5th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment

Discussion in 'North Africa & the Med' started by Giles12, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Jim- I would apply for a copy of his servie records. They will say if he deployed overseas at any time and how long for. He may have been attached to another unit where they had a short fall in a trade like a driver etc. That should all be recorded in his records.

    The other thing I would consider but don't ask me how, I would see if he has a death certificate. There may be a a clue there regarding the cause of death.

  2. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello Jim,

    Sound advice from Andy.

    His service number is definitely East Yorkshire Regiment, which centred on Beverley/Hull: East Yorkshire Regiment 4334001 - 4379000.


  3. jimarm

    jimarm Junior Member

    Jim- I would apply for a copy of his servie records. They will say if he deployed overseas at any time and how long for. He may have been attached to another unit where they had a short fall in a trade like a driver etc. That should all be recorded in his records.

    The other thing I would consider but don't ask me how, I would see if he has a death certificate. There may be a a clue there regarding the cause of death.

    Many thanks to you both. I I'll now try and get his service record
  4. BillFoster

    BillFoster Junior Member

    Good day to you all from sunny Spain.

    After a long wait, my Dad's records finally arrived.

    He was in the TA before he enlisted.



    He was wounded on 13th June 1942, in a coma for 10 days, and then shipped home via Alexandria and Durban.

    I hope the attached files ( if they come out ) can help find out what he was doing, and where.

    Thanks a lot.

    Bill Foster.
  5. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello Bill,

    Are they the full service records? They don't look like it to me...

    They show he enlisted in the East Yorkshire Regiment on 14 November 1940.

    He was posted on the 21 March 1941, probably after training finalised, to the 2nd Bn East Yorkshire Regiment, 8th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division. They were located in the UK between service with the BEF in early June 1940 and D-Day on 6 June 1944 when they were the assault division on Sword Beach.

    He was transfered to the 5th Bn East Yorkshire Regiment on 21 April 1942, which I believe were already at Gazala. Strangely the service records do not show his embarkation from the UK or disembarkation in Egypt, etc.

    He is shown 'X' listed on 15 June 1942 - this will be following him being wounded on the 13 June 1942. You mention at Message # 56 that he was first picked up by the 12th Light Ambulance, then was in 58th General Hospital, then Hospital train, then in 6th General hospital. The 58th General Hospital was at Ikingi Marriut Garawia (Ikingi Maryut was a staging camp/base just outside Alexandria) at this time and the 6th General hospital was at Quassassin at this time.

    He would have been in hospital in Egypt until 7 August 1942 when he was embarked for South Africa. In mid-1942 most seriously wounded soldiers were evacuated (if possible) from Egypt to either Palestine or South Africa.

    I don't know what 2NCID is...

    He is dicharged permanently unfit for any form of military service on 29 September 1943.

    I hope this helps.


  6. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member

    Would this be the same Sgt. Edwards?

    Attached Files:

  7. BillFoster

    BillFoster Junior Member

    Thanks for that, Steve.

    I got those 2 sheets, his records for 4 years TA, 1934-38, another TA set ( Form B200b) and another form which I mistook for Territorial Service, but which is apparently his Service Record.

    I've attached those now.






    Thanks again

  8. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello Bill,

    The only things that your attachments at Message # 87 add to what I stated above are this:
    • He was in the Middle East from 14 February 1942 to 12 October 1942; which probbaly means he was in transit from the UK to the 5th Bn EYR in the ME between 14 February 1942 and 21 April 1942, and on his way home from hospital in Quassassin via South Africa to the UK between 7 August 1942 and 13 October 1942. This suggests that he did not linger long in South Africa, rather it was just a stop off point on the way home.
    • Whatever 2NCID is was based in the UK.
    • He was put on the 'Y' list 9 days after being wounded, which was unusual. The army practice at this time was that if a soldier had been in hospital for 21 days or more he was put on the 'Y' list. It must have been decided very early on that he was too seriously injured to be returned to duty any time soon.
    • His incapicitating injury was 'Shell (HE) Head' - a head wound caused by a high explosive shell.
    • His medal entitlement is stated as 1939/45 Star, Africa Star, War Medal.

  9. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello Maria,

    I trust you are keeping well!

    I believe it probably is. The date is right - Gazala Gallop - and the 5th Bn EYR were the only East Yorkshire Regiment there. Also, the officers mentioned in the caption are all 5th Bn EYR.

    OC A/Lt. Col TWG Stansfield, T/Capt HRD Oldham, T/Capt FF Robins, T/Capt DJ Penwill, Lt ARA Wilson. CSM T Mattock and Pte A Robinson's awards are also mentioned and I have brief details of the actions in which they won their awards if you or anyone else is interested.

    Unfortunately, a now Major FF Robins was killed in action of 26 July 1942 probably at Ruweisat Ridge.


  10. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member

    Hi Steve, good to hear from you. I'm very well thanks. I'd like to see the information you mention above. It's about time I read a good book. Any book recommendations for the 5th's? Mountain & Flood was good and Stolpi's threads are superb. I'm still chipping away at my Dad's records. I'll have to post his records back up again. Might get that done this weekend. Hope all is well with you also. All the best - Maria
  11. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello Maria,

    I am very well thanks!

    Book recommendation for the 5th Bn East Yorks is - "The Story of The 5th Battalion The East Yorkshire Regiment TA" by LM Garwood (Highgate).

    Pieter's (stolpi) threads are fantastic. I had the privilege of assisting him with part of his 'The Island' thread and it was a great experience. The amount of work that goes into his threads is vast. Its a great shame that the change of forum software ruined all the old ones - all that work and time, flick of a switch and its gone (some of it is irretrievable).

    From the aforementioned book, page 46:

    I look forward to you posting up your Dad's records again, it'll be good to see how it's all coming together...


  12. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member

    Steve, I've the memory of a sieve!! Dad's record is already in the members gallery starting at Pg 3. I've just noted though, even with the magnification it doesn't read clearly. Thanks for the book recommendation as well. I'll get back soon hopefully with an update of Dad's journey round Europe. I'm determined to get over to Bemmel though in the future and have the priviledge of meeting Stolpi. It will be most peculiar looking at areas where he fought and was injured in '44. Can't see it being this year though as much as I would like to (useless the lottery god gives me a helping hand).
  13. teecee55a

    teecee55a New Member

    Hi Steve,
    I've only just discovered this website and forum, even though I've been online for the past 15years!
    My father served in the 4th and 5th East Yorks, although his active service came to an end in Sicily when he was wounded for the second or third time during his service (First time was Wadi Akarit, I believe.)
    He died in 1987 and after my mother died in 2004 I came into possession of his personal memorabilia from his army service, including photographs of TA camps and training courses before the war.
    More importantly, I have his AB64 part 1 so have a good grasp of the broad outline of his service. As with a number of families at that time, his younger brother and one brother - in - law were in the same Regt.
    His name was James Church, Army No 4341418 and joined the TA in 1929. His younger brother was Pte. Victor Church, and brother in law was Arthur Savage who was, I believe a CSM when he was killed in North Africa.
    Although Dad didn't talk about the war too much, he did open up a little when I joined the army as a boy soldier, serving 12 years regular service.
    After the war he joined the East Yorks Home Guard and I did meet some of his wartime friends and contemporaries when I came home on leave, and previously when I was in the EYR Army Cadets. He often reminisced about "Drummie" Mattock, who,I assume became the decorated CSM, and I'm pretty sure I met him myself. Others whom I recall were Tommy Warhurst and his CO, Hubert Robson of the brewing family.
    As I am now retired myself I am trying to find out a little more for myself and two sisters as I promised myself some years ago!
    I have followed a number of the links in this forum and have already found out, for example, that he escaped in the "Gazala Gallop", after stopping to pick up his younger brother!
    You are providing a much needed service which is really appreciated - more power to your elbow!

    Tony Church
  14. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum Tony - enjoy!

    Your father’s service number is definitely East Yorkshire Regiment i.e. 4334001 - 4379000.

    I found a Sjt Arthur Savage. Here is his CWGC certificate (courtesy of Geoff’s search engine):

    Rank: Serjeant
    Service No: 4337496
    Date of Death: Between 27/06/1942 and 29/06/1942
    Age: 37
    Regiment/Service: East Yorkshire Regiment, 5th Bn.
    Panel Reference: Column 57.
    Additional Information: Son of James and Alice Hannah Savage, of Hull; husband of Emily May Savage, of Hull.

    It looks like Sjt Savage was killed in the actions around Mersa Matruh between the 27 and 29 June 1942.

    Following the Gazala gallop, Fifty Div assembled at Bir Thalata on the 21 June 1942.

    It was decided that the 8th Army would make a stand at Mersa Matruh and Fifty Div was ordered to retire in conformity with the general plan to a prepared Box 25 miles south of Mersa Matruh and dig in. However, subsequent orders were received that Fifty Div should instead take up a line from Mersa Matruh to Buq Buq and act as rear-guard for the remnants of the withdrawing 8th Army, hold off the enemy and let through the retiring columns; with the latter reaching Mersa Matruh on the night of the 22/23 June 1942. The Fifty Div column withdrew to Sidi Barrani on 24 June 1942 and arrived at Mersa Matruh on 26 June 1942.

    Fifty Div was now to take up a defensive position south east of Mersa Matruh, but following a change in Army Commander it was decided not to hold Mersa Matruh but instead to retire to the El Alamein line.

    However, Fifty Div was again ordered to take up a rear-guard position 2 miles east of Mersa Matruh and cover the withdrawal of other formations. Whilst Fifty Div was engaged in this duty on the afternoon of the 27 June 1942 an enemy column of some 2,000 vehicles was seen to cross the Siwa Road to the south east of Mersa Matruh. Both the 10th Indian Division and Fifty Div were now isolated.

    Fifty Div was now ordered to attack the enemy communications; destroy transport, disorganise supplies and delay their advance. The attack was to go in with 69th Infantry Brigade (5th Bn East Yorkshire Regiment, and 6th & 7th Bns Green Howards) on the left and 151st Infantry Brigade (6th, 8th & 9th Bns Durham Light Infantry) on the right, both supported by light tanks. Very shortly after the attack commenced they were engaged by a superior force and casualties for both sides were heavy. Eventually a withdrawal was ordered and Fifty Div was back in its position east of Mersa Matruh at dawn on the 28 June 1942.

    New orders were now received to breakout of Mersa Matruh and head for Fuka. The plan was to make a silent breakout through the enemy positions to the south, across an escarpment, ravine and onto the plain, then turning to the east to re-join the 8th Army at Fuka. However, before the breakout commenced it was learned that the enemy had already captured Fuka and the plan was changed for a retirement all the way back to the El Alamein line. The 5th Bn East Yorkshire Regiment had to cross difficult terrain, fight its way across the escarpment in order to obtain a gap through which it could withdraw – the escarpment was held in depth by the enemy – and then recommence its journey to the El Alamein line. The fighting across the escarpment was hard and bitter, with many casualties being suffered by both sides, but the 5th Bn East Yorkshire Regiment won its gap, withdrew and reassembled in the area of Ruweisat Ridge on 30 June 1942.

    Sjt Savage has no known grave.

    I will look out for references to your father, his brother, Tommy Warhurst and Hubert Robson, and revert if I find anything. I am sure I have read something about Tommy Warhurst…

    Just let me know if you would like any assistance with any research or information.

    Do you know when your father transferred from the 4th to 5th Battalion?


    4jonboy and stolpi like this.
  15. teecee55a

    teecee55a New Member

    That was an extremely prompt and comprehensive reply - I am impressed, many thanks!
    I'm assuming that my father's transfer to the Fifth Battalion must have come immediately after Gazala as the Fourth Battalion had virtually ceased to exist, most being taken prisoner at this point. Certainly there is no record of this in his paybook.
    He did hold the rank of Sergeant at the outbreak of war as I have a Company photograph which must have been taken shortly before they embarked with the BEF.
    As far as my Uncle, Arthur Savage was concerned, my father did tell me a few years before he died that he was killed when the Company HQ (don't know which one - not my father's) was mistakenly bombed by the American Airforce, this being not uncommon because of the fluid nature of the campaign at this time. He never did tell his sister the exact circumstances of her husband's death.
    Be assured that I will continue to find out what I can here and will keep you up to date with progress. Once again, many thanks, you're doing a grand job!

    Tony C.
  16. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello Tony,

    I have not read about any issues about a USAAF 'friendly fire' incident at this time and indeed, they could not have been in that theatre of operation for very long. Very interesting... I wonder what the applicable War Diary has to say about matters?!

    I have the 5th Bn East Yorkshire Regiment's War Diaries for 1943, 1944 and 1945, but none yet for the earlier years of WWII. It may be time to invest in 1942!!

    If you are certain that your father was in the 4th Bn East Yorkshire Regiment at the time of the Gazala battle please let me know...


  17. teecee55a

    teecee55a New Member

    Hi Steve,
    Yes, must say that I wasn't aware of the USAAF involvement in the desert campaign and haven't really looked at that aspect of it. I do recall quite clearly my father telling me this, although I suppose it's possible that he was mistaken.
    And yes, my father was in the 4th Battalion of the East Yorks, having enlisted in the TA in 1929.
    He and my mother often reminisced about the regimental activities and dances which where held at the Londesborough St Barracks in Hull, (where I, as a cadet often visited in the early fifties.)
    He did not learn to drive till the mid sixties, but told me that his one experience of actually driving was when he jumped into a 5 ton lorry and after picking up his brother, Vic, drove hell for leather out of the pocket in which they were trapped, making them some of the last members of the Fourth battalion to get out in the "Gazala Gallop".

    Cheers, Tony C.
  18. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello Tony,

    I knew from what you had said previously that he had served with the 4th Bn East Yorkshire Regiment, but not until when!

    To re-quote what I said a while back to another forum member, there is an excellent book that covers the 150th Infantry Brigade's [of which the 4th Bn East Yorkshire Regiment was part] actions at Gazala: '150th Infantry Brigade (50th (Northumbrian) Division) in the Middle East June 1941 - June 1942', written in August 1944 by officers of the brigade that had been taken prisoner. It contains only 48 pages and it will cost circa £60, but it is well worth it. It really is an excellent book. You can almost feel what it was like being there... from the comfort of your armchair.

    There are no War Diaries covering this period and this book is the best source of information I have found on this specific ' Gazala Box' battle.

    If you decide to acquire this book but are having difficulty finding it - it is rare - send me a PM (Private Message) and I'll see what I can do to help.


  19. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    A quick online check shows that the US Army Air Force only became operational in North Africa very late in June, the first mission being flown by B24 bombers on the 26th. The B24 Liberator was a heavy four-engined bomber, usually reserved for strikes against targets well in the enemy rear (ports, airfields, shipping). There are places out there that have mission logs for USAAF units in WWII, though I have not checked them yet.

    Another possibility is that the aircraft in question were US-made machines in RAF service. Do you know the type? The Desert Air Force was already using the US P40 fighter in some numbers at that time, and the A30 Baltimore and A20 Boston were American-made bomber types in RAF colors.

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