My Father, Royal Fusilier, taken POW in Italy.

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Mark Leighton, Apr 16, 2022.

  1. Mark Leighton

    Mark Leighton New Member

    My father was a Royal Fusilier, taken POW at Monte Cassino. He ended the war as a POW in a salt mine somewhere in Germany, I believe, until he was liberated by American troops. Is there anywhere that I can find out any more about what happened?
    Regards to all.
  2. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron


    Your request would get more attention if posted in the area for such: Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy Preferably with as much detail as possible and start the process to get his service records, which now takes a rather long time.

    Is your quest just for the salt mine story or far wider? There is expertise here on the PoW experience.

    About to send a PM with some research pointers.
  3. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member


    2 R FUSILIERS were part of 12 Infantry Brigade who were themselves part of 4 Infantry Brigade at the Fourth Battle of Cassino in May 44 - although the Division has arrived at Cassino in Apr 44.

    12 Infantry Brigade were the Divisional reserve and they moved through 10 Infantry Brigade once that Brigade had got Amazon bridge in place over the River Rapido.

    2 R FUSILIERS pushed towards Cassino town and had a tough time of it. It may have been then that your father was captured. Do you know the date of his capture?


    Last edited: Apr 20, 2022
  4. Mark Leighton

    Mark Leighton New Member

    Hi David (I hope that's right?)... thank you so much for the reply... I really only tripped over this forum by complete accident, so please forgive my mistake... I'll have a look at the link you gave me, thanks... I suppose my query is far wider than the salt mine... although he did tell me a few things that happened there. I'd like to find out as much as I can... We used to have a plaque of the Royal Fusiliers crest that was made from scrap wood.. he told me that some of the other POW's made it in the POW camp for his 21st birthday.. we once met a few of the staff (many years ago) at a museum in London who he exchanged stories with (I think it was at the Tower of London maybe? But definately something to do with the Royal Fusiliers .. I'm not sure) I was quite young at the time and it's quite sketchy... I'm over 60 now and he sadly passed away over 30 years ago, he was haunted all his life by what happened there, so I'm just trying to piece together anything I can in his memory... Again, I'm not 100% sure but apparently they either stored or assembled either V1 or V2's down the mine and the prisoners would regularly sabotage them??? Again, I'm assuming it was in Germany but I could be wrong. His name was Ken Leighton. I seem to remember he told me he may have been at Solerno or Anzio, or maybe even both, I'm not sure... and ended up at Monte Cassino where he was taken POW.... Anyway, Thanks for the pointer... I'll have a look... Best wishes and kind regards... Mark
  5. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    2 R FUSILIERS were not at either Salerno or Anzio. They only arrived in Italy in Apr 44.


  6. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Moved these posts from the 2 Royal Fusiliers thread that they were in .
  7. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Hello Mark,

    What was your father's name?




    Try looking for his German record card on the National Archives website

    Also, put in a request to the International Red Cross for his POW record. (free of charge). They next open on 16 May and you need to submit your request within minutes of the opening otherwise you will have to wait until September
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2022
    Tony56 likes this.
  8. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Possibly Fusilier 14609690 K Leighton, 9th Bn, reported missing Italy 18/2/44. POW No 143021 Camp 11A Altengrabow. For some reason originally listed as 2 Bn North Staffordshire Regt, later corrected to Royal Fusiliers.

    Best get his Red Cross records, as suggested above, and his service records if you want the whole picture, only available here :
    Requests for personal data and service records: a detailed guide - GOV.UK (
    Owen likes this.
  9. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    Appears he was D Company.

    Tony56 and Owen like this.
  10. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    So are we now saying that this chap was in 9 R FUSILIERS rather than 2 R FUSILIERS?

    If Fus Leighton is our man, then he was captured at Anzio. 9 R FUSILERS had taken part in the crossing of the Garigliano on 17 Jan 44 near Cassino and then the battalion had been rushed to Anzio - along with 10 R BERKSHIRES and 8 R FUSILIERS, to prop up a crumbling beachhead.

    He may have been originally listed as 2 N STAFFS because they were also in the beachhead but had been completely overrun on the night 7-8 Feb 44.


    Tony56 likes this.
  11. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

  12. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    All but one of the names on the casualty list that originally reported him missing are also in the list posted by Gary in #9 above, the 3 with a number starting with a 5 - Harrison, Howe and Warrilow - all enlisted with the North Staffordshire Regiment, the remainder are General Service Corps. Perhaps that gives credence to them all being North Staffordshire men as Frank suggests.

    A potential change of regiment makes if very important to get hold of his official service records or risk researching the wrong unit.

    Note that casualty lists DO NOT report all men who went missing on a particular day, others may have been reported on previous or later lists.
  13. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

  14. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    I would probably think Pte. Deighton was sent to 9 RF before they went to Anzio rather than have have been transferred from 2 NS in the beach head. 2 NS were trying to reconstitute on a two compnay basis and they themselves received 42 reinforcements on the 9th Feb and a further 85 on the 15th.

    Unfortunately the WE 3008 forms are missing for 9 RF for this period but 8RF received reinforcements before they set sail for Anzio (see 292706 Lieutenant Eric Fletcher WATERS, 8th Battalion Royal Fusiliers | WW2Talk).

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