2nd Btn Essex Regiment war diary for 26/10/44

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by Janep8658, May 19, 2019.

  1. Janep8658

    Janep8658 New Member

    Hi, would anybody be able to help me trace what happened during the first day of Operation Thruster which I believe started on 26/10/44.
    My uncle L/Cpl Walter Seddon was killed that day. I have purchased the relevant books but there is very little detail in them other than it mentions quite a few casualties in D company which I think he may have been in.
    I hoped that the war diary for that day may help piece things together if anyone has a copy.
    Also, would anyone know why if he was killed in Holland, he ended up buried in Geel Cemetery, Belgium ?
    Many thanks in advance for any help.
     
  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Casualty
    Lance Corporal SEDDON, WALTER
    Service Number 3451842
    Died 26/10/1944
    Aged 25
    2nd Bn. Essex Regiment
    Son of Edward and Jane Elizabeth Seddon.
    INSCRIPTION: DEEP IN OUR HEARTS HIS MEMORY IS KEPT WE LOVED HIM TOO DEARLY TO EVER FORGET
    Buried at GEEL WAR CEMETERY
    Location: Antwerpen, Belgium
    Cemetery/memorial reference: IV.D.10.


    Via the above CWGC link, these two Concentration Reports confirm that Walter Seddon was Killed in Action (along with 5 others from the same battalion) on 26 October 1944.
    They also show the bodies were moved and reburied at Geel on 9/7/1946. Original field graves were located Map Reference 736209, Zandstraat, Belgium Sheet 3, 1/100,00:
    doc1874814.JPG doc1874965.JPG


    As each permanent war cemetery was established/enlarged post war by CWGC, Grave Registration Units were sent out to locate field graves and determine where best to relocate the Fallen. It's not always clear why one war cemetery was chosen over another - eg Flushing (Vlissingen) or Bergen-op-Zoom - but I'm guessing it would depend on the areas covered by the Grave Units as well as the timing and availability of planned plots etc.

    If I've got the location right Zandstraat is very close to Dutch/Belgian border. From my own research it's not unusual even to have men from same unit, KIA during the very same action/day, to be buried in up to 3 different cemeteries.

    Hope someone can help with the war diary.
     

    Attached Files:

    Charley Fortnum likes this.
  3. Janep8658

    Janep8658 New Member

    Thanks very much for that info - some of which I didn’t know. We’re planning a visit to his grave later this year (75th anniversary) so we’re trying to piece together what actually happened to him.
     
  4. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Curious as to which books you have already consulted. There's the Regimental History and the dedicated 2nd Essex History: Pompadour: D-day to VE-Day. Is there also a third? Footslogging to Berlin, or something similar?
     
  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  6. Janep8658

    Janep8658 New Member

    Hi, I’ve looked at the Pompadours: DDay to VE Day and also The Polar Bears - Montys Left Flank 49th Division. I did get some info from them but not much detail. I just thought the actual war diary would be better detailed.
     
  7. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    The divisional histories were often 'written up' from the diaries and supplemented by personal recollection, so you're probably correct. I'll check the regimental history when I get back tonight and get back to you.
     
  8. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member

    British Army Casualty Lists 1939-1945:
    Seddon.jpg
     
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  9. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    I'm not convinved that there will be more depth than Pompadours, which I haven't read, but the following has plenty to investigate.

    SmartSelect_20190521-003026_Gallery.jpg SmartSelect_20190521-002907_Gallery.jpg SmartSelect_20190521-002937_Gallery.jpg

    (Apologies from the free-hand phone photography)
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
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  10. Janep8658

    Janep8658 New Member

    That’s brilliant, thanks everyone for your help. I’ve gained more info which I wanted. I’ve also decided to apply for his service record as well.
     
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