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Any information on Byron Jenkins?  XML
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carlj90
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Joined: 15/02/2022 20:16:06
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Hello,

I am trying to find out which regiment my grandfather was in.

Growing up I was always told he was a commando. I have recently received his service book and this is the information I have:

Name: Byron Jenkins
Rank: Sargent
Service number: 6468043
Service book confirms completed commando training in Scotland in 1940 and was A1 fitness

He was stationed in the following places:

England 5/3/40 ? 31/1/41
Egypt 1/2/41 ? September 41
Burma September 41-May 42
China May 42 ? August 42
India September 42 ? November 44

He was awarded the following medals:

Africa Star
Burma Star (Pacific Clasp)
Defence Medal
War Medal (1939-1945)
1939 ? 45 STAR

I am waiting for his death certificate so I can apply for his service record

Is there anyway of finding what regiment he served in? I do have photos of him during the war

carlj90
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Hoping these pictures may help.
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Alan Orton
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His service number is from the Royal Fusiliers but i have found a document showing him to be Royal Engineers.
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carlj90
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Hello Alan,

Thank you for finding this.

From looking at his service book I believe he was transferred from the Special Service to the Royal Engineers in 1943.

Would his service number have changed when moving from Special Service to Royal Engineers?

Kind Regards

Carl
carlj90
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See service book attached
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Alan Orton
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Hello Carl,

Service numbers didn't change like they did in the previous war.

Whats interesting is that the date of leaving UK is the date Layforce or Force Z as it was known then left for the ME. There were Royal Fusiliers in 7 Commando, i'm not saying he was in this unit but it's possible, secondly is the date for Burma, a second draft from the ME for Mission 204 left round about then and China in May 42 looks like this may well have been the case.
Eileen
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How very interesting!

Well done, Alan. Looking forward to finding out more.

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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carlj90
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Hello Alan that is very helpful, thank you!

We do actually have a plane ticket for him from July 1942 from Kunming to Assam, which would place him in the Yunnan province where mission 204 took place.

I?m sure everything will become much clearer once I get his service record.

I am now trying to find Royal Engineer groups to try and help decipher his tracer card from when he moved to RE in 1943.

Kind Regards

Carl
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carlj90
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I forgot to mention his service book confirms he completed training at the Bush Warfare school in Burma
Kevin
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My father was with 204 during this period.

Service record:-
Posted depot - Royal Welch Fusiliers - 9/12/1923 2nd. Battalion - Royal Welch Fusiliers - 12/8/1924 1st. Battalion - Royal Welch Fusiliers - 2/10/1925 Army Reserve - 21/11/1933 Mustered at Wrexham - 2/10/1939 8th. Battalion - Royal Welch Fusiliers - 6/1/1940 9th. Independent Company - 15/5/1940 1st. Special Service Battalion - 10/11/1940 No.1 Commando - 4/3/1941 Posted to 204 Military Mission - India Command (China, Chindits) 17/3/1942 Transferred to Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers -7/3/1943

204 Military Mission. (Extracts from diary 11/03/1942 - 14/08/1943) 11/03/ Left Irvine for London, arrived Glasgow 6.45pm, arrived London Thursday 12th, 10am. 13/03/ Billeted at the Hotel Central, Marylebone and drew Kit. 16/03/ Left London at 11.10pm, arrived Liverpool 10.30am. Went on board H.M.S. Holland 17/03/1942 Posted to 204 with No1 Commando. 18/03/ Still at Liverpool moved from quay to channel. 20/03/ 12 noon, sailed in convoy from Liverpool, passing Anglesey. 21/03/ Anchored outside Gourock, Clyde. We are making for India, from there to China ? Memo - Our work is to advise Chinese troops. 24/03/ 30 ships in convoy, plus aircraft carrier. 28/03/ A scare was sent around the ship that there were subs about, all gunners at action stations. 04/04/1942 Arrived Freetown. 11/04/ Left Freetown at 1am (The news is depressing for us as we are going out to India). 19/04/ Have now travelled 4500 miles. 23/04/ Table mountain in sight, birthed Cape Town, 2pm. 25/04/ Cape Town - Went on route march. 27/04/ Left Cape Town at 3pm, next port of call Durban. 02/05/1942 not calling at Durban, next port Bombay. 04/05/ Passed Madagascar. 05/05/ News just came through that Madagascar has been taken by B.T. 12/05/ they buried one of the ship's crew at sea today. 16/05 now known as the Burma Detail. (Arrived Bombay). 17/05/ Left Bombay by train at 5am, arrived Deolali 2pm (It is a transit camp). 19/05/ Deolali - Went on route march. 20/05/ Went on run this morning. 21/05/ Packing up today, moving off at 10.45pm. We are going to Jubbulpore. 23/05/ Jubbulpore - 5.30pm went on 3 mile route march, temperature 110 26/05/ Formed up new troops. 27/05/ Took troop out on map reading, too hot to stay out.
29/05/ Went on 7mile route march. 01/06/1942 6.30am P.T. 9.15 Demolitions. 02/06/ 6.10 10 mile route march. 03/06/ Range - Zeroing rifles. 04/06/ Demolitions. 06/06/ Training on the range. 13/06/ Informed of vacancy for W.O. in 142 Reg. 14/06/ Advance party leave today. 22/06/ Left Jubbulpore at 4.30am, left station at 7. 23/06/ Arrived Pataria at 4.30 am, marched 8 miles to camp, rain and mud everywhere in camp. 25/06/ Pataria - Camped out in the jungle, nearest town 10 miles, had to swim across river for supper. 02/07/1942 Rumours that we are going on our original job, standing by to move at a moment's notice. 05/07/ Lectured by the Brigadier on jungle life. 15/07/ 13.00 R/S Lake, leaving us for China, appears that things are moving. 17/07/ Draft leaving today. 23/07/ The Draft for China are handing in their rifles again today. 24/017/ The Draft are moving to Calcutta on their way to China. They go by plane from Calcutta.

142 Commando
Memo - I may be going to Saugor today. 27/07/ Three men drowned today. 30/07/ Heavy rain, I am to take charge of 142 section until officer returns from sick leave. 31/07/ Took over 142 Group today, moved into new lines. 01/08/1942 Took section out on Demolition. 04/08/ Orders just received to pack up and be ready to move on Wednesday. Going to Saugor. 06/08/ Marching off this morning. Marched to Patharia 7 mile. Left Patharia at 11pm. 07/08/ Saugor - Arrived 5.30pm marched 3 miles to billet. 11/08/ Went with Kings Officers to recce ground where field firing is to take place. 12/08/ Out training the section. 13/08/ Riots have broken out in Bombay and Delhi. 14/08/1942 the riots are getting worse, troops called out. Went on field firing and Demolitions.



Convoy WS 17/17B Clyde to Bombay. (16 March 1942 - 16 May 1942). My father sailed on Nieuw Holland a Dutch registered 1927, 11,066 ton ship, which he listed as HMS Holland in his diary. Hieuw Holland was listed as:- Liverpool 20/03/42 Independent Clyde 22/03/42 Freetown 11/06/42 Capetown 27/04/42 Clyde 21/03/42 WS.17 (Oversay - Freetown) Freetown 06/04/42 WS.17B (Freetown - Capetown) Capetown 23/04/42 WS.17 (Oversay - Freetown) WS.17B (Freetown - Capetown) Bombay 16/05/42 Hieuw Holland, Brazil, Clan Macdonald, Dunedin Star, Johan Van Oldenbarnevelt, Kina ll, Mormactide, (Monterey and Windsor Castle) detached from the convoy and arrived in Bombay 16 May 1942. The convoy WS 17 assembled off Oversay 23/03/1942, with the final departure being made from Liverpool and the Clyde. Abosso, Almanzora, Arundel Castle, Bhutan, Cameronia, City of Edinburg, City of Lincoln, Clan Macdonald, Dominion Monarch, Dutchess of Atholl, Dunedin Star, Empress of Russia, Franconia, Glaucus, HMS Adamant, HMS Karanja, HMS Keren, Johan Van Oldenbarnevelt, Kina Il, Large Bay, Leopoldville, Mataroa, Nieuw Holland, Orion, Oronsay, Port Wyndham, Rembrandt, Samaria, Sobieski, Tamora, Winsor Castle. Destroyer escorts during the passage were:- Active, Antelope, Anthony, Badsworth, Boadicea Beverley, Croome, Exmoor, Inconstant, Javelin, Keppel, Leamington, Newport, Packenham, Rockingham, Volunteer and Wild Swan. Aircraft carrier Illustrious. Cruisers HMS Ardent, Dauntless, Shropshire. Armed merchant cruiser Alacantra. Corvettes, Beverly, Commandant Detroyat, Commandant Drogou, Hydrangea and Newport. out The convoy then split into two sections WS 17 and WS 17B with convoy WS 17B, Abosso, Almanza, Arundell Castle, Cameronia, City of Edinburgh, City of London, Dunedin Star, Empress of Russia, Franconia, Glaucus, HMS Adamant, Johan Van Oldenbarnevelt, Kina ll, Leopoldville, Mataroa, Nieuw Holland, Orion, Samaria and Tamora, sailing of Freetown on 11/04/42 for the remaining passage to South Africa. With the convoys arrival at Capetown on 23/04/42, exept for the Emperess of Russia, Franconia and Mataroa which went on to Durban. Convoy WS 17 sailed out of Capetown on 27/04/42 and then from Durban on 1st May to be joined by new ships from Port Elizabeth these were American ships, Brazil, Marmactide and Monterey. After the final rendezvous the convoy was numbered C (Capetown), D (Durban) and P (Port Elizabeth) to indicate the South African ports from which they had sailed. The convoy finally arrived at Bombay on 16 May 1942 with no losses except for the destroyer Newport which returned to port and finally sailed to Liverpool for repairs as a result of a collision with the destroyer Beverley.

''Coemgen Filius Primi Inter Pares"
Alan Orton
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Hello Carl,

Below is a bit i knocked up for myself tracing Layforce members who served withy Mission 204.

The volunteers for the Far East from the now defunct Layforce were shipped out in two drafts, the bulk went first of around one-hundred men whilst the second draft went under Capt. Robinson from the Gordons and 11(Scottish) Commando sailed on the S.S. Queen Elizabeth from Suez to Tricomalee in Ceylon and then to Calcutta and then to Rangoon in Burma via a French tramp steamer where they spent several days at the barracks of the Gloucestershire Regt. Before a move to Mandalay and finally to the Bush Warfare School at Maymyo codenamed by London as Chibase arriving in September under the command of Paul Meade of the F.F.R.?s.

Once they had arrived amidst what was thought to be great secrecy, they learnt from Tokyo Radio of their arrival.


This may be of some interest to you.

http://www.kaiserscross.com

Alan.
Pete
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Just a quick heads up Carl to point you in the direction of some photos we have and to highlight the entry in his service book that you posted. It shows his unit at that time as Special Service Detachment 1. So all linked in with the excellent information being provided here. Have a look through these https://gallery.commandoveterans.org/cdoGallery/v/WW2/Mission+204/

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 17/02/2022 09:40:59


Pete Rogers, son of LSgt Joe Rogers MM & nephew of TSM Ken McAllister. Both No2 Commando.
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.


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Kevin
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I stand to be corrected, was there a SS1 and SS2 SS1 was withdrawn due to ill discepline?
Kevin

''Coemgen Filius Primi Inter Pares"
Pete
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Special Service Detachment (SSD1) and Special Service Detachment (SSD2). Not heard before of that reason for disbandment you mentioned Kevin. Where is this from?

The WW2 Talk Forum has a lot of information and references to official sources including photos of documents which is great. Whilst it is headed SSD2 it covers SSD1, Mission 204, etc. well worth a read:

http://ww2talk.com/index.php?threads/mission-204-special-service-detachment-2.43620/

From the above on page 4 you will see this comment
SSD1 was disbanded at Deolali in late September 1942 following their return from Kunming to Calcutta

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 17/02/2022 14:33:50


Pete Rogers, son of LSgt Joe Rogers MM & nephew of TSM Ken McAllister. Both No2 Commando.
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 the pm facility ****
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Kevin
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Pete, I found the info some time ago, where I can't remember, but will let you know. It was mainly due to ill discepline and poor morale. Controversial l know, but thinking about it, it would have be beneficial for the enemy to know? Also why change the unit name from SS1 to SS2?
Am i right in thinking that there are some information regarding 204 that will not be released for a further 60 years.
I remember writing to the Archives in London with what my father had told me about 204, the reply I recieved made me aware that I had said something I should have kept to myself, and truly I felt that a knock on the door would be next. So there is a lot of information written and a lot omitted. Kevin

''Coemgen Filius Primi Inter Pares"
 
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