2701058 Guardsman D. J. McKenzie, 2nd Scots Guards?

Discussion in 'The Brigade of Guards' started by kenmorrison, Oct 6, 2018.

  1. kenmorrison

    kenmorrison Junior Member

    Looking for some help please.
    I'm trying to make sense of the CWGC entry for
    Douglas John McKenzie – age 21 – Guardsman (2701058) 2nd Battalion, Scots Guards.
    Died 30 January 1944 and named on the CASSINO MEMORIAL.

    My problem is that I understood the 2nd Battalion left Italy in September 1943 and I have a local newspaper report of a letter sent to his mother from the Company Commander with some details of his death at Anzio, where I understood that the 1st Battalion fought.

    Is this a typo/scanning error or were there 2nd Battalion men at Anzio??

  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Hi Ken
    looks like an error as the Regt history has him listed in Appendix A (Roll of those killed).

    The Scots Guards 1919-1955, David Erskine, Pg 517:
    2701058 Gdsm. McKenzie D. J. 1st Battalion, Italy, 30.1.44


    Service Number 2701058
    Died 30/01/1944
    Aged 21
    2nd Bn. Scots Guards
    Son of Thomas and Mabel McKenzie, of Thornhill, Dumfriesshire.
    Commemorated at CASSINO MEMORIAL
    Location: Italy
    Cemetery/memorial reference: Panel 4.

    There's another Scots guardsman with same name, listed in both CWGC and the History as 2nd Bn. Perhaps this is where the confusion arose:
    Service Number 2696563
    Died 14/06/1942
    Aged 23
    2nd Bn. Scots Guards
    Son of John and Agnes Brown McKenzie, of Easthouses. Midlothian.
    Commemorated at ALAMEIN MEMORIAL
    Location: Egypt
    Cemetery/memorial reference: Column 54.

    You could contact CWGC and ask them to check their records. If they see it's an error on their part they will correct the online entry. They may however require further proof of battalion before they proceed.
    Buteman, nicks, Tricky Dicky and 2 others like this.
  3. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    Tricky one.

    At the time, 2 SG were on the Garigliano having just crossed on 17-18 Jan 44 as part of 201 Gde Bde. They were in the area of Tremensoli which is near Minturno.

    Meanwhile, 1 SG were in the middle of a break out battle as part of 24 Gds Bde just north of Aprilia at Anzio.

    Both events could have resulted in him being blown to bits by artillery such that his body could not be identified - hence the Cassino Memorial.


    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  4. kenmorrison

    kenmorrison Junior Member

    Thanks for that guys.
    Using the filters on CWGC it seems that 41 SG men were killed on 30 January
    and only one is 2nd Battalion ("my man")
    35 are buried in Anzio War Cemetery and one in Anzio Beach Head War Cemetery.
    Three are named on the Cassino Memorial (again including my man) and two are buried in Cassino War Cemetery - one from 1st Battalion and one with no Battalion shown!

    So it does look like Douglas was a 1st Battalion man.

  5. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member


    This is the operation that, if he was in 1 SG, he was killed in.


    24 Gds Bde were ordered to advance from the north of Aprilia to the chequered line that I have marked on the map. 1 IG left, 1 SG right and 5 GREN GDS in reserve. They were to reach the chequered line and then 2 Inf Bde were to pass through and secure the road and rail junction at Campoleone - just below the word 'attack'.

    Unfortunately, an officer from HQ 2 Inf Bde, who was recceing this task, was caught by the Germans and he had the whole battle plan on him. As a result, the Germans knew that 24 Gde Bde were coming. Neither battalion reached the chequered line by morning and then German armour had a field day. Both battalions lost huge numbers of men.

    If you would like to see this attack, I am taking a group to Anzio on 13-16 Jun 19.


    nicks and CL1 like this.
  6. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    The casualty lists are not of any definitive help. The Scots Guards are one of the few units that regularly do not record the individual battalion (the 2nd Bn casualties are similarly recorded when at Salerno). It is easy enough to establish the battalion when only one is in theatre but this wasn't the case with the Scots Guards as 2nd Battalion certainly did not leave Italy in September 1943 - off the top of my head I think it was March 1944.

    Incidentally, while cross checking the casualty lists with the CWGC battalion info I have noticed lots of discrepancies between the battalions listed on the casualty lists and those on the CWGC website (the many Queen's battalions at Salerno being a very good example). I am tended to believe the casualty lists as there were collated far nearer the actual event. They were also subject to continual review and correction.

    dbf likes this.
  7. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    My money would be on him being in 1 SG at Anzio.

  8. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    Mine too!
  9. kenmorrison

    kenmorrison Junior Member

    Thanks again guys. I feel much happier to accept that he was a 1st Battalion man.

    Gary - I took the info about the 2nd leaving Italy in September 1943 from the Scots Guards Museum web site, but looking at the text again it seems to me that the dates are all a year out (should be '44)

  10. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    Ken, on the Scots Guards web site the entire war in Italy seems to be out by a year - Salerno Landings in 1942, Anzio in 1943. Although they do get the year of the Normandy landings correct. :)
  11. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member


    You are right. Out by a year.


Share This Page