Discussion in 'Airborne' started by brithm, Dec 21, 2012.
Yes, Brithm has alway great finds...
In the Nottingham Evening Post 16th May 1945 records that Glider Pilot S/Sgt. W "Bill" S. Ridgway returned home to 62 Charlbury Road Nottingham from Stalag Luft 7 by May 1945 and Sgt Ernest J. Collard after being liberaterd Sgt. Ernest J. Collard got married in November 1945 at St Philips Church Dundee the son of Mr and Mrs Chas Collard 129 Brinkley Road, Worcester Park, Surrey to Katherine Grany younger daughter of Mr and Mrs Robert Fyffe of 57 Cleghorn Street Dundee.
I have been trying to complete my research for some time to find out what happened to all the men on a glider on 24th March 1945 Operation Varsity.
The Glider was Chalk sign 305 and crash landed with I believe all wounded/killed. Personnel :-
Pilot B. Kentfield - wounded POW?
Co-Pilot H.D.Sparrow - severely wounded and POW
BSM Bentley (my father) wounded on landing and POW
Sjt Tom? Nicholls wounded on landing POW?
Gnt Leslie Rueben Hare - Killed on glider descent buried/commemorated Groesbeek Cemetary
Gnr Stephen Lawson - Killed on glider descent buried/commemorated Groesbeek Cemetary
Gnr Molloy - wounded and POW?
Gnr Gray- wounded and POW?
I have a lot of details of my father (BSM Bentley) and Co-pilot Sparrow who were both liberated from a German hospital on 30th March, and only basic information of Sjt Nicholls.I have no information regarding the remaining survivors. Although only POW's for a short time, I don't know if anyone can be of assistance or suggest how I can progress.
I could find very little on those men other than that Gunner Leslie Ruben Hare came from Fratton in Portsmouth and his sister was still living in 2009 which I'm sure you already have. It's a shame that Gunners Hare and Lawson are still listed among the missing. You may have to undertake a genealogical search to find family members of the men.
Have you ever visited the Hamminkeln area? There is a coordinate for your Father's horsa landing which came down on the far side of the Autobahn - that is if I got the calculation right.
I have attached the RA casualty cards for Lawson and Hare. Lawson was from Morpeth, Northumberland and Hare was born in Cologne, Germany.
Lawson had joined the RA in 1938.
One of the more well known photographs of the first prisoners taken on D-Day from 6th Airborne Div have all have been identified thanks to Reg Brownhill identifying them in December 1993 Pegasus Journal.
From 8th Parachute Battalion, A Company.
L-R (back): Pte. Finch (Bren) L/Cpl. Currie (Coy Clerk)
L-R (front): L/Sgt. Arthur Cain (Sect Comd) Cpl. Reg.Brownhill (Sect 2ic)
German PK Photographer Siedel took these.
Left - Right
14216526 Pte. Ronald Jack M. FINCH
22.5.1924 - 1996 Devizes
Stalag XIID no. 70250
5124201 L/Sgt Arthur Henry CAIN B.E.M.
1922 - 2012 Liverpool
Stalag 357 no. 70221
Arthur H Cain | ParaData
14405766 Pte. Ian David C. CURRIE
Stalag IVG no. 84841
5124496 Corporal Reginald Kenneth BROWNHILL
16.1.1923 - 2006 Walsall
Stalag 357 no. 70244
Sjt Herbert (Tiffy) Nichols, my father, was the senior Gun Fitter of 210 Battery which probably explains why he was in that particular glider (305); as I understand it the glider was carrying 2 modified 25 pounders.
He was reported Missing - Believed killed; then on 31 March he was "discovered" in 9 General Hospital, with gunshot wound to both thighs (Source: his army records)
He was medically discharge in Sept '45 and returned to his former job as a coal miner; only to die in a roof fall on 25th October '47 leaving a widow and two sons.
I have reason to believe that my father and BSM Bentley had served together in Egypt around 1929/30, and were together in the last groups to leave from Dunkirk
Additional information; my father and BSM Bentley, together with the whole of 210 Battery did not manage to arrive in Normandy on D-Day due to shortage of gliders at that time; they followed by sea some days later: see the following:-
"53rd Airlanding Light Regiment was first deployed into Airborne service at Normandy. Due to shortage of suitable transport aircraft, 211 Battery was the only force from 53rd Airlanding Light Regiment which took part in the D-Day landings on 6 June 1944. 210, 212 Battery and the Regimental HQ arrived on 14 June. The deployment of 211 Battery on the evening of 6 June marked the first time in history a Field Battery had been flown into battle accompanying their guns." https://www.paradata.org.uk/unit/53-airlanding-light-regiment-ra.
I hope this helps. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Here is your father's Royal Artillery attestation and record of his being wounded 31st March 1945
My thanks to brithm for the welcome confirmation of details.
As a total newcomer to the world of Forums I lack knowledge of the correct etiquette; so this question may be out of order, if so I apologise to members.
I know, from visiting one weekend at the age of 10, late in 1943 I think, that 210 Battery, if not the whole of 53 Regt, were harboured up in the grounds of a large country house/estate near to THIRSK, Yorkshire. I was told that they were bivouacked in the orchard and that the apples were ready for picking.
I have spent many hours trying, unsuccessfully to locate this place in order to add more detail to a family history.
Can anyone, please, help?
A correction to my earlier post; I now believe that Glider 305 was carrying ONE 25 pounder, according to the war diary available at the pegasusarchive.org web site , and not two as I suggested.
It may interest you to know my father who was second pilot in glider number 305 was also "discovered" at the 9th General Hospital with gun shot wounds but this was only reported on 4th April '45. My research suggests this hospital was located at Venray, Holland.
If you want to follow up the connection to BSM Bentley prior to this get in touch with CJB on this site.
Hope this helps.
Re- BSM Bentley (my dad), just logged on to the site after some time and found your response. Wow.! my dad used to talk about Sgt Tiffy Nichols a lot. I am in the process of finishing a book about my dad's military career almost 20 years and have just got back to it I have loads of photos and info which would have involved your dad. One of the problems I have had is identifying which Nicols/Nicholls I am dealing with from 1939 to 1945 as there were a number of them. Anyway, my dad died in 1982 so I have has to rely on my memory talking to him.
It would be great to get in contact as I would like to know about your dad's army career.
Yo can contact me on the following email@example.com
Hi there. Ernest J Collard was my Granddad. He died when I was very young and I don't know much about him or his life in the war. Does anyone have any more information on him? Anything at all?
Your Grandad was the co-pilot of the Horsa CN265. the first pilot was S/Sgt H. RANCOM.
It is believed the Horsa Glider landed within the Merville Battery near the Casemate N°4.
the account can be found uin the book Operation Tonga by Kevin SHANNON and Steve WRIGHT.
That's incredible. Thank you so much for that information. I've searched so long on the internet for any information but I've not found anything other than on this site. Incredibly grateful for your response.
Separate names with a comma.