2/7 Middlesex Regiment Anzio

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by Emanuel1940, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. Emanuel1940

    Emanuel1940 Member

    Can anyone help in sourcing the following war diaries please?

    WO 170/1443 2/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own), 'B' Support Group 1944 Jan.- Apr.

    WO 170/1440 2/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own) 1944 Jan.- Dec.

    I am researching one particular man here Francis "Frank" Louis Abbott who landed at Anzio.

    Can anyone help identify the men in the photo attached? Frank is standing second from right third row.

    Frank was in North Africa before Italy and set up a cricket pitch out there.

    Many thanks as always.


    Attached Files:

  2. Skip

    Skip Senior Member

    I would also be very interested in knowing what 2/7 Middlesex were up to on 4 March 1944 - I'm researching an officer wounded that day whilst serving with them but have no idea where or in what circumstances this happened.


  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Daniel - I can copy them for you at 10p per page. Just click the red link below in my signature for all the details, terms, yawn, small print etc. on the service I offer forum members. Be warned though - Some of the WO 170 Series war diaries can be quite thick - Isn't that right Diane :lol:
  4. Emanuel1940

    Emanuel1940 Member

    Cheers Drew,

    I'll send you an email.

    All the best,

  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    What's his name?
  6. Skip

    Skip Senior Member

    Hello Drew5233,

    His name was - Lt Stanley David James GRIMSDALE 262178. Commissioned into the 2/7 Middlesex Feb 1943. Arrived N Africa late that May. Wounded in Italy 4 March 1944. Later killed whilst serving with the RSR in Athens.


  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Looks like the war diary may be your best bet. I've just checked the Regiments history by Kemp and he's not listed. It's worth pointing out that other officers are listed that were wounded around that time.
  8. Skip

    Skip Senior Member

    OK thanks Drew - appreciate you checking. Will have a look at the diaries when next at Kew.
  9. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    You should know that the 56th division was having a hard time in dealing with a major attack by our old friends 4th Paras - 26th Pzs and 29th PG's who were a tough bunch- and by 4th March 56th Div were fairly exhausted and were being replaced by 5th Div ...and casualties were very high - on both sides so many were KIA and wounded that particular day.....56th Div were sent off to Egypt to refit and recover shortly after this battle - to return in time to be hammered again at Gemmano in the Gothic line...

    Gary Tankard likes this.
  10. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    2/7th Middlesex were 1st Div not 56th.
    In photo in post #1 you can see 1st Div white triangle on some of the chaps .

    . - See more at: http://www.vickersmachinegun.org.uk/units-middlesex.htm#sthash.NZj5CcP5.dpuf
  11. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    the time here is now 1:41 a.m. - so I am just ready for bed and have been known to make the odd error...but the 5th Div were landing that day to take over the Anzio front from 56th Div until Rome was "liberated ' and both 1st and 5th Divs went up the east coast in complete ignorance of what Clark was planning.....

    and so Good night and God bless you
  12. Skip

    Skip Senior Member

    Tom and Owen - thanks to both of you as both of your insights are useful. Tom - yours for background activity at the time (cheers) and Owen - yours for a lead into future research.

    As ever I'm glad I asked,

    All the best

  13. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Owen/ Skip

    am now fully awake once more and note that at that time - while the Middlesex were nominally 1st Div support troops - they were actually detached to X Corps troops under a vague Recce outfit

    - so blame whoever wrote up the Order of Battle for March '44 - while I tackle a clean up job in the kitchen after some of the family visited yesterday to celebrate our Thanksgiving day..or at least get

    rid of the empty bottles of Neirstein - before the cleaning lady gets here or I shall never hear the end of it...

  14. Tim Lee

    Tim Lee New Member

    My Father Ron Lee (pt) was in the 2/7 middlesex at Anzio and later in Palestine, his Bren gun carrier / machine gun platoon were in the thick of the action in support of the Gordon Highlanders on the front line possibly in the region of 'smelly farm' dispatched on a motor cycle to collect signals my father was twice blown off his motorcycle the second time being injured and ending up in a dressing station itself under artillery fire - he survived but all his platoon were subsequently killed and captured . I still have a copy of a poem written by one of his mates Ben Borley. Hope this information is of some use ?
    dbf likes this.
  15. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Its shame that Daniel has not been seen on the forum for a while & that goes for Tim Lee.Its rather interesting on my part what threads you come across whilst looking for war diaries of 1 Buffs, 18 Brigade of 1 Division in the Anzio Campaign. I've not seen the image that was posted in #1 before & its not likely to be known why it looks has if it may be a part image? That's for another time. I've numbered some of the chaps in red:Some of which i'm not 100% sure. I'm going off a book that has driving licence pics.

    1) 140009 2nd Lt Francis Louis Abbott joined the 2/7 MX on the 27.07.1940. He was a War Substantiated Lt as of 27.01.42. He joined 'B' Sp Group as O.C. 9 Platoon on the 06.10.43 & he was known for (setting up a cricket pitch in N.A.!) Its in a book that i have on the regiment. 2) Lt. James Hill was another O.C. 9 Platoon: Probably after Lt. Fred Wallwork who was killed in early Feb.
    3) is C.S.M. Bob Hebden: a correction is needed.. Hill came after Bob Hebden on the 13.02.44.

    4) Looks most like T/ Capt. C.S. Goulding who was promoted to A/ Major and took over command of No. 3 Coy (MMGs ) of B Support Group.Source; 2/7 Middlesex War Diaries. 5) 113934 Captain E.M. Bruce, 2/i.c. B Sp Group.6) is Capt. D. Mckidd. Not 100% sure about 7). I think its Capt. Dudley Asling? The images below does pull the heart strings. 8) looks has if I've seen him before. May be able to come back with answer.
    Its taken me a while to have a read through the diaries of all the 2/7 MX War diaries in the Anzio Campaign, but it its worth it. I will follow up with other diaries of 3 Brigade in time!
    This chap does get a mention or two in the "C" Sp Group of the 2/7 Middlesex.


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    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
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  16. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    This is getting quite depressing: J.R. ASLING, the diaries say it all & (Its not cricket!) More headstones required. Click on images if needed?
    Killed by a direct shell hit in the chest.
    No appendix's in this month. Quite old chaps when you think about it.. More to follow.

    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019
    minden1759 likes this.
  17. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Just before i carry on, can any one provide a decent photo of Lt.- Col. De Chimay of the 2/7 Middlesex Regiment? I did once get a decent copy, but I did not save it. The image below shows some of the Officers & (how come the Imperial War Museum photo NA 16590 has not named all the officers?) I may be missing something here? Its good to see Major-General W.R.C. Penney, commander of the British First Infantry Division. 03.07.44.

    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
  18. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    More diaries of the 2/7 MX "C" SP GP. You would of thought that Major E.F. Rich, O.C. would have clocked that his Adjutant had typed (7 Gordons instead of 6!):oops: I've had another look at the book that I have, & come to the conclusion in my eyes that Major Charles Glanville, is second to the left of No 6 in the image that i posted in my post #15. Also, i can say the same of Lieutenant (later Captain) Paul, Kenneth, Slocombe. He's to the right of Glanville, has one looks at the image. Capt.C.Glanville, is No 8 in my post #17 above.
    7 Gordons ? Underlined in black. Feb 2: 15.30 hrs. No 8 PL mortared in quarry M.R. ( Map Reading?) 882378, two carriers set on fire, Lt. P. Slocombe, burnt on hands & face. 6 OR'S burnt and wounded.. He was Mentioned in Despatches for this, & was out of action until some time in August. See image below on page 436.
    rsz_20190708_172604 (1).jpg

    Lt - Stanley. David. James. Grimsdale gets a mention below (underlined in red!)
    The above Appendices - 41,42 & 43 are rather full of detail, & nicely typed up. The Map No. 4 -- The Reduction of the Salient 2--4 Feb 44 shows the positions of 3 Brigade & others.
    1st Inf Div. No4..jpg
    The image below speaks for its self.
    Grimsdale gets another mention above.
    I'm thinking about which battalion to show in my next post! Probably 1 DWR of 3 Brigade.


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    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
    Tom OBrien likes this.
  19. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    This may be at my end, but why is taking a age to Upload quite a few Files that are important to this thread? Can any of the Mods please look into it? I'm seeing a square box in places instead of the relevant war diaries & photos.

    I don't have a problem when it comes to other forums or websites! May be a case of the new router at my end, or the hard-drive on my lap-top? I do hope that a answer can be found.

  20. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Owen, could you please have a look into my post # 19 above? I've got a war diary to show as to what happened to Lt Grimsdale on the 4th March 44. It gives a answer to what Skip asked in his # 6! He was wounded in the left hand by a mortar bomb: Time of 17.45 hrs.

    According to page 406 of Kemp's book-- he died on the 2.1.45. APPENDIX V ROLL OF HONOUR.

    A lucky chap to come out of the Anzio campaign-- but looks like he paid the price on the 2.1.45. I would need to check the diaries.

    Here is a quote from Peter Verney's book: ANZIO 1944: AN UNEXPECTED FURY Chapter 11 ( The Final Attack) page 206.

    On 1 March von Mackensen had reported that he was unable to break the Allies with the troops he then had. At 18.40 hrs that day, Kesselring accepted the truth of his army commander's report and [ordered all large-scale] offensive action to cease. The Allies had won, the beachhead ( was safe!).


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