1st Bn The Manchester Regiment (Machine-Gun)

Discussion in '53rd (Welsh) Division' started by Suzy, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. Suzy

    Suzy Junior Member

    I am researching my father's regiment. Please does anyone have info about the Manchesters? I have his army records - Thomas Grey 14579269, joined in 1943. In particular any books I could read and how long he was in Goch. I have many photos of him there. He also seemed to man a petrol station and I dont know if that was in Goch or somewhere else later as part of BOAR. Suzy
     
  2. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    I have a fair amount actually. Any idea what role he had?

    1st Bn Manchester Regiment was the Divisions 'Machine Gun' Battalion, armed with 4.2" mortars, and Vickers MGs.

    A company was attached to each Brigade to offer localised support. Just reading today a book on the fighting and the description of the Manchs firing/the fighting around there from a chap in 2 Mons (who they were supporting). 'Not So Bloody Quiet on the Western Front' by D(Dennis) S Hooper.

    There is an official history but its been too pricy for my wallet of yet, but Chrimbob is around the corner...
     
  3. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    Well maybe not much but all I could find ...

    A new 1st Battalion was formed in June 1942 by the renumbering of the 6th Territorial Army Battalion as the 1st.

    After two years intensive training as a machine-gun battalion the new 1st Battalion, commanded by Lieut Colonel Charles Harrington of the Cheshire Regiment, took part in the invasion of Europe. Bren gun carriers, equipment and men moved on 18 June 1944 from Faversham station to West India Docks in London where all was loaded onto the SS Samneva. The battalion landed at Arromanches on 26 th June, D-Day plus 20, as the Machine Gun Support Battalion of 53rd (Welsh) Infantry Division. The battalion took part in the general British and Canadian attack on the German positions in the eastern sector, designed to pin down the enemy armour while the US Army in the western sector was staging its breakout from the beaches.

    On 2 August 1944 the battalion was engaged in a large and successful operation at Mont Pincon. The battalion crossed the River Seine on 30th August and reached Antwerp on 8 September. In October it spent some weeks in the Nijmegen bridgehead, assisting in the attack and capture of s'Hertogenbosch. Then forcing the crossing of the Wessex Canal in bitterly cold weather in a desolate waterlogged countryside.

    The battalion then went into reserve but was quickly ordered to man a section of the River Dyle, between Louvain and Genappes, when Von Runstedt delivered his counter offensive through the Ardennes. In one counter-attack in the Ardennes the machine guns and heavy mortars of the battalion were the only supporting weapons available and had to be manhandled through deep snow.

    The battalion took part in the attack on Grimblemont and then withdrew towards Eindhoven. It was then involved in heavy fighting in the Reichswald Forest and at the end of March 1945 assisted in the capture of Bocholt. On 12 April it was involved in hard fighting at Rethem and Verden, which fell on 17 April. On 4 May the battalion entered Hamburg and whilst there the German Army surrendered. The battalion moved to Schleswig Holstein helping to collect the German Army coming down from Denmark.

    The battalion then moved to Essen, relieving an American Parachute Regiment, before joining 5th Division in Seesen on the edge of the Harz Mountains, south east of Hanover. Returned to England in 1947 and amalgamated with the 2nd Battalion in May 1948.
    1st Battalion
     
  4. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Suzy
    welcome to the forum

    please post any photos or info you have if you so wish.All forum members will be interested.
     
  5. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    I am researching my father's regiment. Please does anyone have info about the Manchesters? I have his army records - Thomas Grey 14579269, joined in 1943.

    In particular any books I could read and how long he was in Goch. I have many photos of him there. He also seemed to man a petrol station and I dont know if that was in Goch or somewhere else later as part of BOAR.

    Suzy

    Hi Suzy - I can't help much on the WW2 side (but others are filling that in), however, if I'm reading your post right he stayed in the army post-war. Do you know when he discharged?? As far as I can work out the Manchesters were not part of the BAOR, technically they would have been:

    Area Troops Berlin

    Manchester Barracks - Berlin

    1st Bn Manchester Regiment - Commanded by Lieut Colonel Charles Archdale. Arrived in July 1948. Went on to Wavell Barracks, Berlin - April 1950.


    1st Manchesters were stationed at Dunham Park, Altrincham in the early summer of 1948 and moved back to Germany on 1st July. Stationed in Manchester Barracks, Wuppertal - a fine pre-war German Army barracks.

    To Berlin and Wavell Barracks in April 1950, to Malaya in 1951 - 1954. Back to Berlin in 1955 and then to Minden in 1956, returning to the UK in 1957 prior to amalgamation with the Liverpool Regiment in 1958.


    (My father served with them in 1950/51 in Berlin - I have some other info but I want to make sure that I am on the right track)
     
  6. Suzy

    Suzy Junior Member

    I have a fair amount actually. Any idea what role he had?

    1st Bn Manchester Regiment was the Divisions 'Machine Gun' Battalion, armed with 4.2" mortars, and Vickers MGs.

    A company was attached to each Brigade to offer localised support. Just reading today a book on the fighting and the description of the Manchs firing/the fighting around there from a chap in 2 Mons (who they were supporting). 'Not So Bloody Quiet on the Western Front' by D(Dennis) S Hooper.

    There is an official history but its been too pricy for my wallet of yet, but Chrimbob is around the corner...
    Thank you for your help. Do you know why the 1st Manchesters were in Goch?
     
  7. Suzy

    Suzy Junior Member

    Well maybe not much but all I could find ...

    1st Battalion
    Sorry for the delay but I am still finding my way around this website and have only just found some messages for me. Do you know why the 1st Manchesters ended up on Goch?
    Suzy
     
  8. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    Sorry for the delay but I am still finding my way around this website and have only just found some messages for me. Do you know why the 1st Manchesters ended up on Goch?
    Suzy

    Hi Suzy. 1st Manchester Regiment as part of 53rd Welsh Division took part in the Operation Veritable during which Goch was captured by elements of this Division together with 51st Highland Division and 43rd Wessex Division. For more details about operation you have to ask someone else because I'm not expert for operations in the NW Europe during 1944-45.
     
  9. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    I should be getting the 1 Manchesters history relatively soon. Then I'll contribute to this more. They supported 53 Div through NWE as the Machine Gun Battalion, armed with Vickers MGs and 4.2" heavy mortars.
     

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