Hi Lynda, My father was in the Royal Artillery and he was sent to Nairobi during WW2 and had to learn Swahili . I have a notebook of his that tracks his movements ,He used to say it was hard work training the locals on armour piercing and proximity fused shells. Recently I managed to get his war medals and was amazed that there was nothing for the time spent in Africa. I am still trying to find out what rank he ended up with,any suggestions where I might start. Keep up the good work.
(This has been moved from elsewhere in the website. Linda)
Thank you for your question. As it happens you have come to just the right person to answer your query!!! My father was in the Royal Artillery and he was sent to Nairobi during WW2 to learn Swahili. My father then got sent to Ceylon, India etc and said he didn’t get to speak much Swahili there !! When my father was sent to Africa he was seconded into the East African Army and I suspect your father might have been too.
You say you have got his war medals and there was nothing about his time in Africa. If he had been training locals then that might explain why no Africa Campaign medal. To get further details of his movements you will need to apply for his army service record from the MOD. The records are closed to public inspection until 2020, but a direct relation can apply to get a copy. If your father or mother are alive then they can apply and receive a copy free of charge, however if they are both deceased then you can apply, but there is a charge of £30. Here is the link to download the forms …. http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/AboutDefence/WhatWeDo/Personnel/ServiceRecords/
My sister has recently applied for our father’s service record and she has been told it will take up to a year for her to receive them – if they can be found. The £30 fee is no gurantee that the records will be located.
So you have a choice, pay for a search to be done and hope to get a copy of the service record or wait another 8 years for them to be released !
Hope this helps.