Looking for Green Howards photos/book recommendations

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by Bazooka Joe, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. Bazooka Joe

    Bazooka Joe Member

    Hi troops,
    As you can see from the thread title I'm looking for WWII photos of The Green Howards. I've had a look around the net without much luck (I did find a couple on the IWM site) but I'm sure there must be many more out there. Do any of you have any you could post, or know of anywhere I can get hold of some?

    I'm also interested in reading "The Story of The Green Howards 1939-1945" by Captain W.A.T. Synge, but am unwilling to shell out 200 pounds in order to do so! Does anyone know if this can be obtained at a reasonable price anywhere?

    Failing that, does anyone have any other recommendations as to worthwhile reading (both internet links and real books) on the Green Howards in WWII (particularly 6th and 7th battalions).

    Thanks in advance for any assistance.
    Regards
    Joe
     
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    One of the forum members has written a book about his father who was in the Green Howards throughout the whole of the war. Its well mentioned on here just do a search on the forum.

    It might be worth a look through this link:

    green howards - AbeBooks
     
  3. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    Bazooka Joe.

    Try the Prince Consort's Library in Aldershot. They are brilliantly helpful.

    Have you tried their RHQ in Richmond?

    Regards

    FdeP
     
  4. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    There is also Robin Hasting's An Undergraduate's War. He served as an officer and commanded 6th Green Howards on D Day. It was published as late as 1997 but is pretty hard to get hold of, but the library mentioned above will likely have a copy.
     
  5. Bazooka Joe

    Bazooka Joe Member

    Thanks for the recommendations so far guys. I'll take a look at "Fighting Through". Unfortunately I'm in Denmark, so visiting libraries in the UK is a bit of a project. I haven't yet contacted the museum or RHQ, but I think I'll have to do so soon.

    Regards
    Joe
     
  6. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    Bazooka Joe.

    You can get books sent out to you by PCL in Aldershot.

    FdeP
     
  7. paulcheall

    paulcheall Son of a Green Howard

    Hey Joe (Sorry, couldn't resist that! ;) )
    Fighting Through from Dunkirk to Hamburg is my Dad's story so thanks to whoever recommended it - they have good taste! (Drew?)

    I am lucky enough to have inherited a copy of Synge from my Dad and it is truly a definitive book, well-written and illustrated and worth the money - I believe will only ever increase in value. I keep an eye open and have never seen a cheap copy.

    On the subject of pics of the Green Howards, it's coincidence that I have just posted another load on my web site, thanks to a 92 year old GH 6th battalion veteran called Wilf Shaw. Wilf was in many of the same actions as my Dad and was even wounded twice yet still returned to the fighting!

    He's been sending me allsorts and more to come but I've created some pages on Dad's web site for him in order to share with others. Hot off the press are some he sent me taken at Qassasin camp- awesome. I have not yet had time to post those but here are a random couple attached for those who are interested. More to be posted the next few days so I will re-post in the forum to let people know.

    There are many photos from my Dad's collection and others from comrades families who have been in touch, again several superb photos which I still have not had time to post.

    To see what is there so far go to:
    Dad's WW2 pics
    Wilf's WW2 pics
    Other war pics in the News section of the web site.

    These are nearly all Greeh Howards pics. Joe you did not give much info about your Dad - do you know which part of the regiment he was in?

    Other books to recommend - Dunkirk the Great Escape - A J Barker - Excellent; Sign of the Double D - B S Barnes,

    You know I have so much material to share which has come to light in connection with the publication of Dad's story. That includes personal diary pages of Major Petch during the Dunkirk episode. If anyone wants to be sure they don't miss out on this stuff they can register at my blog at Fighting Through - World War 2 Army Diary or follow my very occasional updates on Twitter (paul cheall)

    Bye for now

    Paul




    Hi troops,
    As you can see from the thread title I'm looking for WWII photos of The Green Howards. I've had a look around the net without much luck (I did find a couple on the IWM site) but I'm sure there must be many more out there. Do any of you have any you could post, or know of anywhere I can get hold of some?

    I'm also interested in reading "The Story of The Green Howards 1939-1945" by Captain W.A.T. Synge, but am unwilling to shell out 200 pounds in order to do so! Does anyone know if this can be obtained at a reasonable price anywhere?

    Failing that, does anyone have any other recommendations as to worthwhile reading (both internet links and real books) on the Green Howards in WWII (particularly 6th and 7th battalions).

    Thanks in advance for any assistance.
    Regards
    Joe
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Bazooka Joe

    Bazooka Joe Member

    Thanks for the help Paul, I've bookmarked your website! There's some interesting photos on your site. I hope you don't mind me saying it, but one of them seems to be mislabelled?

    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-JYIFPVtZQrw/TYNYi_tI3sI/AAAAAAAAAB8/8inBeDsDO1c/s1600/Territorial+Camp+1939+sepia+ropped.jpg

    Judging from the GS caps, austerity battledress, and medals (Africa Star or Italy Stars) the photo looks to be from 1943 or later.

    As to books, I actually ordered "The Sign of the Double T" yesterday, so hopefully it'll arrive soon. I will of course be buying your Dad's book too.

    As far as I know none of my relations fought with the Green Howards during WWII (my great grandfather fought with the 10th Btn in WWI though!) , my interest is purely because I'm a bit of a military history buff.

    I'll keep my eyes open and my fingers crossed for a cheap copy of Captain Synge's book.

    Cheers
    Joe
     
  9. paulcheall

    paulcheall Son of a Green Howard

    Hi Joe - thanks for that - enjoy the Double D book.
    I've checked out the photo and am puzzlede because Dad categorically labelled it as a pre war camp of territorials. I can't actually see any medals - where are you looking?
    Paul



    Thanks for the help Paul, I've bookmarked your website! There's some interesting photos on your site. I hope you don't mind me saying it, but one of them seems to be mislabelled?

    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-JYIFPVtZQrw/TYNYi_tI3sI/AAAAAAAAAB8/8inBeDsDO1c/s1600/Territorial+Camp+1939+sepia+ropped.jpg

    Judging from the GS caps, austerity battledress, and medals (Africa Star or Italy Stars) the photo looks to be from 1943 or later.

    As to books, I actually ordered "The Sign of the Double T" yesterday, so hopefully it'll arrive soon. I will of course be buying your Dad's book too.

    As far as I know none of my relations fought with the Green Howards during WWII (my great grandfather fought with the 10th Btn in WWI though!) , my interest is purely because I'm a bit of a military history buff.

    I'll keep my eyes open and my fingers crossed for a cheap copy of Captain Synge's book.

    Cheers
    Joe
     
  10. Bazooka Joe

    Bazooka Joe Member

    Hi agin Paul,
    The photos is definitely from 1943 or later. The GS cap was introduced in 1943, and the battledress uniforms with visible buttons and no pocket pleats were first seen from 1942.

    As to the medals, I could be wrong, but if you look at the first row nos. 5, 6, and 8 appear to be wearing medal ribbons above their left breast pockets.

    Regards
    Joe
     
  11. paulcheall

    paulcheall Son of a Green Howard

    Hi again JO
    I can assure you that the photo was taken in 1939. My dad wrote on the back of it and explained that the reason he was not on it was that he had to get back to his shop. He was self employed. The pic is territorial army camp before the war.

    The dress etc might be explained by the fact that a lot of the issued gear was first world war issue. Even dad's Green Howards cap badge came from ww1 stock I have recently found out.

    Dad also said that when they went to n Africa the clothing and tents were ww1 issue. So that has to explain the pic

    I know dad went to a second camp at bridlington when he was recovering from his wounds, to prove he was fit to fight again. That would have been early 1945, but if the pic was taken then dad would have been on it.

    Thanks for raising this issue Joe. I hope my answer satisfies you

    Paul





    Hi agin Paul,
    The photos is definitely from 1943 or later. The GS cap was introduced in 1943, and the battledress uniforms with visible buttons and no pocket pleats were first seen from 1942.

    As to the medals, I could be wrong, but if you look at the first row nos. 5, 6, and 8 appear to be wearing medal ribbons above their left breast pockets.

    Regards
    Joe
     
  12. Bazooka Joe

    Bazooka Joe Member

    Hi again JO
    I can assure you that the photo was taken in 1939. My dad wrote on the back of it and explained that the reason he was not on it was that he had to get back to his shop. He was self employed. The pic is territorial army camp before the war.

    The dress etc might be explained by the fact that a lot of the issued gear was first world war issue. Even dad's Green Howards cap badge came from ww1 stock I have recently found out.

    Dad also said that when they went to n Africa the clothing and tents were ww1 issue. So that has to explain the pic

    I know dad went to a second camp at bridlington when he was recovering from his wounds, to prove he was fit to fight again. That would have been early 1945, but if the pic was taken then dad would have been on it.

    Thanks for raising this issue Joe. I hope my answer satisfies you

    Paul


    Hi again Paul,
    Thanks for the reply. Sorry to harp on, but is it all possible that your father accidentally wrote on the back of the wrong photo? When you mention 1945, that actually sounds more likely, that would also fit with the number of soldiers with open collars on their battledress (shirts with attached collars for other ranks were first introduced in about November 1944).

    It's difficult to see from the photo, but the cap badges look like they may be East Lancs rather than Green Howards too, which would also fit with that theory. One more thing which you may want to look at, and I'm going out on a limb here, but isn't your dad the second man from the left in the second row?

    Regards
    Joe
     
  13. paulcheall

    paulcheall Son of a Green Howard

    That's OK Joe - glad you're interested. I have no doubt whatsoever about the veracity of Dad's explanation for this photo. I saw him complete his diaries years ago in a very compos mentis state and have the original exercise book he wrote it all down in, pasting the pics in the appropriate sections. He only had one photo like this so its highly unlikely he got confused.

    No, that's not him on the second row. Let me have your email address and I'll send you an 18MB copy of the pic to help you. They do look a bit like East Lancs badges and for anyone else reading this there is a pic of Dad;s East Lancs badge at Fighting Through - From Dunkirk to Hamburg - War Diary and autobiography of Bill Cheall - WW2, Dunkirk, D-Day diary. World War 1939-45. I'd have to say they weren't GH badges as far as I can tell - but again they could have been Blue Peter badges at this state of preparation - the lads used wooden rifles for training sometimes.

    If this really had been 1945 then the lads in the photo would have had loads of medals pinned to their chests, whereas only the presumably senior front row guys had a few ribbons? I just double checked Dad's annotation and he was very specific - B Company 6GH. In case anyone else is following this debate the pic in question is at war photo!

    I don't think I can add any more Joe other than to respond to your comment about the dress style, this pic looks pretty similar to what the lads are wearing and is said to be from 1940.

    Thanks once again Joe - back to you! ;)


    Hi again Paul,
    Thanks for the reply. Sorry to harp on, but is it all possible that your father accidentally wrote on the back of the wrong photo? When you mention 1945, that actually sounds more likely, that would also fit with the number of soldiers with open collars on their battledress (shirts with attached collars for other ranks were first introduced in about November 1944).

    It's difficult to see from the photo, but the cap badges look like they may be East Lancs rather than Green Howards too, which would also fit with that theory. One more thing which you may want to look at, and I'm going out on a limb here, but isn't your dad the second man from the left in the second row?



    Regards
    Joe
     
  14. paulcheall

    paulcheall Son of a Green Howard

    Joe - one more thing on battle dress - look at pics 4 and 5 at this war photos page. The dress is same as on the TA photo yet both these pics were take 1939/40 which adds support to the dating of the picture.
    All the best
    Paul
     
  15. Stig the Roadie

    Stig the Roadie Junior Member

    The dress is same as on the TA photo yet both these pics were take 1939/40
    The dress is not the same, it is similar but not the same.
    On both photo 4 and 5 you can see that the buttons on the pockets are concealed/covered by the material of the pocket flap?
    This is indicative of the early patterns of the BD uniform. Joe has already mentioned this I think. You can see the pleat in the pocket and the hidden buttons down the front of the tunic in the second[#5] photo.
    Now compare these details with those in the group shot.
    Almost all the tunics have exposed buttons down the front and on the pockets, the pockets are also not showing the pleat.
    This is indicative of the later 'austerity' pattern BD that was not yet developed in 1939.
    The other red flag for an early war date is the head wear. They all sport the GS cap. Not seen in any numbers until 1943.
    The dark colour of all the webbing visible also shouts late war. The shade KG3, a dark green, was adopted to replace the lighter colours of the early war years. It offered a better camouflage effect.
    It is impossible for this photo to have been taken in 1939/40.
    The clothes they wear just did not exist then.
    I also agree that the cap badge looks to be the wrong shape for the Green Howards too.
    By the period of the war shown in this photo they would have had their correct cap badge, I have not heard of any unit using another badge due to shortage of stock at any period of the war.
    I'm sorry but my opinion is that this is not the GH and not taken in 1939.
     
  16. paulcheall

    paulcheall Son of a Green Howard

    Hi Strig
    Well I so wish Dad was alive today to help me here! If what you say is true then I would judge it to have been taken early 1945 at Bridlington when Dad had just recovered from his wounds. I'm showing below a rough extract from the book which describes this episode.

    Discuss! ;

    Feb 1945

    ... So I found myself speeding on a train to Bridlington. When I arrived at my new
    posting, I discovered that it was a holding unit, mainly to make sure we were fit
    enough for further active service whenever the need arose. I was a shadow of my
    former self, but at least my mental attitude to events had been retained and I would
    put every effort into regaining some semblance of my fitness prior to the invasion.
    Our billets consisted of requisitioned private hotels on the outskirts of the town,
    a couple of hundred yards from the sea front. We each had a single metal bed,
    three to a room. The first thing on the agenda was a medical parade to assess our
    state of health which proved to be quite an experience, since we were all single
    young lads. We fell in on the road outside and entered the building in single file,
    then stripped naked, each man carrying his own clothes. We had done this many
    times over the years and thought nothing of it, until the Medical Officer appeared
    – a female doctor, about twenty-five years of age. Nurses had seen me naked many
    times when I was wounded and at Dundee, but for most of the lads it was a new
    experience, and judging by the comments afterwards, they enjoyed being fondled
    by a female doctor!
    We started to undergo training within a week, the same almost basic training I
    had done years previously and we all became friendly. Many of the lads had not seen
    active service as this was a holding battalion and would supply soldiers to active
    service units when they needed replacements for casualties. Before I was wounded,
    I was at the peak of fitness with mental attitude to match. I now needed, more than
    anything, the stimulus of more energetic activity and there was a lack of sufficient
    intelligent activity to occupy our young minds. The worst possible thing for a soldier
    is to be undergoing the same routine, day after day, requiring no thought or physical
    effort. That was the routine at Bridlington, and the lads were browned off. I decided
    that at the first opportunity I would volunteer to return to Europe, from where I had
    been ejected so suddenly by a piece of shrapnel which would change what remained
    of my life in the army.
    Although most of these lads had been wounded in the Normandy fighting, many
    of them had not experienced the trying conditions during long route marches and
    winter exercises, as at Inverary, to toughen them up, and none of that was forthcoming.
    It would be unwise to send them back to Europe in the physical condition they were
    in, and everybody did expect to go back into action at some point.
    The best thing about Bridlington was that we had a proper NAAFI, which was
    situated in what had been the pier restaurant, and where we could go during time
    off for a penny cup of tea and to talk to a girl across the counter. They were good
    girls, who tolerated none of the crude behaviour of some of the lads, whose talk and
    behaviour could at times be questionable. But when it came down to the nitty-gritty,
    they were good lads. They all still belonged to their original regiments. I was the
    only Green Howard and still had my GH insignia. We were certainly a mixed bag.
    Many of them were interested to know how I came to be one of them, after I had
    served at Dunkirk, North Africa and Sicily, then Normandy. As the only action they
    had been involved in was Normandy, they pressed me to tell them about the other
    theatres of war. I often wondered how I had been lucky enough to survive. I was
    wishing I was with my old battalion, where we were all on the same level. For the
    first time I came into contact with lads from London, but not Cockneys. I palled up
    with one of them, called Tommy Chaffe, who was younger than me. I used to laugh
    at his accent and his manner; it was so different to the northerners I had always
    served with. He had never been in action and was just waiting to be posted.
    I was just about fed-up with the mind-boggling routine, when a list was put on
    the notice board giving names of lads to be on a draft; everyone knew it had to be
    Europe and nobody cared. As far as I was concerned there was only one problem.
    I was not on the list, but my new pals were, and I was fed up, so I thought hard
    about it then asked for an interview with the company commander and explained
    my dilemma. He understood how I felt. When I asked to be included in the draft,
    my request was granted. I remember the anticipation of hoping that I would once
    again be joining the old 6th Green Howards. It was not until after the war that I
    learned that at the time I volunteered, the 6ths had been taken out of the line after
    advancing as far as Nijmegen in Holland. They were battle-weary and had returned
    to England, and were stationed at Malton in Yorkshire in December 1944. Had
    I been aware of it, my decision to volunteer would certainly have been in doubt.
    However, in the end, things did turn out well for me.
    After seven days’ leave, I reported back to Bridlington, after which time we were
    soon on our way to Germany. It was February 1945. Although I didn’t know it then,
    that move was responsible for my meeting the girl I married.....
    .....
    I then suffered a bitter disappointment. I was not to rejoin my old battalion, but
    had been unknowingly transferred to the East Lancashire Regiment. Me, a proud
    northern lad of the Green Howards, finding myself posted to a Lancashire Regiment!
    At the time I was extremely put out; I had been looking forward to seeing all my old
    pals of the 6th, supposing they had all survived the battles taking place after I had
    been wounded. Even though my cap badge had changed twice to other regiments, I
    was always a Green Howard at heart. How would I adapt to a Lancashire regiment?
    I would have to wait and see."

    The above does offer some support for your views guys though does not explain why Dad was not on the photo - maybe it was given to him by a friend ..

    Thanks again for your interest.

    Paul


    The dress is not the same, it is similar but not the same.
    On both photo 4 and 5 you can see that the buttons on the pockets are concealed/covered by the material of the pocket flap?
    This is indicative of the early patterns of the BD uniform. Joe has already mentioned this I think. You can see the pleat in the pocket and the hidden buttons down the front of the tunic in the second[#5] photo.
    Now compare these details with those in the group shot.
    Almost all the tunics have exposed buttons down the front and on the pockets, the pockets are also not showing the pleat.
    This is indicative of the later 'austerity' pattern BD that was not yet developed in 1939.
    The other red flag for an early war date is the head wear. They all sport the GS cap. Not seen in any numbers until 1943.
    The dark colour of all the webbing visible also shouts late war. The shade KG3, a dark green, was adopted to replace the lighter colours of the early war years. It offered a better camouflage effect.
    It is impossible for this photo to have been taken in 1939/40.
    The clothes they wear just did not exist then.
    I also agree that the cap badge looks to be the wrong shape for the Green Howards too.
    By the period of the war shown in this photo they would have had their correct cap badge, I have not heard of any unit using another badge due to shortage of stock at any period of the war.
    I'm sorry but my opinion is that this is not the GH and not taken in 1939.
     
  17. Combover

    Combover Guest

    Joe - one more thing on battle dress - look at pics 4 and 5 at this war photos page. The dress is same as on the TA photo yet both these pics were take 1939/40 which adds support to the dating of the picture.
    All the best
    Paul

    That large group pic of the troops which you think was taken in 1940 was, in fact taken in 44/45.

    The caps they're wearing is the G.S Cap which was introduced in 1943/44. The badge also appears to be the wreathed sphinx of the East Lancs Regiment (a gorgeous badge by the way).

    There is also a mix of 1937 and 1940 pattern Battledress. 1940 pattern BD was introduced in 1942. Such a wide array of the 40 pattern BD can only really be understood if you regard the photo having been taken in 44.

    Sorry, but it's most likely a 44/45 pic.
     
  18. paulcheall

    paulcheall Son of a Green Howard

    Many thanks to all who have contributed to this post. I am very grateful and have now conceded the point in your favour. If anyone is interested in the forensics of the war, take a peak at my war blog and see if you can help track down any of Dad's missing comrades. Oh - and I see I need to change that photo on the Blog!!!!
    All the best
    Paul
     
  19. Bazooka Joe

    Bazooka Joe Member

    I'm still looking for wartime photos of the Green Howards.

    I've seen a few on the Imperial War Museum site which appear to show that they wore a cloth backing to their cap badges (at least with GS caps). I'd be very interested if anyone had any photos which could confirm or deny this for certain?
     
  20. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

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