Author Topic: 3520160 Pte George Woodfine  (Read 315 times)

Offline Bob.NB

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3520160 Pte George Woodfine
« on: February 06, 2023, 05:50:02 PM »
I am currently researching 3520160 Pte George Woodfine.
I have copies of his service papers from the MoD which show that:

He enlisted on 5 January 1925 and was, in due course, posted to the 2nd Battalion in Rangoon.
Served in Burma in 1931-32 (India General Service Medal 1908).
After his 7 years with the Regulars he joined the Reserve on 22 November 1932.
Recalled for WW2 on 2 September 1939 and, in due course, posted to the 1/9th Battalion.
Joined BEF on 9th April 1940.
Evacuated from Dunkirk on 1 June 1940.

Unfortunately, and surprisingly, his papers do not list any of his later movements during the rest of the war – did he go to Iceland with ‘C Force?
However, there is a small note in his papers stating that he was “Home 2.6.40 – 28.12.44”.
I had assumed that he was posted to the 2nd Battalion and went out to India because on 28 March 1943 Pte Woodfine and some 160 men of the Manchester Regiment were transferred to the 2nd Battalion, the East Surrey Regiment.
Pte Woodfine was entitled to the 1939-45 Star, Burma Star, Defence and War Medals for his WW2 service.
However I cannot find what the 2nd Batt East Surreys did in the war or why 160 Manchester men were transferred to them – were they a machine gun unit?
Did he go to Burma in late 1944?
Any information or leads for research most gratefully received.
Many thanks.
Bob B

Offline charlie

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Re: 3520160 Pte George Woodfine
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2023, 06:10:46 AM »
Bob :
As you know the 2nd Bn East Surreys were captured at Singapore. The Bn was reformed in May 42 by renaming the 11th Bn. The Bn remained in the UK throughout the war.
https://www.nam.ac.uk/explore/east-surrey-regiment

The War Diaries for the 2nd Bn have been transcribed, the diary for March 43 records the arrival on the 29th of 141 ORs from 30th Bn Manchester Regt.
https://www.queensroyalsurreys.org.uk/ww2/ww2-diaries/2nd-bn-east-surrey-regiment/2bn-east-surrey-calendar.html

As he received the Burma Star it looks like he was transferred again, obviously some clerk at records has been idle on parade. :)

Charlie

Offline Bob.NB

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Re: 3520160 Pte George Woodfine
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2023, 05:00:54 PM »
Charlie,
Very many thanks for this.
Yes, I had seen that the 2nd East Surrey’s remained in the UK but I hadn’t seen the piece from its war diary. Thank you.
Looking at Woodfine’s papers more closely, I can see “30th” in the column which states that he was transferred to the East Surrey Regt.
It reads: “30th. Trans to E. Surrey Rgt and posted to 2nd Bn under cond: 626/9 ACI Auth WONMR/1525/8795a Gra” [??? - very hard to read accurately]
So it looks like he went from the 1/9th to the 30th and then immediately to the 2nd East Surreys.
I have looked again at his papers again and  it appears that I have misread them, as the “Burma” from his 1908 IGS has merged with his 1939-45 Star and so I’m now confident that he was not awarded the Burma Star meaning that his correct medal entitlement as on his papers is: India General Service Medal 1908, clasp “BURMA 1930-32”, 1939-45 Star, Defence and War Medals which agrees with the service on his papers and what you have said above.
He also has the Dunkirk commemorative Medal which would be fully justified.
Many thanks for all your help – quandary solved.
Bob B