Any info on the 61st (Caernarfon & Denbigh) Medium Regiment RA?

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Singvogel, Feb 15, 2015.

  1. Singvogel

    Singvogel Member

    Hi, 11425128 Gunner Milne - 61st Med Reg Royal Artillery, here.

    I'm trying to piece together details of my movements in NW Europe in 1944 & 45 especially in the Netherlands, as I have somehow muddled the exact order of the cities we were in such as Arnhem, Nijmegen and then across the border to Bochum in Germany.


    My memory is not what it was, and I really need to get it all down on paper correctly for the benefit of the great-grandchildren.

    I'm also trying to find info on an officer we had whom we called 'Boy Blue'. I can't for the life of me remember when or exactly where he was killed.

    I'd love to hear from anyone who remembers him, or indeed anyone who remembers me.

    Any help or pointing me in the right direction would be much appreciated.
     
    Andy A likes this.
  2. ramacal

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

    Hi & welcome Singvogel.

    Two Officers are listed as having died serving with 61 Medium Regt during WW2.

    Captain Bernard HODKINSON aged 29. Died 7/12/1942. Commemorated on the Brookwood Memorial in the UK. No known grave, so place of death not known. 61 Med Regt were in the UK at the time.

    Lieutenant Frederick Hugh James GRIFFITHS, aged 21. Died 22/11/1944. Laid to rest at Nederweert War Cemetery in the Netherlands.

    Hope this helps to start your search for information.

    Regards

    Rob
     
    Guy Hudson likes this.
  3. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    Singvogel,
    Welcome to the forum. The History of the 61st Medium Regiment R.A was published by Nicholas Kaye in 1950, there is one copy available on ABE books. Hopefully a member of the forum may have a copy to help with your research?
    Guy
     
  4. Bluebell Minor

    Bluebell Minor Junior Member

    Singvogel, Welcome

    There is an excellent website run by a Dutch Military History Enthusiast which can be found on www.royalartillerynetherlands1944-1945.com

    It is very comprehensive and even includes a section (with a couple of photographs) on 61 Medium Regiment, it could provide some of the information you are seeking
     
  5. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    welcome to the forum

    regards
    Clive
     
  6. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  7. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    I believe there are records on them in the local Archive.

    Certainly come across/seen something written on them - possibly in a Welsh Journal.
     
  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Hello and welcome to the forum - When did you join and leave the Regiment? Can you remember what battery you was in?

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  9. Singvogel

    Singvogel Member

    Thank you so much for the welcomes and the leads - especially about Lieutenant Griffiths.

    I never imagined I'd get such promising results so soon.

    I have several things to follow up now.

    I'll be posting an update in the next few days.
     
  10. ramacal

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

    Lieutenant Griffiths last resting place. (Photo from PieterF)

    Name: Frederick Hugh James GRIFFITHS
    Rank: Lieutenant
    Service No: 261568
    Date of Death: 22/11/1944
    Age: 21
    Regiment/Service: Royal Artillery
    Unit: 61 (The Denbighshire Yeomanry) Medium Regiment
    Grave Ref: II.2.E2
    Cemetery: NEDERWEERT WAR CEMETERY
    Additional Information: Son of Frederick E.H. & Louisa Kate GRIFFITHS of Southampton

    [​IMG]
     
    Guy Hudson likes this.
  11. Singvogel

    Singvogel Member

    OK, here's a little update and answers to some of the questions you guys asked.

    I joined on the 14 May 1942 and was discharged on 24th December 1946.

    Yes, I have my service records - but they don't give much details - NW Europe is pretty wide ranging. LOL

    I landed in Normandy after D-Day - I think we were in and around Bayeux forquite a while before moving North.

    I was almost exclusively involved in sourcing fresh water on a daily basis as I had a water-bowser truck. Some pretty hairy incidents, in Belguim especially, with crumbling river-banks etc. and getting stuck in mud. Several times I wandered away from ground we held and came across both US and German forces also on the hunt for fresh supplies.

    Crazy isn't it - we were all drinking and cooking with water from the same rivers.

    The young Lieutenant (Boy Blue as we called him - on account of his boyish features and stature) is still in my memory - although his real name was long forgotten. His death shook us up - he stood on a mine in the grass at the side of the road, which made us all very wary for a very long time.

    I still have dreams of that incident - poor bugger - 'Boy' Blue - he was 21 - I was 22.

    I was shifted between 243 and 244 battery several times, as water-bowser trucks were often 'lost' and were not replaced so fast as other equipment.

    When we moved to a new location I usually had a 5½ gun to tow - a couple of time I had 2 of them - what a job to negotiate the narrow lanes and farm tracks.

    What I would love to have is better details of where we were located on a day to day or week to week basis, as I hope to revisit the route the Regiment followed with some of my young relatives who have offered to take me over.

    I did go to Normandy for the 40th Anniversary commemorations but haven't been back since.

    My memory is letting me down - but you guys are not - thanks for all the help.
     
  12. Historic Steve

    Historic Steve Researching 21 Army Group/BAOR post VE day

    Welcome Singvogel

    Bluebell Minor and myself are researching 21st Army Group later BAOR post 8 May 45

    8 May 45 – 61st (Caernarvon and Denbighshire Yeomanry) Medium Regiment RA command 8th Army Group RA of 8th Corps renamed 8th Corps District 11 Jun 45
    243 Battery - 244 Battery

    Westensee north of Neumünster Schleswig-Holstein – to 3rd Army Group RA command 8th Base Sub Area of 8th Corps District 1 Jun 45

    Bergedorf south-east of Hamburg taking over from 59th (Newfoundland) Heavy Regiment RA – leave for 1st Corps District 9/10 Jun 45

    Bochum area – to 307th Anti-Aircraft Brigade of 51st (Highland) Infantry Division command 30th Corps District 31 Oct 45

    Cuxhaven area – Brigade was disbanded Nov 45 have yet to discover where the regiment went next before disbandment in Feb 46

    Slowly going through documentation and will update you if further detail is found

    Hope this helps
     
  13. Singvogel

    Singvogel Member

    Thank you, Historic Steve.

    Every bit of info - no matter how small is helping.
     
  14. Historic Steve

    Historic Steve Researching 21 Army Group/BAOR post VE day

    Correction: leave for 1st Corps District 9/10 Jun 45 should read July

    3rd Army Group Royal Artillery less two regiments came under command 3rd Infantry Division until their departure on 16 Aug 45 then command to 49th (West Riding) Infantry Division – The Polar Bears – until disbandment 15 Aug 46
     
  15. Andy A

    Andy A New Member

    Hi
    My Grandfather Gunner "Nobby " Clark also served in the 61st and I am trying to source any info possible.
    The Netherlands website above was great but no luck with the book by Nicholas Kaye.
    If anyone can help anymore it would be much appreciated.
    Thanks
     
  16. despatcher

    despatcher New Member

    Hello Singvogel, I am a complete novice with forums of any sort so please bear with me if I haven't got this quite right!

    I am researching my wife's uncle, Gnr Wallace Jones who was killed in action on 9 July 1944 in the Calvados region of France and is buried at the St Manvieu War Cemetry in Cheux. He was from the village of Minchinhampton in Gloucestershire and was serving with the 61st Med Regt RA (Denbigh Yeomanry) at the time of his death. I would very much like to find out the circumstances of his death but have been unable to source the war diary/history for his regiment and do not know which Battery he was serving with. He is commemorated on the Minchinhampton War Memorial but under the name of Samuel Jones.

    If you knew Wallace/Sam I'd be grateful for any memories, anecdotes or similar. He was 36 when he died so probably was one of the older gunners in the battery

    Thanks in advance.
     
  17. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member

    Found this in the miltary section at findmypast. That is all they have in that collection for him.
     

    Attached Files:

  18. despatcher

    despatcher New Member

    Thank you amberdog45. From the form that you have added can I assume that in 1939 he would have been in the Gloucestershire Regiment before being transferred to the RA at some later date? Many thanks.
     
  19. Law

    Law New Member

    Hi!
    My grandfather served with the 61st during the war (Gunner - then Bombadier Jack Tanner) and remembered quite well some of the stories of went on, people and places...he passed some of that to me. I believe he was with 243 battery. Sadly he is no longer with us but I am trying to record as much of his story as I can remember...
    I will try and collate what know and post it here if you are interested...
    I also have his copy of the 1950 regimental history so if you have any specifics I can look them up for you?
    He was an artist before and after the war and contributed to the regimental magazine Howitzer Herald which I have a couple of copies of, one of which has a portrait of Colonel Bateson that he did on the cover...
    I think 'his officer' was Lt 'Tommy' Atkins who he spoke fondly of all those years after.
    He remembered also ending up at Gottingen University running art courses whilst awaiting demob in 1947....
    You've got me going now so I think I need to go and dig out his papers and see what information might be of interest here!
    Watch this space!
     
  20. Lotus7

    Lotus7 Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome to the forum Law, look forward to your postings.

    David
     

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