Douglas RD 19011003
took the three paces to the huge wall of drawers and started to search for them.. found the 19 section... then the 19-D box and pulled it out. I only had to look through a few loose ones that hadn't been sorted yet and there they were. A pair of dog-tags that matched the paybook. I grabbed my phone and shared photos of these with Alan and Katey, both amazed I had managed to find anything. Katey rightly said, no point trying to return those if the family have already given or sold of his items. Good point! So they will go into my display cabinet and help to tell the story of the forgotten army.
Although Douglas is far from an unusual name, it is my mother maiden name, also my middle name. Although except for my cousin Richard, we don't know of another R Douglas.
With this first success of buying an item directly related to one of our dog-tags I tried harder to find something else, searching everywhere I could for anything 'Royal Armoured Corps' 'RAC' 'Royal Tank Regiment' 'RTR' 'Reconnaissance' (and spelling it correctly) 'Recce' and just simply crossing my fingers a lot. Of course 99% of the time it was just cap badges for sale, with occasional shoulder titles and flashes. Then a lovely Royal Armoured Corps booklet from there time in Italy, I knew I had seen this before. When Katey and I met Barrie Oakhill, whose fathers dog-tag we returned he had shown us lots of his fathers items. Including a copy of the same book, his father had hand written in notes from his own experiences. Both Katey and I said at the time, we would love to find a copy of this booklet.
Since this project first started I have at times been checking on various militaria sales sites and auction sites for items that could be connected to these dog-tags. I know what your probably thinking... and you would be right! 1 in a million chance... even with the 15,000 different soldiers that I have dog-tags for, how many actually served during World War 2 and up until the 1960... Millions! So odds are certainly not in my favour, however as you have already guessed... I must be writing all this nonsense for a reason, right! Upon a search on our dear old friend Flea-Bay, I came across an ArmyBook 64, the soldiers service and pay book. To a soldier in the RAC, so as I had done a 1000 times before, I search for his number against database... results 1 of 1. I was convinced I had done something wrong, I clicked down to show me what matched, still expecting either the number to be wrong or the name not to match... but there is was. Everything matched... serial number, surname, initials and even the religion. I stood up and
Greenwood DF 7955514
A year later and I found one, so I purchased it and didn't really pay it much attention until I looked on the inside cover and the original owner has written there name and initials.
... you guessed it, on my database is a Cpl Greenwood DF 7955514, who was mentioned in dispatches whilst fighting in Italy! I managed to get this without even knowing, you can only guess at my surprise in seeing the name and then finding out I have the dog-tag to go with it.