The death of three members of 53rd (Welsh) Recconaissance Regiment August 1944.

Discussion in 'Recce' started by Oldleg, Nov 25, 2015.

  1. idler

    idler GeneralList

    The 'snowcat' would be a Weasel:

    That tallies with chennilette and doesn't disagree with 'truck' as it's clearly not a fighting vehicle. A mine would have made a hell of a mess of it.
  2. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    It looks like a small truck and it looks like a snow cat. Cheers Idler.
  3. Nijmegen

    Nijmegen Member

    Situation Map 1200 30 August. Arrow points to Lyons-la-ForĂȘt. Bulk of 53 Infantry Division is not near the frontline.

  4. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    I wonder if Dre Dick and Ware could have died on the night of 29th and 30th.
  5. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    53 Divisional casualty figures ran in a 24 hour period from 0600 - 0600.

    War Diaries tend to be 0001 - 2359, considering the Regt history was written by Philip Cowburn (the 2IC) who was also the War Diarist for long periods of time... I find that somewhat doubtful.

    But Nijmegen is right, after Falaise 53 Div rested prior to the next dash forward.

    On the Weasel suggestion, I'd more or less completely discount that - they ain't fast for Recce elements, just as they were mostly issued in the Winter for portage of supplies and casualty evac - not recce work.

    Its far more likely to be a Universal Carrier from a Recce Troop (if this is infact even a 53 Div unit we are discussing...)

    Be careful not to ask leading questions to the witness, you could easily warp their testimony to make it nigh on useless. Just my concern!
  6. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    Swiper,, chears for the advice. What I am trying to do is to arrange that I meet this person on the site where the vehicle from 15th Scottish was attacked and see what he says. According to the letter that madame Verhague wrote the vehicle was still there in May 1945 which suggets that it was there for a good 9 months so this person may even remember seeing it in the foret and if so, where.which to me is improtant as no one that I have spoken to seems to know about this story. It possibly indicates that the vehicle may have hit the mine on a minor road rather then a main road. There are quite a few of these in that area which are mainly used by the forestry commission. The chief of the Forestry commission has been very helpful and has recently given me names of people who are still alive who were around at the time. The info from the chief was given to me this week and I just have not had a chance to follow it up yet do to parental duties and all that malarcy. II will say thiis right now though..... You guys on this forum have been tremendous and I appreciate everything that everyone has done and is doing!!! Onwards and upwards. Cheers everyone, lets hope this is cracked soon!!!
  7. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    Swiper, sorry, just read your comment about War diary comments. From what you say I take it that the event could have happened on the 29th but was not entered on the 30th, is that correct? I am not clutching at straws just asking out of interest. In other words anything that happened between 06:00 on 29th to 06:00 on the 30th would be counted as happening on the 30th. Have I got it right or am I being a Muppet?
  8. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    What kind of half tracked vehicles, or tracked vehicles (forget about tanks) could have been involved in recce missions?
  9. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    I believe it is probably correctly recorded for 30 August, not 29 August.

    Divisional reporting is rather different (was trying to provide some context, sorry for lack of clarity).

    To confuse matters as expected Division only records 1 OR wounded for 29 August, none for 30 August. This is likely as they are under command of 15th Scottish Division.

    Tracked vehicle wise:
    Halftracks some were a number of M14s were used with the guns removed.
    Loyd Carriers
    Universal Carriers

    Checking WO361/569 the only account for August is about Trooper TJ Edwards dropping off a damaged Haltrack, 5518039 for repair (this seems too coincidental) before he went missing on 3 Sept.
    Didn't expect the Missing files to help but at least confirmed nothing is hiding there.

    Other than that the rest of armour in 53 Recce at this stage is: Humber MkIV and Humber Light Reconnaissance Cars (Humber LRCs).
  10. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    Does anyone have access to the films collection at the Imperial War Museum? I have just seen that the Imperial War Museum have three films made in lYons La Foret on August 31st 1944 and feel thatt these may hold clues.
  11. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    Does anyone know who was the commanding officer of the unit at that time? May be there is something in their personal diary.
  12. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    Leo Williams.

    As stated nothing more has turned up, he doesn't have anything at Bovvy or IWM etc.

    I've turned over almost all stones on the Regt over the last few years!
  13. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    Cheers Swiper.

    Thanks everyone for all their help. I do appreciate everything that you all have done. It is frustrating for me living here in France, so far away from the National archives at Kew. If ever anyone has any new info in the future please let me know.

    For now, I want to wish all of you a Happy Christmas and all the best for 2016!!!
  14. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    Swiper, I Have gone back over all the information that has been sent and I have just thought. I have looked over again the letter by madame Verhague which is dated 1945. Now in the letter she said that the TRUCK was sttill there. Now if one person is saying thatt it was a trck and the other a tracked vehicle (a Chenilette in French) I am now wondering if it was not a Lloyd carrier rather then a unversal carrier. The fact that she says it was still there in '45 indicates that it was damaged beyond repair. Now, if that is the case is there anywhere that we can look to see if it is recorded somewhere that a Lloyd carrier was lost at that time. Also, I looked at an email someone sent me a while ago and he firmly believes that Dick, Drew, Ware are our guys! He has given me an approximate location as being just North of Lisors. The chapel is in that direction.
  15. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    Does anyone have a copy of their movements leading up to the 29th I have a feeling Ware, Drew and Dick are the men I am looking for but I just need to confirm where they were before they were at Vandrimare.

    I hae now found the exact location of where the incident happened. According to the report filled in by a forester it happened on La Route Forestier des Quatre Cantons which I only found last week when I took the dog for a walk It is about 200 metres from the Chapel de St Catherine near Lisors.

    If there is any mention on any documents to say that 53rd Recce were working along side 15th Scottish Division at Saussay La Campagne or anywhere near there then they are the lads I have been looking for!!! I just need proof!

    If someone can confim their movements right to the date of their death that would be great!!!
  16. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    I have just been reading the book 'RAF Evaders' and the author quotes Huguette Verhague saying that it was the Welsh that liberated Lisors on August 30th 1944. This means that the Welsh were in the right place at the right time for them to be the men that I have been trying to search for.
  17. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    I have recently received informartion from the CWG concerning Ware, Dick and Drew. It transpires that they were buried in Lorleau from August 1944 through to Dec '45 when they were transfered to Longueval. Lorleau is 9 Kms away from the Chapel de St Catherine. Does anyone have details confirming exactly where they were killed? To say they died in the forest iis a little to vague for my needs. I need to know pretty much exactly where they died.
  18. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    I have recently come accross this document that shows that these boys were buried on the outskirts of our village in the hamllet of Lorleau. If only I could confirm where they died exacly. Does anyone have any recon photos of the area of the forest taken after August '44? I want to see if there is any indication of any destroyed vehicles in the forest.

  19. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    Does anyone have any pictures of the three soldiers by any chance?
  20. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    Does anyone have any contact details for relatives of these three? I would like to try and see if I could speak to them direftly.

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