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Old 28-10-21, 07:08
Alex Adkins-Langen Alex Adkins-Langen is offline
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Default My Great-Grandfather

Hi everyone! Sometime lurker first time poster
Been doing some research over the past few months on my great-grandfathers military record, and while I have learned a great deal over the course of many accidental all-nighters, I have now come to you for help filling in some gaps remaining gaps in my knowledge.

First, a quick run down of my great-grandfathers time in WWII.

His name was Ivan S. Adams and he enlisted in the 102nd Coastal Heavy Battery in Prince Rupert BC, on the 12 October, 1939. He would spend the next 3 years stationed at Fort Barrett in Prince Rupert, during which time he would be promoted to Bdr.

At the end of August 1943 he travelled from Prince Rupert to No. 1 Transit Camp in Windsor, NS, where he remained for a week. On either the 13 or 14 September he embarked for the UK, arriving 20 September 1943 (the service record won't tell me WHERE).

Upon arrival in the UK he was initially transferred to 1 C.I.R.U, before being transferred a couple weeks later to the more appropriate 3 C.A.R.U.

He took ill shortly after he arrived in the U.K., in October 1943, and spent about a month in hospital, first in the No. 2 CGH in Bramshott before being transferred to No. 1 CGH in Hellingly.

In January 1944 he was "SOS to Y5 list" only to be "TOS from y5 list" in February '44, all the while his service record states that his unit remains 3 C.A.R.U (I have some idea of what different lists are re. reinforcement units but I don't know what these signify).

In May 1944 he is transferred from 3 C.A.R.U to 2 C.A.R.U (I think, the handwriting is a bit difficult to read).

Then in June 1944, he is transferred to the X4 list, 12bn 2 C.B.R.U.

On the 25 July 1944, he embarks in the UK and disembarks in France on the 26th. (again, service record won't tell me WHERE)

Then he is finally transferred to the 3rd medium regiment RCA, officially at least, on the 8 August 1944, where he remains for the rest of his time in Europe.

I've got the Europe part mostly figured out (shout out to those digitized war diaries and the fun lil regimental poem at the end). If you want to read a first hand account of his time in Europe, check out this newspaper article that interviewed him shortly after he returned home here


SO, now for my questions:

Based on my limited knowledge of the Canadian forces in the UK during WWII, and the hospitals he attended, I think it's safe to say he spent his time in southern England. Unfortunately his service record has been less than helpful and refuses to tell me anything more specific than "UK." (I'm sure this was for some security reason but I still find it very inconsiderate towards future family historians, don't know why they didn't take us into account in the middle of a world war smh). I'm assuming he must have initially been near Bramshott, since that's where he first went to hospital.

Along those same lines, is it at all possible to know which ships he was on from Canada -> UK and from UK -> France, and where he might have embarked and disembarked? Will I have to bribe some friends in Ottawa to check out some records for me?

Thanks
Alex
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Old 28-10-21, 15:03
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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Hi Alex and welcome to MLU.

If I understand the process at all, troop movements in and out of Canada during the war and well into the late 1940’s, was a contract/charter type of arrangement with the various owners of the liners that were all converted. The records are hard to find and I suspect are still locked away somewhere. Odds are that the outbound trip you are looking for was via Halifax.

For the return trip, you might get lucky if you have access to Ancestry on-line.

A surprising number of Canadian troops returned home on troop ships into major ports along the eastern Seaboard of the United States and then boarded trains north to Canada. As such, these troops had to fill out standard US Immigration paperwork and a steady flow of this documentation is now digitized and showing up in the Immigration records from the 1940’s in the USA.

No guarantees, but you might get a hit.

Good luck with the investigation.

David
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Old 28-10-21, 16:40
Colin Alford Colin Alford is offline
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Alex,

The files regarding Canada-UK troopships can be found in the Library and Archives Canada "Directorate of Movements" files.

Using your presumed Embarkation date of 13 or 14 Sept 1943, I used this search
https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/collec...perator_2=AND&

to determine that the likely candidate is the Queen Elizabeth:

https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/Collec...61785072371167

Unfortunately the microfilm that contains this file (C-5691) is not available on-line. If you know someone in Ottawa with access to LAC, they can use the information in the above link to organize viewing the appropriate microfilm.

I did manage to find the file for the Westbound voyage of the Queen Elizabeth which arrived in Halifax on 3 Sep 1943. Please have a look through this file for the type of information that you can likely expect. (I did notice a document related to a group of gunners who were to guard the ship during it's stay in Halifax, and then depart with the ship):
https://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/o...9/4985?r=0&s=2

I am not familiar any resources that can help with your search for the UK-France voyage.


Regards,
Colin
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Old 29-10-21, 02:09
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John P John P is offline
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Welcome to MLU.Good luck with your search
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Old 29-10-21, 20:35
Colin Alford Colin Alford is offline
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Alex,

I found this document:https://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/o...9/5194?r=0&s=4

While this programme is dated 3 Jun 43, and there must have been some subsequent changes (ie: QE arrived in Halifax on 3 Sep vice New York on 4 Sep), I believe that it shows the likely Port of Disembarkation for your Great- Grandfather was Clyde.
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Old 29-10-21, 22:22
Colin Alford Colin Alford is offline
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Alex,

See this link for files related to the correct voyage of the “QE”

https://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/o...623/22?r=0&s=1

Files start at image 22.

Have a look at “Voyage Report” at image 330 for dates which match the known dates for your Great-grandfather.

I got to image 551 but still haven’t found a nominal roll that lists all 15000 passengers.

There are documents which give quantities of RCA pers transiting through Windsor, NS but no names.

I’ll continue to have a look later.
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  #7  
Old 02-11-21, 00:13
Alex Adkins-Langen Alex Adkins-Langen is offline
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Hi Colin! Sorry I didn't see your comments until now! Thank you so much this is so incredibly helpful to me! If I'm understanding correctly, he would have disembarked in Scotland, before presumably moving down to England?
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