Rank abbreviation query

Have also put this up in the RAMC section -

My Grandad passed away a couple of weeks ago and all his military stuff has come to me.

In his release book (Feb 1946) his rank is given as S/Sgt then in brackets is either (A/V/Q.M.S) or (A.W.Q.M.S) I can't see if its a 'V' or 'W' from the writing.

I was wondering if anyone could enlighten me as to what the meaning of it is. My thoughts are that it is to do with an Acting Rank, which as he was a Staffy would have been Warrant Officer. Also assuming that QSM is something to do with quartermasters.

Any help appreciated!

Got some great photos, from basic training at the RAMC depot, Dalkeith in April 1940 (he was Dunkirk weeks later), Italy, Cairo and Austria.
Going to guess on the back of something my Dad once told me.

A.W - Probably means something like Acting Wartime.

QMS is normaly QuarterMaster Sergeant.

So long as this thread don't disappear some of the huge brained types* will be on soon and will have a definative answer I am sure.

*known as "spotters" in other walks of life :)


Book Reviewer
The appointment Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant (RQMS) tends to go to a holder of the rank of WO2 (and he gets a variation of the WO2 crown to indicate this.

The appointment Squadron or Company Quartermaster Sergeants (SQMS - pronounced Eskimo Ness - and CQMS) tend to hold the rank of SSgt (Colour Sergeant in the Infantry. Why do they have to be awkward about everything? SSgt and CSgt are the same rank in every way except the name.)

Can you see the difference between appointment and rank? A rank is an empirical level; an appointment is a job or role, which would usually be filled by a soldier of the appropriate rank (but in wartime it would not be unusual for an appointment to be filled from a lower rank because of undermanning).

Acting rank carries all the values of substantive rank apart from seniority. ISTR that holding acting rank for a period of 90 days usually qualifies the soldier to the substantive rank.

That your relative held acting rank commensurate with the appointment of SQMS suggests to me that he filled the role for enough time to justify the acting rank and was actually posted to the appointment, but without the time served to be awarded substantive rank, he could only act up.

Had the old SQMS been KIA, the LCpl storeman might fulfil the role of SQMS until a new appointment was made but he would only be the de facto SQMS with no privileges unless something was published.
Thanks for the replies but I am now going to throw a spanner in the works thanks to me only quickly scanning through the papers before writing the post!

I originally posted that the rank was (A/V/Q.M.S) or (A/W/Q.M.S)

It is actually

(A/V/Q.S.M) or (A/W/Q.S.M) i.e not QMS but QSM which is why I got the idea he may have been acting as a Quatermaster Sergeant Major (if such a thing existed) and not a Quartermaster Sergeant.

Any ideas folks?

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