Corporal Bernard Leslie Evans 13th Platoon 1/7th Btn Middlesex Regt

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by BerniesGirl, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. BerniesGirl

    BerniesGirl Not so Junior Member

    Hello I am trying to find out more about my father's WW2 campaign and in particular his role at the Battle of Wadi Akarit in Tunisia. He was a machine gunner and was awarded a DCM for his bravery at this battle during which he was ultimately captured by the Germans. While he was alive he sent me a link to a WW2 history in which they told his story, mentioning him by name. Unfortunately I didn't print out this information and now can't find this document. He was held in an Italian POW camp and later escaped from a train which was transferring them to Germany. He spent 9 months on the run with the Partisans and other allied servicemen, during which he spent some time hiding out at a church in a village called Lagune near Bologne in Northern Italy.

    I bought "Operation Scipio" in the hope that it would give me some more information, but was disappointed that thus far I have found nothing about my fathers regiment and he is also missing from the Honours and Awards list.

    My fathers other medals were the '39-'45 Star, Africa Star, Italy Star and '39-'45 Defence Medal.

    Any help or links which might be useful would be much appreciated.
     
  2. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum

    I guess this is him

    Name Evans, Bernard Leslie
    Rank: Corporal
    Service No: 6206594
    Regiment: 1/7 Middlesex Regiment 152 Brigade 51 Division
    Theatre of Combat or Operation: Escape and Evasion
    Award: Mentions in Despatches
    Date 1945
    Catalogue reference WO 373/63


    Name Evans, Bernard Leslie
    Rank: Corporal
    Service No: 6206594
    Regiment: 1/7 Battalion The Middlesex Regiment (DCO)
    Theatre of Combat or Operation: The London Omnibus List for Gallant and Distinguished Services in the Field
    Award: Distinguished Conduct Medal
    Date of Announcement in London Gazette: 19 December 1946
    Date 1944-1945
    Catalogue reference WO 373/97
     
  3. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum
    Have you applied for his service record from MOD at Glasgow, that will give you all his service information
     
  4. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    Welcome and enjoy.!!!
     
  5. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    .Welcome to the forum

    I guess this is him
    Name Evans, Bernard Leslie
    Rank: Corporal
    Service No: 6206594
    Regiment: 1/7 Battalion The Middlesex Regiment (DCO)
    Theatre of Combat or Operation: The London Omnibus List for Gallant and Distinguished Services in the Field
    Award: Distinguished Conduct Medal
    Date of Announcement in London Gazette: 19 December 1946
    Date 1944-1945
    Catalogue reference WO 373/97 The National Archives | DocumentsOnline | Image Details
     

    Attached Files:

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  6. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Attached Files:

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  7. Here's an excerpt from the Regimental History for you.
    The hardest fighting of the day fell on No. 13 Platoon, which acquitted itself most gallantly. Supporting the 5th Seaforths, it advanced up the forward slopes of Djebel Roumana through very heavy mortar and shell fire, suffering a number of casualties. In the darkness, one section of the platoon became separated and, led by the section commander (Corporal Evans), reached the top of Roumana with their guns and nine belts per man, suffering 50 per cent. casualties during the climb. On reaching the crest it was found that their intended gun positions were already occupied by the enemy. Evans led the remainder of his section father along the crest and set up his guns in a place where it was impossible to dig in because of the rocky ground.
    In this position the section opened fire on enemy observation posts and Spandau positions, but was itself subjected to intense mortaring. Its gun positions on the top of the ridge were very exposed and soon became the target for almost every enemy gun within reach. The barrel casings of both guns were punctured in several places, but the section kept them firing by pouring in the water from their water-bottles.
    By the time all the ammunition was expended, the section was surrounded and Evans ordered his men to withdraw one by one. Only a single man, Private Wall, got through. For seven hours the section had held the enemy at bay and fought with a stubbornness and gallantry that was in the highest tradition of the Regiment. Corporal Evans, in recognition of his distinguished courage and tenacity, was awarded the D.C.M. An examination of the gun positions on the following morning revealed a circle of enemy dead lying within 100 yards of the two badly damaged guns.


    I hope that it of interest.

    Regards

    Richard
     
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  8. BerniesGirl

    BerniesGirl Not so Junior Member

    Here's an excerpt from the Regimental History for you.


    I hope that it of interest.

    Regards

    Richard
    Thank you so much Richard. I think this must be the original link that my father sent me several years ago and which I hadn't been able to find again. I'm most grateful to you for finding it for me. I keep saying I'm going to write his story one day - just have to do it now!
     
  9. BerniesGirl

    BerniesGirl Not so Junior Member

    Welcome to the forum

    I guess this is him
    Thank you Sol. Yes that is certainly him. Thanks to all for the warm welcome.

    Regards Lyn
     
  10. BerniesGirl

    BerniesGirl Not so Junior Member

    .Name Evans, Bernard Leslie
    Rank: Corporal
    Service No: 6206594
    Regiment: 1/7 Battalion The Middlesex Regiment (DCO)
    Theatre of Combat or Operation: The London Omnibus List for Gallant and Distinguished Services in the Field
    Award: Distinguished Conduct Medal
    Date of Announcement in London Gazette: 19 December 1946
    Date 1944-1945
    Catalogue reference WO 373/97 The National Archives | DocumentsOnline | Image Details
    Wow Diane this is great. Thank you so much. I get such a lump in my throat and goosebumps reading this stuff.

    Regards Lyn
     
  11. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member

    Lyn,

    Welcome to the forum.

    You might want to consider getting the unit's war diaries from the National Archives at Kew.
    The National Archives | The Catalogue | Full Details | WO 169/10261
    Detecting your browser settings

    There are a few members on the forum who can help you get copies if you are unable to visit yourself, PsyWar.org, and Drew5233 are two that immediately spring to mind. Drew I can personally recommend, always good quality images. Both of these members have excellent reps and are willing to help with anything at TNA.

    Mark
     
  12. BerniesGirl

    BerniesGirl Not so Junior Member

    Here's an excerpt from the Regimental History for you.


    I hope that it of interest.

    Regards

    Richard
    Hi Again Richard,

    I wonder if you might be able to give me a link to the document you've quoted here as still can't find it. Thank you very much,

    Cheers Lyn
     
  13. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Hi Again Richard,

    I wonder if you might be able to give me a link to the document you've quoted here as still can't find it. Thank you very much,

    Cheers Lyn

    I may be wrong but I dont think you'll find that on the internet .
    I think Richard would have quoted it from a book.
    The Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own) 1919-1952 by PK Kemp

    Here's some Regimental Historys of the Middlesex Regt by Kemp for sale here.
    middlesex regiment - kemp - AbeBooks
     
  14. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    While he was alive he sent me a link to a WW2 history in which they told his story, mentioning him by name. Unfortunately I didn't print out this information and now can't find this document.

    Lyn, I think I know which site you talking about but unfortunately that site is currently out of service.
     
  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I suspect most of them will be quite thick considering one diary doesn't cover a 12 month period.

    WO 166/4461 INFANTRY: 1/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own). 1939 Sept.- Dec., 1940 July - Dec.

    WO 166/4462 INFANTRY: 1/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own). 1941 Jan.- Dec.

    WO 166/8808 1/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own) 1942 Jan.-May

    WO 166/12628 1/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own) 1943 Dec.

    WO 167/792 1/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own) 1940 Jan.-June

    WO 169/5038 1/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own) 1942 June- Dec.

    WO 169/5039 1/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own) 'A' Company 1942 Dec.

    WO 169/5040 1/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own) 'B' Company 1942 Aug.- Dec.

    WO 169/5041 1/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own) 'D' Company 1942 Aug.- Oct., Dec.

    WO 169/10260 1/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own) 1943 Jan.- Mar.

    WO 169/10261 1/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own) 1943 Apr.- June

    WO 169/10262 1/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own) 1943 July

    WO 169/10263 1/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own) 1943 Aug.- Nov.

    WO 171/1344 1/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own) 1944 Jan.- June

    WO 171/1345 1/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own) 1944 July- Sept.

    WO 171/1346 1/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own) 1944 Oct.- Dec.

    WO 171/5242 1/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own) 1945 Jan.-Mar.

    WO 171/5243 1/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own) 1945 Apr.-Dec.

    WO 171/9260 1/7 Middlesex 1946 Jan.- June


    Good luck with your research
    Andy
     
  16. I may be wrong but I dont think you'll find that on the internet .
    I think Richard would have quoted it from a book.
    The Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own) 1919-1952 by PK Kemp

    Here's some Regimental Historys of the Middlesex Regt by Kemp for sale here.
    middlesex regiment - kemp - AbeBooks

    That's right. It was from the printed Regt. History.

    Regards

    Richard
     
  17. BerniesGirl

    BerniesGirl Not so Junior Member

    I may be wrong but I dont think you'll find that on the internet .
    I think Richard would have quoted it from a book.
    The Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own) 1919-1952 by PK Kemp

    Here's some Regimental Historys of the Middlesex Regt by Kemp for sale here.
    middlesex regiment - kemp - AbeBooks
    Thanks Owen,

    It was originally on the internet because that's how my Dad found it, but it would seem the site is currently out of service. Thanks very much for the link.

    Cheers Lyn
     
  18. BerniesGirl

    BerniesGirl Not so Junior Member

    Lyn,

    Welcome to the forum.

    You might want to consider getting the unit's war diaries from the National Archives at Kew.
    The National Archives | The Catalogue | Full Details | WO 169/10261
    Detecting your browser settings

    There are a few members on the forum who can help you get copies if you are unable to visit yourself, PsyWar.org, and Drew5233 are two that immediately spring to mind. Drew I can personally recommend, always good quality images. Both of these members have excellent reps and are willing to help with anything at TNA.

    Mark
    Thanks Mark. I doubt I'll be going to England any time soon unfortunately, but it's good to have that information.

    Cheers Lyn
     
  19. GraemeLH

    GraemeLH New Member

    Hi Lyn,
    It has been a long time since we used to have to watch Liberace on your parents TV.
    I have a copy of your father's book on his "adventures" during the war.
    Do you have a copy or would you like me to send you one.
    It is just a PDF version.
    I also have a copy of his original Manuscript which I would be more than please to send to you.
    Best Regards
    Graeme
     
  20. Philip Hanman

    Philip Hanman New Member

    Hi,
    My name is Phil Hanman and I am chairman of the Helston and District Town Twinning Association. Our town, Helston in Cornwall, is twinned with Sasso Marconi in Italy and, on our last trip there, the locals told us about your father being hidden by the priest.
    The priest's name was Gabriele Mario Bonani and his church was San Nicolò delle Lagune near Sasso Marconi. Bonani was active in the Resistance being chaplain to 9a Brigade 'Santa Justa' group of partisans. From 24th September 1943 to 5th January 1944 he hid your father in his church. The church had an alcove in front of which was a large painting. Each time the SS or the local Fascists visited looking for your father, the priest hid him behind the painting. In particular on 29th December 1943 the Fascists turned up with 29 armed men looking for your father. They surrounded the church and terrorized the congregation demanding that they handed your father over, but no one gave him away. It was decided to get him away from the danger zone, so on 5th January 1944 he was provided with papers and sent off down a chain of evacuation operated by the Resistance so that he could rejoin the allies. Here is a link Gabriele Mario Bonani It is all in Italian but, my wife is Italian and, if you like, we will translate it for you. Your father was indeed very lucky as this area was a centre of terrible atrocities committed by the SS under their evil commander Major Walter Reder. In fact, Marzabotto, which is only a stone's throw away, was the scene of the worst massacre of civilians on Italian soil throughout the war, so the priest and the locals who protected your dad were very brave indeed.. There is a book called 'Silence on Monte Sole' by Jack Olsen which is all about the Marzabotto Massacre and will show you what a dangerous place this was to be. I would love to know more about your father so that we can tell our friends in Sasso, the next time that we go down there. Where was he born? Where did he go to school? What did he do in civvy street? Things like that.
    Very best wishes,
    Phil,
     
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