Info on DLI 9th Bn June 1940? Researching G.Grandfather M.Grant 4454381

Discussion in 'Durham Light Infantry' started by Jamie Johnston, Jan 30, 2021.

  1. Hi,

    Wondering if somebody with good knowledge of the DLI could help me?

    My great Grandfather was taken POW on 9th June 1940 Rouen. I am curious to learn what him and the 9th Battalion were doing up until their capture. Where they were fighting etc.

    I understand that he may not have been captured in Rouen exactly and may be somewhere close by. Also if anyone knows of any info on him. I know some info of his time as POW but would love to know more if it is out there!

    Thanks in advance

    Name: Michael Grant.
    Date of Birth: 17/10/1914.
    Age: [30].
    Place of Birth: Gateshead.
    Service: British Army.
    Rank: Private.
    Regiment/Unit/Squadron: The Durham Light Infantry.
    Service Number: 4454381.
    Date of Capture: 09 June 1940.
    Theatre of Capture: Rouen, France.
    Camp Name/Number: Stalag 344 Lamsdorf.
    PoW number: 1852.
    Date of Death: 2/12/1944.
    Number of Photographs: 0.
    Number of Fingerprints: 0.
    Number of X-rays: 0.
    Number of Cards: 6.
    Date: [1939-1945]
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description
    Access conditions: Open on Transfer
    Record opening date: 03 December 2014


    UK, Army Roll of Honour, 1939-1945
    Name: Michael Grant
    Given Initials: M
    Rank: Private
    Death Date: 2 Dec 1944
    Number: 4454381
    Birth Place: Gateshead
    Residence: Gateshead
    Regiment at Enlistment: Durham Light Infantry
    Branch at Enlistment: Infantry
    Theatre of War: France and Belgium Campaign, 1939/40
    Regiment at Death: Durham Light Infantry
    Branch at Death: Infantry

    UK, Commonwealth War Graves, 1914-1921 and 1939-1947
    Name: Michael Grant
    Age: 30
    Birth Date: abt 1914
    Death Date: 2 Dec 1944
    Cemetery: Cracow Military Cemetery Pol. 1
    Regimental Number: 4454381
    Region or Memorial: Poland, U.S.S.R.
  2. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello Jamie,

    The 9th Bn Durham Light Infantry, 151st Infantry Brigade, 50th (Northumbrian) Division, were part of the BEF (British Expeditionary Force) and fought with the BEF in Belgium and France in 1940. The Brigade was involved in the Arras Counter-Attack on 21 May 1940 and with the rest of the BEF, was evacuated back to the UK from Dunkirk, Bray Dunes, etc. by 2 June 1940. See link: 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division - Wikipedia

    It looks like your Great Grandfather was somehow astray, maybe wounded and left behind. Rouen was far to the south west of where the 50th (Northumbrian) Division had been fighting and my guess is that he was, either, trying to find his way to a port from where he could get a boat home or maybe hospitalised, when he was captured.

    He is mentioned in the 'Gateshead Gurkhas' (Moses) in the Roll of Honour at page 395. The book will give you a very good indication of what the 9th Bn DLI was doing before his capture.

    His service number is from the Durham Light Infantry block of numbers and Gateshead was the 9th Battalion’s main recruitment area.


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  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

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  4. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    He was one of 30 PoWs who died in a bombing raid on Saturday 2nd December, 1944, next of kin
    36 Marygold Ave.Oldford Estate,Gateshead, Co. Durham
    I`m sure theres a photo on the forum of the funeral ,(unsure?)

    Owen is correct some DLI landed at Cherbourg advanced to Rouen and were ordered back and evacuated others formed a composite unit.

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  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Possible Lamsdorf POW Funeral Photos


    Stalag VIIIB Lamsdorf and the Working Parties | Canadian Battlefield Tours
    Stalag 344 Germany 7th December 1944
    Dear Sirs,
    It is with deep regret that I have to inform you that 30 British prisoners of war, details of whom are shown on the attached list, were killed during an air attack on Saturday 2nd December, 1944, at Working Party E/793 (formerly Bau u. Arbeits Batt.21) and Working Party E/3 Blechhammer, O/S.
    Yours Sincerely,
    S. Sherriff, R.S.M.
    Camp Leader.
  6. Hi All,

    Thanks for your replies!

    Yes, I am aware that he died in the air raid. TD I was actually commenting on the thread you have linked. Fascinating stuff including some of the war crimes documentation relating to the air raid. It's a shame because I believe the camp was liberated a couple of months later. However, many of the men were put on the "Long March" where many of them perished. There is a Facebook page dedicated the camp and I ended up having a conversation with the son of R.S.M Sherriff. The internet is a cool place at times!

    Steve, thanks for that and I have to be honest one of the reasons I asked for some info from you guys is because the online, albeit it minimal research I have done I couldn't place 9th Bn in that area. On the PoW camp's Facebook group a number of peoples relatives were actually captured on 8th/ 9th June 1940 in Dieppe just north of Rouen, specifically on the beaches and then marched through Rouen and then onto the camps. None of them were in the DLI though.

    Owen many thanks for the link. I will certainly have a good read of it!

    Thanks again

  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    I guess I was pointing out that the bombing happened at 2 x work camps rather than at the main camp itself which when I started reading about the subject was what I originally believed

  8. I think air raids were quite common as there was some factories close by. The camps used to confuse the pilots and would often get hit. A survivor of the camp said it made morale very low and sometimes made even worse when prisoners would help hide pilots if they came down! If memory serves me right the war crimes documentation is based on the fact that the guards refused to let the prisoners to build air raid shelters.

    Thanks TD. Sorry, not sure if my words in my last comment came across unappreciative of your input.

  9. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    No problem - it just seems in articles and history that "the POW camp at Lamsdorf was bombed" but it seems from the note by the RSM that it was actually 2 work camps hit, not the main camp


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