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Yosh1aki
04-13-2009, 11:40 PM
Hi,

Does anyone here know where this picture was sourced from?

http://www.ww2incolor.com/d/43835-5/1981-017-01 (http://www.ww2incolor.com/britain/1981-017-01.html)

I found this picture in the Photos section of this website.

Is the person who uploaded it a member of this forum?
Do they have any information about the picture?

My (now deceased) father is one of the soldiers in this photo (front left, wearing beret at non-regulation angle).

Unfortunately, I cannot make out most of the writing on the sign held in front of the assembled squaddies.

The title/description given to the picture is:

The 75.British Platoon "model" for photo

So I presume the top line on the chalk-board says '75 Platoon' (I can read the word 'Platoon', but cannot clearly make out the number to its left).

And I can read the bottom line: 'July 1945'.

But my eyes are not too great these days; I cannot read the two middle lines.

I suspect those two middle lines contain info about the location and perhaps about the unit.

If it was just some photo of anonymous soldiers from WW2, I probably wouldn't be terribly interested. After all, this is hardly a rivetting shot of heroic action.

But as my father is one of the squaddies pictured, I really want to fnd out as much as I can about this photo.

If anyone here has the original I would love to purchase it (or a photographic copy/reprint of it).

Can anyone help me?

Pete

Uyraell
04-14-2009, 01:54 AM
Hello Yosh1aki/Pete. :)

I used a magnifier to view the photo in your post.
As best I am able to discern it, the writing on the blackboard is as follows:

75 Platoon
HT Bridge COY.
Aberdeen
July 1945.


It may be someone has a better set of eyes than mine, but I've written it as my eyes have seen /discerned it. Hope it is of help to you.

Kind Regards, Uyraell.

Yosh1aki
04-14-2009, 03:38 AM
Thankyou thankyou Uyraell!

I tried a magnifier as well, but yours must be better than mine!

The mention of Aberdeen is a surprise. I presume it is the location of this picture.

My father told me that his first taste of Army life was at the Perth depot of the Black Watch, in early 1944, where some very scary Scotsmen shouted at him all the time. That was the only time he mentioned being in Scotland.

I don't recall him ever mentioning Aberdeen. I will ask my mother if she can remember anything about Aberdeen.

Thankyou again for your help.

Pete

Uyraell
04-14-2009, 08:29 AM
Hello Pete, you are more than welcome. :)

I'm uncertain how reliable this little infobit is, but I was once told that soldiers were often shunted around between Aberdeen and Perth according to whichever necessary course of instruction had the most available accommodation.

Basically, both Aberdeen and Perth would run the same courses at the same time (say, for example, Bailey Bridges, transporting and establishing), and guys on course "A" could often find themselves doing a course-section in the other town (nominally course "B" of the same course) temporarily because of accommodation or transport availability.

I know it happened on Combined Operations and REME courses, according to the vet who told me, so I don't see it as unreasonable that such things may have happened with certain other courses also.

Kind Regards, Uyraell.

Rising Sun*
04-14-2009, 09:39 AM
And now, for something completely different. :D

75 Platoon in the top line seems unlikely on normal company and battalion organisation. Wouldn't a low digit number or early alphabetical designation be more likely for a platoon within a company?

I think it could be H or M 7 ?Bridge? on the second line.

The third line doesn't look like Aberdeen to me. It might even be 2Lt. or Lt.[someone - ? Moon] which could fit with a platoon photo. Or it might be a location in Europe.

Yosh1aki
04-15-2009, 12:31 AM
Hi Rising Sun,

75 Platoon in the top line seems unlikely on normal company and battalion organisation. Wouldn't a low digit number or early alphabetical designation be more likely for a platoon within a company?.
I thought that too. It certainly does seem unusual as a platoon identifier, and it is a rather high number too. But my dad was in the RAMC, not an infantry battalion, maybe the Rob All My Comrades boys were different. I will find out what system the Corps used for identifying platoons.


I think it could be H or M 7 ?Bridge? on the second line.It looks like H7 to me as well now. But Bridge only seems to make sense as either a place name (unlikely?) or as perhaps a course name or unit name, as per Uyraell's suggestion above.


The third line doesn't look like Aberdeen to me. It might even be 2Lt. or Lt.[someone - ? Moon] which could fit with a platoon photo. Or it might be a location in Europe.

My mother confirmed she never heard my dad mention Aberdeen in his tales of wartime service. And by July 1945, I am pretty certain he would have been in either Germany, or possibly in Paris.

Many thanks for the very helpful input.
Cheers
Pete

Rising Sun*
04-15-2009, 02:02 AM
It looks like H7 to me as well now. But Bridge only seems to make sense as either a place name (unlikely?) or as perhaps a course name or unit name, as per Uyraell's suggestion above.

Might it be a title or abbreviation for a specific type of company within the RAMC?

Something associatied with a regimental aid post, field ambulance, dressing station, or field hospital?

Maybe you could find an answer in organisational structures of those units for WWII.

Rising Sun*
04-15-2009, 02:06 AM
Yosh1aki

If you're any good with a photo editor, you might be able to select the colour in the writing on the board and substitute a colour with higher contrast, like black or red, to make the writing more legible.

Amrit
04-15-2009, 06:49 AM
It is M Platoon, 147 Bridge Company*, Nijmegen (though it looks like they have misspelt it a bit).

* Royal Army Service Corps

Here's a brief history from one who served in that Company:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/25/a5739825.shtml
http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/30/a5839130.shtml

http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t272/kyt1968/BridgeCompany.png?t=1239796160

BTW Pete, as a next-of-kin, you can apply for his service records. It will cost 30 (unless your mum is still with us in which case it is free to spouses) and there can be a few weeks wait but it will give you an outline of his service. Make sure to request photocopies of the original files - otherwise you end up with a typed summary that is usually useless for any meaningful follow-on research:

http://www.veterans-uk.info/service_records/army.html

Amrit
04-15-2009, 07:04 AM
And

http://www.remuseum.org.uk/campaign/rem_campaign_market-garden.htm


The bridging equipment and its transport was organized in a number of columns each capable of dealing with one of the waterways which might have to be crossed, and an Army Group RE was nominated to take charge of the bridging on each obstacle, divisional engineers being liable to be placed under the Army Group REs, if required. These arrangements provided flexibility and a speedy response to an ever changing situation. The bridging vehicles were under the command of a Commander Royal Army Service Corps (CRASC) Transport Column who had four RASC bridge companies at his disposal.


Composition of a Bridging Company RASC
1 x Bailey Platoon (30 bridging vehicles)
1 x Pontoon Platoon (26 bridging vehicles)
1 x Heavy Bridge Platoon (22 bridging vehicles)
1 x FBE* Platoon (26 bridging vehicles)
1 x Raft Platoon - Type A (20 tractors and 20 trailers)
1 x Raft Platoon - Type B (24 bridging vehicles)
1 x Assault Platoon - Type A (19 vehicles and 5 trailers)
*FBE - Folding Bridge Equipment

Rising Sun*
04-15-2009, 07:10 AM
It is M Platoon, 147 Bridge Company*, Nijmegen (though it looks like they have misspelt it a bit).

* Royal Army Service Corps



Amrit. Thanks. Nice photo work!

Pete said earlier that his father was RAMC but, assuming he didn't switch from RAMC to RASC, perhaps he could have been with the RAMC as a RASC driver as I think the RASC provided amubulance drivers for the Medical Corps.

Amrit
04-15-2009, 07:15 AM
The RASC, like many units, would have been made up of many other unit members. Technically, it seems that Bridge Companies where under the command of which ever division/corps that was operating in an area - and units like the RAMC, RASC, RE etc were dispersed amongst the dedicated combat units, which would require their services.

To complicate matters, an RAMC member maybe assigned to an RASC unit as a medical orderly, the RASC unit may then be assigned to an RE unit to provide manpower, and the RE unit may then be assigned to a battalion of a regiment to provide engineering needs during an operation.

Rising Sun*
04-15-2009, 07:22 AM
The RASC, like many units, would have been made up of many other unit members. Technically, it seems that Bridge Companies where under the command of which ever division/corps that was operating in an area - and units like the RAMC, RASC, RE etc were dispersed amongst the dedicated combat units, which would require their services.

To complicate matters, an RAMC member maybe assigned to an RASC unit as a medical orderly, the RASC unit may then be assigned to an RE unit to provide manpower, and the RE unit may then be assigned to a battalion of a regiment to provide engineering needs during an operation.

Now that you've established yourself as the site's photo interpretation expert ;) :D , can you work out whether the men in the photo are all wearing the same corps badge? This would indicate whether they were made up from the RASC alone or from other corps.

EDIT: Looks like there is at least one forage cap in there and I'm not sure that all the other headgear is uniform for one corps.

Amrit
04-15-2009, 07:40 AM
Now that you've established yourself as the site's photo interpretation expert ;) :D , can you work out whether the men in the photo are all wearing the same corps badge? This would indicate whether they were made up from the RASC alone or from other corps.

I tried manipulating the photo before but the size and resolution just aren't good enough for anything meaninful.

But from the information provided above, it looks like the majority of the visible badges do conform to the RASC badge. There is one that appears to look like a RAMC badge, just from the shadowing and the fact that it appears to have the appropriate scroll at the bottom of the badge. I have also inserted a picture of a known RASC soldier so that people can make comparisons.

However, there is not enough detail to say whether the RASC badge couldn't be the RE badge


EDIT: Looks like there is at least one forage cap in there and I'm not sure that all the other headgear is uniform for one corps.

Yes, I marked that too - am intrigued as there appears to be no badge there at all - not even a shadow of one.

Rising Sun*
04-15-2009, 07:43 AM
I tried manipulating the photo before but the size and resolution just aren't good enough for anything meaninful.

But from the information provided above, it looks like the majority of the visible badges do conform to the RASC badge. There is one that appears to look like a RAMC badge, just from the shadowing and the fact that it appears to have the appropriate scroll at the bottom of the badge. I have also inserted a picture of a known RASC soldier so that people can make comparisons.

However, there is not enough detail to say whether the RASC badge couldn't be the RE badge



Yes, I marked that too - am intrigued as there appears to be no badge there at all - not even a shadow of one.

Thanks again.

That's enough homework for you for tonight. You can go and have your tea (or whatever is due up there) now. :D

Yosh1aki
04-22-2009, 06:03 AM
Apologies for not adding a reply immediately. Been a bit busy.

It is M Platoon, 147 Bridge Company*, Nijmegen (though it looks like they have misspelt it a bit).This is fantastic info - many thanks for this! The photo you annotated and then provided a link to is better (clearer, easier to see detail) than the one I originally noticed in the photo archive - so thanks for that too!


Here's a brief history from one who served in that Company:Thanks for this too. It is very kind of you to track down the recollections of someone who actually served in the same unit. (Not sure why the old gent mentioned Mussolini though - perhaps his memory was playing tricks on him).


BTW Pete, as a next-of-kin, you can apply for his service records. It will cost 30 (unless your mum is still with us in which case it is free to spouses)She is still with us, although definitely fraying around the edges these days - thanks for the link and for letting me know how to save thirty quid! Actually, I was unaware that it was even possible to get hold of my dad's service records. Thanks.


Make sure to request photocopies of the original filesYep - understood - Thanks again for all this help. It is really very kind of you.


Pete said earlier that his father was RAMC but, assuming he didn't switch from RAMC to RASC, perhaps he could have been with the RAMC as a RASC driver as I think the RASC provided amubulance drivers for the Medical Corps.My father was definitely RAMC. He was a medical orderly, and served in casualty clearing staitons, regimental aid posts and also in some hospitals.

But I also know that:

a) he was able to drive before being called up (he started working at 14 and had to learn to drive the firm's van), and:

b) he worked in a Q store when he was stationed in Germany (he was stationed at both Iserlohn or Bielefeld). Did the RASC handle Q stores?

So perhaps he was a RAMC person attached to a RASC company as a driver and Medical Orderly. When I was a child, my father often spoke to me about working in the Q store, he said he really enjoyed it, and worked with a really great Quartermaster Sergeant whom he called 'Q Way' (No idea about the correct spelling - it could have been Wey, Whey, or Way). I just assumed it was the Q store for a British Military Hospital, but maybe he was working in a Q store because he was attached to an RASC unit. I don't know. I suppose I will find out when I get hold of his service records.

But his abilty to drive, and the fact that he worked in a quartermaster's store certainly open the possibility tha he was attached to the RASC for at least some of his time in the Army.

Thanks again to Uyraell, Rising Sun and Amrit for all this help. I am really grateful. I will add any (relevant) details I discover when I get hold of my dad's service records. Thanks!
Pete

Uyraell
04-22-2009, 06:47 AM
Amrit : My Profound Respects and Salute to you!!
You did far far better than I , and more accurately.

RS*, my friend, thank you for having a go at it too. :)

Yosh1aki, My apologies for my errors.

Amrit: Many Thanks my friend, very well done :)

Kind regards, Uyraell.

mortarake
02-11-2012, 05:49 AM
Hi, I have a photo of this period of the !47 Bridge Company Royal Engineers & Drivers RASC. It is a formal photo taken in 1944 before D Day.
Alan