Was this man a POW?

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by kenmorrison, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. kenmorrison

    kenmorrison Member

    I'm trying to trace the history of a man interred in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Reading the CWGC notes it seems likely that he was a POW.
    John Robb, Warrant Officer Class 1/Conductor (7593838) Royal Army Ordnance Corps. Died 19 June 1943.
    Any ideas on how I might prove that he was a POW?
  2. sniper

    sniper Active Member

    Hi Ken,

    I would say this guy is a POW as its unlikely he went along on a joyride on a bomber. I think he was probably made captive during 1939-40 during the Allied withdrawal from mainland Europe. I believe that the only way you will be able to prove that he was a POW is to get his military records from the MOD. By the way, you say he was a conductor, does this mean he was in the RAOC band? If you need the MOD website where you can apply for his records just let me know and i'll post it up for you, there is a long waiting list for this service from what i can remember but you should have them after a few months.

  3. kenmorrison

    kenmorrison Member

    Cheers Mike - That was my thinking too.
    Regarding the rank of Conductor, Wikipedia has:
    Conductor (Cdr) is an appointment held by a few selected Warrant Officers Class 1 in the Royal Logistic Corps and is the most senior appointment that can be held by a warrant officer in the British Army. The appointment was also reintroduced into the Royal Australian Army Ordnance Corps for selected Warrant Officers Class 1 in 2005.
    The rank has a long history and all sorts of web sites and no, nothing to do with bands.

  4. sniper

    sniper Active Member

    Hi Ken,

    Must admit i had not heard of that rank before except for those involved with the Corps Band. And so far i have no photos of a headstone with that rank on it. It must be an honour to get that rank especially as its only for the chosen few RSM's. I'm wondering if its possible he may have been captured during the middle east theatre and transferred as a POW from there to Germany. Do you have any idea in which camp he was a POW, it could of been Colditz.

  5. Brian S

    Brian S New Member

    Hi Ken,
    you must be right when you said he was probably taken 1940 as there is no trace of him ever being a prisoner of the Italians.

    R.A.O.C. also had the rank of Sub/Conductor, which presumably was equivelent to WO11
  6. joshtheboss

    joshtheboss New Member

    Since he just disappeared like that.. yes I'd have to say so: POW.
  7. kenmorrison

    kenmorrison Member

    Finally tracked this man's history, so just to let you know:
    John Robb – age 29 – Warrant Officer Class 1 : Conductor (7593838) Royal Army Ordinance Corps.
    John was on the staff of the Union Bank of Scotland in Stirling when he enlisted. He had served his apprenticeship in Dalbeattie, Kirkcudbrightshire. He served in the 51st Highland Division and was captured at the surrender at St. Valery-en-Caux in June 1940. John died suddenly in the prisoner of war camp hospital at Hildburghausen in central Germany and was buried there. His body was re-interred in Berlin in August 1950.
    Born 1914 in New Galloway, Kells Parish, Kirkcudbrightshire.
    Son of John and Agnes (Milligan) Robb of Mains of Kenmure, New Galloway, Kells.
    Died on Service – 19 June 1943.
    Commonwealth War Grave – Berlin 1939 - 1945 War Cemetery, Germany.


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