Royal Artillery In WW2 - Montecasino?

#1
Hello,
I was wondering if anyone could point me in the right direction....
My grandfather was in the Royal Artillery and we know he was at Dunkirk, Montecasino and later North Africa (Egypt?)... I have his service book but I can’t find anywhere which battalion or unit of the R.A. he was in.
Is there anyway of finding out without getting his full service records?
He went missing for six months at one point around Montecasino and it’s a bit of a family mystery. His pay stopped apparently but he wasn’t marked as dead so not sure! He never spoke about it after the war.
Thanks for any help you can give!
CG
 
#2
@CambridgeGirl
You may be able to identify him through one of the ancestry sites by his full name, DOB, and whereabouts he lived (and therefore where he may have been enlisted) although his service number should be on his service book.
He would have been in N. Africa prior to Monte Casino (1944) and if he was at Dunkirk (1940) he may have been a pre war regular soldier as opposed to a conscript.
Even if you identify the RA units (Regiment and Battery) that were present at those three locations that would be very vague.
ETA If you have his service book you may have overlooked some abbreviations. Was he captured, a PW (prisoner of war) had he been a bad lad and subject to a court martial etc?
 
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#3
Another option is that he might have been TA. If so his unit might be easier to tie down as, despite a degree of movement within the gunners, he would have joined a unit near his home. It's possible that he was not with the unit throughout the war.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#4
Another option is that he might have been TA. If so his unit might be easier to tie down as, despite a degree of movement within the gunners, he would have joined a unit near his home. It's possible that he was not with the unit throughout the war.
If he was TA prewar and RA during, it's entirely possible his prewar unit was not RA.

My uncle joined up Sep 39, Northumberland Hussars. His squadron was promptly converted to Light Anti Aircraft Artillery.

Similarly South Notts Hussars converted to, iirc, Field (or possibly Anti Tank) Artillery. There's a book review of a history of South Notts Hussars (wiped out in the Western Desert) on Arrse.
 
#5
Good luck with your search.
My grandpa was at the battle and he and his mates did a runner up into a forest after the shelling got stupid.
Laid low for a few days and then rejoined the ranks after a few days.
Fully expecting to be court marshalled, he fell into line and nothing was said.
I think that he was only one of about a dozen that survived from a bunch of mates.
 
#6
Thank you everyone! Now I look closer I think it’s his training records - it has no other information. It says he enlisted in 1939, terratorial army. It has his service number but then just his vaccinations, training etc.
I have a picture of him in Egypt, his certificate from the town of Dunkirk and know he was at a Montecasino.
He enrolled in Bedfordshire, I don’t know if that helps! To be fair, I think if I’d been through Dunkirk, Montecasino and a number of family deaths he couldn’t return home for, then I would have disappeared for a bit too given the opportunity!
I had considered POW - I think it’s time to pay the £30 and get his full records!

Thanks so much everyone!
 
#7
Cambridge Girl, it's a fair bet he was in 67th Field Regiment RA. His records may (or may not) confirm.

On the bad news side, six months without pay implies a period in jail, sorry!
 
#9
Ooh thank you and it’s ok - I’d considered that possibility :)

Think my next step is to pay the £30 - they say it could take months but I hope not! Would a prison sentence have been mentioned in dispatches etc at that time do you think? It’s public record now so maybe it was then? Or not for morale purposes?
 
#10
Ooh thank you and it’s ok - I’d considered that possibility :)

Think my next step is to pay the £30 - they say it could take months but I hope not! Would a prison sentence have been mentioned in dispatches etc at that time do you think? It’s public record now so maybe it was then? Or not for morale purposes?
It would be noted in his service records. It wouldn't necessarily be mentioned in his units War Diary. I doubt it would be public record but any dependents back home would obviously know his pay had been stopped and why.

Specify that you want 'Full Disclosure' - I believe there's an abbreviated form that exists but if next of kin (NOK) is applying then you should get the full version.
I've only ever seen one, they're not biographies; just dates, locations, units, courses lots of abbreviations - he may be BEF in Dunkirk, 1st or 8th Army in N. Africa, Middle Eastern Forces (MEF) followed by 8th Army in Sicily/Italy, Central Mediterranean Forces (CMF) then BFA and BAOR etc.

Once you know his unit, their War Diaries, available from The National Archives (TNA), will detail what and where the day to day events are but don't necessarily mention individuals unless it's significant - so casualties, medals, courts martial etc.
 
#12
Bear in mind that medical records can be 'interesting', my grandfather's certainly were!
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#13
Sounds a bit like my in laws grandfathers war although he was commissioned and didn't do bird!
I really should push them to get his records as the stories are far too disjointed to make sense.
 
#14
We all have these little entertainments: my Grandfather did FP No1 in Greece for trying to bayonet a Greek who refused to sell booze; his brother Bert was let out of the cells on HMS New Zealand for the battle of Jutland; and my wife's Grandfather went over the wall a few times, both in the UK and France.
 

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