1st Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment 1944-1946

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by Keith99, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. Keith99

    Keith99 Member

    Good afternoon everyone,

    Having found this website whilst researching my Grandfather's (Private William Robert Scott 14208556 - Royal Sussex Regiment) WW2 history, I've decided to sign-up and post some of my questions. I've recently obtained a copy of his records from Glasgow, and have started putting some time into deciphering and understanding his part during the war.

    Building on previous research I've carried out, I understand that he landed at Naples in April 1944 as part of the Royal Sussex Regiment and was posted to 1st Battalion. He remained with them until January 1946 when he returned to the UK.

    My questions:

    How do I find out where and when he served in Italy (with which Company etc.)?

    He spent time at 1 LIAP Holding Centre - Anyone know where or what this was?

    When he returned to the UK he was posted to 17 Holding Battalion, was this part of the Royal Sussex Regiment (where was it)?

    Would it be worth my time travelling to London (National Archives) to read the war diaries for the 1st Battalion?

    I hope that someone out there is able to help, I've got plenty of questions because unfortunately my Grandfather would not talk about his time during the war and as an ex-military man myself I'm interested to find out about his military history.

    Many thanks everyone and I look forward to hearing back.......
     
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Keith

    LIAP - site search results - http://ww2talk.com/index.php?search/774184/&q=liap&o=relevance

    War Diaries: - will tell you where they were and what they did - there are members on here who will copy WD's for you if you wish, its your choice

    Reference: WO 170/5072
    Description:
    1 Royal Sussex Regiment
    Date: 1945 Jan.- Dec.
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description

    Reference: WO 170/8035
    Description:
    1 Royal Sussex Regiment
    Date: 1946 Jan.- June
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description

    In my fathers records it states where the holding battalion was based but I believe it was just a 'camp' that held them prior to demob.

    TD
     
  3. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Welcome aboard Keith.

    First up, there's a thread on the battalion with some photographs here:

    1st Royal Sussex Regiment

    Second, if you manage to discover which company he was with you will be lucky--that information often went unrecorded for private soldiers (but you might be lucky).

    Third, I haven't done much work on the unit, but I have an idea that the West Sussex Record Office hold some photographs and documents related to them.

    Last, I have copies of the diaries for his battalion and brigade (7th Indian Infantry Brigade) for at least some, possibly more of 1944--I'm not sure. I'm snowed under with work and on my way to the land of nod, but I'll get back to you about this. My grandfather was with 1/4th Essex, 5th Indian Brigade--also part of the 4th Indian Division.

    If you have his service records, scanning and uploading them here may allow the membership to tease out more details and suggest further lines of enquiry.
     
  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Forgot 1944

    Reference: WO 170/1478
    Description:
    1 Royal Sussex Regiment
    Date: 1944 Jan.- Dec.
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description

    TD
     
  5. Keith99

    Keith99 Member

    Thanks for your quick response guys, I'll scan and upload the records I have this evening. If I'm unable/unlikely to see down that far into his service what sort of level should I be aiming at (I'm very new to this military research business).

    Again, thanks guys....
     
  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Patience is a virtue - lets see the records first

    TD
     
  7. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    You might get that far, but it probably won't be through official paperwork. I found a pin-up image with my grandfather's platoon and company scrawled in it, and then a few months later the son of one of that company's sergeants uploaded a photograph of them asleep next to each other--confimation!

    I later got my hands on a set of official battalion-wide photos and discovered he had moved to HQ-coy. I then discovered more about the postings of an officer he served as batman for, which provided hints of another move.

    Some battalions record/file a lot of day-to-day paperwork as appendices to their diaries (6th Royal West Kent spring to mind) and that material can have lots of snippets of data that can act as clues.
     
  8. Keith99

    Keith99 Member

    Evening,

    I've attached copies/scans of my Grandfather's military records. I have got some other bits that were included with his records (enlistment papers etc), if needed let me know. I've also included the only photograph that I have of him in uniform.

    Many thanks,

    Keith
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hes had quite a trip around the block

    First hes in ITC (Infantry Training Course) then is moved to 8th Bn Beds & Herts, then Agricultural leave (never seen that one before) then is moved to the Royal Artillery, Agricultural leave again, finally posted to the Royal Ssx, shipped to ?Italy (April 1944). Jan 1946 is in Milan to catch the train home and appears to be demobbed 2 days after he left Italy.

    I think the War Diaries mentioned above would be a good starting point.

    TD
     
  10. Keith99

    Keith99 Member


    I've managed to find out that the 8th Beds & Herts became the 14th (Med) Regt RA who were in Northern Ireland. He then gets posted to Royal Sussex Regt, which I'm guessing came about because of the heavy casualties at Monte Cassino.

    He has three lots of Agricultural Leave during his service I believe this was due to his civilian job as a horseman/farm worker back here in Lincolnshire.

    Thanks for the heads up about duplicate posts I'll delete the other post.

    Thanks for help, it's much appreciated and very welcome. Any thing else you can shed light on will be more than welcome.

    Keith
     
  11. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    Keith.

    Yes, 1 R SUSSEX suffered horribly at Cassino in Feb 44 when they were up on Snakeshead Ridge as part of 7 Indian Brigade, 4 Indian Division. They had a large role in the Second Battle of Monte Cassino and it killed or injured large chunks of their four Rifle Companies.

    For the Fourth Battle, they were moved to a quieter holding area on the Gustav Line at Cassino but were not involved in the massive assault that finally broke through. It probably saved your grandfather's life.

    If you want to go to Cassino and see what happened to them, I am taking a group on 17-20 May 18.

    Regards

    Frank
     
    dada49nz likes this.
  12. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Am I right in thinking that there is a published regimental history for the Royal Sussex, but it covers more than just the Second World War?

    I have a feeling that it must be hard to come by as I haven't bought a copy yet.

    Keith: thanks, will take a look at those records and the diaries this evening.
     
  13. Keith99

    Keith99 Member

    Thanks Charley, much appreciated and I look forward to hearing/reading any info you are able to shed on his records or the history of the Battalion. As I've mentioned above, he wouldn't talk about his service during the War, and anything that I'm able to learn from my own research and that of others will help understand what he went through.

    My mother was told that all he did during the War was to look after the donkeys......
     
  14. Keith99

    Keith99 Member

    Thanks for your kind offer, I'll give it some serious thought.

    I'm guessing that he was drafted/posted across to the Royal Sussex as a reinforcement for these battles and he wouldn't of done much regarding Monte Cassino but there were other battles to be thought and I believe that they were sent to Greece as well. I think he may have been involved at these battles etc.
     
  15. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Keith, just focusing on the part I may know about.

    The scan is a little grainy, but on the first sheet you uploaded, do you make that he was posted to 6 Royal Sussex on 8/3/44 and then struck off strength with effect from (wef) [no date given]?

    He then joins 4th [Bn-battalion on Br-British] IRTD (Infantry Replacement Training Depot) [British North African Forces] on 10/4/44.

    He then turns up [no ships mentioned] with 1 Royal Sussex on 10/5/44 and stays with them until--when?

    You have the best copy, can you give your best transcription of the entires from 10/5/44?

    Edit: This bit

    Screen Shot 2017-12-15 at 22.25.51.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
  16. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    To answer my own question, this is the published history:

    A History of the Royal Sussex Regiment. A History of the Old Belfast Regiment and the Regiment of Sussex. 1701-1953 by Martineau, G. D. (Moore & Tillyer Ltd: Chichester, Sussex, 1954).

    Given the lengthy timespan, I'm not optimistic about the level of detail.

    This will give you the basics for 7th Ind Brigade's movements, but you'll want a map to hand:

    The Tiger Triumphs. The Story of Three Great Divisions in Italy. 1946. Foreword. Table of Contents. [Start at Section 3]

     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
  17. Keith99

    Keith99 Member

    Hi Charley, you're right about the quality of the scans but unfortunately the photocopies I received from the Records Office were not the best. I've attached a spreadsheet, which I've compiled over the last couple of days, I hope it's accurate and it's a lot easier to read than those document scans.

    Keith
     

    Attached Files:

    Charley Fortnum likes this.
  18. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    Keith.

    Plenty more fighting after Cassino as 4 Ind Div pushed north up the right and centre of Italy. The next massive defence line - there were plenty of smaller but still daunting ones in between, was the Gothic Line that ran between Pisa and Rimini.

    4 Ind Div had a large role in breaking into the Gothic Line on the left flank of the Eighth Army by crossing the River Foglia and pushing on to Tavoleto and Auditore. They then got stuck in the Pian di Castello hills and were then switched for the final push to take the awesome Gemmano - known as the Cassino of the Adriatic. They then had the task of advancing and securing San Marino.

    I am guiding that trip on 19-22 Apr 18 if you are interested.

    Regards

    Frank
     

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