A few weeks ago I sent for dad’s record of service… today they arrived!!! I was a little non-plussed to see that the writing was rather small and the columns are have been filled in using a variety of codes. There was a useful document to help to decipher the codes and over the next few days I’ll be working to translate everything so that it opens up its secrets to me. The first one shows that he was born in Maidstone, Kent on 22/04/1922 and a clerk by occupation and that he was not married. He enlisted on 22 April 1940 and was recommended for training as a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner. He was 5′ 9 1/4″ with brown hair and hazel eyes and a fresh complexion. His home address was given along with his next of kin. His repatriation date was 8/05/45.
I am rather intrigued by the stamped words, ‘Annual Filming March 1944’ and ‘Annual Filming Nov 1944’… and I wondered to what that referred as he was still a POW.
On 1/04/46 there is a note, ‘Postponement of release for 6 weeks’. This is followed by, ‘Recommended for Commission’ – 18/09/46. Finally, ‘Postponement of release for 6 months’ 1/10/46. However, his final release date was 30/12/47 – just a couple of days before he married my mother. He would have liked a Commission, I believe, but my mother didn’t want to be a ‘forces wife’… I don’t think the idea of travelling around was quite her cup of tea!
In the box, bottom right, I can see that he earned two good conduct badges… one on the 22/08/43 and the other 1/07/46 both designated as ‘1st’ and ‘A’. The authority was 247/45 for the former and 235/47 for the latter… but I don’t know what that means currently.
The second sheet gives details of the various stages through his training and service. I’ll have a look at that one tomorrow. (It’s harder to decipher!)