99801 2nd Lt W R Cresswell MC and a Blockhouse

Discussion in '1940' started by Drew5233, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. Dave H

    Dave H Junior Member

    Gordon, the local tourist board now own the Blockhouse and were hoping to open it this month but COVID put a stop to that!
    I did manage to get access last year with some guys from work.
    Maybe when things get back to normal they will invite you to a rescheduled opening as a direct descendant.

  2. Gordon Comley

    Gordon Comley Member

    Hi Crazy,

    Did you get anywhere with your request, my Dad was one of the platoon that was in the blockhouse and spent 5 years as a POW
    Thanks for Info Dave, yes an invitation would be great but how would they know I am a descendant
  3. Dave H

    Dave H Junior Member

    I speak with Steph regularly (Crazy Legs) so she will see this thread and now know who you are. I will also let her know via email.
  4. Crazy Legs ... seriously??!!!!:lol:
    Gordon, i have send you private message at the end of may. Did you get it ? may have you a mail adress in order to send you more explanations?
  5. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    I've copied and dropped off the information posted on this thread, as the Soldiers of Gloucester of Museum are trying to reopen. Risk assessments are being developed as i write.

    The researcher of the museum will come back to me, to see if they have anything they don't yet have. They were not aware the local tourist board want to open it, post Covid19. I've asked to see if they have any other photos of Lt Cresswell. I'll post any info, as and when I hear. :)
    4jonboy likes this.
  6. Thanks a lot Buteman, i have already try last year but unfortunately no answer
  7. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    Let's see if my close proximity to the Museum helps. If I see any activity, I'll keep shaking the tree.
  8. Dave H

    Dave H Junior Member

    I did try try the museum in Mar but it was just as lock down started.
    The staff have changed a lot over the last year and I need to go down in a work capacity to have another look through their archives.
    (We are a RIFLES unit direct descendants of the Gloucesters)
    Sadly, the changes in the museum appear to more business facing and shall we say..... a less personal touch to enquiries and stories.

    I also approached the RIFLES Association with regard to sending a representative but to no avail.
    I am currently in Comms with the previous secretary of the Gloucesters association and trying to find out if there are any veterans still around although unlikely.

    Things are happening but it takes time, plus COVID has not helped.
  9. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    I think you could be right. I left my details, but I'm not expecting any sort of response soon.
  10. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    Last edited: Oct 7, 2020
  11. Gordon Comley

    Gordon Comley Member

    I am in touch with Rob Dixon and have paid for some research on my Dad's records. Rob told me some time ago that the exhibition was planned. I am aware that Rob has not been well and has been out of action, so there has been a delay on my research request.
  12. Gordon Comley

    Gordon Comley Member

    Certificate and image has been deleted ???
  13. Dave H

    Dave H Junior Member

    Hi Gordon,

    Do you know if your dad was in 8 Platoon? Thinking about it, he may have been part of the rest of A Coy that were defending Zuytpeene. Most of the soldiers there were killed or captured when the Germans overran the positions on 27 May. There was a high number of wounded so he may well have been transported to St Omer hospital.
    John West likes this.
  14. Gordon Comley

    Gordon Comley Member

    I believe he was in Platoon 8 and his date of capture (according to Red Cross via German info) was May 30th.

    He was then forced marched across to Poland and ended up in Stalag 8b and then in the "death march" and finally released and flown home in 1945.
    John West likes this.
  15. John West

    John West Active Member

    Maybe he was in Zuytpeene and, with a few stragglers there, managed to escape back to Cassel to re-join 145 Brigade? Only to be finally captured on 30th May during the breakout. National Archives have his Capture card as follows:

    WO 416/74/18

    Name: Albert Edwin Comley.

    Date of Birth: 18 August 19**.

    Place of Birth: Aldworth, Reading.

    Service: British Army.

    Rank: Private.

    Regiment/Unit/Squadron: [2nd Battalion, the Gloucestershire Regiment].

    Service Number: 5178958.

    Date of Capture: [30 May 1940].

    Theatre of Capture: [Cassell, France].

    Camp Name/Number: Stalag VIIIB Lamsdorf.

    PoW number: 11000.

    Date of Death: [30 May 1981].

    Number of Photographs: 0.

    Number of Fingerprints: 0.

    Number of X-rays: 0.

    Number of Cards: 1.
  16. Gordon Comley

    Gordon Comley Member

    I can recall when I was young that when he talked of his army experiences (not very often) he used to say that before he was captured he and his colleagues were tearing up maps and other documents and stuffing them down drains, so that the Germans couldn't get hold of them.

    I didn't know at the time but now the revelations about the blockhouse seem to indicate that was where this happened.
  17. John West

    John West Active Member

    Talk about frying pans and fires Gordon...From the battle at Zuytpeene to the Le Pequel blockhouse under fire!

    Followed by capture by sometimes manic German troops (high on amphetamines and adrenaline), Five years at Stalag 8B, doubtless a workcamp and then the Long March. My, how lucky- for both our sakes- we both are that sheer human perseverance took hold...
  18. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    Last edited: Oct 7, 2020
  19. Dave H

    Dave H Junior Member

    To be honest, with that information it is unlikely he was at the Blockhouse, maps were in very short supply and very inaccurate. The two outstations were within 2 miles of Cassel with the role of breaking up any initial attack and then move back to Cassel. Although the German attacks were overwhelming and the defenders of both locations managed to delay the Germans for some time but were unable to extact back to Cassel. I doubt they would have had maps to destroy nor other documents except persoanl paybooks etc, this sounds more like he may have been with the Bn in Cassel itself.
    In any case it the detail does not really matter, he was part of an incredible and generally untold battle which was crucial in buying time for Op DYNAMO. I hope you go over to the Blockhouse ceremony when it is agreed. Any photo's of your dad would be a great addition to this post.
    John West likes this.
  20. Dave H

    Dave H Junior Member

    The museum already hold the same information (And more) that Andy posted, I know because I went into their archives when I started studying this battle myself and I copied it from them.
    It beggars belief they don't know what they hold :) I will try and make contact again and see if they want any help. Without wishing to appear as arrogant as that sounds lol I probably have more information about the whole effort than most people, less John West :)

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