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Help with Grandfather's WWII service history


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I'm currently an applicant on the competition list for N.W.O.

I'm hoping someone might be able to help with identifying details of my Grandfather's WWII service from a kit bag handed down through the family.

My grandfather passed away in a hunting accident shortly after returning from the war. My father was 4 at the time. When I was a child my father always carried a heavy canvas type shoulder bag  whenever we were in the bush, but I never knew it's significance.

When my father passed of cancer 25 years ago I held onto the bag for sentimental reasons. It still holds my father's orange hunting vest and magazines for his hunting rifles.

Fast forward to today and I'm now applying to the Navy. I'm currently packing everything up to put in storage and here's the canvas bag. As I'm looking at the bag and remembering my father, I notice for the first time the faint outline of lettering written in black by my grandfather.

Hopefully someone here will be able to help.

Here's what I can read:
C36015 WATTS
A.W.    8.69
2 L.  C10 (might be some missing letters here)

My grandfather's name was Alvin Watts.

Thank you.



Army.ca Veteran
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The first thing that jump out are "R.C.C.S." which means Royal Canadian Corps of Signals and "C36015" which is his regimental number.  You can request a copy of his service record from Library and Archives Canada  https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/transparency/atippr/Pages/Access-information-military-files.aspx

You'll find some information about markings on duffle bags here  https://servicepub.wordpress.com/2015/08/18/applications-of-unit-serial-numbers-on-kitbaggagestores-of-the-canadian-army-overseas-1943-45/

Michael OLeary

Army.ca Fixture
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Service number C36015 belonged to a block of numbers assigned to 4th Canadian Divisional Signals. This matches with the identification of Military District No. 3 (M.D. 3).

4th Canadian Armoured Division Signals fonds

Canada. Canadian Army. Canadian Armoured Divisional Signals, 4th

Administrative history The 4th Divisional Signals was part of the 4th Canadian Armoured Division in the Second World War. The unit was made up of men recruited by Lt.-Col Parker from the Non-Permanent Active Militia (N.P.A.M) Signals in Montreal and Toronto. In August 1941 this N.P.A.M Signals unit was dismembered and the 4th Divisional Signals was mobilized by Lt.-Col F.N Ovens, and moved to Debert, Nova Scotia.

In February 1942 the 4th Canadian Division became an “Armoured” division, which meant that the 4th Divisional Signals had to adapt accordingly. The Divisional Signals received training during this period. In autumn 1942 the 4th Divisional Signals arrived in England, and carried out further training at Aldershot. One of the first assignments of the Divisional Signals’ was to provide communications for umpires on exercises in England.

Significant reorganization of the Signals took place once the unit was in England. Two Signals troops were recruited for the 23rd Field regiment, which played a part in the D-Day Assault on German held France. In July 1944, the 4th Divisional Signals joined the 2nd and 3rd Divisonal signals, and other Canadian Signals units that were already in Normandy. The 4th Canadian Armoured Division was disbanded in 1945.


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Thank you for the information and references. It makes for an interesting read.

Family lore was that my grandfather rode motorcycles in the war and delivered messages to the front. With the information now at hand he may well have been a despatch rider.

I'm going to request his service records and I'll post an update if I'm successful.

Thanks again for your assistance.