WW2 researching my grandfather advice - Page 3




 
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December 6th, 2015  
Lisleowen
 
Hi, yea I have seen that photograph from the COFEPOW site. The article you have sent is very interesting so thanks for that. My plan for the future is to visit the the imperial war museum and speak with staff. I am also going to visit the Royal artillery museum in the near future. I am also starting to look now on the 234th and you have answered one of my questions, they were obviously trained in search light duties etc. It's all very interesting stuff. I will keep you updated if I find out anything else. One thing I have been told is that you can request divisional operational orders for regiments, in relation to what there operational objectives were in a particular area ie my grandfathers case Java. I have read reports this was a political and military disaster with the islands never going to be held, but this was to slow the advance on Australia by the Japanese. Do you have any idea if such records are held ? And where would I look. I know it's a long shot but you seem quite knowledgeable with this type of stuff. I have looked on the web but not much coming up. This will obviously be all archived material. Thanks

Paul.
December 6th, 2015  
MontyB
 
 
One course of action is to look up divisional or regimental societies as they more often than not have war dairies for their divisions, alternatively IWM also carry a lot of this sort of thing.

One of the problems you will face though is that the unit was effectively destroyed ie removed from the order of battle as such most of its documentation would have been destroyed prior to surrender or captured and destroyed.

As far as talking to museums go don't stop with the first guy you meet as it sometimes comes down to finding someone that gives enough of a damn to actually put some effort in.
Basically if you can get someone there interested enough to help they can find all sorts of information, if you find someone collecting a pay packet and place to eat their lunch you will simply get told there is nothing after a 5 minute wait.

You have to stay on their case.

One thing about Regimental societies is that they organise events and stay in touch with veterans so they may know if there are any surviving members from that period, they are thinning out now but there are still quite a few WW2 veterans around.
December 9th, 2015  
Lisleowen
 
You were exactly right, I spoke with a guy on the phone at the IWM who wasn't interested at all. Simply said cannot help. I spoke to someone from the Royal Artillery museum who was more helpful but stated they hold no records from that particular area of conflict, and quoted as you said all records would have been destroyed. I'm not giving up I will keep at it. Just thought I would let you know.

Cheers
Paul
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December 11th, 2015  
MontyB
 
 
I know exactly what you are going through as I have encountered the same thing, all I can suggest it keep at them (written requests help as well as many museums have a policy of responding to written correspondence) and sometimes shear volume of communication will net a response once they realise it will be faster to look into it rather than fob you off.


I don't know if you have looked into Sparrow Force at all but there are several sites dedicated to them, a lot appear to be Australian but they may be worth trying to contact as well.
December 21st, 2015  
Lisleowen
 
Cheers I have taken your advice and a few letters have been sent off as tried calling again with no joy. I have read a few bits about sparrow force and have the book the sparrows. I have also subscribed to the Java 42 club and they are going to put a request in their news letter in January. They have all my grandfathers details. I have also purchased the book from them prisoners in Java which has idividual accounts in it etc. I have come a long way but now starting to loose momentum. I was going to hire a researcher until I seen what they charge and don't no if they would get much more info, but then again it's knowing where to look. Think I will just keep chipping away and hopefully the Java 42 club might come up with something.
December 21st, 2015  
MontyB
 
 
As I have said, it will be difficult to get information unless you are lucky enough to find someone that was there at exactly the right time and 75 years later that would be an amazing stroke of luck, there may be photographs out there in the possession of his Battery-mates families or who knows there may even be a survivor.

It was an incredibly chaotic period made worse by what was more or less the disintegration of an ordered defense followed by 3 further years of an uncontrolled occupation so the chances of putting together one persons story from among that is incredibly slim.

At best I think you could put together a fairly accurate break down of the Battalion operations at that time with some reference to his Battery but personal information would be very sparse.

So unfortunately without that incredible bit of luck I suspect you are very close to as far as you can go on this one.

I will keep ferreting around for information as I think unit rolls would be available somewhere which may provide leads to other areas but they are not easy to find (perhaps the Artillery museum could help you with that) and I am surprised that they do not have a Battalion photograph as I know our Army museum as them going back to WW1.
December 22nd, 2015  
Lisleowen
 
Ok mate much appreciated for all you have done, thanks so much, even having the book Kill the prisoners with my grandfather mentioned in the diary is a massive achievement so thanks for that. My auntie was overwhelmed. I am putting together everything I have for her so she can make sense of it all. She is delighted with what I have come up with, and all with the likes of the help of people like yourself. If you come across anything else then that would be great and I will keep checking this site from time to time. If I find anything further I will let you no as I am constantly looking, and thanks again. Good to speak with someone with good knowledge.

Merry xmas.
Paul
December 22nd, 2015  
MontyB
 
 
I notice the Royal Artillery Association has a website and social media contact points, have you tried registering with them to see what they can do?

http://www.theraa.co.uk/

Forums:
http://www.theraa.co.uk/raa-forum/
January 6th, 2016  
Lisleowen
 
Hi no I haven't but I will certainly look into it and let you know how I get on. Thanks.

Regards
Paul
January 17th, 2016  
LeEnfield
 
 
The Army records are kept in Glasgow and you can get the address id the web, if you write to them you will get form and as next kin you can obtain his military record for about 13.00.
 


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