Arras 1940

Discussion in '1940' started by elyncho, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. elyncho

    elyncho Member

    I'm looking for information on the garrison of Arras in 1940 and in particular any reference to the 9th West Yorkshires. They were a veterans unit (youngest casualty was 37, oldest a 55 yr old private)and lasted less than a year from formation to disbandment. My grandfather served with them and the battalion won a battle honour but there doesn't appear to be any record at Kew or in the regimental museum archive about what they did to earn it. I do know they fought alongside the Welsh Guards and as part of an ad hoc unit known as the Station Rifles and escaped as scattered groups in the breakout.

    Any info would be very welcome.

    Cheers

    Tim
     
  2. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hello Tim,

    It's often quite difficult to find information on units within literature relating to the BEF if they didn't form part of an established Division. In addition to what you already know, Blaxland refers to "detachments of the 9th West Yorks forming part of Petreforce" for the defence of Arras and states that they were "from airfield defence" which might explain what an older reserve unit were doing in France.

    It may be that if you can trace War Diaries relating to Petreforce (under the GOC of 12 Div, Major General Petre) you'll be able to find more.

    12 Div in itself might give some clues to the type of unit as they were a duplicate of 44 Div and were employed in France on labour and training duties.

    Rich
     
  3. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

  4. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    From Geoff's Serach engine there are 5 dead for May 1940, the youngest 39 and oldest 55. I suspect most would be WW1 veterans. Sounds like a very interesting battalion.

    001 BAKER, HF 7813450 20/05/1940
    002 CLOUGH, JW 4540786 21/05/1940
    003 DRANSFIELD, T 392469 20/05/1940
    004 KIMPTON, HP 4541444 20/05/1940
    005 PATRICK, GR 4525736 06/05/1940
    006 SMITH, G 4541007 20/05/1940
     
  5. elyncho

    elyncho Member

    Thanks for that guys. I tried getting the war diary from Kew and there were four pages - a cover sheet and three letters saying nobody knew where the records were! I have found a few admin docs misfiled in other diaries but nothing about their activities. Petreforce records sounds like a good idea.

    Cheers
    Tim
     
  6. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    Just googling "petreforce" brings up quite a listing especially in Axis forum.

    Please disregard if you have this info already!



     
  7. elyncho

    elyncho Member

    Thanks Spidge, much appreciated. I don't think the West Yorks were ever actually a part of Petreforce as such but these references might at least help narrow down the search.

    Tim
     
  8. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    I'm looking for information on the garrison of Arras in 1940 and in particular any reference to the 9th West Yorkshires. They were a veterans unit (youngest casualty was 37, oldest a 55 yr old private)and lasted less than a year from formation to disbandment. My grandfather served with them and the battalion won a battle honour but there doesn't appear to be any record at Kew or in the regimental museum archive about what they did to earn it. I do know they fought alongside the Welsh Guards and as part of an ad hoc unit known as the Station Rifles and escaped as scattered groups in the breakout.

    Any info would be very welcome.

    Cheers

    Tim

    Hi Tim,
    I just came across this thread looking for any about W Gds

    I have Major Ellis' book The Welsh Guards at War, and in the Chpt on Arras, is listed amongst the other Regts:

    ... numerous other ranks back from leave and stranded in the town - to be dubbed "the station rifles"; and, last, about a company and a half of the 9th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) - "oldish men who had come out as aerodrome guards" - under Lieutenant-Colonel R.E.C. LUXMORE-BALL, a Welsh Guardsman, who had been with the 1st Battalion at Arras in the last war....

    Might be worth looking up 1WG WD for a reference there, but in meantime if you want this 7 page account, send me a PM with your email address and I will try and scan for you.

    Regards,
    D
     
  9. CROONAERT

    CROONAERT Ipsissimus

    9th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards)


    I'd have thought that a Major should have spotted that error!!!!

    dave.
     
  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    The 9th Bn. West Yorkshire's were original defending the airfield at Arras and when the town came under direct attack from Rommels 7 Panzer Div they were tasked with reinforcing the 1st Bn. Welsh Guards.

    Dunkirk-Retreat to Victory.

    There is a bit on them in the 1st Bn. Welsh Guards War Diary too.
     

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