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WW2 medal grouping and documents 1st airborne

  1. #1

    Default WW2 medal grouping and documents 1st airborne

    Thought id share this group i picked up recently to John Frederick Richard Church Royal signals 2588376 looks like from the paperwork he finished his career with the 1st Airborne signals.His service and pay book also details he attended a tough tactics course in July 43.Any help in my research would be great anyone please.

    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture -picture-317.jpg   -picture-316.jpg  

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  2. #2

    Default Re: WW2 medal grouping and documents 1st airborne

    From what I can see, John Church was a War Substantive Corporal, serving with No 1 Company, Royal Signals of the British I Airborne Corps (General Browning's command). At the corps level, No 1 Coy was normally the 'Construction Company', that is, signallers responsible for setting up and maintaining phone lines and the like. In the British Army, formations were responsible for the communications network between themselves and the next lower formations/units, and between those lower units. He was also a long-serving Territorial, as he has the Efficiency Medal for 12 years service in the TA.

    The top paper is a leave pass, allowing him to be away from 31st October until 5th November 1945. It seems he was leaving from Weybridge and going to Kingston (Hull I would guess) for his leave. The bottom one is a record of service sheet, which I can't read.

    If you want me or someone else to help with research, perhaps post some clear scans of the paybook's pages. I would be happy to try to interpret as much as I could.

    Rob

  3. #3

    Default Re: WW2 medal grouping and documents 1st airborne

    Ok thanks will sort some clear scans out is it right that during wartime service Terratorial time served during the war counted as double this is only something i was told by someone else?

  4. #4

    Default Re: WW2 medal grouping and documents 1st airborne

    Quote by airwarrior View Post
    Ok thanks will sort some clear scans out is it right that during wartime service Terratorial time served during the war counted as double this is only something i was told by someone else?
    For the Efficiency Medal, yes. The basic qualification for it was 12 years continuous service, with service in West Africa and war service counting as double.

    Rob

  5. #5
    ?

    Default Re: WW2 medal grouping and documents 1st airborne

    I noticed there was no France and Germany star in the group, .. which would rule him out of "Market Garden" ...

    Gary J.

  6. #6

    Default Re: WW2 medal grouping and documents 1st airborne

    Gary how stupid did not even think about that real obvious that doh!!!

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  7. #7

    Default Re: WW2 medal grouping and documents 1st airborne

    Rob more closer pics of soldiers service book.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture -1c.jpg   -1a.jpg  

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    -1e.jpg   -1d.jpg  

    -1b.jpg  
    Last edited by Gary J; 09-08-2012 at 09:23 AM.

  8. #8
    ?

    Default Re: WW2 medal grouping and documents 1st airborne

    It would now be down to splitting up his service to find out when he became "airborne" .... and possibly the Africa might have been awarded for the early airborne ops.

    Gary J.

    Quote by airwarrior View Post
    Gary how stupid did not even think about that real obvious that doh!!!

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  9. #9

    Default Re: WW2 medal grouping and documents 1st airborne

    Quote by airwarrior View Post
    Rob more closer pics of soldiers service book.
    Thank you

    There are some absolutely golden nuggets of information there, including the explanation of what he was doing to qualify for the Africa Star.

    First of all, as I suspected, Church was a Lineman (R Signals), that is, a signaller responsible for setting up and maintaining phone lines and the like. This, of course, is why he was employed with I Airborne Corps' No 1 Signal Coy. This was a full army trade, classed under group E in Jan 1940, but in all other entries in his paybook as a Group C trade. Lineman had no specific official badge but such tradesmen wore the 'C Badge' from it's introduction in 1944.

    The 1 Jan 1942 entry on his 'Record of Employment as an Army Tradesman' is very important. It records he was promoted and paid as a Lance-Corporal, with the authority of "4AF Sigs". This is 4th Air Formation Signals, the signals units which supported the Desert Air Force in North Africa (hence the Africa Star). On 10th Feb 1943 he climbs to the dizzy heights of Corporal, but this time under authority of 3rd Air Formation Signals (see Record of Specialist Employment), which also served in the Middle East theatre, in the Egypt 'Canal Zone'.

    As you say, he underwent the 'tough tactics' training course, which was an important feature of this theatre, the 8th Army having a 'School of Tough Tactics' near Tripoli. Having men properly equipped, prepared and toughened was a Montgomery thing, which was a large part of his success in North Africa, as well as the units he led.

    In May 1945 he is recorded as joining the 'Depot Battalion', and as all references to I Abn Corps are later, I would suspect he transferred to their No 1 Coy after this.

    The DM and CAP gas tests were just that, gas chamber tests with these gases.

    That's all I can see of interest right now. I doubt he was a part of the Airborne Forces during the war, although Air Formation Signals is a more interesting subject if you ask me. These units led the way for RAF/Army co-operation which culminated in the overwhelming success of the 2nd Tactical Air Force in NW Europe. Far more interesting than 'Market-Garden' in my opinion...

    Rob

  10. #10

    Default Re: WW2 medal grouping and documents 1st airborne

    It amazes me how much info you can pull from things like this. You are to British militaria what Andreas is to German militaria.

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