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A couple of Rutherglen mysteries

 
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Mike Morley



Joined: 17 Apr 2013
Posts: 6278
Location: Roberton, Lanarkshire

PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 8:28 pm    Post subject: A couple of Rutherglen mysteries Reply with quote

Hi All, I'm currently working through the names on Rutherglen War Memorial and there are a couple of entries on the WW2 list that have me scratching my head. I'm sure someone on here will have an immediate answer, which would be gratefully received.

The first one is "Richard RH: QM Tor, La Combattante". Could this be someone serving on the Free French destroyer that was sunk on 23/2/1945?

The second is "Smith, J: Private, AAPC". The only AAPC I can find that is relevant is African Auxilliary Pioneer Corps but I'm not sure if CWGC data base lists that regiment.

Pearls of wisdom welcome!
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Kenneth Morrison



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike are these guys listed on the memorial? Where?
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Mike Morley



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ken

Smith is on the very right hand side under "1945", 8 entries down. Richard is half way down the third column from the right - about the same level as "1945".

Mike
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Kenneth Morrison



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK - didn't help!
But I think I have found your JOHN SMITH!

Private
SMITH, JOHN
Service Number 13001774
Died 17/06/1940
Aged 48
Aux. Mil.
Pioneer Corps
Son of Thomas and Sarah Beck Smith; husband of Margaret Hendry Smith.
LA BERNERIE-EN-RETZ COMMUNAL CEMETERY Loire-Atlantique, France.
(The majority of the servicemen buried here perished when the troop ship S.S. "Lancastria" was sunk by enemy bombers off St. Nazaire on the 17 June 1940)

SNWM had him born in Airdrie. He married Margret Hendry in 1915 in Dennistoun in the east of Glasgow ( so roughly in the same area as Ruglen) but I think the clincher is that his mother died in 1918 in RUTHERGLEN.

I'd never heard of the Auxiliary Military (Army?) Pioneer Corps but Wikipedia has this:
In September 1939, a number of infantry and cavalry reservists were formed into Works Labour Companies, which were soon made the Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps (AMPC); a Labour Directorate was created to control all labour force matters. A large number of Pioneers served in France with the British Expeditionary Force. During the Battle of France, an infantry brigade was improvised from several AMPC Companies under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel J. B. H. Diggle. Known as "Digforce", the brigade became part of Beauman Division and fought in defence of the Andelle and Béthune rivers on 8 June 1940 against the 5th and 7th Panzer Divisions. Digforce brigade and thousands of other BEF Pioneers were evacuated to England in Operation Ariel. An unknown number of AMPC troops were killed when the HMT Lancastria was sunk off St Nazaire on 17 June.
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Kenneth Morrison



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I might be clutching at straws here but a RENE RICHARD married Sarah Evans Cameron in Blythswood, Glasgow in 1945.

So maybe we can't find a record because he was French?

You'd have to send for the marriage Cert. to find out.
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Mike Morley



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's great Ken, thanks. I'll investigate Rene and see if he' our man.

I must find something a bit more difficult for you!
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Mike Morley



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Register of Marriages shows the marriage on 21 March 1945 at St Martins-in-the-Fields, Glasgow, of Rene Richard to Sarah Evans Kimm Cameron.

Rene Richard is described as a Telephone Lineman now serving as a Lance Corporal in the Candian Forces. Home address is 4644 Chambord Street, Montreal. The son of Dominique Richard and Laura Richard.

The date of the wedding is significant as the ship La Combattante sank on 23/24 Februaru i.e. a month before the marriage.

A search of Canadian Service Records for 1939 -1945 shows no fatality of a Rene Richard.
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Mike Morley



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2020 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do believe I have found M Richard.

A French database of soldiers who died on WW1 and 2 identifies him as:

Raymond Henri Richard, born 10.8.1921, died 23/2/1945 aboard the torpedo boat La Combattante. He was a marine but my schoolboy French gives up at this point! If anyone is more fluent that me your translation would be greatly appreciated! https://www.memoiredeshommes.sga.defense.gouv.fr/en/arkotheque/client/mdh/militaires_decedes_seconde_guerre_mondiale/detail_fiche.php?ref=1862109&debut=0
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Kenneth Morrison



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2020 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eh Bien mon ami.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_destroyer_La_Combattante#:~:text=On%2023%20February%201945%2C%20an,whilst%20running%20on%20a%20mine.
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Mike Morley



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2020 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Merci.
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Adam Brown
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Joined: 14 Dec 2006
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Location: Edinburgh (From Sutherland)

PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2020 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, Mike. I missed this first time around. I am sure the French sailors reason for inclusion had been worked out on here a few years ago. It should be on an old thread somewhere.

Kind regards

Adam
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Adam Brown
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Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 7294
Location: Edinburgh (From Sutherland)

PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2020 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

12 years ago!!!

http://warmemscot.s4.bizhat.com/viewtopic.php?t=3545&highlight=combattante

Adam
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Mike Morley



Joined: 17 Apr 2013
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Location: Roberton, Lanarkshire

PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2020 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, that was well remembered! Thanks for that. The search for him has helped me identify another French soldier, this time from the First World War, who I will post on the Galsgow Academy thread when I work my way down to him.

I wonder how many French soldiers are on Scottish memorials and whether "our" men appear on their town/village's memorials.
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Adam Brown
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2020 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think there are many French servicemen on Scottish memorials. A lecturer at the GSA sprigs to mind. There are some Italians for the First World War listed with them being allies.

Regards

Adam
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