DCLI Nijmegen

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Sarah Laine, Aug 25, 2019.

  1. Sarah Laine

    Sarah Laine Member

    hello everyone, this is my first post! My great grandad, William Guille, was one of the soldiers of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry during Operation Market Garden. I’m told he was shot in the knee trying to reach the cut-off forces that hadn’t managed to capture the bridge a Nijmegen. I’ve watched the film A Bridge Too Far after my husband explained to me that what happened with my GG occurred just after that. But i’d Love to know more! Did any of your relations serve in the same regiment? Are there records of what my GG and his comrades did? How can I find out more about his situation specifically? Thank you in advance for any reply!
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Sarah

    Firstly welcome

    This often happens on this site in that someone watches a WW2 film and it starts the juices flowing. Before starting off on wild goose chases etc the starting point is to obtain your relatives service records. These for WW2 personnel are ONLY available via the MOD and the application forms can be found at this link - Request records of deceased service personnel

    Once you have these the journey can really start as they will say what units (regiments etc) he was with, when he was with them and in what theatres of the war he served. Once this has been established then further details can be found which relate directly to them and where they were and when

    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019
  3. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    Hi Sarah,

    There are about 9 pages talking about the 5th's involvement in Market Garden in The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry history by Major Godfrey. Maybe I can take photos of the pages tomorrow and post them here.
  4. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    Chris C likes this.
  5. Hello Sarah welcome to the forum.

    As already mentioned above, a request for his service records is a starting point. Also any photo's you may have of him in uniform may give you a little help in regards to any patches on his uniform, location of the photo and writing on it. Did he keep his soldiers service book ?

    But, to help with your research your GG would have been in the 43rd (Wessex) Infantry Division. There is a book called "The 43rd Wessex Division at War 1944-1945" this will give you a good idea of what the 5 DCLI did during the War and will certainly help you go further in your research.

    Searching through WW2talk will give you some information in regards to previous posts on the forum too in addition to the links provided by them.

    My Grandfather was in the 112th (Wessex) field regiment Royal Artillery and his cousin was in the 5 DCLI both part of the 43rd Wessex Division.

    Before the Division left for France (not part of D-Day) they were based in Kent on anti invasion duties and trained in Kent and East Sussex around the South Downs. It is probable that he left for France from Newhaven and were delayed landing in France for a few days due to the worst storm in forty years. After landing they assembled just north of Bayeux and by the 24th June the concentration of the Division was almost complete. They were in action on the 25th June "The Battle for Normandy".

    If you were inspired by A Bridge Too Far I recommend looking into Hill 112 in which your GG would have been a part of.

    As I am researching my Grandfather in the 112th I haven't done much on his cousin in the 5 DCLI (maybe sometime in the future) but if I stumble across anything in your GG name I will let you know, if you come across the name Pvt Rex Chipman please do the same. Although he is mentioned in "The 43rd Wessex Division at War 1944-1945".

    Regards, Damion.
  6. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    Although it has chapters on other parts of the DCLI, I suspect the DCLI history might give more detail. But I don't remember how well it does at providing the overall context. Also I have not yet read the Wessex division book.

    Maybe one or both of these are available via inter-library loan.
  7. Sarah Laine

    Sarah Laine Member

    He Everyone, thanks for your replies so far, great info! I'm sending the forms off to my Great Uncle, my Great Grandad's eldest remaining child, as he is the next of kin, hopefully he will help me do the submission then I can get his service history! He didn't keep anything from his service because he was rather a reluctant soilder, he was a pacifist but had to enlist in order to get to England from Guernsey, where his wife and baby daughter had been evacuated ahead of the German occupation of the island. If he had been able to go with them without enlisting he would have done, but enlisting was the only way he could go, had he stayed he would not have been able to have any contact with them for the next five years!
  8. Sarah Laine

    Sarah Laine Member

    I have three photographs that may be of interest, the first two show my Great Grandpa in his uniform (I presume) the only two I have of him in uniform... The last is a photo of him that my Grandad says was taken when they holidayed together on a tour of france/Belgium/Holland. He says my Great Grandad was upset here, in tears, but couldn't/wouldn't say why, and now my Grandad cant remember where they were in the photo! Any thoughts anyone? Thanks again for your help...

    Attached Files:

  9. Sarah Laine

    Sarah Laine Member

    My great auntie has just come through with some more information for me! She has a letter from the Infantry Record office dated 18th October 1944 saying ' Madam, I regret to have to inform you that a report has been received to the effect that No 5443430, Private William John Guille of The Hampshire Regiment sustained fractured right (sem lunar) cartilage, whilst serving in the North West Europe Theatre of War on 8th October 1944'... She lso has a postcard of a tower block in Antwerp that says on the back 'William Guille. Arther Hearson. Rosany 'souvenier of your days …(something illegible)… liberation city of Antwerp. 7.9.1944. There is also a Certified Copy of Attestation for the DCLI signed by recruiting officer in Weymouth 24 June 1940 (I believe this the day he got there from Guernsey, so straight away!)
    Chris C likes this.
  10. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    Well I would certainly hold off on buying any books until you have his records, if he was in the Hampshires in October 1944. Per Wikipedia, 1st Hampshires were in Market Garden and near Nijmegen in October 1944.
  11. Sarah Laine

    Sarah Laine Member

    How/why would one go from the DCLI to the Hampshires? These little bits of information as so tantalizing! I wonder how long I’ll need to wait for his service records... at least I have his service number now too!
  12. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Soldiers where sent to units as/when/where bodies were required - acting as replacements for missing/killed/captured etc etc they often did not stay in the units in which they enlisted

  13. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Hello Sarah,
    Going by his casualty record (see below) it seems he was in the 1st battalion of the Hampshire Regt.
    See the link and scroll down to D-Day, and at the bottom of the page, the kings citation to the Hampshires.


    1st and 2nd Battalions The Hampshire Regiment

    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019
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  14. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    I was sure I'd read something potentially relevant in the DCLI history and here it is. Of course this may not be part of your grandfather's story at all.

    "Since the early part of the summer of 1942 the Fourth [that is, 4DCLI] had been virtually carrying out the duties of a draft-finding unit, receiving drafts of basically trained recruits from the Infantry Training Centres and turning them into trained soldiers before sending them on to fill the ranks of the field-force units... In all the Fourth were engaged on these duties for about three months, during which the rifle companies suffered an almost complete turnover of men."
  15. Sarah Laine

    Sarah Laine Member

    Do you know what the DNR means on that casualty record?

  16. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Date not recorded.


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