4399889 L/Cpl. Jack BETLEY, Green Howards & 5 East Yorks & Bucks!: Help with puzzle

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by paulcheall, Aug 13, 2021.

  1. paulcheall

    paulcheall Son of a Green Howard

    I wonder if you can help please. I’m researching the history of one of my late Dad’s comrades who was killed in Sicily in 1943. Dad, Bill Cheall, was in sixth Green Howards and his comrade, in theory, was also in the Green Howards.

    Dad recorded Jack's death in his memoirs:
    “Jack Betley, 20, killed in Sicily by machine gun fire 14 July 1943. He came from Halifax.”

    I’m attaching the photograph below in both monochrome and colour as I’ve recently had it colourised. Strangely, there is what seems to be a green Howard’s title badge on the shoulder yet a badge from the Buckinghamshire regiment on his arm, the toucan graphic. Also, Jack’s CWGC entry even more puzzlingly shows Jack as being in the 5th East Yorks. His family were recently in touch with me which is why I've started digging. They are none the wiser.

    This is Jack’s CWGC entry:

    Service Number: 4399889
    Regiment & Unit/Ship
    East Yorkshire Regiment
    5th Bn.
    Date of Death Died 15 July 1943
    Age 20 years old
    Buried or commemorated at
    I. B. 22.

    I know that the green Howard’s and the East Yorks were both in 69th Brigade of 50th division so could have been fighting close together in Sicily but that doesn’t explain the Bucks badge.

    In summary
    CWGC record says East Yorks
    Dad says Green Howard
    Shoulder title says Green Howards
    Arm badge says Bucks.

    Is there any help anyone can give me specific to Jack’s military history or even general information which might explain the puzzle about the badges?

    Many thanks
    Paul Cheall
    Son of Bill Cheall
    6 Green Howards.

    Various pics below for background. I've also established from the link below the following info:

    The formation badges worn by the 1st Buckinghamshire Battalion were:-

    48th (South Midland) Division. 1908-1942

    Worn by the 1st Bucks 1940-December 1942

    48th (South Midland) Division.
    The badge adopted by the 48th Division was a blue macaw set on a red diamond within a dark blue oval. This first-line Territorial Army Division was made up of Territorials from Gloucestershire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire,
    Worcestershire and Warwickshire. This was the first line T.A. Division to
    join the B.E.F. in January 1940, and took part in the operations in France and Belgium until the evacuation from Dunkirk in May 1940. The 48th Division did not serve overseas again as a formation. For the remainder of the war it formed part of Home Forces, filling, in the later years, the role of a training formation, which was adopted in 1942.

    Dad was at Dunkirk in 1940 and from the above it's possible Jack was. But in theory that was Jack's last action!

    IMG_9377.jpg JackBetley.JPG Schermafbeelding 2021-08-11 om 17.01.48.PNG Schermafbeelding 2021-08-11 om 17.02.01.PNG Schermafbeelding 2021-08-11 om 17.15.35.PNG IMG_9383.jpg

    Reverse of Jack's photo, written on by Dad:
  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    His Army number falls within allocation for Green Howards - 4379001 to 4435000. Which would denote original unit.

    East Yorkshire Regiment is - 4334001 to 4379000.
    paulcheall likes this.
  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  4. paulcheall

    paulcheall Son of a Green Howard

    So he clearly started off in the Green Howards. I think I know what happened. Sailing on the Queen Mary to Egypt in December 42, a number of green Howards were transferred as reinforcements to the East Yorks including my dad. But Dad’s transfer was only temporary and he ended up back in the Green Howards only a few weeks later.
    But I guess check Jack’s transfer was permanent. Interestingly, Dad was never given an East York’s badge during the time he served in them and the same would seem to be true of Jack.

    Many thanks for your thoughts here.

  5. paulcheall

    paulcheall Son of a Green Howard

    I agree, thanks. According to Synge, GH 1939-45, though 11th GH never left England, so still a bit puzzling. But that would explain the 48th badge on his arm. So Jack must have been in 11th from Sept 42 but sailed on Queen Mary Dec 42 and drafted straight into 5 East Yorks whilst on board.

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