Green Howards War Diaries (1 month period) 26-08-44 to 21-09-44

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by Michael O'Neil, May 9, 2012.

  1. Hi folks,

    Was wondering if anyone could advise on how easy it would be to find out about my grandfather's short time in the Green Howards and if possible where he was injured. I know 99% of his service history but not the last bit. I have loads of info but briefly what I know is this:

    Enlisted 17-05-39 in the 8th (Liverpool Irish) Battalion of the King's Regiment.

    I know all about his embodied service in Britain and his embarkment during D-Day - I even know the landing craft number thanks to a Canadian researcher as my grandfather's battalion went on with the Canadians. (H+ 20 minutes !!!).

    His battalion was disbanded in August 1944 and he (along with a good many colleagues) was transferred to the Green Howards as a Private (previously Lance Corporal) on 26-08-44.

    His records state that service in NWE ended 20-09-44 and after that it says Home 21-09-44 to 19-01-45 which was his effective date of discharge - regiment of discharge the Green Howards. I know he was injured and brought home where he spent many months in hospital near Liverpool.

    So how easy would it be to track his movements between 26-08-44 to 20-09-44 (less than 1 month) and if possible find out where he might have been injured?

    I know from what little he told me that after D-Day he went to Caen and then up through France, Belgium and into Holland.
     
  2. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello Michael,

    Your grandfather would have been with either the 6th or 7th Bn's Green Howards, 69th Infantry Brigade, 50th (Northumbrian) Division.

    He joined them after the breakout from Normandy whilst XXX Corps, of which 50 Div were part, were in the van of the rapid pursuit of German forces in Northern France and The Low Countries.

    The 20 September 1944 fell during Operation Market Garden, but actually 1 day before the 69th Infantry Brigade were called forward from its holding position in the Beeringen bridgehead towards Nijmegen. Due to traffic congestion it had only reached Valkenswaard by 8.00 am on the 22 September (after 22 hours travelling).

    I am not sure what (action or accident) led to your grandfather's injury, but the 69th Infantry Brigade was involved in a heavy battle at Gheel between the 8 and 12 September 1944 and it is possible he was wounded there; and evacuated to the UK on the 20 September 1944.

    His service records should identify which of the two battalions he was in and when he was injured/hospitalised - and sometimes why. Do you have these? Armed with this personal information we should be able to place within reason where he was when injured!

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Lee - Pysc-war.org (I can never remember how to spell his name) would copy the battalions war diary for Aug and Sept for you.
     
  4. Thanks for the replies folks so just to fill in a few gaps. My grandfather was injured by shrapnel in the hip/spine (I seem to recall it was mortar fire). He did tell me a few tales - there's one I'd love to find out how true it was (it involved him finding a jeweled cross in the rubble of a church in France and having it in his bag which he said he'd promised to himself he'd give to another church in the next village he came to that hadn't been destroyed) but geographically the areas mentioned earlier are what he told me. Interestingly Steve Mac you mentioned Nijmegen because my father gave me a book "2194 Days of War" which he'd given to my grandfather - and for the date 20-09-44 there is a penciled circle around the word Nijmegen - it's the only one he made in the book - coincidence?

    Anyhow I've had a look at his service records and his service book 64 and I can't see anything that might pin down a GH Battalion so I've put them up on my skydrive - maybe someone with more skill can determine this (see link at the end).

    And cheers Drew5233 for the info - I couldn't find anything for the Lee - Pysc-war.org link so I clicked through from the War diaries link - wow I wouldn't know where to start with the excel sheets as regards the above but I did see the following regarding photographs of landing crafts, etc:

    WO 205/1247
    WO 205/1248
    WO 205/1249
    WO 205/1250

    As I said earlier thanks to a Canadian chap who has put together an exhaustive list of the Canadian Brigade's landing formation I know roughly which landing craft he went onto the beach in - Juno - Mike - (Green or Red - don't have this at hand at the moment). Anyhow I might see if an image exists given I know the following:

    H + 20 Minutes
    Serials 1056 to 1061 were 6 LCAs from LSI J16 carrying 7 men from A Company 8 Kings Regiment. Beach Group reconnaissance party.
    Serials 1062 to 1067 were 6 LCAs from LSI J16 carrying 7 men from A Company 8 Kings Regiment. Beach Group reconnaissance party.

    So serials 1056-1067 should give me a good start.

    Lastly thanks again and here's the link - let me know if you can't get through?

    https://skydrive.live.com/redir.aspx?cid=ae4e12bf7a7c4640&resid=AE4E12BF7A7C4640!213&parid=AE4E12BF7A7C4640!133&authkey=!ABStgjTprBI6Z94
     
  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    7 Bn

    War diary ref.
    WO 171/1303
    7 Green Howards (Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Own Yorkshire Regiment)
    Covering dates 1944 Jan.- Dec.

    Forum member Psy.War can copy the file for you for a small fee
    profile here.
    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/members/psywar-org.html
     

    Attached Files:

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  6. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    Hi Michael, I'd be happy to help with the 7 Green Howards war diary for August and September '44.

    Some details about what I do here: Arcre - ARCRE - Frequently Asked Questions

    Drop me a PM or email if you'd like to know more.

    All the best,

    Lee
     
  7. Wow folks thanks for the replies and top marks Owen for spotting the 7 - I'd completely missed that!

    Thanks for the offer Lee - I'll send you a PM becuase in addition to the month or so I'll need for the 7 Green Howards I might as well ask for the 8th (Liverpool Irish) Battalion of the King's Regiment, period D-Day to the transfer to the Green Howards. I'll see if I can work out what the roll number will be for them. I've already got their embodied diary until then - it was published in the first post-war edition of The Kingsman - Journal of the King's Regiment in July 1946 in which they say that service diary information "is only a general outline" and that "at present communication is so bad and personal contact impossible".

    Anyhow I'll have a look, probably get stuck and ask for help and be in touch but I can't say how pleased I am to have made the post.

    Cheers - Michael.
     
  8. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    Michael,

    Looking at the thumbnail put up by Owen it struck me that I have seen references to a Xii List somewhere else (look at 12 Sep 44 entry) and looking at one of the other war diaries I have been transcribing I found this reference:

    "1 Dvr i/c admitted to hospital and posted to X(ii) List."

    So I would suggest that SteveMac is probably right that your grandfather was wounded on or just before 12 Sep, went into hospital and was posted to the unit's X(ii) List (I'm not sure if there was an X(i) or (X(iii) List though):).

    I'm guessing that the reference to "Y LIst" on 21 September indicates either that that was the date the hospital informed his unit that he was too badly wounded to return to the unit or that he had been evacuated to UK.

    If I come across any other reference to Y List, or a better explanation of the whole X(i/ii/iii) thing, I'll post again here.

    Regards

    Tom
     
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    You owe me a large Latte Lee :lol:
     
  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Ps I don't suppose you saw my battery charger at Kew tonight - I left it there on the table still plugged in !
     
  11. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    Ps I don't suppose you saw my battery charger at Kew tonight - I left it there on the table still plugged in !

    Sorry mate didn't notice it, I was rushing to get a large diary finished before being thrown out. Give them a call in the morning, hopefully security have put it in lost property.

    The Latte's on me (and in a proper cup too).
     
  12. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Cheers, I'll be there for 0830 tomorrow so I'll ask when I get there.
     
  13. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    Michael, this is the reference for 8 Kings diary:

    WO 171/1317, 8 King's Regiment (Liverpool), 1944 Jan.- Aug.
     
  14. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  15. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello Michael,

    Matters have moved on a lot whilst I have been at work... all very positive as well.

    We now know that he was with the 7th Bn Green Howards and was wounded on the 12 September 1944, which probably places him at Gheel when this happened.

    Page 7 of his Attestation states that he was 'Discharged Para 390 (XVI) KR 1940 Date 19.1.1945 Permamnently unfit for any form of Military Service' and 'Disability - Spondylitis of dorsal spine with K******** (Aggravated) Degree 30%'. He'd had a similar injury on 26.1.1944 but had returned to duty. From what you say his mortar wound appears to have aggravated a previous injury to the extent that he was unfit for further service.

    NB. KR probably = Kings Regulations.

    If you want any information on the Gheel battle just let me know and I would be happy to give you a general outline, with as much information about the 7th Bn Green Howards as I have. If you go for the War Diaries then either Lee or Andy (Drew) can assist you with these.

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  16. Blimey things have moved on folks - went home last night and had a hard slog at the coalface of geneaology and never looked at this! I'm also doing the US Civil War as an ancestor fought and perished in that so along with this and WW1 it looks like my family (O'Neil) have been involved in most of the major conflicts of the past 150 years or so !!!

    I'm going to check with a couple of aunts (older than my dad) because I do recall some problem with how much money he got from his disability pension. Think it had to do with the condition being a form of arthritis and that both injuries merely 'aggravated' this rather than cause it but I don't know for sure - I just remember my grandfather always walked with a limp but my aunts will know more.

    And brilliant detective work on the dates - I'll take it as read from you chaps - you'll know more than me - hats off to Steve and Tom - the first for the info about the dates of action for the Green Howards and the second for the x and y list info which I agree puts the injury as near as damm it the 12-09-44. I had a look at the link to the explanations for this - the only discrepancy I found was that there looked to be a 21 day period between being put on the Xii list and going onto the Y list - maybe the injury was deemed bad enough to avoid the 21 days?

    Anyhow my dilemna now is Lee or Andy - I said I'd send Lee a PM which I will do and as it sounds like you guys are at Kew all the time I'll leave it up to you if you want to share but a big thanks yet again.

    Michael.
     
  17. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    Hi again Michael,

    Andy suggested me as I'll do selected months/sections of war diaries, whilst Andy prefers to do the whole diary. If that helps with your choice :D

    Lee
     
  18. Like a pair of girls with a doll eh chaps? Have just sent a PM Lee.
     
  19. paulcheall

    paulcheall Son of a Green Howard

    Hi Michael
    I'm quite envious that you have managed to trace which landing craft your GF was on - I don't think that sort of info is available for my Dad's unit which was 6GH, 69th Brigade, going in with the first wave on Gold Beach.
    I can't help you much with the time your GF spent with the GH after Normandy but you might like to take a look at this link which is a short extract from dad's full published memoirs, which have several chapters dedicated to D-Day. It captures the atmosphere of the lead up to D-Day which undoubtedly would reflect your GF's own experience and I sincerely hope you enjoy it.

    Paul

    Fighting Through - From Dunkirk to Hamburg - War Diary and autobiography of Bill Cheall - WW2, Dunkirk, D-Day memoir and war diary

    PS Just take a look at this awesome pic from Wikipedia which is US troops approaching Omaha. Oh and here's another of the 6GH actually jumping into the water ...!

    The GH had a very distinguished record and you can be incredibly proud that your GF was once part of them, as I am aswell of my Dad.



    Thanks for the replies folks so just to fill in a few gaps. My grandfather was injured by shrapnel in the hip/spine (I seem to recall it was mortar fire). He did tell me a few tales - there's one I'd love to find out how true it was (it involved him finding a jeweled cross in the rubble of a church in France and having it in his bag which he said he'd promised to himself he'd give to another church in the next village he came to that hadn't been destroyed) but geographically the areas mentioned earlier are what he told me. Interestingly Steve Mac you mentioned Nijmegen because my father gave me a book "2194 Days of War" which he'd given to my grandfather - and for the date 20-09-44 there is a penciled circle around the word Nijmegen - it's the only one he made in the book - coincidence?

    Anyhow I've had a look at his service records and his service book 64 and I can't see anything that might pin down a GH Battalion so I've put them up on my skydrive - maybe someone with more skill can determine this (see link at the end).

    And cheers Drew5233 for the info - I couldn't find anything for the Lee - Pysc-war.org link so I clicked through from the War diaries link - wow I wouldn't know where to start with the excel sheets as regards the above but I did see the following regarding photographs of landing crafts, etc:

    WO 205/1247
    WO 205/1248
    WO 205/1249
    WO 205/1250

    As I said earlier thanks to a Canadian chap who has put together an exhaustive list of the Canadian Brigade's landing formation I know roughly which landing craft he went onto the beach in - Juno - Mike - (Green or Red - don't have this at hand at the moment). Anyhow I might see if an image exists given I know the following:

    H + 20 Minutes
    Serials 1056 to 1061 were 6 LCAs from LSI J16 carrying 7 men from A Company 8 Kings Regiment. Beach Group reconnaissance party.
    Serials 1062 to 1067 were 6 LCAs from LSI J16 carrying 7 men from A Company 8 Kings Regiment. Beach Group reconnaissance party.

    So serials 1056-1067 should give me a good start.

    Lastly thanks again and here's the link - let me know if you can't get through?

    https://skydrive.live.com/redir.aspx?cid=ae4e12bf7a7c4640&resid=AE4E12BF7A7C4640!213&parid=AE4E12BF7A7C4640!133&authkey=!ABStgjTprBI6Z94
     

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