Discussion in 'Airborne' started by COMMANDO, Feb 13, 2011.
Why would I ask if I didn't know you had it? There's certainly no need to be unpleasant!
I am not unpleasant, the obituary is on my website and i am just kidding with Paul P. who is a good friend of my, we have exchanged many pics in the past..
I realised after I sent reply that it was aimed at Paul and not me! Sorry. I think it had got a bit late and I'm new to this! Also I didn't realise that was your website, I have had a look from time to time. Let me know if there is anything I may be able to contribute.
Out of interest the photo shown is of my uncle, Frank Burton, you've probably seen my previous posts.
Ron's in Holland so your have to forgive him for that LOL, Hi Ron :P :biggrin:
I have already!
Hmmm? Only joking mate!
Sally, would you confirm Frank's service number for me please? Is it 4795961? The reason I ask is because whilst re-checking a few things I noticed that the F. Burton who I have serving with No.3 Platoon A Company had the service number 4965961.
All the best
Frank's number is 4975961. Does that help? His nickname was Jock as he had served with Cameronians between Sept 1938 and Oct 1942.
Thanks very much Sally
Firstly, Tom Harding is still with us, I met with him a short while ago and although he was not enjoying the best of health, he with Reg Wright (D Coy) and I spent a most enjoyable afternoon together reminiscing!
Re your belief that Frank was on the CO.s chalk is perhaps a red herring? The chalk manifest was 100% confirmed as correct by interviews with the personnel of the stick carried out post war seeking to identify missing KIA's from the chalk who remained unaccounted for between the period Sept 44 up to and including late 1946. There is no possible way to confirm the story that Frank was switched planes other than independent testimony from others.
If you look at the make up of the Lt Col Smyths stick you will see that it is diverse in nature in that sticks would not be filled with all key personnel ( putting all your eggs in one basket) for risk reasons. You can imagine what disaster would occur if all the key personnel had gone down in one plane! The other thing to remember is that each C47 could not accommodate a full platoon, therefore many chalks ended up being composite chalks of mixed sections and platoons.
I have no record of Frank being the CO's batman ( but that doesn't mean he never was). However i do know that George Bowers was his jeep driver although Capt Murdoch of the GPR decided to take over this role on landing at Arnhem as he had brought in the Co,s jeep by Glider (until was destroyed on the 19th Sept)
The provost section was constantly changing and was not a fixed section, men were appointed regularly to the sectionHarry Houghton & Austin Francis were both Provost sergeants during the 12 mths leading up to Arnhem. Lcpl George Wyllie who WAS in the provost section at Arnhem did travel in the CO,s stick and was unofficial regarded as the CO's unofficial self appointed minder. It is interesting to note that George Wyllie was with the Colonel at all stages of the battle and was with him when he he was mortally wounded on the 21st Sept in Annastraat.
On a side note, I guess you have the portrait photograph of Frank taken in Cairo in Jan 43 still wearing his Cameronians tam o'shanter and para wings? If not, PM me and I will send it to you
Hope this is of some help and sorry that I can't be more definitive
name="SallyD" post="569494" timestamp="1372691429"]HiHave now had a chance to talk to my aunt again.It seems there were photos taken at the same time, but my uncle wasn't in the third one, which is why I only have 2.I now know that although not listed, Frank was on Col Smyth's plane with HQ. At the very last moment at Spanhoe Frank got a call to go to see the CO and because he had been in Provost he had been chosen to be Smyth's minder and so changed planes at the last minute, otherwise he would have been with Tex Banwell and A Coy. I asked about him not being on the list and she said that the list would have been done before that and it wouldn't have been changed.She asked me to ask if anyone knows if Tom Harding is still around?Sally[/quote]
Have only just read this, after sending an email to you! Please look for 2 emails.
Both Gerrit Pijpers and Cor Janse give an account of Frank having been the Co's batman. Sadly Tex Banwell would probably have been the only one left to confirm this. They talked about this together and to Gerrit and Cor.
I only have a copy of that photo which Paul kindly sent to me. It has ink on it and Paul and I have both restored it now. I have others of him too.
Hi again Grahame,
It's good to know Tom is still around, I will pass that on to my aunt.
Having read through what you have written I take your point on all aspects, but please bear in mind when accounting for KIAs post war Frank was already listed as a POW. My aunt definitely reminded me the other day that Frank jumped with Smyth. On the point if him being or not being Smyth's batman, we definitely know that Frank was carrying a pistol, which are only usually carried by officers or minders. We know this because he loosed off his pistol to get the attention he needed albeit from the Germans. You mention that Lcpl George Wyllie was unofficially regarded as Smyth's unofficially self-appointed minder, was that after Frank was injured, presumed fatally, on the 19th I wonder. he was injured running after Smyth,that much I know. Of course this is the sad thing about the 10th that often stories cannot be confirmed and as you rightly say it there must have been total confusion.
Please see attached excerpt from Blik Omhoog by Cor Janse, based on 1st-hand accounts from 10th para veterans, including my uncle Frank Burton
Below is an excerpt from a letter sent to me by Gerrit Pijpers, followed by an excerpt from a document he produced during his research of the 10th paras...
"During the eighties of last century I met an Arnhem veteran of the 10th Parachute Battalion, Mr Tex Banwell. Tex was a good friend of your uncle and during my visits with Mr and Mrs Banwell I met your uncle frequently. Although one could see that Frank was very proud having been a member of the Parachute Regiment, he seldom talked about his experiences. Only when Tex was talking about his experiences during the war, Frank would tell about his experiences as well. Later in the evening when everyone was to bed, I tried to remember what Tex and Frank had told me and wrote it down."
"Shortly before departure for Holland, Private Frank Burton got the order that he was to become the batman of Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth Smyth, who was the officer commanding of the 10th Parachute Battalion.
Frank landed by parachute on drop zone ‘Y’, north side of Ginkel Heath, on Monday September 18th ,1944. He accompanied the Colonel through the woods to the battlefield near the farm ‘Johannahoeve’ (north west of Oosterbeek village). Frank got wounded there on Tuesday September 19th , 1944, when trying to get back over the railway line at noon. Frank got two bullets in his head and more in his upper leg."
(Gerrit Pijpers, Hartenstein Museum)
Hi Sally & Grahame,
I can't really add more about Frank you 2 both seen to have that covered very nicely... What I can add is about Tex I know for a fact that Tex,Alan Kettley and Leo Heaps all escaped the train together... Tex want on to become involved with the Dutch underground and had an SOE drop for arms and the like.. Alan and Leo were both involved in Pegasus 1 with Airey Neave who at the time was involved with MI9....
Sadly Alan is also gone now but I remember Him telling me the story of then he became a POW for the only time I believe.. There was a Dutch bann the Germans where using to question POW's with 2 groups ones that had already question and the other not... Alan quietly waited for the other group to get a little bigger and just slowly walked other and joined that group...
Anyway just one of the many stories to come out of Arnhem...
I did know about Tex, he was amazing man. Did you also know he was used as a double for Monty, but had to sit down, because he was taller! He and Frank were good friends.
I have now had the two group photos restored and am hoping somebody might be able to recognise the other paras.
I now have a copy of the 3rd photo believed to have been taken at Spanhoe during the 4 hour delay, but I don't have any names to put to these photos.
This one was published in The Yorkshire Post and I believe it to be a picture of those who escaped across the river, but maybe somebody could enlighten me further.
Separate names with a comma.