Middlesex regt questions

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by kn1, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. kn1

    kn1 Junior Member

    Hello, My late father Pte CJ Bryant 6856048 called up in 1942 fought from Alamein to Italy with the Middlesex regt.
    I have been unable to find out anything at all as he never spoke of it except to remark at times "he didn't need any mates as all the best blokes were still in the desert."

    From Alamein he went via Tunisia to Sicily, Anzio, Cassino, he had a rough time, I have somewhere a photo of hm and about 6 others on the back of which is written,"this is all that's left of the original 65 that landed.
    ....plus one of him looking cheesed off in Tunisia and another of him looking pleased with himself in Italy

    I have his medals and oak leaves still in the envelope they arrived in, he never wore them or even attached he ribbons.

    He was not best pleased at the end to be moved to Palestine when he was outside the King David Hotel when as he put it "the chosen race" blew it up.

    His only anecdote which amused him was his claim to have been the fastest conscript into the glasshouse, before he even had a uniform.

    A hard old bugger, his most lasting souvenir was an irrevocable hatred of Americans. I was never allowed, jeans Coca or Pepsi Cola, he would not even use a rachet screwdriver as it was called a Yankee. I have seen my mother restrain him from laying into a group of US sailors in the early fifties so something must have up set him badly.

    I have only recently rumbled that the Middlesex Regt served either under or with the Black Watch through out this time.
    Any info or leads would be appreciated
    dbf likes this.
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Sounds like he could have been in 1/7th Bn Middlesex Regt the MG Battalion in 51st Highland Division.
    They'd have Vickers Machine Guns.

    1/7th Battalion, 1939-1945

    The Battalion moved on 15th November to Ballatter, Scotland, where it came under command of the 51st (Highland) Division, with whom it was to serve as support battalion for the remainder
    of the war.

    Ah, he wouldn't have been at Cassino or Anzio with them though.
  3. kn1

    kn1 Junior Member

    He always said he drove a tank, but the Tunisia pic looks like he is standing by a carrier; his mention in despatches tells of him recovering a carrier under fire at Anzio, anything with tracks would have been a tank as far as he was bothered.

    He was definately at Cassino and Anzio.
  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    No I didn't mean he wasn't at Anzio or Cassino I meant he wouldn't have been there with 1/7th Bn.
    Maybe he was posted to another unit.
    Anyway all will be explained in his Service Records.

    Can you post your photos of him on here .
    Help us to look for clues.

    edit just found this.
    2/7th Bn
    RootsWeb: WORLDWAR2-L Re: [WORLD WAR II] The Middlesex Regiment
    The 2/7th Battalion, The Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own)
    (Territorial Army) was also organised as a machine gun battalion. The
    battalion was deployed to North Africa. After receiving 4.2 inch medium
    mortars to complement its medium machine guns, the battalion was redeployed
    to Sicily and Italy in 1944 and to Palestine in Jan 1945.

    Bit more here
    2/7th Battalion, 1939-1945
  5. kn1

    kn1 Junior Member

    Not sure if this is the right place for this assortment of queries but here goes.

    My dad was in the Middlesex Regt 2/7th in Tunisia and Italy... Bren Carriers and machine guns evidently.
    I am restoring a Matchless G3L and would like to, if correct use the right markings [apart than contract number which I have]
    Can anyone direct me to the right tank markings please?

    next, Why did the Middx wear such large berets?

    thirdly, the 2/7th were at Anzio beachhead where they took a bit of a pasting, pointers please to any info re those events

  6. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Welcome to the forum.
    The beret you refer to is in fact called ''Cap, General Service ''.
    Standard issue later in the war.
    2/7 Mddx were MG Bn in 1st Div.
    Div insignia was a white triangle.
    >> 1st Division

    MG Bn in Infantry Division had the Arm of Service marking of a white 64 on a black square.
    >> Infantry Division Vehicle Markings
  7. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Welcome to the forum. Is the Matchless far off completion ?

    The motorcycle would have carried an 'Arm of Service' marking comprising a number on a coloured square but these did vary according to date and location and just how a unit fitted into the scheme of things. Have you decided on the date and location that you wish to portray ?

    The other marking commonly seen on vehicles is the 'Formation Sign' which was the corps or divisional symbol etc. Regrettably however, there was a 1941 War Office instruction that these were no longer to be applied to motorcycles and photographic evidence suggests that this was complied with.


    That said, many owners and restorers of WD motorcycles do use a bit of 'artistic licence' and apply a formation sign to one side of the fuel tank, particularly where the machine is a tribute to a family member etc. and the sign would have been so commonly seen on the other vehicles of the unit.
  8. kn1

    kn1 Junior Member

    Thank you all, so with 'artistic license' I can get away a white triangle on black one side and wite on black 64 the other?

    I have had the bike for some 30 years and its coming round for its second coat of paint and a grease up; at least this time it will have some decent green rather than the jeep paint I had to use back in 1972.

    Is there any info on the Middlesex at Anzio,a diary etc?
    The old feller got his oak leaves later , by the flyover

    here he is with Matchless G3L and Bren carrier?


    and heres one of him evidently enjoying himself more than he let on


    Darkie Martin, on the left, used to play jazz tunes on that Vickers;my old man aka Dearie on right.
    sol likes this.
  9. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Catalogue numbers for the war diaries at National Archives.
    Some members on the forum maybe able to help you get copies for a reasonable fee.

    WO 166/4463 INFANTRY: 2/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own). 1939 Sept.- 1940 July
    WO 166/4464 INFANTRY: 2/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own).1940 Aug.- 1941 Dec.
    WO 166/126292/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own)1943 Jan.-Apr.
    WO 166/88092/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own)1942 Jan.-Dec.
    WO 169/102642/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own)1943 May- Dec.
    WO 169/10265'A' Brigade Support Group 2/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own)1943 May- Dec.
    WO 169/10266'B' Brigade Support Group 2/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own)1943 June- Dec.
    WO 169/10267'C' Brigade Support Group 2/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own)1943 May- Dec.
    WO 169/102681 Company 'C' Brigade Support Group 2/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own)1943 June- Oct.
    WO 169/200702/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own)1945 Feb.- Dec.
    WO 170/14402/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own)1944 Jan.- Dec.
    WO 170/14412/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own), Rear1944 Jan.- June
    WO 170/14422/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own), 'A' Support Group1944 Jan.- Apr.
    WO 170/14432/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own), 'B' Support Group1944 Jan.- Apr.
    WO 170/14442/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own), 'C' Support Group1944 Jan.- Apr.
    WO 170/50482/7 Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own)1945 Jan.
  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive


    Thanks for posting them.
  11. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    It's a shame that your Dad stood in the way of the carrier or we'd be able to see the markings that the battalion used !

    Although some serials differ, Hodges & Taylor confirm that the support battalion of an infantry division in 15th Army Group from July 1943 on was a '64' on black and that no evidence has been found to suggest that things changed after the last known confirmation in December 1943.

    As far as I'm aware, the white 1 Div triangle would normally have been painted direct onto vehicle colour (except perhaps where a stone colour had been used for Africa or early in the Italian campaign).
  12. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Something a bit odd about all this as the 1/7th Middlesex were at El Alamein with the 51st Highlanders and all through to Tunis - BUT the 1st Inf division were at North Africa(Algiers etc) - the 51st served in Sicily and went home- 1st Division did not they landed at Anzio where they were joined by 2/7th Middlesex

    So KN1/ father obviously was transferred around the time of Sicily possibly after wounds and so the service records are a must to clear this up....also to find where the 2/7 were prior to Anzio which seems to be a mystery

  13. kn1

    kn1 Junior Member

    cheers all.

    The old feller was never wounded, at least not in the flesh; The Bren carrier pic was in Tunisia, I know from the few words he said about it all that he was at Alamein and spent most of his time in North Africa and Italy before being sent to Palestine.
    At the beginning of his service he was in the KRRC, at what point he was transferred to the Middx I don't know.

    He was also in Sicily that I do know,

    He seldom talked about it apart from a few stories;
    #1 how monty stopped the fag ration
    #2 Bloody Yanks
    #3 reversing a tank into an Italian farmhouse and falling into the wine celler [could have been a bren carrier he didn't bother too much with detail with him if it had tracks it was a tank]
    #4 Bloody Yanks
    #5 all the best blokes were still out there in the desert.
    #6 his best claim to fame was that he reckoned to have been quickest into the glasshouse after call up.

    I once went to Army cadets in my teens he went ballistic, no son of mine etc 4 years in the desert.... not bloody volunteering and so on. He was scarier than any sgt major ever would have been to me.

    His was 9 platoon C coy I believe, but will have to double check.

    Can anybody shed light on "wood 885285" near Anzio?
  14. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member


    If you go to www.echodelta.net and work out how to use the coord translator, you will find the exact location for this six figure Grid Reference on Google.

    It is easy to use, once you know what you are doing.

    If you get stuck, send me a Personal Message and I will talk you through it.


  15. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member


    I had a quick look on www.echodelta.net and the 'wood' is just forward of the Beachhead Final Defensive Line in the British Sector. The FDL ran east-west over the Flyover.

    At one point, during the desperate defensive battles of Feb 44, the area was the responsibility of 1 LOYALS.


  16. kn1

    kn1 Junior Member

    Thanks thats fascinating

    I got as far as southern italy search box but its asking me for letters for that number above, which I don't have.

    That action or one of them around those woods was were the old feller won his oakleaves for recovering one of the carriers under fire with his lance corporal Pearce. I have a newspaper clipping of it somewere.

    Knowing the old man it was the one with the fag ration in it.
  17. Just flicked through the Regimental History for you. Only mention of your father is in the list of awards at the back acknowledging his Mention in Despatches.

    I will look to see how much work it is to scan the relevant chapter for you to look at.

    Thank you for posting the photos - I always like to see those of men who crewed the Vickers. Your father would have been at Anzio at the same time as my Grandfather (7th Cheshires).


  18. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  19. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Richard -
    as far as I can gather - the 2/7 Middlesex took over from the 7th Cheshires as Div support with 1st Division so they probably passed each other as the Cheshires went off from Anzio and 2/7th came on....
  20. kn1

    kn1 Junior Member

    Thanks again, I wil post some more pics later,
    I should state that the pics are courtesy of John McCoughlin whose research into this bunch of chaps who served with my father is a truly monumental bit of research, and its from him I have discovered stuff about the old man I never new.
    He's registered here so maybe he will chip in.

    Service records enquiries have alas proved too expensive for this oap.

Share This Page