The National Archives: Day Two

Another hectic day in the National Archives at Kew. After my wise words about being prepared etc yesterday, I somehow managed to sleep in a little bit later than I planned… but didn’t lose too much time thankfully.

I’ve managed to look at the war diaries for all of the units that Robert Easton was with – the 1/6th Lancashire Fusiliers from 1939 until 1941, and then the 109th Regiment Royal Armoured Corps (Lancs. Fus.) until they were disbanded in 1942, and then with the 142nd Regiment Royal Armoured Corps in North Africa and Italy until he was killed in September 1944. A regular officer, he was posted to the 1/6th Lancs Fusiliers early in the war. A territorial battalion, most of the officers – including the C.O. – were part-time soldiers. So as Adjutant and a regular soldier, Easton would have been the backbone of the Battalion. I’ve also found out that he was mentioned in despatches for Dunkirk, which I hadn’t previously known. I’ve also got details for all of the courses that he went on, especially during the Battalion’s conversion to armour in 1941.

I found a real gem in Flight Lieutenant John Coghlan’s original leather-bound pilot’s log book. Only a small number of these remain, so it was a great find. It lists every flight he took in RAF service, from training in Tiger Moths up to flying Hurricanes in the Battle of Britain in 1940, and also his instructors and commanders comments on his progress and abilities. I now know how many flying hours he had, and in what types. Sadly, his log book simply finishes on 3 August, with no clue as to what happened after that. Neither does 56 Squadron’s Operations Record Book shed much light, other than that he was posted to the Parachute Practice Unit at Ringway, Manchester.

I found time to take a look at some war diaries related to Captain Bernard Brown, the Medical Officer who died serving with the 1st Royal Welsh in Italy in February 1945. As soon as I flicked through the diary, I was perplexed… they had gone to the rear to rest in early February. Brown even went to Rome on leave for a week. All became clear, however, when the war diary recorded that Brown died in his sleep on the night of 24-25 February – it seems that he died of natural causes. There is of course something tragically ironic about a decorated Medical Officer, and a qualified surgeon, dying of natural causes in his sleep.

I also took a look at some documents related to Lieutenant-Commander William Hussey. I’ve found damage reports for when his ship – HMS Lively – was shelled in the Mediterranean in 1942, and then from when it was sunk off Tobruk later in the same year. I also found a document recommending officers and ratings for awards after HMS Lively was sunk – including some very detailed descriptions of what happened, how the ship sank, and the circumstances in which Hussey went down with her.

Finally, I had a look at a few documents about Major Maurice Budd, who won a Military Cross in Burma in 1945 with V Force, a special forces unit. I found a document containing the minutes of a conference, chaired by General Bill Slim, about the role V Force was to play in the war in Burma, and how it was to be constituted – how many men – Indian and English – and how the unit was to be structured.

All in all a very succesfull day – apart from dropping Fl. Lt. Coghlan’s log book while queuing up for the photocopier, and getting a crick in my neck looking at the microfilm reader – why do they scan documents onto film, and then set them up landscape instead of portrait? And why dont the microfilm readers have a rotate option? Even the one in Portsmouth Central Library does!

So far I haven’t found anything truly earth-shattering, but plenty of useful material none the less – it all goes towards building up the bigger picture. Last day tomorrow, then back to reality!

Tomorrow: More about Captain Bernard Brown and Lieutenant-Commander William Hussey, plus (hopefully) Wing Commander John Buchanan and more.

About these ads

15 Comments

Filed under portsmouth heroes, World War Two

15 responses to “The National Archives: Day Two

  1. This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.
    I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of
    your excellent post. Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks!

  2. Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored at work so I
    decided to check out your site on my iphone during lunch break.
    I love the information you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when
    I get home. I’m surprised at how fast your blog loaded on my phone ..
    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, good blog!

  3. Good day very cool website!! Man .. Beautiful .. Amazing ..
    I’ll bookmark your website and take the
    feeds additionally࿦I am satisfied to search out a lot of useful info right here within the post, we need develop extra techniques in this regard, thank you for sharing.
    . . . . .

  4. Apple has produced this Apple iphone utilizing ios4 operating method that is its personal product.
    This is one of the most fashionable Apple iphone cases out there.
    Some of the others that I’ve used do not.

  5. Touch or Iphone, I’m certain you have been astonished with the sleekness of the design and the many features that arrive alongside with its contact display.

    It leads to extraordinary investing costs – like individuals having to pay upwards of $2,000 for the new Apple iphone 4.

    If you appear at any average American, they will definitely have at minimum three or four nicely-crafted video games from the myriad of video games on the iTunes network.

    I am usually a huge iPod/iPhone sport fan, but stating the new NCAA ’11 Hd for Apple iphone was a disappointment
    would be an understatement.

    AVCHD to iPhone four Converter is a super software program that nicely works with the
    new Apple iphone 4. It can change or tranfer AVCHD video,
    like mts/m2ts or any other video clip format to Iphone four adaptable MPEG-4/MP4,
    H.264, M4V, MP3, AAC formats. With Mac AVCHD to Iphone four Converter, you have no limitation to enjoy your fantastic Hd films with this great applicaton.

    The Incite offers something the Iphone can’t: handwriting recognition with the stylus.
    Whilst this feature is sure to make sure you
    numerous, the fact that the stylus hangs off the telephone,
    instead than becoming encased in a slot, is sure to annoy.

    The initial thing to check is whether or not the site actually provides totally free Apple iphone downloads.
    That’s because there are a number of sites that don’t offer Iphone downloads, but nonetheless claim that they do.
    Choose a website that provides mainly Apple iphone downloads so you get the best assistance
    possible in this area.

    While the iPad made its debut in April 2010, Nook Color only
    appeared in November 2010. In purchase to find out which
    is better, you need to choose for a head-to-head comparison of
    the two gadgets. Offered below is a comparison chart wherein Apple iPad specs are compared against Nook Color specs.

    Rumors show that on Sept. 10, or Sept. 20, as some sources
    are reporting, Apple will release the Iphone 5s, and the budget-pleasant
    Iphone 5c. Apple has also been rumored to be releasing an iPad, though it isn’t expected that the iPad will be launched at the same time as the telephone, based on their previous
    steps.

    This will back again up your device activation profile (called an
    SHSH blob) to distant servers, which ensures that you won’t lose the capability to jailbreak if you accidentally improve
    your gadget gadget software in the long term. Much more
    on that later on.

    As the reside blog of Steve’s presentation scrolled up my display, I experienced to consider why that was.
    I can nearly hear it from my teen age daughter “Why don’t we have iPods and macBooks about the home Dad?”.

    White Iphone 4 Contracts is the most stunning agreement obtainable in the marketplace which let you to forget
    every thing and adore your I phone 4. It is an
    ocean of applications which can be utilized in our every working day individual lifestyle and
    professional life. There is no need to say about apples study and
    Innovation which has brought on hearth in the market and it flames are
    spreading in the type of growing I phone four customers.
    Offer is stated to be a deal when it is an apple iphone four contract
    .

    You will discover that these easy suggestions do not really involve the use of
    the Apple iphone as a telephone. The Iphone is really much much more
    than a mobile telephone and so if you are only utilizing it as
    a telephone why not explore its option programs?

  6. Your old favorite weapon can there be along with 6 new weapon available to
    you. Most known repos are etc, Telesphoreo Tangelo Repo, Mod Myi and Major Boss.
    You could put in a theme manager, If you’re uninterested
    in iPhone.

  7. To obtain the games to work from disc a special JB2 layout game disc format needs
    to be properly used when using. It’s for sale in white, orange, red,
    black, pink, green, and blue. There is no warranty with this information.

  8. It is because a wholesome diet could make blood levels
    more straightforward to control. Following
    correct diet is important to prevent serious problems.
    There are two types of Type-2 and diabetesType 1.

  9. The iPad has two sensors: an accelerometer and an ambient mild sensor.

    The individual whose leaping bean moves fastest and furthest
    wins. Customize the wallpaper, status bar and dock on your iPhone
    3G.

  10. The emerald has color versions including greenish-blue to deeper greens.
    Our upper class has been impaired by us through squalor through stagnancy.
    The iPhone just seems so locked up and managed.

  11. Most dog owners treat their dogs like their children. paws and cause
    excessive bleeding and may require a trip to the veterinarian to.
    On the contrary, think about how many products we buy everyday with the sole purpose of making us happy,
    so don’t be so quick to judge that dog clothes are frivolous and useless.

  12. For individuals on the go, thin wallets are all the rage.
    After you move a ball more balls are additional till the screen is totally stuffed.
    By adding all applications you will adore to jailbreak your iPad
    usually.

  13. Tear said that BB doesn’t see that as a concern. Be a little bit much more cautious with
    these choices. App2SD is important for memory administration problems.

    The optical drive is a SuperMulti DVD burner and Blu-Ray player combo.

  14. Don’t supply the specific month / day / year that you were born, if you made a decision to provide
    an age. We’re planning to be dividing your primary hard disk drive below, and that means that data issues
    are possible.

  15. This has a comparable interface of a desktop browser.
    The obtain and selecting unique features for the customization is absolutely easy!
    Face value & second-hand value is fantastic of
    this handset.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s