Can anyone help to confirm if Lt Christopher Payan Dawnay ( Kit) military assistant to Montgomery was wounded or injured at somepoint during the retreat to Dunkirk ?
lt col Christopher Payan Dawnay Coldstream Guards , Military Assistant Montgomery wounded 1940 ?
Posted 29 June 2013 - 06:15 AM
Thanks for your reply , i was hoping that someone might be able to confirm if he was injured or wounded during the retreat to Dunkirk or prior to it . I have had a look on the internet and there is not so much information on it regarding this Officer i thought that maybe there was some information in War diaries and other published materials not available on the internet that might give a clue .
Posted 29 June 2013 - 08:14 AM
I have 3 Divisions General Staff war diary for the France and Flanders campaign-I'll check it at some point today for you. Odds on says it doesn't mention it. Do you have any idea of the date?
Posted 29 June 2013 - 10:01 AM
May or possibly earlier , i know its a bit of a long shot but i am doing a bit of research in to a book for a local charity , the book has lots of pen notes in it from an officer whom mentions Montgomery in his notes on several occassions example ( i must have passed through Brussels early on the 17th May i was with Monty and we stopped and watched all Brigades marching through at about seven ) problem being no name to the officer but does mention as follows ( i was still limping at this time (May 9th) and could not get a boot on my left foot ) i believe it to be Dawnay as there was another book donated with this one to the charity that had a private library plate in it to Guy Payan Dawnay (General ww1) ( whos son is Christopher Dawnay Military assistant to Montgomery. So was hoping that if i could confirm if Dawnay was injured or wounded it could act as a bit more evidence to whom wrote the notes .
Posted 29 June 2013 - 10:21 AM
From The Coldstream Guards, Howard & Sparrow:-
DAWNAY, CBE, MVO, Christopher Payan
Nature of Commission: Supplementary Reserve/Reserve of Officers
2/Lt - 26/8/1931
Lt - 26/8/1934
Capt - 3/3/1940
Maj - 13/1/41
Lt Col - 7/4/42
Mobilised (Lt) 1 Bn 1/9/39
GSO3 (1) 3 DIV 3/3/40
BM 226 Ind Inf Bde 13/1/41
Staff College 5/6/41
GSO2 (1) 12 Corps 14/10/1941
GSO1 (1) Expeditionary Force (later HQ 1st Army) 7/4/42
GSO1, WO 24/7/43
MA to C-in-C 21st Army Grp 28/1/44
Awarded: MBE, OBE, CBE, MVO, US Legion of Merit, Czechoslovak Military Cross, Mentioned in Despatches.
no good deed goes unpunished
Posted 29 June 2013 - 11:14 AM
Thank you for the dates regarding promotions very useful
The book with the notes written in is a book called My First War by Basil Bartlett , it is about an officers account of his experiences on the retreat from Belgium to Dunkirk . The pen notes compare notes of his own to the author of the book , the notes are very interesting i add a couple of them as follows .
It must have been on the 18th that our own Div Cavarly Regt 18/19 Hussars were lost . They were taken away from us and put under another command , who sent them too far out in front - they were cut off and the majority of them were killed or taken prisoner . A sad and stupid waste of a fine regiment . Their adjutant was captured escaped three times , got eventually from the east of Belgium to the somme and then to Le touquet (?) here he rowed out in to the channel luckily in to the arms of the Navy.
I must have passed through Brussels early on the 17th . I was with Monty and we stopped and watched our Brigades marching through at about seven. Several people came out and spoke to us , sadly and full of resignation a woman presented me with her fathers sword , to avoid its capture by the Germans i carried it to Dunkirk , but lost it there. The roads from Brussles were a solid wall of refugees and army vehicles all packed . I took Monty off the road up a side road hoping to escape the crowd but i only succeded in ending up in a field .
Posted 29 June 2013 - 02:38 PM
I have the book but sadly not the notes you have with it
Posted 29 June 2013 - 02:53 PM
A great bonus to find someone has written part of their own experiences in margins.
no good deed goes unpunished
Posted 29 June 2013 - 02:55 PM
From the 3 Div GS war diary:
Ref the 18/19 Hussars - they were still with 3 Div on the 18th May when their effectiveness was reduced to a Sqn, suffering the 13 officers and 165 other ranks. On the 19th May they came under the command of 5 Innis DG and were put into Corps reserve.
There appears to be two diaries for May - the second one appears to suggest 18/19 Hussars were UC of 4 Division when they were cut off.
No mention during May of Dawnay being injured. The diaries (as you would expect) just cover the big picture and are thin on details of individuals.
Edited by Drew5233, 29 June 2013 - 03:07 PM.
Posted 29 June 2013 - 03:31 PM
Yes i could hardly believe it when i opened the book and started to read the notes even if its not Dawnay its someone who was close to Montgomery . More of the notes ........
The 4th Div was on the left of ( just North of) the 3rd division whose H.Q were at Lesquin south of Lille . The country was the same flat country with dirty industrialised villages.
i lunched with the Descamps at their house near Linselles (?) North of lille , when there was talk of our own Division changing places with the Division on our left i went over to look for billets, met Descamps and everything was settled at once he was a delightful man, a deputy i think , and the owner of one of the most modern factories and factory estate i have ever seen anywhere.
Chez Audre was the place i liked best in lille - run chiefly by mme Audre and often overcrowded one had to gain mme Audres attention and then got well looked after good food an excellent cellar and very french clientelles . she was still there , when lille was almost in the front line refusing to leave.
Arthur Marshall ....... A fat cheerful schoolboyish schoolmaster was FSO 3 Div for short while before going to Lille.
Will Hay was giving another show on May 10th Monty was going and i hoped he might take me.
This was our attack the coldstreams attacked and drove out some germans who had crossed the river and reached the outskirts of the town they never got any foothold in the town so the recapture is exaggerated the coldstreams lost a number of officers and men here it was a very exposed position dominated by the hills east of the river in german hands. ( Talking about Louvain)
Mason McFarlane i met him once only just behind Louvain.
Posted 29 June 2013 - 03:41 PM
interesting about the two diaries for May the second one suggesting the 18/19 Hussars were under command of the 4th Div when being cut off would correspond to the notes written in the book ie they were taken away from us and put under another command
Posted 29 June 2013 - 09:23 PM
Shouldn't it be 15th / 19th Hussars ? A search of the armour markings thread on this sub-forum will bring up plenty of images of 15th / 19th's Vickers VIBs after they were smashed up in Asse. One of the earliest examples in the campaign of the BEF's command and control breaking down.
John, what are the charity's intentions with the book ? To authenticate it for sale or to publish it ? A number of us on here would love to see the full thing. I too have a plain old copy of Bartlett but mine was given as a present to a schoolboy (Tom Weise, 'A House', No.32 of The Royal Masonic Junior School, Bushey, if anyone knows him), so no notes in the margins, interesting or otherwise.
Posted 29 June 2013 - 10:09 PM
sorry about the mistake yes it is the 15/19th Hussars there is a mention of them twice in the notes .The intentions for the book is to try and authenticate it for sale apart from the other books private library plate to Guy payan Dawnay there is nothing that i can see that gives any clues to the id of the officer. Definately from 3rd Division ....... quote ...... no we 3 div held louvain with on our left the belgians and on our right 2 div the 4th div were in support of the belgians further back.
I will try to get some images on the forum for all to look at, too large to post at the moment i do have some photos of some of the text if anyone would like to have a look i will email them contact me email@example.com. i think the two books coming in together from the same donor is too much of a coincidence and the probability is that the notes are written by Christopher Dawnay.
Posted 29 June 2013 - 10:55 PM
British Military nomenclature is full of pitfalls. As a 'new chap', you're entitled to the odd 'typo'. That someone with 23,250 posts on the 1940 forum should repeat it means that he has to get the beers in next time I see him !
I quite agree that this pretty well has to be someone from 3rd Division. Whether his limp was caused by enemy action or gout exacerbated by his liking for the French wine cellars remains to be established...
Posted 29 June 2013 - 11:08 PM
it could well be gout ........... we moved back to the frontier line south of 4 div with our headquaters at Bondues in a brewery.
Posted 30 June 2013 - 05:42 AM
No excuses other than Andrea, I'll leave it there. Anyway this may help from the 3 Div GS diary - One of the officer field returns dated 19th May 1940:
Posted 30 June 2013 - 11:51 AM
yes that is very interesting as i now know that there was only one other officer connected to the division at this time from the Coldstream Guards A/Maj R.g Fielden A/DAQMG. Some of the written notes i have already posted to the forum read ............this was our attack the Coldstreams attacked and drove out some germans .....
Posted 01 July 2013 - 05:41 PM
will add the written in order thay appear in the book
Posted 01 July 2013 - 06:53 PM
some of the notes follow on in the next image
Posted 02 July 2013 - 05:58 PM
retreat to Dunkirk 3rd div Officers notes
Posted 02 July 2013 - 08:24 PM
Thanks for uploading the notes, interesting to read.
no good deed goes unpunished
Posted 02 July 2013 - 09:57 PM
John, thanks for posting these. My pc is freezing on pdfs at the moment so I'll have to try to get the kids off the laptop and have a proper look.
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