12th Battalion Devonshire Regiment

Discussion in 'Airborne' started by lineman, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    AkelvinS,

    Ok thanks. I agree it would definitely have been remembered vividly if in fact Ron did experience such a harrowing landing. There is a lot of basic documentation missing for Op Varsity. Maybe someday someone will find all the manifests for these gliders at the NA.

    Regards ...
     
  2. scotty wotty

    scotty wotty Junior Member

    Hi my name is scott and I’m looking for any information on my grandad his name is William Leslie herbert he was in the 12th Devonshire regiment 6th airborne he was in the gliders landing near Pegasus Bridge and that’s all I really know


    [dbf, edit] see info on my grandad 12th Devons
     
  3. FredRedDev

    FredRedDev Member

    I've just seen your reply to Alex. Thank you so much. Its fantastic to know that someone remembered him. I have a fantastic photo of him with his accordion in a group sat in a field, where another chap has a cello and I've always wondered how on earth they took the instruments to war with them!!! Thank you Carolee
     
  4. Alex Harmon

    Alex Harmon New Member

    Hello all, This is a picture of my Grandfather, Mark E Harmon(top centre with cigarette) and as far as my research can tell he was a member of the 12th Battalion Devonshire Regiment. His war records show he was wounded on March 25th 1945 which ties in with the dates of Operation Varsity. I'm told also that out of the group of men in the picture he was sadly the only one to return home.
    There is a little confusion, however, in that my late father had told me my Grandfather fought at Arnhem. I'm wondering if any of the Devonshires went on to fight at Arnhem or did my dad have the wrong facts regarding my Grandfather's service.
    I'd be delighted if anyone else could identify any of the other men IMG_20181109_0001.jpg in the picture and give me a better idea of my Grandfather's story.
     
  5. reddevon

    reddevon Member

    Hi Alex, nice photo. I don't recognize anybody in the photo, but it looks like it was taken in the Ardennes (snow on the ground) 12th Devons and the rest of 6th Airborne took part in the battle of the Bulge (not all of it was American action) have you tried applying for his service records? Get a copy of military service records they will tell you where he went, when he was wounded and the likes.
     
  6. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Hi,

    Guy Hudson recently sent me the following news clipping on Pte. John R. Lenny of the 12th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment. After his glider landed in Germany they were fired on by machine guns and he was saved from a serious injury when his wound stripe deflected a bullet. Earlier he was wounded in Normandy with no date given. I couldn't find any further information on him.

    Pte Lenny -  Fulham Chronicle May 4 1945.jpg LENNY J.R..png

    Regards ...
     
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  7. David Woods

    David Woods Member

    12th Devons - Mistaken identity.

    For many years, I have been seeing on numerous websites a photo of RSM Evans of the 12th Devonshire Regiment examining captured German helmets in Hamminkeln, 25 March 1945. This caption is wrong. In 2003, the IWM sent me a photocopy of this photo BU 2301, bearing the correct name, that of W.O.I. Henry Charles Frank Allen, who was RSM at the time of Hamminkeln. I felt that his good name and service were being dishonoured, so I emailed the IWM. They investigated my complaint, admitted there had been a mistake and have now changed their caption for all the world to see. Hopefully, word will now spread across the internet and RSM Evans will be laid to rest and RSM Allen get the credit he deserves.
     

    Attached Files:

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  8. reddevon

    reddevon Member

    Well done David
     
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  9. Jacksun22

    Jacksun22 Member

    Hi folks. My grandad Leonard Sales was in the 12th Devonshire’s and took part in the Normandy landings. I am unsure as to whether he arrived by glider or later on, but my father believes he did.
    He lost his best mate to a bullet through the head in a battle he says was to retake a chateaux belonging to Lord Derby (who named a Derby winning horse, airborne, in homage after the war. Does anyone know any more about this operation ?
    He was trained as a chef and I still have his diary from training. He spent time in the Isle of Wight and Sidmouth.
     
  10. Jacksun22

    Jacksun22 Member

    Hi folks. My grandad Leonard Sales was in the 12th Devonshire’s and took part in the Normandy landings. I am unsure as to whether he arrived by glider or later on, but my father believes he did.
    He lost his best mate to a bullet through the head in a battle he says was to retake a chateaux belonging to Lord Derby (who named a Derby winning horse, airborne, in homage after the war. Does anyone know any more about this operation ?
    He was trained as a chef and I still have his diary from training. He spent time in the Isle of Wight and Sidmouth.
     
  11. Billbrownx

    Billbrownx Member

    Hi my father was in the 12th Devon’s and flew in with A Co on the night of D Day. I have spent years trying to find anything official on this I know he landed at LZ-W and fought in Breville then eventually moved up to Honfleur. (From documents of his I have).
    He was enlisted into the Devon’s and because he was a butcher pre-war he too was seconded to the Catering Corps. Having done his chef training he returned to the Devon’s and stayed with them until end of the war, albeit his cap badge was ACC which I guess is why he does not appear on the nominal role for the Devon’s! He to spent time on the Isle of Wight! After the war he went to Palestine.
     
  12. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Hi Jacksun,

    The only reference to Lord Derby I've come across in relation to the British Airborne is a mention by Major Napier Crookenden from the book "Ever Glorious: The Front Line Letters of the Crookenden Brothers, 1936-46" by John Greenacre on Page 145.

    Ever Glorious by Greenacre Page 145.jpg

    So very likely the Chateau St. Come. The 12th Devons, along with the other two Airlanding Battalions, were in and out of positions along the Breville-Le Mesnil line from mid June to well into July. You might get an idea from consulting the WD on the Pegasus Archive what particular engagement they took part in which resulted in your grandad's friend being killed.

    Regards ...
     
  13. Jacksun22

    Jacksun22 Member

    Hi Bill Brown. Thanks for replying. They may of known each other. I’m trying to get hold of more information on his exact whereabouts in the war, I guess I’ll have to apply for his service records. I have a copy of his diaries he kept at the catering branch. Interestingly he managed to blow up a barn trying to create an oven !
    Where was your father living when he enlisted? Mine was from Surrey.
     
  14. Billbrownx

    Billbrownx Member

    Jacksun22 My father lived in West Norwood, London SE27 He was a bit surprised to get called up to the Devonshire Regt !
    I got his army records which I have to say were not very detailed, there were huge gaps in the records, e.g. it showed him going to Normandy but never coming back, then showed him go to the Ardennes and Germany and eventually to Palestine. It was only by cross referencing his notes and photos etc that I was able to work out where he had actually been.
    I have some photos of him taken around a field kitchen which I will have to dig out and put on here. You should put his diary on here I am sure that it will be of great interest.
     
  15. Billbrownx

    Billbrownx Member

    Some photos of Breville taken last week showing the church where the 12th Devon's and the Yorkshire Para's took and held this strategic and important position just after D Day. breville 1.jpg church.JPG Breville.jpg
     
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  16. Billbrownx

    Billbrownx Member

    Did your Grandad go to Palestine?
    This photo was taken in February 1946 at Sarafand in Palestine. The 12th Devon's by this time were part of 3rd Kings Own Hussars as the Devon's had been disbanded! Note they still where their AIRBOURNE insignia Palestine.jpg
     
  17. Jacksun22

    Jacksun22 Member

    Thanks for uploading that, very interesting. I don’t think he went to Palestine, but he’s not about to ask any more. My grandfather was also surprised to be called up to the Devonshire’s. He was originally from Croydon. I’ll try and scan the diary and upload it.
     
  18. Jacksun22

    Jacksun22 Member

    Interestingly, tonight; after being informed by you about the Devonshire’s involvement in Brevile, I think I have found the link to the derby winner! The 6th Airborne were involved in protecting Chateau st Comer in the battle which was leased by lord derby and housed his thoroughbred studs. Mystery solved. Cheers!!!
     
  19. Billbrownx

    Billbrownx Member

    There is a memorial there:

    This memorial has been erected in memory of the Battle for the Bois des Monts and the Battle of Chateau St. Côme (7-13 June 1944).

    Text on the memorial:
    During the night of 7th June 1944 the 9th Parachute Battalion, reduced to 85 men after Merville and Amfreville/Le Plein, occupied les Bois de Mont and the Chateau St. Come with orders to hold it all costs as it overlooked the Ranville plain and the Orne bridges.
    In the next few days men rejoining from scattered drops increased the battalion strength to 270. It was reinforced by 5th Battalion 'The Black Watch' and elements of the Royal Armoured Corps, 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion and other Airborne troops.
    Between 7-13 June the enemy attacked with increasing strength, finally using three infantry battalions, artillery and a squadron, outnumbering the defenders by about four to one.
    Despite severe hand-to-hand fighting the enemy did not penetrate the perimeter and suffered very heavy casualties.
    On 13 June the 9th Parachute Battalion was relieved by 52nd Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and moved to another front line position with only 150 men.
     
  20. Jacksun22

    Jacksun22 Member

    Hi Tim. Wow. I found my grandads pic in your upload !! Did you find out what company he served in ?
     

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