Was my grandad really one of the first into Belsen?

Discussion in 'The Holocaust' started by Steve hiscox, Feb 1, 2020.

  1. Steve hiscox

    Steve hiscox Member

    And more

    Attached Files:

  2. Steve hiscox

    Steve hiscox Member

    That's everything I have here...apart from the maps
  3. Hi Steve, I have looked through all the documents you have posted. This is what I have found. anything with a question mark is a guess on the word !

    17/12/42 - 26/1/1946 Posted with General Service Corps
    27/1/43 Transferred to the Royal Artillery and posted to Survey Wing
    Inter posted from No 2 Troop? Battery to Larkhill Depot Battery W.E.F. (With Effect From) 22/3/43
    Posted to 7th Survey Regiment R.A. Larkhill W.E.F 18/5/43
    Embarked to Europe 18/6/44 with 7th Survey Regiment
    Disembarked North West Europe 25th/26th 6/44
    1/1/1945 made a None Commissioned Officer, unpaid and paid Acting Lance Bombardier
    Embarked to UK 4/9/1945
    Disembarked 6/9/1945
    Posted to Dept? of R.A. FIELD. reclassified Class 1A (Rank D) 15/1/1946 UK
    Posted to 92 A/J Regiment (Gunner) 3/2/46 UK
    Posted to HS this? unit from 92 'B' Battery R.A. (Gunner) 3/2/46 UK
    S.O.S (Struck of Strength)? "Struck off strength" is army speak for having a soldier's name taken of the nominal roll of a unit)) and posted to 288 Field Battery R.A. 14/4/46
    S.O.S on posting to 24 R.A. Training Regiment 9/7/46 There is a mention that he was a Junior None Commissioned Officer during this time 11/10/46

    During his time in North West Europe relates to 7th Survey Regiment with some reference to XII Corps which Timuk has already mentioned. "Liberation" of Belsen relates to VIII Corps.

    Regards, Damion
    timuk and CL1 like this.
  4. CL1

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

    Answer would be no then just family embellished history as with many others
    timuk likes this.
  5. Ours is my Grandfather was a Featherweight boxing champion during his service ! ! !
  6. Steve hiscox

    Steve hiscox Member

    Thankyou for so much hard work in all your digging through everything for me .
    As I said originally, it was due to wanting to know the truth as to whether this passed down story was true or a fable and as all everyone's digging around has found ...its a no
    Many many thanks
  7. Steve hiscox

    Steve hiscox Member

    This is a coloured photocopy of the original map

    Attached Files:

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  8. Steve hiscox

    Steve hiscox Member

    As promised
  9. Nick P

    Nick P Member

    It is so difficult to comprehend the scale of the atrocity. As mentioned, on this thread, it seems the whole british army passed through Belsen.
    It was certainly, a ‘destination’ of service personnel to see first hand the site.
    My grandfather, a commercial signwriter, serving with the 113th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment made and painted the famous twin gate signs (one in English and one in German) plus all the signs to mark the mass graves. Consequently I have an archive of the signs and all manner of personnel including RAF and Navy seemed to have visited the site and had their photos taken there.

    Subsequently, I believe, many service personnel have said they were ‘at Belsen’, which was almost certainly true albeit the dates of their visit is often cloudy.

    From Durham Record Office:
    On 12 April 1945, following the successful Rhine crossing by the British Second Army, the 113th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, The Royal Artillery received orders to move to Belsen. In the words of The Regimental Journal of The Durham Light Infantry [volume 4, number 23, October 1946, page 80], 'the wrong map reference was given, no-one had heard of the place, and it appeared to be about 250 miles away inside enemy held territory'.

    Nevertheless, the Regiment moved 100 miles to Osnabruk, west of Hanover, Germany, where their task was confirmed: to take over and administer the concentration camp at Belsen, near Celle, Germany, where the electricity and water supply had failed, food was scarce and disease raged.

    A truce was negotiated with the local German Army Commander, who wanted to prevent the spread of disease from the camp, and the Regiment arrived at Belsen on 18 April 1945.
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  10. I think your right, I definitely think word got around about Belsen. Here's a extract out of 220 Battery War Diary (112th Wessex).

    “I spent three hours on the 22nd April 1945 amongst 50-60,000 beings who appeared and who were sub-human; three ghastly unnerving hours amongst piles of mutilated, terribly emaciated, rag strewn corpses; amongst huts where dead and living lie thickly together; where the majority, starved in the extreme are more dead than alive; amongst thousands of other worldly, remote men, women and children who without surprise, with all hope gone, from white, hollow eyed faces – totter in filthy rags over the befouled mud past naked, foul corpses; where the air is full of the smell of death.
    timuk, JimHerriot and Nick P like this.
  11. Steve hiscox

    Steve hiscox Member

    Very apt..thanks for taking the time to post
  12. Mark Lester

    Mark Lester New Member

    Many thanks. So we have five of 1SAS, including as ever a Canadian!, in the camp. Moreover, Reg Seekings, in clunking the SAS, and then Tonkin commanding the situation, take control, it is Reg who liberated Belsen! Until that point nobody had bothered to tell the bastards to stop doing it.
  13. Mark Lester

    Mark Lester New Member

    Celle, which is central to the story, became a key airport for Luneberg Heath. Belsen was slap bang on the path 11th Division were taking. The whole division almost literally drove past it.

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