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  #1  
Old 09-03-13, 08:02 PM
Rob_E Rob_E is offline
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Smile WWII Royal Canadian Engineers Questions

Hi all,

I hope you can help with a few questions. My great-uncle served in the RCE during the war and has recently taken ill. We had to pack up his home and I've decided to mount his medals, insignia, photo, etc.

A few quetions:

1. I know that he served in the GHQ & Line of Communications Troops, but in his correspondence home while overseas he wrote both No. 1 Railway Workshop Company and No. 1 Railway Operating Group. Does anyone have any clarification?

2. In trying to put the collection together, I have some pieces but am missing others. I have his medals, ribbon bar, and cap badge. I am going to try to get a hold of the metal shoulder tiles, RCE collar badges, and RCE shoulder patch. Are there any other pieces I'm missing?

3. Regarding collar badges for the RCE, there seem to be two different styles, one with a smooth circle base and "flames" (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Royal-Engine...item3f07516a11) and one with a dotted/stippled circle with "leaves" extending (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Royal-Canadi...item5ae576ef76). Does anyone have any clarification?

4. Regarding medals, I have 4: France and Germany Star, Defence Medal, Volunteer Service Medal, War Medal 1939-45. I have his discharge papers and these are the only ones listed. However, while going through his effects I found a piece of ribbon (for the bar) which corresponds to the 1939-45 Star, but no medal or full-length ribbon. He served from 1943-46 in Canada, UK, and Belgium. Is there a reason why he would have the bar ribbon only and no medal? Is it likely that he was awarded this medal and it's simply missing or is there another reason to have the bar ribbon?

Any and all help will be MOST appreciated!

Thanks, Rob
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  #2  
Old 09-03-13, 08:41 PM
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Hello Rob, Welcome to the B&CMBF.
Before getting into your questions in detail, some more information is needed. Was he an officer or other rank?
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  #3  
Old 10-03-13, 02:22 AM
Rob_E Rob_E is offline
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Hi Bill,

Thanks for the welcome! He was a sapper.

Cheers,

Rob
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  #4  
Old 10-03-13, 09:33 PM
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Default RCE insignia Railway Troops

Hello Rob, I have added some information below your questions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post

I hope you can help with a few questions. My great-uncle served in the RCE during the war and has recently taken ill. We had to pack up his home and I've decided to mount his medals, insignia, photo, etc.

A few quetions:

1. I know that he served in the GHQ & Line of Communications Troops, but in his correspondence home while overseas he wrote both No. 1 Railway Workshop Company and No. 1 Railway Operating Group. Does anyone have any clarification?

You may want to check the history of the Royal Canadian Engineers, Vol. 2. There is some information in it. The "Operating Group" was the overall unit while the NO 1 Wksp Coy was a sub-unit of the Group.

2. In trying to put the collection together, I have some pieces but am missing others. I have his medals, ribbon bar, and cap badge. I am going to try to get a hold of the metal shoulder tiles, RCE collar badges, and RCE shoulder patch. Are there any other pieces I'm missing?

During the Second World War metal shoulder titles were withdrawn, and were not worn. Similarly, since he was a sapper he would have only worn battle dress, which did not have collar badges. You may wish to add formation patches. As L of C troops he would have worn the 21st Army Group shield patch. (Crusader's shield with the cross. Blue on red.)

3. Regarding collar badges for the RCE, there seem to be two different styles, one with a smooth circle base and "flames" (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Royal-Engine...item3f07516a11) and one with a dotted/stippled circle with "leaves" extending (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Royal-Canadi...item5ae576ef76). Does anyone have any clarification?

See above.

4. Regarding medals, I have 4: France and Germany Star, Defence Medal, Volunteer Service Medal, War Medal 1939-45. I have his discharge papers and these are the only ones listed. However, while going through his effects I found a piece of ribbon (for the bar) which corresponds to the 1939-45 Star, but no medal or full-length ribbon. He served from 1943-46 in Canada, UK, and Belgium. Is there a reason why he would have the bar ribbon only and no medal? Is it likely that he was awarded this medal and it's simply missing or is there another reason to have the bar ribbon?

Any and all help will be MOST appreciated!

Thanks, Rob
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  #5  
Old 10-03-13, 10:00 PM
Rob_E Rob_E is offline
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Hi Bill,

I really appreciate the thorough and helpful response! Any idea on the 1939-45 Star though?

Thanks a ton,

Rob
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  #6  
Old 10-03-13, 10:03 PM
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Hi Rob, Yes he should have the 39-45 Star.
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  #7  
Old 10-03-13, 10:12 PM
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Hi Bill,

Is there a reason it didn't appear on his discharge papers? Did they not write about that one? Cheers
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Old 10-03-13, 10:31 PM
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Not sure about the discharge papers. Have you accessed his service record? He can request it, and the answer should be in there.
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  #9  
Old 10-03-13, 11:48 PM
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The problem is he no longer has his mental faculties so I can't have him just sign a request. Thanks for the help though!
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  #10  
Old 11-03-13, 01:56 AM
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Rob, when you say you have his discharge papers, are you refering to his Discharge Certificate? I have only 3 Discharge Certificates to compare, and none of them have Medal information on them. The medal entitlement is found on the Medals index card.

It is very possible for him to have NOT qualified for the 39-45 Star. This award required 6 months service in a specified theater of operations, between Sept 03 1939 and August 15, 1945. There were some cases where the minimum time was shortened.

IMO, personally I would mount his medals (minus he 39-45 Star) with his cap badge, cloth shoulder title, 21st Army Group patch, and a photo of him in uniform.

Good luck with your venture.
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  #11  
Old 11-03-13, 12:38 PM
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Hi Rob,

Would you happen to have any photos of your dad, and/or his mates, from the war. Specifically, illustrating their work on trains, sigs lines, etc...? I publish a series of books (www.servicepub.com) and I have the text for a booklet on the Railway Operating Group but do not have enough illustrations for the format. Anything you can supply would be appreciated and I would give you a few copies for family distribution.

Clive
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  #12  
Old 11-03-13, 04:09 PM
Rob_E Rob_E is offline
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Hi Pylon1357,

I don't have a medals index card. I beg your pardon but I was wrong; it wasn't his discharge papers (which I also have) but a Statement of Service from 1980. Under point 8 (medals and decorations) it lists the 4 medals. I wouldn't question that, except I have the bar ribbon for the 1939-45 Star and I know that he should have qualified based on service time.

Hi Clive,

It's my great-uncle, but yes, I found his photo album from overseas. Lots of pictures of him and his friends on the Continent, both working and more relaxed. I will be scanning them in over the next two weeks and I can take a look and see if any will be good for you. Is there a timeframe you're looking for?

Cheers,

Rob
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  #13  
Old 11-03-13, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
Hi Clive,
It's my great-uncle, but yes, I found his photo album from overseas. Lots of pictures of him and his friends on the Continent, both working and more relaxed. I will be scanning them in over the next two weeks and I can take a look and see if any will be good for you. Is there a timeframe you're looking for?

Cheers,

Rob
No set time-frame. When scanning please scan as high as possible, 600DPI would be great. These can be sent to me at clive@servicepub.com

Clive
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  #14  
Old 11-03-13, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
Hi Pylon1357,

I don't have a medals index card. I beg your pardon but I was wrong; it wasn't his discharge papers (which I also have) but a Statement of Service from 1980. Under point 8 (medals and decorations) it lists the 4 medals. I wouldn't question that, except I have the bar ribbon for the 1939-45 Star and I know that he should have qualified based on service time.

Cheers,

Rob
Hello Rob, I know of the Statement of service form you are talking about.

As for the issuing of the 1939-45 Star, it is not based solely on time served, but where the time is served. The qualifications for this particular Star is IMO, the complicated of them all.

I have prime example of a soldier serving in the Irish Regiment of Canada, the fellow joined in 1940, went to the UK with the Regiment, but was held back in other duties in the UK. He was able to get to Holland for a brief time, then returned to the UK. before the war ended. His entitlement was France and Germany Star, CVSM with O/S clasp, War Medal and Defense Medal.

His statement of service does not list his as being awarded it, he does not have the actual medal, just a piece of ribbon. Based on this, I would have to say the ribbon piece may simply be something he picked up.

At this point, without his Medals index card, it is impossible to say for sure if he was in fact entitled to this Star.
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  #15  
Old 11-03-13, 10:03 PM
Rob_E Rob_E is offline
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Hi Pylon1357,

Thanks for being so detailed and I'm sorry to keep belabouring the point. After a closer reading of the papers, I'm even more confused.

His DISCHARGE Certificate (March 1946) says that he was awarded the
- 1939-45 Star
- France & Germany Star
- Defence Medal
- CVSM & Clasp

while the Statement of Service (from 1980) says that he was awarded the:
- France & Germany Star
- Defence Medal
- CVSM & Clasp
- War Medal 1939-45

So now I'm just entirely unclear. Any thoughts? I really do appreciate your (and everyone else's) patience and information!
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