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Many questions prompted while reading my Dad's Service Records

May 1 2017 at 2:34 PM
Melodie 

Hi,

I want to start by saying "Thank You" for this invaluable service you are providing by having this forum. I have been "lurking in the shadows" for quite some time now trying to get a better understanding of what my father did during his service in WW2 and have found many answers here. For that I am most grateful.

At first all I was trying to do was to replicate his Battledress blouse, but that task has snowballed into an all out research project and the more information I find the more proud and awestruck I am of my Dad and every other soldier who fought for our freedom.

I have my Dad's service records and have pored over the pages a thousand times and I have ended up having many questions that I am hoping you will be able to assist with.

I'm hoping to submit more inquiries later but for now I could use some help with some abbreviations that I haven't been able to find anywhere:

FTW, Spc Inc, WTO, Adm and Mac Increment

FTW - as in Leave P(1) no ftw.
Spc Inc - as in SOS (from 2 CARU) to 1st Med Regiment Spc Inc
Note -He ultimately ended up with the 3rd Medium Regiment
WTO - as in TOS WTO L/Bdr (This happened after he was injured)
SOS (from 2 CGRU) to 1 Adm Trp Coy
SOS (from 1 Adm Trp Coy) to 2 Mac Increment


Any assistance you can provide will be appreciated more than I could express.


 
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Dan Martel

My best guess is...

May 2 2017, 3:03 PM 

Melodie,

Some of the acronyms I know, some I don't. So here goes.

FTW. Judging by the context I would say that it has something to do with a travel warrant, as in "no f--- travel warrant. Maybe "no free travel warrant." Travel warrants were issued to soldiers by their unit when said soldiers had to travel on civilian networks, usually rail or bus. Some leave was granted with travel warrants, some without. It looks like this particular grant of leave was for a local destination.

Spc Inc. Special Increment. Units, in this case a medium artillery regiment, could be given a special increment to hold personnel over and above their establishment. The reasons for having a spc inc are many, and many units fought with additional troops in a spc inc till the end of the war.

WTO. Not exactly sure, but I do know that L/Bombardier was a unit appointment, not a rank. That means a soldier holding such an appointment would lose it when he left, or was SOS, his unit. Said soldier may receive a new L/Bdr appointment upon arrival, or TOS, at his new unit. This is what I think happened here. He was appointed L/Bdr at the same time he was TOS. I think the 'W' may stand for 'with' as in "TOS with TO L/Bdr.

Adm. Administration or administrative. 1 Administration Troop Company.

Mac Increment. Are you sure Mac is in lower case? MAC (upper case) stands for Motorized Ambulance Company. If your dad was injured while in the artillery, and as a result had his medical profile reduced to where he was no longer fit to be in an active artillery unit, but was still of a profile sufficient to work in a 'B' echelon unit, like a MAC, he would have been transferred to one after recovering from his injuries. Increment, again, as over and above unit establishment.

This is my best estimation. Hope it helps. Oh, and thanks for putting the acronyms in context. It makes translating from Army to English that much easier.

Cheers,
Dan.

 
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Melodie

Abbreviations

May 3 2017, 7:53 AM 

Thanks for your help with these abbreviations, Dan.

Regarding the Mac Increment, yes, it is in lower case. The exact entry is "SOS to 2 Mac Increment 1 CATC RCASC" "I don't have any info indicating that he drove an ambulance, but his medical records indicated that he was fit of L of C and we have photos of him on a motorbike. Additionally on the page that shows a short account of service it says O/S 48 months in U.K and N.W Europe with RCA as Driver I/C. I am of the understanding that he drove a motorbike to take various documents to the front but since I didn't get that info from my Dad, I can't confirm.

Regarding L/bdr, I didn't know that it was an appointment rather than a rank. What is the difference between the two? He never did get that appointment again after he was injured. I'm not sure if this helps to better determine what WTO is, but the preceding line on his service record was:
SOS x3 list to y3 list - under the "rank shown" column is L/bdr and the next line down is TOS from WTO L/bdr and in the rank shown column is Gnr. Also there's a second form that describes it slightly different. It says: UK & TOS from WTO on Adm to BN&PS hosptial (that's Bassingstoke)

I was trying to see about attaching a copy of these pages to this sight as it show it everything much clearer but so far I havnt' been able to figure out how to do that.

Thanks again for your help. It is greatly appreciated

Melodie



 
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Dan Martel

Aha!

May 3 2017, 11:12 AM 

Melodie,

Thanks for the additional info.

Mac will be for Motorized Ambulance Company as they were RCASC units and operated within the L of C (Line of Communications) or the rear areas behind the battle zone. With possibly a reduced medical profile from his wounds, your dad would still have been useful in a support role and seems to have been employed as such.

Driver i/c stands for Driver internal combustion, or driver of a motorized vehicle. (Driver without the i/c meant the driver of a team of horses. It was a holdover trade designation from the beginning of the war.) If your dad was a Driver i/c with the artillery then after his release from the hospital he could be placed anywhere a Driver i/c was required (like a MAC). Being in a MAC didn't necessarily mean he drove an ambulance. There were many support vehicles in a MAC that didn't transport the wounded. He may have drove one of them.

By the way, artillery units did have motorcyclists. Most Army units did to, as you said, carry dispatches between headquarters.

There were two lance appointments in the Army: Lance Corporal (or Lance Bombardier in the Artillery) and Lance Sergeant. They were a non-permanent appointment that the Commanding Officer of a unit could award to those soldiers who were under consideration for a promotion to the substantive rank of Corporal or Sergeant. Every unit was allowed a fixed number of lance appointments. Usually about 20 Lance Corporals and eight or so Lance Sergeants. Because they were awarded at the discretion of the CO, they were only valid as long as the person holding the appointment remained in the unit. When a soldier holding one was SOS, the appointment was taken away, and the soldier was TOS at his new unit with only his substantive rank. There's probably a regulation somewhere that explains it better than I've tried to do here. I'll see if I can find it.

I'm not sure that I fully understand the paragraph about your dad's lance appointment. To post photos or documents on here, you have to subscribe to a photo service that will give your downloads an http address. Failing that, you can e-mail your downloads to me direct and I'll post them on here for you and try to provide a better interpretation.

Cheers,
Dan.

 
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Melodie

Very illuminating

May 3 2017, 5:11 PM 

Hi Dan, thank you, thank you, thank you.

You have shed tremendous light on all my questions. I haven't stopped smiling since I signed up for this forum.

I won't need any further explanation on the L/bdr appointment - you explained it very well. Thanks.

I wasn't quite sure about the WTO abbreviation so thought it might be clearer if you could see exactly how it was written, but it's all good.

I do have a three more abbreviations I'd like to ask about. Post Sufr, M.U. and TOA.

1. The very first entry on his record, the day he signed up says: TOS & Post Sufr T.S (very hard to discern the letters so not sure if it is correct)

2. This entry looks like a stamp: POST (?as?) replacement for M.U. (don't know what this means at all)

3. SOS on TRANS TOA
He was SOS from TC 132 for all purposes. (thats Grand Prairie, AB) and after the "TRANS TOA" entry was "Att'd to CATC A-1 in Petawawa" I wonder if TRANS TOA means "Transferred TO (A)advanced training??

Thanks again for all your help.

Melodie


 
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Dan Martel

Racking my brain...

May 4 2017, 3:08 PM 

Melodie,

I can't seem to come up with definitions for Post Sufr or TOA. MU is more than likely Manning Unit, but it doesn't really seem to fit with the entry you've provided.

I would like to take a look at your dad's documents, if possible. Might shake up my recollections a bit.

Sorry I'm not as helpful this time.

Cheers,
Dan.

 
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Melodie

I'm working on it............

May 4 2017, 4:20 PM 

Hi Dan, Thanks. I'm still trying to figure out how to get them to you. I have 4 pictures in the photobucket but I stuck on how to I attach. Any suggestions would be welcome.

 
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Melodie

I've got it

May 4 2017, 4:53 PM 

Hi Dan - I think I've figured out to download pictures but will have to do it later. Thanks again.

Melodie

 
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Melodie

Here you go.........

May 4 2017, 7:15 PM 

Hi Dan, Here are 3 pages of service records. Sorry that they are so messy. They're my working copies. Now that I know how to upload I may send more later.

Melodie


[linked image]


[linked image]


[linked image]

 
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Dan Martel

Excellent

May 5 2017, 3:10 PM 

Melodie,

Okay, so I'm thinking it's the yellow highlighted passages on the last page which are still confusing us. The last page posted is actually the first page of his record.

The first line is "TOS & post (posted) supy (supernumerary) TS" to No 13A District Depot in Edmonton. Still don't know what 'TS' stands for. (Maybe Temporary Status pending the completion of his enlistment paperwork?) "Post (posted) as replacements for MU" I think means he was posted to the Manning Unit in the Depot which would be a holding unit for personnel prior to proceeding to a Training Centre. For some reason he was transferred to the survey regiment reinforcements for six days prior to leaving for basic training. (Must have been an Army thing.) He was sent to CA(B)TC 132 in Grand Prairie two months after joining.

"SOS ON TRANS TO A1" is what I think it says. Right below that line it says he was attached to CATC A-1. SOS ON TRANS TO A is a stamp. All that was remained was to ink in the number of the advanced training centre to which the soldier was being posted. In this case, A1. He remained there until proceeding overseas in February, 1942.

I think "No ftw" is actually "no PTW." I can't see an acronym with a lower case 'f' and upper case 'TW.' Possibly no paid travel warrant?

Now that I see it in context, I think that WTO may have something to do with his transportation back to England after his injury. On disembarkation in the UK he was TOS from WTO on adm (admission) to hospital. Maybe wounded transport something?

Thanks for posting your dad's record. It was an incredible read of a pretty brave guy.

Cheers,
Dan.

 
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Melodie

A great help

May 6 2017, 4:57 PM 

Hi Dan, I’ve learned so much these last few days. I still have lots to learn but I’m extremely pleased with your explanations on all the abbreviations.

I did want to say that I believe your initial response regarding ftw was accurate. I have another page of Dad’s record that clearly shows FTW – definitely an "F" and in caps. And it makes perfect sense that it could be no “free travel warrant”

I was touched by your kind words calling my Dad a "pretty brave guy". That means a lot. He passed away at a very young age (56) and I was too young to appreciate what he had done. It wasn’t until many years later, when I obtained his service records and delved into them that I was able to fully comprehend his bravery and sacrifice.

I will have more questions but will submit later. Once again, I truly appreciate all your time and help.

Melodie


 
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