12 Devons war diary

Discussion in 'Airborne' started by Alex1975uk, Oct 10, 2020.

  1. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    Hi guys,
    Has anyone got the diary for 12 Devons for February 1945?
    I have friends in Holland who “adopt” graves of British soldiers killed there and on 16th Feb 1945 3 men were killed. Humphries, Harvey and Richmond KIA. Hoping to find a line in the diary or otherwise. Any help appreciated.
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  2. reddevon

    reddevon Member

    I don't have copies of the war diaries for that bit of February (yet), but here is a bit of info from elsewhere.
    5627233Pte. Richmond. D.G. and 5627081 Pte. Humphrey. C. both killed on the same day as Pte Harvey. According to the books the Battalion were putting out fighting patrols between the 4th and 17th of February, they were then pulled out of the line and finally returned to the UK on the 24th and 25th of February.
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  3. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that, yes I’m trying to establish was it an artillery round hitting their position or were they killed on a patrol across the river etc etc.
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  4. reddevon

    reddevon Member

    I am sure there is more information regarding those three on this forum but i am having trouble finding it, and tyhe dog keeps interrupting me as she wants to play!
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  5. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your help!
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  6. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Hi Alex,

    Edwatd A. Horrell brings up the deaths of those three men at the beginning of his Varsity account. Unfortunately he doesn't go into details.

    "After our disastrous experience in the Ardennes, when we lost Charlie Humphries, Freddie Harvey and Dennis Richmond, with four others badly wounded, we spent two hectic weeks reorganizing the platoon. Reinforcements had to be accommodated and new equipment and stores allocated and checked. I didn't have time to breathe, never mind contemplate what lay ahead."

    Later he learns his Canloan Platoon Officer Lieutenant Hubert Cuthbert "Babe" Cox was killed after being struck by glider on the LZ. Lt. Cox commanded one of the two Pioneer Platoons belonging to the 12th Devons HQ Company (Varsity Orbat). Presumably the three men killed in Holland also belonged to the same Platoon?

    Regards ...
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2020
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  7. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    Hi Cee,
    I’ve seen that description on a 12 Devons Facebook page, didn’t realise it was from a book, thanks.
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  8. David Woods

    David Woods Active Member

    A little late getting to this thread, but can report that the men listed below are not mentioned in the 12th Devons War Diary for February, 1945. No one is reported killed by gunfire or artillery. Lt's Hobbs, Horwood and 2 O.R's are reported as missing.

    5628988 Pte. HARVEY, Frederick Reginald 16.02.1945
    5627081 Pte. HUMPHREY, Charles 16.02.1945
    5627233 Pte. RICHMOND, Dennis Gordon 16.02.1945

    There are separate cross river Patrol Reports.

    A patrol on the 15/16th crossed the river, but due to a very heavy mist was unable to complete its mission and returned with no casualties.

    A patrol on the 17/18th, consisting of Lt. D. K. Johnston, L/Cpl. T. H. Jones and Pte. J. Wyche crossed the river. Finding themselves in a house full of Germans, a fire fight ensued and L/Cpl. T. H. Jones was shot in an elbow. Withdrawing back to the river, Pte. H. Redpath of the covering party, was shot in the neck.

    Unless there are other reports not in my possession, the deaths of 5 men and 8 woundings, are not reported in the 12th Devons War Diary for February, 1945.

    In his post, Cee gives a link to the Varsity Orbat and mentions that there were two Pioneer Platoons belonging to the 12th Devons HQ Company. I have special knowledge of this Orbat because, allowing for changes, I supplied it. One of those changes gives the impression that there were two Pioneer Platoons, but there was only one and it should be read as Lt. Richards replacing Lt. Cox on 24.03.1945. Another change leaves this Orbat missing two platoons. After Normandy, two extra Mortar platoons were created and the platoon numbers of HQ and Support Companies were changed to accommodate them. Unfortunately, each 6th Airlanding Battalion renumbered differently, so cannot use them as a guide for the 12th Devons.
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  9. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    Many thanks.
    Where was that info you quoted?


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