10 Bn., Royal Berkshire Regiment

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by datatdli, Nov 26, 2005.

  1. datatdli

    datatdli Junior Member

    On behalf of a friend, I'm researching the background to CAPTAIN KEITH DOUGLAS EDRUPT (143520) who was on attachment to the 10th Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment, from the Essex Regiment. Captain Edrupt died on 4 February 1944 and his grave / memorial is in the Rome War Cemetery.

    Do any Pals have a copy of 10/Royal Berks war diary for the period? As part of the 2nd London Infantry Brigade I'm aware that the battalion was taking part in the Anzio operations at that time. What I'd like to know is where it was, and what was it doing, on or about 4 February 1944.

    Also, I appreciate that war diaries rarely mentioned individuals by name but, as a relatively senior officer, is there any reference to Captain Edrupt?

    Most of my other researches relate to World War One, so I'm unsure what is the significance of the CWGC site referring to Captain Edrupt's "Date of Death". Does this mean that his death was by natural causes or some accident rather that KIA or DOW?

    David T.
     
  2. No.9

    No.9 Senior Member

    I don't have a copy of that diary David, and no doubt it would show precise engagements at that time, being a major German offensive to pinch out the British salient from the Anzio Beachhead.

    Fortunately there is a good map for that time showing various dispositions at http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/books/wwii/anziobeach/map09.jpg
    It shows the 10th in a reserve position on 3rd February which both the map's accompanying text at http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/books/wwii/anzi...anzio-enemy.htm and my references suggest to be their likely initial deployment. However, as the German attack was pressed home it is very probable they were brought into action.

    Regarding the CWGC entry, 'Date of Death' indicates nothing more than the date of death recorded.

    As to why this individual ended up resting in Rome can only be guessed at for the moment. He may have been listed as 'Missing' at the time as he physically may have been missing or his remains lay in a sector taken or held by the Germans. Whether buried or not, his remains may not have been discovered and/or identified till some time later. There are a number of administrative reasons why he ended up buried in Rome when logically he could be expected to have been buried in Anzio War or Anzio Beachhead cemeteries. Also, the CWGC legend for Rome states some prisoners who died in German captivity are buried there.

    No.9
     
  3. datatdli

    datatdli Junior Member

    Thanks, No. 9... it's a good start, and I'm about to pull off the maps you've recommended.

    David T.
     
  4. wasman

    wasman Member

    Going to be a help for me as well as I am researching the 2 Bat North Staffs, thanks for the info.
     
  5. wasman

    wasman Member

    I can find 6 men from the Royal Berkshire Regiment killed or died on that day including Major Edward Green DSO, if you would like the other mens details please ask, Captain Edrupt is listed as being from The Essex Reg, branch of The royal Artillery, born South end on sea, residence NW London.
     
  6. No.9

    No.9 Senior Member

    Glad it was useful David and wassa. Re-reading a section of a memoir of an artillery soldier today, who was in that sector from the 3rd onwards, suggests other reasons for casualties. He too refers to the cold and the drizzling rain, and the fact that the beachhead was small enough for all parts to be reached by German artillery. Despite the grey, and consequently cloudy skies, and Allied air superiority, the Germans were still managing air sorties.

    We know now that neither side had the desired men and resources to achieve their respective objectives once the beachhead was established, and both fought desperately and determinedly in trying to achieve them. Prior to the German ground attack, this RA gunner recalls bombing with high explosives and Butterfly Bombs. In addition there was a heavy artillery barrage lasting some four hours. As we are still dealing with possibilities, from the above it is possible the Captain was killed prior to the ground attack?

    Regarding the ground attack, the gunner further remarks his battery, (in a forward position to the right [east] of the Anzio/Campoleone road behind the Sherwood Foresters), was continuously receiving target redirects and, for most of the time, supply of ammunition barely kept up with their rate of fire.

    No.9
     
  7. datatdli

    datatdli Junior Member

    Thanks, again, No. 9... and to you, too, Wassa.

    I managed to print off part of the dispositions map but, try as I might, I couldn't get the whole thing to print off onto an A-4 page. If you do have any instructions for someone just leaving the realms of technophobia, I'd love to receive them!

    I'm coming to the conclusion that it might be as well to approach the Regimental Museum(s), so... Essex Regiment, here we come.

    Thanks, again, guys.

    David T.
     
  8. No.9

    No.9 Senior Member

    David, I'm assuming you're printing straight from the site? Suggest one way is to download the map to your computer. Open the map and let it open fully in your browser. Top left click on File, then Save As. Choose where you want to save it from the panel that appears (including choosing your own location - say desktop for now). Change the file name to something you can identify easily; viz. ANZIO MAP 3-5 FEB. Don't worry about adding a stop and JPG as the programme will do this for you.

    I don't know what programmes you have on your computer including what printer and printer programme you're using. However, assuming you have Microsoft Photo Editor, open this programme then click File (top left) and then Open (or the Open symbol) and click on the downloaded map from the location you downloaded it to.

    In Photo Editor click File (top left) and Print, and usually the image is sized to fit A4 - if that's your default page size. Instead of Photo Editor you could open your printer programme, open the map in that and use the options that programme gives you.

    If using Photo Editor, or whatever, suggest you sharpen-up the image before printing by the smallest amount. Also, you may want to print the map in sections as compressing the whole map onto A4 makes some detail and text quite small.

    No.9
     
  9. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Attached Files:

  10. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Would it be worth starting a 'Sticky' thread in the Research material Forum relating specifically to War diaries presented on the web or in easier to obtain forms as above?
    I know Gerry Chester's excellent (all shiny and new too) website has the NIH diaries for ww1 & ww2 on it.
     
  11. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    I realise that this is a very late response, but I've just discovered that I know a little about this man.

    You may have already seen this:

    An exceedingly sad event I must include is that of one of my friends of many years who joined the Territorial Army with me in 1939. Someone liked by all, Keith Edrupt had been commissioned into the Essex Regiment. He had been taken prisoner in North Africa but escaped. As a Captain, Keith was then attached to the 10th Battalion of the Royal Berkshire Regiment during operations around Anzio, Italy where, on 4 February 1944, he died of wounds received. He was placed to rest in Rome War Cemetery. Keith was a great friend and a great loss.

    Source:
    BBC - WW2 People's War - "Meetings with Destiny", Part 2
    The Essex Regiment battalion mentioned was the 1/4th Essex.

    From my own research I have the following.

    Name Edrupt, Keith Douglas
    Home: Mill Hill / Ongar
    Service No. 143520
    Ranks Held: 2nd Lieut [Commissioned: 17/8/40]; Lieutenant [Promoted Between April & May 1942, Recorded 7/7/42]; Temp. Captain [As Recorded 23/1/44]
    Decorations: Mentioned In Dispatches
    Reported Missing In Action: 7/7/42 & 23/1/44
    Killed In Action: 4/2/44
    Notes: Erroneously recorded as 1/2 Battalion on document GBM_WO417_003_0179
    Attended 4 Officers Course M.E. P & R.T. School [Noted 18/1/42--Cyprus]

    There are four mentions of him in the Royal Berks diaries for 1943 here:
    War Diaries - The Wardrobe housing The Rifles Berkshire and Wiltshire Museum

    Even more surprisingly, the IWM have him featuring in a video of him 16/7/42 as having escaped from Tobruk! (1/4th Essex never entered Tobruk)


    If necessary, I am likely to be able to find more on this officer's service before his transfer to 10th Royal Berks.

    56404785_129416791672.jpg

    He is also commemorated here:

    Screen Shot 2019-01-23 at 03.02.32.png

    Source:
    MEN FROM MILL HILL - War Memorials Online

    Will PM the poster enquiring about this man.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
    Owen likes this.
  12. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    One additional note:

    After being listed missing on 7/7/42, this officer returned to 1/4th Essex at the Alamein Line on 29/7/42, having escaped from the POW 'cage' at Sidi Barrani in the company of Lieut. Mallet.
     
  13. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    I am away from home at the moment so can’t check 10 Berks WD but the fact he is buried in Rome War Cemetery and was MIA on 23rd January may suggest he died in German captivity after being captured on the Garigliano. I’m not even sure 10 Berks had arrived at Anzio at this point...but can check when home.
     
    Charley Fortnum likes this.
  14. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    So checked the January WD and is his listed on the W 3008 form as being a battle casualty on 23rd January while on Damiano (list as a company 2 I/C). However, the WD doesn't mention any particular event or him by name or any of the other five officers listed as BC on 23rd January.

    He no longer appears on the W 3008 after this date, not any mention of him at Anzio.

    I don't have the WO 361 file for 10 Berks but next time I'm in Kew I'll copy it. The CWGC concentration report also states he was buried at Campo Verano before being moved to Rome War Cemetery.
     
    Charley Fortnum likes this.
  15. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Thank you for looking into this.

    Which company 2 i/c is he?

    My hunch is that he died as a prisoner in transit.

    Is the WO 361 the missing men file? I've forgotten.

    Edit: lazy man looked it up. Yes, it is the missing men file--would love to hear if he's mentioned--will check the Essex one.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019 at 2:41 PM
  16. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    The form doesn't mention which. The WD is very matter of fact - reading it you'd think there was just some minor skirmishing, nothing of note happened...but from 20th to 25th January the 10th Berks suffered 130 ORs and 6 Officer casualties while in the line.
     
  17. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Taciturn sang froid is less that helpful for researchers--the best diarists are the gossipy ones.

    My copy's a bit blurry, but as far as I can make out there's no mention of Edrupt in the Essex Regt WO 361.
     
  18. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    The WO 361 Missing men files only cover ORs so if he won't be in that file.
     
  19. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    I didn't actually realise that despite looking at the files multiple times.
     
  20. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    While that may have been official policy you certainly do come across references to officers and circumstances around their disappearance. Attached is an example from 9 Royal Fusiliers.

    I'm down there next week and need to copy that file anyway, so we'll see what it brings.

    9_RF_WO_361_849_0674.jpg
     

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