Problematic Brigadiers..

Discussion in '1940' started by Staffsyeoman, Jan 13, 2016.

  1. Staffsyeoman

    Staffsyeoman Member

    Colleagues, I'm doing a lot of work on British Army Brigadiers in 1940; I have hit a wall with some who were in the BEF but try as I might I cannot determine precisely what their jobs were in the BEF. They were all listed in the London Gazettes which gave awards for distinguished service in the BEF; rank progressions, honours and awards - have all that; despite having gone thr
  2. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY


    I don't know if you have ever looked at this site:

    But I have quite often found some pretty useful biographical detail there that wasn't quite so simple to pick up elsewhere.

    It looks like a labour of love / work in progress through so I don't know if it will hold the details that you are looking for at the moment, but it may do so (hopefully!) eventually.

    Perhaps also if you list some of the names that you are currently having problems with... some maybe able to help with some of the specifics that you are after there?

    All the best,


    Ps. some of the sources of reference listed on this page may be useful to you too?
    Fred Wilson likes this.
  3. Staffsyeoman

    Staffsyeoman Member

    Many thanks Ramiles, but Unit Histories (along with was one of my first ports of call, hence this cri de coeur. I have also tried Who Was Who, Debrett's, Burke's and so on.
  4. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Phil, your initial post just stopped half-way. I'm not sure what exactly you're after. If you post a list of names then maybe the odd one might ring a bell...
  5. Staffsyeoman

    Staffsyeoman Member

    My apologes - the post is incomplete, I actually listed the three Brigadiers who are my problem when I originally typed the message - and this has been chopped off. I hope not deleted by a moderator for some perceived infraction. All three received honours in BEF-related lists in the London Gazette in 1940

    Trying again, they are:

    Graham Sydney LEVENTHORPE 1890-1963. Late RA
    Charles Frederick Kelk MARSHALL 1888-1953 Late RA
    George Noel Chadwick MARTIN 1892-1985 Late RA
  6. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    The BEF is way outside my field of reliable knowledge, but for George Noel Chadwick Martin we have:

    And that references this work:

    [9] Converse, Alan (2011). Armies of Empire: The 9th Australian and 50th British Divisions in Battle 1939-1945. Cambridge University Press. p. 109. ISBN 0521194806
  7. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    Uh, I was about to reference that myself...seeing as I wrote it.

    Martin became CRA 50th Div sometime in late 40 or early 41, don't have the specifics handy. He went with the 50th to the ME in 1941 and was promoted after that to BRA 8th Army. I don't know what if anything he was doing during the 1940 campaign.
    Owen likes this.
  8. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    There is an entry for Martin on the following useful site:

    Apparently he was OC 18th Field Regiment as of January 1939. The site fails to mention the staff appointment referred to in the 1940 gazette. His relief by Montgomery from the post of BRA 8th Army was most unfair and he was banished thereafter to Northern Ireland, a waste of a talented gunner.
  9. Staffsyeoman

    Staffsyeoman Member

    Gentlemen, many thanks - all helps. The list of BRAs in Farndale's "Years of Defeat" has proven hair pullingly frustating as he has listed some officers who were Divisional BRAs when the BEF deployed, but were replaced later (or moved). The search goes on!

    Alan, I used your book a lot in a piece I wrote contrasting 50th and 53rd Divisions in the autumn of 1944, which is going to be published in an anthology about Market Garden in March.. very useful and helpful.
  10. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    Thanks a lot Staffs, there are days when I feel I wasted years on that thing for very little return. It's nice to know that someone has found some use for it other than kindling.

    I'd be interested to see your article. I don't know much about 53rd Welsh except that Michael Carver thought little of them. Hell, Michael Carver thought little of 90% of the infantry, so that doesn't signify much.
  11. Staffsyeoman

    Staffsyeoman Member

    Rest assured Alan, your book was hugely helpful; so much so I've bought a copy from Australia recently. My piece was a paper at a conference which was originally called "Highways to the Reich" and embraced the autumn of 44 between the end of the Battle of Normandy and the start of the Battle of the Bulge. I compared and contrasted divisional command in 50th and 53rd Divisions; one veteran, one green. One with a seasoned commander, one with no battle experience and which, and why was broken up in late 44.. But the book's being called "Market Garden" and should now be out in March..

    Yes, I've never been a follower of Carver. obstinate, would dismiss the advice (or even instructions) of senior officers. I also disliked his part in the demolition of Auchinleck's reputation in furtherance of the Monty mythos.
  12. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Nope none us have touched it .

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