Captured in Italy - Rifleman William Baybutt

Discussion in 'Italy' started by bexley84, Mar 22, 2019.

  1. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Gents, ladies,

    An appeal for some information.

    In the list of PoWs, would anyone be able to turn up details of Rifleman William Edward Baybutt, army number 3860406.

    I would hazard a guess he might have been captured at Anzio with the 1st Bn London Irish Rifles

    many thanks in advance...
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    UK, British Prisoners of War, 1939-1945
    Name: W E Baybutt
    Rank: Rifleman
    Army Number: 3860406
    Regiment: Royal Ulster Rifles
    Record Office: Infantry Record Office, Perth
    Record Office Number: 16

    With a little more detail could possibly find more on him - if you want

    bexley84 likes this.
  3. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member


    Thank you.

    William Baybutt actually died recently - his funeral is next week.

    Q: What extra info would you need?

    A; I'm sort of just trying to work out the date of his capture/what battalion he was serving with: whether 1 LIR or 2 LIR? - I know the MoD will tell us "all" but just a bit of a short timescale for this.

    I'm pretty sure he joined up with his brother Thomas, to the Loyal Regiment - Thomas Baybutt died in Sicily on 13th Aug '43 alongside Lt Bolton and Fus Edward Graham:

    Service Number 3860405

    Died 13/08/1943

    Aged 28

    1st Bn.
    Royal Irish Fusiliers

    Son of Mr. and Mrs. R. Baybutt, of Orrell, Lancashire.

    best wishes
  4. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member


    Casualty lists has him taken POW on 08/02/44 in Royal Ulster Rifles (London Irish Rifles)

    No Btn listed I'm afraid.

    bexley84 likes this.
  5. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Bingo..Anzio = 1st Bn !! A terrible day, amongst many, for the battalion..

    So many thanks - I'll pass these vital few bits of info over to his family. William was 99 years of age when he died. His funeral is in Burscough near Ormskirk on Tuesday morning.

    best wishes

    Casualties had been mounting steadily during all the attacks, and the troops had been able to have little sleep since landing and were getting tired. However, they were confident of their ability to fight back and keep the enemy off. Throughout the night of February 7-8 the Germans kept up the pressure both on the flanks of the 1st Division’s salient and on the centre. On the left they succeeded in surrounding positions held by the North Staffordshires, and in spite of vigorous resistance were slowly gaining possession of the tactically important Point 80 on the Buonriposa Ridge, west of Aprilia. In the darkness they made small penetrations into, the “Factory” area, though no direct attack was made on D Company that night. The utmost vigilance was needed to distinguish friend from foe, and at times the fighting was most confused. Corporal Matthews, mechanical transport corporal of A Company, took a fifteen-hundredweight truck loaded with food and ammunition to A Company headquarters. With him as escort was a member of the Intelligence section. Nearing his destination he stopped to check the route with the dim figure of a sentry standing in the shelter of a near-by house. Corporal Matthews strolled across, unarmed, to speak to the sentry, and to his astonishment found himself addressing a fully armed German. With admirable self-possession, the corporal knocked the sentry down with his fist and the Intelligence-section escort despatched him with his pistol.

    One party of Germans penetrated in the darkness as far as the London Irish mortars, one detachment of which, under Corporal E. Allen, tackled them with rifles and grenades. Corporal Allen coolly propped his mortar almost vertically on ammunition boxes and fired bombs with considerable accuracy, using the primary charges only. This was an operation of extreme hazard to himself, but it succeeded and wrought great damage to the enemy. Heavy shelling and small infantry attacks supported by tanks gave the enemy one or two small local advantages on the 8th, and though there were groups of Germans in the “Factory” area, the London Irish still controlled the approaches from the north and the lateral road leading eastwards. But the situation westwards on Buonriposa Ridge was more obscure than before.

    At ten o’clock that night the Commanding Officer visited the forward companies and found their positions still intact though their numbers reduced by casualties, and the men very tired. A little later D Company reported that their forward platoon locality was empty. There had been no sound of firing and the Company Commander could only conclude that they had collapsed through utter exhaustion and had been surrounded and captured before they could put up any resistance. That unpleasant discovery made the situation of the rest of the company more difficult, and permission was again requested to withdraw slightly to positions where mutual support could be given.
    Tony56 likes this.
  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    I was hoping to find him in more Ancestry databases/family trees as there are quite a number of Baybutts in Lancs, and in and around 1900 - 1920 William was a fairly common forename.
    Even using his brother I can't see a family tree that might [as I am forever the optimist] provide a quick and easy answer to your question

    bexley84 likes this.
  7. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    The Liverpool Echo, Friday, September 17, 1943
    Baybutt TH.jpg

    Note: Twin with Robert
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  8. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Another good find. Now reviewing my original post, it's possible that William and Thomas were cousins not brothers or not even related at all...having consecutive army numbers might be a clue that they are related though.. the twin brother of Thomas would be 103 or so now so the twin would definitely not be William, who was 99 when he died...

    edited: to add detail.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019
  9. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.


    did you get the above information from the pages 137 & 138 : The London Irish At War - THE EPIC OF ANZIO? On page 152 it says that on March 11 the London Irish sailed for Pozzuoli, near Naples. During nearly (only six weeks at Anzio) its casualties in killed, wounded, and missing were: thirty-two officers, (five hundred and fifty other ranks!) Only twelve officers and three hundred other ranks embarked, and many of these had just returned to the battalion from hospital. I do have the up most respect for what the 168 Brigade did in the Anzio campaign.

  10. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Yup.. I put it up on the LIRAssn website myself.

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