June 7th 1944

Discussion in 'History' started by west123, Jul 19, 2014.

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  1. I am the daughter of a 'sailor' that went into Ver Sur Mer on 7th June 1944. Aged 19, he was on a small vessel that was carrying ammunition; he is unable to recall the name of his vessel. Dad is revisiting the beaches of Normandy next week. He tells us next to nothing about his experiences and has only just started to say the odd bit - but I have his Certificate of Service in the Royal Navy (a linen document). This clearly states COPRA for 1943/44 - I have familiarised myself with what I can about 'joint operations' - but cannot find record of my father on any of the official sites; Forces War Records etc.
    I would really like to help him recall the information - any ideas?
    Thank you.
  2. Either Sweetpea or Soleil are the ladies who are experts in this, send them a PM with what you know, your dads official number will speed up things.
  3. HMS Copra was a Shore Establishment in Troon Scotland. It's an acronym for Combined Operations Personnel Records and Accounts.
    It would have held your father's service papers whilst he was serving on lesser un-named vessels
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 20, 2014
  4. Hi Caroline,

    Welcome to Rum Ration. Your fathers Certificate of Service should hold all the necessary facts of his service. Does it not list each ship/shore base that he was stationed at during his RN service?
    Normally I would advise that a copy of your fathers service record be applied for, from here:
    service records sar form requests However, since you already have his Service Certificate I doubt you will gain anything by applying for a copy of his Service Records, but you could ask, just give them a call (phone number on the link page) and they will be able to advise.

    I have access to the Medal Rolls but I think the Rolls will be of little use as I presume that your father has his medals in safe keeping. I also have access to the UK Navy Lists and could do a look up for you. To do this I would need your fathers name and service number. If you are not happy to disclose your fathers name on the forum you can send the details to me via PM if you so wish.

    As for trying to help your father remember going to Ver Sur Mer (Gold Beach) on 7th June 1944.... I doubt that he has forgotten such an event, 'tis probably more a case of him rather wanting to leave it in the past. There is a reason why your father has not spoken of the events that took place. He is not alone, many who returned home never ever spoke about it.

    I do hope your father enjoys his trip to Normandy next week, hopefully once there he might feel that he can open up and share his memories with you.

    Last edited: Jul 19, 2014
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  5. Getting smokey in here.

    Lovely response Sweet Pea.

    Concur, hopefully he'll have a better time than last time. I found that A LOT of the locals in Normandy have the greatest respect and regard for Veterans.
  6. Hello and thank you for your very comprehensive reply. I am deaf (due to having M.S) - so phoning for anything is a 'no no' for me; it is always such a blessing when someone like you comes along. Dad is registered blind (partially sighted), so he has limited means to do his own research.
    All I have is the document entitled Certificate of Service. It has Dads full name - Jack Graham at the top then PORT DIVISION: Chatham and the OFFICIAL No. which looks like 24408477 - the reason I say 'looks like' is that it is hand written and the first 2 and 4 could be a 'd' and an 'f' - the '4' does not look quite like the two 4s that follow. I know of no other ex servicemen to be able to compare certificates and don't know, therefore, if the Official number would be prefixed with letters.
    Dads DOB is 30-05-1925 - Bingley.
    There is an A and S GROUP No 53 stamped in blue.

    In the Name of Ships there is Pembroke, Quebec, Copra, Copra (again) Pembroke, Royal ???, Royal ???, Pembroke. This extends between Mar 1943 and Sep 1946. I am aware of the COPRA meaning - sort of!
    All his other service years were spent in the RAF(his official number there was 4032437).
    I have no other records I am afraid.
    Dad does indeed have his medals and wears them once a year when he marshes locally with the B.L parade (I think the number of WW2 vets has reduced to 3 locally now.:cry:)

    Thank you for even taking the time to read this - it feel good just to have someone else interested and possibly able to help.

    Kind regards,

  7. Art the Fart/WreckerL and sweetpea - thank you so much for your input. Fingers crossed I find Dad in the records somewhere......x
  8. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

    Do you have a Rank or Rate for Dad, and any idea of the type of work he did?
  9. HMS Quebec (named after the Combined Operation earlier in Canada) was another shore establishment in Inverary Scotland. It trained crews for small landing craft , with some 250,000 trained by D Day. Your father was trained there. He will remain one of the unsung who served on, for the most part, minor vessels in the thick of it.
  10. Hello - His records just say that he was 'Trade brought up to: labourer'. Under Substantive Rating - he has 'Ord Sea' and A/AB. (I don't feel I am being very helpful with this -) . He was released 'Class A 66427.' The only other thing I have is a record of a 'hurt certificate' and a payment of a gratuity in 1946.
  11. Hello Caroline,

    Thank you for updating the information regarding your Dads RN service during WW2. If you can think of anything else, please do add it to the thread. 'Every little helps' as the saying goes.

    Unfortunately I haven't had any luck in finding your Dad listed in any of the online sources so far. :cry: But I will keep looking.

    Yes, your Dads official number would be prefixed with letters, since his port division was Chatham the letters before the number should begin with C/ (followed by possibly JK or KX or...something else/similar?)

    Thanks for posting the following: In the Name of Ships there is Pembroke, Quebec, Copra, Copra (again) Pembroke, Royal ???, Royal ???, Pembroke. This extends between Mar 1943 and Sep 1946.
    Can I now please bring your attention to Royal ??? Could that read Royal Ulsterman?

    Since your father is still with us (bless him) he is entitled to a copy of his RN service record Free of charge. All WW2 service records are held by the MoD and you would need to fill in an application forms on behalf of your Dad. You can download the forms required from this link https://www.gov.uk/requests-for-personal-data-and-service-records
    If you are unable to print the forms off please contact Veterans UK by Email: [email protected] and they will happily send the forms by post to you.

    Ordinary Seaman and A/AB = rank.

  12. Just to amplify what Sweetpea has said, A/AB stands for Acting Able Seaman.

    And the linen Certificates of Service were in use up until 1999, I've still got mine, as have many on here so if you need any help deciphering different sections just post the query and someone will be able to help.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014

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