Remembering Today 4/3/42 Private:Barend Christian Greyling,88246,South African Irish 1st

Discussion in 'South African' started by CL1, Mar 4, 2017.

  1. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Service No:
    Date of Death:
    South African Irish
    Grave Reference:
    II. E. 40.
    Additional Information:
    Son of Barend C. and Susanna E. Greyling, of Lichtenburg, Transvaal, South Africa; husband of Sarah Greyling.Casualty Details
  2. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    I visited his grave last year - another immaculate CWGC cemetery

    Attached Files:

    CL1 likes this.
  3. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    By the looks of it, he was captured during Operation Crusader and died in Italy while held as a POW

    (From Wiki) - In November 1941 Operation Crusader, the invasion of Libya and relief of Tobruk, began. 5 South African Infantry Brigade, together with the Transvaal Horse Artillery Regiment, took part in the fighting at Sidi Rezegh culminating on 23 November 1941 with the German armour overwhelming the Allied forces, destroying 5 Brigade, and breaking through to the Eighth Army's rear areas on the Libyan border with Egypt.

    The casualties of the South African Irish were extremely heavy (only 140 men of all ranks survived), including its commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Dobbs who was wounded in the early stages of the battle (he was replaced by Major C. McN. Cochran).

    Major Cochran then led the remnants of the battalion, along with the remaining five guns of 9th Field Battery eastwards towards the lines of the Scottish (these were the only guns in 5 Brigade which were not captured!), in an attempt to escape.

    In addition, several members of the unit drowned while on their way to Italy by ship as prisoners of war. (Looking at the CWGC casualties for this unit, I would surmise that happened on the 9th of December 1941)

    The survivors of the regiment served with New Zealand forces until the end of November, when they rejoined the remnants of the decimated Brigade at Mersa Matruh. Due to their heavy losses, the South African Irish and 3 Transvaal Scottish ceased to exist as independent infantry units. In February 1942
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017
    CL1 likes this.

Share This Page