2697455 James SKELLY, 2 Scots Guards

Discussion in 'The Brigade of Guards' started by Calvin Carson, Nov 24, 2017.

  1. Calvin Carson

    Calvin Carson Member

    Sorry they are all rotated but they came on A3 paper and I only have A4 scanner so I had to scan them sideways and stich back together

    Attached Files:

  2. Calvin Carson

    Calvin Carson Member

    I may be able to shed some light on that. I have an unusual document as in 63 a family member disappeared and was later found murdered. As part of the investigation the Police requested information about James to ascertain his wearabouts and any medical information they had. Of course James was dead 20 years since. However, in the reply the MOD said when a person is killed in action all medical records are transferred to the department of Pensions to determine the pension given to the widow and they don't hold them after. Of course there is also medical information is generally considered confidential. However, if someone was wanting this kind of information the department of pensions are the people that hold it and not the MOD. Whether they would release it or not who knows but maybe a useful thing to know.
    Not sure why they have included this one form for me....maybe to explain the missing information about dates.
  3. Calvin Carson

    Calvin Carson Member

    OK I have to ask this question. I read elsewhere that 8 Scots guard were killed that day. From this account 2 carrier crews were lost that day...which I equate to being 8 people. however from the documentation my Great uncle was with H company. So I am confused. This was F company not H.

    Attached Files:

  4. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Up early to watch Rugby League......

    CWGC have 10 SG buried at Sfax who died 6th March 1943?

    Do you mean he was in HQ company as no H Company - see March 1943 orbat below that Diane has pulled together. Drill Sgt Richmond DCM who was one of this days casualties was HQ Company. What evidence do you have he was in any particular company?

    Orbats: Scots Guards

    Difficult to interpret what 2 crews lost means in context of the extract (presume taken from David Erskine’s Regimental History?) - could be any or mixture of killed, wounded, missing (POW).

    Universal Carrier - Wikipedia

    Thanks for posting all material from RHQ SG and comments re Pension/medical papers. Members have previously asked Pensions Dept for papers but got no further for variety of reasons.

    Personally doubt that Army Records offices during and immediately after WW2 would’ve sent all relevant papers to Pensions Dept without keeping a copy. Army was a large bureaucracy used to dealing with paperwork in duplicate and triplicate so more likely to retain duplicates in their files which may have been culled over the years.

    I think we now have an accurate picture of your great uncles service movements - starting with the usual UK training route via Guards Depot, Training Battalion & Holding Battalion before being drafted as a reinforcement to 2nd SG to replace casualties lost in The Kinightsbridge Box May 1942 - except the date of his departure from hospital in South Africa and his arrival with 2nd Scots Guards in Syria. His campaign medals were issued in 1948 - presumably to his widow.

    Sadly killed in his first day in action.


    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
  5. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Via FindmyPast:
    War Office Casualty List
    First name(s) J
    Last name Skelly
    Year 1943
    Capture year 1943
    Service number 2697455
    Rank Guardsman
    Regiment Scots Guards
    Theatre of war Tunisia, Middle East
    Archive reference WO 417/58

    Screen Shot 2017-11-25 at 06.56.19.png

    which are the same 2SG names as per Concentration records on CWGC site

    Guardsman SKELLY, JAMES
    Service Number 2697455
    Died 06/03/1943
    2nd Bn. Scots Guards
    Location: Tunisia
    Number of casualties: 1204
    Cemetery/memorial reference: XIV. A. 25.
    See cemetery plan

    Via Geoff's search engine, links to CWGC pages for other fatalities on same date, some may have Died of Wounds however; (perhaps their relatives might find this thread and have info to share):

    001 BROOM GM 2699980 2ND BN 06/03/1943 SCOTS GUARDS COLL. GRAVE XIV. A. 22-24.
    002 FINLAYSON JF 2699011 - 06/03/1943 SCOTS GUARDS XIV. A. 20.
    003 HENSHELL HJ 2692989 2ND BN 06/03/1943 SCOTS GUARDS XIV. A. 17.
    004 HOLMES DC 2697938 2ND BN 06/03/1943 SCOTS GUARDS FACE 13. - DOW
    005 PORTEOUS W 2695673 2ND BN 06/03/1943 SCOTS GUARDS II. D. 3.
    006 POUTNEY A 2700551 2ND BN 06/03/1943 SCOTS GUARDS COLL. GRAVE XIV. A. 22-24.
    007 RICHMOND J 2692726 2ND BN 06/03/1943 SCOTS GUARDS XIV. A. 21.
    008 SKELLY J 2697455 2ND BN 06/03/1943 SCOTS GUARDS XIV. A. 25.
    009 TURNBULL J 409820 2ND BN 06/03/1943 SCOTS GUARDS III. C. 4. - DOW
    010 WHETTON JA 2700674 2ND BN 06/03/1943 SCOTS GUARDS COLL. GRAVE XIV. A. 22-24.
    011 WRIGHT A 2694825 2ND BN 06/03/1943 SCOTS GUARDS XIV. A. 19.

    Via FMP,

    Linlithgowshire Gazette 02 April 1943
    Guardsman Broom
    Linlithgowshire Gazette 02 April 1943.png
    + Falkirk Herald 10 April 1943
    Falkirk Herald 10 April 1943.png

    Dundee Courier 23 March 1943
    Guardsman Turnbull as listed above, DOW
    Dundee Courier 23 March 1943.png

    Yorkshire Evening Post 06 April 1943
    Guardsman Pountney
    Yorkshire Evening Post 06 April 1943.png
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
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  6. Calvin Carson

    Calvin Carson Member

    I said H company but after reading the reply and rechecking it says H/B which would probably mean holding battalion.

    Attached Files:

  7. Calvin Carson

    Calvin Carson Member

    "Our casualties were not heavy, the total being one officer - LEWTHWAITE of the SCOTS GUARDS - wounded, 8 O.R.'s killed and 40 O.R.'s wounded."

    The Guards in Tunisia
    taken from THE GUARDS AT MARETH by Brigadier J. A. GASCOIGNE

    Turnbull it seems died of his wounds (from newspaper article above)and is buried separately to the 8. Holmes and Porteous also buried separately.
    I would hazard a guess then that the 8 who are buried together were the 8 mentioned by Brigadier Gascoigne and maybe the others died of wounds.
  8. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    Just going back to the convoy this might be of interest:

    From: The Winston Specials - Archi Munro -

    'Unlike the previous convoys in the series, WS24 was to use Bahia in Brazil as a replenishment port rather than Freetown, almost certainly due to the allocation of escorts for Torch but also as Brazil had recently joined the Allies and was visited by the Rear Admiral West Africa to make arrangements with his US counterpart for mutual operations against Axis Ships. The Admiralty decision to use Bahia cannot have been taken lightly, involving as it did an additional 1,500 miles and five days steaming on the voyage between the UK and Durban.'

    Soon after the arrival of the convoy, all troops were disembarked for a 6 mile route march: '...since " the troops presence could not be hidden it was considered beneficial for them to land and in the event proved to be good propaganda with and extremely good moral effect on the populace."'

    'The transhipment programme in Durban was fairly straightforward. Empress of Scotland and Largs Bay were disembarked completely...'
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  9. Calvin Carson

    Calvin Carson Member

    Holmes died of wound from Forces war records

    Attached Files:

  10. Calvin Carson

    Calvin Carson Member

    I just realised that you can like peoples replies. I didn't know that feature existed but can I just say thanks. You guys and gals are awesome
  11. Calvin Carson

    Calvin Carson Member

    I have to share with something amazing. My mother who is James niece lost contact with James family after the war. They lived in London and she in Lancashire. She told me last year every times she goes there she also wonders if she might be passing his daughters in the street and not know it. She also had a burning desire to make contact with his family again. She couldn't remember their names or his wifes name as he was only a child when he died. During my research into this, I found the births and the marriage but I was never 100%. I created a theory about who they were but I was 100% sure. Well last week someone saved James Skelly's record on Forces War Records - Military War and History Records and I got a notification. It was the wife of his grandson. Unfortunately his daughters have now passed away but 1 had 2 sons and 1 a daughter. So he has grandchildren. More amazing is that 1 son had 3 daughters so he has great grand children. 2 of them have children so he has great great children. They only thing they knew was he died in the war. What a great pleasure it was to send actual photos of him as they didn't have any. Pass on his service records and the history of the battle of Medenine. They didn't know anything. First it was thrilling to know his family legacy is living on, for me and my mother. Then for them to learn of his history and to know that someone is keeping his story alive. His story has now been passed onto to his great great grandchildren. My adventure started 1 year ago and many of you passed me great tips and help.
    To finally reconnect my mother with her long lost family and to tell them of a history they knew little about had been an immense week for me.
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  12. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Hi Calvin,

    I think I recognise the emotions you describe in your post!

    I had a similar lengthy search for long lost family in Canada lasting almost 10 years that was only successfully concluded with help from the forum Canadian RCAF expert Alieneyes. My wife and I met our relatives in Calgary, Canada in 2013.

    I was gifted an engraved WW1 Princess Mary 1914 Xmas box that my grandfather had sent to his youngest sister that had been passed down to one of her grand daughters.

    William (Bill) Fowler RCAF 263 Squadron RAF (Typhoon) 1944/45




    My mother’s cousin Bill Fowler is on the extreme left of the standing row of this group photo of all pilots in 263 Squadron RAF taken June 1944. He was one of about half a dozen RCAF pilots attached to the Squadron. 8 or 9 of the pilots in the photo had been killed by May 1945 - including the chap sitting on the propeller spinner holding the Squadron canine mascot.

    Here is a link to the Calgary Military Museum Mural of Honour that features Bill Fowler.

    The Military Museums - Mural of Honour
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017
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