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Africa Star mystery

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Africa Star mystery

Postby chiadfhear » Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:30 pm

Hi there

Having just had my late father’s WW2 Medals refurbished, I’m needing some help to determine how he came to be awarded the Africa Star. He was in the R.A.M.C. from 1940 until 1945 and I can only ever recall him talking about being in the North West Europe theatre of operations (as a Nursing Orderly in 2218 POW Camp at Vilvoorde, Belgium, according to his records).

I have copies of his military records which clearly indicate the award (attached) but there is no actual mention of him being there.

I’ve also attached a ‘cobbled together’ front and reverse of a section of his records which clearly show ‘trooping’ through Liverpool between 12 October 1942 and 2 March 1943 (sorry the pages don’t quite line up and the quality isn’t all that good) and I know the medal was awarded to British and Commonwealth forces who served in North Africa between 10 June 1940 and 12 May 1943, so he fits the qualifying period.

I’m hoping a someone can shed light on my quest.

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Re: Africa Star mystery

Postby chiadfhear » Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:32 pm

Missed other image
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Re: Africa Star mystery

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:35 pm

I doubt that you're going to get a more authoritative answer than you (?) already have on ... 942.16541/

At least, not just working from his papers. To put it in context, Army clerks don't repeat themselves - they record the allocation to a unit (3 Co RAMC here) but if the unit moves somewhere, they don't copy the same movement details onto the papers of all 200 (or whatever) guys in the company. The only reason to copy anything to the individual is if they move in and out of a theatre of war because that affects pay, potentially. So the basic issue becomes not "Where did your father go?" but "Where did 3 Co RAMC go?"

Looking at the phrase "Trooping Duties" and searching for it in Google, it sort of looks like, maybe, possibly, it refers to deployment on a troopship. That would seem to match up with the references to returning to Liverpool.

So, my theory (guess, to be frank) is that 3 Company was based on a troopship (or ships) going out to North Africa during that period. According to the WW2Talk post, just 1 day in the area (which I think we have to presume includes the Med if you're going to North Africa) qualified someone for the NA Star. Clearly a troopship going to Egypt (say) would spend at least one day in North Africa, if only when it sat in the dock at Alexandria (say). So my theory would be that your father qualified by reason of several trips on a troopship to North Africa.

That is just a theory. My suggestion would be to resolve this by looking at the records for 3 Company, which, I would guess, ought to be at the National Archives at Kew - unit records are not subject to the same restrictions as staff records but I don't know for certain what Kew has. Maybe the War Diary for 3 Company will be there. But, as I say, I am convinced that the details of his movements will be with the unit.

Does this *theory* make sense?

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