Identification of Ammunition Round?

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by Quis Separabit, Nov 28, 2019.

  1. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    Indeed there were other British weapons that used the same round but unlikely in this instance. Large amounts of captured Italian 9mm rounds were used in Stens, shipped from N Africa and reissued it was found superior to the British made 9mm round.
    Chris C likes this.
  2. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    Rather a lot of assumptions made here and the various components of the puzzle could have come from different soldiers and even at different times. It's a rule of archaeology that proximity of objects does not prove connection. For instance stens were often carried in RAMC ambulances. Some RAMC personnel carried Brownings, many carried ampules. A wounded soldier would be likely to be treated by a member of the RAMC. Just one of many possible combinations
  3. Quis Separabit

    Quis Separabit Junior Member

    OK, so I now have and update on the mystery of the trousers and 2RUR casualty, and I am painfully close to identifying him:

    The Situation: a pair of trousers were recently found in the attic of a house in the village of Blitterswijck, South East of Overloon and Wanssum on the River Meuse/Maas and I was keen to try and identify their previous owner....

    The Trousers: A pair of British/Commonwealth combat trousers with the back of the right-hand leg at the bottom cut away with scissors and.appearing to have been forcibly removed as the bottom 3 fly buttons were ripped/pulled off. Found inside/alongside the trousers were:
    • an RUR cap badge (next to the trousers)
    • a broken/used morphine ampoule (in the pocket)
    • a British 9mm round manufactured in Blackpole factory in 1943 (inside pocket)

    Research of the 2RUR and 9 Infantry Brigade War Diaries revealed that 2 RUR were involved in action in and around Blitterswijck at the end of November/beginning of December 1944 are cleared the area of an enemy pocket that was holding a bridgehead West of the Maas/Meuse at this time

    My earlier conclusions were that:
    • this was the same location as the 2 RUR OP that was hit by mortars at 11am on the 29th November 1944 as reported in the 9th British Infantry Brigade War Diary (see below)
    • at the time, Blitterswijck was occupied by "A" and "D" Companies of 2RUR (see below)
    • the owner of the house (a former veteran) has confirmed would have been the best place for an OP bearing in mind that the castle tower, church tower and mill had been previously destroyed. Damage to the roof from shelling is also still in evidence to this day.
    • the trousers were almost certainly owned by someone who was injured by shrapnel as the back of the lower leg of the trousers was cut away, the trousers were seemingly forcibly removed and a used morphine ampoule was left behind
    • the casualty was in the attic at the time and arguably lying face down (looking out?) as was hit in the back of the lower part of his leg
    • during the curfuffle he dropped his 2 RUR cap badge (or more likely they fell out his trouser pocket when removed)
    • he was possibly the owner of a Sten or pistol as he kept a British 9mm round in his pocket (or had picked one up at some point)

    I subsequently stumbled across a reference to an FOO in the 2RUR regimental diary and War Diary who , having followed up a hunch, have now identified that:
    • on the same date
    • in the same village
    • working in support of "D" Company from 2RUR
    • was a Forward Observation Officer from 33 Field Regiment Royal Artillery called Acting Captain Henry Sherman Taylor (94552)
    • whose OP received a direct hit from from enemy shelling
    • and whose signaller was wounded
    • who was subsequently awarded the Military Cross for taking the injured signaller to the safety of the cellar before remaining at his post alone for the next five days and supporting 2 RUR in their removal of the pocket of enemy West of the River Maas/Meuse and protecting them from shelling from the other side of the river (see below).
    Consequently, I am now 99% certain that the trousers belonged to a 2RUR signaller who was accompanying Captain Henry Taylor, FOO of 33 Filed Regiment Royal Artillery, in the attic of the house in Blitterswijck on the Western bank of the River Maas/Meuse that they were using as OP for 2RUR when the house received a direct hit from mortars/shelling and he was treated with morphine before being moved down to the safety of the cellar (which the owner has confirmed the house has).

    The Regimental history shows there was only one 2 RUR fatality that day, Rifleman G Anderson G (14691427), but I am unsure whether the signaller was simply wounded or died from his injuries.

    I am now painfully close to identifying who the owner of the trousers was (has become a bit of an obsession!) so I am desperate to find out if it is possible to track down the Casualty List for what would have been the nearest RAP entries around the 29th November 1944, and if so how?

    If it makes it any easier to track down the above casualty, I know that 9 Field Ambulance were attached to 9th British Infantry Brigade at the time....

    Any assistance would be greatly appreciated....if for no other reason than to avoid me losing the plot completely....

    Thanks in advance.
    Quis Separabit

    P.S. I am copying across to related entry regarding the original 9mm round query for completeness so excuse duplication...

    9 British Infantry Brigade War Diary Entry - 9th British Infantry Brigade During World War 2: November 1944
    RUR Regimental Official History Record - 2nd Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles in WW2: 1st December 1944 - Second attack on Wanssum
    View attachment 255996
    View attachment 255998

    2nd Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles in WW2: 2RUR War Diary

    View attachment 255997

    View attachment 255994 View attachment 255995

    Tolbooth likes this.
  4. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA Patron

    Maybe it fell out of a magazine he had in the pocket. Is the pocket big enough to hold a Sten mag?
  5. Quis Separabit

    Quis Separabit Junior Member

    I can't claim to be an expert on the size of a Sten magazine but since the right hand pocket had been removed/torn off the round was presumably in his map pocket?
  6. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

  7. Quis Separabit

    Quis Separabit Junior Member

    I wouldn't necessarily believe everything you read in the press ... The news article refers to the trousers "belonging to Rifleman Ravenscroft" and has written their own article based on their interprestation of the original contact with a related Facebook group to try and trace Rifleman Ravenscroft relatives to try and establish if they were his trousers...
    Having trawled through Casualty List entries for 2RUR and all Signals related troops for the given date I came up with a shortlist of 5 potential candidates who were killed/injured that day (2 from RUR, 3 signalmen) and further research ruled out 3 (wrong location/circumstances) leaving 2, one of which was:

    Rifleman H Ravenscroft - 14746461 - 2 RUR - Wounded 29/11/1944 (only one of 2 RUR recorded as injured that day), who as revealed by his Service Number had transferred in from the General Service Corps and so:
    • Right Date: Wounded on 29 November 194
    • Right Place: Was with 2 RUR who were in the area at the time and the
    • Right Unit: He was recorded as being part of 2 RUR (although originally from General Service Corps where would have been trained to become a “specialist”)
    • Right Person: Quite possibly as he could have been either a “specialist” Signalman and/or attached to Intelligence and thee only location to have been shelled that (relatively quiet) day was reported to have been the “I OP” or “Intelligence Observation Post”
    So, long story short, there is a strong suspicion that the owner of the trousers was Rifleman Ravenscroft and the purpose of contacting the related Facebook group was to try and contact a relative who could either confirm/deny so could be confirmed either way once and for all......

    I can't control what the press have subsequently reported but if it helps to widen the net in tracing a relative then so much the better!

    Quis Separabit
  8. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    Thanks for replying, as the article was so definitive I was assuming something else had come up.

    In terms of the 2 points above I don't think you can really read anything into him being GS Corps then RUR - after mid War everyone went through the GS Corps - not really specialist trained, just basically trained and posted as appropriate after which he might have been specialist trained. Signalman and or Intelligence are pure supposition.

    I agree he seems likely being right unit and wounded at the correct time (I'm sure he didn't think correct time), but it is still a maybe. If a family member does get in touch about their relative being wounded in the arm it could be awkward
  9. Dee1944

    Dee1944 Member

    Good Evening, I am so sorry to impose but just wondered about the trousers you are questioning.
    My name is Donna and I am the great great grand-daughter of Lance corporal Norman Swanwick 2343577.
    Wanting to know a-little more about my gg grandfather I was just wondering after seeing a post if you have determined if these trousers belonged to him. I was also wondering as I know not very much about the war and how to find photographs but would you know how I could possibly detain a photograph of my gg grandfather please or if you had a photo of him that I could possibly have a copy off.
    Any help or advice would be truly grateful.

    also I wanted to say a big thank you to all of you for researching these men and women in order to keep their names alive.
    Not knowing if these trousers belonged to my gg grandfather actually brought a tear to my eye, due to the fact they could have belonged to my gg grandfather and knowing he lost his life at a tender age of 29.

    once again thank you again for your time in reading this and for your research

    Yours sincerely
    JimHerriot and Dave55 like this.
  10. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA Patron

    Welcome to the forum, Donna
    JimHerriot likes this.
  11. Dee1944

    Dee1944 Member

    thank you so much x
    JimHerriot likes this.
  12. Quis Separabit

    Quis Separabit Junior Member

    Hi Donna

    I assume you've arrived here via the original post at:

    Assistance with Tracing Casualty from 2 Royal Ulster Rifles 29 November 1944?

    The short answer is the trail has gone cold although Norman is on my own personal short list of 2 people who they could possibly have belonged to, alongside Rifleman Ravenscroft of 2 RUR, since he was in the Signal Corps who were in the area at the time and could potentially have been assigned to work alongside Captain Taylor in the forward observation post......

    I'm not sure how far you have got with your search but you may want to post a new thread under the more specific section:

    Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy

    providing all of the background information you have so far and perhaps cross referring to the thread

    Assistance with Tracing Casualty from 2 Royal Ulster Rifles 29 November 1944?

    There will be people with a specific interest in the Signals who may be able to help and the biggest help would be to obtain a copy of his service records, as this may provide more detailed infomration about his whereabouts during the war.

    Details of how to obtain are contained here - Get a copy of military service records - GOV.UK

    Most photos available are those posted by relatives at some point but if you can narrow down his specific unit and locations then it will easier to try and track any down.

    If you do find out any information that links him to Blitterswijck in November 1944 then please let me know under the original post - Assistance with Tracing Casualty from 2 Royal Ulster Rifles 29 November 1944?

    Good luck!

    Quis Separabit

    JimHerriot likes this.
  13. Dee1944

    Dee1944 Member

    thank you so very much for your help and advice.
    i do know he was finally buried mierlo cemetery in sep 1945 but i dont know were he was moved from to be finally rested here. i definitely gonna order a copy of his military files and i hope it will tells us more. especially if there is information of his 1st location of burial as it could place him in blitterswijck.

    i really hope you find the pieces of the puzzle you need to complete your search
    Quis Separabit likes this.

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