Thomas Owen 6th Lanarkshire, the cameronians

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by AnthonyOwen, Nov 11, 2016.

  1. AnthonyOwen

    AnthonyOwen Junior Member

    Hi all...could anyone help me find out how my great uncle was killed..I keep getting conflicting information. He was killed at walcheren on Nov 3rd 1944 and was in the 6th Lanarkshire battalion the cameronians and his name is Thomas Owen. I have heard that he was killed in a landing craft and also was killed in the treacherous mud...I would just like to confirm if possible...can you help please...many thanks. Anthony.
     
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  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Anthony

    Looks as though you will have some reading to do, and it needs to be said that confirmation may be impossible if it is not noted. It may depend on his rank if there is anything specific anywhere on how he died:


    The history of 6th (Lanarkshire) Battalion, the Cameronians (S.R.) World War II (LBY 20835)

    The History of 6th (Lanarkshire) Battalion, The Cameronians (S.R.), World War II. John Cossar, 1945 - World War, 1939-1945 - 150 pages

    Others will have War Diary references for sure, which may help answer your question.

    TD
     
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  3. smdarby

    smdarby Patron Patron

    Hi Anthony.

    The 6th Cameronians were part of 156th (West Scottish) Infantry Brigade in the 52nd Lowland Division. On the night of 2/3 November they made a crossing of the Sloe Channel from near Nieuwdorp onto Walcheren island (as it was then). This was called "Operation Mallard". They were carried in Buffalo's, which are a type of amphibious vehicle. In "Mountain and Flood: The History of the 52nd (Lowland) Division" it states that the landing achieved "complete surprise", so I'd suggest your Great Uncle was probably not killed in a landing craft (but this is just an informed guess). However, once ashore there was stiff resistance and a number of casualties due to mines and mortar fire. The Cameronians were pinned down for most of the day, but managed to hold on until reinforced by 5 HLI in the evening. As TD says, other forum members will have the relevant War Diaries, which will provide more detailed information.

    Below is a photo I took this summer from the place where the Cameronians crossed the Sloe Channel. Walcheren is in the distance. As you can see, the Sloe Channel has been filled in since the war. There is a Liberation Route marker (no. 389) at this spot. You can find out more about the marker here: https://liberationroute.com/the-netherlands/historical-location/operation-mallard. It is also worth mentioning there is a museum in Nieuwdorp worth visiting. I spoke to a guy there and he said they regularly get Cameronian vets visiting for the November Walcheren anniversaries, although they are obviously getting very few in number now.

    DSCF3636.JPG
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2016
  4. AnthonyOwen

    AnthonyOwen Junior Member

    Hi and thank you for your reply...

    I know that his service number is 14301791 Rfn Thomas Owen aged 20. I don't know whether anything can be traced by that.
     
  5. AnthonyOwen

    AnthonyOwen Junior Member

    Wow and thank you...at least I can dig a little bit deeper now I have a better idea of what operation he was in as I was always thought he was in operation infatuate...thankeep you so much for that info.
     
  6. smdarby

    smdarby Patron Patron

    Operation Infatuate was the amphibious operation that landed at Vlissingen and Westkapelle on Walcheren. This was carried out by commandos of 4 Special Service Brigade and 155 Brigade of 52nd Div.

    The other 2 brigades of 52nd Div landed on South Beveland from Terneuzen on October 26th (Operation Vitality II). They assisted 2nd Canadian Div in clearing South Beveland. Operation Mallard was launched after the Canadians got bogged down trying to take the causeway onto Walcheren.

    There are plenty of maps you can find on google images if you search for Walcheren 1944. The picture below shows the monument where your Great Uncle came ashore on South Beveland, again taken earlier this year.
     

    Attached Files:

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  7. AnthonyOwen

    AnthonyOwen Junior Member

    ...this stuff is awsome thank you. Is it still possible to find the war diary for that day and unit...because that would be good to find out exactly what happened.
     
  8. AnthonyOwen

    AnthonyOwen Junior Member

    This is all I have of him.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. smdarby

    smdarby Patron Patron

    I don't have it, but usually a forum member will do or can tell you where to get it (or you can search online).
     
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  10. smdarby

    smdarby Patron Patron

    Anthony - just an afterthought, but it might be an idea to get in touch with the museum in Nieuwdorp I mentioned earlier. It's literally within a mile or so of where your Great Uncle died, so they might have some local knowledge and might even be able to put you in touch with some vets from the Cameronians.

    Email: info@bmzeeland.nl

    Website: Home
     
  11. AnthonyOwen

    AnthonyOwen Junior Member

    Thank you I'll email them...anything is work a try.
     
  12. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    I would assume the War Diary you need would be:
    6 Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) | The National Archives

    Reference: WO 171/1272
    Description:
    6 Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)
    Date: 1944 Jan.- Dec.
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description

    You may need to check that this regiment is the correct one !!

    Check out members
    http://ww2talk.com/index.php?members/drew5233.6786/ Andy
    http://ww2talk.com/index.php?members/psywar-org.2876/ Lee

    Both are regulars at Kew and offer services of copying records at very good prices, remember you may only need part of the diary. PLUS if you do use them ask them to copy the missing/casualty parts of the diary.

    TD

    edited to add:
    For reference later if needed TNA search page - The National Archives | Search results:6 cameronians
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2016
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  13. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Here are some of his documents from the CWGC website. They show the location of his original burial, this might be a clue as to where he fought and sadly perished.

    doc4182866.JPG doc4869177.JPG doc4180302.JPG doc4218060.JPG
     
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  14. AnthonyOwen

    AnthonyOwen Junior Member

    Thank you to all...I have now read the diary for nov3 1944 and I was wondering is there any way that I can find out what company he was in?
     
  15. Tom Paul

    Tom Paul Member

    I've seen a picture of him as I am a very close friend of his brother who will be spending Christmas this year
     
  16. AnthonyOwen

    AnthonyOwen Junior Member

    Hi Tom...you've seen a picture of who.
     
  17. Tom Paul

    Tom Paul Member

    Of Tom Owen in his uniform
     
  18. AnthonyOwen

    AnthonyOwen Junior Member

    Tom are we talking about the right thomas owen? I would love to see the picture. Which brother are you friends with?
     
  19. Tom Paul

    Tom Paul Member

    Yes I am talking about Thomas Owen from Cannock his brother is a very close friend of mine I will ask him if I can get a copy off him but i'm not sure if he will agree as he is a very private person .
     
  20. AnthonyOwen

    AnthonyOwen Junior Member

    Your opening my eyes Tom...I thought my grandad only had one brother and that was Tom...is it stan your friends with....I'm very curious now.
     

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