A Family At War

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by James S, Oct 18, 2008.

  1. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    This evening I got a pm from a lady , her grandfather was the brother of one of the crew of HR715 - strange how connections are made.
    Thank you WW2 talk ! .:poppy:
     
  2. gunner74

    gunner74 Member

    Fantastic thread James. I have only really been looking into my family history for less than a year and the amount of detail you have found on yours is both humbling and inspiring.

    I've always known my grandfather served during the war but have been amazed to find how much more there is to the story. My grandfather who was sadly killed during the troubles came from Scotland ended up marrying my granny (local to where he was stationed before moving on to Europe) with my first aunt being born during the war. Turns out my granny was one of 6 (4 boys 2 girls) Of the 6 I know at least 3 of the boys served in the army and both girls ended up marrying soldiers. One of the boys actually wound up marrying a german lady who had helped him evade capture.

    Before I unintentionally hijack this thread I just want to repeat how inspired I am by its thoroughness and can only hope that it points my own research in the right directions.
    Thanks
     
  3. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    I was lost for words when I got this email this evening........

    Hello Robbie,I have been trying for a long time to get an e.mail to you regarding m.l.249 but without success.However,if you recieve this one perhaps you could get in touch and I will give any information I can. Best wishes,Tex Baseley.

    This gentleman crewed with my father on ML249 - to say that I was amazed and delighted is an understatement. :)
    Made my day.
     
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  4. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    James

    It is always good when a super thread such as yours gets "bumped" because of a recent development.

    We share your joy on this new contact and the opportunity it gives you to add to your wonderful family record.

    To quote something I penned on another occasion:

    No man can do better than pay honour to his family, or, as the Old Testament so neatly puts it:

    Exodus 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.


    Best regards

    Ron
     
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  5. Jan7

    Jan7 Senior Member

    I'm happy for you and your family, James. This is the magician tip of our temps. You are a lucky person. Is amazing to think the form in this person put in contact with you.

    Various persons in our investigation on U-617, started his contact in a similar manner; one, for eixample, search my name in the web and called me by phone after. It's very emotive!!

    Jan.
     
  6. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    James
    Really pleased for you it will open a new chapter to your already excellant post,it will be an emotive roller coaster but enjoy it and update the thread to let us know what you find.
     
  7. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    I had a long talk with "Tex" on Friday evening - he told me my father's crew nickname was "Derry" - something my father had never told me.
    ( I also learned that he still owes "Bob" "half a crown" , I must now calculate the interest due on this vast sum !!).

    Tex told me quite a bit about their lives , the ups and downs some of which I can identify with what my father occasionally told me.
    Being out almost every night to "ambush" E-Boats seemed to be an on going way of life - that in a boat which was loaded with 100 octane , lacking any armour , out gunned by the enemy ...a potential explosive fire cracker waiting for a spark.

    The sense of comradeship came across very strongly , knowing that you could depend fully on the man next to you that seemed to be the bottom line.
    One rogue element in the crew who was not named had to be brought into line - a guy who liked to be loud and to throw his weight about - a bit older than some of the younger members - well he learnt the hard way - Tex thumped him , several times in fact ..... their skipper asked him " did you have a disagreement with our Mr. X?"
    "No don't know what you mean sir"
    "Well it might take the edge of him and if not we will have to see about making him happier elsewhere"
    That was the nature of the conversation ..... the offending rating "pulled in his horns a little" and cooled in the skin he heated in".

    Trophies from U-Boats - some pistols and the like ....in waterproof bags slung over the side and tied up when customs came on board..... Tex later surrendered his MP-40 to a friend who worked in the movies ...... you may well have seen the said gun in one of several post war British movies.

    Tex himself seemed to lead a very interesting life - after the war he enlisted in "The Paras" and did more time there , when he came out he went to work in the movies as a stunt man and had a long and successful career in that field.

    For me the initial contact came as a complete surprise and to talk with him was simply first rate , much of what was talked about I cannot recall for this post but certainly something of the comradeship , friendship and brotherhood came across very strongly after 70 odd years.
    ( He picked up my name on the "Coastal Forces" website and I am sure seeing my father's name pop came as much as a surprise to him as his email did to me).

    We will talk again soon , looking forward to that. :)

    http://lemairesoft.sytes.net:1944/pages/page.aspx?univid=380594
     
  8. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    67 years ago tonight E/158 and her crew shot down en route for the Ruhr. :poppy:












    "At the going down of the sun and in the morning....." :poppy:
     
  9. Oggie2620

    Oggie2620 Senior Member

    James I have only just read this thread because it had been bumped up. It is a fabulous thread and thanks for putting so much fascinating information on it...
    Dee
     
  10. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    Dee , no intention to "bump" it up on my part , just seemed appropriate to look at it on this particular date , part of my psyche I suppose .
     
  11. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    James
    Pleased you did, for rememberance and giving the forum chance to catch up on the saga.
     
  12. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    Save0002.JPG found these of my father whilst looking out some info earlier this evening, had lost track of them.
    The "navy" photo was taken at "Easter 1942", the "Police" photo , taken at "Letter" a small town land on the Fermanagh , Donegal Border near Pettigo , circa 1947.
    How often do you see a policeman with a .303 with a fixed bayonet . :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2016
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  13. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    James,

    Thank you for sharing the wonderful family photographs.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  14. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    Glad to Tom, although the police photo is not WW2 related it is a comment on the times and history of the RUC which endured for much of its service life.
    Have just mailed these to his old comrade "Tex". :) :)
     
  15. Savo

    Savo Senior Member

    found these of my father whilst looking out some info earlier this evening, had lost track of them.
    The "navy" photo was taken at "Easter 1942", the "Police" photo , taken at "Letter" a small town land on the Fermanagh , Donegal Border near Pettigo , circa 1947.
    How often do you see a policeman with a .303 with a fixed bayonet . :)

    Wonderful images James S. The .303 fixed bayonet image is priceless. Fascinated about the townland called Letter. Savo very enlightened.
     
  16. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    Hi James,

    This photo was given to me when the photo of the only Aussie RAAF lad was taken (Blunt R15 G9) and saw Stewart R 11 G 23. I didn't see it in your thread.

    Ameland (NES) Gen Cem Book.jpg

    Cheers

    Geoff
     
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  17. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    Geoff,

    Thanks for posting this up - I have not seen this booklet before Jimmy my father's brother is listed on the page you posted , middle right side RIJ11.
    H.Burke (DFM) is buried beside him.

    Thanks for posting this up , from the names it looks like a listing of the burials on Ameland, several of the names I can remember from my last visit there.

    Come to think of it - the young man in the photo on the right , second from the left is Rene Metz , I would guess that your book let is the product of Rene and his friend Gerlouf's work.
    Will take a look later today when I get cleared up.
     
  18. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    Geoff,

    Thanks for posting this up - I have not seen this booklet before Jimmy my father's brother is listed on the page you posted , middle right side RIJ11.
    H.Burke (DFM) is buried beside him.

    Thanks for posting this up , from the names it looks like a listing of the burials on Ameland, several of the names I can remember from my last visit there.

    Come to think of it - the young man in the photo on the right , second from the left is Rene Metz , I would guess that your book let is the product of Rene and his friend Gerlouf's work.
    Will take a look later today when I get cleared up.

    They have done a good job of the cemetery book. I noticed your uncle's name which is the reason I posted it. Can't remember where this photo came from initially though.

    Cheers

    Geoff
     
  19. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    A photo of Johnny ( won joined the RAF, Coastal) , Una ( Who joined the WRENS) and Donald (RN) , this was his last home leave before going overseas to Hong Kong.
    Second and below taken on the same day and lastly outside the family home, Beechwood Avenue , L/derry.
    [​IMG]

    On the right is his younger brother Jimmy still in his mid teens, he as explained earlier in the thread FTR with Bomber Command.

    [​IMG]

    Below taken a few years later , undated but most likely in 1940 or early 41 second from the left at the back my father and on the right Jimmy just before he joined the RAF, although a year younger my father was slightly taller than he.

    Google Maps

    From "google earth" the family home as it is today , the house with the red door.
    Unfortunately anyone wanting to see it for the "then and now" look will have to input the address, 94 Beechwood Avenue, Londonderry
     

    Attached Files:

  20. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    This afternoon whilst sorting some things I came across a few photos including this one Kyle Midkiff and his bride , nee Miss Betsy Stewart.

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 11, 2016

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