2nd Army HQ Defence Platoons Normandy

Discussion in 'Higher Formations' started by grayden, Aug 27, 2014.

  1. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY


    I was looking into events at Chateau de Cruellet (in case my gd inadvertently stumbled in there ;) ) and coming across some interesting (particularly French) sites.

    This was the original search:

    This one has the bit about the visitors there on other dates:

    This one is about Blay – Monty’s HQ from 23rd June to 3rd August: https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&hl=en&prev=search&rurl=translate.google.co.uk&sl=fr&u=https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blay&usg=ALkJrhjQNtPb83Z3QBDIzbNYAYkeh3P7RQ

    A nice French site:

    With this pic:

    But this also here on the IWM site:
    Defence Company of 2nd Army Headquarters Normandy

    Men of the Defence Company, 2nd Army Headquarters enjoying an issue of beer, Creully, 14 July 1944.

    (Looked like a nice cheerful bunch!)

    All the best,

  2. grayden

    grayden Member

    Hi Rm,
    Yes they were a cheerful bunch, at the centre of the picture is my Uncle Jim and the subject of my book 'Uncle Jims War' here in paperback http://www.amazon.co.uk/Uncle-Jims-War-Tracing-Soldiers/dp/1517395240 and here as an ebook http://www.amazon.co.uk/Uncle-Jims-War-Tracing-Soldiers-ebook/dp/B015EOQZZ0.


  3. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Small world Graham!

    There are a lot of other photo's by the same photographic unit here:

    Not sure why this site:

    Has put their own stamp on it:
    And not said IWM :eek:

    A bit too many for me to look through in one go, but I suspect some might be of my own grandfather (ex 24th L), so I'll keep looking ;)

    All the best,

  4. grayden

    grayden Member

    Yes it amazed me when I came across the one of Jim it was pure chance but I did spend hours and hours on the research. It took 5 years and thousands of hours, but it was worth it as Jim never spoke about his war experience discovering what he endured in the six years of the war was truly remarkable.
  5. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Yes, only 3481 pics there in that group to look through!


    He did actually mention the "George Formby show"

    But only to say that in the event regrettably he was "too busy to go" ;)

    I'm not sure if you saw my post of my gd's account that had me looking into the Chateau de Cruellet events?


    "I had then to go pick up another tank from the feeder unit. Given only sketchy instructions I took nineteen men in all and away I went. The truck driver dropped me at the entrance to Montgomery’s H.Q. (I know this now, but I didn’t at that time) so I took my little gang in quite happily. Got a long way into those grounds too, it did strike me very quickly that they were all dressed up. Anyway a Sergeant came rushingup shouting his head off, “You can’t come in here, get out”. I said he was a Sergeant, well so was I. Turning to my band of desperadoes I told them to sit on the grass. Then I gave full attention to Charlie Boy, he was quite red and went away. Within a few minutes he returned with his Regimental Sergeant Major and he was a really nice chap, we had a cosy chat for a few minutes, he agreed we all needed a meal, he also agreed it would be stupid for me to wander all over the place so he laid on transport, after all they were wanting to restart the war. We were glad really to get out of that joint, but when the Sergeant shouted at us, that was just not the way, the R.S.M. knew though."

    Given what this site:

    Says was going on there at the time I can quite understand now why "Charlie Boy" - "was quite red" and "it would be stupid for me to wander all over the place" -


    The 12 June 1944 , Montgomery received successively in the Grand Creullet Castle Salon in which he had established his new headquarters, Winston Churchill on June 12, General de Gaulle passage Creullet 14 before his Bayeux speech, theGeneral Eisenhower on 15 and Finally the King George VI

    To which I can only say: oops! :)

    Ps. As regards: "Still researching my uncles war service and have come across an entry in his records which says ' Attd, HQ, 2nd Army Def. Pl.' which I believe stands for Attached to HQ 2nd Army Defence Platoon which was drawn from the 50th Northumbrian Division and in Jim's case the 5th East Yorks . The date is 4th July 1944 and I know that it was General Miles Dempsey's HQ which I think was at Cruelly.
    Does anyone know if War Diaries or records were produced by HQ or the Platoons? I have searched National Archives to no avail. Thanks, Graham"

    For the "4th July 1944" did you ever work this out for "General Miles Dempsey's HQ", for Monty at least I think by 4th July 1944 he'd moved on the Blay: (from 23rd June 1944-3 August 1944) :

    This one says "Creully, 14 July 1944."
    So I'm guessing "General Miles Dempsey's HQ" perhaps took over the place (Chateau Creully) once Monty's trailer et.al had shipped out :)
  6. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

  7. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Been following this and related threads. There are Chateau at both Creullet and Creully and these two places are only separated by the River Seulles. Just for clarification, which Chateau housed who and when? Just as an aside, the BBC set up their base at the Chateau Creully.....or was that Creullet? :)
  8. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Not sure :)

    I saw them both on the map, and anyhow Monty was in a trailer in a park (Creullet I guess?) but there's all sorts of problems with what's "wrote where" and how "what's got translated into what". They always seemed to pick quite nice looking real estate though. I think my granddad was bathing in a stream and sleeping in a barn or just in a field under a tank most of the time.

    Oh how the other half live ;) They probably told the RAF not to bomb it months in advance! Can't imagine they just turned a corner and thought ooh! That looks nice, we'll bunk up there, as they were passing through on their way "down south" ?! Never know though. A number of the officers already knew that area quite well from before the war I guess.



Share This Page