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

    Back to Malaya, I've picked up an auction win from earlier in the year. I think this (large and high-resolution) picture comes from the estate of Major General Ashton Wade (whose autobiography I have along with some of his personal photos from India). It looks as if it has been removed (clumsily) from a large scrapbook.

    Obviously Walter Walker was a very influential figure at that time, he established 'Ferret Force', was the first commandant of what became the Jungle Warfare School in Jahore Bahru and wrote The Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya, the counter-insurgency 'bible' for the whole campaign.

  2. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    A big find here that may be interesting to others out there. I'm not sure whether they've been recently uploaded or recently moved from a members' area to a public area (they certainly never used to appear in search results), but The Royal Anglican Regiment website now hosts long runs of their regimental journals / magazines / newsletters. There's too much to know how much of interest to me from the 1/4th Essex perspective, but a quick browse suggests a great deal. Not long after the war, the 4th and 5th Essex amalgamated and subsequently joined with the Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Regiment (itself an amalgamation) to form 3rd East Anglican Regiment (16th/44th Foot), so although the Essex Regiment Old Comrades continued to publish The Eagle for a great many years, this was the 'live' publication and there are many notes on old soldiers.

    They have:

    The Wasp & Eagle: October 1958 to December 1964 [15 issues]:
    The Royal Anglian Regiment - MUSEUM

    The Castle (later: 'Castle'): April 1965 to June 2008 [80 issues] (December 1987 and December 2002 seemingly missing):

    I've weeded out the duplicates (a number) and bundled them into folders. If anybody doesn't want to spend an hour or more (as I have just done), going through the link-by-link downloads, just message me and I will forward the folders. The Wasp & Eagle collection is 43.3MB and the Castle is 344.7MB.

    It's beyond my purview, but they also have:

    Britannia & Castle: March 1960 to November 1964 [15 issues]
    (This covers the 1st East Anglican Regiment "Royal Norfolk & Suffolk" [9 & 12]):

    Poacher: September 1960 to March 1965
    (This covers the 2nd East Anglican Regiment "Duchess of Gloucester's Own Royal Lincolnshire & Northamptonshire"):

    Great stuff!
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  3. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Poor quality scan, but this seems to be the gentleman (pub. 1962).

    Screenshot 2020-02-04 at 00.51.31.png
  4. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Here's a preview of an auction I failed to win some good time back. Rev. R. A. Williams is playing on my mind and I'm wondering whether I've bumped into him before. Any ideas gmyles ?

    This is Dec 4, by the way. And there's no mention in the 1/4 Essex diary.

    Greece 45.jpg Greece 45 - Inside.jpg
  5. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member

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  6. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

  7. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    I've also come across a photograph--albeit it a small one--of him in uniform with 4th Essex.

    Vol X No 64 March1948.jpg

    It's heartening to see so many familiar faces back after the war.

    Off the top of my head, Plackett, Pouch, Young and Beazley all served '39 to '45. And Colonel Noble is back in charge here, having recovered from the head wound he received from a sniper at Cassino and left his post at the school of infantry.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2020
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  8. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member

    Padres in 1/4 Essex in War Diaries Nov 44 to Jan 45

    ?????? Captain (4 CL) R Woods From 01/09/44

    115767 Captain (4 CL) Wilfred Bennetto Currie From 04/01/45

    Hope this helps

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  9. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    I have a lot of biographical information about Woods, but Currie is a blank as I haven't even begun to process the 1945 diaries.

    I might be misremembering, but I had a nagging suspicion that Rev. R.A. Williams could have been with another 4th Ind Div unit.

    Will do some more checking.
  10. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Also, if it's any help for your records:

    Rev Woods's army number was 239275

    He was the 5 Ind Bde padre and attached to 1/4th Essex between 3/4/44 and 12/11/44, but he was absent on other duties for some of that period.
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  11. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

  12. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    I'm looking at a photograph of a group of Essex Regiment men for clues about battalion and date.

    Is anybody able to identify the badges on these sleeves for me--and possibly say something about the lanyards?

    s-l1600-3.jpg s-l1600-4.jpg
    Last edited: May 2, 2020
  13. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Bump, before I surrender.
  16. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    I've spoken to his daughter Carole by email and by all accounts Bill was a kind-hearted man.

    He carried the old comrades' standard at my grandfather's funeral.
  17. He was wonderful an absolute gem of a man. I stopped working at the shop and a while after he stopped going in and I couldn't find out what happened to him. Do you have Carole's email? I'd like to pay my respects. He spoke of his children and of his wife often
  18. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    I probably shouldn't give it out without asking, so if you message me your email address, I'll pass it on to her.
  19. I think I've sent you a message!
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  20. Mike Young

    Mike Young New Member

    Hello Charley

    I’ve just come across this site and read through this fascinating thread. I was glad to see this photo, which includes my father Joe Young. He was adjutant of 1 / 4 Bn from before 2nd Alamein until July 1943, when he was selected for the Staff College and returned to UK. He succeeded Col Noble as o/c of 4 Bn in Oct 1951, finally retiring in Oct 1954.

    I saw in another thread that you were researching Smithcol and Robcol of June 1942. A book published in New Zealand in 2006 describes the contribution of Smithcol to the Minqair Qiam breakout. Here is the link:
    Breakout: Minqar Qaim - North Africa, 1942

    My father commanded the infantry company in Smithcol, under Major Dudley Smith. Somewhere in my archive I have a copy of the submission that he drafted about role of Smithcol in this action for the Battle Honours Committee. Unfortunately it was refused on the grounds that the action had not involved the full battalion.

    Here are a couple of pictures you might like to see, one of my father (on the left) with Major D J M Smith; the other of B Coy HQ on Ruweisat Ridge on 22 July 1942. This shows, L to R: Capt H J Young MC (d. 1979); his batman (name not known); CSM S J Day (killed the following day and buried at El Alamein War Cemetery); E B Hazle DCM and Bar (d. 2006). I also attach a copy of the news report that appeared in the Evening Standard about the Minqar Qaim and Ruweisat actions.

    All the best


    29a_MinqarQaim&Ruweisat1942.jpg Ruwesiat22July42.jpg 3_Jo&DudleySmith5.JPG 29a_MinqarQaim&Ruweisat1942.jpg Ruwesiat22July42.jpg
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