Mystery of WW2 TRAGEDY SOLVED.

Discussion in 'General' started by 51highland, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Searching this database for Army Air Corps that died 13 June 1943 in United Kingdom

    Name: Thomas Ambler
    Given Initials: T D
    Rank: Lieutenant
    Death Date: 13 Jun 1943
    Number: 94809
    Birth Place: Yorkshire
    Residence: Yorkshire
    Regiment at Enlistment: West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales' Own)
    Branch at Enlistment: Army Air Corps
    Theatre of War: United Kingdom
    Regiment at Death: Parachute Regiment (not otherwise specified)
    Branch at Death: Army Air Corps

    Name: Herbert Brownrigg
    Given Initials: H R
    Rank: Private
    Death Date: 13 Jun 1943
    Number: 5125520
    Birth Place: Rotherham
    Residence: Sheffield
    Branch at Enlistment: Army Air Corps
    Theatre of War: United Kingdom
    Regiment at Death: Parachute Regiment (not otherwise specified)
    Branch at Death: Army Air Corps

    Name: Reginald Elwell
    Given Initials: R
    Rank: Lance Serjeant
    Death Date: 13 Jun 1943
    Number: 5120812
    Birth Place: Wolverhampton
    Residence: Wolverhampton
    Branch at Enlistment: Army Air Corps
    Theatre of War: United Kingdom
    Regiment at Death: Parachute Regiment (not otherwise specified)
    Branch at Death: Army Air Corps

    Name: John Gibbs
    Given Initials: J N MC
    Rank: Major
    Death Date: 13 Jun 1943
    Number: 35487
    Birth Place: Birmingham
    Residence: Bedford
    Regiment at Enlistment: Royal Warwickshire Regiment
    Branch at Enlistment: Army Air Corps
    Theatre of War: United Kingdom
    Regiment at Death: Parachute Regiment (not otherwise specified)
    Branch at Death: Army Air Corps

    Name: James McGeever
    Given Initials: J O
    Rank: Private
    Death Date: 13 Jun 1943
    Number: 101151
    Birth Place: Durham (County)
    Residence: Durham (County)
    Branch at Enlistment: Army Air Corps
    Theatre of War: United Kingdom
    Regiment at Death: Parachute Regiment (not otherwise specified)
    Branch at Death: Army Air Corps

    Name: John Moulds
    Given Initials: J A
    Rank: Corporal
    Death Date: 13 Jun 1943
    Number: 5121043
    Birth Place: Nottingham
    Residence: Warwickshire
    Branch at Enlistment: Army Air Corps
    Theatre of War: United Kingdom
    Regiment at Death: Parachute Regiment (not otherwise specified)
    Branch at Death: Army Air Corps

    Name: Paul Oneill
    Given Initials: P
    Rank: Lance Corporal
    Death Date: 13 Jun 1943
    Number: 5121054
    Birth Place: Manchester
    Residence: Birmingham
    Branch at Enlistment: Army Air Corps
    Theatre of War: United Kingdom
    Regiment at Death: Parachute Regiment (not otherwise specified)
    Branch at Death: Army Air Corps

    Name: Horace Robinson - (Confirmed by timuk below post 11 - Horace Robinson | ParaData)
    Given Initials: H
    Rank: Private
    Death Date: 13 Jun 1943
    Number: 4624867
    Birth Place: Yorkshire
    Residence: Yorkshire
    Branch at Enlistment: Army Air Corps
    Theatre of War: United Kingdom
    Regiment at Death: Parachute Regiment (not otherwise specified)
    Branch at Death: Army Air Corps

    If my maths is correct that 8 men listed but there is no guarantee that any of them were involved in the incident
    TD
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  3. geoff501

    geoff501 Achtung Feind hört mit

    Anyone have access to Scottish records, all the above deaths probably registered at same place.

    From the article:

    "The cover-up was deemed vital to prevent the Nazis getting intelligence through which they could try to glean any details about D-Day."

    Can't see that, there were hundreds of Paras training. (and probably all Nazi spies were rounded up).

    Bad news generally not reported in press.
     
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  4. CL1

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


    Private BROWNRIGG, HERBERT RONALD

    Service Number 5125520

    Died 13/06/1943

    Aged 19

    8th Bn.
    The Parachute Regiment, A.A.C.

    Son of Robert and Margaret Brownrigg.
    Commemorated at BROOKWOOD 1939-1945 MEMORIAL

    Location: Surrey, United Kingdom
    Number of casualties: 3416

    Cemetery/memorial reference: Panel 15. Column 1.

    panel from my photo collection
    upload_2018-6-13_12-11-48.png
     
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  5. CL1

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

    Lieutenant AMBLER, THOMAS DENISON
    Service Number 94809

    Died 13/06/1943

    Aged 22

    8th Bn.
    The Parachute Regiment, A.A.C.

    Son of Thomas Ingle Ambler and Constance Margaret Ambler; husband of Margaret Priscilla Ambler, of Coventry.
    Commemorated at BROOKWOOD 1939-1945 MEMORIAL

    Location: Surrey, United Kingdom
    Number of casualties: 3416

    Cemetery/memorial reference: Panel 15. Column 1.

    panel from my photo collection
    upload_2018-6-13_12-14-4.png
     
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  6. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Poor reporting trying to make a sensation out of a tragedy. To my mind this tragedy occurred on a reasonably routine exercise, had nothing to do with the weather, Alanbrooke or anything else. Due entirely to pilot/navigation error in missing the DZ by 10 miles. Agree with Geoff - Bad news not reported.

    Tim
     
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  7. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    Of course there are some cover ups (I've found a couple).

    But another interesting story trashed by sensationalist reporting.
     
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  8. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

  9. brithm

    brithm Senior Member

    Those poor chaps, 8th Parachute Battalion would suffer another accident later in the year on the 21st December for Exercise "Try Again".

    The attached is from 8th Parachute Bn's history by Dr R.A. "Tony" Leake regarding Exercise "Bluebell" sorry it doesn't offer more detailed info.
     

    Attached Files:

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  10. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member

    I think the general principle in news control was to suppress any adverse news that the enemy could not ascertain for themselves and I see nothing unusual at the time in seeking to conceal a tragic training accident occurring during a secret exercise.


    Also, how much did Alanbrooke have to do with this?

    According to War Diaries 1939-1945: Field Marshal Lord Alanbrooke, p.420:

    10 June [1943]

    As soon as the COS was over I returned to flat, changed, and motored to Hendon with Barney. We took off at 1.30 pm and flew to Acklington in Northumberland where we arrived at 3.30. On the way we had a very good lunch of gulls’ eggs and crab sandwiches. Luckily the air was not rough! Spent most of the afternoon inspecting searchlight tanks [CDLs presumably]. Finally fetched up for the night with the Allendales. Dined with the Strachans and fished for trout after dinner, without success owing to thunderstorm.

    11 June

    Left 9 am for Seahouses, where Admiral met us with a ship to proceed to Farne Islands. Practically the same naval party as last year with bird watchers. Ronnie Stanyforth also turned up. We had a delightful day and I took many photographs of elder duck, fulmar petrel, kittiwakes, guillemots, razor bills, puffins and shags. Weather held up well. Finally returned to Blythe with 2 hours sea trip through heavy storms.

    12 June

    Flew back to Odiham and was home by 12 noon.

    13 and 14 June

    Quiet Whitsun weekend at home with a heavy cold. Photographed fly catcher.

    15 June

    Motored back to London, still streaming with cold. ...


    So nowhere near the Tay! So who were the VIPs? This could of course be an elaborate part of the cover-up asserted but it should be relatively easy to establish whether Alanbrooke was actually in Scotland instead. Even had he been present it seems unlikely to me that he would have been exercising any executive control.

    P.S. Just noticed that Andy Brown is mistaken: 13th June 1943 was a Sunday not a Friday.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  11. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

  12. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    At the time the 1st Independent Polish Parachute Brigade was based at Leven in Fife with HQ at the Largo House (now a ruin). So probably there would be high ranking Polish Airborne Officers present, perhaps even General Stanisław Sosabowski. The Sky News article claims Polish Paras were also dropped at the same time or were the Poles on the ground acting in a defensive capacity?

    Regards ..
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
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  13. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member

    Deaths should be recorded here Advanced Search"category":"statutory","record":"statutory-deaths"}

    Indexes are free to view, but credits needed to view the official death register. There are 3 deaths recorded on each page. So assume they should be grouped together over 3 pages.
     
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  14. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member

    Had a look using the names Tricky provided.

    Deaths registered in Balmerino District
    James McGeever (27) Ref. 409/5
    Thomas Ambler (23) Ref. 409/8
    Herbert Ronald Brownrigg (21) Ref 409/9

    Registered in Dunbarney & Dron District
    Reginald Elwell (32) Ref 347/22

    Registered in Ferry Port on Craig District
    John Alfred Moulds (32) Ref 429/26
    Paul O'Neill (24) Ref 429/27

    Registered in Brought Ferry District
    Horace Robinson (30) 282/5 60

    Couldn't see any entry for John Gibbs. Is his death registered in GRO perhaps?

    Edit: can't see death entry for Major John Neill Gibbs on GRO either.

    I can understand the bodies being found in all the locations apart from Reginald Elwell. Could he possibly have drifted up the River Earn?
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
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  15. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Well 7 was the number that died and its 7 you have found above - so perhaps .......................

    TD

    "Sadly they jumped and in all I think 7 drowned, including the officer in charge. The RSM Mr Parsons was saved because he was fortunate enough to land on a sandbank."

    "Seven drowned, while one refused to jump and was court-martialled."
     
  16. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    According to the Sky article an eighth man was killed on the drop zone:

    "An eighth was killed at Tents Muir when he was struck during the jump by an ammunition box."

    Perhaps the same man mentioned by Andy Brown?

    "Running over to collect the kit from the container, we found it lying on top of a sergeant, blood spewing everywhere."

    Possibly Reginald Elwell whose rank is given as Lance Serjeant in TD's list above. This is confirmed in a post (14) by Lynntony a relative of Elwell on a RootsChat thread.

    "I've just been contacted via email by Bernard and Fay Robins in France, who collate Para records, and who picked up my search via this board.

    They learned, from an ExPara who knew Reg, that he was hit by a falling container which fractured his skull. He died that night from his injuries...."

    Regards ...
     
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  17. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    British Pathe claims the video below was shot in England. A commenter describes it as "Joint Maneuvers with British and Polish Paratroopers in Scotland." It could possibly be the Bluebell Exercise the 8 Parachute Battalion took part in during June 1943.



    Regards ...
     
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