Execution of 6th Bn, Durham Light Infantry soldiers - 8 June 1944:

Discussion in 'Durham Light Infantry' started by Steve Mac, May 29, 2011.

  1. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    There is quite a bit on this forum about the execution by the 12th SS Panzer Division of Canadian soldiers at Abbaye d'Ardenne and Chateau d'Audrieu; the three links below amongst others refer:

    Posted by Owen on the 8 June 2007; Masacre of Canadian POws by 12th SS Panzer Div. (Hitler Jugend.) at http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/battle-specifics/11041-d-day-2-a.html

    posted by vista52 on the 4 February 2009 at http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/nw-europe/17562-war-crimes-d-day-3.html and

    posted by Canuck on the 2 March 2010 at http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/general/24468-just-following-orders-excuse-3.html

    In a new book 'Armies of Empire' (Converse) the author refers to two soldiers from the 151st Brigade, 50th (Northumbrian) Division being executed at Chateau d'Audrieu.

    Further investigation has revealed that Privates William Barlow and Evan Hayton, both 'D' Company, 6DLI, together with 24 Canadian prisoners were shot by SS troops; it was suspected that the killings were carried out by men of the Reconnaisance Battalion, 12th SS Panzer Division (Newcastle Evening Chronicle - 1994); this is referred to in 'The Faithful Sixth' (Moses), but I must have overlooked this on first reading!

    Name: BARLOW, WILLIAM HENRY
    Initials: W H
    Nationality: United Kingdom
    Rank: Private
    Regiment/Service: Durham Light Infantry
    Age: 21
    Date of Death: 08/06/1944
    Service No: 4987501
    Additional information: Son of Herbert and Pheobe Barlow, of Worksop, Nottinghamshire.
    Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
    Grave/Memorial Reference: II. F. 4.
    Cemetery: HOTTOT-LES-BAGUES WAR CEMETERY

    Name: HAYTON, EVAN
    Initials: E
    Nationality: United Kingdom
    Rank: Private
    Regiment/Service: Durham Light Infantry
    Unit Text: 6th Bn.
    Age: 20
    Date of Death: 08/06/1944
    Service No: 14617934
    Additional information: Son of James and Marjorie Hayton, of Bescar, Lancashire, England.
    Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
    Grave/Memorial Reference: IV. G. 9.
    Cemetery: BENY-SUR-MER CANADIAN WAR CEMETERY, REVIERS

    These men were in the same Company as Corporal Billy Gibson, uncle of our own Jim (handle 'Verierres'); Billy was killed in action six days later. :poppy::poppy::poppy:

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  2. Verrieres

    Verrieres no longer a member

    Hi Steve,

    Both sets of relatives were never told the truth I believe a local newspaper revealed the story in the 1980`s-90`s.

    Jim
     
  3. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello Jim,

    Harry Moses in 'The Faithful Sixth' refers to an investigation by the Newcastle Evening Chronicle in 1994... Makes you wonder about the neck shot found on George Evans; per your earlier thread. German Paras at Primosole not 'SS' I know, but it does make you wonder.

    Interestingly, the executions were thought to be down to the SS and Canadians mutual dislike and may be a bit of 'tit for tat', but never proven... But here were two Englishmen, taken POW, inetrrogated and executed. I call that iniscrimate, cold blooded and murder!

    Will these lads be making an appearance on your memorial website?

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  4. Verrieres

    Verrieres no longer a member

    Hi Steve,
    They already on there mate ;-
    Behind the Wire 1939-46 - DURHAM LIGHT INFANTRY 1920-1946

    Just scroll down you`ll find a summary of their autopsy results (Not as grusome as it sounds cause of death )

    The families of those two soldiers were told that they had been "killed in Action" by the Army .They did not tell the families that the men had been murdered in Cold blood. The families did not learn the truth about the executions until 1994 - 50 years later, when the relevant war files were opened.Post-mortems revealed that the bodies had sustained small-calibre bullet wounds to the head, face, and chest at close range


    Jim
     
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    There will be a few files at the National Archives on the investigation of their murder within the four war crimes series.

    I know there is definately one to do with a war crime involving some Durham LI lads at St Vennant in 1940.
     
  6. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Thanks Jim...that's a good write up!

    I didn't think logically i.e. because they were not behind wire I didn't think POW when I looked at your site. I only looked through the NW Europe section for these two lads... It must be late!!

    I did look at your uncle Billy's section of the site and noticed a photograph of 'D' Company pre embarkation for Normandy. Do you know who they all are?

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  7. Verrieres

    Verrieres no longer a member

    Thanks Jim...that's a good write up!

    I didn't think logically i.e. because they were not behind wire I didn't think POW when I looked at your site. I only looked through the NW Europe section for these two lads... It must be late!!

    I did look at your uncle Billy's section of the site and noticed a photograph of 'D' Company pre embarkation for Normandy. Do you know who they all are?

    Best,

    Steve.

    Steve sadly not,they are on there somewhere but I only discovered that photograph by accident in the DRO I recognised Bill straight away and there was a note from Colonel Fenner who donated the photograph shortly before he died in it he wrote...
    I thought you might like this photograph of my
    company just prior to D-Day most became casualties in the opening month
    of the Normandy Campaign....those old sweats are wearing their Africa
    Star Ribbons whilst our replacements have none...I cannot remember all
    who feature but I do remember CORPORAL GIBSON who is seated front row
    second left he was unfortunately KIA


    I was really chuffed that after all these years he mentioned Bill by name after all he was only with 6th DLI six or seven months after his posting from 1st DLI,
    Jim
     
  8. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    ...there was a note from Colonel Fenner who donated the photograph shortly before he died in it he wrote...

    I was really chuffed that after all these years he mention Bill by name after all he was only with 6th DLI six or seven months after his posting from 1st DLI,
    Jim

    I bet you were, Jim. :)
     
  9. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    There will be a few files at the National Archives on the investigation of their murder within the four war crimes series.

    I know there is definately one to do with a war crime involving some Durham LI lads at St Vennant in 1940.

    That'll be the 2nd Bn DLI, 6th Infantry Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. Probably needs a separate thread, if taken further!

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Here you go:

    WO 309/1169 Chateau d'Andrew, Normandy, France: killing of British and Canadian POWs. Includes 20 photographs depicting: HQ BAOR: War Crimes Group (NWE); Gerhard Brehmer, together with others (named) all members of 12 SS Reconnaissance Battalion, accused of killing British and Canadian prisoners of war at Chateau d'Andrieu, Pavie, Calvados, France, in June 1944.

    WO 309/1170 Chateau d'Andrew, Normandy, France: killing of British and Canadian POWs. Includes 26 photographs depicting: HQ BAOR: War Crimes Group (NWE); Gerhard Brehmer, together with others (named) all members of 12 SS Reconnaissance Battalion, accused of killing British and Canadian prisoners of war at Chateau d'Andrieu, Pavie, Calvados, France, in June 1944.

    WO 309/1171 Chateau d'Andrew, Normandy, France: killing of British and Canadian POWs

    WO 309/2180 Report by Field Investigation Section, War Crimes Group (North West Europe): Chateau d'Audrieu; shooting of 26 Canadian and British prisoners of war, Normandy, France, 8 June 1944

    WO 309/2181 Supplement to report by Field Investigation Section, War Crimes Group (North West Europe): Chateau d'Audrieu; shooting of 26 Canadian and British prisoners of war, Normandy, France, 8 June 1944

    WO 309/2219 Murder of British and Canadian prisoners of war at Chateau d'Audrieu, Normandy, France, June 1944

    I suspect there will be more files on this in the other series.
     
  11. Korps Steiner

    Korps Steiner Senior Member

    Just an update in June 2014 a plaque was placed next to the Canadian one at the Chateau de Audrieu commemorating Bill Barlow and Evan Hayton
     
    pensioner1938, TTH and Steve Mac like this.

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