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GrahamCooper
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Joined: 20/08/2011 23:29:50
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While looking into another matter I was reading the war diary for "Special Service Brigade Signal Section,file ref WO 218 / 31.

September 15th 1942 has the following entry: "Serious lorry accident occurred to No 2 section. 3 O.R's killed (Lsgt. BECKETT, Lcpl. PATERSON and Sigmn.BURNS

On checking with the CWGC , all three are mentioned ,but no commando connection,only parent regiment Royal Corp of Signals

They are not mentioned on the ALREWAS panels either.

What was the status of the Special Service Brigade Signals section,were these 3 men commando's ?

Thanks

Graham

By their deeds they shall be known
Pete
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Major James Dunning wrote in some detail about the beginnings of the Special Service Brigade Signals. By August 1943 each of the four Special Service Brigades had their own Signals Section within their HQ. He states they were recruited initially from within each Commando and taught the requirements of a Signaller. So not all from the Royal Corps of Signals. He also clearly states that all were Commando trained in line with the training at any particular date as it developed, and wore the Green Beret.

If the War Diary for the Special Service Brigade Signals states these men were a full and permanent member of the Section, rather than on just a temporary attachment from the Royal Corps of Signals for some exercise or training purpose, then yes they should be remembered as such. If you provide me with the full details, I will add the relevant information to a biography page on each man, leaving the option for relatives in the future to possibly provide more detail to confirm, or otherwise, Commando service.

Pete Rogers, son of LSgt Joe Rogers MM & nephew of TSM Ken McAllister. Both No2 Cdo. God and the Soldier, all men adore, In time of danger and not before. When the danger is passed and all things righted, God is forgotten, and the Soldier slighted.

**** nb. I no longer monitor private messages. ****
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Vlewis
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Joined: 27/05/2007 10:42:24
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Hi Graham,

Interesting document, where can I find WO 218 / 31?

My Father was posted to Special Service Brigade Signal Troop 04 August 1942 and subsequently served with the Commandos in Italy (43) and France (44) and in Kenya (45), the latter being a bit difficult to find information on. I am assuming this document would have movements and notable events like the one you describe?

The other observation is the slight change in names through those years. The entries in his official service records states as above posted to Special Service Brigade Signal Troop, "troop" being different from "section" and later in 1944 posted to Special Service Group Signals. So at some point during the Special Service Brigade existence they were Section, Troop and Group.

Regards Vic

NIC
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Hi Vic,

WO 218/31 are War Diaries held in the National Archives in Kew...

Reference: WO 218/31
Description: Bde. Signal Sec.
Date: 1942 Jan.- Dec.
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Closure status: Open Document, Open Description
Access conditions: Normal Closure before FOI Act:


This breakdown will explain how these records are categorized:

Context of this record Browse by Reference
All departments >
WO - Records created or inherited by the War Office, Armed Forces, Judge Advocate General, and related bodies
Division within WO - Records of the Armed Forces from commands, headquarters, regiments and corps
>WO 218 - War Office: Special Services War Diaries, Second World War
>Subseries within WO 218 - SPECIAL SERVICES
>Subsubseries within WO 218 - Headquarters
>WO 218/31 - Bde. Signal Sec.


The best way to view these original documents is to visit Kew and photograph them yourself - for free.
Otherwise you can pay to have them copied - but this can be very expensive as you are charged per page and they will only copy the whole file (which could consist of hundreds of pages!)

Nick

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 16/04/2017 21:19:30


Nick Collins

CVA Forum Administrator

Proud son of Cpl Mick Collins, 5 Troop, No5 Cdo

"We may feel that nothing of which we have any knowledge or record has ever been done by mortal men, which surpasses their feats of arms. Truly we may say of them, when shall their glory fade?"


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Vlewis
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Hi Nick,

Thanks for the detailed breakdown and the tip off about copies. Graham did PM me with further information so I'm covered on this now..

Regards Vic
GUY
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Joined: 26/05/2012 17:50:52
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On the War Office casualty list Paterson is shown as still being attached to a SS Battalion. Burns and Beckett are listed as Royal Corps of Signals.

Where did the accident occur, I see that Paterson is buried in Dundee and not Glasgow?
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GrahamCooper
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Guy,

Thanks for the reply,as regard the accident the war diary has no location,but the unit was based at ARDROSSAN, so suspect that the accident was not far away.

Graham

By their deeds they shall be known
GUY
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Joined: 26/05/2012 17:50:52
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Graham,
I have found details of the deaths of Paterson, Burns and Beckett, they appear to have been attached to 1 Commando.

All three men died as a result of a truck crash in Dundee. The truck in which they were travelling came down the hill on Law Street, crashed through railings and hit a tree in Dudhope Park. Signalman Arthur Brian Burns died at the scene, Sergeant John Arthur Beckett and Lance Corporal Andrew Gray Paterson died later that evening at Dundee Royal Infirmary. Four other men were injured and detained in hospital.

The informant and signee of the Register for all three men was Captain L.M Harper-Gow of 1 Commando, Special Service Brigade.

The incident was reported in the Courier and Advertiser Wednesday 16th September 1942.

It explains why L/Cpl Paterson is buried in Dundee and not his home city of Glasgow.

Guy
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This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 20/04/2017 14:51:55

GrahamCooper
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Guy,

Cracking information you have found.

Is it your understanding that all three were commando's,at the time of their deaths

Graham

By their deeds they shall be known
GUY
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Joined: 26/05/2012 17:50:52
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Graham,

1 Commando and 1st US Rangers were training in the Dundee area throughout September 1942. Capatain Leonard Maxwell Harper-Gow attended the Dundee Royal Infirmary and signed the death register entries for the three men.

I would suggest this is strong evidence that Burns, Beckett and Paterson were attached to 1 Commando.
The 1 Commando war diary may have recorded the accident, I would be interested to know who the other four injured men were?

Guy
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GUY
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Graham,

Would like the copies of the register entries for Burns, Beckett and Paterson?

Guy
Eileen
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How very interesting - and very sad.

Granny lived in Adelaide Place, up by the Law, and I'd spend my holidays down in Dudhope Park. Mam would have been in the ATS (HAA) by that time and I can't remember anything being said about it.

If I have praised my comrades too highly I make no apology, for they were beyond all praise.

Lord Lovat - No 4 Commando
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Pete
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Joined: 23/09/2008 00:08:02
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Guy, you mention the War Office Casualty List. Could you tell me the official file reference for this Casualty List.

Graham, my thoughts are that as the War Diary/Special Service Brigade Signal Section file ref WO 218/31 states the Section they were in as no 2 Section, then we can definitely record them as SS Bde Sigs.

Pete Rogers, son of LSgt Joe Rogers MM & nephew of TSM Ken McAllister. Both No2 Cdo. God and the Soldier, all men adore, In time of danger and not before. When the danger is passed and all things righted, God is forgotten, and the Soldier slighted.

**** nb. I no longer monitor private messages. ****
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GUY
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Joined: 26/05/2012 17:50:52
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Pete,
The file reference is;
WO417/50 Other Ranks 930-943

Beckett and Burns are listed in 938
Paterson in 943

Guy
Pete
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All three now entered onto our own website records here:

http://www.commandoveterans.org/JohnBeckettBdeSigs

http://www.commandoveterans.org/AndrewPatersonBdeSigs

http://www.commandoveterans.org/ArthurBurnsBdeSigs

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 24/04/2017 23:36:26


Pete Rogers, son of LSgt Joe Rogers MM & nephew of TSM Ken McAllister. Both No2 Cdo. God and the Soldier, all men adore, In time of danger and not before. When the danger is passed and all things righted, God is forgotten, and the Soldier slighted.

**** nb. I no longer monitor private messages. ****
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