3457144 Stanley MURPHY; 6 Royal Scots Fusiliers

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by Stan Dean, May 6, 2011.

  1. Stan Dean

    Stan Dean Junior Member

    Hi Everybody,
    My name is Stan Dean[Murphy], I am trying to find out the campaignes that my Father, Stanley Murphy, was involved in in the Netherlands in 1944.I will be travelling from Australia to visit his grave next month and would like to know a little more about his war service.
    Stanley Murphy 3457144, 6th Battalion the Royal Scots Fusiliers Signals.
    Last leave 7-16 Feb,1944. Died 2nd November 1944. Aged 31. Buried Row B, Grave 1 in Maarheeze[Skerksel Monastery] Cemetery Netherlands.
    He was nursed in the 81st Geldrop/or Geuliup Hospital B.L.A.
    Looking forward to hearing from any member who can assist me in my search.
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  3. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    Stan, here's a full list of war diaries:

    WO 166/4592 INFANTRY: 6 Royal Scots Fusiliers. 1939 Sept.- 1940 Mar., July - 1941 Dec.
    WO 166/8899 6 Royal Scots Fusiliers 1942 Jan.-Dec.
    WO 166/12701 6 Royal Scots Fusiliers 1943 Jan.-Nov.
    WO 167/818 6 Royal Scots Fusiliers 1940 Apr.-June
    WO 171/1364 6 Royal Scots Fusiliers 1944 Jan.- Dec.
    WO 171/5263 6 Royal Scots Fusiliers 1945 Jan.-June
    WO 171/5264 6 Royal Scots Fusiliers 1945 July-Dec.

    As Owen says the one for 1944 will be of most interest to you.

  4. Stan Dean

    Stan Dean Junior Member

    Thanks Owen and Lee, I have just sent off a request to the Ministry os defence, I am on my way I'll keep you informed
  5. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce

    Welcome and enjoy!

  6. Stan Dean

    Stan Dean Junior Member

    Hello everyone. I have been in touch with SPVA, It looks like there is a lot of red tape involved, death certificates etc. plus the 30 pound sterling fee. I have most of the personal details they would supply. I am mainly interested in the campaigne he was killed in. I would rather donate the search fee to who ever looks after the graves in the Monastry. I will keep researching the web, or maybe one of your members will come up with something
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Stan,

    Me and Lee offer a copy service to forum members for unit war diaries at 10p a page.

  8. skimmod

    skimmod Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum Stan,
    Some really good information can be found by talking to the guys at the Royal Highland Fusiliers Home Headquarters in Glasgow. Unlike the 2nd, the 6th's records might have survived the fire!
    their website is here


    I have a couple of contacts that might be able to help you.

    Have you read Kemps book on the RSF? It goes into quite a bit of detail as to what the 6th did throughout the war. PM me and I can send you an electronic version.

    I have a good list of men from the 6th that took part in the 1940 campaigns, I'll see if he is there.

    good luck

  9. skimmod

    skimmod Senior Member

    Good posibility that he was wounded during Operation Pheasant. Which took place about 30 miles north of Skerksel Monastery.

    His record will give you so much more than just the bare bones. It will give you attestation papers, when he joined, the training camps he went to, the units he served before joining the RSF (3457144 I think could be Lancashire Fusiliers)
    The paper work isn't that arduous for such wealth of info.
  10. Stan Dean

    Stan Dean Junior Member

    Hello every one, Thanks for all your info. I am flying out to Holland and the UK tomorrow for 6 weeks and will follow up on your suggestions when I get back to Australia, I dont know if I can access the forum while I am away. Thanks again you have all given me a lot of leads to follow. Regards Stan
  11. avane

    avane Junior Member

    Hi Stan,

    Maarheeze is a small village in the south of The Netherlands, between Eindhoven en Weert near the Belgian border. There is a small Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Maarheeze/Sterksel with 42 graves. Geldrop is a small town about 6 km from Eindhoven. I don't think he got wounded there but in the area Liessel and Meijel, East of Eindhoven.
    The text below I found on the internet but I will see if I can more information about the battle in that area at the villages itself.

    Have a good time in The Netherlands and the UK.
    Regards Astrid

    6th Bn: Tilburg

    The operations on the Maas involved the 15th (Scottish) Division, which had returned to the welter of Dutch waterways from its well-earned rest at Helmond. On October 22 the 7th Armoured Division and the 53rd Division were to attack be­tween Oss and Vegnel to s’Hertogenbosch. Further south, next day, the 51st (Highland) Division was to move from Vegnel through Schijndel towards Boxtel, Vucht and Esch. Still further to the south the 15th Division was to strike through Best and St. Odenrode-Boxtel towards the port of Tilburg. This was “Operation Pheasant “.
    The weather had improved and by dusk on October 23 the 51st Division had taken Schijndel and Olland, had crossed the Dommel between Boxtel and s’Hertogenbosch and was ap­proaching Boxtel; while the 53rd Division was descending from the north on s’Hertogenbosch. The x 5th Division found that the enemy had gone from the much disputed railway in the Best area and from Naastebest. The 44th Brigade, which had moved up from Gemert, after concentrating in great haste near the Best crossroads sent the Scots Fusiliers riding on the tanks of the Grenadiers through ditches and bogs into Oerschot, where they found the Divisional Reconnaissance Regiment, which had also reached Boxtel. At Spoordonk, about two miles beyond Oerschot, a company of the 6th Royal Scots Fusiliers gave cover to a working party of Royal Engineers which was building a class-4o bridge over the Groote. The remainder of the 44th Brigade and the 227th Brigade joined the Scots Fusiliers near Oerschot. On the night of October 26 the 46th Brigade were in Oisterwijk and on the canal facing Tilburg, in position to break into the town from the east. It was the intention of the Divi­sional Commander to force a simultaneous entry from the south with the 44th Brigade. The Scots Fusiliers and the Royal Scots were entrusted with this task and moved up early on October 26 from Oerschot to Moergestel, before turning south to join the King’s Own Scottish Borderers at a canal bridge on the road to Best and crossing the canal to enter harbour areas at Voort and Hilvarenbeek. The Fusiliers were to attack between the Wilhelmina canal and the main road from Tilburg to Hilvarenbeek across open moorland of heather, bog and scrub, which the enemy could rake with fire from natural cover. They were then to find a way along the canal towpath into the city. The K.O.S.B. were to advance straight down the Hilvarenbeek road.
    At 11.15 a.m. on October 27 the Fusiliers, with “B” Com­pany on the right and “A” Company on the left, crossed the start line and began to search the scrub near the canal. To their surprise they found there an enemy company entrenched with their backs to “B” Company and without rearward defences. This company was quickly disposed of, and shortly after mid-day all the Fusilier companies reached their objec­tives. Patrols probing towards the centre of Tilburg saw no signs of the enemy. The main body therefore moved on and occupied the south-eastern sector of the city, and by mid-after­noon the whole of it was taken. Lieutenant-Colonel I. Mackenzie, commanding the Fusiliers, had difficulty in making his way through cheering crowds of liberated inhabitants to pay his respects to the burgomaster. Similar successes had been achieved by the 46th and 227th Brigades. The town was split into sectors and patrolled. The Fusiliers’ casualties were two killed and four wounded. October 27 was a night of great celebration. The troops were given the freedom of the city, and late the next afternoon the pipes and drums of the 6th Bn beat Retreat in the town square.
    In an attempt to prevent a complete rout on the Scheldt, Field Marshal Von Rundstedt, using the 9th and t5th Panzer Divisions, at this stage attacked XIII Corps’ eastern flank. The Germans occupied Meijel and reached Helmond, head­quarters of the Second British Army. Early on the morning of October 29 the 15th Division moved rapidly out of Tilburg. The 44th Brigade, including the Scots Fusiliers, made for Deurne. They arrived there before first light to find some of the American positions overrun, with consequent danger of an enemy break-through. The rest of the Division was far behind with the 6th Tank Brigade. The 44th Brigade therefore went immediately into a close defence of Deurne, in which the Fusiliers took up a position astride the Ljesel road to meet an attack from the south. When the 227th Brigade came up it went into action at once on the Meijel-Asten road. American troops were still fighting in Ljesel.
    The Deurne countryside was flat, with small farmhouses here and there, and a maze of ditches which forced wheeled and tracked transport to keep to the roads. No sooner were the Fusiliers in position at Deurne than they moved forward to Asten to allow the Americans to withdraw.
    Scots Fusilier patrols sent out to Ljesel were met with German Spandau and mortar fire. But with the whole of the 15th Division now firmly established, the chance of a German coup on the Ljesel to Asten axis was greatly reduced, and the Division was able to turn to mopping-up operations in the districts about Helmond and Venlo. Ljesel was the focal point, and the Scots Fusiliers, supported by the Grenadiers, launched an attack against it on October 30 from the north-west. Every yard was a struggle to overwhelm well entrenched Germans, who had Spandaus in pillboxes covering all the approaches. Heavy British artillery concentrations and the 3-inch mortar fire of the Fusiliers, however, helped to gain the ascendancy, and by late afternoon the objective was won. The 46th Brigade came down from the north and joined the Fusiliers in repelling a counter-attack on Ljesel from the east. The Fusiliers occupied and consolidated positions in the northern half of the village.
    The Germans were inside houses, Fusiliers outside; Fusiliers inside houses, Germans outside; in some houses the Fusiliers were upstairs and the Germans downstairs, shooting at each other from ranges as close as four yards. During darkness many
    of the Germans filtered back and surrounded houses and buildings where platoons and sections of the Fusiliers were lodged.
    Ammunition began to run low, and at about the same time could be heard the sounds made by German lorries bringing up reinforcements. The Fusiliers managed, however, to conserve enough ammunition to last until the Seaforth of the 46th Brigade entered Ljesel early that morning, when the enemy withdrew. The 6th Bn’s casualties were three killed, 27 wounded and one missing.
    Late in the afternoon of October 31 the Battalion moved to positions above a large wood overlooking the road to Meijel, preparatory to making an attack on the town next day. The first phase, as far as Heitrak, was completed without incident. The Royal Scots and the K.O.S.B. then went through, while the Scots Fusiliers remained in Broek and prepared to attack Schans and Hof. This attack opened on November 5 from a start line south of Broek, with “ B” Company on the right and “D” on the left, having a troop of tanks of the Grenadier Guards and some “flail” tanks in support. However, some of the “flails” became bogged and others were blown up in a minefield; while the tanks of the Grenadiers, moving further to the left, stuck in marshland sown with mines and were picked off by the enemy’s anti-tank guns. “B” and” D” Companies pressed forward unaided through heavy fire from 88-millimetre guns, Spandaus and small arms, crossed the Deurne canal and reached Schans. “A” and “C” Companies, coming up behind, were pinned down in the open by enemy fire and were unable to reach Hof7, which lay only 700 yards from Meijel. The Fusiliers’ forward assault companies were now in a serious predicament and a troop of Grenadier tanks was ordered up to cover them. The tanks managed to negotiate a minefield and reached “ B” and “ D” Companies, which were holding on in the hope that their ammunition would last until reinforcements arrived. The Fusiliers suffered heavy casualties, and two carriers which were evacuating the wounded were blown up on mines. November 5 1944 was subsequently known in the 44th Brigade as “Black Sunday “.
  12. avane

    avane Junior Member

    I´ve sent this message twice by accident
  13. Ed Seymour

    Ed Seymour Junior Member

    Hi Stan, I am in contact with a gent who served in your father's Battalion, do you know which company you father served in?
  14. Maarheeze

    Maarheeze Junior Member

    He was nursed in the 81st Geldrop/or Geuliup Hospital B.L.A.

    As far as i know, the 81st General Hospital ran a military hospital in Sterksel, where Stanley Murphy is buried, from oktober 1944 till december 1944 and not in Geldrop. After Sterksel they moved to Hasselt, Belgium till april 1945.

    War Cemeteries
  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I now have a copy of this diary but the person who ordered it hasn't paid me. If anyone is interested in buying it drop me a PM-It's up there with the best of the 1944 unit files.

  16. Shaun Griff

    Shaun Griff New Member

    My name is Shaun Griffiths and I am interested in tracing my family's background. I have found my great uncle Cpl Douglas Westacott served in the RSF 6th Battalion during WW2. He died on the 5th Nov. '44 and is buried at Geldrop-Mierlo cemetery. I don't know if he was KIA or wounded earlier and died on the 5th Nov. I'm assuming my uncle was killed at Meijel on Black Sunday which I have just been reading about on this Forum as the cemetery where he is buried is near by.

    It is has been heart breaking for me to find out my uncle was only 19 when he died. When I think back to how young and immature I probably seemed at that age, and there was uncle fighting for his family, comrades, country, against an evil that even today makes me shudder, I find it hard to express my immense respect for him and the thousands of soldiers who went through these times.

    I would be extremely grateful to anyone who could confirm my uncle's involvement with the 6th Batt. and give any more details as to which company he served with or any further details that could confirm if he was involved at Meijel.
    Kind regards: Shaun Griffiths
  17. Joe Brown

    Joe Brown WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    Only 19 but yet a Corporal, carrying the responsibility and burden of leadership. What a fine young man, his loss brings tears to my eyes.

    I formerly seved with the 8th Royal Scots in the same 44th Infantry Brigade as the 6th Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers. But was not with them in their long journey from Normandy to the Baltic as I was Commissioned and then served with a 'sister battalion' the 7th/9th Royal Scots. However, now chair the Veteran Section of the 8RS and we still have 23 surviving Veterans, and deeply conscious of the bravery of the men of the 44th Infantry Brigade.

    It is good that your Great Uncle is so fondly remembered by you.

    Warm regards and best wishes.

    Joe Brown.
    stolpi and 4jonboy like this.
  18. Shaun Griff

    Shaun Griff New Member

    Hello Joe

    I want to say thanks for your kind comments, I have read with interest, and amazement, your memoirs from your time in the service.
    Amazement in the sense of what you guys went through, and achieved during this period, at the age that you were.
    Thank you for sharing your memoirs.

    If I could, I would like to share an experience I had recently. I took my family to the USA ( to the theme parks in Florida).
    Before the start of the show, the Compare, whilst making the introductions, asked the assembled crowd if there were any service personnel, or ex-service in the crowd. He then asked if there were any military personnel from other countries in the crowd and would they all please stand up. The audience was then asked to give a big hand to all the people standing. The crowd really did give an almighty cheer to these guys. It was so uplifting to see the gratitude and respect shown to these people. And this goes on every day.

    I wish this sort of thing was done in the UK.

    Kind regards: Shaun Griffiths
  19. Joe Brown

    Joe Brown WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    Reading your kind message at the end of a pleasant day. Thank you. Goodnight.

  20. Hi everyone, I am trying to find out some information on my great uncle who is buried in ryes cemetery near arromanches. On his gravestone it says he died on the 26th June 1944 and was with the royal scots fusiliers. Having researched where they could have been on the 26th June it looks like they were in the battle of Epsom. However my great uncle was from Lancashire so not quite sure how he would have ended up with the royal scots. And bearing in mind that ryes is probably 40 mins drive away from the battle of Epsom not sure how he would have ended up being buried there. Can only assume he was injured & taken somewhere before he sadly died. We are taking my uncle, his son, to Normandy on the 1st June to visit the grave & as this will be his last trip to Normandy I would really like to find out as much info for him as I can. He was only 1 year old when his dad died & sadly has no memory of him whatsoever apart from photos. His name was Fred hardman. If anyone has any knowledge or can help with any info I would be very grateful. Thank you so much.

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