Finding My Dad’s Italy Service or Unit’s War diary

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    • #17729
      Elaine McKnightElaine McKnight

      I have just got my Dad’s army records from the MoD, John Oswald McKnight. He was with the RASC from Oct 1939 (signed up on a Territorial Army form?) then via Dunkirk, back home then to North Africa and then Italy. Whilst his post war service with the TA is very detailed his time in Africa and Italy is down to a couple of lines.
      He was mentioned in dispatches for action “somewhere” so really interested in where he went as his record only gives “0/0179-46, vide London Gazette 22 May 46”, gives only the info he was mentioned. Record gives his army number initially as T/113864 but later amended to 22975424, perhaps when he joined TA (Intelligence Corps) post war. Record states on enlistment in 1939 posted to “Petrol Coy 50th N) Div RASC”, as driver; Jan 40 to 12 TC Company and then overseas with BEF on 25 Jan 40 returning to UK 1 June 40; June 42 to 99 General Transport Company first arrives North Africa 23 Dec 42, but inserted above this entry is a note, not sure if absolutely correct as difficult to read, “ER 1474 29158 22 Dec 1942”, first as a Cpl then Sgt, but no mention of service in Italy.
      The next entry is as a CQMS to go on leave Oct 45 from Milan and returns to Milan Nov 45, and under the Unit column is 02E.CMF. Record shows awards of Africa (First Army bar) and Italy Stars and Mention in Dispatches. I understand that General Transport Companies were used to allocate units to specific Divisions. Did British units from Algeria go to mainland Italy via Sicily? I know he was based in Algeria before Italy.
      I would love to know if any one can shed further light on or where I can find additional info such as war diaries for his unit or his route through Italy. The only other info is that I know he appears to have gone up the Italy East coast as he had a painting (from a photo) of my mother done in Rimini, then on leave from Milan, and that he ended up in Klagenfurt (Austria) but no mention of this in his record (mother told me he had wanted her to join him there but decided to leave army) before finally leaving army on 8 June 1946 as Class Z(T) Rs. Very many thanks for your help.

    • #17730
      Frank de PlantaFrank de Planta


      Get hold of me through my website at and I will happily talk you through how to get hold of what you need.



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