Harold Leonard James THOMAS, 8th Bn Royal Warwickshire Regt, 19/5/1940

Discussion in '1940' started by Alec Thomas, May 19, 2018.

  1. Alec Thomas

    Alec Thomas Member

    Hi All,

    I am looking for information held in the War Diary of GHQ Liason Regiment for the month of May 1940 in Belgium. Specifically the dates around the 19th of May 1940 and the mention of one Harold Leonard James Thomas.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Here is the excerpt from the regimental history by R.J.T. Hills "Phantom Was There" - London, 1951. It is for the period around May 19th, 1940, though it does not mention your man.
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I've had a look and can't find an official war diary under Liaison or GHQ Liaison that fits the time line. Could they have been designated a Military Mission with a number?
  4. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    Their war diary is ref WO 215/1 at TNA. Also WO 215/2 has reports for this period.

  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Ha, I'm sure I looked at WO 215 last night as well <old age>

    WO 215/3 to 5 might be worth a look as well depending on what you are after as they are France related as well.
    PsyWar.Org likes this.
  6. Alec Thomas

    Alec Thomas Member

    Hi folks,

    Just received my Great Uncle’s Service record (Harold Leonard James Thomas), and we now have a tonne more questions.

    I have drawn blanks as to what a lot of this form means. Literally any explanation is welcomed.
    For those who can’t access the scan (I don’t trust my computer skills) here is the information transcribed as best as I can discern:
    In particular is the column Authority

    LG, 16.1.40
    The last two I know already.

    Likewise, as a little bonus if anyone knows anything about what he would have done in Lowislote on 11.3.40

    Attached Files:

  7. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    Turned it round for you. (and others)

    Attached Files:

  8. Alec Thomas

    Alec Thomas Member

    You’re doing the lords work friend.
  9. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Authority is merely the authorisation for the event/posting etc recorded in the first column. In most cases a copy of this authorisation will no longer exist.
    First one: LG 16.1.40 is London Gazette 16 Jan 1940 where his commission would have been promulgated.
    Lowislote is I think actually Lowestoft and entry would indicate this is where he joined 9th Holding Battalion.

  10. Alec Thomas

    Alec Thomas Member

    That’s really useful information. Thank you.
    Interesting, given that his movement to Lowestoft was never mentioned to his family.
    No luck deciphering the rest of it?
  11. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    B157 and B158 are Army Forms. B158 is nominal roll of officers on strength. Don't know what a B157 is. Don't know what RFT.F.33 is but I would guess it is his order to embark. GHQ.2ECH is probably General Headquarters Second Echelon and will be the order for his posting to 8th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment. The London Gazette is online so you can search for the entry if you wish.

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  12. ash0212

    ash0212 Member

    GHQ Liaison Regiment did not exist until 1941.
  13. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    Originally called 'No. 3 British Air Mission', then 'No. 1 GHQ Reconnaissance Unit', later 'GHQ Liaison Regiment ' - otherwise known as Phantom.
    Drew5233 likes this.
  14. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Harold Leonard James Thomas
    BIRTH 1 JUL 1911 • Ward End, Warwickshire, England
    DEATH 19 MAY 1940 • Calonne, Hainaut, Belgium

    England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
    Name: Harold L J Thomas
    Mother's Maiden Name: Smith
    Registration Year: 1911
    Registration Quarter: Jul-Aug-Sep
    Registration district: Aston
    Parishes for this Registration District: View Ecclesiastical Parishes associated with this Registration District
    Inferred County: Warwickshire
    Volume: 6d
    Page: 745

    UK, Army Roll of Honour, 1939-1945
    Name: Harold Thomas
    Given Initials: H L J
    Rank: Second Lieutenant
    Death Date: May 1940
    Number: 113341
    Birth Place: Birmingham
    Residence: Birmingham
    Branch at Enlistment: Infantry
    Theatre of War: France and Belgium Campaign, 1939/40
    Regiment at Death: Royal Warwickshire Regiment
    Branch at Death: Infantry

  15. Alec Thomas

    Alec Thomas Member

    Hi All,

    I was looking for information about the going on”s in Kontich Belgium prior to June 1940. Specifically from the 8th Battalion of the Royal Warwicks. Simply would like to know if they were ever there?. If you could provide any information about what they did, that would be a bonus. If you know anything about the area and specific time period as well?

  16. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

  17. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Any idea on a date? I've got the diary but it would be easier if you can narrow it down.
  18. Alec Thomas

    Alec Thomas Member

    Hi All,

    You may have read some of this history in previous posts. My father and I are researching the history of my great Uncle Harold Leonard James Thomas. 2nd Liutenant from the 8th Batallion Royal Warwickshire Regiment 113341. Long story short: he died in the Tournai/Calonne area on the 21st of May 1940. That date was changed, as far as I can tell, as early as 10th October 1942 (notes in a letter sent to his father). The date was changed to the 19th of May 1940. We would like to know why.

    Some key questions have come now since receiving his service record and reading it properly. I hope some of you will be able to shed some more light on the story.
    1) In his official service record his death is noted in Casualty List 962, as far as I can tell, it isn’t. On find my past the ‘officer and nurse’ casualty list stops at 930. Does anyone have this missing list?
    2) The changed was prompted by information gathered from a POW via the Red Cross. Who the POW is, where he is, or what the information is, is sadly absent. I have attempted to contact the Red Cross and have been left with very little in the way of anything. I have also been told the the information we were sent in the service record is ‘everything’. Would anyone be able to advise on how I could investigate this further?
    3) I have looked into the missing personnel lists that were sent to POW camps and have found his name among of RWR men on a list sent out in 1941. The list seemed to reference the Middle East. Does anyone know anything about these lists and why a soldier who’s fate was seemingly identified could be included in such a list?

    Many thanks.

  19. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Alec

    This family tree has him as 19th May 1940
    Harold Leonard James Thomas
    BIRTH 1 JUL 1911 • Ward End, Warwickshire, England
    DEATH 19 MAY 1940 • Calonne, Hainaut, Belgium

    This database has him as 19th May 1940
    Global, Find A Grave Index for Burials at Sea and other Select Burial Locations, 1300s-Current
    Name: Second Lieutenant Harold Leonard Thomas
    Death Date: 19 May 1940
    Cemetery: Calonne Communal Cemetery
    Burial or Cremation Place: Antoing, Arrondissement de Tournai, Hainaut, Belgium
    Has Bio?: N
    URL: https://www.findagrave.com/mem...
    I doubt that has changed for some years

    CWGC have him as 19th May 1940
    Second Lieutenant
    Service Number 113341
    Died 19/05/1940
    Aged 29
    8th Bn.
    Royal Warwickshire Regiment
    Son of Leonard James Thomas and Hilda Gertrude Maud Thomas, of Castle Bromwich, Warwickshire. B.A. (Birmingham).

    I would assume the date change would be made with some confirmation by witness's who were there at the time and those witness's having survived Dunkirk and its aftermath, reforming of Regts, retraining etc etc finally had time to collect their thoughts and write down what they remembered.

    I dont know why - only surmising

  20. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    These might help with understanding procedures
    General procedure for dealing with Casualties in War, 1939
    History of Prisoner of War Casualty Branch

    Have you found your g. uncle's name on any Cas List? I ask because the number of the list may have been recorded incorrectly on his service record. Mistakes do/did occur. Is there a progression from e.g. Missing ... Missing presumed KIA, ... Previously reported Presumed KIA, now reported KIA ? Casualty Branch had a strict system for casualty type and would not publish unless they had a degree of certainty.
    See this linked thread Casualty: 'Cat C' ...

    Having seen a few *Missing Personnel files for various units, it's clear that lists were continuously re-generated with outstanding cases carried forward to lists created by more recent actions. It's possible the lists for PoWs were generated in the same way, in case potential witnesses had not been aware of previous attempts to gather info.

    *Have you looked at Missing Personnel Files? They are part of the casualty paper trail but very 'hit and miss' in content - might contain correspondence to/from Cas. Branch, witness accounts, reports or, nothing but his name on a list.

    British Expeditionary Force, France: Royal Warwickshire Regiment; missing men | The National Archives
    Reference: WO 361/54
    Description: British Expeditionary Force, France: Royal Warwickshire Regiment; missing men

    British Expeditionary Force, France: 8th battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment; missing... | The National Archives
    Reference: WO 361/55
    Description: British Expeditionary Force, France: 8th battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment; missing men

    Hope some of this helps.
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