Author Topic: Grandfathers Unit  (Read 2982 times)

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Offline LordTunderrin

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Grandfathers Unit
« on: November 07, 2017, 20:16:29 »
Hi Everyone,
I am wondering if anyone can help me narrow down a specific unit my grandfather would have been in.
The information I do have, was obtained through the LAC, some time ago. Unfortunately my family isn't sure where the records are now, and I may have to reapply for them. I remember them being vague, offering only a discharge date, and the fact that he was with the forestry corps and 1st Can Div.

I know that he was in the Canadian Forestry Corps, Company 16. After a transfer (No idea when) he ended up in the 1st Canadian Division, all I really know is that he was in Ortona in 1943. I know this because he is in a photo where they are eating Xmas dinner at the Santa Maria di Constantinopoli. The photo's caption says that members of the Seaforth Highlanders were eating dinner at the time of the photo. Does anyone have resources or a roster of the Highlanders in 1943 that I could cross reference a name and service number to? Ideally I would like to find exactly what unit he was in, so I can read into the history a bit more. 1st Can Div seems to be a fairly large group of outfits and I am struggling to find even what units made up the division at that particular time.

Name: Campbell, Donald
#:H62524

Any hints in the right direction would be helpful,
Thanks

Offline Michael O'Leary

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Re: Grandfathers Unit
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2017, 20:25:01 »
Instructions for ordering a new copy of his service records can be found here: http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/Pages/obtain-copies-military-service-files.aspx

That will likely be the simplest solution.

Offline LordTunderrin

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Re: Grandfathers Unit
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2017, 20:29:14 »
Hi Michael,
thanks for the link. I will reapply, however I do recall them offering very little information minus him being in the 1st Can Div after the forestry corps. It gave a discharge date but did not specify which exact unit he was, or the timeline. I will reapply in case information has been updated but I am sort of at a loss as to where to go from here.

Offline 1984

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Re: Grandfathers Unit
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2017, 21:40:30 »
I pulled this book off of the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada website:

https://www.scribd.com/doc/211101248/RH-Roy-Seaforth-History

There is a nominal roll at Annex K which doesn't appear to show your Grandfather. Perhaps he was attached as an emergency replacement and remained with the Forestry Corps?

Offline Blackadder1916

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Re: Grandfathers Unit
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2017, 22:42:32 »

I know that he was in the Canadian Forestry Corps, Company 16. After a transfer (No idea when) he ended up in the 1st Canadian Division, all I really know is that he was in Ortona in 1943. I know this because he is in a photo where they are eating Xmas dinner at the Santa Maria di Constantinopoli. The photo's caption says that members of the Seaforth Highlanders were eating dinner at the time of the photo.

Is this the photo you are referencing?



https://www.seaforthhighlanders.ca/stories/472
The Mystery of the Christmas Day Photo Revealed
Quote
. . .

In the decades after the Second World War, a photograph emerged that became a symbol for the battle of Ortona. On December 25th, just blocks from the front line, men rotated back for a shared Christmas dinner then returned just as quickly to the fighting, many killed only moments later. A rare photo of the Christmas dinner being served to the troops became a symbol of civility amidst the horrors of war. It also served as a Regimental icon of the Seaforth Highlanders’ remarkable experience in the Church of Santa Maria di Constantinopoli on Christmas Day, 1943.

. . .

You may find some info here (if you grandfather was with the Seaforths) either from some of their archives online or perhaps by sending a query to the site.  https://www.seaforthhighlanders.ca/archive/

While many war diaries will usually identify by name only officers and sometimes other ranks when being commended, several of the Seaforthe war diaries include excepts from part II orders that list by name, rank and number increases and decreases in unit strength.  You might get lucky and find him listed there.

If your grandfather did transfer from the CFC to a combatant corps (Seaforths or something else in the 1st Cdn Div) it may have happened sometime after the middle of 1943.  In 1943, a decision was taken to reduce the size of the Canadian Forestry Corps and offer the opportunity for suitable men to transfer to a fighting arm.  As the Italian campaign progressed, finding replacements was becoming more difficult and this was one of the ways (along with converting soldiers from other less used units like light anti aircraft units and some medical units) of getting the extra needed bodies.  Some discussion of the reduction of the CFC can be found in these two wartime reports.
http://www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/dhh-dhp/his/rep-rap/cmhqrd-drqgmc-eng.asp?txtType=2&RfId=101
http://www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/dhh-dhp/his/rep-rap/cmhqrd-drqgmc-eng.asp?txtType=2&RfId=117
« Last Edit: November 07, 2017, 23:10:01 by Blackadder1916 »
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Offline LordTunderrin

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Re: Grandfathers Unit
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2017, 23:49:07 »
I pulled this book off of the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada website:

https://www.scribd.com/doc/211101248/RH-Roy-Seaforth-History

There is a nominal roll at Annex K which doesn't appear to show your Grandfather. Perhaps he was attached as an emergency replacement and remained with the Forestry Corps?

Thanks for that link. I double checked and you are correct. I suppose its possible, but If I remember correctly from the LAC files that at the end of the war he was discharged from the 1st, unless there was a clerical mixup of some type? Its wartime so I suppose these kinds of things would be possible?

Offline LordTunderrin

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Re: Grandfathers Unit
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2017, 23:57:38 »
Is this the photo you are referencing?



https://www.seaforthhighlanders.ca/stories/472
The Mystery of the Christmas Day Photo Revealed
You may find some info here (if you grandfather was with the Seaforths) either from some of their archives online or perhaps by sending a query to the site.  https://www.seaforthhighlanders.ca/archive/

While many war diaries will usually identify by name only officers and sometimes other ranks when being commended, several of the Seaforthe war diaries include excepts from part II orders that list by name, rank and number increases and decreases in unit strength.  You might get lucky and find him listed there.

If your grandfather did transfer from the CFC to a combatant corps (Seaforths or something else in the 1st Cdn Div) it may have happened sometime after the middle of 1943.  In 1943, a decision was taken to reduce the size of the Canadian Forestry Corps and offer the opportunity for suitable men to transfer to a fighting arm.  As the Italian campaign progressed, finding replacements was becoming more difficult and this was one of the ways (along with converting soldiers from other less used units like light anti aircraft units and some medical units) of getting the extra needed bodies.  Some discussion of the reduction of the CFC can be found in these two wartime reports.
http://www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/dhh-dhp/his/rep-rap/cmhqrd-drqgmc-eng.asp?txtType=2&RfId=101
http://www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/dhh-dhp/his/rep-rap/cmhqrd-drqgmc-eng.asp?txtType=2&RfId=117

Hi Blackadder
Yes that is the photo.
He is near the bottom corner, with his one hand on the table.

https://imgur.com/a/3I1Qu

I suppose I can peruse these war diaries... never know I might get lucky!


Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Grandfathers Unit
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2017, 00:25:18 »
Hi Blackadder
Yes that is the photo.
He is near the bottom corner, with his one hand on the table.

https://imgur.com/a/3I1Qu

I suppose I can peruse these war diaries... never know I might get lucky!

I used to be a Seaforth and they treat that photo like it was the 'Last Supper'. You should contact their museum and let them know about your discovery. Here's their FB page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/186712308051970/
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline LordTunderrin

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Re: Grandfathers Unit
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2017, 11:13:20 »
I used to be a Seaforth and they treat that photo like it was the 'Last Supper'. You should contact their museum and let them know about your discovery. Here's their FB page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/186712308051970/

I will definitely do that!