..." does not necessarily mean it was awarded for 'a specific act'.

    The MiD could be and was awarded for consistent high performance of duties under arduous conditions. I presume by his known location and date of award you take it (probably correctly) it’s attributed primarily to El Alamein. Often MiDs emerge at the end of campaigns or the end of the war. Gallantry wards, ostensibly, are not awarded for cumulative deeds, (deeds on other occasions), though these are often sited in addition to the ‘deed’ to endorse the recommendation – and sometimes the time scale of all is ambiguous. 8O

    It may have been the case that there was a specific instance, but also reasonable he showed exemplary devotion to duty over a period which was a significant contributing factor to the overall performance of his Unit. I hope you find a citation in the Regimental records or the War Diary, but it may be you have to cover accounts for a period to get an overall impression?

    That said, you may want to start by concentrating on references to the ‘Golden List’ and the recapture of Mersa Matruh? Part of the British offensive plan was to establish forward positions for the re-supply of and facilities to advancing Units. Mersa Matruh was to be re-established as one of these advanced bases.

    From the official RASC history, p148; ”Various Units were put on what was known as the ‘golden list’, a priority of movement into this well-known desert village. The main road from Alexandria runs direct to the southern side of Matruh, but there is an alternative route by which it is possible to reach the barracks area without passing through the town. On the golden list was a RASC bakery commanded by a Warrant Officer, who, not long before, had been forced to evacuate his well establish position in Matruh. This Unit became detached from the main body of the golden list and the WO, knowing his way, took the alternative route direct to his old bakery site. On arrival, however, he was met by a platoon of German infantry. But the WO did not lose his head, although it took him a little time to convince the German infantry Commander that he was surrounded and that is only alternative was to capitulate. This incident, no doubt, is the foundation of later stories how the RASC recaptured Matruh.”

    There’s no further mention and it all may be unrelated, but worth checking. :wink:

  11. No. 9, that's priceless. I'll check through what I can find out ref. the golden list.

    Edited to add:

    My grandfather was a WO2 in 12th Field Bakery at the time of Mersa Matruh / El Alamein. I don't know if they were part of a RASC company, on the strength of a specific brigade or division or if they were Corps/Army troops.

    Prior to this he was in Greece, Crete, and went on to Tunisia, somewhere in Italy/Sicily, then NW Europe (106 Field Bakery), ending up as master baker in the POW camp (2226) in Zedelghem in Belgium.
  12. My grandfather was also a s/sgt baker in a field bakery spent time on the West coast of Africa before going to North Africa then Sicily/Italy what unit was your GF in? I'll check my GF's paybook this Sunday and see if they were in the same unit or on course together (that's if you have his paybook)
    • Like Like x 1
  13. I have the nomial roll for his unit (No. 12 Field Bakery) from about the time in question. Send me his name and I'll check. I don't have his paybook, unfortunately.
  14. Some good stuff there. I have just checked the 7th Armoured Division Order of Battle for October 1942. There are seven RASC Companies listed, 5, 10, 58, 67, 287, 432, and 507, but no Field Bakery, and none listed within the Brigades. This suggests that if the Field Bakery was a distinct unit, it was not either at Brigade or Divisional level. Perhaps Corps? Perhaps Army?