Remembering today 16/06/1944 The Battle for Caen 127 Fd RA

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by 3mileSnipper, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. 3mileSnipper

    3mileSnipper Member

    Bob Wainwright Sgt., Dad, was in the 51st. HD, 127th. Field Regiment 301st. Battery, RA.
    He was wounded on Friday 16th. June 1944 in the Battle for Caen, when the Germans launched a heavy counter attack.
    Dad believed that all his gun detachment were killed when an enemy shell made a direct hit on his gun emplacement. When help arrived every thing and every one was covered in grey white dust and Dad was shouting for them to put out the fire. He had suffered multiple shrapnel wounds mainly to the left side of his body and in particular his left eye. This was bleeding heavily and gave him the impression that fire was every where. He was evacuated to ADS 174 Fd. Amb. {Advanced Dressing Station} "thanks alot lads" and eventually to Sunderland Infirmary, Durham. As he still had all his limbs, possibly minus one eye, his Hospital Redirection Card, see attached, describes him as Wounded (* Slightly) He thankfully did recover, including his sight but carried many pieces of shrapnel of varrying sizes, for the rest of his life.
    Many of his colleagues were not so "lucky" among those were his gun detachment, there were five other men on the gun but I am only able to identify with some certainty the two immediately below as members of his detachment.
    L/Sergeant Thomas Henry Stokoe, No. 2 on the 25 pounder gun, he sat on the left hand side near to Dad. He was also one of two friends, who signed Dad's Soldiers Will on 19 May 1942
    Gunner Thomas 'Tiny' W. G. Littlefield mentioned in a letter to Dad from Sgt. Bill Gibson on 25th. Aug 44 ......Littlefield's wife had informed him {Capt. Low} that 'tiny' had died in hospital, I didn't think he was quite so serious as that. Tiny was one of the two Gunners. There should be a L/Bombadier and a Bombadier but the CWGC do not always have all the details so I am unable to positively identify the others.
    CWGC:-
    Thomas Henry STOKOE, Aged:25yrs., Died:16 June 1944, Rank:L/Sergeant, Regiment:RA 127 Fd. Service No.946257, Place:N.W.Europe, France, Buried:Ranville War Cemetery,
    son of Thomas and Isabella Stokoe of Evenwood, Durham.

    Thomas William George LITTLEFIELD, Aged:32yrs., Died:23 June 1944, Rank:Gunner, Regiment:RA 127 Fd., Service No.1079327, Place:N.W.Europe, France, Buried:Hermanville War Cemetery, son of William & Alice Jane Littlefield husband of Violet May Littlefield of Vauxhall,Ldn.

    David Miller KIRK, Aged 36yrs., Died:16 June 1944, Rank:Major, Regiment:RA 127 Fd,
    Service No.148698, Place:N.W.Europe, France, Buried:Ranville War Cemetery, Unit:301 Bty. 127 Field Regt. son of Mr.and Mrs. James Kirk; husband of Dorothy Gladys Kirk, of Colchester, Essex.
    Mentioned in a letter from Sgt. Jake Borland 9 Jul 44 ......but the Major and McLure got it up at the O.P. Peter Jack & Rogers died from wounds.

    In the same action many friends of Dad's in the supported infantry units were casualities including 13 Gordon Highlanders & 4 of the Black Watch. Dad had close ties with the Gordons which had been through the desert & Sicily see picture attached. Unfortunately I can not identify the Gordons in this picture.
     
    Henrik Elling, CL1 and ritsonvaljos like this.
  2. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Thanks for posting 3mileSnipper. A horrifically violent action that laid waste to the town. :poppy:
     
  3. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    From Jack Swaab's Field of Fire: Diary of a Gunner Officer.
     
  4. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    From Geoff's Search Engine, 127 Fd Regt's roll of honour from 16-30 June 1944:


    001

    CRAWFORD

    L

    1088365

    127 FIELD REGT

    16/06/1944

    ROYAL ARTILLERY



    002

    HALL

    FA

    1087597

    127 FIELD REGT

    16/06/1944

    ROYAL ARTILLERY



    003

    JACK

    P

    14662170

    127 FIELD REGT

    16/06/1944

    ROYAL ARTILLERY



    004

    KIRK

    DM

    148698

    301 BTY, 127 FIELD REGT

    16/06/1944

    ROYAL ARTILLERY



    005

    LITTLEFIELD

    TWG

    1079327

    127 FIELD REGT

    23/06/1944

    ROYAL ARTILLERY



    006

    MCLURE

    FM

    924053

    127 FIELD REGT

    16/06/1944

    ROYAL ARTILLERY



    007

    MURPHY

    B

    1135022

    127 FIELD REGT

    16/06/1944

    ROYAL ARTILLERY



    008

    STOKOE

    TH

    946257

    127 FIELD REGT

    16/06/1944

    ROYAL ARTILLERY



    And Gnr Rogers:


    001

    ROGERS

    BR

    1100527

    127 FIELD REGT

    03/07/1944

    ROYAL ARTILLERY
     
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  5. 3mileSnipper

    3mileSnipper Member

    Thanks for this "idler" especially the book reference which is the first I have found noting these details.
    It has always troubled me that I do not know the names of all the detachment apart from L/Sgt. Thomas H. Stokoe and Gnr. Thomas William George LITTLEFIELD "Tiny" of course. As the book refers like the letters to Dad although he was the only survivor at least two died a little latter of wounds.
    I do not have a great library of RA books but I must see if I can get hold of this one.
     
  6. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    Snipper, If you haven't already worked it out for yourself from idlers links to the CWGC database, it was often that men who died together would be buried together.
    From the list he gave, Luke Crawford is buried in Plot III D !! at Ranville with death being on 6th June, when Dad was seriously wounded.
    CRAWFORD, LUKE Gunner 1088365 16/06/1944 32 Royal Artillery United Kingdom III. D. 11. RANVILLE WAR CEMETERY

    MURPHY, BERNARD Gunner 1135022 16/06/1944 26 Royal Artillery United Kingdom III. D. 12. RANVILLE WAR CEMETERY

    COOKE, NORRIS WILLIAM Lance Serjeant 960307 06/07/1944 24 Royal Artillery United Kingdom III. D. 13. RANVILLE WAR CEMETERY

    READ, HENRY WALLACE Lance Bombardier 1116312 06/07/1944 26 Royal Artillery United Kingdom III. D. 14. RANVILLE WAR CEMETERY

    These may have been the rest of "his" gun team....

    As respects L/Sgt Tom Stokoe, who was next to Dad, it might be some small comfort that he has comrades from the Gordons on either side....


    KEMP, BERT Lance Corporal 2886568 09/06/1944 31 Gordon Highlanders United Kingdom III. D. 7. RANVILLE WAR CEMETERY

    STOKOE, THOMAS HENRY Lance Serjeant 946257 16/06/1944 25 Royal Artillery United Kingdom III. D. 8. RANVILLE WAR CEMETERY

    SMITH, JOHN Private 2884627 10/06/1944 26 Gordon Highlanders United Kingdom III. D. 9. RANVILLE WAR CEMETERY

    It does sound fortunate that your Dad survived, as the comment that they didn't think Tiny Littlefield was "quite so serious" shows that even a week later men were dying from their wounds, especially if Gunner Rogers was a member, dying in Manchester on 3rd July.

    Now, I don't claim these were his gun crew but the close burials, and ranks that should be part of a gun crew complement, make me feel they are most likely, but without corroboration, it's only my guess. idler may be more accurate by focussing on 127 Field Reg't but as you'll see from the CWGC Grave details, those men are fairly well spread about. That might be explained in a chronological sequence of deaths at Advanced Dressing Stations, so it may simply be time of death being similar (or not) as to where they were laid to rest.....
     
  7. 3mileSnipper

    3mileSnipper Member

    Thanks for this extra detail all adds a little more to my research your details and the facts of grave proximity I do know that casualities may end up in differing cemeteries dependant on where they are initially moved to and of course if they died some time after the event. I have all the details on a Db so I will look at the references if as you pointed out they were possibly buried together if they died together "within" reason. I like the fact as you pointed out that Gordens & RA & Black Watch are laid close by.
    Thanks Neil
     
  8. 3mileSnipper

    3mileSnipper Member

    After the helpful comments from idler & Battle I looked back at my data base and wondered why I had NOT included the grave reference information?
    I put that right and as you said revealed another level of interest in the positions of Dad's fallen comrades. I have now plotted a number that have dates or other links to and attached a small section of Ranville War cemetery and Thomas Stokes's memorial and as I have fewer links to Hermanville only the memorial of Thomas Littlefield from a visit. Thanks again for adding to my families knowledge of "Dad's War"
     
  9. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

  10. jason bostock

    jason bostock New Member

     
  11. Roger Dodge

    Roger Dodge New Member

    As a bit of a follow up regarding Thomas Littlefield, there is a family story which matches the accounts above. His wife was told that he had been injured and would be returning home. She was given a date and apparently waited at Victoria Station for 2 days but of course, he did not arrive.
     

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