3rd Monmouthshire Reg and 159th Inf Bde Research

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by SiggyScott, Jul 20, 2020.

  1. SiggyScott

    SiggyScott Battlefield Historian and Guide

    Hello all,

    My name is Lloyd Scott, I am a Battlefield Historian and guide working in Normandy, France.

    I am currently working on a project that I started 10 years ago. I am writing a book about an Officer of the 3rd Monmouthshire Regiment that is close to my heart. Lt David Rhys Geraint Jones Infantry Officer and Poet. He was born on April 18th 1922 where I too was born, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales.

    So far the project is coming on well, I have war diaries on hand plenty of personal materiel relating to Geraint. Two major sticking points are the 3rd Mons and 159th Inf Bde, we currently I have not managed to source enough to satisfy myself. The 3rd Mons book is very hard to find outside of visiting hard to reach libraries and so far I have not found a publication that talks enough about the 159th Inf Bde.

    Can anyone on here be of assistance to me or recommend any sources.


    Lloyd Geraint-1942.jpg
    Lindele likes this.
  2. JDKR

    JDKR Member Patron

    Hi Lloyd - can you be more specific with regard to the sticking points. It would also be useful if you could tell us a bit about his service with 3 Mons and the timescale you’re interested in. If my memory serves me correctly, 3 Mons was broken up after the battle for Ibbenburen in early April 45.


  3. SiggyScott

    SiggyScott Battlefield Historian and Guide

    Joined 1942/43.

    Transferred from RAC to 3rd Mons then took up 2nd L/O position with 159th Bde HQ. KIA June 28th 1944.

    Information on him is not the issue, I have all I need there.

    Its the History of 3rd Mons and 159th in greater detail that I am after to give more backstory of the units in my book. The sticking points were the rarity of certain books and the fact that I couldn't find anything published for 159th.

    I have 3rd Mons war diary for 44 and will have 159th Bde HQ by august 3rd.
  4. Historic Steve

    Historic Steve Researching 21 Army Group/BAOR post VE day

    Can help post VE Day

    3rd Battalion Monmouthshire Regiment were under command 115th Independent Infantry Brigade until disbandment 4 Feb 46

    Best of luck with your research
  5. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    For the Brigade in operations I suspect you will have to look at the history of the division instead, I.E. "Taurus Pursuant", which was apparently just reprinted.
  6. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    The publication "A Short History,the South Wales Borderers....24th Foot and the Monmouthshire Regiment". might be helpful.

    The period 1936 to 1952 is covered by Lt Col G A Brett,Major J T Boon and Major J J How,all of whom served in the South Wales Borders.The whole publication was compiled by direction of the Regimental Committee,no publication date is noted.

    There is an informative chapter on the 3rd Mons operations during the Second World War from Normandy where the battalion landed on 14 June 1944 to Ibbenburen in April 1945

    Another helpful source is likely to be a visit to the Regiments Museum at Brecon which with the present crisis can be discounted until further notice.Having visited the museum in 1999,the staff were very helpful in assisting with enquiries.

    About 20 years ago,the 3rd Battalion used to have a Mons Day Parade at Abergavenny on 8 May each year which was associated with the engagement of the 1st Mons at the Second Battle of Ypres on 8 May 1915 when the battalion was overrun but participated in preventing the Germans taking Ypres.
    Chris C likes this.
  7. JDKR

    JDKR Member Patron

    Although I'm not hugely keen on his books you might find some useful background information from Patrick Delaforce's book on 11 Armd Div "The Black Bull. From Normandy to the Baltic with the 11th Armoured Division". There might also be some nuggets to be found in the regimental histories of the other two battalions in 159 Inf Bde: 1 Hereford and 4 KSLI. Try "The 4th K.S.L.I. in Normandy: The Part Played by 4th Bn King's Shropshire Light Infantry in the Battle of Normandy, June to August, 1944" and "Manu Forti: History of the Herefordshire Regiment, 1860-1967".

  8. Tim Havard

    Tim Havard Member

    My grandfather (Maldwyn Douglas Havard) enlisted into the 3rd Btn Monmouthshire Regiment in January 1940.

    From the research I’ve completed so far the Battalion seems to have started the war in Northern Ireland training.

    Would be interested to see what your research unravels, my next step will be to obtain one of the Brent books.
  9. Patrick Edgington

    Patrick Edgington New Member

    Dear Lloyd,
    My father, who was a Chaplain to the Forces during WW2 ,was associated with the Monmouthshire Regiment. I have some limited research on them since my father buried 3 of them as they entered The Netherlands. You are welcome to this info if you care to advise me your e-mail address. Mine is pdedgington@gmail.com . Incidentally, I live near Haverfordwest and also have the privilege to wear the HW Grammar school tie...but only as a result of being the guest speaker at one of their dinners! If I can be of any help, just call me on 01646 636520 (and I'll call you straight back since all calls from here are free!) or e-mail me.
    All the best...Patrick Edgington.
  10. SiggyScott

    SiggyScott Battlefield Historian and Guide


    I sent you an email I would love to talk with you. I live in Normandy, France. But I plan to return to Pembrokeshire for the next 6 months or so this Friday so after my 2 week quarantine I plan to head out to do more research. Your Fathers war would be of great interest to me.


  11. Nathan Obady

    Nathan Obady New Member

    Hi Lloyd,

    I just happened to catch your contribution on Paul's WW2 TV episode on your muse Lt David Rhys Geraint Jones from last September. It was very interesting for many reasons, and I hope he will eventually get to some dedicated shows covering the Epsom/Hill 112 battles, which remain much under studied.

    Subject to your getting your fill of sources, if you don't already have them in your library I highly recommend Major JJ How's "Hill 112: Cornerstone of the Normandy Campaign". Major How, as you may know, was himself a platoon commander, later company commander, with the 3rd Mons, being one of the few to survive Epsom. Despite the title of his book, it contains a definitive account of the Epsom battles in the lead up to the ones for Hill 112.

    As many researchers will attest, you will get a better perspective of what was happening with the 3rd Mons at that time, by looking at what happened to the units that periodically fought along side them within 159 Brigade, as suggested above the 1st Hereford's, 4th KSLI and the 2nd Fife & Forfar Yeomanry, and others. In this regard, you can't go wrong with 'Over the Battlefield Series: Operation Epsom' - Ian Daglish, which I am sure you already have, but if not, it has some pretty granular detail on the the progress of the battles throughout Epsom, with detailed maps combined with aerial photography.

    A slight correction re Steve's comment above, while 3rd Mons were absorbed into115th Independent Infantry Brigade, this did not happen until April 1945, due to the high rate of casualties the unit had received up to that point.

    When you manage to get back to Normandy, you could also try and look up the legend that is JP Benamou OBE at D-Day Academy in Rots. He is always happy to help researchers, when he has time. If you are lucky enough to get a few hours with him, it will serve you well in your research. He was the only guide I could get back in 2015 who was prepared to take me around the Epsom battlefields, and we did so in his Wily's jeep. Not to mention, the NGO/museum in Rots to which he is a patron, is superb. Feel free to ping me if you dont already have his contact details.

    Best of luck with your research


  12. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    Welcome aboard. Lloyd has not been here since November 2020, so it might be best to drop him a Private Message; click on his name and use the Conversation option to send a PM.
  13. Nathan Obady

    Nathan Obady New Member


    Thanks for the heads up.


  14. SiggyScott

    SiggyScott Battlefield Historian and Guide

    Cheers guys, I got the notification just been rather busy recently.

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