JOHN HUBERT HARTRIDGE, 67th Field Reg, RA

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by David Hartridge, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. Hi All, I'm recently signed up to this Forum but with this year, 2019, being the 75th Anniversary of D-Day it seems an opportune moment to undertake some family research and so I wonder what may turn up through this site.
    My name is David Hartridge and my Uncle John, aged 21, was in the Anzio Landings as a Lieutenant with the 67th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery having advanced from North Africa via the invasion of Sicily. He was killed in a freak occurrence in the Apennine Mountains on 13th October 1944. He and four fellow offices were off-duty and had retired to a farm house being used as officers quarters when a stray shell came over the hill and exploded on the window sill of their room killing them all outright. He was initially buried in the village of Palazzuolo in the foothills. His battery commander was Major Dick Shepherd whose father was Archdeacon of Worcester Cathedral. He wrote to my Grandparents. In 1954 my Father and his parents made a pilgrimage and they found the farm house and were shown the very room, still pitted with shell fragments.
    I was born two months after Uncle John was killed and hence my middle name is John. He is now buried in the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Faenza, Eastern Italy and this October my wife and I are making our own pilgrimage. I feel I must, just once in my lifetime, visit my Uncle's grave. We will visit it on Sunday 13th October, exactly 75 years to the day.
    If anyone knows anything about the activities of my Uncle's regiment or has been to Faenza War Cemetery I will be pleased to hear from them. Thank you.
     
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  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Welcome to the forum.
    I hope you get lots of help from the members.
     
    David Hartridge likes this.
  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    David Hartridge and CL1 like this.
  4. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Lieutenant HARTRIDGE, JOHN HUBERT
    Service Number 271504

    Died 13/10/1944

    Aged 21

    266 Bty., 67 Field Regt.
    Royal Artillery

    Son of James Stanley Hartridge and Mabel Elizabeth Hartridge, of Leicester. Captain of Oundle School.


    INSCRIPTION
    A HOME IN ENGLAND MOURNS ITS SON. "ALL YOU HAD HOPED FOR, ALL YOU HAD, YOU GAVE"

    Buried at FAENZA WAR CEMETERY

    Location: Italy
    Number of casualties: 1139

    Cemetery/memorial reference: II. G. 7.


    [​IMG]

    https://images.findagrave.com/photos/2018/137/56519874_1526660542.jpg
     
  5. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member

    British Army Casualty Lists 1939-1945:

    Hartridge_kia.jpg
     
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  6. Thanks TD. Yes, I have his war records and details of his grave and I have actually just engaged a researcher to give me all Uncle John's war records if possible.
     
  7.  
  8. Thank you for all this information DH
     
  9. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    David.

    You want 'Eyes and Ears of the Regiment' by Richard Whitfield.

    If you ever want to see what 67 Regt RA got up to at Anzio in support of the 1st British Infantry Division, then do get in touch. I frequently guide groups at Anzio.

    Off there next Thu.

    Regards

    Frank
     
  10. Thank you very much Frank for this information. If Faenza was nearer to Anzio we would probably take you up on a tour, but we shall be on the other side!
    David
     
  11. Me again Frank,
    It's a pity that that book seems to be out of print and I can't find a copy at the moment. I'll keep searching but if anyone comes across a copy please let me know!!
    David
     
  12. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    David.

    Track down Stuart Avery on this site. He has a copy.

    Regards

    Frank
     
  13. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Put an @ sign before you type in a members name & it creates a link to their profile.

    Stuart Avery
     
  14. Thanks Frank, I will do..
    Are you on the Italy Star Assoc. forum too by any chance? I did see a 'Frank'....It is amazing but when I scrolled down the communicants on that I noticed a David Shepherd. It only turns out that he is the grandson of Major David Shepherd who was my Uncle's Battery Commander and reported his death to my grandparents!! We are in touch and he has sent me a copy of page 213 of that book where the death of my Uncle is mentioned...look it up if you have a copy. He also has other memorabilia...amazing!!
    David
     
  15. Another update Frank,
    I've heard again from Dave Shepherd, Major Shepherd's grandson and it now transpires that his grandfather WAS in the same room as my Uncle and was called out to a phone call seconds before the shell hit the window sill, exploding and killing my Uncle and seriously injuring one other. He has just found two letters describing the event which his mother has...how incredible is that!!!
    David
     
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  16. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    David.

    Yes, that is me on the Italy Star Association forum.

    Regards

    Frank
     
  17. Scott1975

    Scott1975 Active Member

    1130hrs – Friday the 13th lives up to its reputation. One enemy shell lands in an impossible place. The window of the officer's rest room at 266 Battery, which is buttressed by a very steep slope behind. Lt Hartridge was sleeping by the window and the shell must have practically burst on his head. He was killed. Captain Master was standing in the room and blown into a corner with wounds in his head, arms, hands and abdomen. Hartridge was one of the youngest officers in the regiment and joined us in North Africa. He was a good efficient and cheerful officer. He had just begun to encounter life. He was buried in the division cemetery, Palazzuolo by Capt Gibson at 1500hrs.

    Nice to see another 67th Field researcher, my Grandfather was also in 266 Battery.

    Scott
     
    David Hartridge likes this.
  18. Hi Scott, thanks for this post. Can I please ask where you got this information from? It is amazing the information I've been sent in the last 48 hours. It is going to make my pilgrimage in October so much the better. I'm also going to visit the cemetery at Argenta Gap where Major Shepherd is buried. It is 25 miles from Faenza. David
     
  19. Scott1975

    Scott1975 Active Member

    No problem, from the 67th Field Regiment war diary, 13th October.

    Scott

    P8060500rs.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2019
    David Hartridge likes this.
  20. Fantastic Scott, thanks so much. Amazing Uncle John's death should be recorded like this. I now have a photo of the likely farm house and it fits the description perfectly. I've received so much information these last 48 hours!!!
    Thanks again
    Best David
     

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