Hello, Interests 6th Gordon Highlanders, Anzio and Palestine

Discussion in 'User Introductions' started by Glengavel, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. Glengavel

    Glengavel Junior Member


    I'm interested in tracking down any information on my late father-in-law (who I sadly never met), John Younger Russell, who served with the 6th Gordons in Italy and Palestine. I think (or rather my wife and brother-in-law think!) that he was a driver, but that's about as much as they know. I've read Edward Grace's book "The Perilous Road to Rome", and I've got a small paperback booklet describing the 6th's activiites in North Africa and Italy, but he isn't mentioned in either.


    Robert Struthers
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  3. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce

    Hello and welcome to the forum

  4. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    You shouldn't hold your breath waiting for any book to mention anyone's name unless he won the V.C. etc - only Officers are mentioned mostly - so the nearest you will get is the diaries of 6th Gordons in 2nd Bde of 1st British Infantry Division and their activities in North Africa in 1st Army- Italy including Anzio with 8th and 5th US armies - and Palestine
    with PIAF and MEF

  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hello and welcome to the forum :)
  6. Glengavel

    Glengavel Junior Member

    Thank you all for your replies.
  7. gordon236

    gordon236 Junior Member

    hi Robert,
    I too have been trying to find more details about the 6th Gordons as my Dad was at Anzio, Monte Cassino and Palestine, Gaza, etc. I have just finished the same book and found two names I recognise - who were close friends of my Dads and both of whom I have met - the Adj Temple Nimmo and Sgt Major "Willy" McHardy. My Dad was Lt Low and later Major.
    I have a lot of photos which my Dad left me of his mates and I will have a look for your father in laws name on any of them - its a very long shot but you never know. If you have any more details it might be helpful.
    Just for the record Temple Nimmos son was born at the same time as me and both of us were named after the regiment!

  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Gordon and welcome to the forum. You may want to send Robert a Personal Message as he doesn't appear to have come back since the 2th.

    Just for ref incase anyone is interested the battalion has a fair few war diaries at the National Archives:

    WO 166/4304 6 Gordon Highlanders. 1939 Sept.- Dec., 1940 July - 1941 Dec.
    WO 167/747 6 Gordon Highlanders 1940 Jan.-June
    WO 166/8703 6 Gordon Highlanders 1942 Jan.- Dec.
    WO 166/12552 6 Gordon Highlanders 1943 Jan., Feb.
    WO 175/503 6 Gordon Highlanders 1943 Mar.- June
    WO 169/10216 6 Gordon Highlanders 1943 July- Dec.
    WO 170/1394 6 Gordon Highlanders 1944 Jan.- Dec.
    WO 170/5008 6 Gordon Highlanders 1945 Jan.
    WO 169/20052 6 Gordon Highlanders 1945 Jan.- Dec.
    WO 169/23205 6 Gordon Highlanders 1946 Jan.- June

  9. gordon236

    gordon236 Junior Member

    hi Andy,
    thanks for that. I have sent him a PM. You never know what might turn up.
    All the best for 2013


  10. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member


    As promised, here are the dispositions of the 6 GORDONS's rifle companies at Anzio on 3-4 Feb 44.



    Attached Files:

    Cassino1944 likes this.
  11. ianneale

    ianneale New Member

    My father, Capt. Arnold Neale, fought at Anzio and was later in Palestine with the 6th Gordons. If there is anyone connected with this forum who was also there, and might have known Arnold, I have sad news: he died on 19 May, in Launceston Tasmania. So far as I know he kept in contact with HQ in Aberdeen all his life. If anyone would like to contact me, his eldest son, I am Ian Neale and can be emailed directly: ian@ariesinsight.co.uk.
  12. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Sad to hear of the passing of your Father , especially when thoughts of alot of us have been on the comemorations of events 70 years ago.
  13. Foxm

    Foxm Member

    Hi, this is my first ever posting to a forum, so please excuse my ignorance if I haven’t posted correctly. I’m also on a huge learning curve when it comes to military terms.

    My father was also In the 6th Gordon’s in North Africa (briefly), Italy and Palestine.

    I have read Edward Grace’s book which detailed how Companies A, C and D were captured at Anzio. Is there anyway to find out what company my father was in? I can’t find it on his War service record. I’m assuming because he survived Anzio that he may have been in B company.

    We’re there any survivors from from A,C and D companies who were not captured? Only asking because my father, who passed away in 1986, told my eldest brother that he and a couple of mates being captured by Germans at Anzio but then let go. I don’t know when, where or how. Could be “lost in translation” over the years though.

    Also does anyone know how many platoons to a company in the 6th Gordon’s? And were they stable units where you stayed with a platoon for the duration of your service or would men be transferred between platoons regularly?

    Kind Regards
  14. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Maryanne and welcome to the forum.

    All I will say on War Forces is stay clear and make sure your direct debit is cancelled.

    Ref identifying a Company somewhere served in is very hit and miss. It's a bit of a Holy Grail as far as Infantry units go and in most case you can't find this information. The two most obvious places to look would be the units war diary and the regimental missing men file covering the campaign in Italy but the odds are stacked against you finding this info I'm afraid.
  15. Foxm

    Foxm Member

    Thanks Drew,
    At least I know what I’m up against now and what options might be available.

    PS: thanks for the advice about direct debits
    Drew5233 likes this.
  16. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I'm a bit late to the party but I can tell you your father was cap badged the Border Regiment and joined the 6th Gordon Highlanders on the 12th March 1944. It looks like he was 11 Platoons Commander until June 1944 and then became the battalion SO (Security Officer?) for the rest of 1944.
  17. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member


    In a Battalion in Italy at the time, there were four Rifle Companies, a Support Company of heavier weapons and Headquarters Company of administrators. Each Rifle Company had three Rifle Platoons.


    Foxm likes this.
  18. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Foxm likes this.
  19. Foxm

    Foxm Member

    Thanks Frank. I noticed in his book The Perilous Road to Rome Edward Grace mentions 10 and 11 Platoons of B Company. So your info really helps.

  20. Foxm

    Foxm Member

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