Personal diary extracts - Durham Light Infantry

Discussion in 'Durham Light Infantry' started by Verrieres, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. Verrieres

    Verrieres no longer a member

    I have recently been in touch with the Grandson of a WW2 veteran who passed away at the beginning of this year.The significance and interest for me initially was he had been ex DLI,1st DLI pre-war ,Desert,Malta,Kos(One of only 60-100 who managed to escape the Island) The deceased gentlemans name by the way was Cpl Harrison(Harry) Oughton Jones.
    From Kos he has been transferred to 9DLI in preparation for D-Day but for some reason he did not go,instead he appears to have been used as a Driver with both the Canadian Army Film Unit and later with various staff officers at Luneburg Heath.
    Whilst going through his grandfathers effects he has found a Diary/Report, hand written Account, of a senior Nazi officials (Himmler?) capture and another scribbled diary entry (one a4 type page) relating to the horrors of Belsen which he observed with the Canadian Film Unit.
    The nephew is very interested to see if these accounts match up to actual events as reading them it seems,in Himmlers case especially ,that Cpl Harrison(Harry) Oughton Jones played a significant part in discovering the Reichfurhers deception(although I am aware that there are many versions of the story in existance) Cpl Harrison(Harry) Oughton Jones recorded elsewhere that he had at the time signed an official secrets document regarding the Nazi officials (Himmler?) escapade and his Grandson confirms that his Grandfather had never discussed the matter with the family.
    The Grandson has sent me a couple of pages and I have asked permission from him to display them on the forum which he has kindly agreed.Hope they are of interest.

    Verrieres
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Verrieres

    Fascinating !

    Ron
     
    James S likes this.
  3. slaphead

    slaphead very occasional visitor

    I look forward to following this thread!
     
  4. bofors

    bofors Senior Member

    It is amazing how much we dont know what went on, as this diary shows.
    I look forward to reading other extracts
    It also makes you wonder how much of things like this diary have been thrown out over the years!

    regards
    Robert
     
  5. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Verriers, fascinating stuff!
    I don't know much about Himmler's demise but it sounds likely enough to be a first hand account - anyone have any corroborating evidence?
    Would certainly like to see some more of the diary.

    Mike
     
  6. Verrieres

    Verrieres no longer a member

    I have requested to see the pages following those already displayed to see if anyone can determine what exactly happened.
    The pages do not go into great detail unlike some of the online accounts I have read ,all different ,but one tale relating to Himmlers Burial bears a few similarities;-Sourced from After The Battle no17
    The burial party consisted of men from members of The Second Army Defence Company formed from individuals from different regiments to guard Army HQ .(Cpl Jones although DLI was temp attached to an unidentified unit at this time)Major Norman Whittaker(Loyals) Commanding CSM Edwin Austin (6th East Surreys/Pioneer Corps) Sgt William Ottery,Sgt Raymond Weston, Sgt Micky Fenlan were the burial party and used a truck and a jeep (According to his Grandson Cpl Jones states he was at the burial a shallow hole was dug then an officer and three or four NCOs arrived with the body in a truck)
    The After the Battle account refers to the moments after the burial when the party stamped down the earth and scattered leaves over the area to hide the grave(This was May where did the leaves come from?)
    In Cpl Jones diary pages(Requested Copies) his Grandson states he(Cpl Jones) refers to the truck being driven over the area to disguise the grave.
    The after the battle account states prior to the burial the body was watched over by three sentries commanded by L/Cpl Cyril Clark the other two are nameless.According once again to Harrys grandson,Harrys diary refers to taking turns to guard the body over night
    Perhaps Harry Jones was one of the other guards we will never really know but Harrys grandson has set out to find out as much as he can about the incident and I am encouraging him to join us here because in his own words `Harry had loads of Diaries`
     
  7. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Few very interesting possibilities opening up there Verriers, will follow this with interest.

    Mike
     
  8. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    The diary certainly contradicts the official version of events about Himmler's suicide. Himmler supposedly took poison while being examined by a doctor. Here's a contemporary report:

    [​IMG]

    Lee
     
  9. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    An observation on the second diary page. Presumably this was written at a later date? The first of March 1945 was a Thursday not a Wednesday. Also the page looks to be from a modern desk diary.
     
  10. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    After reading Verriere's excellent piece about Himmler I could not fail to be reminded of the following saga that occured whilst I was in Austria helping to round up escaping war criminals.
    My regiment gets it's place in this part of WW2 history.

    The main character here was Globocnik.

    Who was Globocnik, I hear you ask?..... I hasten to explain.

    Globocnik was a particularly nasty piece of work, one time Gauleiter of Austria and when the war finished in Austria in May 1945 he was on the Allied list of ex SS who were to be detained on sight. One of the reasons for his notoriety was that he was known to have buried SS Gold to avoid its discovery.

    You can read about this infamous character on the ISTRIANET website here <http://www.istrianet.org/istria/history/ww2/camps/globocnik-bio.htm>

    The article on the ISTRIANET site goes as follows:

    Different stories of Globocniks' capture and subsequent death have emerged. The one most commonly cited is that Globocnik committed suicide at about 11:30 a.m. the same day outside the small prison, 100 m west of the castle in Paternion.
    His body was photographed, together with his three comrades [pictured right], then said to be quickly buried and "confirmed" by poorly faked photographs of his body.

    A November 1996 report by Erwin H. Lerner describes the capture by the 4th Queen's Own Hussars of the 56th ("London") Division of Globocnik in Austria. The 4th Hussars were stationed in Italy as part of XIII Corps, commanded by Lt. Gen. Sir John Harding. They had no business in Austria, but were apparently working with the 78th Division and a Field Security Service unit based in Villach. Their target was not even Globocnik, but the Gauleiter of Carinthia, Dr. Friedrich Rainer.

    The fact that British units from Italy were involved in the capture of Globocnik may have led Michael Elkins and others to conclude that the men in British uniforms were avengers from the Jewish Brigade Group. Howard Blum has even written a whole book about it, but, to his credit he did not attribute Globocnik's death to these Jewish avengers.

    Lerner wrote of the capture:
    "Globocnik posing as an engineer in hiding from Partisans told a very plausible story, and had clearly thought out his cover very carefully. The whole party was marched off ... and taken to the HQ 4 Hussars in Paternion.
    "Globocnik was left by himself for some time. He had not up to this time been challenged with his true identity. He betrayed himself by half answering a summons shouted in his real name, and was thereupon told that we knew who he was. Still professing innocence he was marched away, but he had gone only some 150 yards when he collapsed and quietly died from hydrocyanic poisoning. It is almost certain that the glass ampoule was under his tongue from the time of his early morning, arrest as all prisoners were searched for poison, and one ampoule discovered on SS Sturmbannfuhrer Lerfh.
    "Rainer later confirmed that the dead man was in fact Globocnik. "At 1230 hours all the prisoners were handed over to Provost Office, 78 Division for disposal through 88 FSS."
    In yet another story, it is said that Globocnik swapped some of his gold and jewels

    I now give the relevant excerpt from the Regimental Diaries of the 4th QOH for 31/5/1945

    0430 – The party (4th Hussars) arrived at the hut.
    0500 – Hut surrounded.
    0510 – The door at the front was opened by Major Ramsey who had entered through a loft window. The door at the back was forced by Major Quarmby and Lt Hedley. Four men were found in the front of the house. Interrogation began at once and all men except the Gauleiter and SS Sturmbannfuhrer Lerch denied any knowledge of the SS. The women were allowed to remain in the hut, but arrangements are in hand (1430 hours) to arrest them. Dr Rainer, Lerch, three unidentified suspects and a fourth man who gave references in KLAGENFURT were brought down to the prison at PATERNION.
    0715 – Schutz re-arrested on accusation of Kummerer.
    1130 – The man suspected of being Glovocnik was trapped into acknowledging his name by a slight movement of his head when Major Ramsey shouted his name across the courtyard. He was ordered into arrest and poisoned himself with Prussic acid while walking the 150 yards between the Castle yard and the prison. Capt MM Leigh RAMC attempted to revive him but was unsuccessful. It was considered that he had had this poison concealed in his mouth from the moment in which the first alarm was raised at the hut as he consistently refused all form of refreshment. Three suspects on viewing the body confessed their identities as:-Sturmbannfuhrer der SS Michaelson,SS Sturmbannfuhrer Hoffle,Oberscharfuhrer Karl Hellesberger SS in TRIESTE.
    1245 – all eight prisoners were removed by Capt Willett, leaving only Schutz in detention and under further investigation.

    ps
    I spent what might be considered to be my "formative" years experiencing a reasonable amount of action against a particularly nasty enemy.

    If there was any one particular part of those years that still gives me satisfaction it would be the period I spent in Austria immediately after the end of hostilities, helping to hunt down the nastiest of these characters.
    Some more about that period here:

    BBC - WW2 People's War - Life in Wartime Austria: 4th Queen's Own Hussars July to August 1945

    BBC - WW2 People's War - The War Ends in Italy, 2nd May 1945

    The picture shows Globocnik.under a blanket, hovering in the background are various 4th QOH men. Photo as shown on Istrianet
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Verrieres

    Verrieres no longer a member

    An observation on the second diary page. Presumably this was written at a later date? The first of March 1945 was a Thursday not a Wednesday. Also the page looks to be from a modern desk diary.


    Yes according to his Grandson they must have been.The grandson although very close to his Grandfather indicated ,like so many of us,that he never had any real questions until after his Grandfather passed away.Since then he is full of questions most which unfortunately can never be answered.A few of his uncles are filling in the gaps with what little they know but `Harry` seems to have taken most of the answers to the grave with him.

    Ron fascinating stuff that thanks for sharing.
    Hopefully I will receive an answer to my request for more pasges today but I guess I`ll just have to be patient and wait and see.
     
  12. Verrieres

    Verrieres no longer a member

    An observation on the second diary page. Presumably this was written at a later date? The first of March 1945 was a Thursday not a Wednesday. Also the page looks to be from a modern desk diary.


    Following on from the above Cpl Jones grandson stated today that his Grandfather summarised his diary at the age of 84 (This is the one written on the modern desk diary) The earlier version are the recollections/assorted reports which his grandson has in his possesion he has sent more pages and there are references to his demob suit so these again are post 1946.
    Cpl Jones original diaries date from 1935 often not complete and some with recollections duplicated( and slightly different versions in some) but quite an interesting account of one mans part in historic events.A pauper amongst Kings, for the people he speaks of in the later part of his diary are well known WW2 participants/personalities and although we are never going to read an account of the German surrender at Luneburg with the words `...standing behind General Montgomery was Cpl Jones of the Durham Light Infantry...` he has recorded his part in the events.I do have the pages and the permission to display them here,which I will hopefully do this evening.
    Please remember they are one mans recollections,perhaps the history books say different but these are the events as seen by one man Cpl Jones of the Durham Light Infantry.
     
  13. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    Following on from the above Cpl Jones grandson stated today that his Grandfather summarised his diary at the age of 84 (This is the one written on the modern desk diary) The earlier version are the recollections/assorted reports which his grandson has in his possesion he has sent more pages and there are references to his demob suit so these again are post 1946.
    Cpl Jones original diaries date from 1935 often not complete and some with recollections duplicated( and slightly different versions in some) but quite an interesting account of one mans part in historic events.A pauper amongst Kings, for the people he speaks of in the later part of his diary are well known WW2 participants/personalities and although we are never going to read an account of the German surrender at Luneburg with the words `...standing behind General Montgomery was Cpl Jones of the Durham Light Infantry...` he has recorded his part in the events.I do have the pages and the permission to display them here,which I will hopefully do this evening.
    Please remember they are one mans recollections,perhaps the history books say different but these are the events as seen by one man Cpl Jones of the Durham Light Infantry.

    Reading back what I haven't written above, it sounds like I'm being dismissive of the Cpl Jones recollections. Apologies if that's how it comes across. I was just intending to offer some background information and observations for general interest and discussion.

    Lee
     
  14. Verrieres

    Verrieres no longer a member

    Reading back what I haven't written above, it sounds like I'm being dismissive of the Cpl Jones recollections. Apologies if that's how it comes across. I was just intending to offer some background information and observations for general interest and discussion.

    Lee


    Hi Lee,
    No not at all I never read it or took it that way at all your comments are most welcome.The Cpl Jones diaries are one mans perception of his involvement in historic events and I appeciate your views that is why his grandson allowed me to use them for discussion and observations just like you have kindly provided.
    I too have no idea of the circumstances of Himmlers capture and demise what I think I know is what I`ve read in the past,the official stories,the unofficial stories,peoples recollections eye-witness accounts,conspiracy theories and such like all retold after the event.What is the true account? It would take a more learned man than me to say,each account is a single persons perception on his or her involvement in events which most of us cannot comprehend and to those veterans such as Cpl `Harry` Jones we owe a debt which can never be repaid..whatever part they played in this or other events..Thanks for the memories.
    Hope fully the next part of the Diaries here will stimulate some further interest.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Verrieres

    Verrieres no longer a member

    Hi,
    Just received an E-Mail from the grandson of Cpl (Harry)Houghton Jones he has been doing a little research himself and it has obviously stirred up a bit of interest else where he has narrowed the photographer at Belsen to two possibilities one of whom is still alive.The BBc are forwarding a request for information to an Interpreter who was present at the surrender.Finally a national newspaper in England are interested in covering his grandfathers story. If anyone has any alternative information,other than the official line,on Himmlers death could they please post the details so I can pass them on to Cpl Jones`s grandson.
    Although he has given permission for the diary excerpts to be posted here, with the interest of the press that permission may be retracted in the next couple of days/hours and out of courtesy I will remove them from the thread,however a brief description may be substituted.The e-mail is shown below.

    I received an email this morning from the Steve Harris - Chief Historian Directorate of History and Heritage Canadian National Defence a advising that the photographer that Grandfather was driving to Belsen would most likely be Alex Colville (or perhaps a long shot - Ken Bell). I have researched both of these chaps and found out that Alex is still alive, unfortunately Ken passed away in 2000. I have emailed Alex’s ArtGallery and the Canadian Genealogy Department hoping they can give my details to him with a view of making contact!!! If it is him I have one of his original photos of Belsen that Grandfather got from him.




    Also I received an email from the BBC advising they will pass on my requests to make contact with Mr Derek Knee. I believe Derek was in HQ and was an interpreter for Montgomery during the surrender at Luneberg Heath in 1945. I only hope Derek would like to make contact in return.




    I also received an email from Paul Vass from a newspaper in Bournemouth. He wants to do an article in a National UK paper on Grandfather!!!




    More soon. Take care.


    Kind Regards,
    Jason
     
  16. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    With being away on holiday I have just been trawling through threads and found this one to be absolutely fascinating.

    Well done to all concerned.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  17. Verrieres

    Verrieres no longer a member

    Links to associated web sites

    Alex Coleville
    Heroes Remembers - David Alexander (Alex) Colville - Veterans Affairs Canada

    Derek Knee
    BBC NEWS | UK | Wales | Veteran remembers 'war of words'

    Himmler conspiracy
    Death of Heinrich Himmler

    Himmlers death accounts

    Himmler's mysterious death in 1945
    (DEATH OF HIMMLER) - British Pathe

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Google Image Result for http://www.fpp.co.uk/docs/Irving/RadDi/2007/Himmler_death/HH_death_telegram_550.gif

    Posted as reference only.If the documentation is to be believed Himmler died on the 23rd yet his capture was dated 22nd what happened in the missing day? Telegram dated 24th why wait until morning before sending such an important piece of News? The date on the capture document could have been altered its in pen/pencil and initialled.Like I stated I don`t know the truth does anyone?
     
  18. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    Links to associated web sites
    ...

    Himmler conspiracy
    Death of Heinrich Himmler


    The above link is based on the book Himmler's Secret War by Martin Allen. This is the book that used poorly faked documents seeded in the National Archives. All the information about PWE assassinating Himmler is complete BS. The culprit was caught, an aging 'historian', but was not prosecuted by TNA. Funny enough I emailed the author of the above website a couple of weeks back telling him he is basing his article on falsified evidence but he did not respond – strange that!?

    See here for the Times report on the incident:
    Historian in Himmler dispute was in earlier forgery furore - Times Online


    Lee
     
  19. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Google Image Result for http://www.fpp.co.uk/docs/Irving/RadDi/2007/Himmler_death/HH_death_telegram_550.gif

    Posted as reference only.If the documentation is to be believed Himmler died on the 23rd yet his capture was dated 22nd what happened in the missing day? Telegram dated 24th why wait until morning before sending such an important piece of News? The date on the capture document could have been altered its in pen/pencil and initialled.Like I stated I don`t know the truth does anyone?

    Not an expert on Himmler's last days at all but the above timescale fits in with what I've always understood. The telegram is dated 6 a.m. on the 24th May, Himmler commmitted suicide at 11:14 p.m. on the 23rd May. Just under seven hours to send out the information doesn't sound sinister to me to be honest.

    However, the timeline does not fit in with Cpl Jones recollections, who recalls that Himmler killed himself as soon as his identity was discovered.
     
  20. Verrieres

    Verrieres no longer a member

    Hi Lee,
    I read about the falsified reports but added the web site as a `conspiracy` site as mentioned in one of the other posts anyway.
    The capture of Himmler at the bridge is accredited to the British but I am sure I read somewhere they were stopped by two Russian soldiers temp attached to a British unit.
    The timeline is the problem I cannot get it to match and as you rightly said Himmler did not poison himself straight away..as Cpl Jones implies.There is no doubt in his Grandsons mind that Harry was involved in some way with the events of that day,he has a photograph of Harry with German PoWs and it clearly shows an identicle set of arm insignia to those in the photographs and newsreels at the time of Himmlers suicide..but what part?
    Harrys grandson is having talks with a national newspaper in England regarding his Grandfather and is now pondering hiring a professional researcher..if he lets me know what they find (if anything) I`ll post it here.
     

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