Gus Holliman Long Range Desert Group

Discussion in 'North Africa & the Med' started by Susan Smethurst, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  2. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    Thanks for digging those out, Andy.

    The story has it that the German general commanding at Ghent would only surrender to another general. Holliman was managing to convince the general that he was one too, until somebody came up and called him "Colonel".
     
  3. Susan Smethurst

    Susan Smethurst Senior but too talkative

    I am so glad I mentioned this-its brought out so much about someone I know my father valued hugely and felt the loss of for all his life. I have written to AB Smethurst MC (aged 95-Tom you are a youngster.....) today-the family politics are not easy but if I can go to see him I will ask the forum for ideas as to what I might ask him to fill in gaps.
     
  4. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Susan - glad you think that I am a youngster - there are times when I think you may be right - but then there are the more than other times !

    I'm sure that many of the forum members will have many questions for AB

    Cheers
     
  5. Susan Smethurst

    Susan Smethurst Senior but too talkative

    I would like to share that Gus' grandson Charles has been in touch with me via the forum. Isnt that brilliant! Sadly Peggy Holliman has passed on but at risk of being either emotional ( come on I am a girl!) or presumptive I think Brian Smethurst and Gus Holliman will raise a glass in heaven to think their descendants made contact.
     
  6. Susan Smethurst

    Susan Smethurst Senior but too talkative

    Attached Files:

  7. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Susan - well done !
    You will have a solid contact with your youth now with Jeremy Holliman - you see - we never know who is lurking around this forum .....great stuff !
    Cheers
     
  8. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Always good to put faces to names.
     
  9. Stevin

    Stevin Member

  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Stevin...Fill ya boots mate - They aren't my images, they are the National Archives.
     
  11. Stevin

    Stevin Member

    Stevin...Fill ya boots mate - They aren't my images, they are the National Archives.

    Ah, Thanks Drew...I'll add them and give proper credits until told otherwise...Thanks again.
     
  12. david caywood

    david caywood Junior Member

    Holliman took over as CO 5 R Tks on 17 May 1944.

    The fairly-recent regimental history - Press On Regardless - attributes his death to a different cause but the tragedy is matched by the high regard shown for him:

    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=27032&stc=1&d=1271105761

    Is that then how wives of the fallen were informed, by telegram?
     
  13. david caywood

    david caywood Junior Member

    I would like to share that Gus' grandson Charles has been in touch with me via the forum. Isnt that brilliant! Sadly Peggy Holliman has passed on but at risk of being either emotional ( come on I am a girl!) or presumptive I think Brian Smethurst and Gus Holliman will raise a glass in heaven to think their descendants made contact.

    Your father must have had a very wonderful heart, for the compassion and kindness he showed to Gus's widow Peggie. No doubt God has richly blessed him in heaven.
     
  14. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    David -
    ALL casualties next of kin were initially informed by telegram -KIA -WIA - POW et al

    Cheers
     
  15. Ivo Wilms

    Ivo Wilms Member

    Pardon me for bumping this rather old topic.
    Together with a councillor from my municipality I plan to erect a memorial for the gallant men who gave the ultimate sacrifice during the battle of Sint Joost on 20 and 21 January, 1945. While researching these men I came across the story of Lt. Col. Holliman, who was allegedly killed near St. Joost. I was wondering if there is anyone with more information regarding his exact location of death. If he was indeed killed close to, or in St. Joost, I would like to add his name to the memorial as well.

    As for the official report stating that he was killed at the Schilberg crossroads by a Panther tank I can safely say that this cannot be considered as the truth. The battle for the Schilberg crossroads took place three days prior to Lt. Col. Holliman's death. Six men from 1st Bn., Royal Tank Regiment were killed (including the loss of several tanks), together with three men from the 7th Bn., 141st Royal East Kent Regiment (The Buffs) when their Churchill Crocodile Flamethrower was KO'd by a Panzerkampfwagen VI/Tiger I (reinforced with blocks of concrete) of the 301e schwehre Panzer-Abteilung. No other tank men were killed during this battle as far as I am aware.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
     
  16. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    Ivo - Schilberg crossroads is correct but it was artillery - not tank - fire that got him. I also have a note that he was originally buried at Buchten.
     
  17. Ivo Wilms

    Ivo Wilms Member

    Thank you for clearing this out! I've read several conflicting versions of his death, hence my question.
     
  18. Susan Smethurst

    Susan Smethurst Senior but too talkative

    As someone who's father knew Gus Holliman I am very pleased to see interest in him.
    He was by all accounts one of this people who made a mark and whose loss resonated for decades for those who served with him.
     
  19. Raasay

    Raasay New Member

    I was searching for information about the Rhodesian (S) patrols in the LRDG. W.B. Kennedy Shaw in "Long Range Desert Group" mentions Charles Holliman as commanding a Rhodesian patrol. I wonder if anyone knows how/why he was given that command. Also, I would be grateful for any sources of information specifically about the S patrols.
     
  20. LRDGEgypt

    LRDGEgypt Member

    Raasay
    Why Charles Holliman was given the command of S Patrol, was probably because of a very simple reason. He was already with the LRDG at that time and there was no other officers around.
    Gus Holliman had joined the LRDG late August beginning of September 1940. There he first took over the Heavy Section (Marmon Harrington Party - at that time) and spend all September transfering fuel and supply to forward dumps in the Gilf Kebir area, in the south of Egypt. here he had gathered much experience so he was suitable to command a Patrol. He left the Heavy Section in January 1941 and took over the formation of S Patrol. A new commissioned officer Second Lieutenant Croucher took over the Heavy Section with some new trucks.
    Hope that your question is answered.
     

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