It seems - perhaps - that there is a page missing from the War Diary?

Discussion in 'Unit History' started by Ramiles, Feb 16, 2018.

  1. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    As an example... This from the SRY wardiary - an excerpt from the 16th August 1944...

    "Many machine gun nests troubled the Infantry, and C Squadron methodically destroyed ten of these, but in doing so lost the use of 6 tanks by enemy Infantry and mines. Bazookas accounted for 2 of them. Three of the tanks will be fit again in 1/2 days. It is interesting to note that one tp which advanced with the leading Infantry passed over the crest of the hill almost 2 miles South of the river unmolested. Some time later a second tp was sent forward and not one of the tanks reached the leading Troop. This second troop was not accompanied by Infantry and enemy Infantry opened up with Bazookas. One tank was brewed up and the entire crew killed by mortars and small arms when baling out. Another tank was penetrated 4-5 times but was recovered next day. A third tank struck a mine. The Sqn had had a very

    (it seems that there is a page missing?)

    These tps were unavoidably scattered and this incident illustrated the dangers of this type of country to tanks. As a result of this incident it was necessary for the leading Tp which had already done Yeoman work throughout the day, to continue in further exploitation South. This did not finish until dusk and then owing to the “black” night had to lead his tp back on foot through the country still infested with Germans. The enemy had a 75mm and a 105mm Special Anti Tank Guns at points on the road but both were destroyed before they hit our tanks."

    I've looked at the original docs and it would make this day's diary entry - if there were actually another page now missing for the 16th - rather unusually long - however there is a definite break off in the text from:


    "The Sqn had had a very..." to "These tps were unavoidably scattered and this incident illustrated the dangers..." bit.


    So just wondering perhaps if many others with war diaries have often noticed pages in war diaries just missing these days and maybe too just how easy it actually is for pages to just go astray?

    Other examples of other known "missing pages" in other war diaries would be interesting to note here too perhaps? Or is there an existing thread for this?

    Possible explanations, I suppose the missing page above perhaps dealt with something someone wanted to expunge, use elsewhere, or just couldn't resist swiping one day?
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2018
  2. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Just a thought but I wonder if the sentence was finished on the back of the sheet? Some diaries were "lost" and reconstituted it would be nice if some of the originals could be found and compared with a "reconstituted" one ? I read awhile back about a soldier stashing their units documents in a dry stone wall on the Island of Kos with the view of retrieving them later ,now that would be a find :)

    Ramiles likes this.
  3. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    I've seen pages out of order as well as Appendices filed with the wrong month.
    Ramiles likes this.
  4. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    All of the above, including monthly reports beginning 30th or 31st and descending to the 1st?
  5. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    It is difficult now to just guess what has "been lost" but a whole page of additional info for the 16th August would be quite a lot. There is this thread: 316773 Acting Lance Serjeant Leslie Cribben MM, Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry

    Edit: And additionally: Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry in Normandy.Berjou 16-8-44

    For example, with some of these pages and various related events posted.

    In this instance though - "if the sentence was finished on the back of the sheet?" that would probably make a lot of sense.

    Just a thought, of another possibility, I wondered if War diary pages were sometimes taken out as evidence for citations/ medals and perhaps there was no chance (or it was forgotten) to just put the pages back, or else any number of other possibilities I suppose. There are quite a few books about the SRY, many of which deal with the events but I don't think I've seen them comment that there was "a page on the 16th August 1944 missing from the SRY war diary" - so hopefully it hasn't "just gone missing recently". :unsure:
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018
  6. Bazooka Joe

    Bazooka Joe Member

    I hope that it hasn't been pilfered, but it is possible. There was a case a couple of years ago, here in Denmark, where a large number of documents had been stolen by a collector/researcher over the course of a few years. I think he was only found out because he sold some of it online.
  7. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    15th to 24th of March 1944 for 1/9th Gurkha Rifles, possibly the most important period of the battalion's history, is missing from the National Archives copy of their War Diaries. I've made enquiries at the battalion and regimental level, but nobody has shed any light.
  8. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member

    Although TNA’s security seems pretty good now this may not always have been the case and I sadly think that some documents may well have been stolen.

    Acting Rear Admiral Onslow’s report of the action against Richelieu in July 1940 in ADM 199/826 appears to have been a victim with Appendices V & VI missing. I have recently read a dissertation written in December 2002 that cited Appendix VI so it must have been removed later, and the absence of any official comment suggests its removal was illegitimate.

    As this had been forwarded by Vice Admiral, C-in-C, South Atlantic, Lyon to the Admiralty, I am hoping that a carbon copy was retained and will be found elsewhere in the Admiralty papers.

Share This Page