2nd Bn The Buffs, 15 May 1940

Discussion in '1940' started by CaroleH89, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. CaroleH89

    CaroleH89 Member

    Does anyone know where the battalion were that day? There are 2 men who definitely died that day (including the one I'm interested in), one listed as dying between then and 4 June, and a fourth listed as dying between then and 5 January 1941 (I'm guessing the latter died as a POW).

    Cheers,
    Carole.
     
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Carole - post more details like their names etc. I have the battalions war diary and regimental history so I can post plenty of info for you.

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    5 January 1941 (I'm guessing the latter died as a POW)
    No, not a POW.
    The first date would be the last time he was seen alive & the 1941 date would be when they found his body.
     
  4. CaroleH89

    CaroleH89 Member

    Chap I'm interested in is 6289192 Private Harry Carey (CWGC has him as H. H, not sure what the second H stands for), buried at Esquelmes War Cemetery
    Others are:
    6087357 Private Patrick A. Donovan, also buried at Esquelmes
    third is 6283707 Lance Corporal E. F. Penfold, Esquelmes again
    fourth is 6284677 Private Victor John Milham, buried at Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord.

    Cheers,
    Carole.
     
  5. CaroleH89

    CaroleH89 Member

    No, not a POW.
    The first date would be the last time he was seen alive & the 1941 date would be when they found his body.

    Aha. The fact he was buried in a different cemetery to the other three fooled me as well as the long date gap.
     
  6. chrisgrove

    chrisgrove Senior Member

    According to Gregory Blaxland's short history of The Buffs published by Leo Cooper, 2 Buffs marched into Belgium on 10 May 1940 and were allocated a front of 2500 yards on the river Escaut, astride the village of Petegem. Oddly, he says they saw no Germans until the evening of 20 May when they were attacked and partly overrun.

    HTH

    Chris
     
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    CWGC - Casualty Details :poppy:

    CWGC - Casualty Details :poppy:

    CWGC - Casualty Details :poppy:

    Owen could be correct about Milham. He may have also been wounded of the 15th May, evacuated and then died at Bailleul in a RAMC facility with his unmarked grave discovered in 1941. 1941 seems a popular year for BEF graves being sorted out properly by the local population. There could be more info in the Buffs Missing Men files but sadly we will probably never know what really happened to him.

    Diaries and History entries to follow....
     
  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  9. CaroleH89

    CaroleH89 Member

    Hmmm, puzzling... you'd expect there to be a mention of 4 casualties in the situation they were in if there'd been any enemy action, even an aerial attack... could CWGC have got the date wrong? They'd lost 2 men in April to presumably natural causes but 4 on the same day seems too much for anything but enemy action or an unfortunate accident...
     
  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I'm just going to check the Regt History and post the page(s) then I'll do a bit more digging. The two diary entries above were written after Dunkirk so some details can be expected to be emitted.
     
    CaroleH89 likes this.
  12. CaroleH89

    CaroleH89 Member

    *nodnod* Thank you very much, much appreciated
     
  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  14. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    From CWGC:

    The British Expeditionary Force was involved in the later stages of the defence of Belgium following the German invasion in May 1940, and suffered many casualties in covering the withdrawal to Dunkirk.

    Those buried in Esquelmes War Cemetery died in defending the line of the River Scheldt; the Germans attempted to cross the river near Esquelmes during the morning of 21 May, but were replused after heavy fighting. They eventually crossed on 23 May, when the British Expeditionary Force withdrew to the Gort Line.

    Casualties buried in various places in the neighbourhood were brought to Esquelmes by the Belgian authorities in September 1940.
     
  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I've also looked at the other Buffs buried in the cemetery and can't see any clues there either:

    001 BENNETT G 5043545 2ND BN 20/05/1940 THE BUFFS (ROYAL EAST KENT REGIMENT)
    002 BRACKLEY T 6282412 2ND BN 20/05/1940 THE BUFFS (ROYAL EAST KENT REGIMENT)
    003 BROOKMAN A C 6734127 2ND BN 19/05/1940 - - 21/05/1940 THE BUFFS (ROYAL EAST KENT REGIMENT)
    004 BURNETT G D 6527117 2ND BN 26/05/1940 THE BUFFS (ROYAL EAST KENT REGIMENT)
    005 CAREY H H 6289192 2ND BN 15/05/1940 THE BUFFS (ROYAL EAST KENT REGIMENT)
    006 CARR H M 6288879 2ND BN 20/05/1940 - - 22/05/1940 THE BUFFS (ROYAL EAST KENT REGIMENT)
    007 CROWHURST A W 6283161 2ND BN 20/06/1940 THE BUFFS (ROYAL EAST KENT REGIMENT)
    008 DONOVAN P A 6087357 2ND BN 15/05/1940 THE BUFFS (ROYAL EAST KENT REGIMENT)
    009 GRIGGS G D 6283770 2ND BN 20/05/1940 - - 21/05/1940 THE BUFFS (ROYAL EAST KENT REGIMENT)
    010 HILLIER R G 6283874 2ND BN 21/05/1940 THE BUFFS (ROYAL EAST KENT REGIMENT)
    011 JANES W G 6287326 2ND BN 26/05/1940 THE BUFFS (ROYAL EAST KENT REGIMENT)
    012 LARN J W 6288762 2ND BN 20/05/1940 THE BUFFS (ROYAL EAST KENT REGIMENT)
    013 LAW J P 6289045 2ND BN 20/05/1940 THE BUFFS (ROYAL EAST KENT REGIMENT)
    014 LLOYD R J 6284789 2ND BN 20/05/1940 THE BUFFS (ROYAL EAST KENT REGIMENT)
    015 PEARSON D C 95577- 21/05/1940 THE BUFFS (ROYAL EAST KENT REGIMENT)
    016 PECK H C 6287914 2ND BN 26/05/1940 THE BUFFS (ROYAL EAST KENT REGIMENT)
    017 PENFOLD E F 6283707 2ND BN 15/05/1940 - - 04/06/1940 THE BUFFS (ROYAL EAST KENT REGIMENT)
    018 PULLEN F G 6399017 2ND BN 10/05/1940 - - 04/06/1940 THE BUFFS (ROYAL EAST KENT REGIMENT)
    019 PYE H J 6288774 2ND BN 26/05/1940 THE BUFFS (ROYAL EAST KENT REGIMENT)
    020 QUINTON R F 6285462 2ND BN 18/05/1940 THE BUFFS (ROYAL EAST KENT REGIMENT)
    021 SMITH H 6283773 2ND BN 26/05/1940 THE BUFFS (ROYAL EAST KENT REGIMENT)
    022 TUCKER T J 6283859 2ND BN 19/05/1940 THE BUFFS (ROYAL EAST KENT REGIMENT)
     
  16. Seawolf911

    Seawolf911 New Member

    Thank to all those who posted on this thread.
    I am trying to trace to steps of my grandfather L H Epps reg no 6285489 personal 335707
    I have a hand written dates diary my grandad wrote.
    He was at the battle escute canal but I do not know what company he was.
    How is best to find this out?
     
  17. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    It's extremely unlikely you will narrow down his service below his battalion. Some war diaries contain nominal rolls that state the Company but they are quite rare. Did he serve with the 2 Buffs for the duration of the war?
     
  18. von Smallhausen

    von Smallhausen Junior Member

    Dear Drew,
    Not all the casualties were brought to Esquelmes . Part of the servicemen buried on civilian cemeteries remains there. Think only the fieldgraves were brought to Esquelmes MC.
    Enclosed is a pic of some fieldgraves in Petegem or Elsegem, more likely it's Petegem. Pic was taken by my mum in 1946.
    Jef
     

    Attached Files:

    Drew5233 likes this.

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