Chaplain Arthur Jack Bishop

Discussion in 'Durham Light Infantry' started by Richard Bishop, May 17, 2019.

  1. Hi,

    I'm new to the forum and wondering if anyone can help. I'm interested in the service of My grandfather Arthur Jack Bishop who served as a chaplain in the British Army between 1936 and 1945,

    I know he was with the First (Guards) Brigade in 1939-40 being evacuated at Dunkirk and with the 50th Division on D-Day and he said he went ashore at Gold Beach with a DLI Battalion on 06/06/1944 although he didn't really ever speak of his war time experiences.

    Is it possible to identify which Battalion he was with for the D-Day landing? Would chaplains be attached to the division at battalion level.

    Any help or pointers would be greatly appreciated.


  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Richard

    In order to avoid going down blind alleys during your search it is always reommended to obtain service records - and the link for those is - Request records of deceased service personnel
    For WW2 the MOD is the only place to obtain service records

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  3. Thanks - I'll take a look ad investigate his service record

  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    The service record provides the skeleton on which everything else hangs - so once you have it you will know which units he served with [or was attached to] where they were and when he was there. From this you can the find war diaries for those units during the time he was there and what they were up to

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  5. Thanks, that's really helpful.
  6. Korps Steiner

    Korps Steiner Senior Member

    Richard on D Day the Padre for 6 DLI was Cecil Hawksworth and Gerard Nesbitt for 8 DLI , the Padre for 9 DLI i'm sure was Padre RW Kerr but i check for the you , so the only possibly for a DLI Bn on D day could be 18 DLI .


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  7. Hi Paul,

    many thanks for your reply. I may have made some progress on this tonight. I've just been looking through some of Jacks papers and I've found a small card title "Marshalling Area Certificate" and dated 23rd May 1944 and it gives the Formation or Unit as HQ 30 Corps. I guess this means he was potentially working at Corps level and not actually attached necessarily to a combat battalion. Also in a document which he wrote late in his life which I have come across, he mentions being posted to HQ 30 Corps in March 1944 as SCF and landing near Bayeau with the DLI with whom he remained through the Normandy campaign, the advance through Belgium, the attempt to reach Arnhem and finally the Battle of the Bulge. After this he moved to 16 LFC (??) at Ghent where he stayed until November 1945.


  8. Korps Steiner

    Korps Steiner Senior Member

    Hi Richard,

    Two of the Padres i mentioned as being with 6 and 8 DLI on D Day were killed in early July but they were replaced by Padre R Anwyl and Padre Gervaise Markham . Your Father could have been sent from HQ 30 Corps to either 10 or 11 DLI in 49 Div but i have spoken with the lead Historian of these two Bn's and he has no record of your Father being with them so 18 DLI could still be a possibilty .

    Hopefully his record will reveal more information.


  9. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member


    The curator of the Museum of Army Chaplaincy, David Blake should have something. I was looking into 9 Commando's Padre only last year and David was most helpful.

    He is contactable on the following email address:

    London Gazette - 28 Jan 1936

    ROYAL ARMY CHAPLAINS' DEPARTMENT. Rev. Arthur Jack BISHOP, M.A., is granted a temp, commission as Chapln. to the Forces, 4th 01. 28th Jan. 1936.

    Hope this helps

    Last edited: May 21, 2019
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  10. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Chelmsford Chronicle 21 March 1930
    The Bishop of Barking acting under a commission from the Bishop of Chelmsford held a general ordination in the parish Church of St Luke,Victoria Docks on Sunday when the following gentlemen were admitted to Holy orders;-
    Deacons;- Arthur Jack Bishop B.A, St Johns College in the University of Durham ( Curacy Emmanuel Forest Gate )

    (Captain George Parry another forces Padre (6th Airborne) who was murdered by the Germans on D-Day was another who was at Emmanuel,Forest Gate as Curate -in-charge )[​IMG]

    Last edited: May 23, 2019
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  11. Thanks Gus. I'll try contacting David Blake to see if he can help. I actually have that commission, I guess it's unusual as the king at the time was Edward VIII, can't be too many around.

    Thanks Kyle. My Grandfather mentioned being made a Deacon by the Bishop of Barking and not by the Bishop of Chelmsford as would have been expected in his memoirs. Jack was however finally ordained by the Bishop of Chelmsford in 1931, I have a bible given to him and signed by the Bishop to mark the occasion. This bible went to France/Belgium with him in 1940 with the BEF and during the retreat to Dunkirk and his subsequent evacuation was abandoned and lost along with the rest of his kit and the car, somewhere on the roads outside Dunkirk.

    The bible however miraculously found its way back to him in the late 1980's. Back in 1940, a soldier named John Wade (coincindentally of the DLI) picked up the bible coming across it on the beach at Dunkirk and thinking it might be special to someone brought it back to England. It took a long time, but John Wade eventually managed to trace the owner and was able to return it to my father (Jacks son) in about 1987 who was able to return it to Jack who was by this time living in Melbourne Australia. Its now back in the UK, a very well travelled bible!
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  12. ForestersFan

    ForestersFan New Member

    Very timely to read this thread, as myself and a small group of old school pals will be heading off to Normandy for the D-Day commemorations. Included in our number is Johnny who is the great nephew of Reg Anwyl who as mentioned above took over from Cecil Hawksworth as Chaplain for 6DLI after his tragic motorcycle accident on the way back from Gerard Nesbitt's funeral. We plan to visit Jerusalem cemetery as part of our small homage to the trail of Reg through Normandy. Reg's nephew Peter has his diary to help us and interestingly he mentions that he said said Mass at Tracy sur Mer and the fact that the Battalion was dug in near Lingevres, so he sounds like he was with the DLI before Padre Hawksworth died in July. Either perhaps supporting him as a Catholic Chaplain or perhaps attached to a supporting unit within 151 Brigade or 50 Div itself. His diary said that he had been requested by the CO of his previous unit. Well his previous CO was actually Lt Col French of 2RIF, the Faughs, who had been killed while they were suffering the loss of Leros in Nov 1943. So perhaps he means the officer who took over and was like him later released from capture when their German Hospital ship the Gradisca was intercepted by the Royal Navy a month later. He had certainly had an "interesting" war already before volunteering again for D-Day on his return from the Aegean. I will contact David Blake of the Army Chaplains' Museum as mentioned and see if he can throw more light on the background, unless anyone here knows more. Namely would a Battalion have more than one Chaplain, perhaps an Anglican and a Catholic one?
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