Help Tracing My Grandad

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by JohnM, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. JohnM

    JohnM Junior Member


    firstly, I'm new, so hello everyone.

    I was doing some research on the internet, trying to find out a little bit about my grandads military history, when i stumbled across this handy forum.

    What im basically trying to find out is what regiment he was in and what medals he won etc.

    What i do know is that he drove a tank and was part of the first british troops to liberate Bergen-Belsen. Could anybody tell me what regiment he could have been in from that information?

    Like alot of veterans, he found it too upsetting to really speak about the war, especially the horrors of what he saw in belsen. This is partly why i would like to find out more about him, as he's no longer around to ask.

    Any help or points in the right direction would be greatly appreciated

    amberdog45 likes this.
  2. spidge


    Welcome to the forum John.

    There would be people to assist however his full name and any further info would help them to help you.

    Good Luck.
  3. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor

    Yes I name would be useful.

    Welcome to the forums John.
  4. JohnM,

    Give me your grandads name. It was A Squadron 3rd RTR that were the first tanks to arrive at Belsen. an ex-member of this squadron lives near me in Germany, perhaps he can help.

  5. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    JohnM, welcome to the boards.

    11th Armoured Division liberated Belsen, and "Monty's Black Bull" by Patrick Delaforce is a great history of that fine outfit.

    Thank you for your grandfather's service to Crown and Country, and your interest in our board. You'll enjoy it here. :)
  6. JohnM

    JohnM Junior Member

    thanks alot for all your replies

    Sorry i forgot to mention his name in my original post. His name was michael harris. His middle name was possibly christopher, but i will have to double check that.

    he was born in tipperary, ireland in 1910 (approx) and came to england at around the age of 16 and later got a job as a valet/footman at blenhiem palace, before enlisting at the start of the war.

    hope this helps

    amberdog45 likes this.
  7. JohnM,

    Now we have a name I can ask someone who was there, as I said in an earlier post, it was A Squadron 3 RTR of the 11th Arm Div that were the first tanks to reach Belsen, and if your Grandad was a tankie, then it must have been with the 3rd RTR.


  8. prose

    prose Junior Member

    With the little detail you have it maybe possible to request details of service from the records office. Each serving soldier had a record of service. For the second war access to these are still restricted to next of kin . In your case it will be your mother or father (depending on who's side you grandad was on)

    I have been researching second war veterans for sometime , my own grandfather was killed in the action mentioned by "sapper" in an earlier thread. Details of how to apply are on my website . It was setup to help people like yourself research family.

  9. Ray Westbury

    Ray Westbury Member

    My dad Ron Westbury was in recce troop 3rd RTR and was amongst the first tanks into Belsen. He didn't talk about It for years until one afternoon he opened up and poured his heart out and told me everything. I'm passing the stories onto a little museum in Normandy that 11th Armoured liberated. As this history should never be forgotten.
    bofors, amberdog45 and vitellino like this.

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