Who Do You Think You Are?
What did Paddy do during the Second World War?
QMy stepfather, Mathew Joseph Dunne (‘Paddy’), was a signaller and served in Burma. He joined a Wiltshire regiment and was attached to an Indian regiment. He was discharged in 1946 from Hohne Camp, Germany. I do not think he applied for medals. How I can find his army record? Keith Driscoll
AThe Ministry of Defence’s website explains how to apply for an army record at tinyurl.com/WW2ServiceRecords. The record will give details of units he served in, when and where. Be aware that there’s a considerable backlog because of Covid-19.
In the meantime, there are other avenues to pursue. The Wardrobe, the military museum that holds the Wiltshire Regiment collection, is in
SSalisbury. The Second World War timeline on its website ( thewardrobe. org.uk) o reveals that only the 1st Battalion served in India and that in “late 1943… it finally began training for jungle warfare in Burma. After tthree months of close contact with the enemy in difficult conditions aand under strength, it was withdrawn to India.”
The 1st Wiltshire’s War Diary is at The National Archives (TNA), but you y can purchase a transcript of it via The Wardrobe’s online shop
www.thewardrobe.org.uk/shop/war-diaries w which may be cheaper and easier e than visiting Kew.
The record will tell you which other Wiltshire battalions your stepfather s served in. He’d have been entitled to the Burma Star and, since s the discharge certificate was signed in Germany, he may have served s in north-west Europe before Germany’s surrender and been entitled e to the France and Germany Star as well. Immediate next of kin can claim these.
Finally, I’d also recommend that you read Quartered Safe Out Here:
A Recollection of the War in Burma (1993) by George MacDonald Fraser. It gives an excellent description of the fighting there.