3rd Reconnaissance Regt, Missing Personnel, 1944-45. WO 361/554.

Discussion in 'Recce' started by Richard Lewis, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. Richard Lewis

    Richard Lewis Member

    7 Jun 1944
    Tpr Slack H
    His half track was ambushed between Biéville and Lébisey. Also missing: Capt J Lee, RA, Seaman/Telegrapher Clarke and 3 other RN telegraphers.
    3 Recce’s war diary states, “One driver operator, Tpr Slack of C Sqn, is missing as a result of the Warwick’s assault on Lébisey.”
    View attachment 3 RECCE Missing Personnel 1944 06 07 .pdf

    27 Jun 1944
    Tpr Brown RS
    No other details. On this date the Regiment was a few miles north of Caen.
    View attachment 3 RECCE Missing Personnel 1944 06 27.pdf

    2 Jul 1944
    L/Cpl Bucknall WL
    Tpr Cheetham A
    Tpr Price L
    Signs of struggle at their OP near Blainville.
    View attachment 3 RECCE Missing Personnel 1944 07 02.pdf

    6 Aug 1944
    Cpl Andrews L
    Tpr Pain D
    Tpr Ramsell G
    Tpr Sturrock A
    A/Cpl Sumpton A
    LRCs ambushed crossing railway bridge near Burcy.
    By September Cpl Sumpton is in hospital in Salisbury after having been in the German Hospital in Paris. Presumably repatriated because of his injuries.
    Dennis Pain recounts this incident on the BBC’s “WW2 Peoples War” website: BBC - WW2 People's War - The Beachhead: Normandy 1944
    Tpr Anderson S
    A/Cpl Brown G
    Tpr Ginn C
    Tpr Jowett J
    Tpr Morgan EC
    Tpr Mulcahy W
    Tpr Nicholson J
    A/Sgt Plunkett T
    Lt OS Turner
    Sgt Young G
    Assault troop in carriers about 3-400m to N of bridge mentioned above.
    John Albert Jowett died of wounds in enemy hands 7 Aug 1944, aged 20. Buried in Bayeux War Cemetery.
    James Norman Nicholson killed, aged 20. Buried in St Charles de Percy War Cemetery.
    Tpr Oliver RW
    No details in file.
    Robert William Oliver died 6 Aug 1944 aged 28. Buried in Bayeux War Cemetery.
    View attachment 3 RECCE Missing Personnel 1944 08 06.pdf

    10 Aug 1944
    Sgt Musgrove J
    Humber armoured car had been hit on the Vire to Tinchbray road.
    In same armoured car was Tpr Opie JW who was killed.
    James William Opie aged 23. Buried in St Charles de Percy War Cemetery.
    View attachment 3 RECCE Missing Personnel 1944 08 10.pdf
     
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  2. Richard Lewis

    Richard Lewis Member

    17 Sep 1944
    Tpr Turner TW
    Motorcycle seemed to have broken down at Breteuil. At this time the Regiment were moving from reserve in France to Belgium.
    View attachment 3 RECCE Missing Personnel 1944 09 17.pdf

    21 Sep 1944
    Tpr Haynes F
    In Humber armoured car near Nederweet which was hit by bazooka.
    View attachment 3 RECCE Missing Personnel 1944 09 21.pdf

    2 Oct 1944
    A/Cpl Birch E
    Tpr Metcalfe SR

    3 Recce’s war diary states, “Patrol from B Sqn makes contact with enemy between Oeffelt and the river. 2 men lost – believed to be prisoners.”
    View attachment 3 RECCE Missing Personnel 1944 10 02.pdf

    4 Feb 1945
    Tpr Bulmanory C
    Tpr Johnson H
    2/Lt JS Johnstone

    3 Recce’s war diary states, “Own recce patrol of one Offr and two ORs crossed River Maas area North of lock at 7839 [Sambeek]. Half an hour later patrol was thought to be in same area as the noise of firing and exploding grenades. The whole patrol was not seen again and was presumed missing. Firm base troop stood to on West bank of R Maas all night but heard and saw nothing.”
    Cyril Bulmanory, aged 18, buried in Milsbeek War Cemetery.
    Herbert Ronald Johnson, aged 24, buried in Mook War Cemetery.
    John Surtees Johnstone, aged 27, buried in Rheinberg War Cemetery.
    From Supplement to the London Gazette 9 March 1945:
    “4273599 S. Serjt. John Surtees JOHNSTONE (338826) is granted an Immediate Emergency Commn. from the ranks in the rank of 2nd Lt., 3rd Jan. 1945.”
    View attachment 3 RECCE Missing Personnel 1945 02 04.pdf

    3 Mar 1945
    Tpr Bateson M
    His carrier was hit by Panzerfaust between Wetten and Kapellen. The other members of the crew, L/Sgt Byrne R and Tpr Inman R were killed.
    Richard Byrne, aged 26, buried in Reichswald War Cemetery.
    Reginald Marsden Inman, aged 21, buried in Reichswald War Cemetery.
    See also 3rd (8th Bn. The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers) Regt Reconnaissance Corps Roll of Honour
    View attachment 3 RECCE Missing Personnel 1945 03 03.pdf

    1 Apr 1945
    Tpr Morton TF
    Missing after engaging enemy near Roxel.
    View attachment 3 RECCE Missing Personnel 1945 04 01.pdf
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016
    dbf likes this.
  3. Richard Lewis

    Richard Lewis Member

    Thanks to Andrea for her spreadsheet, without which I probably would not have found this file.

    Does anyone know:

    Is there another file somewhere for missing officers? I ask this because,
    1) Letter re Sumpton marked “Unit file” & “Original filed in BM. Lt Turner”.
    2) No report form in file for 2/Lt JS Johnstone.
    3) Routine orders for 27 Jul 1944 list Lt Ennals as missing. He failed to return after a patrol on 28 Jun 1944. Lt Ennals is the only one on the list of missing that does not feature in this file.

    What do the BM Nos. refer to?

    “UR” against names and “UR in BM.” What does this mean?


    Regards,
    Richard
     
  4. jawan

    jawan Old Hand

    BM is Branch Memorandum - in this case a note circulated or attached to the file but not intended for circulation outside the specific branch dealing with the matter. BM were usually numbered sequentially in each file - from 1.

    UR I suspect means Unit Record ie information provided by or held in the unit.

    Does this make sense in the context of what you are looking at??
     
  5. jawan

    jawan Old Hand

    I should add that the casualty bureau in Liverpool from which these files originated was established to confirm the whereabouts of soldiers who were declared "missing". Once the fate of an individual had been confirmed (ie dead, POW, at unit etc etc) then the case was closed. In some cases soldiers simply moved from one unit to another and the paper trail was lost and therefore they were posted missing!
     
  6. Richard Lewis

    Richard Lewis Member

    Thanks Jawan, your explanation of the initials makes sense.
    Still wondering about Lt Ennals as he does not appear in the POW lists of Sep 44 or Apr 45 and did not fill in a "Liberated POW Interrogation Questionnaire". According to the London Gazette, "relinquishes his commn. on account of disability, 23rd Aug. 1947". Perhaps wounded, taken prisoner and repatriated?
     
  7. jawan

    jawan Old Hand

    As far as I can tell Ennals was not captured or at lleast was never a POW. I suspect he turned up (maybe got lost ... some did) and simply reappeared. Is he shown on the monthly returns of officers in the war diary??
     
  8. Richard Lewis

    Richard Lewis Member

    Oxford Dictionary of National Biography entry for David Hedley Ennals states, “He served in north Africa, Italy, and on the Rhine, ending the war as a captain in the Royal Armoured Corps”. ( London Gazette shows that he was a Lieutenant on leaving the Reconnaissance Corps in 1947).
    I got the idea that he was a PoW from Wikipedia (Yes….I know!). Seems that he reappeared and joined another regiment, which would explain the service in Italy. I had a quick look at the Returns of Officers and the last entry is w/e 8 Jul 1944 when he is listed under Officers quitted during week, “Missing over 72hrs believed P/C”. [It looks like “P/C”, although it is not very clear].

    Looks like a bit more searching to do at Kew!
     
  9. Gail

    Gail Junior Member

    2 Oct 1944
    A/Cpl Birch E
    Tpr Metcalfe SR
    3 Recce’s war diary states[FONT=&quot], “Patrol from B Sqn makes contact with enemy between Oeffelt and the river. 2 men lost – believed to be prisoners.”[/FONT]

    A/Cpl Birch E was my Grandfather,sadly he passed away a week before his 90th birthday in January 2012.
    We knew he was a prisioner of war but he never spoke about it,its only since he died and finding his papers and letters that we are now learning about his life in the army.
    We have a letter from his Lt to his mother explaining just what happened on the day he was taken prisioner, I will photocopy it and add it to this page.
    Metcalf who was taken prisioner with him became a lifelong friend,and we had the pleasure of meeting him at my Grandfathers funeral.
    Any infomation I come across I will post on here.
     
  10. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Hello Gail and welcome to the forum. Lovely to have another Recce on here. Yes-please post any information you have.

    Lesley
     
  11. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Oxford Dictionary of National Biography entry for David Hedley Ennals states, “He served in north Africa, Italy, and on the Rhine, ending the war as a captain in the Royal Armoured Corps”. ( London Gazette shows that he was a Lieutenant on leaving the Reconnaissance Corps in 1947).
    I got the idea that he was a PoW from Wikipedia (Yes….I know!). Seems that he reappeared and joined another regiment, which would explain the service in Italy. I had a quick look at the Returns of Officers and the last entry is w/e 8 Jul 1944 when he is listed under Officers quitted during week, “Missing over 72hrs believed P/C”. [It looks like “P/C”, although it is not very clear].

    Looks like a bit more searching to do at Kew!

    Richard,

    All Reconnaissance Regiments were ammalgamated into the RAC in Early 1944 and Bovington Museum may hold some information for you.

    Perhaps other members will know just what information the museum records hold.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  12. Richard Lewis

    Richard Lewis Member

    Thanks to Dale's list of Commonwealth POWs in Rennes Military Hospital the mystery of Lt Ennals is solved! He was admitted on 3 Jul 1944 with a fractured right humerus. The hospital was liberated on 4 Aug 1944.

    A few weeks ago I had another look through 3 Recce Regt's War diaries and found in the Routine Orders for 24 Aug 1944 (post # 29) that he was amongst some previously reported missing men that had "escaped from the enemy" and that he was wounded and now in the UK.

    Richard.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016

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