2nd Bn Kings Royal Rifle Corps

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by chrisy49, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. chrisy49

    chrisy49 Member

    This is my first post so I hope it is in the correct place.

    I'm helping with a project being undertaken by local people in a small village in Northamptonshire called Cranford. They are researching men from the village that were killed in both wars. The WW1 project is complete and I have been asked to help with a soldier that was killed in WW2.

    Major John Ronald Villiers Robinson 65838 of the 2nd Bn Kings Royal Rifle Corps was killed during action on 17 Jan 1943 at Beni Ulid. Local hearsay suggests he was the only casualty suffered by the Battalion in a night time skirmish with a retreating German Tank Column?

    I've listened to a recording from a soldier who was there and he said that when the Battalion moved out the next morning there was just one grave, marked by a pile of stones with a wooden cross.

    My first question is can anyone help me with information about the event. Is a war diary available?
    My second question and one the people undertaking the project want to know. Major Robinson is commemorated at Alamein Memorial. That's a long way from Beni Ulid. Would his body have been exhumed and taken to Alamein at a later date? If this is the case is it likely than any information is still available.

    Many thanks,
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    That means he has no known marked grave & it therefore commemorated on that Memorial.
  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Here are all the 2 KRRC war diary ref numbers for WW2.
    I assume the one without a date range is the 1943 diary.

    WO 166/4383INFANTRY: 2 King's Royal Rifles Corps.1939 Sept.- 1940 Apr., June - 1941 Sept.
    WO 167/760 2 King's Royal Rifle Corps1940 May
    WO 169/1733 2 King's Royal Rifles Corps1941 Sept.- Dec.
    WO 169/5033 2 King's Royal Rifles Corps1942 Jan.- Dec.
    WO 169/10248 2 King's Royal Rifles Corps.
    WO 169/20057 2 King's Royal Rifles Corps1945 Nov., Dec.
    WO 169/23210 2 King's Royal Rifles Corps1946 Jan.- June
    WO 171/1327 2 King's Royal Rifle Corps1944 Jan.- Dec.
    WO 171/5212 2 King's Royal Rifle Corps1945 Jan.-July - See more at: http://arcre.com/wdsearch#sthash.yAzKEROI.dpuf
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    He was C Company Commander and was killed by a mine. This would explain why he has no known grave.
  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    CWGC says 3 men killed on that day from 2nd Bn KRRC.

    ROBINSON, JOHN RONALD VILLIERS Major 65838 17/01/1943 King's Royal Rifle Corps United Kingdom Column 65. ALAMEIN MEMORIAL
    GRIER, DENYS ROY Lieutenant 90137 17/01/1943 30 King's Royal Rifle Corps United Kingdom 7. G. 8. TRIPOLI WAR CEMETERY
    MILLWARD, ROBERT Rifleman 4126679 17/01/1943 23 King's Royal Rifle Corps United Kingdom 7. G. 9. TRIPOLI WAR CEMETERY
  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Further to your inquiry there were other casualties that night, a Lt. D R Grier and a rifleman were killed along with 12 riflemen wounded. The Company was engaging a retreating German and Italian Tank Column along with 3 RHA that were engaging the enemy over open sights.

    Info from The Annals of The King's Royal Rifle Corps by Mills and Nixon
  7. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Here is the entry mentioned by Drew from the "Annals of The King's Royal Rifle Corps" Volume VI:

    Attached Files:

    Owen and Drew5233 like this.
  8. chrisy49

    chrisy49 Member

    Thank you for your prompt and knowledgable replies.

    When I listened to the recording I'm sure the soldier said that the cross had Robinsons name on it? So that leads me to another question. Why was Robinson commemorated at Alamein Memorial and the other two men at Tripoli?

  9. chrisy49

    chrisy49 Member

    Thank you very much for this; it's very helpful.
    Is it OK with you to send a copy of this to the two people in Cranford that are undertaking the project?

  10. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    No problem.
  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    One is on the Alamein Memorial because he has no known grave. Going by the fact he stepped on a mine there probably wasn't much left of him to bury. The other two have graves which would suggest they were killed by machine gun or rifle fire which would leave a body left to bury. If Tripoli is far away from where this incident took place I suspect Tripoli was the nearest place for casualties to be buried after the war regarding a large cemetery.

    Tripoli War Cemetery from CWGC:
    Alamein Memorial from CWGC:
  12. chrisy49

    chrisy49 Member

    Thank you all very much for the information especially the explanation regarding the Alamein Memorial. Coupled with the other information you've given me it all makes sense. I can now send a full explanation to the people putting the project together.

    Thank you all for your kindness and enthusiasm in 'putting me straight'.

    Kind regards,

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