Family Soldiers: 1/4th Essex (WW2) & 25 Field Regiment R.A.(Post-War)

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Charley Fortnum, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Nah, they were Yanks with 34th Division (at Cassino).

    Screenshot 2019-07-18 at 09.42.40.png
     
  2. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Have you edited your last post? I did not see the above the last time i looked. By the way, have you managed to have a read of the PDF document on the 34 US Division that you sent me? I've not read it has yet: I do want the original of the division, but it seems to be rather scarce & b..... expensive. I do have the 85th, & the 45th divisional histories.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2019
  3. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    I only edited to add the map.

    I've only flipped through that 34 Div Document--work has been interrupting my leisure time.

    I know the divisional history is expensive. I took a look and noted the details for much later.
     
  4. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    I've got a idea has to how I'm going to obtain it. I need to ask a chap if he can help me out?

    Regards,
    Stu.
     
  5. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    :ninja:

    I know this bloke from down the pub...
     
  6. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Charley,

    do you think it would be wise to post the war diary for the month of March? One can understand why they are out of order & appear that some of them are missing (that is till one gets to the appendix and the remainder appear!) Willing to post them. I post a couple of images below that was taken at the same period has the above headstone. I don't know if you have posted them before.
    rsz_img_0181.jpg
    One from the rear.
    rsz_img_0251.jpg
    & one from the front. Clock the memorial at the end of the path. Click on image.

    Thanks for showing the extra detail.

    Regards,
    Stu.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
    Charley Fortnum likes this.
  7. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    17/3/43: 4th Indian Division are under Oliver Leese's XXX Corps in the area around Medenine, probing Axis lines by night prior to the start of Operation Pugilist, which will start the Battle of the Mareth Line on 19/3/43.

    And the gurkhas are doing what gurkhas do best. Not a nice way to wake up in a trench...

    Screenshot 2019-08-13 at 23.19.23.png

    Extracted from:
    WO 169-14735: 4 Indian Division General Staff Jan-Dec 1943

    MarethMap1943_en.png
     
  8. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Returning to this topic, this photograph cropped up on Instagram (of all places) with a claim that it shows the castle in 1942.

    It gives us a little bit of an idea what that left climb would have been like: steep.

    67810859_546170209513167_2931313170765811968_n.jpg

    Same source:

    Rocca-Ianula-Castello-Medioevale-Di-Montecassino.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2019
    minden1759 likes this.
  9. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Moving forward once more to 25 Field Regt R.A. in Hong Kong, this letter was a bit of a find: brief. I had no idea, for instance, that they weren't exclusively employing 25-pdrs at the time, nor was I aware of the naming convention for the batteries or the paint schemes for the vehicles. I have, of course, seen the 'standard' marking of the divided red/blue square with the regimental number across it, but does anybody know exactly what he means by the 'Regimental Number' that 'changed to 44'. Is this the divisional numbering of units?

    Incidentally, the infantry battalion that the author could not recall from 28th Infantry Brigade was 1st Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment.

    My gratitude to Mr Dyle.

    From: 'Military Markings' from Airfix Magazine, April 1972

    s-l1600-21.jpg Scan.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
  10. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    With thanks to AB64 I have Gunner Newman's Royal Artillery 'Tracer Card' from Ancestry:

    61820_006916_0092-02666.jpg

    I'm not sure this entirely tallies with the service records I already have.

    It might actually have added something I didn't know about the end of his service. I'll have to investigate further.
     
  11. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    One wonders what was going on in Malaya in 1950...

    P8260739.jpg

    From:
    WO 123-419 Malaya District Routine Orders (1950)

    article-2133506-12B7C745000005DC-200_468x350.jpg

    On the subject of recreation, my grandfather told me that the Army was to blame for his ever smoking. He joined up as a boy and had never had a puff, but when he got around to Malaya there was a free tobacco allowance that he was mocked for not talking. According to the file above, that allowance was either 50 cigarettes or 2 oz of tobacco per man per week.

    In addition to this allowance, further purchases could be made at the following concessionary rates:

    P8270081.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2019
  12. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Some 'new' 1/4th Essex images have been uploaded at the IWM site. They're low-resolution, but not intolerably so:

    Tunisia, May '43:

    EIGHTH ARMY : FINAL PHASES IN TUNISIAN FIGHTING

    With HM the King (& Monty), June '43:

    H.M. THE KING WITH THE EIGHTH ARMY

    WITH THE EIGHTH ARMY

    From Volos in Greece, March '45
    :

    GREECE : OBSERVERS STORY

    GREECE : OBSERVERS STORY

    THE BRITISH ARMY IN NORTH AFRICA, SICILY, ITALY, THE BALKANS AND AUSTRIA 1942-1946

    Tuker with Ike and others here:

    THE BRITISH ARMY IN NORTH AFRICA AND THE MIDDLE EAST 1940-1947

    Amery with Holworthy (Tuker's replacement):

    SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIAN VISITS 4TH INDIAN DIVISION
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2019
  13. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Also, I've found a good image of the Monarch of Bermuda (at Malta). This was the vessel that carried 1/4th Essex from Liverpool to Freetown in 1940. It's good in the sense that it's large and you can see quite a lot of detail.

    4968877224_34064dc1d5_k.jpg
     
  14. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    There's some good video footage of the 4th Indian Division 'in action' (though it could well be staged) here. The terrain looks to be precisely the mix of which I've read descriptions.

    (Start at 5:16, although 4th Ind turn up at 5:43):


    https://fa9e73e865f29caec390-2a80cf...213000000F5CF7AD61955E4390000B4B52F563190.mp4

    'ITALY.'

    British artillery teams fire camouflaged 155mm heavy field guns at German positions near an unidentified Italian medieval hill town. A British M4 Sherman tank (three piece nose) drives along a dusty Italian road past a dump for spent artillery shells. Members of the 4th Indian Division armed with Lee-Enfield Mk III .303-inch rifles move with caution across rugged Italian terrain. An Indian infantryman throws a Mills No 36M hand grenade into a suspected enemy foxhole position, taking cover prior to its explosion. German prisoners of war walk along a country road guarded by British infantrymen armed with Lee-Enfield Mk III rifles. Italian civilian refugees pass down a road in an ox-drawn cart that is laden with personal possessions and has white flags flying from it. A caterpillar tractor is used to pull an Ordnance QF 25-pounder howitzer with limber along a very muddy mountain track. The commentary outlines the increasing problems of movement and communication inherent in the changing weather situation with the onset of the Italian winter. Eighth Army infantrymen attempt to push a bogged-down artillery tractor from cloying mud, others shore up a road against torrential rain using logs. A party of British infantrymen drag a wounded colleague over muddy terrain on an improvised sled. British Eighth Army Gurkha troops ford the River Ronco (Ravenna-Forli) in the environs of the village of Meldola. Italian civilians hold guide-ropes to assist the Gurkhas in the crossing of the fast-flowing Ronco, swollen by heavy winter rains.
     
  15. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    More tweaking.

    Have cut this from a larger (decent resolution) photograph of Castle Hill.

    Castle Hill.jpg
     
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  16. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    I'm hoping to get this War diary in time to come via that nice chap called Gary Tankard. Not seen it before.

    WO 204/ 4365. 34 US Division Nov 1942-Sept 44. I came across it in the back of John Ellis's book (Hollow Victory.) He has read quite a few of the French War diaries of which he mentions that are full of detail: More so than the the British.

    Just read Ellis's book again. I think Gary is going to be busy in time to come has to what i would like.;)

    Regards,

    Stu.
     

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