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

    I was just going through some old copies of The Eagle when I spotted this quite handsome portrait of Colonel Noble with accompanying description.

    The Eagle: The Journal of the Essex Regiment (Vol. IX, No.59 - December 1946).

    20210305_001353.jpg SmartSelect_20210305-002014_Gallery.jpg
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  2. Mike Young

    Mike Young New Member

    And here is another of him, looking very relaxed at 1/4 ER Bn HQ on Ruweisat Ridge, July 1942

    Attached Files:

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  3. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    I recently acquired this.

    The presence of what looks like Lieut-Colonel Gibson (front row, sixth from the left) and the date (Christmas) indicates in is the 1/4th Essex, but it'll take some more homework to identify whether it's HQ-Coy or some other body.

    The main question that's troubling me at the moment is whether the inscription is really from Harold to May 'With Rudest Thoughts'?

    'Kindest' seems more likely.

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  4. Richard Lewis

    Richard Lewis Member

    Depends on whether the envelope was marked "NORWICH" or not. :)
  5. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Mike Young

    I've just been comparing faces of the senior officers in the 1938 officers' photo (from you) with this one (I have a slightly better scan, but not the original yet), do you see any 'matches'?

    And do you think I'm right about Gibson?

  6. Mike Young

    Mike Young New Member

    Hi Charley
    Yes, I think you're right about Col Gibson, he has the most medals and he's positioned to the right of the (presumably) company commander, which would be appropriate. To his right might be Leonard Chappell, who's on the far left of the middle row in the 1938 photo (as you look at it). The two to the left of Gibson both have ribbons - maybe 1937 Coronation medals - but I can't identify them with any in the 1938 or the July 1940 Wooler photo (attached). (In the latter Young is 3 from right and Noble 7 from right, though it's a poor photo).

    Attached Files:

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  7. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    I'm thinking of these (don't be too polite to say I'm clearly wrong!)

    1. Gibson: 6th from the left--our perspective "Freetown" & front-row centre "1938 Officers"

    Screenshot 2021-05-20 at 12.02.51 AM.png Screenshot 2021-05-20 at 12.03.41 AM.png

    2. Unknown: 8th from the left (i.e. two to the right of 'Gibson' as we see it) in "Freetown" & front row, five from the right "1938 Officers".

    Screenshot 2021-05-20 at 12.03.06 AM.png Screenshot 2021-05-20 at 12.03.54 AM.png

    3. Here are the comparisons for Chappell (the hairline works, as does the lack of decoration)--the third shot is Chappell in 1942

    Screenshot 2021-05-20 at 12.15.23 AM.png Screenshot 2021-05-20 at 12.13.31 AM.png Screenshot 2021-05-20 at 12.19.38 AM.png
  8. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    More ephemera from Freetown, this time for an auction that I failed to win (owing to technical failure).

    I've yet to find an exact date for this show.

    Pte Landon is also mentioned as being part of the show, a name that rings a bell with me but the reason hasn't yet bubbled to the surface.

    King Tom Programme.jpg King Tom Programme 2.jpg King Tom Programme 3.jpg

    This is of interest as it just about gives us the composition of the 1/4th Essex Band (all sic), a number of whom went on to receive important decorations:
    • Bandmaster: Mr. Collier
    • Solo Cornet: Sgt Smith
    • 1st Cornets: Bdsm. Fletcher, Medcock & Teacher
    • 2nd Cornets: Bdsm. Brand & Hedger [Possibly died at Alamein]
    • Eb Cornet: Bdsm. Crowther
    • Euphoneum: Bdsm. Price
    • Barritone: Bdsm. Pierce
    • Trombones: Bdsm. Wood, L/Cpl Cruse, Bdsm. McClean & Saw
    • Sax: Sgt. Bishop & Bdsm. Chapping
    • Tenor Horne: Bdsm. Laury [error: possibly LAWRIE]
    • Basses: Willie Hazle [error]
    • Drums: Bdsm. Glibery [error] & Prudence
    Dance Band (Dance Orchestra with same composition):
    • Trumpet: W Teader
    • Violin: J Saw
    • Pianist: Sgt. N Clark
    • Piano Accordion: P Martin.
    • Vocalist: L/Cpl. B Rose
    'Teader' I suspect is a mistake (it's also wrong in the official history: 'Reeder). It's bound to be 6018320 John ('Johnny') Stanley Teeder, who was subsequently awarded the Military Medal in 1943.

    We have some information about him through Iris Spearman, whose older sister Gladys was Teeder's penfriend throughout the war. They were connected through John's best friend and fellow bandsman 6014492 Lance Corporal Ernest Law, who was Gladys and Iris's older brother, and they married on his return to England. He lived into old age (d. 2003), but sadly Ernest ('Ern') did not. He died of a brain tumour, believed to be connected to a head injury suffered in the wall collapse in the Castle at Cassino (mentioned some pages back on this thread), aged just forty-five.

    Here is John's MM citation:

    Screenshot 2021-05-23 at 5.29.13 PM.png

    Here is Ernie in uniform:

    aos_tiltyww2_is_003.jpg aos_tiltyww2_is_004.jpg

    And here is Johnny Teeder and Glady's wedding after the war; Ernest is the best man and Iris is a bridesmaid.


    Another name of note (also misspelt!) is 6014978 William Bertram Hazell (given as 'Hazel'), who was another Military Medal recipient.

    Screenshot 2021-05-23 at 5.50.04 PM.png

    Also 6021433 L/Cpl James Thomas Glibbery (yet another spelling mistake):

    Screenshot 2021-05-23 at 5.49.27 PM.png

    The Telegraph has his 2005 obituary here:

    Lance-Corporal Jim Glibbery, who has died aged 85, won the Military Medal as a stretcher-bearer in Tunisia during what General Montgomery described as the most savage fighting under his command of the Eighth Army.

    His battalion, the 1st/4th Essex, was in reserve on April 19 1943 before a main attack by the 5th Indian Brigade on the Djebel Garci, one of a series of broken hills which presented a formidable obstacle to the advance on Tunis.

    Crossing the start line at 8.15 pm, it was ordered to capture a 1,000 ft adjacent feature to obtain a bridgehead for the 4th/6th Rajputana Rifles and also the 1st/9th Gurkha Rifles. But by early morning the Rajputanas were still short of their objective, and Glibbery's B Company was sent forward; 10 Platoon was ordered to secure high ground in front of the other two battalions so that A Company could pass through to seize the Rajputanas' objective.

    Although B Company advanced well, 10 Platoon found itself on a convex slope where the men had to expose themselves to immediate fire when they stood up to see the enemy.

    With complete disregard for his own safety, Glibbery went out from the platoon's HQ on seven occasions and worked his way forward over loose slivers of rock. With little cover from exceptionally heavy artillery, mortar and small arms fire, he worked with great efficiency under the most difficult conditions, attending to each man.

    He was so close to the enemy that some of them, seeing what he was doing, held their fire, while others threw grenades whose blast twice knocked him over. In the midst of this very hard fighting, he calmly moved from one man to another to dress their wounds. Despite the reluctance of some to be moved, he helped six men, none of whom could walk, back to relative safety; five, who might have died, survived as a result.

    Following a strong counter-attack by the enemy next day, Glibbery went out to attend eight men at different times, evacuating them down a slope with a 200 ft sheer drop alongside. He was recommended for an immediate Distinguished Conduct Medal; but Lieutenant-General Brian Horrocks crossed it out, and substituted Military Medal. The citation referred to Glibbery's bravery under fire and cool efficiency in dressing wounds.

    James Thomas Glibbery was born in London on Christmas Day 1919, one of a walking-stick dresser's six children. He worked in the Post Office before joining the Army as a drummer (who were expected to become stretcher-bearers in action), and was first sent to serve in Egypt, Sierra Leone and Cyprus. Glibbery received notification of his MM while in hospital after being shot in the right ankle.

    He was discharged after an unsuccessful operation, and the leg eventually had to be amputated below the knee.

    After the war he worked for the civil service in Whitehall, from which he retired in 1970 because of ill health.

    He was an active secretary of the Reading branch of the British Limbless Ex-Servicemen's Association, and used to organise battlefield tours.

    Jim Glibbery, who died on June 2, married, in 1944, Maisie Raybould, with whom he had two sons; she died in 1993.

    Lance-Corporal Jim Glibbery

    May they all rest in peace.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2021
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  9. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    This was a long time coming, photos of 14189713 Gnr Frederick Newman (in approximate chronological order).

    Can anybody assist with identifying the truck in picture 7 and on the motorbike in picture 11? There's a good chance that both were when he was with HQRA 3 INF DIV (1951-52).

    Edit: 40 is the Arm of Service marking for HQRA, so that tallies.

    01 Likely UK or Germany 46-48 (B).jpg 02 Likely UK or Germany 46-48 (A).jpg 03 Hong Kong 1948-ish.jpg 04 Likely The New Territories (HK) or Tampin (Malaya) 48-51 (B).jpg 05 Likely The New Territories (HK) or Tampin (Malaya) 48-51 (A).jpg 06 Unknown (B).jpg 07 Likely UK 51 (C).jpg 08 Likely UK 51 (B).jpg 09 Likely 51 (A).jpg 10 Unknown (A).jpg 11 Likely Cyprus or Moascar 51-52 (A).jpg 12 Likely Cyprus or Moascar 51-52 (B).jpg 13 Post-52.jpg
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2021
  10. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Another batch.

    In Chronological order:

    1. Christmas Dinner 1948 (why Luneberg?) (Edit: can't be his!)
    2. On the border in the New Territories 1948 (looks knackered).
    3) In Malaya - likely 1950 at Tampin (a Mk.5 Sten?).
    4) HMS Illustrious laden with 3 Infantry Division trucks bound for Cyprus.
    5) In the Canal Zone (markings: 3 Inf Div, HQRA).

    Christmas 48 (A).jpg Christmas 48 (B).jpg New Territories - Border.jpg Malaya.jpg HMS Illustrious - 3 Div Trucks.jpg Canal Zone.jpg
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
  11. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    A photo gallery from an ex-25 Field Regiment man who arrived in Hong Kong in 1955.

    Interesting for the internal shots of Gun Hill Club Barracks.

    Please mute the music prior to the move to Hong Kong!

  12. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    A newish article on 1/4th Essex at Cassino by the nephew of Pte Albert “Albie” Duddy of D Company:

    The Essex Regiment’s Frontal Assault on Monte Cassino

    The text is pretty good, but the photo credits are alarming.

    One image of 1st Essex men at Ed Duda, Libya in 1941 and another of an unidentified unit training in Suffolk in December 1942 are both labelled 1/4th Essex, both of which are impossible.
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  13. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    In the hope that this post may serve as a beacon of sorts, if relatives of Private Thomas Henry Knowles, also known as 'Tom' and 'Wag' Knowles are still trying to contact me, please do so through this site. With no paid account, I cannot do so via my (very old) Forces Reunited account.

    467a53b2-3b37-382e-5d57-36851b67a495_12bd5aea-5a90-4b5f-ae9f-80b99d9fd3ba.jpeg 7fcbc2c7-4130-8e32-7946-96a4dee10551_c9c770e7-ad3e-4d17-bb9b-6a6b4b59c291.jpeg

    This man served with 1/4th Essex 1938-46. His army number was 6014073.

    I have just discovered an old message from this man's granddaughter named Kelly.
  14. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    A nice pair of images of a calibration shoot in Hong Kong. By deduction from other references, this would seem to be between January 1953 and April 1954.

    The author mentions firing out to sea, so I'm wondering whether this was the Port Shelter Artillery Range? (Edit: confirmed by the author himself!)

    Edit: Author reports he served with 173 Locating Battery.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2022
  15. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member

    Hi CF

    Found during a google book search for 'Athens' in the Wasp And Eagle (Royal Anglians journal) 13 Dec 1963


    Hope this helps

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  16. hay1157

    hay1157 New Member

    Hi Charley,

    Apologies if this is not the place to post this but, from reading through this forum, I can see that you are the resident expert on the 1/4th Essex!

    My grandfather, Bertram Millar Hay, joined this regiment in late 1943 and was with them as they pushed up through Italy.

    His service record states that he was transferred to "Inf: Essex Regt." on 22nd October 1943 from the 148th Regiment (Royal Armoured Corps) which was part of the 33rd Tank Brigade. Apart from a few weeks in the British Expeditionary Force in late 1939, he had spent almost the entirety of the war based in the UK with the RAC, so not sure why the sudden change to an infantry regiment (if it was even his decision).

    The war diary for the 148th Regt. states for 22nd October 1943: "2 O.Rs. Transferred to Infantry of the Line and posted to No.1 I.T.C., Essex Regt, Warley, Brentwood, Essex". However, his service record indicates that he remained in the UK until 28th March 1944 when his theatre of war was changed from "Home" to "North Africa". Unfortunately, no further mention of any activity undertaken in the Essex Regiment is given in his service record so I have no idea as to when or where exactly he joined the them in Italy. The only other information from his service record is an entry that shows he was wounded in action on 13th July 1944. I have seen a copy of the Battle Casualties List for the 1/4th Essex, and this states that he suffered "back injuries & shock". I can only assume that he remained with the regiment after this time and moved on to Greece with them at the end of 1944 as his service record shows that he didn't return home until 16th June 1945 and was then discharged from the army on 26th October.

    I have no idea as to what part he played within the regiment, no pictures or anything (he died when I was young so I never had the opportunity to discuss it with him). Am not expecting you to provide all the answers but if you have or do come across any information that might be relevant that you can share with me then that would be great!

    Many Thanks,

  17. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles


    It's very late in my part of the world, but I'll go through your post with a clear head tomorrow, see what I can deduce from the details and get back to you.

    I'm delighted to hear from you and will see whether I can find anything that might interest you.
  18. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles


    Unfortunately, I've unexpectedly got to be out of town (and away from my computer) this weekend, so I won't get a chance to dig into what you've posted, so--to give you something to look at for now--I've copied the pages for the official history and the battalion war diary for the date of your grandfather's wounding in 1944.

    As the history suggests, you can also consult the section of The Tiger Triumphs: Chapter 10 – Fourth Indian Division in the Arno Valley

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  19. hay1157

    hay1157 New Member

    Many thanks for this, Charley, is all very useful.

    Have a good weekend.

  20. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    This reveals the author of the Tiger Kills:


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