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Thread: Picture of my father in Photos section

  1. #1
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    Default Picture of my father in Photos section

    Hi,

    Does anyone here know where this picture was sourced from?



    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

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Picture of my father in Photos section

    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.

    "Honi-Soit Qui Mal'Y Pense." :
    "Ill unto he who ill of it thinks."
    Edward III, Rex Britania, AD1348.

    "Wenn Schon, denn schon."
    "Be It Done, Best be It Be Done Well."
    Known German adage.

    "Until you have looked into a veteran's eyes and actually seen it,
    you'll never fully understand."
    ^Uyraell^

    "Aligaes : Amore vel Ira." :
    "^Winged Ones^ : Love or Wrath."

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Picture of my father in Photos section

    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

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Picture of my father in Photos section

    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.

    "Honi-Soit Qui Mal'Y Pense." :
    "Ill unto he who ill of it thinks."
    Edward III, Rex Britania, AD1348.

    "Wenn Schon, denn schon."
    "Be It Done, Best be It Be Done Well."
    Known German adage.

    "Until you have looked into a veteran's eyes and actually seen it,
    you'll never fully understand."
    ^Uyraell^

    "Aligaes : Amore vel Ira." :
    "^Winged Ones^ : Love or Wrath."

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Picture of my father in Photos section

    And now, for something completely different.

    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.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Picture of my father in Photos section

    Hi Rising Sun,
    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    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

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Picture of my father in Photos section

    Quote Originally Posted by Yosh1aki View Post
    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.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Picture of my father in Photos section

    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.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Picture of my father in Photos section

    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/s...a5739825.shtml
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/s...a5839130.shtml



    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
    Last edited by Amrit; 04-15-2009 at 07:08 AM.
    _______________________________________________

    Squadron Leader Mahinder Singh Pujji DFC - 43 & 258 Squadron RAF & 6 Squadron RIAF. Hurricanes & Spitfires over France, Tomahawks in North Africa, Hurricanes over Burma.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Picture of my father in Photos section

    And

    http://www.remuseum.org.uk/campaign/...ket-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
    _______________________________________________

    Squadron Leader Mahinder Singh Pujji DFC - 43 & 258 Squadron RAF & 6 Squadron RIAF. Hurricanes & Spitfires over France, Tomahawks in North Africa, Hurricanes over Burma.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Picture of my father in Photos section

    Quote Originally Posted by Amrit View Post
    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.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Picture of my father in Photos section

    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.
    _______________________________________________

    Squadron Leader Mahinder Singh Pujji DFC - 43 & 258 Squadron RAF & 6 Squadron RIAF. Hurricanes & Spitfires over France, Tomahawks in North Africa, Hurricanes over Burma.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Picture of my father in Photos section

    Quote Originally Posted by Amrit View Post
    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 , 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.
    Last edited by Rising Sun*; 04-15-2009 at 07:25 AM.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Picture of my father in Photos section

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Now that you've established yourself as the site's photo interpretation expert , 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.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    _______________________________________________

    Squadron Leader Mahinder Singh Pujji DFC - 43 & 258 Squadron RAF & 6 Squadron RIAF. Hurricanes & Spitfires over France, Tomahawks in North Africa, Hurricanes over Burma.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Picture of my father in Photos section

    Quote Originally Posted by Amrit View Post
    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.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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