2723037 Guardsman John Oliver DINSMORE, 1 Irish Guards: 16/09/1944

Discussion in 'The Brigade of Guards' started by dbf, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Army Number: 2723037
    Rank: Guardsman
    Name: J O DINSMORE
    Unit: Irish Guards
    POW Number:
    Date of Capture:
    Place of Capture:
    Camp: Stalag 339
    TNA Reference:
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019
  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
  3. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Hello everybody,

    I am busy gathering together material on Campo PG 52 in Italy and have discovered that Gunner L.E. Haddy, RA, an inmate of the camp, died on 16 September 1944, and after being temporarily buried at Spigno Monferrato in Piemdont was transferred to Staglieno War Cemetery at Genoa. On the same concentration form is John Oliver Dinsmore of the Irish Guards.

    Unlike Gunner Haddy, Guardsman Dinsmore does not appear in WO 392/21 (dated August 1943). Does anyone have any information on his capture?

    Clearly both men escaped from a POW camp - in Haddy's case almost certainly PG 52 - or from a train taking them to Germany after the Armistice of 8 September.(one left on 15 September). Given that the men were both killed in Piedmont I tend to favour the latter theory. I am trying to find out whether or not they joined a local partisan band and were killed in action or during a reprisal. I have checked the list of War Crimes files at the National Archives and there doesn't appear to be anything on them.

    Any information would be most welcome.
    Haddy Dinsmore.jpg o
  4. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    He was captured at Anzio on the 8th February 1944.

    Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 18.21.45.png
    dbf likes this.
  5. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Thank you very much. At least that's a start.

    I've now found out which partisan bands were operating in the area where the men died.
  6. John Oliver Dinsmore was my great uncle. My grandmothers brother. Any information that you you have managed to find out would benefit greatly appreciated. I have photos on him. He was much loved by his 3 sisters and they never got over him dying so young.
    Rich Payne and Owen like this.
  7. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Any use?
    Name: J O Dinsmore
    Rank: Guardsman
    Army Number: 2723037
    Regiment: Irish Guards
    Camp Number: 339
    Record Office: Irish Guards Record Office, 71, Ashley Gardens, London, SW1
    Record Office Number: 14
    Natalie Devlin likes this.
  8. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Hello Natalie,

    Given that John was temporarily buried together with Gunner Haddy in a little village in the Italian Appenines near to the town of Spigo Monferrato I have deduced that both men were operating with the Italian partisans at the time of their death. Gunner Haddy was almost certainily an escaper form PG 52, as he is registered as having been a prisoner there in document WO 392/21 held in the National Archives, London. How John got there, having been taken prisoner at Anzio, requires some further research.


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  9. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

  10. Many thanks for your reply. It’s nice to have any information at all, as we only knew he was a prisoner and that he was shot when the war had officially been ended.
    I wouldn’t know where to start with this.
    Thanks again
  11. Thanks very much. I am sure it will be as I’m going to try and do some more investigation. I’d also love to visit his final resting place one day. No one ever has and I feel it’s my duty as I am the first generation in a position to do so.
    vitellino and Tony56 like this.
  12. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member


    If you would like to see the circumstances of how he was captured at Anzio on 8 Feb 44, you are welcome to join a group that I am taking to Anzio on 7-10 Jun 18.

    1 IG had a really torrid time during their short time in the beachhead. They were given a mammoth task and were battered fit it. They never really recovered and had to be disbanded and the few remaining troops sent to other Guards units and to 3 IG in NW Europe.


    Natalie Devlin likes this.
  13. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member


    I have a map of the area around Roccoverano, where Gunner Haddy and your relative were initially buried before being taken to Staglieno Cemetery at Genoa, bu it is too big to upload. You can find it here. I have found some info. about the partisans operating in the zone of Roccaverano. They were led by a man named Ettore. I will try to follow this up.

    Your relative wasn't shot when the war was officially ended - far from it. The war ended in Italy at the beginning of May 1945 and the Commonwealth War Graves commission give his date of death as 16 September 1944.. If I were you I would send for his Service Record.

    Best wishes,

    Natalie Devlin likes this.
  14. Sorry for my delayed response.
    The offer of joining your group sounds fantastic. I’d have to look at that from a cost and childminder perspective.
    Sorry to sound dumb. What does 1 IG stand for, is that their unit Frank?
  15. Vitellino. Yes I have found this out. The facts were a little hazy from my dad but I’d always said it can’t have ended as the dates didn’t match up. I will send for them one day soon.
    In case you are interested, this is John Oliver Dinsmore.

    Attached Files:

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  16. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    1IG is the abbreviation for 1st Battalion Irish Guards. Irish Guards as a regiment had three battalions in action during the war. As a battalion 1IG fought in 3 Theatres: Norway, North Africa and Italy (where they suffered so many casualties the decision was made to bring them home to UK rather than get new reinforcements). Some of their veterans then transferred to 3IG - another infantry battalion which fought in North West Europe and which was in need of reinforcements.

    Might possibly be a bit of confusion arising from Italy's unconditional surrender which took place on 3rd September 1943.
  17. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member


    Check me out on www.cassinobattlefields.co.uk for details of the Anzio 7-10 Jun 18 event. We spend part of the trip looking at 1 IG's involvement in the breakout operation and then, when that failed, we move on to their stubborn but very costly defence of the beachhead. It was during the defensive period that Gdsm Dinsmore was captured.


  18. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Thank you very much for the photo, Natalie,

  19. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD


    Service Number 2723037
    Died 16/09/1944
    Aged 21
    1st Bn. Irish Guards
    Son of James Dinsmore, and of Fanny Dinsmore, of Portrush, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland.
    Location: Italy
    Cemetery/memorial reference: III. B. 13.
    See cemetery plan
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019

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