Princess Louise's Kensington Regiment

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by DavidP, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. DavidP

    DavidP Junior Member

    I am starting this thread in the hope of gathering information about events that the regiment were involved in, please add anything that you can.
    It is based upon fragments of stories that my father has told over the years, which were entirely anecdotal, he never seemed to remember place names, I have attempted to put it in sequence.

    Harry Parfitt escaped from Croydon Workhouse in 1940 at the age of 16 and lying about his age, volunteered for the Middlesex regiment at the local TA barracks. He was eventually posted overseas as part of the 78th Division with Princess Louse's Kensington Regiment (I do not know when or why the transition in regiments took place, only that he never went to France with the Middlesex Regiment).

    During his voyage from Glasgow he witnessed the sinking of a British Destroyer whose name I cannot remember but a photograph survives (which I will add when I can get it scanned).

    He landed in Algeria in a small landing craft and described later being involved in an advance on foot up a hill towards enemy positions, most of his unit were killed around him, convincing him that his short stature had saved his life, he also refused to eat cooked tomatoes from that day on, as they reminded him of the event.
    later he watched in horror as US forces made a motorised assault on a fortified position at dusk with their headlights blazing.
    He also mentioned tensions with some French troops nearly getting out of hand on one occasion.

    Being so young, it appears that the others looked after him quite a bit, he became the scrounger of the unit, and a bit of a loner. He was part of a Bren gun carrier crew.
    He was involved in the action on Sicily and afterwards landed in the east of Italy, although went westward enough to see Naples, and experience what he called the terrible smell of the bay of Naples. It seems that his unit were moved around a great deal, mostly fighting up the East of Italy, but occasionally being moved for a short time elsewhere. He witnessed the body of Mussolini hung from a lamp-post some time after the execution.
    His unit was sent to Corfu and Cairo, for rest, but in Cairo was involved in the street fight that broke out there - remembering being cornered by an Egyptian in an alley and fighting his way out with a knife.

    One event in Italy that he mentioned was watching a nazi plane coming in over the sea, not realising that it was entering allied territory, and being fired upon by British guns, to the great amusement of everyone. at one point he was posted in a forward position at a river crossing, aware that the German troops, who were expected to make an attack were only a short distance away.
    He was taken prisoner briefly in Italy, with about ten other men, who were locked in a barn, he rolled himself in hay to get some sleep and when he woke up found that everyone had gone.

    Eventually he wound up in Austria, where he spent time gathering and disarming the Cossacks and their families (a friend of his was wounded as a rifle was thrown onto a pile of weapons), guarding the camp at Spittal and repatriating the Cossacks over the Russian line. This aspect of the war haunted him, cutting down the Cossack men and women that had hung themselves rather than be sent back to Stalin, and hearing the Russian firing squad after each group was 'repatriated'.

    Throughout the war he never received a single letter from his family, a well meaning officer noticed that he was becoming ''careless' and so arranged some home leave, to a family that didn't want him. He spent the leave sleeping rough under waterloo bridge. When he got back the officer made arrangements for another soldiers family to write to him (it was my mothers family).

    When he was demobbed, he asked the officer if that was it, the officer said "yes you are a civilian now", so he told the officer exactly what he could do with his army - and got two weeks in military prison.

    When he summed up his wartime experiences he often said that they were the best years of his life, adding that 'If you are going to fight a war, make sure it is in the desert where war can be civilised, not amongst civilians'.

    Shortly before he died he re-applied for his campaign medals, when they arrived the Africa star wasn't included, they said there was no record. even though he still had the ribbon from his old uniform, he just shrugged.
     
  2. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    I am away from my books at present but there is a published regimental history of the unit, which was a Machine Gun Battalion, published in the 50s.

    There is also a veteran of this unit who is a member here.
     
  3. Mathsmal

    Mathsmal Senior Member

    Thanks for sharing your father's stories - good luck in finding out further details. Have you tried the Regiment museum: Army Museums Ogilby Trust
     
  4. Mathsmal

    Mathsmal Senior Member

  5. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Mathsmal -
    While it looks like the Kensington's were part of 38th Bde - they were a M/g support battalion for the whole division therefore they could be spilt into companies to support each bde and bring heavier units to bear on the action. They were equipped with Brens - Vickers - sometimes Spandaus - and heavy morters which the regular Infantry could not carry at times...they were also attached to 36th Bde which was sent to where the action was severe - in nearby other divisions and were known as the "Fire Brigade"
    The m/c gun Regiments such as Middlesex - Northumberland - Cheshires etc were spread thoughouit the Army to give support where they would be needed.
    Cheers
     
  6. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    David P –
    As I was re-reading your posting on your Father’s life in the Kensington’s – I am struck with the fact that you are interested in getting to the truth as it would appear that his anecdotal reminiscences are a bit wayward in some respects.

    So – always keeping in mind that anyone who served in the 78th Division – in any capacity - certainly made a great contribution toward the final victory in Europe…with that in mind I am sure that you will accept my alterations to your messages.

    The 78th Division was put together specifically for the “Torch” of North African landings and so reached out to whoever was available – this was probably the Kensingtons at that time.

    Probably the hill mentioned might have been the infamous “Longstop” which was finally conquered with the 8th battalion of Agile and Sufferin Highlanders along with Gerry Chester’s “B” squadron Tanks of the North Irish Horse who climbed the hill to the amazement of the German defenders. What the association with tomatoes is remains a mystery !

    The tactics of the US 2nd corps was not all that unusual as was the tension with the French until they were sent South.

    On to Sicily where 78th Div and their action at Centuripe and Adrano were first class – as was Ron Goldstein’s attempt to climb a tree with his 15cwt pickup and trying to sleep atop a pile of manure !

    The 78th were split into two landings into Italy – one at Messina to Reggio – mainly Artillery along towards Taranto – the Other near bari a wek later to capture the massive airfields at Foggia – then the battles of Termoli – Moro River with the Canadians – the only time he would have gone westwards to Naples would have been on leave – and the smell of Naples did not compare with the smell of Algiers !!!

    Then it was on to Cassino where they took a small part in the third battle with the 4th Indian and the Kiwis – but a major role in the fourth and final battle in the Liri valley.








    After Rome they changed from X111 to X corps for the advance to Trasimeno and from there on to Egypt where they did stir up a few fights in Cairo for which they were returned to Italy early – in time for the Gothic Line where they served alongside the US 5th Army toward Bologna returning to 8th Army in time for the spring breakthrough at Argenta and the finish of that campaign.

    On the to Austria where they basically looked after the Northern end including Vienna – the 6th armoured in the central section and the 46th Div in the south east where the Cossacks came through…so it’ hard to see where he was in contact with the Cossacks as they went back via Trieste.

    Many Russian deserters etc were sent back to Russia from the small town of Judenberg in the 6th Armoured area in the central sector – and shot an killed about five miles north of that town in the Russian sector making it difficult to hear gunfire.

    The Spittal episode came after the 8th Argyll’s were banished from Vienna after a sever contretemps with some Russians in that city so it is doubtful that the Kensingtons were there

    Hopefullty this will fill in a few gaps until Paul find the official history of the 1st battalion Princess Louise; Kensingtons

    Cheers
     
  7. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    On to Sicily where 78th Div and their action at Centuripe and Adrano were first class – as was Ron Goldstein’s attempt to climb a tree with his 15cwt pickup and trying to sleep atop a pile of manure !


    Hi David

    I hate to divert you from your research into the Kensingtons but feel obliged to explain Tom's attempt to confuse you even more :unsure:

    I think he is referring to two separate incidents that befell me during the Sicilian campaign
    BBC - WW2 People's War - A postcard from Sicily, 3rd September 1943
    &
    BBC - WW2 People's War - Sicily, Then On To Italy
    and I suppose you had better read them before you move on to more serious affairs !

    Stay with us and we will eventually get there :p

    Cheers

    Ron
     
  8. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    David - this might clarify the origins of the "Kensington's"

    Princess Louise's Kensington Regiment (Territorial Army), originally the
    13th County of London Battalion, The County of London Regiment was
    affiliated to The Middlesex Regiment from 1916. In 1937, with the break up
    of the London regiment, this unit adopted the title The Princess Louise's
    Kensington Regiment, The Middlesex Regiment (Territorial Army). In common
    with other territorial units the regiment was duplicated in early 1939 as
    part of the doubling in size of the Territorial Army. The two parts were
    known as the 1/7th and 2/7th Battalions, The Princess Louise's Kensington
    Regiment, The Middlesex Regiment (Territorial Army). Both battalions saw
    operational service in WWII.
     
  9. DavidP

    DavidP Junior Member

    Thank you all for your generous replies, especially Tom and Ron.
    It is really good to hear your comments.
    I really don't mind being corrected at all regarding my rather shaky 2nd hand version of my dad's stories. He rarely wanted to talk about the whole episode and when he did I am sure that he generalised and deliberately gave a 'loose' account, strangely he never once mentioned any names. In a sense His stories are one thing, and now I would like to find out whatever I can about the regiment as a whole, to complete the picture.


    One thing though, I am reasonably certain about the Kensingtons being on guard duty in a camp for Cossacks. He was fairly outspoken about his morning duties at the camp, i.e. removing the dead. we also have a 78th division christmas card from 1945 with a scene from Grossglockner, which is about 30 miles from Spittal. (I have also noticed a ref in the Ken Ford book 'Battleaxe Division' in which Maj Taylor mentions the Kensingtons in relation to the Spittal camp, even though he states it was for 4,000 SS troops, 1,300 displaced civilians and 1,340 allied repatriates. page 210).

    Oh yes, the tomatoes, without wishing to be too graphic - he said it reminded him of having his best friends brains spattered on him. but then you should have seen my mothers cooking, he may well have been making a point.

    I hope to find some of his army records when we sort out his papers, I will post anything that I find.
     
  10. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    David -
    you are more than welcome to anything I have in the way of history of those days - the first few months of '45 were hectic and on entering Austria we were all involved in hunting down the SS particularly - so It's entirely possible that some units were detached to other areas at that time -the 46th Div had their hands full in the Graz area - this was also the time when many were being repatriated to the U.K. on demob and leave - the first in four years for some -we were all stretched - even Ron's mob were moved from 6th Armoured's area back to Trieste - to slow down Tito's mob - the 16/5th Lancers "B" squadron were in Knittelfeld doing the same job - and I recall being spat upon by an old lady who objected to us rounding up the bad guys.
    I also have very fond memories of the Gross Glochner as later in '45 we were learning to Ski at the Kanzelhohe which was close to that beautiful mountain - happy days - your father's dislike of Tomatoes is understandable notwithstanding anyone's cooking
    Cheers
     
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  11. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    David

    As per Tom, you are more than welcome to anything I can add to your Dad's story

    I see you say
    (I have also noticed a ref in the Ken Ford book 'Battleaxe Division' in which Maj Taylor mentions the Kensingtons in relation to the Spittal camp, even though he states it was for 4,000 SS troops, 1,300 displaced civilians and 1,340 allied repatriates. page 210).

    On a quid pro quo basis I would be very obliged if I could see a scan of page 210 as it sounds suspicously like the POW camp that my unit set up at Ferndorf. Even if not the same camp I am still interested.
    BBC - WW2 People's War - The War Ends in Italy, 2nd May 1945

    Cheers

    Ron
     
  12. Niccar

    Niccar WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Hi HarryP


    Thought you might like some first hand information about the wartime experiences of the 1st Battalion Princess Louise Kensington Rgt I like your Dad volunteered under aged and asked if I could be put in a Machine gun regiment and after a medical was put in the 70th battalion Middlesex Rgt there was no transition of regiments as the both sides came under the Middies anyway so after being told you are now being formed up as the 1st Batt Kens the story starts here

    Early 1943 we sailed from Greenock in convoy to Algiers and after a few days acclimatising picked up our transport from the docks in Algiers and drove across
    Algeria and Tunisia my own memories of this epic journey that still being just turned seventeen and having done three weeks learning to drive in England I was now driving a lorry an ammunition trailer behind that and behind that an Oierlikon gun the whole lot being about eighty feet long to a place called Hammamet not far from the Capital Tunis a well known holiday resort nowadays but then a very long stretch of sandy beach but nothing else our time was then spent waterproofing the vehicles for what turned out to be the invasion of Sicily the story behind the Oierlikon gun that as a support group and being Infantry we were supposed to take that Heath Robinson
    Contraption into the line as a Twenty Millimetre anti aircraft weapon it took about
    An hour to rig up and almost as long to pack up so they were ceremoniously dumped along with the ammunition trailers and we just went in with the heaviest mortars we
    had at that time the 4.2 and the Vickers machine gun we certainly never had Spandau machine guns they were German but we did get many replies from them after our guns opened up.
    The Regiment was never awarded the Africa Star as we arrived a week or so after the cut off date for the award but personally I have never applied for any medals apart from the veteran’s badge which is a tiny thing anyway so the rest of the story has been well documented the Sicilian campaign onto Italy and eventually Austria and your Dad was right we certainly were heavily involved in the Cossacks return to the Russians and the escorts hearing them being massacred once inside Communist territory the place the Cossacks were camped at about 38 thousand of them was the Drau valley and the largest town in the area was Lienz I know I was there if there is anything else I can help you with don’t be afraid to ask sorry I didn’t recall your Dads name so I didn’t know him personally

    Regards niccar
     
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  13. DavidP

    DavidP Junior Member

    Ron.
    I will try and get time to scan a few pages for you this weekend.

    Niccar.
    It was a real pleasure to read your words, It really helps to put things in context, I am beginning to get a sense of the orchestrated chaos that you lot lived through. Particularly the suprises that you must have had between signing up, training and actually bedding in as fighting units. My dad learned to drive at about the same time, but no evidence of it in his army book, in fact he never bothered to get a real driving license until the mid 1970's, and had to take his test again.

    His Army book 64 has quite a few entries on the training page that I don't understand.
    Alongside the gas chamber and mustard gas entries are a list of places and dates, as follows:
    N Africa, 27-5-43
    Sicily, 28-9-43
    Italy, 28-9-43
    Egypt, 22-7-44 - 9-9-44
    Austria, 11-5-45
    Greece, 20-7-46
    I assume these are some kind of orientation briefings, they are initialed by officers, what do you think?

    Underneath these are 3 more mysterious entries that are quite hard to decipher.
    2 DFW.sig2. 6mnths nard - (last word is a guess) 30-11/43
    1 ditto 13-6-44
    1 ditto 18-2-45
    Any idea what these are?

    Seems he got 28 days leave to UK in jan 1946 signed by J Smith Lieut. - his first leave after embarkation in 43,
    but was back until at least august 1946 when his last medical entry was added.

    I'll try and scan the pages and post them - someone might find them as interesting as I do.

    I have no Idea where he got the Africa ribbon from then, perhaps it was something that he collected later, he had quite a collection of Italian ww1 medals that he brought back as souvenirs.
    He also had three postcards in his treasures box.
    One of the 'Ponte a Cascata del Liri' (bridge and weir on the River Liri) at Ceprano.

    Another of what looks like the church at Capracotta underneath it says 'Capracotta - Chiesa di S. M.di Loreto - Staz. clim. estioa - invernale e Sport a m. 1421 a. m.'

    The third is of what looks like a war memorial sculpture of a standing woman placing a flower on a dying soldier - it says 'Gruppo Scultoreo del Monumento al Caduti in Guerra che CEPRANO ha inaugurate l'8 Octobre 1922'
    Mean anything to anyone?
     
  14. DavidP

    DavidP Junior Member

    David

    As per Tom, you are more than welcome to anything I can add to your Dad's story

    I see you say

    On a quid pro quo basis I would be very obliged if I could see a scan of page 210 as it sounds suspicously like the POW camp that my unit set up at Ferndorf. Even if not the same camp I am still interested.
    BBC - WW2 People's War - The War Ends in Italy, 2nd May 1945

    Cheers

    Ron

    Here is a scan of the pages - as the whole chapter is only 4 pages long, I've included it all, it should be ok under the 'fair use' of copyright .

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  15. DavidP

    DavidP Junior Member

    While I'm at it (posting images that is), I thought I would put up scans of the 3 postcards that my father carried with him through the war. I am sure that they are significant, and that others of 78th Div may recognise the places.

    First: Ceprano.
    A town on the river Liri to the N.W of Cassino, that was the scene of some fighting shortly after Cassino, I believe.
    [​IMG]

    Next: The large War memorial that stands (or stood) Somewhere in the Town of Ceprano. It is a massive outdoor sculpture, but for some reason the postcard has had the sky filled in black.
    [​IMG]

    And Finally: The church of Santa Maria di Loreto in Capracotta. My father was not in the least bit religious, it is unlike him to keep an image of a church - But I have heard reference to this used as accomodation during the heavy winter of 1944. Capracotta is to the N.E. of Cassino, high in the hills, it was fought over (by the Poles) prior to Cassino.

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. DavidP

    DavidP Junior Member

    One last post for today - while I've got the scanner turned on.
    Here is a picture of Harry Parfitt. shortly after joining up - the only insignia I can see is his cap badge, which is not the Kensingtons (which he was in). Anyone recognise it?

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter 1940 Obsessive

  18. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    David

    Many thanks for the 78 Div piece on POW camps in Austria. I shall study it at length to see how it ties up with my own records.
    With reference to Ceprano, the 49th LAA Diary gives this information about May 1944 (I was in 84 Bty at the time)

    On the 29th RHQ moved with HQRA to Ceprano, about 15 miles SSE of Frosinone. 84 Bty deployed tps to defend the two bridges over R Liri at Ceprano. There was enemy air activity at this time but not sustained attacks.
    By 2 Jun Frosinone had been reached and A/280 Tp was in action there. 84 Bty was in action south of Frosinone. On 2 Jun severe restrictions on vehicle movement were imposed on 2 Jun from midnight until 2100 hrs on 3 Jun. Not even rations were to be drawn. The regt then remained in the current posns for some days and authority was received to man only 2 guns per tp. HQRA moved to Castro Massimo but RHQ remained where it was. Regt B Ech was ordered up from the Ceprano area.

    Thanks again

    Ron
     
  19. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    David - fantastic record of those very hectic days in Austria at the end of the that campaign and a real treasure….what has been missed o course is later they were relieved of the task of guarding all the refuges et al – is the fact that at the same time – 6th Armoured was standing on a line roughly Knittelfeld – Judenberg
    where the Russians had finished and were reluctant to resume their real position further North at the Semmering Pass near Vienner Nuestadt

    It was a nervous time and all guns were loaded in case anything untoward should occur – happily they saw sense and moved out some three weeks later – only for their positions to be occupied by Tito’s mob overnight – which took another ten days to disperse !

    Also missing is their time around Vienna where they were doing the regimental B.S. stuff to impress the other “allies” and to help feed – and keep warm and raise funds to help out the victims of Russian ravaging of that City.
    One of the high points of their stay was the Vienna Tattoo which raised 10,000GBP which equaled some 400,000 Austrian Schillings and allowed the City to send 2400 Children to the countryside for six weeks for good food and fresh air. The memories of that Tattoo in the Scheonbrunn Palace gardesn lives long to this day.

    There were many instances of goodwill by all British Forces in Austria at that time while the Russians continued to plunder, and so I would say that anyone who served in 78th Div has my undying respect as being a true witness to the integrity of the British at that time of trial

    The photo’s are historic as at Ceprano the 5th Canadian Armoured Division had a bit of a Waterloo as this was where the enemy introduced their Panther Tank and new Tank Killing grounds – which were most effective - and left many Tanks and dead on the field particularly around the Reservoir.

    The statue appears to be a memorial of Mussolini’s take over and march in 1922.

    The Church at Loreto is also important to one segment of the population as legend has it – that this Church is close to the home of Mary and Joseph in which Jesus was raised - ? Legend has it that this home was transported to somewhere that was before Yugoslavia owing to troubles in Nazareth – which is understandable as there is still trouble there even 2000 years on – more trouble and so it was again transported to Loreto where it remained to this day – untroubled by the war which was all around it when the Polish troops were operating in that area.
    Cheers
     
  20. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    David

    I've now had a chance to read the 78 Div extract and although the 4th QOH are not mentioned by name the chapter does deal with the POW problem as a whole, referring to it as "an administrative nightmare".

    It was ironic that after being an integral part of 78 Div (during my spell with the 49th LAA) I should then end up under their command whilst serving with the 4th QOH.

    I went back to the 4th QOH War Diaries of the period to confirm the dates etc.:

    It makes interesting reading.

    1945

    May 7th - 0900 - Tracked vehicles arrived PADUA.
    May 8th - B & C Sqns moved to MAIANO.
    May 9th - HQ Sqn moved to MAIANO.
    May 11th - HQ and B Sqn Echelon moved to PATERNION in AUSTRIA.
    May 12th - Established PoW Camp at MOLZBICHL.
    May 14th - Regtl Camp started on WEISZEN SEE.
    May 15th - Verbal orders received from 78 Div to establish PoW camp at FERNDORF for 500 PoW.
    May 21st - C Sqn tracks arrived MOLZBICHL.
    May 26th - A Sqn tracks arrive FERNDORF.
    May 27th - Regt came under command CRA 78th Div. The Div Comdr, Major General RK Arbuthnot CBE DSO MC, took the salute at the Victory Thanksgiving Service. The Regtl Band was in attendance under the direction of the Bandmaster CH Jaeger.
    May 29th - Kuhweide and friend came to Schloss at PATERNION and reported that Kreisleiter Hugo Herzog and another man were hiding in a hut on Weiderschwing Peak. K reported that 5 of his men armed with pistols had surrounded the hut and would shoot the men if the attempted to go away. A 4th Hussars party was organised consisting of Lt WK Hedley and Sgt Sowler armed with Tommy guns, with K and his friend. On reaching the top of the peak, K went ahead to the hut. Sgt Sowler went to the back of the hut and Lt Hedley entered through the front and both men, though armed, surrendered without a struggle. The second man proved to be Kreis Propaganda Leiter Freidrich Plob. They were arrested and taken to prison at PATERNION where they were held until taken over by Capt Willett, 78 Div Provost Staff. 1800 - E reported that 2 SS men were hiding at STOCKENBOI No. 34 disguised as agricultural workers. 2300 - These two men were arrested and gave their names as Seigfried Kummerer and ? Schutz.
    May 30th - 1500 - Both men were interrogated and Kummerer admitted to being a Cpl in the SS with 6 years service. He had served 2 periods at DACHAU and protested that he took no active part in any "atrocity duties" at that camp. Schutz was released. 2200 - Kummerer volunteered a statement to the effect that one SS Gruppenfuhrer and three SS Sturmbannfuhrer and one other SS man and two women were hiding in a hut on the MOSSLACHER ALM. An expedition comprising two Officers Special Force, Major Ramsey and Lt Birkett, and three Officers, Major Quarmby, Capt Wheeler and Lt Hedley, with 12 ORs 4th Hussars, was therefore organised to go to this hut to which Kummerer was willing to guide the party.
    May 31st - 0430 - The party 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.
    The German Army in Italy surrendered on the 2nd of May and in Europe generally the war finished on 8th May. The Regt was collected together on the night 7/8th May but C Sqn moved off before an informal parade, addressed by the CO and a short service was held. The command Tank, which is one of the original Tanks that came to the Regt in October 1943 was used as a dais.On 11th May the Regt moved up to PATERNION in Austria and for sometime was scattered with the Horse Party South of the PO, C & A Sqns at MAIANO, B & HQ Sqns at PATERNION. During the rest of the month Sqns gradually closed up on HQ and all ranks were busy engaged collecting, escorting and guarding prisoners, sorting out surrendered personnel, displaced personnel, refugees, slave workers, infiltrating elements of Yugoslavs and Italians, rounding up Hungarians, Cossacks, Russians, partisans of all nationalities and horses of every shape, colour and condition; also assisting local authorities with civil Admin and police problems.
     

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