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  1. #1
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    Default Uncle's War Record

    Hi
    I have a postcard sent by my uncle to his parents:-
    1699012 Gnn Barclay L
    [looks like]: 86 (JPAC) OFY AA Regt
    HQ B L A
    On the front "vrolijk kerstfeest" which apparently means happy christmas in dutch.
    Sadly none of this has helped me find any records anywhere that would tell me what he did or where he was.
    Can anyone please supply any information.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator - Completely bonkers and will never change.
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    First of all, uncle's service (where he was, what he did) record is not yet online, and depending on his year of birth, it may be some time before it is.
    I'm assuming that he was in the army, and those records are in the process of being transferred from the Ministry of Defence in Glasgow to The National Archives at Kew.

    This thread, about applying for service records, was started almost ten years ago and things have changed since then.
    https://www.british-genealogy.com/fo...757#post585757

    You will need to carefully read post #6 in particular. (Being selfish, I've got my dad's and my uncle's so I've not absorbed all the fine detail. )
    https://www.british-genealogy.com/fo...757#post585757

    Try this for the acronyms.
    https://assets.publishing.service.go...ions_dec08.pdf
    Though it's not exactly helpful to have thirteen definitions of AA, for example, though you might be able to rule out a couple of the possibilities such as Australian Army, and Accommodation Allowance.

    Records of a particular event might be found on Forces War Records.
    Vulcan XH558 - “Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

  3. #3
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    You need to apply to the National Archives for his service record, which won't be simple. Here is their guide:

    https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/...ce-after-1918/

  4. #4
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    Thank you both for the info. Will look into everything in more detail and see what I can follow up on... and/or put on the list for next visit to Kew.

  5. #5
    Famous for offering help & advice simmo1's Avatar
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    Hi

    He was in the ROyal Artillery, as his service number is in the range for them - Royal Artillery (Field, Coastal & Anti-Aircraft) 721001 - 1842000 and 11000001 - 11500000.
    Gnr = Gunner = Private as a rank.
    As stated above, getting his service records is the first thing to do, not much online.
    You should find him in this list on Ancestry - UK, World War II Royal Artillery Tracer Cards, 1939-1948
    There will probably be nothing else unless he died in the war or was awarded a gallantry award.
    After getting that, war diaries for WW2 are either at National Archives UK or there are some on Ancestry.

    regards

    Robert
    Remembering

    My Father 1819170 Lance Bombardier Robert Simpson 39/14 L.A.A. R.A.

  6. #6
    Famous for offering help & advice simmo1's Avatar
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    Hi

    Find My past has 2 records on him, but I can only see the list as I am not a subscriber-
    Barclay

    L P





    1939-45

    British Army, Honourable Artillery Company

    Great Britain

    Barclay

    Leslie Philip





    1940

    Royal Artillery Attestations 1883-1942

    Great Britain

    So I would say what you have is actually - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/86th_(...oyal_Artillery

    regards

    Robert
    Remembering

    My Father 1819170 Lance Bombardier Robert Simpson 39/14 L.A.A. R.A.

  7. #7
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    Hi
    Thank you Robert, will certainly add all this info to my list and follow up on what I can.
    Greatly appreciate your help.

  8. #8

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    Is there a date on the postcard?
    The only abbreviation for HQ BLA is Head Quarters British Liberation Army (mind you, these things often changed - eg another item on the same list gives BL as either breech loading or bricklayer's assistant!)

    The south Netherlands were liberated in late 1944. The remaining country was liberated by the German surrender on 5 May '45 (now official Liberation Day. Could he have been there in that period.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lesley Robertson View Post
    Is there a date on the postcard?
    Sadly no, and no information as to manufacturer of postcard. Just his message back home and a signature of someone who I presume 'vetted' the card before it was sent.

  10. #10

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    Pity. I was hoping that we’d have a clue as to where he was, but the RA seems to have been in little groups all over the place.

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