Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by Neuron, Nov 10, 2015.
Will make a copy of chapter "Our blooding at 112" next weekend!
Thank you very much.
See attached pages 12-23 from "From the Beaches to the Baltic." Please let me know what you find!
A very well written chapter culminating in the mortally wounding of my Great Uncle Lt Michael Lane who died in England on the 1st July 1944 aged 21 and is buried in Moulton in Suffolk. Michael was a twin, his brother John Lindsay had also joined the Army in 1942 and was serving as a Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery and survived the war only to be killed in the Korean War at the Battle of Happy Valley on the 4th January 1951 as a Captain commanding B Battery 170 Ind Morter Regiment RA attached to the Royal Ulster Rifles, he was 27 and is buried in the U.N. Cemetery in Busan LEST WE FORGET
Thanks for posting that photo,
I know your post is quite old, But I was wondering if it were possible for you to make a better scan of your H company photo. I believe that my grandfather is in the picture somewhere.
Have got a copy of the company photo as well, but I am afraid it is framed so difficult to scan. As you may have noted from one of the posts above or from one or more other threads I am very interested in H Company and especially 13 Platoon. Suppose your grandfather was one of three Wheelers below? It seems they all survived and none of them was wounded. It also seems none of them was part of 13 Platoon...
Actually my grandfather was Patrick Keefe, He is listed in the back pages of beaches to the baltic. All i know is that he was in H company 8th Battalion Rifles, I'm not sure of his platoon though.
I showed my mother the picture, she thinks he may be 3rd in from the right on the top row, but we can't be sure.
He actually passed back in 2011, and like most others I don't want him to be forgotten to the sands of time, so i was trying to gather as much information as i could about him. I know he received medals, but for what I'm not sure. I'm really at the start of this journey so any information you have would be greatly appreciated.
There he is!
Got this from the H Company War Diary which was published just after the war, called "The War Diary of H Company, 8th Bn. the Rifle Brigade."
I can't find his name in the section on "honours and awards" or in the one showing the wounded, so apparently he came through without physical injuries. Regarding medals he will probably have received four: the campaign medals (1939-1945 Star and France & Germany Star) and probably also the War Medal and Defense Medal. All "just" for being there, which when reading or listening to veteran's stories in many cases must have been a very very very nerve wrecking and dangerous affair. This certainly goes for men like your grandfather. Serving with a motor company in 11th Armoured Division he will have fought in the front line in battles, such Epsom, Goodwood and Bluecoat in Normandy and many others in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany, right up to the end of the War.
Kind regards and good luck with your journey,
Thats him, As you mentioned that you had the photo would there be anyway way for you to upload a better quality picture of it?
Hope attached sections of H Coy photo show a bit more detail. I am afraid I cannot make a really good scan as the photo I have is framed.
Thanks so much for doing that for me I really appreciate it!
Can anyone confirm the name of Padre who served with 8th RB in 1945, was it Rev C.S. Edgington?
Sorry, only know that up to September 23rd 1944 it was Jeffrey (H.J.L.) Taylor. He got killed near Helmond that day. Strangely enough his death is not mentioned in the official 8RB War Diary. Have (not yet) found out who replaced him but will try to take a look some other time through some books and war diaries...
You probably know this picture already, but in case some members don't, here is IWM B7537, showing a column of M5 half-tracks of 8th Rifle Brigade photographed most probably by Sjt Christie on 18 July 1944 (clicking on it will lead to the IWM website where it can be zoomed, so that the 11th Armd Div emblem and AOS number 54 can be made out on the second half-track):
BRITISH TANKS AND AFVS IN NW EUROPE 1944-45. © IWM (B 7537) IWM Non Commercial License
This photo leads me to several questions about the organisation and identification (lettering/numbering) of Companies and Platoons in 8 RB. So far I understand that the following was used:
"E" Coy = Support company
"F", "G" & "H" = Motor companies with
"F" Coy = 5 (Scout) Pl + 6, 7 & 8 (Motor) Pls
"G" Coy = 9 (Scout) Pl + 10, 11 & 12 (Motor) Pls
"H" Coy = 13 (Scout) Pl + 14, 15 & 16 (Motor) Pls
1. Where/what are "A" to "D" Coys?
2. How was "E" Coy organised and how were its platoons numbered? I used to think that the Support Coy in a Motor Battalion consisted of 3x Anti Tank platoons plus 2x MMG Platoons, but this makes up a total of 5 platoons for only 4 numbers (1-4) left...
3. The first half-track on B7537 sports the Square tactical symbol used for the 2nd Squadron or Company within a Battalion, with the number '6' inside. Does this number '6' represent:
3.a - the Platoon number, in which case, since 6 Platoon was in "F" Company, "E" Company must have used the Triangle (for 1st Sqn/Coy). Similarly, "G" Coy must have used the Circle and "H" Coy the vertical rectangle?
3.b - the Section number within the Company, in which case it could mean the 6th Section in either "F" Coy (if "E" Coy was considered to be the 1st Coy) of in "G" Coy (if "F" Coy was the first one). In the latter case, what tac symbol would "E" Coy have used?
Would the Scout sections also have been included in this numbering? At the start or at the end?
More generally, is there a comprehensive and detailed description of 8 RB's organisation on arrival in NWE?
Thanks in advance for enlightening me on any of these questions!
Henry Jefferys Leigh Taylor
Rev Taylor was also padre to 23H. On his death he was succeeded by Capt. J.D. Murray, R.A. Ch. D., of Penrith, Cumberland.
Rev Taylor's MC (see attachments):
Recommendation for Award for Taylor, Henry Jefferys Leigh Rank: Captain,... | The National Archives
Page 1177 | Supplement 36961, 27 February 1945 | London Gazette | The Gazette
His CGWC record:
KILLED GOING OUT TO THE RESCUE OF DUTCH CHILDREN
"GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS"
Thanks for the info on the Padre's chaps! Rev Edgington must have been Padre to 3 R Tks, I think post war, as part of BAOR, he was Padre to 8 RB!
Interestingly enough I've just found out that there is, actually, a Museum dedicated to the Army Chaplaincy. It never occured to me that there might be a museum dedicated to the huble Padre and now that I know there is it makes perfect sense, doh!
The Museum of Army Chaplaincy - The Museum of Army Chaplaincy
Incidentally, has anyone got a PDF copy of 'From the Beaches to the Baltic", or failing that can someone post the pages covering Early April 1945, especially about April 3rd and fourth and the taking of the Bridge at Eversheide?
Following quote on the battle near Presles and Le Bas Perrier (part of Operation Bluecoat) from the autobiography from Don Gillate (13 Platoon) I am working on and hoping to get published early next year:
I know the MO "Butch" Wilcox (also) was awarded the MC. Could anyone tell me if this was for the same action described above, for which Padre Taylor got the MC?
So many interesting questions (#34) and so few I can answer...
Regarding "A" to "D" Coys I have always thought this was not to get confused with 1st Rifle Brigade of 7th Armoured Division, the only other RB Battalion in NW-Europe. I believe they had "A" to "D" Coys.
Separate names with a comma.