2823392 Pte Henry 'Harry' Scott Cribbes, 6th Seaforths: POW

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Skye Blade, Mar 7, 2021.

  1. Skye Blade

    Skye Blade Member

    Hi Guys
    New here and researching a medal (Malaya with ACC) I have and it appears he was captured in May 1940 with the 6th Seaforths and held at Stalag 20A for the duration.
    Apart from general lists naming him as missing then POW and finally NOT POW (1945) can't find anything else.
    Are there any special sites I can look individuals up about there time in captivity (German records etc) or my best shot at NA?
    2823392 Pte Harry (Born Henry but changed it at some time) Scott Cribbes 6th Seaforths
    Thanks in advance
  2. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Welcome to the forum.

    You really ought to have started a separate topic for your man rather than tagging it onto this one. I’ll flag it up to the MOD’s and ask them to move it.

    Name: H S Cribbes
    Rank: Private
    Army Number: 2823392
    Regiment: Seaforth Highlanders
    POW Number: 5896
    Camp Type: Stalag
    Camp Number: XX-A
    Camp Location: Torun, Poland
    Record Office: Infantry Record Office, Perth
    Record Office Number: 16

    Your starting point ought to be making an enquiry with Swiss Rd Cross in May via this link.

    Requests for information about people held during Spanish Civil War or Second World War: Quarterly limit reached

    It’s a free service and in pre Covid times you received a reply through the post no less than 4 months later.

    You could apply to U.K. NA for his details from WO 416 series but my experience is that it usually adds little to the Red Cross information.

    He may have completed a repatriated POW questionnaire. They are not available online and you’d need to make a personal visit or employ a researcher to search for it at Kew.

    His army service file held by MOD will add little details about his time as POW.

    Good Luck.

    JimHerriot, CL1 and Tricky Dicky like this.
  3. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member


    Do you have any other details for him, such as where he was born or died ?


    Names of his parents, name of his wife etc
    JimHerriot likes this.
  5. Skye Blade

    Skye Blade Member

    His personal details are ongoing at the minute and hope the above research can sort him out a bit. I think I have him but not 100%

    I have....

    'Henry' Scott Cribbes born 1908 Larbeth, Falkirk.
    Because Scottish Archives are a nightmare that is all I have pre Army.
    The scottish connection is helpful with enlistment into the Seaforths however the Army info has him named as 'Harry' Scott Cribbes but Harry was born in 1908 too (too much of a coincidence I think).
    In the absence of any other likely Cribbes I take it he changed his name at some point which is why his Army info can help if Born is 1908 in Larbeth too.
    In 1958 a Harry Scott Cribbes marries Nellie Robinson in Colchester and Dies there in 1985.
    Have sent for a death certificate in the hope for some clarity and the option to send off for his Army service Docs

    Also have my researcher ready to visit Kew when it re-opens
    JimHerriot likes this.
  6. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    I'd say its Larbert rather than Larbeth
  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Does 37 Russell Street, Falkirk ring any bells??


    The other thing thats not sitting quite right with me is that born 1908, he would be 32 when captured at Dunkirk, which seems a little old but then in your post #1 you mention a Malaya medal, this I assume you mean as the Malaya Emergency which started in 1948 which in my eyes makes him rather old for active service especially in that sort of climate
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
  8. Gelert

    Gelert Member

    He enlisted in late October 1939.
  9. Skye Blade

    Skye Blade Member

    TD - No Bells ringing as I couldn't get any info from his Scottish side.

    Yes was worried about the age issue myself but don't think 32 is old to be a front line soldier for Dunkirk but he earned his Malaya GSM in the Catering Corps and I know they aren't 'fighting men'. Was with the Marines not long ago and know their Chefs were generally the old/ unfit guys who wanted to remain with the Corps as long as possible. I left the Forces aged 42 prior to an Afghan deployment so if they were prepared to send me front line then I think Cribbes was OK cooking 'Bully Beef Stew' ;)

    Thanks Gelert - I presume that is taken from the Seaforths service number? As a 32 yr old he therefore probably had previous service and 'called up' as he finds himself in France less than 6 months later!!

  10. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Its just that I have a possible going to and from Canada and they give that address as 'home'

    Going to Canada in 1926 for example


    Name Harry Cribbes
    Birth abt 1908
    Departure 24 Apr 1926 Greenock, Scotland
    Destination Quebec, Canada

    Name Harry Cribbes
    Birth abt 1909
    Departure Montréal, Québec, Canada
    Arrival 11 Jun 1932 Glasgow, Scotland
  11. Skye Blade

    Skye Blade Member

    Thanks TD

    That sounds feasible. Fits in the dates and why there isn't much on him.

    The 6th Seaforths were a TA unit I believe and would he only have been given a number in Oct '39 when he went 'regular'?

  12. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    OK next question - did he have any siblings??

    I am reluctant to post on this thread details if they are wrong, hence my question about the address and now the one about siblings

  13. Gelert

    Gelert Member

    If your man had previous regular service and was called up he would have been given his previous number. It would have been part of the information they used to call him up. Regular enlistments in the 30s were often "five and seven" Five years with the colours and seven with the reserve. Most of the men recalled in this manner in 1939/40 formed the NCO/senior soldier cadre for the new "war service" battalions of conscripts.

    Cribbes number was allocated in 1939. At the time, the only way men over 30 could "do their bit" was by joining the TA. The TA was already mobilised, so he would have been be a full time soldier but as a territorial, not a regular.
  14. Skye Blade

    Skye Blade Member

    Thanks again Guys

    I think I need to wait for his birth certificate and see who his father was before we can go any further on siblings etc. Hopefully his POW files from Kew may shed some light also (when they re-open again)

    As the 6th was a territorial unit that fits in with the Oct 1939 number (I think that's what you mean Gelert?) - the fact remains he was captured in late May 1940 on the outskirts of Dunkirk and spent the rest of the war in Stalag 20A.
  15. Skye Blade

    Skye Blade Member

    The Death certificate has arrived.

    The main thing is that it confirms Harry Scott Cribbes was born in Scotland 29 Aug 1908 and died in Colchester as a retired labourer.

    The problems are that the nearest Cribbes is a Henry Scott Cribbes 1908 from Scotland.......Change of 1st name before Army service?

    This must be the same guy?

    Gives me ammunition to apply for his service record (dead over 25 years) so should sort out any other questions hopefully.

    The saddest part is that the person reporting the death was the funeral director claiming his body to be buried. Looks like this old soldier died alone with no one to claim him and give him a good send off
  16. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Difference between Henry and Harry could easily be down to someone transcribing it incorrectly or thinking they knew his name, and then someone else heard Harry when Henry was spoken

    I guess you could one step further

    Harry Scott Cribbes
    BIRTH 29 AUG 1908
    DEATH Q4 1985 • Colchester, Essex, England

    England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1916-2005
    Name: Harry S Cribbes
    Registration Date: Jan 1958
    [Feb 1958]
    [Mar 1958]
    Registration Quarter: Jan-Feb-Mar
    Registration District: Colchester
    Inferred County: Essex
    Spouse: Nellie Robinson
    Volume Number: 4a
    Page Number: 1461
    A copy of this should provide his age at least to work out and confirm his year of birth

    UK and Ireland, Outward Passenger Lists, 1890-1960
    Name: Harry Cribbes
    Gender: Male
    Age: 18
    Birth Date: abt 1908
    Departure Date: 24 Apr 1926
    Port of Departure: Greenock, Scotland
    Destination Port: Quebec, Canada
    Ship Name: Montcalm
    Search Ship Database: Search for the Montcalm in the 'Passenger Ships and Images' database
    Shipping Line: Canadian Pacific Railway
    Official Number: 145903
    Master: Captain G Hamilton

    UK and Ireland, Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960
    Name: Harry Cribbes
    Arrival Age: 23
    Birth Date: abt 1909
    Port of Departure: Montréal, Québec, Canada
    Arrival Date: 11 Jun 1932
    Port of Arrival: Glasgow, Scotland
    Ports of Voyage: Belfast; Liverpool
    Ship Name: Athenia
    Shipping Line: Donaldson Line
    Official Number: 146330

    Seems as far back as 1926 he was known as Harry

  17. snailer

    snailer Country Member

    Harry has been a nickname for Henry for centuries.

    e.g. Prince Harry or Harry Enfield to name a couple of famous ones.

Share This Page