Remembering Today 2/1/45 Serjeant:W. Brown,3443205,R.T.R, R.A.C. 46th (The Liverpool Welsh)

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by CL1, Jan 2, 2017.

  1. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    BROWN, WILLIAM
    Rank:
    Serjeant
    Service No:
    3443205
    Date of Death:
    02/01/1945
    Age:
    37
    Regiment/Service:
    Royal Tank Regiment, R.A.C.
    46th (The Liverpool Welsh)
    Grave Reference:
    19. C. 20.
    Cemetery:
    PHALERON WAR CEMETERY
    Additional Information:
    Son of George and Alice Brown, of Shelfield, Staffordshire; husband of Lily Brown, of Shelfield.Casualty Details
     
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  2. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    A possible explanation as to Sgt. Brown's demise. From a medal auction write up last year:

    John Kenyon served during the Second World War in North Africa with the 8th Army, and then in Greece when liberating it from the Fascist occupation, and when serving as a Corporal (No.7949695) with the 46th (Liverpool Welch) Battalion, Royal Tank Regiment at Piraeues on 14th December 1944, he performed the act of gallantry which led to the award of his Military Medal.

    The original recommendation reads as follows: ‘At Piraeues on 14 December 1944, ‘D’ Company of the 3rd Baluchis was held up by heavy machine-gun fire coming down a side street. In spite of every effort, the post could not be located and the advance could not proceed. Corporal Kenyon drove his tank into the street and, with complete disregard for his own safety, deliberately stood up in the turret to attract fire. The machine-gun opened up on him immediately, narrowly missing him. Not, however, till he has discovered the exact location of the gun did he get back into his tank. He then drove up and silenced the gun. His gallant action was an inspiration to all who witnessed it and his complete disregard for his own safety saved the lives of many others and allowed the advance to proceed and the objective to be taken.’

    Kenyon’s award was published in the London Gazette for 15th March 1945.

    And of Kenyon’s unit’s part in the campaign, the following extract is taken from a Short History of the 46th Royal Tank Regiment: The 23rd Armoured Brigade, now designated “ARKFORCE” and commanded by Brigadier R. H. B. Arkwright, landed in Greece on 16 October 1944, to find that the Germans had departed a few days earlier and that the country as a whole, and Athens in particular, were in pretty chaotic state.

    As far as the 46th were concerned (and perhaps the whole British force as well) the most important happening during the seven weeks before the Communist revolution was the arrival in Athens of 24 Sherman tanks; ‘C’ Squadron reverted to command 46th immediately and with some assistance from ‘A’ were just about able to find sufficient crews to man the whole lot. The revolution lasted a month and for the greater part of this time virtually the only armour available was the armoured car squadron and this one large tank squadron.

    The course of the Athens revolution was made up largely of a long series of alarms and false alarms punctuated by some bitter fighting with at least one major enemy attack which came perilously close to success. Reference to this siege of Athens would not be complete without mentioning the extremely skilful manner in which Brigadier Arkwright kept the enemy at bay with just a handful of troops. As the port of Piraeus was cut off from Athens proper, it was necessary for many days to convoy all vehicles between the two points. This work was largely carried out by ‘A’ Squadron who, in addition, were often required for other offensive operations. The tanks were in constant demand and it was no unusual thing to find five or six troops operating simultaneously on different parts of the front; it was quite a common practice to employ tanks singly with a section of infantry in street fighting. Owing to the enemy's lack of armour-piercing weapons, the chief danger to the crews was from sniping, and a number of commanders became casualties in this way.

    ‘B’ Squadron's activities with 50th Tanks were crowded with incidents. When the revolution began two troops were guarding the Marathon Dam, about 10 miles north of Athens, and most of the rest of the Squadron were guarding the Pallini wireless station about the same distance away in an easterly direction. Both parties were cut off but were supplied at intervals by the R.A.F. On 28 December the Marathon troops decided to make the journey on foot over 15 miles of mountains and rough country to join the Pallini party and this was carried out without serious incident after an arduous 12 hours’ march. Three days’ later the Pallini station was subjected to a fierce night attack by the enemy which the Squadron, fighting as infantry it should be remembered, successfully repelled. It was decided, however, to make an attempt to evacuate the Squadron on 31 December and this was accomplished, without opposition, by mobilising most of the armoured vehicles available in Athens (recently augmented by the arrival of the K.D.G.).

    The enemy now saw that the British meant business and with the arrival of still more reinforcements it was only a question of time before the revolt collapsed. The rebels finally withdrew during the night of 4-5 January, some to the mountains, but a great many just mingled back into the crowd and a few days later joined in the great parade of thanksgiving to the British for the part they played in liberating Athens. The whole operation certainly had its humorous side; nevertheless the casualty list of the 46th alone, amounting to nearly 60, will emphasise that for the most part this had been war in earnest with little quarter given by either side.’
     
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  3. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member

    I have gone through everything I have and I sadly cannot find exactly what became of Sgt Brown.

    On the 2nd January 1945 - 46 RTR were undertaking the following operations:

    C Sqn HQ Tank Troop and 10 Troop were supporting 11th Kings Royal Rifle Corps (KRRC).

    9 Troop were supporting 1st Highland Light Infantry (HLI) and

    11 Troop were supporting 50 Royal Tank Regiment (RTR - Still dismounted and acting as infantry).

    Below is an extract from the Military Command Athens (MCA) SITREP Log for 02 Jan 45, which details the operations undertaken by ARKFORCE.

    Hope this helps

    Gus

    DSC06670(cropped).jpg
     
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  4. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Thanks for the extra info Gus.
     
  5. graeme

    graeme Senior Member

    DSC_0054.JPG brown.jpg


    Morning,

    Just seen this.

    Usual crappy picture from the Walsall Observer.

    The paper reported that he was killed by a sniper's bullet.

    Commemorated on Walsall Wood War Memorial, on the Shelfield War Memorial and on a scroll in St. Mark’s Church, Green Lane, Shelfield.

    (cannot recall where HS was from)

    Regards,

    Graeme
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
  6. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Thanks Graeme,

    Nice to see a photo of William Brown.
     
  7. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member

    Father:

    Name: George Brown
    Residence: Shelfield, Staffs
    Death Date: 1 Jul 1916
    Death Place: France and Flanders
    Enlistment Place: Walsall, Staffs
    Rank: Private
    Regiment: South Staffordshire Regiment
    Battalion: 1st 5th Battalion (Territorial Force)
    Regimental Number: 496
    Type of Casualty: Killed in action
    Theatre of War: Western European Theatre

    Casualty

    Mother:

    Beatrice Alice (nee Jackaman)
    Born 19 Nov 1887,

    Married George Anslow in Walsall, 1928.

    1939 REGISTER TRANSCRIPTION
    5 Queen Street , Brownhills U.D., Staffordshire, England
    NAME DOB OCCUPATION
    George Anslow 03 Aug 1867 Canal Boatman
    Alice Anslow 13 Nov 1886 Unpaid Domestic Duties
    George Brown 20 Mar 1916 Builders Labourer Heavy Worker

    Died 1953

    Brown01.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
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  8. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member

    Hi

    According to the History of 50 RTR by Stephen Hamilton.

    The 2nd January 1945 marked the first time in three weeks that 23rd Armoured Brigade considered themselves strong enough to go on the offensive and be able to secure and hold any ground would gain. This was helped with reinforcements from 40th RTR. They were ordered to take and hold Themistokleous Street and the Consumptives Hospital.

    Sgt Brown was serving with D Squadron 50th RTR at the time he died. D Sqn, 50 RTR was entirely made out of men from 46 RTR.

    Three members of 46 RTR died that day.

    One from C Sqn, HQ Tank Troop, who was killed when ELAS dropped a Teller Mine (German Anti-Tank) onto his tank from a balcony of the hospital. The other two (including Sgt Brown) were killed whilst clearing houses and strong-points leading to Themistokleous St.

    14 more men from 50 RTR (including some from D Sqn) were wounded during the same op.

    Hope this helps to clear things up.

    Gus
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
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