B.8 Beach Signal Section Royal Signals on Operation Jubilee 19th August 1942

Discussion in 'Royal Signals' started by Steve49, Dec 13, 2021.

  1. Steve49

    Steve49 Boycott P&O...

    Whilst working through the Dieppe British Army casualty lists in contained in TNA document WO361/191, I have come across seven missing Royal Signal Personnel. Having researched the Dieppe Raid extensively, I had identified the Royal Canadian Signals personnel deployed by 2nd Canadian Division, but had not come across any mention of a British Army signal detachment, so I'm confused as to what their role was and how they came to be lost on the operation.

    Cpl N. Caterson 2341565
    L/Cpl J.R. Davis 2331784
    Sig W. Barney 2577031
    Sig John Cooper 2351526- Killed
    Sig J.W. Maddock 2335162
    Sig F. Morgan 2333939
    Sig W.S. Smith 2577441

    Sig Cooper was killed and is remembered at Brookwood. The others have no CWGC listing, so presumably were taken prisoner.

    Just to confirm they were not members of either No3 or No4 Commando.

    Special Service Brigade deployed a detachment from its Signal Troop, but that units War Diary says it comprised six men, who never reached France.

    They also don't appear to have been signallers attached to one of the six FOO parties. According to the history of No1 FOBLU, these teams each comprised 2 RN and 1 RAF OR.

    Any ideas or information?


    Last edited: Dec 13, 2021
  2. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Not my area of knowledge so I will just give you what I have. All initially shown as missing and subsequently all except John Cooper confirmed as prisoners of war.
    By 1945, John Cooper was noted as previously missing now presumed killed in action. The remainder noted as now not prisoners of war in German hands.


    W.S. Smith - Detachment E794 Stalag 344 (formerly Bau und Arbeits Battalion 20)
    N. Catterson - Mühlhausen 9C
    J.R. Davis - Lamsdorf (Oberschlesien)
    W.J. Barry - Mühlhausen 9C
    W.J. Maddock - Lamsdorf (Oberschlesien)
    L. Morgan - Lamsdorf (Oberschlesien)

    Last edited: Dec 13, 2021
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  3. Steve49

    Steve49 Boycott P&O...

    Hi Hugh,

    Thanks for that.

    'B.8 Beach Signal Section', at least that gives me a unit to look for.



    Edit: Just searched the TNA catalogue. Sadly nothing for 8 Beach Signal Section.
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  4. Steve49

    Steve49 Boycott P&O...

    Thanks to Hugh's information, their unit was B.8 Beach Signal Section. Does anybody have any information on this unit. It doesn't appear in any of the Jubilee related documents I've seen.


  5. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    I can certainly find reference to some Beach Signal Sections - Royal Signals - 4,6,9,10 and 13 but none specific to 8.

    Found this - 8 Sec. | The National Archives

    Don't think this helps but you can maybe check. Land army is not my thing, I prefer ships. :)
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  6. Steve49

    Steve49 Boycott P&O...

    Hi Hugh,

    Thanks for that. I'll stick it on my list, I think that's a different Signal Unit, but I'll have a look at it. It's a strange one, I've various Royal Navy and Canadian Signal Parties at Dieppe, but until finding these casualty records, I wasn't expecting to find a British Army Signal Party there. It just shows that after 20 years of research, I've still not finished the job!

    Ah I'm a combined ops kind of guy. I'm biased towards ships after almost thirty years working at sea, but I like dipping into land and air things!


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  7. MongoUK

    MongoUK Junior Member

    "J" Squadron, GHQ Liaison Regiment (Phantom) had 3x patrols at Dieppe.

    One landed with No 3 Commando,
    Lt Hillerns, KIA
    Cpl Masterson, Wounded and taken prisoner.
    L/Cpl Craggs, KIA
    Gnr Richardson, Wounded and taken prisoner.

    The Patrol with the Canadians never made it to shore and turned back.
    The Patrol with No 4 Commando landed and were subsequently evacuated.

    They were messaging back to a Phantom on the ships, who were sending updates back to the War Room in the UK.
  8. Steve49

    Steve49 Boycott P&O...


    Thanks for that, I had the details of the GHQ Regiment operations at Dieppe.

    The GHQ party off the main beach was divided into to parts, one to remain onboard HMS Calpe and one on HMS Fernie who were to land. The latter group did attempt to land after 10:00, but the LCP that was carrying them (and other Canadian personnel) was driven off by shore fire, which wounded two of the Canadian soldiers onboard.


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  9. MongoUK

    MongoUK Junior Member

    Technically it was 5 parts...
    One in the Ops room at Fort Southwick who would receive the messages from the two separate patrols with each commando unit.
    These messages would be intercepted by Jakie Astor on HMS Calpe.
    The patrol to go in with the Canadians was on the Fernie, as you said.

    The LCP were trying to land on Green beach to start, but as there was no movement at all and a light AA battery and German barracks, they moved towards White beach instead.
    The first Cdn was injured by splinters, after holes were blown in the boat by shells landing within about 3 yards of the side.
    After deciding to try Red beach, where they then received small arms fire from the casino, wounding the 2nd Cdn.

    As the craft was struggling, they decided to withdraw.
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  10. Steve49

    Steve49 Boycott P&O...


    Thank for that. Yes I had Lt Hutton-Williams at Fort Southwick. Does your information identify why and at what time they attempted to land. I've seen it given as at after 09:30, 10:00 and 10:20.

    Do you have any details on who was S/Lt Wedd's LCP? The DEFE report says 14, reportedly included one ‘Lt Col’, two ‘Majors’, one Sgt Maj and a number of OR’s.

    I have:

    GHQ Party- 1 Officer (Lt J.P. Fane) and 5 OR
    8th Canadian Reconnaissance Regt- 3 Officers (including C/O Lt Col Volkes)
    ??- Probably 5 men from Canadian Divisional signals.

    Additionally I've not been able to confirm the identify of the two wounded soldiers. Any ideas?


  11. MongoUK

    MongoUK Junior Member

    Unfortunately, I've only got the Phantom details, rather than anything for the Canadians, so the only names in the reports are Phantom related.

    The plan was for them to land at the same time as as 4th Bde HQ on Red beach, but not until red and white were clear and not receiving fire from the high ground.

    Neither bde HQ had landed by 0930.
    6th Bde HQ were the first to land but had great difficulty and ended up surrendering.
    4th Bde HQ landed at 10 and managed to clear the beach under cover fire from tanks and FMR's.
    Report came through at 1020 that the beaches had been cleared. This is when the central Phantom patrol decided to go in.

    Phantom involved in Dieppe were:
    With 3 Commando: Lt. Hillerns (KIA), Cpl. Masterson (POW), L/Cpl. Craggs (KIA), Gnr. Richardson (POW).
    With 4 Commando: Capt. Sedgwick, Tpr. Randall, Fus. King.
    With Canadians: Lt. Fane MC, SSM. Harrison, Cpl. Davis, Tpr. Trollope, Tpr. Heckman, Tpr. Roberts.
    HMS Calpe: Capt. Astor, Sjt. Sydon
    HMS Fernie: Lt. Col. Hignett
    Fort Southwick: Lt. Hutton-Williams

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  12. john_mac

    john_mac Junior Member

    Hi Steve, did you get any info on these chaps listed as B.8 Beach S Section?

    I’ve an interest in one of them Sig Smith.

    I wondered if they might be Combined Ops under Royal Navy command.

    Rgds John
  13. Steve49

    Steve49 Boycott P&O...

    Hi John,

    Unfortunately I hit a dead end with the Signal Section.

    Presumably they were a signal unit trained to operate in the initial phase of a landing operation, but I've not been able to find any further information of when or where they were formed and who they were commanded by.


  14. john_mac

    john_mac Junior Member

    Is it possible that they are Combined Operations under command of the Royal Navy?

    HMS QUEBEC looks to have trained Beach Signals in 1941 before moving to HMS Dundonald II in 1942

    Over the years, the training provision was adapted and new training establishments were opened elsewhere to meet specific needs. One such was the provision of RN Beach Signals/Section training. At the instigation of Mountbatten, the Combined Signals School (CSS) was formed at HMS Quebec on November 1, 1941. This was a very early example of a Combined Unit, where it was possible to see personnel from all three services parading together and reporting to a Signals Duty Officer, who could be from any one of the three services! The CSS taught signalling procedures and assisted in the development of new techniques and methods. They were also involved in early forms of navigational aids, involving radio and other devices, designed to help landing parties locate their designated landing beaches. In 1942, the school moved to HMS Dundonald 2 at Troon in Ayrshire.

    No 1 Combined Training Centre, Inveraray - HMS Quebec

    Rgds John

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