RIP Wilf Shaw, Veteran, 6th Green Howards

Discussion in 'Veteran Accounts' started by 4jonboy, Mar 21, 2018.

  1. Pat Atkins

    Pat Atkins Patron Patron

    Very sorry to hear this sad news. He sounds like a top, top man and I'm glad he's left people with such fond memories of him. Thanks for posting, Lesley.

    RIP Wilf Shaw.
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  2. mcan

    mcan Active Member

    Very sorry to hear this, my condolences to all.

    There are many wonderful tributes written in this thread, thank you for posting them.

    RIP Wilf :poppy:
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  3. nicks

    nicks Very Senior Member

    Sad news.

    :poppy: RIP Wilf Shaw :poppy:
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  4. spidge


    Sorry to hear of the loss of your friend Leslie. Condolences to the family.
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  5. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Very sad news.

    Another of the old guard departs.

    My task accomplish'd and the long day done,
    My wages taken, and in my heart
    Some late lark singing...

    May he rest in peace.
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  6. paulcheall

    paulcheall Son of a Green Howard

    Fantastic tribute Steve - I'm working on a podcast tribute to wilf and wonder if you'd be happy for me to quote you?

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  7. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Yes, that’s fine Paul. I was once interviewed by Fiona Bruce at Lords Cricket Ground, but that fades into insignificance compared to a WWII podcast/tribute. :D

    I have noticed one typo that will need changing - ‘lessor’ to ‘lesser’. I’ve changed this in my original message (and a further two on re-reading)!


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  8. paulcheall

    paulcheall Son of a Green Howard

    Ter her! Thanks Steve. Yes don’t worry about Typos. I’ll check for that stuff. I’m a great speeler!

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  9. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    I would like to thank all the forum members for their messages and condolences for the family. I have spoken to them today and have pointed them in the direction of this thread so they will be able to see for themselves the lovely thoughts you have shared.

    I have been given the date/time of Wilf's funeral; here are the details for anyone wishing to attend either service:

    Wednesday11th April

    St Paul's Church, Royton at 1.30 pm, then on to
    Oldham Crematorium within the Hollinwood Cemetery, Roman Road, Hollinwood, Oldham OL8 3LU 2.30 pm.

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  10. paulcheall

    paulcheall Son of a Green Howard

    Steve what the heck is The Island you refer to? Back to Britain?

  11. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    From - 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division - Wikipedia
    The Nijmegen Salient
    By this time (27 September) the airborne troops farther north at Arnhem had been withdrawn. The Germans regrouped and assaulted the new salient and on 30 September 69th Brigade supported by 13th/18th Hussars,[o] faced the first assault. The next day seventy tanks and the equivalent of an infantry division attacked the brigade,[142] the intensity of their defence can be judged by the fact that 124th Field Regiment fired a total of 12,500 25-pound shells during the action and 'B' Company of 2nd Cheshires fired 95,000 rounds of medium machine-gun fire.[143]
    The brigade was relieved by the rest of the 50th Division which continued the attack around Haalderen (151st Brigade) and straightening the line between there and Bemmel (231st Brigade).[143] The division was now tasked with guarding bridgehead north of Nijmegen called the Island, and for nearly two months static warfare was the norm, patrolling and mortaring. The forward troops rotated regularly with frequent leave to Brussels, Antwerp and Eindhoven, the D.L.I. regimental band brought from their depot at Brancepeth provided music for concerts and dances with the locals. The casualties in the battles on the island in early October had been severe: almost 900 including 12 officers and 111 other ranks killed in action, 30 officers and 611 other ranks wounded and another 114 missing, in total since D-Day 50th Division had suffered of 488 officers and 6,932 ORs casualties, but had also assimilated 358 officers and 8,019 ORs.[144]
    On 29 November the division was relieved and pulled back into Belgium.[145]

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  12. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    TD has provided the answer (post immediately above), Paul.

    If you are interested in reading-up on 50 Div’s involvement on The Island, I recommend that you read Pieter’s (handle ‘stolpi’) thread; here: NIJMEGEN BRIDGEHEAD: II.SS Pz Corps' counterattack in October 1944
    I had the honour of assisting Pieter with the 50 Div section; and I really do mean that it was a honour to have helped with such a fantastic thread!


    Last edited: Mar 24, 2018
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  13. paulcheall

    paulcheall Son of a Green Howard

    Thanks Steve
    Great stuff - will take a shufty!
    PS Did you know Barrie Barnes has a new book out in April called 50th at Bay The Years of Defeat: A History of the 50th Northumbrian Division 1939 to September 1942

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  14. paulcheall

    paulcheall Son of a Green Howard

    Thanks TD. I did a Wiki search but nothing came up. It's funny that the more I learn about WW2, the more I realise I have a lot more to learn!

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  15. paulcheall

    paulcheall Son of a Green Howard

    Great tribute TTH - I'm working on a podcast tribute to wilf and wonder if you'd be happy for me to quote you? If so, what is your name. Happy with the initials if you like to remain anonymous.

  16. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    I didn’t know about the book, Paul. I read the preview and spotted at least two incorrrect references to events. I don’t think that will be down to Barrie though.

    Thanks for the heads-up!


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  17. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    I'll send you the name in a PM. I wrote a book which covered the 50th. I could not find an official tally for total divisional casualties from Gazala to the Island anywhere, but my own estimate based on the fragmentary records I found in war diaries and unit histories was 20,113. Let's put this in perspective. The total WE for a 1944 infantry division (9 battalions plus artillery, MGs, RE, services, etc.) was 18, 347. The infantry battalion WE at that time was 845 giving 7,605 infantry (non machine-gunners) in the division. The 50th thus suffered casualties totaling over 10 per cent of its total establishment and over 2.6 times its total establishment of infantry. The infantry nearly always suffered the great majority of casualties, and the 50th lost enough personnel from Gazala to the Island to fill out nearly 24 infantry battalions. Thus Wilf truly was (as Bill Mauldin would have put it) "a fugitive from the law of averages." You are very welcome to use any of this, either by direct quote or otherwise.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018
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  18. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    I have received an e-mail from Wilf's daughter-in-law, Elaine, today and she has asked me, on behalf of the family, to thank all the members for their lovely condolence messages and kind thoughts.

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  19. PaulE

    PaulE Senior Member

    RIP Wilf
  20. paulcheall

    paulcheall Son of a Green Howard

    Dear all. Just to let you know I just put the Wilf tribute live on my podcast. Thanks so much fir the brilliant contributions from forum members. I think we’ve given Wilf a good send off. Sorry I kept getting the name of the forum wrong. I’ll give it some more plugs in the next episode!
    Thanks again especially for Lesley’s support on so many fronts.

    Tribute to Wilf Shaw RIP. The drama, the crises and the humour of Wilf’s war as we review the very best of the fantastic audiences Wilf gave in Debenhams cafe Manchester. #WWII #podcast. Full show notes at 4 Wilf Shaw WW2 veteran or iTunes WW2 - Fighting Through from Dunkirk to Hamburg, War diary by Paul Cheall WWII on Apple Podcasts

    Attached Files:

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