1st East Surrey Regiment, Spaduro, October 1944

Discussion in 'Italy' started by vitellino, Jun 27, 2022.

  1. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Hello everyone,

    I have already posted this in the Units section but fear that no one has seen it:

    If anyone has a copy of the 1 East Surrey Regiment War Diary for 1944 I would be pleased to see a copy for the period 24 -28 October when they were in action on Monte Spaduro. I would also like the summary pages.

    I already have two books:

    With the East Surreys in Tunisia, Italy and Sicily 1924-1945 (Evans)
    The Surreys in Italy (Squires & Hill).

    The latter state - and I quote - ''In this most successful operation the Battalion lost 35 men.'' The same is repeated in Evans.

    I would like to check this out, as for the 24th CWGC have ten Surrey Regiment deaths, all buried at Santerno. Another, whose body was not recovered and whose date of death is given as the 28th (after the action was over) , is remembered on the Cassino Memorial. Another member of the regiment died on 25 October and is buried in Morden cemetery.

    Could 'lost' include POWS?


    Edited to correct CWGC information.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2022
  2. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Here is the section from the regimental history, Daniell, David Scott. History of the East Surrey Regiment Volume IV. London: Ernest Benn, 1957.
    4jonboy likes this.
  3. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Thank you very much indeed for this extra account.
  4. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    A contemporary report I have on the battle of Monte Spaduro states that the East Surrey's suffered 34 casualties mainly from shelling and mortaring.
  5. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    I do have these accounts of the 1 East Surrey Regt at Spaduro, they may well contain the same information as those already in your possession but, perhaps there may be something new.
    If this is connected with your search for the unknown soldier note that the regiment were there until February?
    ESR 1.jpg ESR 2.jpg
    4jonboy likes this.
  6. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Thanks Tony, but have these pages, which are from The Surreys in Italy, Squires and Hill.

    You're right about the quest for the missing man. Given that I hope to be up on Spaduro next week at this time this is ablsolutely my last effort to try and track him down.

    What do I have so far in my quest, which began back in 2015??

    - A communication from the MOD Compassionate Centre giving a list of War Diaries consulted by the MOD Compassionate Centre: 5 Buffs, 2 Lancs Fus, 5 Queens Own RWK, 1 Beds & 1 Royal Irish Fus were all studied.
    (Don't know where they got 5 QORWK from - surely they should have looked at 6QORWK. 1 Beds is a mystery to me)

    - War diaries: all 3 Irish Regiments, 2 Lancs Fus, 5 Buffs, 6 QORWK, 56 Recce
    Missing men files : 2 Lancs. Fus, 6 QORWK, 3 Irish Regiments, East Surreys, 5 Northants, R.A.

    - the map reference for the find - 029272 (lat 44°18' 23''N, long 11°, 31' 41''E).

    - a list of missing men compiled from the missing between 20 October '44- end of February '45 who are commemorated on the Cassino Memorial

    From these sources I compiled a list in 2017 of possible candidates. I understand that the list of those to be investigated is limited to ten only. Apart from the 2 Lanc Fus.3 man patrol, missing in Feb. '45, all of whom were ruled out because the age of the victim (ascertained from his DNA) did not match up I, do not know who the others making up the list of ten were. I do know however that two men from 1RIrF were ruled out early on (DNA) but don't know whether they came into the ten.

    Now, back to 1 East Surreys. Next Tuesday at this time I am hoping to be back on Spaduro. One of the1 East Surrey casualties on the Cassino Memorial intrigues me. He does not appear in the regiment's missing men file. CWGC gives his date of death as 28 October, but the regiment was no longer in action. Normally this means that the casualty died in a hospital from wounds, but in that case, his body would have been buried, with his identity on the cross.

    He was on the list I originally sent to the MOD.

    Did they investigate him?

    I need the diary as I have said,for 24-28 October and also the Appendices.

    Thanks for you interest, as always on the forum, there's always some help from somewhere,

    Tony56 likes this.
  7. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    Have you looked at the WO 391 file for East Surreys?
  8. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member


    I don't have a copy of WO 391.

    I have just visited TNA website and typed in WO 391. It came up with two German POW cards in the series 416/***/391. There wasn't anything else as far as I could make out.

    Looking again at my copy of the East Surrey Regiment missing men file ,WO 361/790, there is nothing in the file for either regiment for October 1944, which is why I need to get a copy of 1 East Surrey War Diary, 24-28 October, and the appendices.


    PS What does casualties mean? Dead, dead and wounded, or dead, wounded and missing?

    Attached Files:

  9. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    The casualty lists cover quite a wide range, going from memory:
    Previously reported missing now not missing
    Previously reported missing now reported KIA
    Previously reported wounded now reported died of wounds
    Killed in action
    Accidently killed
    Died as a result of accident
    Died of wounds
    Previously reported missing now reported POW
    Previously reported missing believed wounded now reported KIA
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  10. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    In terms of war diaries (and most of the post-war regimental histories are based on those), 'Casualties' definitely means not only killed but also wounded. Missing or prisoners usually seem to be referred to separately.
    vitellino likes this.
  11. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    Sorry, fat fingers, I meant WO 361. If there is no pertinent information in that file I very much doubt there will be any more detail in the WD.
  12. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Thanks a lot, Gary. Can you tell me anything more about the contemporary report you mention which refers to 34 casualties?

    I do intend to try and get this soldier checked out by the MOD and any extra information from any authentic source would come in useful.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2022
  13. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Is the 1 East Surrey man you are looking for Frederick Clifford Page 6103300? He seems to be the only one who died on 28 October 1944. His only entry in the casualty lists was KIA, he wasn't first reported wounded or missing. He is on Casualty List No 1607 dated 18 November 1944 in WO 417/85.

    Looking at his CWGC entry, Page is recorded on the Cassino memorial with 18 other ESR men. Out of interest I looked these up in the casualty lists, only one other was from the 1 Bn.

    Flood 1 Bn wounded 3/10/43, died of wounds 14/10/43. Found a 'Register of deceased passengers' that records him as died 'at sea' on Amarapoora (presumably HMHS Amarapoora hospital ship) of 'pulmonary embolism, gangarine following amputaion of right leg'
    Private Harry Harford Flood | War Casualty Details 14215697 | CWGC

    One query:
    Wenman KIA 2/11/44. In casualty lists as 1 Bn but 1/6 Bn on CWGC
    Private John James Wenman | War Casualty Details 6147714 | CWGC

    Hawkins 1/6 Bn KIA 18/5/44
    Eacott 1/6 Bn KIA 18/5/44
    Bailey 1/6 Bn missing 12/5/44 subsequently presumed KIA
    Bastow 1/6 Bn missing 7/7/44 subsequently presumed KIA
    Beeching 1/6 Bn missing 12/5/44 subsequently reported KIA 12/5/44
    Eagleton 1/6 Bn missing 12/5/44 subsequently reported KIA 12/5/44
    Howard 3 Commando missing 14/7/43 subsequently reported KIA
    Lamport 1/6 Bn wounded 12/5/44, then wounded & missing, then presumed KIA
    Morris 1/6 Bn KIA 12/5/44
    Pomroy 1/6 Bn missing 12/5/44, subsequently presumed KIA
    Sims 1/6 Bn wounded & missing 7/7/44, subsequently presumed died of wounds
    Sleep 1/6 Bn KIA 12/5/44
    Stenning 1/6 Bn wounded 12/5/44 subsequently amended to KIA
    Watkins 1/6 Bn KIA 12/5/44
    Weatherer 1/6 Bn missing 7/7/44 subsequently presumed KIA
    Wright 1/6 Bn wounded & missing 19/3/44 subsequently presumed died of wounds

    For what it's worth, probably not relevant to your quest but looking at all avenues.
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  14. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    You're right, Tony. Private Page is the man I am interested in. He was on the original list I sent to the MOD but as I said earlier, I would need to contact them again to see if he was ever investigated. From what I have managed to pick up ( I have not been told directly), his age bracket would seem to put him among the possible candidates.

    However, there's something that doesn't tally, as the regiment was not in combat on the 28th. As I said above, had died from wounds in a field hospital he would have had a temporary grave and would have been interred in one of the war cemeteries.

    Without going over old ground (it's in the Spaduro thread) our man did not have a weapon. He fell face down, in an uphill direction facing Mt. Spaduro. The police report did not mention any wounds.


    Edited. I have just re-read Squires p. 58 and it appears that on the days following the battle, despite the torrential rain, the Sniper group continued making night patrols. Here's the clue. I will send you a PM.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2022

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