My Grandad

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by charlie15, Jun 16, 2019.

  1. charlie15

    charlie15 Junior Member

    I’m hoping I could could get some help...

    My Grandad served with the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards, he was in Palestine as a L/Cpl in 1937 which is the only record I can find of him online.

    Family history says that he was in France in 1940 and got off the beaches having been shot in the leg. He was then due to go ashore at Dieppe, but his wave was called off. There are then stories of him being in the desert, before returning home and landing at D Day and being wounded at Caen.

    The issue with the above is quite a bit doesn’t fit, Mum was born early April 1944, so if he were at Dieppe and the North Africa he must have gone straight after Dieppe, returning mid 1943. Could he have gone out as an NCO to gain battlefield experience?

    Next he always said he was in a Sherman, now the Skins were in Cromwell’s while in Normandy, but I know they also had Firefly’s so that fits. What doesn’t fit is that he was there from 6 June, and there are no records of him being wounded in Normandy with the Skins (we’ve checked Tracks Through Europe).

    So here’s my questions, were 5RDG part of the ORBAT for Dieppe, did NCO’s get transferred to other units on active service? And who/where would he have transferred to if he was 7th Armoured from 42 onwards?

    I will be applying to MoD for his records, but thought I’d ask here first! Not sure how much of the above is hearsay.

    He was 408766 Dermot Whelan

    Thank you!
  2. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Welcome to the forum.

    It would just be speculation to offer an opinion in any of the various “personal” queries you’ve raised.

    Best to wait until you have his service records so you can plot an accurate timeline.

    However on a general point -

    In relation to the Dieppe Orbat here is what Wikipedia says -

    Operation Jubilee order of battle - Wikipedia

    I don’t have access to my own Operation Jubilee book so will have to take the ORBAT as accurate so no British Armoured troops involved at Dieppe.

    Men were transferred between units as the need arose - not necessarily to “obtain battle experience”.

    Hopefully you will return to the forum once you’ve received his service papers and share with us what you discover.

    Good Luck.


    I presume you’ve found a trace of him on the Palestine Medal roll if he served there between 1936/39.

    A member may be able to search for him on the official Casualty Lists available via FMP.
  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    UK, Military Campaign Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1949
    Name: D Whelan
    Service Date: 1936-1939
    Service Place: Palestine
    Campaign or Service: Palestine
    Regiment or Unit Name: 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards
    Regimental Number: 408766

    I would recommend that you apply for his service records, to at least provide you with a timescale framework of where he was and when. As you should know records are only obtainable from the MOD and the forms link is Requests for personal data and service records: a detailed guide

    timuk, Buteman, charlie15 and 2 others like this.
  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards - Wikipedia

    No mention in here of Dieppe

    No mention of Africa and they landed in Normandy July 1944

    The 5th Dragoon Guards remained in the United Kingdom until late July 1944, when it landed in Normandy, over a month after the initial D-Day landings of 6 June,

    So it seems even more important to obtain his service records to see if he moved between any units - he may not have stayed with the same unit throughout his military service and his records will show this

    Buteman, ozzy16, charlie15 and 2 others like this.
  5. charlie15

    charlie15 Junior Member

    Tully thank you, yes it would seem his records will be the best place, and never fear I will share!

    Tricky thanks, well aware of this, from what I’ve uncovered he certainly wasn’t with the 5th at Normandy, Tracks Through Europe has a list off all casualties and there’s no mention of him!
  6. charlie15

    charlie15 Junior Member

    Ok so a quick look on FMP shows he was wounded with 23rd Hussars in 44, but nothing for 1940.
  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Service records

    timuk, Buteman and charlie15 like this.
  8. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member

  9. charlie15

    charlie15 Junior Member

    Thanks Harkness, any idea what the handwritten numbers are?
  10. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

  11. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member


    For some reason he does not appear on the casualty list in the Regimental history, "The Story of the Twenty-third Hussars".

    I have address lists for A, B and HQ Squadrons and he doesn't appear there either, so he was either a C Squadron man or we have a 'clerical error' (his entry in the above casualty list is the 'odd man out')..
  12. charlie15

    charlie15 Junior Member

    Thanks Harkness, it gets more interesting as I’ve gone back to the Palestine medal award page from 5RIDG and it shows him being attached to 1st DG. He certainly seemed to get around!

    I know the story goes that his Sherman brewed up and only him and the driver survived, the latter being badly burnt. My Nan received a telegram saying he was missing presumed dead, until he turned up in a hospital up north with a bullet in his head.

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