Fallen British soldiers around Lillehammer-1940

Discussion in 'Scandinavia and Finland' started by Nicklas Lindqvist, Dec 15, 2020.

  1. Hello. I am a 45 year old war veteran. I have worked half my life as a paramedic here in Norway. Before this I was a officer at the Swedish armed forces for 5 years with active service abroad. I grew up with a father that had a lot of historic interest, he gave me so much knowledge and stories from the ww1 & ww2. Remembering borrowing some of he´s books about the happenings and great battles from the year of 1939-45. I read them over and over again. Also have travelled a lot visiting historical places, last one was the beaches of Normandie last summer.

    I have so much respect for all the participations of the horrific ww2. I have seen the worst sides of what war and it tradegy´s it gives us. Served in Bosnia-Herzegovina from 1994-96 as a infantery squad leader. I also lost my grandfather and two of my grand uncles when they voulentered during the ww2, and crossed the boarder to Finland, fron Sweden. They fought the Russians in the winterwar of 1939...and never came home. I still remember my father and his tears everytime he saw a picture of my grandfather. It still hurts for me....many years later.

    Last 4 years I have been studying the history of the Norwegian ww2 and it´s heroic help recived from allied contries. Especially here in Lillehammer, at the lowest part of Gudbrandsdalen, the fights were brutal and harsh. A lot of british soldiers fell this spring of 1939, when Germany advanced north, after taking Oslo, chasing the royal family.

    We have 35 commonwealth graves here in Lillehammer. I visit the often. I am just trying to make sure their restingplace are beeing well looked after and sit down to show my deep respect for these young men that gave their lives for us during these 2 months. I am so honored i every way!! It is thanks to these men and boys me and my family can go on living in such beautiful nature and peacefull areas that we do today.

    My request is, is it possible to get in touch with the families or relatives in any way? I would just like to write them a mail and show my respect, put flowers on their restingplace and send them a picture...only to say, THANK YOU!
  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Hello and welcome to the forum. It's a kind gesture to offer to put flowers on the graves.

    As for tracing relatives, you might want to consider going about this the other way around. Many relatives get in touch AFTER someone posts enquiries or details on the forum, eg photos of the war graves/headstones with full CWGC details. If anyone happens to be searching online for information about their family member they will find your info about their relative here on the forum.

    The 35 WW2 casualties you mentioned

    and one from WW1

    Good luck with your research.
  3. Thank you for information. I have pictures of all 35 stones. But of course they are just over 2mb. Trying to downsize them but from doing this on iphone isnt that easy...
  4. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    If you have Ancestry you can go on there and try find the individuals on family trees that may lead you to a relative, sometimes you get lucky and its someone close, but even if it's its someone very distant but they may be able to put you in touch with the right people
  5. upload_2020-12-15_17-48-58.jpeg
    This is what I got
  6. I see, is this Ancestey a pay-page then?
  7. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    It is, not sure if it would be worth subscribing as there is no guarantee of what results you would get, you could get lucky or you might get no replies
  8. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Herbert Holdsworth found in 11 trees

    Herbert Holdsworth
    Birth Jan 1907 Bradford, Yorkshire, England
    Marriage Jun 1938 Bradford, Yorkshire, England
    Death 28 Apr 1940 Norway
    Father Joseph Holdsworth (1873-1952)
    Mother Henrietta Killerby (1872-1931)
    Spouse Elsie V Carpenter (Born 1909)

    The tree shows that he had a daughter but there could be more children and further research would need to be undertaken to verify how many the marriage produced.

    As AB64 says, there is no guarantee that any of the 11 trees in which he is shown actually are related to him directly, he could be a cousins husband or some distant relative. However the situation becomes difficult as if there are 35 headstones and possibly say 10 trees per headstone then thats 350 people needed to be contacted. Some of those trees are just copy and pastes of what someone else has done so potentially you can cut thsat estimate down to say 100. This is assuming of course that every headstone has a family tree on Ancestry and that anyone you contact will be bothered to return your message.

    Ancestry does from time to time have a free weekend so perhaps keep an eye open for such offers - I do not know about another subscription site know as FMP (Find My Past) and whether or not they have family trees etc - I assume they do, but they I think also have free weekends or access periods

  9. Thank you so much TD! I am thinking about just give ancestey a go here. Tried to find if I can buy just a short period pass....thats wasnt easy my friend!!
  10. Wobbler

    Wobbler Well-Known Member

    Welcome aboard Nicklas.

    1st Battalion King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI) were part of the 15th Infantry Brigade Group, one of the three Brigade Groups of 5th Division. The other two Battalions in the Brigade were 1 Green Howards and 1 York and Lancaster Regiment (Y and L).

    15th Brigade were sent to Norway as part of “Sickleforce”, but the Division’s other two Brigades, 13th and 17th, remained and fought in France with the BEF.

    Each Brigade had its own divisional artillery and 15th’s was my Grandfather’s, the 92nd Field Regiment, Royal Artillery. However, the 92nd did not go to Norway with the rest of the Brigade, it stayed in France. I often ask myself what would have happened to my Grandfather if his Regiment had also gone to Norway - would he have been wounded, captured or, of course, killed? He fought in France and was at Dunkirk and served elsewhere for the rest of the war but he survived and came home, I am very happy to say, unlike, sadly, Private Holdsworth and so many others.

    Whether Private Holdsworth died as a result of wounds sustained during the KOYLI’s stand at Kvam, or was killed later on the road to, or at, Dombaas I could not say.

    I can send you the chapter from Aris’s Fifth British Division that covers 15th Brigade’s time in Norway if you would like?

  11. Hi Martin.

    I have got contact with Steve Foster through this forum. Hoping to collect more info/help. Thank you for your grandfathers service!! Really glad he came home well and sound!!

    I lost my own in the war, he voulenteered and went over the boarder to Finland, were killed trying to stop the Russian advance. Still have a picture of him in my livingroom, as I never got to meet him ofcourse, just to honour him.

    With 5 German divisions(and more in reserve), advancing north through Norway, I am pretty sure nothing could have stopped them, slowed them down for sure....but nothing more. Considering so many lost their lives trying to stop them, we might just be glad that not all forces came to our aid?

    I am really struggling finding any relative of these 35 men&boys buried here...(sad) I have reached out via facebook to a 100 people through messenger, only 6 replied, having no connection with those buried.

    Might buy myself a subscription for a ancestry-search? But still working with the options I have.

    I have found some origin facts of these 35 men, they are all KIA around Lillehammer, in different scenarios. We also have RAF-men lying here, pilot and one navigator. What in the world happend to them?? I really want to learn and bring the history forward, not forgotten! But my main goal now are ALL realtives, next of kin, I feel obligated to give them my sincere THANK YOU!

    Yes please, send me that chapter to: nisslas45(at)hotmail.com
  12. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    The aircrew should be easy to research for our expert members.
    Start a thread on them.
  13. RAF pilot, gunner, bomber, radiooperator and a navigator are all lying here. A whole crew? I can not find anything about them...

    Attached Files:

  14. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  15. Thank you TD!

    Then I know that they where doing a Special Operations Executive-flight that day in September of 1945. Never new they recovered this plane from here in 1995.

    Now it really looks like I hvae to get a «ancestry-subscriotion» to get any further.
  16. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  17. Wobbler

    Wobbler Well-Known Member

    Thank you for your kind words about my grandfather and may I extend the same to you for your own grandfather and great uncles and what they did. I am sorry that they did not come home.

    I think you are right and nothing could have stopped the Germans in Norway. I found this quite an interesting article about the campaign, although others may disagree, but a view I had not considered previously:

    The battle for Norway, 1940: the forgotten Battle of Britain

    Ancestry can be a very rewarding and interesting site but, in my experience, very frustrating too - that said, it has been a great help to me over the last year. Ancestry and FMP have trial subscriptions, I think, but as TD advised, they do both sometimes have free weekend offers (which is how I discovered what my great grandfather did in WW1), so perhaps look out for those.

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