National Serviceman’s AB64

Update: Roy Gallimore’s granddaughter has contacted the blog and kindly supplied us with some more information on Roy’s life which I have added below. The paybook has now been returned to Roy’s family where it belongs.

The standard Army Book 64, or AB64, continued in use long after World War Two and tonight we have an example issued to a National Serviceman, Roy Gallimore. These books were issued to all servicemen and recorded both their personal details and their training history. A cut out section also provided the soldier with a basic form of will to leave his possessions and pay to a loved one in the event of the worst happening. The cover of the book is the same brown leatherette as examples from the Second World War:AB64The opening pages give a lot of details about the soldier, including that he was born on 16th December 1930, was a joiner by trade and joined up in Owestry. He was 5’6” tall, with brown hair and eyes and is described as having a ‘fresh’ complexion:SKMBT_C36416072007091_0001Going further into the book we discover his next of kin is his mother, Edith, who lived at high Pittington in County Durham:SKMBT_C36416072007092_0001He clearly accomplished his training as he is recorded as having passed his PE tests and his annual rifle classification in 1952:SKMBT_C36416072007100_0001Much of the book is blank, however tucked into the back are a leave pass for Gunner Gallimore from Fayid:SKMBT_C36416072007101_0001Fayid was an RAF base in Egypt, used throughout the Second World War and handed back to Egypt in 1956. From the pass we can see that Gunner Gallimore was posted to 71 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery. Also included in the AB64 is a certificate of service issued to Gunner Gallimore when his national service was completed:SKMBT_C36416072007110_0001The inside of this form confirms that he served 3 years and 173 years in the army:SKMBT_C36416072007111_0001There are also a pair of negatives (which I have scanned, reversed and tried to enhance), but whether these depict Gunner Gallimore or his friends, I couldn’t say:14689259474906146900091361528Roy’s granddaughter tells us more of his life:

In terms of my Grandads life, he went on to marry my Grandma Joan Wilkes on the 4th August 1962. They remained in the home of 14 Norman terrace, which is the home my Grandad lived in all of his life.They had two children Anne Edith and Carol Louisa. They had 3 grandchildren, Charlotte, Rebecca Claire and Gemma Louise (myself). 

My Grandfather, after leaving the army, continued his work as a joiner. He also enjoyed playing the organ and played in the local chapel and also around care homes. He also loved gardening and grew all of his own vegetables and fruit. 

He enjoyed travelling with my Grandmother, and they thoroughly enjoyed Scotland. He lived for his family, especially us grandchildren spending his last years telling us stories of his life and teaching us everything he knew. He often talked about his time in the army, and how he lived on corned beef and mars bars when he got the chance. He commented on the conditions of Egypt and how the boiling hot sun was often unbearable for the soldiers. He often sent pictures and messages to his mother Edith to update her on how he was and to let her know that he was safe. In 2009 he was diagnosed with cancer, and he fought a hard battle which he won. However in 2012 my grandmother passed away after her 3rd battle with cancer, which broke my grandfather’s heart. They had just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. He was never really the same, and spent the remainder of his days in their home, where he felt close to her. 

He later died suddenly in 2014 after suffering a heart aneursym. He was buried in a double grave with my Grandmother, so they were both reunited. 

2 thoughts on “National Serviceman’s AB64

  1. Gemma Louise Ross

    Hi, I am Roy Gallimore’s Granddaughter Gemma. Myself and the family were wondering where this document is being kept and if we could possibly view it. If possible we would love to have it as a keepsake in my Grandad’s memory, but obviously we do realise it may be classed as army property, so if this is the case then we would very much like to view it if we could.

    1. hatchfive Post author

      Hi Gemma. Thanks for getting in touch. The AB64 is in my collection so I would be honoured to reunite it with his family. Please email me your address to and I will see about getting it sent to you. If you let me have some details about your grandfather’s life I will add it to this post for my readers and as a little tribute to his memory and service.

      Best wishes



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