Many, many thanks for the parcel received yesterday, - and for such a happy choice of present. I don’t suppose I’ll have a chance of getting the Token exchanged until my leave, as I so rarely see a shop open – but it’s certainly something to look forward to.
I wish I could have got you something but it’s pretty hopeless in this place I’m afraid – but I think it would probably be wiser to wait until you get in the ATS when you may find something more practical at any rate.
Don’t forget to let me know if you see anything for Margaret and Ted. Once again it’s hopeless here. Even if this place had been a metropolis I’m afraid I could have achieved little as we had no time off for shopping etc - as I rarely get out ‘till seven or so everything’s shut anyway.
‘Spect you’re getting excited over your imminent entry into the Armed Forces of the Realm, though you seem to have overcome the medical with ease. Hope it wasn’t too exacting for you.
Well, Chotie, I seem to have had a rather quiet Xmas. We (the unit) entertained about fifty Aussies & Canadians over the holidays. Quite good fun. I’ve had little beer – apart from eight pints with Xmas dinner.
Told you I saw ‘Eagle Squadron’* I suppose. Wasn’t it LUVLY!! I nearly cried.
(I’m in a canteen eating Spam at the moment). More parenthesis…Having just
failed to finish Picture P.** crossword. You’ll probably find Spam all over the envelope.
Have just finished Deeping’s ‘Kitty’*** – quite good. That’s the 30th of his I’ve read. Recommend it.
Well, Darling must close here. ‘Fraid I missed you rather a lot over Xmas. Maybe it will be over next Xmas. Maybe… All my love
PS Had a Xmas card from Eric & Eve!!!! Put me off my beer…
*Pilots from the Royal Australian Air Force and members of the Canadian Reconnaissance regiment.
**a film about American pilots who volunteered for the RAF before Pearl Harbour.
**Picture Post – a popular photojournalist magazine.
*** a novel by Warwick Deeping
© Chotie Darling
Section Training continued for 43rd Recce and on 28th December there was a Regimental Cross-Country run. Training on the 29th featured driving instruction. (From the War Diary of the 43rd Reconnaissance Regiment held by the Archive and Reference Library, the Tank Museum, Bovington, Dorset.)
31st December 1942 - Battle of the Barents Sea. The British Navy successfully intercepts intercepts German warships attempting to destroy a large supply convoy, JW-51B, to Russia. However, German U-boats now had a 'milch cow' submarines enabling them to refuel and re-arm at sea and could penetrate as far as the Indian Ocean. (From ‘The Second World War’ by Antony Beevor, published by Weidenfield and Nicolson 2012)
During 1942 Allied merchant shipping lost 1,323 ships, equalling 7,047,744 gross tons (almost three times the losses of 1941) to U-boats world-wide. 87 U-boats were sunk in 1942 (only 35 in 1941). (From WW2-net Timelines and History Learning Site.)
War in Dorset excerpts will not be continued on this blog since Chotie was no longer resident in the county from January 1943, having joined the ATS (see recent post Chotie enrolls in the ATS )
On 1st January 1943 Dick filled out the form for recommendation as a
candidate for the Officer Cadet Training Unit
Copy of Record:
RECOMMENDATION FORM FOR CANDIDATES FOR OFFICER CADET TRAINING UNITS
PART 1. (To be completed by the Candidate.)
- Surname WILLIAMS
- Army Number 5731671
- Christian Names RICHARD KELNER
- Rank Trooper
- Date of Promotion -
- Unit 43rd Reconnaissance Regt. Recce. Corps
- Date of joining present unit 10-7-42
- Date of enlistment 21-6-40
- Date of birth* 28-7-21
- Place of birth* Orpington, Kent
- Civil Identity No.
- Religion Congregational
- Nationality at birth British
- Name and nationality at birth of father Dudley Kelner Beresford Williams British
- Name and nationality at birth of mother Alice Maude Shrubsall British
- Married or single Single
- Nationality at birth of wife -
- Number of childres -
- Next of kin and Permanent Address of next of kin Father “St Margarets” Sea Lane Pagham Sussex
- School or other Educational Establishment (with dates)
Sidcup County School 1931-35
Simon Langton School 1936-38
21. Educational certificates (with dates) Matriculation (Lond.) 1938
22. Languages (state if written or spoken) French written and spoken Small knowledge of German and Spanish
23. Civil occupation None
24. Name of last employer -
25. Arm or Corps in which a Commission is desired. Three choices to be given in order of priority, one to be non-technical.
(i) Recce Corps
(iii) Dorset Regt.
26. Technical qualifications, if any, for each of above choices:-
(i) Driver Mechanic Group D Class II
(ii) “ “ “ “
27. Have you ever been convicted by the Civil Power or by Court Martial?† No
If so, state date and circumstances -
28. Have you previously been admitted to the R.M.A., R.M.C. or to an Officer Cadet Training Unit? No
If so give particulars
29. Have you at any time held a commission in any branch of H.M. Forces?
If so, give full particulars No
30. General remarks -
I certify that to the best of my knowledge the above particulars are correct and complete.
*This must be supported by a birth certificate.
†Commanding Officers will use their discretion in deciding whether a man who appears otherwise suitable should be rejected on account of conviction by the Civil Power or by a Court Martial. For example, no serious notice need be taken of conviction on account of youthful indiscretions or minor motoring offences, but where the cause of conviction indicates a lack of the high moral qualities which are required of an officer, consideration must be given as to whether the facts disclosed point to the total unsuitability of the candidate for commissioned rank. Due regard must however be paid to the fact that bravery and distinguished service in the field may be an overriding consideration in spite of past records.
On 1st January 1943 43rd Recce had a half day. The next day the Commanding Officer inspected vehicle maintenance. On Sunday 3rd there was Church Parade.
2nd January 1943 – Australian and US troops finally win victory in Papua New Guinea taking the Buna bridgehead. With this, and the battles of Guadalcanal and Midway, the Allies could now believe the Japanese were not invincible. (From ‘The Second World War’ by Antony Beevor, published by Weidenfield and Nicolson 2012)