Cpl David pottinger 1st Bn OBLI kia 30/5/1940

Discussion in '1940' started by Steve 2, May 17, 2018.

  1. Steve 2

    Steve 2 Member

    Hi everyone
    I'm seaching for details on my grandad David pottinger
    1st btln oxford and bucks LI
    Killed in action may 30 1940
    Quite a fit man who enjoyed his army
    boxing,taught pt,and previously lost a stripe due to a punch up.
    I've seen his name on the memorial
    But would really like to know company records concerning his death
    Which I believe given the date would be
    In the area of houthes...outskirts of dunkirk.
    His body was not buried in a marked grave
    I would be most grateful should anyone have any information that could help.
    Best regards.
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member


    The only way to start military research for a relative is to obtain their service records and they can only be obtained from the MOD via the forms on this link - Request records of deceased service personnel

    Others more specialised in BEF activity will be along to help answers some of your questions

    I note the date of death shown twice below is different to the one in your initial post

    UK, Army Roll of Honour, 1939-1945
    Name: David Pottinger
    Given Initials: D
    Rank: Corporal
    Death Date: 22 May 1940
    Number: 5377804
    Birth Place: Staffordshire
    Residence: Worcester
    Regiment at Enlistment: Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
    Branch at Enlistment: Infantry
    Theatre of War: France and Belgium Campaign, 1939/40
    Regiment at Death: Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
    Branch at Death: Infantry

    Global, Find A Grave Index for Burials at Sea and other Select Burial Locations, 1300s-Current
    Name: Corp David Pottinger
    Death Date: 22 May 1940
    Cemetery: Dunkirk Town Cemetery
    Burial or Cremation Place: Dunkirk (Dunquerque), Departement du Nord, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France
    Has Bio?: N
    URL: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-...

    UK, Commonwealth War Graves, 1914-1921 and 1939-1947
    Name: David Pottinger
    Age: 35
    Birth Date: abt 1905
    Death Date: 22 May 1940
    Cemetery: The Dunkirk Memorial
    Burial Country: France
    Father: William Pottinger
    Mother: Serena Pottinger
    Regimental Number: 5377804
    Region or Memorial: Memorial Register
    Other Records:


    From family trees
    David Pottinger
    Birth: 1 Oct. 1904 - Staffordshire
    Death: 22 May 1940 - Dunkirk, France
    Marriage: 1926 - West Bromwich, Staffordshire, England
    Spouse: Lilian Russell
    F: William Pottinger
    M: Teresa Cornfield

    Service Number 5377804
    Died 22/05/1940
    Aged 35
    1st Bn.
    Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry
    Son of William and Serena Pottinger; husband of Lilian Pottinger, of Greets Green, West Bromwich, Staffordshire.
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
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  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    As stated above records show he was killed on the 22nd, the CWGC website states 22nd too.
    > Casualty
    Until someone posts the war diary here's some info on an old thread.
    > ox & bucks at dunkirk

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  4. Steve 2

    Steve 2 Member

    Thankyou both for your detailed and quick
    I apologise. ...I have a copy of the cwgc and
    For some reason misread the kia date,
    Indeed ,as you so rightly say,22/5/1940.

    One of his comrades later visted my grandmother,who incidentally suffered temporary blindness upon receiving the news,and gave her his cigarette tin,and some, very few,personal items.
    From what I understand,he was killed in a wooded area,shot several times,the bodies remaining where they fell.
    The story,does seem to gel quite well with the report you posted of the counterattack at hallain,an assumption I know,but not without some pointers.
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I'm currently on 12 hr nights so no time to search for you at the moment. However, I'm pretty confident he was killed north of Hollain and not so confident at this stage he was possibly part of D Company.
  6. Steve 2

    Steve 2 Member

    Ahhh Thankyou,
    That's really encouraging news
    And I look forward to any light you can shed
    When time allows.
    Thankyou again.
  7. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    1st Battalion O.B.L.I. Killed in action 20.5.1940 - 28.5.1940
    Drew5233 will be able to provide the finer details, where the men were killed and initially buried (Matthews and Roper)
    Screen Shot 2018-05-19 at 08.44.53.png Screen Shot 2018-05-19 at 08.45.55.png

    1 O.B.L.I. also Killed in action 22.5.1940
    5383775 CALLOW Sidney Raymond Pte.


    5381386 COOMBER Arthur Edward Pte.

    4075295 JENKINS Alfred Roy Cpl.

    5378414 MATTHEWS George Edmund Pte.

    5379459 ROPER Samuel Francis Cpl.

    5379401 WHEELER Charles Oliver Pte.

    Matthews and Roper were buried in Bruyelle War Cemetery. The others are remembered on the Dunkirk Memorial

    The graves were concentrated at Bruyellle
    C.W.G.C. Information on Bruyelle Cemetery
    All but one of the men buried in Bruyelle War Cemetery died in May 1940, during the battle on the line of the river Scheldt (Escaut) before the final withdrawal to Dunkirk ahead of the German advance. Of them, 58 were buried originally in Bruyelle, and the remainder in other villages in the neighbourhood, until November 1940 when they were all brought together in the one site.
    Last edited: May 19, 2018
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  8. Steve 2

    Steve 2 Member

    Thankyou guy for that information
    Very informative,and something I had not seen before.
    I looked at bruyelle cemetery on line,
    It lists 130 british and allied sevice men
    From various dates,17 of which are unknown
    British servicemen.
    Do you know who ,in november 1940,bought the other British war dead to bruyelle.
    By then under german occupation.
    It's very heartening to know that after so many years of uncertainty ,perhaps one of the unknowns is my grandfather.
    Best regards.
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I've added some pages dated a day earlier as the regimental history mentions some dates being recorded wrong. Happy reading-I've not had a chance to look myself.
  10. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    Five men from A Company killed by a direct hit on their forward post on the evening of te 22nd Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 20.46.45.png
  11. Steve 2

    Steve 2 Member

    Greatfull thanks drew
    I will be contacting you reference copies,
    Meanwhile I'm engrossed in the detail
    And it gives you a real feel for the events
    The German probing in night parties across the scheldt,the counter attacks,the
    German spotter plane and resulting directed
    Fire across the river.Adancing in artillery formation bayonets fixed,against mg42s
    Snipers and mortars ,to keep cohesion is
    A great testament to them.

    I saw that too guy,
    but I'm still unsure what
    Company my grandfather was in,
    Allthough it would explain why some of the graves at bruyelle are listed as unknown
    As I'm sure a direct hit by a shell on a dugout
    Sadly,Would make it allmost impossible to ascertain who was who.
    How do I find out which company he was in?
  12. Steve 2

    Steve 2 Member

    Hi all
    Just as a by the by
    Today is the 78th anniversary of his death
    God bless all of them.
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  13. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

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  14. Steve 2

    Steve 2 Member

    Thankyou guy.....I have posted there.

    Here is my grandfather
    2nd from left
    Pt instructor....all with obli tshirts 20180522_224336.jpg
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  15. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Saw this on Soldiers of Oxfordshire site:

    One tradition that has been difficult to maintain on this website is the regimental intense dislike of the abbreviation, "OBLI". We hope the ghosts of times past forgive us!

  16. Steve 2

    Steve 2 Member

    Ahh interesting
    As the photograph I have is original
    I wonder whether 4 copies were made for the four participants.

    And yet,abreviations are common within the military itself,
    E.g. 1 and 2 para.....the buffs......the surrey's
    My own experience within the rct......
    Function over form preferred on this occasion.
  17. Steve 2

    Steve 2 Member

    Correction 5 copies for 5 participants
    My appologies
  18. Steve 2

    Steve 2 Member

    After a little searching,I am still none the wiser about my grandfather's platoon designation or his demise.
    It's possible he was one of the five that took a direct hit from a german 5.9 artillery shell
    Fired by the 253rd artillery regiment attached to the 253rd infantry division army group b.
    It is also possible he was one of the dead in the sweep of the wooded area ,where a furious firefight took place .
    Looking at a Belgian map of circa 1920
    And today's satellite imagery it is possible to trace 1st batalions company movements
    As jerry murland has done so well.
    I shall endeavour to persevere

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