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In the days of WRAC their ranks were Pte(W), LCpl(W), Cpl(W) - I am sure you can guess the rest. Of course it could be someone with a Jonathan Woss type type speech impediment who talks of wance corporals.
I've seen the term W/Sgt used, and that was for 'Wartime Substantive Sgt'. In essence - this is as I understand it, and I may have misunderstood - it meant that the rank was neither Acting, nor Temporary nor Local but was regarded as (surprise, surprise) as substantive rank. The holder of the rank could not, therefore, be reduced/returned to his previous rank unless this was done as the result of a CM - as opposed to acting ranks, of course, who might be posted somewhere and find themselves holding the rank of L/Cpl once again.
However, once the war was over, the Wartime Substantive Corporal could not expect to remain a corporal if he decided to remain in the army rather than demob.
You'd have thought so, but I have seen evidence that the 'W' is wartime only - on the regiments.org site (which sadly appears to have disappeared, allegedly temporarily) and in a document in the PRO (don't ask me which, it was over ten years ago when I found it, thought, 'Mmm, mildly interesting' and paid no further attention to it).
was 16 years old when war broke out. I joined the L.D.V which became the Home Guard and spent two nights a week Home Guard duties and two nights a week on Fire Patrol. I continued doing this for two years until I was called up. Straight after training I was on a ship to Africa with the 8th Army troops. We left England early 1942 and set sail from home, cutting through the Atlantic toward Africa. Landing at Durban we spent some time training, as we were to be deployed to the Far East, but our orders soon changed and we were then on course for the Gulf of Suez. We arrived at our waypoint in the early hours of the morning, I remember the troop carriers all lined up, ready to take the boys from Suez. 700 men and Officers for one week of dessert training. Before long I was part of the 10th Corps, and we pressed the offensive toward Alexandria, while the 13th Corps attacked further south of our position. I remember that we had a difficult job keeping up with the advance, chasing from Egypt through Tobruk, Benghazi and Tripoli! By now we had began really gritting our teeth and âsticking it to themâ. We were also wearing the âDessert Ratsâ flashes on our uniforms. Once in Tunisia we rested for 3 days, and made