Auschwitz 111 - could grandad have been there, age 42?

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Pete234, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. Pete234

    Pete234 New Member

    Hi, I'm new to the forum and hoping someone can help me establish whether or not my English grandfather could possibly have been imprisoned in Auschwitz during WW2, receiving a tattooed number to his left forearm?
    I have had some excellent help regarding this on the WW1 Forum, but now it seems I need to extend my search into WW2 for my answers.

    His details are as follows:
    Joseph Charles HOWARD, b. 27th January 1900, Gillingham, Kent.
    He enlisted in the Marines, 2nd January 1918 - age still 17 having given his DOB as a month earlier, 27th December 1899.
    He left the Marines in September 1919 and immediately enlisted with the RGA.
    He seems to have left the RGA in 1926.

    My mother was lead to believe he received the tattooed number to his left forearm as a POW in Hong Kong, either during WW1 or just after, but having since obtained his WW1 records it seems he received no marks to his body at all, whilst in the Marines anyway - what happened in the RGA is still unknown as I do not yet have his post WW1 records.

    I have also now learned there is no way he ever received a tattoo of this description during WW1, least of all in Hong Kong, and the only tattoos of this description were enforced in Auschwitz in WW2!

    So, my question is - could he really (at age 40plus) have enlisted to actively serve in WW2, to the degree of getting himself captured and interned in Auschwitz, by then probably 41 or 42?

    Hoping someone can help.
    With thanks,
  2. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    Hi Pete, welcome. Do you have your grandfather's service number?
  3. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

  4. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    Due to your grandfather's experience he was quite likely to have served again in a speciailist capacity, somehow making his way to the front line. God knows how. What we really need is for you to get your hands on his service records, however as Next of Kin you will have to wait some time to receive them as Veterans take priority. When you do request them you must ask for photocopies of the originals, and NOT their version of them.
  5. Pete234

    Pete234 New Member

    Hi Andy, Annie and Kitty.
    Thanks for the replies and suggestions, I'll reply to them all in one here, hope that's ok.

    Re. Joseph's Service Number:
    I only have his WW1 Royal Marines 'Registration' number - 2655(s).
    I'm not sure if this was his actual Servive Number or not, but it's the only one that seems to appear on his Marines records (obtained from the National Archives download service).
    Would this number continue into his WW2 service though?
    There was another number that appeared alongside the 'scribbled' reference to the RGA - it looks like Army Number 1417090 ... this could possibly read 1477090, but the former looks more likely
    There was also another number with what looks like RGA Records, Dover 216/28/27, but I have no idea what this means.

    Re. his WW2 Service Records...
    I have the necessary forms and am just about to post them off, so will be sure to add a note requesting the originals as photocopies. His WW1 records came as scans, so that was good, though I suspect it was easier for them to scan than translate half of those!

    As for him actually serving in WW2.... that's good news, though sad to hear some of our chaps were killed by allied bombings, but at least it proves he could have been there.
    I can't imagine in what capacity he served though, as far as I know he was just a private in WW1, in the Marines.
    All I know about his RGA role was he carried two Good Conduct chevrons on his left sleeve, whether or not he worked his way up in Rank I have no idea.
    (Edit) I have just remembered - he apparently (but only possibly) received his head wound in France or Belgiam, if that's of any relevance.

    His photo is here if anyone would like to see - he's standing on the right, sadly, this is the only photo I have of him.
    Joseph Charles HOWARD - RGA circa1920 picture by PeteFisk - Photobucket

    That's about it I think, thanks again to you all; I'm just about to check out your links Annie.


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