Can you tell me more about this Se­cond World War photo of my father while he served in In­dia?

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - Q&A -

QAn en­ve­lope be­long­ing to my late father con­tains at least 200 pho­to­graphs taken on leave while over­seas when he served in the Royal Army Ord­nance Corps ( RAOC) dur­ing the Se­cond World War. He served in North Africa, Egypt, Pales­tine and In­dia. His medals in­clude the Africa Star and the Burma Star. Was it un­usual in the Se­cond World War for some­one to take so many pho­tos? This one, shown below, is la­belled “Ranchi, In­dia”. My father is seen on the left. Mike Sil­li­toe, by email

ACam­eras, un­less of­fi­cially au­tho­rised, were strictly for­bid­den in the front line or close to it, though the def­i­ni­tion was un­clear and the forces had the right to con­fis­cate any they found. The main prob­lem peo­ple faced was ob­tain­ing film, which was very scarce. My wife’s un­cle, who took scores of pho­tos of his time in the navy, ac­tu­ally threw his cam­era over­board when he ran out of film as the cam­era was then just a dead weight. As you have so many, I’d sug­gest you ap­proach the Royal Lo­gis­tic Corps (who ab­sorbed the Ord­nance Corps) Mu­seum at Deep­cut in Sur­rey, or the Im­pe­rial War Mu­seum, in case they’d like to take copies. It seems like­li­est th­ese men had re­cently ar­rived in In­dia in 1943. Iden­ti­fy­ing pho­tos from the Se­cond World War is harder than for the First World War be­cause uni­forms be­came more stan­dard­ised and, par­tic­u­larly in the com­bat area, iden­ti­fy­ing badges and in­signia were fre­quently re­moved to avoid as­sist­ing the en­emy.


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