Presumed died of wounds Sidi Barrani - why Brookwood Memorial?

Discussion in 'War Cemeteries & War Memorial Research' started by SteveB, Apr 23, 2020.

  1. SteveB

    SteveB Member

    Hi

    I am interested in 6084366 Serjeant Ernest Edward Wray, 2nd The Queens Royal Regiment (West Surrey).
    Casualty reports show him variously as wounded 10 December 1940 in Egypt, missing - date not reported and finally died of wounds on or shortly after 10th December 1940. The battalion fought at Sidi Barrani at this time.

    CWGC show him as commemorated on the Brookwood 1939-45 Memorial. Does anyone know why this should be, rather than a memorial in Egypt? According to the CWGC website, Brookwood is for those who " have no known grave, the circumstances of their death being such that they could not appropriately be commemorated on any of the campaign memorials in the various theatres of war. They died in the campaign in Norway in 1940, or in the various raids on enemy occupied territory in Europe such as Dieppe and St Nazaire. Others were special agents who died as prisoners or while working with Allied underground movements. Some died at sea, in hospital ships and troop transports, in waters not associated with the major campaigns, and a few were killed in flying accidents or in aerial combat."

    Unsure how this could apply in this case.
    Be grateful if anyone could shed some light.
    Thanks
    Steve

    Thanks
    Steve
     
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  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Have you tried contacting the Regimental Museum?

    It seems some were in the Middle East at that time Prologue - Queen's in the Middle East

    It also seems that the weather could have played a large part

    The Battle Of Sidi Barrani
    After first light on the 10th December the 16th British Infantry Brigade deployed, moving forward in lorries of the Cypriot Service Corps. On reaching the start line appalling weather conditions set in, and Brigadier Lomax found himself in something of a dilemma. The supporting tanks and artillery had not appeared because the bitter winds were whipping up thick dust clouds, reducing visibility at times to 50 yards and cloaking them from view.

    In this fog were fought a series of small, close range, vicious battles at section or single tank level. Half blinded, the Queen’s shot or bayoneted shadows as they rose from the ground before it was known whether they intended to fight or surrender; an unseen machine-gun would fire before being silenced by grenades thrown at random in the general direction of the gun’s bark; a Matilda would come upon a group of puzzled and frightened Italians trying to give themselves up and chase them back into the gloom; and then, identifying the crash of an Italian gun nearby, the tank would slowly turn, and joined by half a section of infantry, would overwhelm it.

    One could assume he was known to have been injured, the battle continued, and when possibly they went back for him, he couldnt be found, hence he would be missing at the time of a roll call, but also notified as wounded. Having been i the Middle east during some of these sand storms they are deadly and it wouldnt be difficult to understand that if he died of his wounds on the battle field then trying to find him afterwards would be difficult, thats assuming they had the chance/time, knew roughly where he was and that he wasnt buried under some depth of wind blown sand

    Thats my guess

    TD
     
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  4. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    Having also had experience of such dust/sand storms I would agree that this might provide the reason for the confusion between missing and DOW but this still does not explain the main point of the OP question which is why he is on Brookwood. Unless he was not at Sidi Barrani but died on some detachment elsewhere. Otherwise even if his body had not been recovered he would still be commemorated on whatever memorial was appropriate for Sidi Barrani
     
  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    So Bob whats your explanation, your best guess - put your nuts on the line and lets see what you think the answer is

    TD
     
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  6. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    This is not some silly game
     
  7. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake The Mayor of London's latest dress code

    If he died on a land battlefield in the middle east he should be on the Alamein memorial to the missing like two privates from the same battalion who died on the same day. In order to be on the Brookwood memorial he would need to have disappeared at sea or in an air crash perhaps en route to the UK or South Africa. If you have a serious reason, as opposed to idle curiosity, contact the CWGC.
     
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  8. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    Exactly my point, sand storms are irrelevant
     
  9. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Lost at sea . En route or casualty evacuation ? All those who died on the Shuntien in 1941 are commemorated on the same memorial. 6084366 Serjeant Ernest Edward Wray, 2nd The Queens Royal Regiment (West Surrey) medals were sold here;-

    Coin auctions by Corbitt Stamps. Coin auction 41. Wwii Groups.

    served Palestine pre war.

    Kyle
     
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  10. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Army RoH states Middle East, not At Sea:
    Name: Ernest Wray
    Given Initials: E F
    Rank: Serjeant
    Death Date: 10 Dec 1940
    Number: 6084366
    Birth Place: London N
    Residence: London N
    Regiment at Enlistment: Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey)
    Branch at Enlistment: Infantry
    Theatre of War: Middle East
    Regiment at Death: Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey)
    Branch at Death: Infantry


    Brookwood Memorial
    Brookwood Memorial does indeed include those who went missing as result of air crashes but the DOW casualty category sort of muddies the waters for me. If it were KIA there might be others listed but as far as I can tell he's the only casualty listed on the Memorial for that date,

    ChrisH might be able to assist as he has been researching those listed on Brookwood Memorial for quite some time. I've posted a link to this thread in order to grab his attention.
     
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  11. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    I can see only two possibilities
    1. Clerical error. Given that the whole system depended on manually filled in cards and ledgers completed by bored military clerks with one eye on the calendar for their demob date - not impossible.
    2. He was on detached duty and the fact that the date coincides with Sidi Barrani is coincidence.
    Following that well shaved gentleman from Occam - William - I'd go for the former but that's only on the balance of probabilities
     
  12. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD


    Also, for Record
    Casualty
    Private ROBINSON, LESLIE JOHN
    Service Number 6095471
    Died 10/12/1940
    Aged 23
    2nd Bn. The Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey)
    Commemorated at ALAMEIN MEMORIAL
    Location: Egypt
    Number of casualties: 11871
    Cemetery/memorial reference: Column 56.
    See cemetery plan

    Name: Leslie Robinson
    Given Initials: L J
    Rank: Private
    Death Date: 10 Dec 1940
    Number: 6095471
    Birth Place: Dorset
    Residence: Hampshire
    Branch at Enlistment: Infantry
    Theatre of War: Middle East
    Regiment at Death: Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey)
    Branch at Death: Infantry


    Casualty
    Private ROSAM, JOHN THOMAS
    Service Number 6093209
    Died 10/12/1940
    Aged 21
    2nd Bn. The Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey)
    Son of Herbert and Rosetta Rosam, of Lee, London.
    Commemorated at ALAMEIN MEMORIAL
    Location: Egypt
    Number of casualties: 11871
    Cemetery/memorial reference: Column 56.
    See cemetery plan

    Name: John Rosam
    Given Initials: J T
    Rank: Private
    Death Date: 10 Dec 1940
    Number: 6093209
    Birth Place: London SE
    Residence: London N
    Branch at Enlistment: Infantry
    Theatre of War: Middle East
    Regiment at Death: Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey)
    Branch at Death: Infantry
     
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  13. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    The same publication ;-
    First name(s) Robert
    Last name Elliott
    Service number -
    Rank Private
    Regiment The Durham Light Infantry
    Birth place Durham (County)
    Residence Durham (County)
    Death year 1941
    Death day 23
    Death month 12
    Theatre of war Middle East
    Country Great Britain
    Record set Army Roll Of Honour 1939-1945
    Category Military, armed forces & conflict
    Subcategory Second World War
    Collections from Great Britain, UK None

    everyone from the Shuntien is listed as Middle East but all died at sea on a British ship whilst wounded or escorting wounded and PoWs, however the Scillin when sunk was an enemy ship but carrying British PoW. The dead on this memorial are on the Alamein Memorial but only because their fate was covered up / unknown at the time?
    Anyone else notice theres no Naval (any branch ) on the Alamein Memorial. Lost at sea :) Its not a transcription error either..

    [​IMG]

    Kyle
     
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  14. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Would someone check Casualty Lists for these two men, in particular whether they were KIA/DOW for that date?

     
  15. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    RN lost or buried at sea are commemorated on the Plymouth, Portsmouth or Chatham Naval Memorials.

    Tim
     
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  16. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Merchant Navy at Tower Hill?
    Soldiers known to be lost at sea on the Brookwood Memorial......................irrespective of theatre of war ....criteria as for the above memorials? Except the Major (
    Major SHULDHAM-LEGH, MURRAY)
    on the Brookwood Panel actually has a grave in TALIARIS (HOLY TRINITY) CHURCHYARD

    Kyle
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2020
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  17. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Private ROBINSON, LESLIE JOHN
    Service Number 6095471 KiA Egypt

    Private ROSAM, JOHN THOMAS
    Service Number 6093209 KiA Western Desert

    Kyle
     
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  18. SteveB

    SteveB Member

    Thanks for all your interesting replies. The reason I asked is that I bought his medals at auction last year. I didn't clock at the time that he wasn't commemorated in Egypt, not that that would have changed my desire to bid in any way. I guess it does point to some kind of admin error, rather than any other reason, on balance.
    Thanks again for your contributions, I'm very grateful.
    Steve
     
  19. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Thanks for checking Kyle.


    Steve,
    As you probably know, there's no guarantee that he'd figure in them (depends how long his Missing status applied) but these are the Missing Personnel files held at Kew for the Regiment/Theatre. These files are a bit of a lucky dip at the best of times, some have contemporary Reports by Coy commanders, Witness statements, war diaries, Pay rolls (by Company), letters from comrades...


    Middle East: North Africa; Queen's Royal Regiment | The National Archives
    Reference: WO 361/1017
    Description: Middle East: North Africa; Queen's Royal Regiment
    Date: 1942 Oct 02 - 1943 Jul 23


    North Africa: Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment; missing personnel | The National Archives
    Reference: WO 361/916
    Description: North Africa: Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment; missing personnel
    Date: 1943 May 03 - 1945 Jun 01


    Middle East: Aegean; Queen's Royal Regiment; missing personnel | The National Archives
    Reference: WO 361/1087
    Description: Middle East: Aegean; Queen's Royal Regiment; missing personnel
    Date: 1944 May 18 - 1945 Jun 27

    Middle East: Aegean; Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment; missing personnel | The National Archives
    Reference: WO 361/1084
    Description:
    Middle East: Aegean; Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment; missing personnel
    Date: 1944 Apr 24 - 1945 Aug 08
     
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  20. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

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