14449287 David GRISSAM, Royal Ulster Rifles: 4/4/1945 - researching family

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by julietagg, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. julietagg

    julietagg Junior Member

    I am trying to do a bit of researching for my Granny. She had a cousin she was very fond of who fought and died in WW2. Im new at this and have found some information about him, but have came to a dead end and was wondering if anyone out there with more experience than me could help me out?

    His name was David Grissam and was a rifleman in the Royal Ulster Rifles. I have found out he died on 4th April 1945 aged 21 and is buried in Reichswald Forest War Cemetry. His Service No. was 14449287.
    Casualty Details | CWGC

    Would really love to know some more details eg where or when did he enrol in the army? Where and for how long had he been fighting? How did he die? Where did he die?

    If anyone can help with any of the above information, or any information about him at all it would be hugely appreciated.

    Thank you
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2020
  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Welcome to the forum

    your first step is to apply for his service records link below

    also post any photos you have or further information if not deemed to personal

    Ministry of Defence | About Defence | What we do | Personnel | Service Records | Making a Request for Information held on the Personnel Records of Deceased Service Personnel

    Details below from the CWGC web site

    Rifleman DAVID GRISSAM

    14449287, Royal Ulster Rifles
    who died age 21
    on 04 April 1945

    Remembered with honour
    CWGC :: Casualty Details

  3. Mathsmal

    Mathsmal Senior Member

    There is quite a bit of info on this site:

    Home - Royal Ulster Rifles

    Looks like he could have been killed on the advance to Lingen?
  4. AndyBaldEagle

    AndyBaldEagle Very Senior Member


    Having had a look at the book The Rifles Are There by David Orr and David Truesdale, he is shown as being part of the 1st Battalion RUR, who were one of the airlanding battalions of the 6th Airborne Division.
    Page 173 describes the action in which he met his death, - (I have only included a short paragraph)

    'As the attackcontinued two intervening villages were 'burnt up' by the Battalion and numerous enemy killed, captured or driven off. The action lasted three hours during which the Rifles suffered thirty casualties, of which eight were killed. These included Rifleman David Grissam from County Londonderry and Rifleman Cecil Johncock from Gloucestershire.'
    He is listed on Page 191 in the Roll of Honour for the 1st Battalion, as having died of wounds.
    For some reason I do not have him listed in my airborne database nor do I have a picture of his headstone at Reichswald Forest Cemetery which myself and a friend visited in 2009 to photograph all the Airborne casualties.

    As I have mentioned in another thread I am intending to be at TNA week commencing 29th November for 3/4 days and the War Diaries of the 1st Battalion are on my list of documents to copy. If you wish a copy of that month please let me know.


    Ramiles and Owen like this.
  5. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    From his service number 1444**** he was called up in early spring -e.g April/May of 1943 into the General Service Corps for his six weeks initial training -then selected for Infantry duties and as a fully trained men was sent into action where he died approx two years later.
    His service records will give the exact details of where and when he was trained and went to France....

  6. julietagg

    julietagg Junior Member

    Wow! I cannot believe the response to my thread - thank you so much! For some reason I was not expecting to get any replys. My Granny will be over the moon when I tell her of these responses.

    I will now be on the look out for the book The Rifles Are There! If you could get a copy of the documents Andy that would be amazing - but please do not go to any extra trouble, you already have been a great help in this.

    Amazing to think he was called up for action in 1943, could you tell me where you got this level of information Tom?

    I will also print off the link to the battle in Lingen.

    Thank you all again, I am finding all of this very interesting indeed!!!!
  7. Quis Separabit

    Quis Separabit Junior Member

    Brief extract from Graves re 1st Battalion RUR activity during the 3rd and 4th April 1945

    Early on April 3 the Battalion carried out an uneventful move to south-west of Osnabruck, and on the 4th was ordered to move on again, leading the Brigade once more with the tanks of the Grenadier Guards, 6th Airborne Division Armoured Recce. Regiment reported enemy ahead.

    The troops on the tanks were dismounted, and this was the start of a stiff battle which lasted approximately three hours, during which time thirty casualties were suffered, including eight killed. Major Dyball was wounded in the leg and had to be evacuated, as were also Lieutenants Rycroft, A. E. P. Mills, and R. M. Burke, the I.0.. One of the tanks was knocked out.

    The attack involved the deployment of the whole Battalion, with two companies up astride the road which was on the axis. "A" Company on the right, " D " Company on the left, with " C " and " B " Companies held centrally and to the rear.

    The advance entailed a move across open country, supported by artillery, mortars and the fire from the tanks. The enemy were well concealed and dug-in at crossroads, gardens, and in the woods to the flanks.

    During the advance the Battalion burnt up two villages, and either killed, captured or drove away the enemy.

    The word must have been passed back to the enemy, for from then it became an all-powerful, unrestricted advance across the rolling German country bedecked with white flags. Prisoners numbered eighty. The village of Buer was surrendered by the Burgomaster and opposition vanished.

    In the evening Stalag XI (c) was liberated by the Battalion. It held three thousand French, Russians, Poles, Yugoslavs and Greeks, and a complete camp staff including an Oberst. Their joy at being released was amazing and most gratifying to see. They gave flowers to our officers and troops, and it was difficult at times to keep the tanks and vehicles moving owing to the congestion and the excitement of these Allies. The Battalion stopped at Blasheim for the night.

    Hope this helps.

    dbf likes this.

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