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45th RM G.M.Birch - 1942-1946  XML
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raymondbirch
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Joined: 21/09/2017 14:31:40
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Hi, looking for anyone or any info about my dad George M Birch.
From what i know he served in Germany during the D Day invasion and then in India.
I have copies of his service record and a couple of photos which i include here.
Many thanks in advance.

Raymond / his son.

[Thumb - DadsEquatorCert.jpg]
 Filename DadsEquatorCert.jpg [Disk] Download
 Description When he crossed the equator.
 Filesize 301 Kbytes
 Downloaded:  21 time(s)

[Thumb - DadsRegiment-sm.jpg]
 Filename DadsRegiment-sm.jpg [Disk] Download
 Description Dads regiment - year unknown.
 Filesize 502 Kbytes
 Downloaded:  20 time(s)

[Thumb - DadsService02-1.jpg]
 Filename DadsService02-1.jpg [Disk] Download
 Description Some of his service record.
 Filesize 138 Kbytes
 Downloaded:  33 time(s)

Pete
CVA Website Archivist

Joined: 23/09/2008 00:08:02
Messages: 3328
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Hi Raymond

I have had a look at the page from your Father's service record that details postings. As far as I can read it shows period of service from the 18th August 1942 to the 6th July 1946. During this period there is a breakdown of his postings as follows:

18th Aug'42 - 5th Oct'42
ITC Lympstone (for his initial RM training);

6th Oct'42 - 31st Dec'43 shown HBL (Home Base Ledger) RM Division.
HBL is often used as miscellaneous when the exact posting was not known, ie. he was in the RM Division but not known which part of it or where or what he was doing. Unlike today in WW2 not all Royal Marines were Commandos.

1st Jan'44 - 10th Jan'44 shown with 30 Commando

11th Jan'44 - 13th Jan'44 shown with 45 Commando

So for whatever reason it would appear he only stayed 13 days in total with these two Commando units and what he was doing there, or why he left I doubt you will now discover for certain.

14th Jan'44 - 23rd Jan'44 shown with Royal Marines Holding Company (o) which i assume to be operational. This would mean waiting to be deployed to an operational Unit.

24th Jan'44 - 3rd Oct'44 shown RMAS Regt (Royal Marines Armoured Support Regiment). The RMAS were Royal Marines who provided the Armoured Support for Commandos. An insight into one marine's experience of D Day with the RMAS is found here : http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/58/a2174258.shtml

4th Oct - 26th - 26th Feb'45 - I am not sure. It looks Like HBL (see above) then VG (w).

27th Feb'45 - 22nd Mar'45 - RMTTD ( Royal Marines Technical Training Depot)

23rd Mar'45 - 7th May'46 shown as 34 Amphibious Support Regiment. Once again the BBC peoples War has a good personal account of one Royal Marine's experience and you will see India is mentioned in relation to this unit. Here is his story http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/37/a7992237.shtml

I hope others might provide more information but RM Service Records are sometimes quite vague in specifics.

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 (pm). Use email or forum please. ****
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Pete
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Joined: 23/09/2008 00:08:02
Messages: 3328
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I should have added that in the photo you posted the men are wearing forage caps so this is likely to be Royal Marines rather than RM Commandos. The Commando green beret was already in existence in 1943 and had this been 45 RM Commando they would have been wearing the green beret.

45 RM Commando was formed in August 1943 from the disbanded 5th RM Battalion which was part of 101 Brigade of the RM Division. This may have been your Father's unit within the RM Division where it shows "6th Oct'42 - 31st Dec'43 shown HBL (Home Base Ledger) RM Division".

The RM Museum have good unit histories on their website but at the present time the links to it do not seem to be working. You may wish to contact them. They also have a Historical Society.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 26/09/2017 16:56:59


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 (pm). Use email or forum please. ****
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raymondbirch
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Joined: 21/09/2017 14:31:40
Messages: 3
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Hello Pete.
Well, what can i say - so much information you gave me i am at a loss for words for thanking you.
I now have the lovely task of reading more about my dear dad than i thought posible.

Also, in your second reply (below) you even gave much valuable information just by looking at his "cap" ?! - Incredible may i say.

I do have other photos of course, but for now i shall just start researching what you have advised me.

Many Many thanks and i am sure i shall be in touch again.

Raymond Birch.


Pete wrote:Hi Raymond

I have had a look at the page from your Father's service record that details postings. As far as I can read it shows period of service from the 18th August 1942 to the 6th July 1946. During this period there is a breakdown of his postings as follows:

18th Aug'42 - 5th Oct'42
ITC Lympstone (for his initial RM training);

6th Oct'42 - 31st Dec'43 shown HBL (Home Base Ledger) RM Division.
HBL is often used as miscellaneous when the exact posting was not known, ie. he was in the RM Division but not known which part of it or where or what he was doing. Unlike today in WW2 not all Royal Marines were Commandos.

1st Jan'44 - 10th Jan'44 shown with 30 Commando

11th Jan'44 - 13th Jan'44 shown with 45 Commando

So for whatever reason it would appear he only stayed 13 days in total with these two Commando units and what he was doing there, or why he left I doubt you will now discover for certain.

14th Jan'44 - 23rd Jan'44 shown with Royal Marines Holding Company (o) which i assume to be operational. This would mean waiting to be deployed to an operational Unit.

24th Jan'44 - 3rd Oct'44 shown RMAS Regt (Royal Marines Armoured Support Regiment). The RMAS were Royal Marines who provided the Armoured Support for Commandos. An insight into one marine's experience of D Day with the RMAS is found here : http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/58/a2174258.shtml

4th Oct - 26th - 26th Feb'45 - I am not sure. It looks Like HBL (see above) then VG (w).

27th Feb'45 - 22nd Mar'45 - RMTTD ( Royal Marines Technical Training Depot)

23rd Mar'45 - 7th May'46 shown as 34 Amphibious Support Regiment. Once again the BBC peoples War has a good personal account of one Royal Marine's experience and you will see India is mentioned in relation to this unit. Here is his story http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/37/a7992237.shtml

I hope others might provide more information but RM Service Records are sometimes quite vague in specifics.
Pete
CVA Website Archivist

Joined: 23/09/2008 00:08:02
Messages: 3328
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Glad to be of some help....

If you look at his crossing the Equator certificate you will see the name of the ship SS Samgaudie. This was a Liberty Ship lent to the UK by the US on the Lend Lease arrangement. All their names were preceded with the letters SAM. At first I thought it must be something to do with America and 'Uncle Sam', but I have read that SAM stands for 'Superstructure Aft of Midships."

Here is a website with more info about the ship and a photo of it in use post war as a cargo ship http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/29504/title/brocklebank-managed-li/cat/502

All the best.

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 (pm). Use email or forum please. ****
[Email]
raymondbirch
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Joined: 21/09/2017 14:31:40
Messages: 3
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Would be nice to find out more about the 2nd officer and Captain.

Thats my next project of course.
I have also looked up about SS Samgaudie and more or less got the same info as you.
However, the link you sent me is new to me - so - once again, more research :)

Thanks for your time and help.

Pete wrote:Glad to be of some help....

If you look at his crossing the Equator certificate you will see the name of the ship SS Samgaudie. This was a Liberty Ship lent to the UK by the US on the Lend Lease arrangement. All their names were preceded with the letters SAM. At first I thought it must be something to do with America and 'Uncle Sam', but I have read that SAM stands for 'Superstructure Aft of Midships."

Here is a website with more info about the ship and a photo of it in use post war as a cargo ship http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/29504/title/brocklebank-managed-li/cat/502

All the best.
 
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