1st Bn Royal Sussex Regiment

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by ROD MILLS, Jul 27, 2017.


    ROD MILLS Member

    Hi All,
    searching info on Pte Percy Mills.6398054 - Died at sea....Sat.12 September 1942. Was he on the red cross ship LACONIA? Going home on leave/wounded? He was awarded the Palestine medal 1936-39.joined the RSR in 22.02.33 in Brighton age 19.It's just the died at Sea that's the mystery????Any help greatly appreciated. regards.Rod
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Had another thread recently on a very similar subject re 12 Sep 1942 - BARLOW FRANK - Leicestershire Regiment 2nd Bn

    UK, Military Campaign Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1949
    Name: P Mills
    Service Date: 1936-1939
    Service Place: Palestine
    Campaign or Service: Palestine
    Regiment or Unit Name: 1st Battalion The Royal Sussex Regiment
    Regimental Number: 6398054


    Attached Files:


    ROD MILLS Member

    Wow many thanks for that little snippet, you should be called Quickie Dicky.
    The Laconia incident is a fascinating story, but the list of passengers is vague. still not sure why Percy was at sea?? perhaps he'd had enough and decided to swim for it.....
    cheers Rod.
  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    He was probably being transported to or from another area of operations and as the ship he was on was torpedoed..........................................

    It might be possible to check out the War Diary for the Regiment around that date to see what they were up to

  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I think 1 Royal Sussex were on their way back to North Africa from a period in Cyprus.
    Nutting, Ivor Travers (Oral history) (20943)
    Looking at 4th Indian Division history says 7th Indian Brigade returned from Cyprus to Egypt in August '42.
    Can't find anything more specific.
  6. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    If 1st Bn were enroute from Cyprus to North Africa why would they be in the Atlantic onboard the Laconia which was sunk of West Africa??

  8. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    I have September 9th at Ruweisat.

    Screen Shot 2017-07-28 at 22.27.54.png
  9. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member


    WW2 casualty lists him as wounded at sea 12/9/42, 1st Battalion The Royal Sussex Regiment. Later amended to presumed killed in action.

    More wounded at sea on same day. Might all not be connected.


    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
  10. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    At the time of the incident she [RMS Laconia] was transporting mostly Italian prisoners of war from Cape Town to Freetown, under the command of Captain Rudolph Sharp. The ship was carrying 463 officers and crew, 87 civilians, 286 British soldiers, 1,793 Italian prisoners and 103 Polish soldiers acting as guards of the prisoners.

    Wounded and headed out of the theatre is possible (second leg after hitching a lift around the cape and planning to transfer onward), but he was not likely to have been wounded from ground fighting at this stage--the battalion hadn't yet been in action. Accident or air raid?

    Sick or a being transferred to another unit are both possibilities, but if it was illness it would have to be critical or chronic as Egypt had the medical facilities to treat pretty much anything, I think.

    As a private, the odds are against the War Diaries mentioning him. I have the 1944 diaries for this battalion and the diarist makes no real effort to name ORs, so I wouldn't hold out much hope.

    I think you're going to need to see his Service Records to get to the bottom of this one.

    ROD MILLS Member

    Two lines of thread here; Was Percy on the Laconia in Atlantic OR was he in the Med from Cyprus on another vessel??? Rod.

    ROD MILLS Member

    Keep going folks, many - many thanks for all your help its very interesting and helpful. Rod

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