Help please DLI

Discussion in 'Durham Light Infantry' started by Angp11, Nov 16, 2015.

  1. Angp11

    Angp11 Member

    Morning to you all. I have a husband that wants for nothing. With Christmas coming I thought I would get something different. I have done his family tree dating back 1599 which was easy. Now I want to find out about his father. Like most POW he never spoke of his time. His name William A Platts he was with the DLI don't know which section, his number was 4452663. He was a POW at Stalag 20B. His pow number 8742. Please could someone help me with any information it would be greatly appreciated.
  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Hello and welcome to the forum.
    I've moved your thread to the DLI subsection from Intros as it's a direct appeal for info.

    Likely [member='Mr Jinks'] will be along shortly with some advice relevant to DLI and/or POW info sources.

    You could apply for copy service records (which will detail which battalion, courses, training, dates of enlistment/promotion/transfer to other bn/embarkation/illness/wounding/discharge, medals issued) but as this is meant to be a surprise, you might have a problem.
    Hope this is clear enough an explanation - If your mother-in-law is still alive she could apply free of charge supplying a copy death certificate. Otherwise, if your father-in-law died less than 25 yrs ago, you will need to get consent of any brother- or sister -in-law of yours, fee payable, copy death cert required. (25 yrs or more and you may apply with fee & copy death cert.)

    Good luck
    Angp11 likes this.
  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi and welcome to the forum

    Just for information and confirming yours in the initial post:

    W A Platts in the UK, British Prisoners of War, 1939-1945
    Name: W A Platts
    Rank: Private
    Army Number: 4452663
    Regiment: Durham Light Infantry
    POW Number: 8742
    Camp Type: Stalag
    Camp Number: XX-B
    Camp Location: Malbork, Poland
    Record Office: Infantry and Army Educational Corps Record Office, York
    Record Office Number: 20

    As dbf suggests his service records are the vital document to researching his past in the military.

    Angp11 likes this.
  4. Angp11

    Angp11 Member

    Thank you for replying you were very quick. My father in law died in 1978 and mother in law 1998. So I guess I can apply. Got to try before the Christmas post not living in the UK can make things difficult sometimes.
  5. Lotus7

    Lotus7 Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome to the forum wish you well with your research

    Angp11 likes this.
  6. Angp11

    Angp11 Member

    Hi Tricky. Yes thank you that's him. I found that sheet and got stuck on were to go from there
  7. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member



    His Army Service Record should show the date of his capture and full details of his mitary service but likely little more info on his time as a POW. Cost £30. Money well spent.

    Do you know if he completed a post liberation POW questionnaire on arrival in UK?

    If he did so then it is searchable manually at the National Archives but not available online. Some forum members offer a look up service. Start a new topic with the Liberation Questionnaire Look Up Request title.

    Yoir best bet for POW info is via International Commission Red Cross (ICRC).keep an eye on their website They are part way through a digitisation process to make all WW2 POW papers searchable and freely avaialable on the internet. Due for completion sometime 2016.

    I have my Dad's POW questionnaire and copy papers from Switzerland from 2012.

    Good Luck

    Steve Y


    Do you know if he was a POW in Italy until Sept 1943? If so a forum member offers a look up of the pre Sept 1943 Italian POW index which will give a Camp Number. Start another topic asking for a look up.
    Angp11 likes this.
  8. Angp11

    Angp11 Member

    Thanks Tullybrone. He was in Stalag 20b. Poland. We don't know anything apart from so the story goes he was deaf in one ear due to a rifle punched in his head.
  9. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Hi Anjp11,

    DBF, I`m flattered that you think I could help but as I`ve said before I just ask someone I `KNOW` can help so I`m just a messenger (Which I `m fine with :) )
    4jonboy, Angp11 and dbf like this.
  10. Angp11

    Angp11 Member

    OMG you guys are giving me goose bumps reading this. Thank you this is the most information I have on him.
  11. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    If it turns out that he was captured in Oct 43, that would place him on the Greek Island of Kos in 1st Battalion DLI.

    Angp11 likes this.
  12. Angp11

    Angp11 Member

    We heard he was caught at Dunkirk at the start of the war
  13. idler

    idler GeneralList

    If the German POW numbers were a single series, I'd have thought 8742 was low enough to have been a BEF POW?
    Angp11 likes this.
  14. Angp11

    Angp11 Member

    Thank you Idler that makes since as Kyle and Mr Jinks found for me he had signed up between 1936-1938
  15. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello Angp11, welcome to the forum.

    If he was captured at 'Dunkirk', he could be 2nd, 6th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th Bn Durham Light Infantry.

    Do you know if he was a Regular or Territorial prior to the outbreak of WWII?

    If a Regular, he would likely be 2nd Bn.

    If a Territorial, he could be any one of the rest. However, at the outbreak of WWII it is highly likley you could identify his Bn (battalion) - one of two anyway - by where he lived at the time. For example, the 9th Bn were known as the Gateshead Gurkhas and the 12th Bn was its second line duplicate, and also men from Gateshead. The 11th Bn were duplicates of the 8th Bn and the 10th Bn duplicates of the 6th Bn; and from other parts of the then County Durham. Do you know where he lived at the outbreak of WWII and had he lived there long?

    Please note that, the 12th Bn Durham Light Infantry were redesignated as the1st Bn Tyneside Scottish, around the time WWII commenced.

    I mentioned the 9th Bn Durham Light Infantry because on their Roll of Honour for WWI is a soldier Pte. WM Platts, date of death 23 April 1917. Platts is an unusal name in the NE England and I, therefore, wondered if this man was related and if there was a family connection with the 9th Bn?

    Hope this is helpful... but you really need his service records!


    Angp11 and dbf like this.
  16. Angp11

    Angp11 Member

    Thank you Steve Mac. At the time of signing up he was living in Middlesbrough. I am guessing a regular as a previous post mentioned he signed up 38-39.
    I noticed the other PLATTS also which I will look deeper into as I have just completed my husbands family tree.
    I have just sent off for his service records hoping doesn't take too long with living overseas and christmas.
  17. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello Angp11,

    Middlesbrough is in the Green Howard's regiment recruitment area, so unlikely he was a Territorial. That said, we shouldn't discount it; I've seen some 'out of area' connections for Territorials before, for example, worked away, girlfriend lived in another town, etc.

    Leaning towards the 2nd Bn Durham Light Infantry presently...

    The service records should clarify all!


    Angp11 likes this.
  18. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    An old thread I know but just for clarity;-
    Steve Mac and Incredibledisc like this.

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