1bn North Staffs, WW2

Discussion in 'General' started by ianwilson, May 31, 2015.

  1. ianwilson

    ianwilson New Member

    Private Benjamin Price, 1st Bn, North Staffs, is my wifes grandfather. He survived the war but unfortunately died in a plane crash just outside Marseilles on Jan 15th 1946. We have quite a bit of information about the crash and we are going to visit Marseiles in January 2016 to mark the 70th Anniversary. We are taking our 76 year old father, who was a babe in arms when his dad left to go to war, never to return. We have never visited his grave, which is in Mazargues War Cemetry, Marseilles. Benjamin was on Dakota KN557 which left Catania Airfield, Sicily on an air trooping flight to Bordeaux

    We think Benjamin was in India but we are not sure
    We don’t know what he did in the army
    There is little information about the North Staffs late 1945
    We believe he was returning home from India, via Palestine when the plane crashed
    We don’t know why he was on this plane, after all he was just a Private
    Newspaper articles state there was POW's on the plane but we dont believe he was a POW
    We do have lots of information and pictures on the crash and Benjamins service records, which are quite difficult to read.

    Lots of gaps to fill in, can anyone help.
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    As you have his service records please post them on here so the members can help de-cypher them for you.
  3. ianwilson

    ianwilson New Member

  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Looks like he was originally in the 1/4 South Lancashire Regiment from April 1940 and transferred to the North Staffs in May 1943. I can't work out what battalion though on the paperwork - Some one with good eyes will post the answer.
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Here's the war diary entry in 1/4 South Lancs diary on the day he joined the battalion
    dbf likes this.
  6. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    To me it looks like
    "G.H.Q. 2nd Ech (I) North Staffs"

    from Lee's site
    WO 172/888 1 North Staffordshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's)1942 Oct. - Dec.
    WO 172/2547 1 North Staffordshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's)1943 Jan.- Mar., May - Dec.
    WO 172/4917 1 North Staffordshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's)1944 Jan.- Dec.
    WO 172/4918 1 North Staffordshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's) 'A' Company1944 Aug.- Oct.
    WO 172/4919 1 North Staffordshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's) 'C' Company1944 Aug.- Oct.
    WO 172/7664 1 North Staffordshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's)1945 Jan.-Dec.

    If there were POWs on the plane, he could have been serving as part of escort/guard... just a guess though.
  7. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    Concise details of this loss....

    15 January 1946

    271 Squadron
    Dakota IV KN557

    The aircraft's position was fixed incorrectly and the pilot was given the wrong course to steer. The Dakota struck high ground at 1000 feet in poor weather near Marseilles, France

    There were 25 fatalities.
    Owen, Drew5233 and dbf like this.
  8. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  9. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Agreed :) Transferred to North Staffs 27.5.43
  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    If he was GHQ 2nd Ech I suspect the 1 North Staffs diaries wouldn't be appropriate,. Going on what I know regarding the BEF Orbat GHQ was the highest formation and the top of the command structure. Lord Gort was at GHQ and telling the Corps etc what to do. 2nd Ech wasn't even in France as I recall they were overseeing things from Kent with the top brass in Margate.

    So I wonder if he was part of the GHQ 2nd Ech staff or was 1 North Staffs Regiment GHQ 2nd Ech's defence battalion?
  11. ianwilson

    ianwilson New Member

  12. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Ahh, liberated POWs, not prisoners taken by British.
    So my guess does not apply.

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