Accidents/tragedies of WW2

Discussion in 'General' started by saintconor, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. saintconor

    saintconor Senior Member

    Following on from Rob Dickers thread regarding the two members of the Royal Fusiliers who drowned in Northern Ireland. I was wondering how common this was during the war? Maybe in this thread forum members could post ones that they are aware off.
     
  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

  3. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    One of the most unfortunate accidents was in the Western Desert when the car in which the newly promoted to command 7th Armoured Division -Maj.Gen. Jock Campbell V.C.was travelling, overturned and he was killed outright- the driver of that car went on to become the famous SAS squadron Leader - Major Roy Farran D.S.O. and three M.C.'s...Campbell's was a very big loss to 8th Army after his exploits at Sidi Resigh.

    Cheers
     
  4. Verrieres

    Verrieres no longer a member

    Ten soldiers serving with the 10th Battalion, The Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment) and The Durham Light Infantry, were tragically swept to their deaths during a river crossing exercise on the river Coquet at Guyzance in Northumberland. Despite warnings from locals about the risks of entering the river when in flood, the exercise went ahead, with the soldiers entering the river one mile upstream of the old Guyzance Ironworks weir. Losing control of their craft they were rapidly swept downstream, overturning at the weir. Sadly due to the weight of their equipment and the force of the river the men were unable to save themselves. All were aged 18

    Guyzance Tragedy, 17th January 1945.

    Ten remembered Guyzance memorial
    L-Cpl Mark Fredlieb 18, 14444809 Duke of Wellingtons Regt of Sheffield
    Pte Norman Ashton 18, 14828171 Duke of Wellingtons Regt of Castleford
    Pte Percy Clements 18, 14817616 DLI of West Hartlepool
    Pte Edwin King 14828249 DLI 18, of Todmorden
    Pte Kenneth Lee 18, 14828252 DLI of Bradford
    Pte Alexander Leighton 18, 14826807 DLI of Annfield Plain,Co Durham
    Pte Maurice Peddelty 14826818 DLI 18, of Evenwood, County Durham
    Pte John Wilson 18 14825982 DLI,of Newcastle
    Pte Ronald "Bud" Winteringham 18, 14768404 DLI of York
    Pte Alfred Yates 18, 14826930 DLI of Dean Bank, Ferryhill,Co Durham
     
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  6. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    Look no further than the Royal Engineers war graves thread, there are one or two that died of accidents, eg drowning at Ripon.
    Sapper will tell you if you dropped any bridging equipment into the river at briding school you had to go after it.
     
  7. saintconor

    saintconor Senior Member

    Thank you for posting. Such terrible accidents. I'm glad I'm now aware of them as they all deserve to be remembered.
     
  8. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Thank you for posting. Such terrible accidents. I'm glad I'm now aware of them as they all deserve to be remembered.


    There are two RE veterans in our RBL Berlin Branch and they lost several friends after the war here in Berlin, due to accidents when demolition of buildings went wrong.

    They are buried in the CWGC on Heerstrasse, which incidentally the RE were used to help level the site and start construction work.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  9. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    Charles Farrell, ex-3 SG, in his book Reflections, mentions an accident during an demonstration on Salisbury Plain:
    The majority of the officesr of the Guards Armoured Division were assembled to watch a demonstration of of an air attack on a column of dummy transport which had been arranged in a long, convenient line on a parallel slop some half a mile away. The Hurricane fighter pilot sadly mistook the line of spectators for the line of the target.
    There's no real indication of date and, as he says, it wasn't recorded in the Div histories.
     
  10. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    WORTEL KOLONIE IN BELGIUM, CLOSE TO THE DUTCH BORDER, OCTOBER 1944.

    On the 24th October 1944, Lt, Cyril LeRue and Gunner Edwin Warburton of 102 LAA Regiment, RA were killed by a mine planted on a country road, which destroyed the truck they were driving in.

    (They were part of a temporary composite infantry unit called “BobForce” comprising 89 (The Buffs) Light Anti-Aircraft Regt, RA, 102 Light Anti-Aircraft Regt, RA, 62 Anti-Tank Regt, RA and supported by the 2nd Kensingtons).

    The following evening, the Co of 248 Battery, 62 Anti-Tank Regiment, Major H. Pollock, along with Capt F. Hall and Gunner H Pethica, were driving in a White Scout Car along the same stretch of road and were blown up in more or less the same place, killing Gunner Pethica instantly.

    Major Pollock died of his wounds a day later and Capt Hall died of his wounds the day after that.

    What is sad to read in the War Diaries, is that Major Pollock had only been promoted to command 248 Battery 17 days earlier.

    Even sadder, 62 Anti-Tank Regiment had received a signal from HQ Bobforce, following the deaths of the 2 men from 102 LAA and the entry reads that they had not fully appreciated the seriousness of the situation with the mined areas.
     
  11. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    The first Chindit operation of 1943 was all about rivers one way or another, so it cannot be a surprise that men lost their lives in this way, but here are a few of the unlucky soldiers who did drown back then:

    27/07/1942. The River Sunwar, Patharia, in the Central Provinces claimed the lives of CSM George Bateman
    Pte. Francis McKibben and
    Pte. Harold Marsh

    The river changed to a violent torrent overnight and caught out a whole unit whilst camping out on a training exercise. The bodies were not found until the waters had quietened down several days later.

    Quartermaster Sergeant WDL Bett was later awarded the Royal Humane Society medal for attempting to save his friend George Bateman.

    17/02/1943. Pte. Richard Coates possibly became the first Chindit casualty that year when he drowned in the outward crossing of the Chindwin River.

    Many more men perished in the waters of the Irrawaddy and Shweli Rivers in April that year including 40 men of column 5. These men were either too exhausted or simply could not face the fast flowing waterways anymore. Some were captured on the sandbanks of the Shweli, all but one to die as POW's in Rangoon Jail.

    Attached is a letter from Alexander passing on his condolences for the incident at Patharia in 1942. Apologies for it lying down.

    Bamboo.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

    The People's War
    11th Medium Regt RA. Holland 1944

    Breskens

    We had orders to move to new positions ready in preparation for the battle of Breskens and - because of the weather conditions and very bad flooding - we had to send an advance party forward with the reconnaissance party to lay a platform of railway sleepers on which to stand the guns so that the wheels didn’t get bogged down in the mud.
    We arrived at a farm that had been selected as our position. There were already some tanks and an assortment of military vehicles on the site. The tanks were 284 Armoured Assault Squadron, Royal Engineers, who were refuelling their ‘Congas’ (a modified Bren gun carrier with the engine removed and a storage tank to hold Liquid Nitro Glycerine in its place) - these were used in a system for clearing mines. The LNG would be pumped into a pipe or a hose and detonated to explode any mines either side of it.
    Devastation

    At approximately 13:00 hours there was a massive explosion, which was devastating. We all instinctively hit the deck and lay there until the debris had stopped falling. When I looked up the tanks were badly damaged and burning, and other vehicles were also on fire and exploding - the carnage was terrible.
    Returning years later

    Exactly 50 years later in 1994, Martin Reagan, who was a Sgt Tank Commander in 284 Squadron at the time of the incident, went back to Holland to retrace the journey to the farm at a place called Ijzendijke. He introduced himself and was made very welcome along with his three sons who made the trip with him.
    As a result of his visit, the local people said there should be a memorial set up in honour of the men that died there on that fateful day. There were a total of 41 killed, 16 missing and many wounded.
     
  13. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

  14. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    On 6th December 1943, 45 Recce were training and Lance Corporal F.J.Pugh with Troopers P.R.Egbers, J.Fleming, J.W.Laird and F.J.O'Brien were drowned in Gangan reservoir, Pugh and O'Brien while trying to rescue Fleming, but training continued with airdrops, river crossings - by day and night - and punishing marches through jungle carrying heavy packs. They are all remembered at the Kirkee War Cemetery, India.

    Cheers
    Paul
     
  15. tmac

    tmac Senior Member

    On August 3, 1944, near Reviers in Normandy, Major George Williams - officer commanding 318 Battery, 92nd LAA Regiment - was killed in a road accident while travelling back to Cresserons to be a member of a court martial. As he stepped out of his Jeep on the roadside, he was struck by another vehicle.

    Major Williams, aged 32, of Meols, Hoylake, Cheshire, was the brother of Lieutenant Ronnie Williams, aged 24, who was killed in France in 1940.
     
  16. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  17. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    On August 3, 1944, near Reviers in Normandy, Major George Williams - officer commanding 318 Battery, 92nd LAA Regiment - was killed in a road accident while travelling back to Cresserons to be a member of a court martial. As he stepped out of his Jeep on the roadside, he was struck by another vehicle.

    Major Williams, aged 32, of Meols, Hoylake, Cheshire, was the brother of Lieutenant Ronnie Williams, aged 24, who was killed in France in 1940.

    Having an interest in France 1940 can I ask what Regiment Ronnie Williams was with? I can't seem to find a Lieutenant by that name on CWGC.

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  18. tmac

    tmac Senior Member

    From the CWGC:

    In Memory of
    Second Lieutenant MAJOR RONALD WILLIAMS

    38500, 4th Bn., Cheshire Regiment
    who died age 24
    on 19 May 1940
    Son of Jesse and Evelyn Williams, of Meols, Hoylake, Cheshire.
    Remembered with honour
    ISIERES COMMUNAL CEMETERY
     
  19. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    This thread could on on forever. One overriding theme in so many ww2 accounts is the infinite variety of causes and the randomness in which one could die.

    Flight Sargeant Gerald 'Mack' Mackew was a bomb aimer in 49 Squadron whose last sortie was a raid on Brunswick on April 23rd, 1944. He was killed by a single .303 bullet fired from another Lancaster. While he was the only casualty from that flight, the mid-upper gunner refused to fly afterwards.
     
  20. saintconor

    saintconor Senior Member

    I remember an earlier thread by fellow Derryman Peter Mallett (Not sure of his username). Anyway, his uncle Rfn Jack Mallett of the Royal Ulster Rifles was murdered in his sleep by a fellow member of the Regiment. Shocking.
     

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