129th Brigade/ 43 Wessex Div

Discussion in 'Higher Formations' started by baker502, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. baker502

    baker502 Junior Member

    Hi,
    I am looking for specific information on the 129th Brigade. I am interested in learning about their actions 4-7 October 1944 in and around Elst Holland. I am researching the American Airborne unit that relieved them. I would like to find any unit journals, maps, and situational overlays.

    Can anyone help this Yank who has no idea where to start.. Thanks in advance Paul
     
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Paul and welcome to the forum.

    The Bde should have a war diary at the National Archives but it will be very thick.
     
  3. nicks

    nicks Very Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum.

    I would suggest trying to get hold of these two books;The 43rd Wessex Division at War 1944-1945 - H Essame and The Fighting Wessex Wyverns - Patrick Delaforce
     
  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  5. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Here is an excerpt from the "History of the 4th Bn. The Somerset Light Infantry (Prince Albert's) in the campaign in North-West Europe June, 1944 - May, 1945" for the period in question:
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Jolly Squire

    Jolly Squire Member

    Hi,
    I am looking for specific information on the 129th Brigade. I am interested in learning about their actions 4-7 October 1944 in and around Elst Holland. I am researching the American Airborne unit that relieved them. I would like to find any unit journals, maps, and situational overlays.

    Can anyone help this Yank who has no idea where to start.. Thanks in advance Paul


    Paul,

    I have done extensive research into 129 Bde on The Island, especially the 4th & 5th WILTS in the battle for the level crossing north of Elst (De Laar farm). For the general picture, I can highly recommend the booklet "The Island" - Nijmegen to Arnhem - by Major Tim Saunders (Pen & Sword Books). It would make an excellent start I am sure. The ISBN is: 9780 8505 28619.

    Squire
     
  7. Jolly Squire

    Jolly Squire Member

    Squire - what further reading would you recommend, after having finished Saunders' booklet.

    It has been some time, but from memory: definately Essame's "bible" on the 43rd Wessex; The 5th Wiltshires in NWE 1944-1945, Captain J. McMath, The Maroon Square, The 4th Wiltshires in NWE 1939-1946, Majors Parsons, Robbins & Gilson; Race for the Rhine Bridges, Alexander McKee. There should be a few more which I will need to look up. I will get back to you on this, Stolpi old boy.

    Squire
     
  8. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Have only just noticed that 'Maroon Square' has been reprinted.
    The Maroon Square - The Wardrobe

    [​IMG]



    The Maroon Square

    £12.50

    A paper back history of the 4th Battlion The Wiltshire Regiment in North West Europe 1939 - 1946. The book records the actions during these years of many men and because they worked together as a team it is also the record of the activities of a single fighting unit and it is a story of great achievement. Compiled by Majors A D Parsons MC, D I M Robiins MC and D C Gilson MC the book describes the triumphs of all who served with the Battalion.
     
  9. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    Is this another question about the UK Unit slated by Don Burgett in his book 'Road to Arnhem'?
     
  10. Jolly Squire

    Jolly Squire Member

    Squire - what further reading would you recommend, after having finished Saunders' booklet.

    Stolpi,

    I went through the old book collection, but the a.n. publications seem to be the best sources. There are also a few odds and ends in Ooievaar brengt Zondvloed ("Stork brings a Flood") by Ferdinand van Hemmen and Retake Arnhem Bridge by Bob Gerritsen & Scott Revell. But most of this info is taken from the WD's. I also am the proud owner of a copy of the unpublished memoirs of Sgt Reginald Romain, a 6-pounder AT gunner in S-Coy 5th Wilts. It contains a detailed report on the fierce battle for the level crossing some 300 yds east of De Laar farm, which was lost and regained twice. According to Captain McMath, "this was the scene of the bitterest fighting ever experienced by the battalion" and a quote of the FOO Captain Hadow: "There are more Germans than I have ever seen in my life about fifty yards away." Quite a forgotten battle, but fortunately the sacrifces made by the officers and men of 4th & 5th Wilts have now finally been recognized with the wonderful memorial in South Arnhem (Schuytgraaf), adjacent De Laar farm (now Buitenplaats community centre). After all they were as much Market-Garden as the Airborne chaps north of the Rhine were.

    Squire
     
  11. 43rdrecce

    43rdrecce Junior Member

    '18 Platoon' by Sydney Jary, ISBN 0 9512078 4 9, pages 60-63 have an account of D Coy. 4th Somerset LI's handover to a parachute Battalion of 101st Airborne.

    I accompanied Sydney Jary on several tours of this area about 12 years ago. It was then largely unchanged from 1944. There has been a lot of construction in the general 'Island' area since then.

    I can thoroughly recommend 18 Platoon for anyone interested in the British infantry war. I believe it is still required reading for Sandhurst cadets, certainly it was for many years.

    Regards

    Paul
     
  12. chrisrowlands

    chrisrowlands New Member

    Hi Jolly Squire

    I notice from your post that you have an unpublished copy of a memoir of a member of S Company 5th Wilts. My late father T/Capt Matthew Rowlands was O/C S Company 5th Wilts at the battle of the level crossing north of Elst. I am currently writing up an account of that action and his subsequent activies in 1944/45 and would be very interested indeed in the memoires of someone was also in S Company. Any chance of a copy?

    Regards

    Chris Rowlands
     
  13. Jolly Squire

    Jolly Squire Member

    Well certainly Chris, please send me a p.m. with your address.

    Sq.
     
  14. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

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