Pte 5889794 Edwin Humphreys Northamptonshire Regt

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by Dee123, Jun 20, 2016.

  1. Dee123

    Dee123 Member

    Hi I am trying to track my grandfathers battalion, he was a sniper in the 2 Nd btn Northamptonshire regiment although it looks like he started out in the 5th - I have his service records only. Edwin Humphreys private 5889794 has now passed sadly and I would like to prepare a folder of his life for my father.

    I'm finding the abbreviations on his records hard to decipher for example AFW5159, disembarked oos.

    It appears he was in North Africa, Sicily, Italy and Northern Europe and granted leave in Palestine in 1944. I can also see he became part of the 21st army in 1945. I would like to fill in the gaps and find out exactly where he fought. If there is anyone who may be able to help that would fantastic- I'm new to this and am struggling although will also be visiting the Abingdon museum to see if they may be able to shed some light on his whereabouts during the war.

  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Welcome to the forum. Could you post his service records so we can help out.
  3. Dee123

    Dee123 Member

    Hi Owen and thanks for the welcome,

    These are the two sheets that I received - sorry for the bad copying this is how i recieved them from the war office, I also got a front sheet with my grandfathers height, weight, occuptaion, address etc.

    I hope you can view them ok

    Thank you


    Attached Files:

  4. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Hello and welcome to the forum

    AFW 5169 is just an army code-anything in the first column just ignore.
    The disembarked oos you refer to is he disembarked to theatre of ops (operations).

    Other abbreviations: CCS -Casualty clearing station
    Fd Amb-Field ambulance
    Gen hosp-general hospital- see here for list of hospitals-scarlet finders

    Thread here which explains the X Lists

    Any other queries, please come back to us

  5. Dee123

    Dee123 Member

    Hi thanks Lesley and thank you for the welcome, I will look over this now, brilliant!
  6. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I see that he was wounded around 30th October 1943. At dawn on 30th October, 2nd Northamptons commenced a postponed attack on the village of Macchiagodena as part of the advance towards the River Sangro. Enemy mortar and shell fire was heavy and 'D' company in particular took a number of casualties. Total casualties for the attack were thirty or so with ten killed and four officers wounded.

    Mule transport was the only way to bring supplies up and the wounded seem to have been evacuated by the same means.

    I'll post some excerpts from the Battalion histories later.
  7. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member


    No doubt you're aware that your grandfather seems to have served in North Africa with 5th Northamptons (11 Brigade/78 Div) from the time of the 1st Army's landings near Algiers on 8th Nov 1942.. a pretty dispiriting winter was then spent in Tunisia before being wounded, possibly near Chaouach (north of Medjez-el- Bab) on 7th April 1943.. check out one of the 78th Division's histories for a review of the Tunisian campaign for the Battleaxe Div... some substantial periods of fighting for the Northamptons and the others.

    He seems then to have got back to the front, via a transit through Sicily, this time with 2 Northamptons (17th Brigade/5th Div) on the Italian mainland on 14th Sept 1943...Rich P's war diary copies will pick up the story thenceforth.


    Edit. typo, thanks Frank
  8. Dee123

    Dee123 Member

    Thank you so much it's really great to find out what he would have faced- he is my hero and I can't tell you how proud we are of him!
  9. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    Just to correct Richard's very last sentence. He moved from 5 NORTHANTS in 11 Inf Bde of 78 Inf Div to 2 NORTHANTS in 17 Inf Bde of 5 Inf Div on 21 Dec 43 so he would have been in the 2nd Battalion for the crossing of the Garigliano on 17 Jan 44 and for their mammoth attack on Monte Natale on 30 Jan 44. I have walked the ground and it is quite something.

    5 Inf Div were then moved to Anzio at the end of Feb 44 because the beachhead was in deep trouble. Here they stayed until the Anzio breakout on 23 May 44.

    Towards the end of the war, 5 Inf Div, with 2 NORTHANTS attached, were moved to NW Europe. It is no wonder that the nickname for the Div was 'The Globetrotters'.


  10. Dee123

    Dee123 Member

    Thanks everyone this is great and I can start to see how bad things were for my grandfather and all of the other brave men he fought alongside, he hardly spoke about the war - only the odd funny story but I think on the whole it was far to painful for him. I do have three photos that I'm going to post as these include others - don't know any names but someone might recognise a face.
  11. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

  12. Dee123

    Dee123 Member

    Yes I know he suffered a shrapnel wound to his foot which was never fully removed and caused him pain throughout his life.
  13. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    The 30th October 1943 entry "SW Buttocks" might cause us to wince nearly 73 years later...
    Roberts92 likes this.
  14. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member


    If you are interested in seeing the detail of what 2 NORTHANTS got up to at the crossing of the Garigliano and then at Anzio, do get in touch by PM.

    We will be following 5 Inf Div and 56 Inf Div at the Garigliano and then moving up to Anzio in order to see how they got on in the beachhead.


  15. Dee123

    Dee123 Member

    This is a photo of my grandfather not sure when this was taken but I think the one on his own was towards the end of the war judging by his expression and gauntness, the others are during and we don't know the names of who they include. Not sure if the coloured one is them taking part in a performance maybe for morale ??? My grandfather certainly looks healthier on the face in that one

    Attached Files:

  16. Dee123

    Dee123 Member

    Oops just seen one is upside down!
  17. Dee123

    Dee123 Member

    Minden1759 I've tried to pm you but seem to have some issues definitely interested in that thanks maybe it's my phone that's stopping me from sending you a message you might have several from me or not at all sorry

  18. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member


    You got through, no worries.

    I will send you some stuff tomorrow.


  19. Osborne2

    Osborne2 Well-Known Member

    He was posted to the Y List. I understand that if you were put on the Y List because you were medically unfit for more than 21 days you lost the right to be posted back to your own unit at the end of your incapacity. That might explain why he changed units.
  20. Roberts92

    Roberts92 Member

    Hi members,
    I am wondering if anybody could help my partner and I in our search for any information about his grandfather, we know that he was a desert rat, 7th armoured division, (possibly royal corps of signals but this isn't confirmed as I do not have a membership with xxxx) we do have his full name and date of birth + year of death, he survived active service, hoping to find his service number and hopefully we may be able to recover his (or replicas from his history) medals
    Any and all help/information is welcomed and appreciated,
    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2018

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