Harry Billinge and the new Gold Beach Memorial

Discussion in 'All Anniversaries' started by bamboo43, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    Its not me "just saying" I've based enlistment date on nearest matches (above and below) in Service books I have - user Gelert would be better able to narrow down a date I'm sure. I could be wrong about leave being demob leave, but I would say it makes no mention of it being an enlistment date and someone from FMP transcribing has just assumed or bunged it in the enlistment field of their spreadsheet as they had nowhere better to put it. The tracer card is a fairly poor example giving very little info, it really does need his full records to flesh out the story but unfortunately for the moment we have to work with the limited info available.

  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Was Harry ever wounded ?
    Is he on any of the casualty lists ?
  3. Marc Locks

    Marc Locks Member

    Harry (Horace) always said after the war went to a hospital for 2 years and was told he was psychotic and told to live with it and they could no longer help him.

    He was never wounded, he never mentioned wounds at all.
  4. Marc Locks

    Marc Locks Member

    Yes exactly, Len Cox was 2nd wave and in the Gloucester Regiment. Here he is in the bottom middle. With his unit. There are only 2 photos of Harry the soldier photo and one with only him with a family called Deville that he befriended in France. Did soldiers have time to befriend families during the invasion? I was having a debate with someone on Facebook as they said he was a Hero because Harry was 1st Wave Gold Beach and they sent me all the following articles. No real hard evidence like you listed Steve just what Harry has said to the reporter. The articles I was sent the guy sent and circled were written by non researching reporters e.g where is Arrogance?. I think everybody should have an open mind when discussing a soldiers service that has so many different answers. I know from my research that Harry's stories don't add up. If he wasn't there then everybody who respects D-Day and the fallen are listening to what?

    Who could really look into this further? As all the different units listed surely some must list all the service men?

    24 Commando unit even gave Harry a guard of honour last June at Par, Cornwall as he 'assisted' 4 Commando on D-Day whilst landing 1st Wave Gold Beach.

    4 Commando landed 1st Wave Sword beach no where near Gold Beach. Not one person picked up on this tv, radio or even researchers. It's great for remembering D-Day but like Harry stated in many interviews "I'm like a celebrity in Normandy". Something with all this clearly does not add up.

    Attached Files:

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  5. Marc Locks

    Marc Locks Member

    Here's another interesting fact. Harry's service number was 14435999 that's 14435999 (8 numbers not 9)

    He has stated he was in many units including being a Royal Engineer.

    Attached are the Service numbers given to Royal Engineers. Look at the numbers. Harry is 14435999.

    Len Cox 2nd wave Gloucester Regiment always adamantly said "Harry was never 1st wave, he was a lorry driver or not even there". They had many fall outs but Harry is switched on and told many people Len was crazy and threw in a bit of he has a bit of dementia for people who heard Len. This was never the case Len was switched on but passionate about his fallen buddies. Len was shot and wounded on D-Day in his backside he told me. Looking at the number references show Len is 100% correct.

    Also is the listing for Harry's MBE for collecting, stating he was a Marine, in the R M Commando's and was Royal Navy?

    Still the die hard fans will refuse to see the truth even reading all the facts in these posts. Such a shame as in Cornwall everybody that's known Harry for years and years know the truth about Harry but the Normandy Memorial Trust haven't researched anything and only promoted that Harry was 1st wave Hero Gold Beach landing 6.30am off Harry's words only? So wrong as they even got him standing on the beach reading a poem about the landing also. It should be a video of the grave stones of the men who died there whom gave their lives so we could live ours in freedom.

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  6. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    His number was General Service Corps which from the start of 1942 was the starting point for all recruits, so is absolutely correct for a 1943 recruit who then gets posted to the RE - I'm not saying your basic challenge is wrong, but if you are using his number as evidence its just muddying the water
    Owen likes this.
  7. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I feel compelled to say as Admin that the person being discussed is still alive.

    Would advise anyone making potentially 'reputational' statements to be exceptionally certain of their position before posting.

    I (and the site) have no axe to grind either way. Just reminding that there is a system that people can fall foul of.

    SDP and Tony56 like this.
  8. Marc Locks

    Marc Locks Member

    Thank you Admin. I understand and will respect the rules on this wonderful WW2 talk forum. I will stand by what I have typed though as there are no lies put on here only the facts which can officially be researched online too from what Harry has said in interviews and on tv. Many things don't add up. Anyone can question or go against anything I have listed by all means as they too would have separate concrete facts.

    I thank you again for being open minded that's what a forum/chat site should be like, not everyone will agree but we all will learn a lot by others statements/facts. I will finish here by saying the memorial in Gold Beach is a super structure fitting for all our British men that gave their day so we could have ours. I donated towards it and will always do so and hope others will too. Lest we forget
    Steve Mac and 4jonboy like this.
  9. The leitmotiv about Harry landing at 0620 (or 0630) hours on 6 June 1944 is of course pure bollocks. H Hour in GOLD Area was 0725 hrs, and no one landed one hour or so before that time, not even the DD tanks which were to land at H-5 mins. Of this I am exceptionally certain! ;)

    Then there are the many conflicting and equally ridiculous mentions of various units, including "SAS blokes" who were urging people to get off of the beach... Which were Harry's statements and which are simply faulty interpretation by reporters is not clear.

    The only thing that could clarify matters would be Harry's Service Record showing his unit. But the fact that he never mentioned his unit, nor any name of comrades or officers in his unit, and that he apparently refused to disclose it to Mark, should give us a hint as to his actual involvement (or lack of it) in the landings on D Day proper...

    If Harry was in the same unit as L cpl JG Neades, as his story about his dying in his arms suggests, then he was in 17 Fd Coy RE which landed on D Day in SWORD Area, not GOLD, between H+120 and H+360 mins.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2022
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  10. Marc Locks

    Marc Locks Member

    I looked Joseph Neades up too and his unit is on his write up on www.findagrave.com and thought exactly the same, that Harry would have had to have been on Sword beach not Gold beach e.g as he would have been the same unit? I never looked into the actual landing times on Gold beach, amazing how people don't know this. The first assault was 7.25am never 6.30am. Eye opening.

    You learn so much from these forums. Some really good historians on here too.

    I visit Normandy every year with my 2 sons. Does anyone visit Normandy either on the 6th June or in the quieter months? Be good to get a group meeting up over there even if its for an afternoon or evening as everyone there would know their history, the chats would be great.
    4jonboy likes this.
  11. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

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  12. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

  13. Grasmere

    Grasmere Well-Known Member

    RIP Harry.
  14. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

  15. Andsco

    Andsco Active Member

    So sad now to see these veterans passing, there can't be too many left. There's one from my town who's just passed by the name of Bill Osbourne who played the last post on his bugle outside his home every remembrance Day.
    Over the years I've been privileged to meet one or two of them and hear their stories. Although I think we all realise what a terrible time it would have been to face such atrocities of a world war I was envious of their Camaraderie and pride of having served.
    New generations will only have history to tell them of these people, I am happy to have known some of them.


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