1st Bn Queens Own Royal West Kents

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by chris, Jul 20, 2004.

  1. chris

    chris Junior Member


    I have the war time reminisces of Pte H Parker of the above Battalion who was taken prisoner in the retreat to Dunkirk in 1940 and which then goes on to talk about his time as a POW. I have two questions related to the text which i hope members can help with.

    1 - As they retreated to Dunkirk it is clear the Battalion fragmented, but is anyone able to tell what the role of the Battalion was as a whole in the retreat. Were they part of the reargurad etc.

    2 - Parker gives much detail about the working parties, but one incident sticks out, which is the death of a fellow West Kent man, Pte 6342367 Henry Hudson (POW No 6059), who Parker claims was shot by a German guard for refusing to go on a working party. Are there any official sources that would state how Henry Hudson died?
    Ross Hudson likes this.
  2. Kieron Hill

    Kieron Hill Senior Member

    Hi Chris,

    I came acroos this account in the many books I've read while researching my
    Granddads Regiment, which was also 1/6th Queens West Royal Regiment.

    In 1940 the 1/5th, 1/6th and 1/7th Queens landed in France on the 3rd April, and a month later the 1/7th was detached from 131 Brigade and transfered to th 50th Division. The remainder of 131 Brigade was deployed on the line of the Escaut River.

    The Germans launched their invasion of Holland and Belgium on the 10th of May, and reached, and attacked, the Escaut River positions in force ten days later. Afetr two days of fighting, the Queens battalions were withdrawn to defensive positions between St.Omer and La Bassee, where the 1/6th, which had suffered many casualties, was in reserve while the 1/5th held the of Strazeele. Here they repulsed determined German attacks made in considerable strength. Both battalions then withdrew to Dunkirk and were evacuated on the 31st of May - men of the 1/6th, in the traditions of the glorious first of June, rowing themselves out to the transports.
    The 1/7th, which had been holding part of the line of the River Dendre not far from Brussels, covered the withdrawal of the main body of the British Army, and was then ordered to fall back to the Bassee Canal. From here it withdrew to Dunkirk and crossed the Channel on the 30th May.

    The Bearing, good order and discipline of The Queens Royal Regiment on its return from Dunkirk,'wrote the Naval Commander-in-chief,'was an example and inspiration to us of The Royal Navay.'

    I hope this helps. unfortunately I can not help with your second bit.


  3. Kieron Hill

    Kieron Hill Senior Member

    Sorry Chris I've just looked at your post again and you were on about the West Kents...I need glasses


  4. Ross Hudson

    Ross Hudson Member

    damn it looks like I am 15 years too late to answer his question about my great uncle being shot.....

    I would absolutely love to see those notes. We have a little information from him ourselves.

    Have tried to email Chris. I hope his email is still valid.
  5. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    For the record:
    Service Number 6342367
    Died 13/01/1942
    Aged 24
    1st Bn. Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment
    Son of Harry David and Hilda Hudson, of Great Crosby, Liverpool.
    Location: Poland
    Cemetery/memorial reference: 7. B. 14.

    There is a file held at TNA Kew:
    Stalag XX.B: Murder of Private H.F. Hudson. | The National Archives
    Reference: TS 26/184
    Description: Stalag XX B: Murder of Private H.F. Hudson.
    Date: 1939-1945

    Here's a link to an example, from a file from the same Catalogue Series
    Murder of 2722808 Guardsman T. BRANNAN, 1st Battalion Irish Guards
    Ross Hudson likes this.
  6. Ross Hudson

    Ross Hudson Member

    Here is the official statement of what happened. I have letters and affidavits as well. I also found recently journal articles from the regimental association in which a friend of his who joined with him talks about him being killed. Im busy writing up a mini biography about him with all of the information I have and Ill release it once I finish for people to read.

  7. chris

    chris Junior Member

    Wel you have tracked me down as the email was still valid. I am going to have to admit now to having totally forgotten why what or who is was researching when I must have come across the reminisces of H. Parker. Back in 2004 I was busy researching WW1 soldiers so I must have come across this incident and then headed off in a tangent. I will try and recall or delve through the old memory sticks, as no doubt you would be interested in seeing Parkers reminisces. Bear with me, and thanks for responding.
    Owen, Ross Hudson and dbf like this.
  8. Ross Hudson

    Ross Hudson Member


    Absolutely over the moon! Thanks so much for replying! I have been checking my emails daily for a reply ha ha.

    No rush, I can sleep now.


  9. Ross Hudson

    Ross Hudson Member

    Hi Chris, hope all is well. Did you ever manage to look up the reminisces of H Parker by any chance?


  10. Arcticfox042

    Arcticfox042 Member

    Hi Chris, came across your message of JUL 20th 2004, re Pte H H Parker Royal West Kents

    Pte. H H Parker 6347124 RWK.

    I now live in Italy and help out with a group here called 'Wartime Friends' Wartime Friends they help veterans and their families who visit the graves and battle sites of northern Italy. They also keep their memories alive with school inputs etc (Have a look at their site) They have a request from a local here to help to try and trace a former Queens Own RWK POW (or his family ) who when held in a camp here befriended a local and drew a picture of the locals wife which they still treasure to this day and is displayed in a local museum.
    He was held in Camp 73 Carpi, Fossoli, Italy then when the Germans took over in Sept 43 was moved to Stalag XVII-b in Krems Austria. Thats all I have.
    If you have anything on Pte Parker that would help me I would be very grateful for your help.
    My e-mail is arcticfox042@hotmail.com

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