Remembering Today 4/9/42 Major WILLIAM MARTIN FERGUSON 41131, 2nd Bn., Middlesex Regiment

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by CL1, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. CL1

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

    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
  2. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    War Crimes file TS 26/740 is entitled: Poleno: murder of Major Ferguson.
    Does anyone have any details?

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  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    UK, Army Roll of Honour, 1939-1945
    Name: William Ferguson
    Given Initials: W M
    Rank: Major
    Death Date: Sep 1942
    Number: 41131
    Birth Place: Aberdeen
    Residence: Gloucestershire
    Regiment at Enlistment: Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge’s Own)
    Branch at Enlistment: Infantry
    Theatre of War: Middle East
    Regiment at Death: Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge’s Own)
    Branch at Death: Infantry

    England, Andrews Newspaper Index Cards, 1790-1976
    Name: William Martin Ferguson
    Father's name: W M Ferguson
    Spouse's name: Pat Ferguson
    Death Date: 4 Sep 1942
    Death Place: Middle East

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  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    I went to bed last night thinking I know that name for some reason, started thinking it was "The man who never was" but then found it obviously wasnt him

    Vitellino - do you have a copy of that file?
    Reference: TS 26/740
    Poleno: murder of Major Ferguson
    Date: 1939-1945
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Former reference in its original department: Charge Number: UK-I/B76
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description

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  5. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    No, but I intend to send for it. I think he had been taken POW and transported to Italy. The file is in the Italian War Crimes sub-series: Reference: TS 26/740

    Alleged Italian War Crimes: Charges

    Reference: Subsubseries within TS 26
    Title: Alleged Italian War Crimes: Charges

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  6. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    His wife is shown as Muriel Elizabeth on his CWGC certificate, but Pat in the obit and TD’s research.

    Is there a reason for this, for example, she was always known as ‘Pat’?

    One of my father’s brothers, who served in WWII, was always known as ‘Joe’ but was actually called Terence. I think this ‘pet name’ allocation happened a lot at that time...
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  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1916-2005
    Name: Muriel E Ferguson
    Registration Date: Jan 1945
    [Feb 1945]
    [Mar 1945]
    Registration Quarter: Jan-Feb-Mar
    Registration district: North Bucks
    Inferred County: Buckinghamshire
    Spouse: John P Q Rowett
    Volume Number: 3a
    Page Number: 3249

    1939 England and Wales Register
    Name: Muriel E Feranson [I have amended the record to read Ferguson]
    [Muriel E Rowett]
    Gender: Female
    Marital status: Married
    Birth Date: 9 Sep 1913
    Residence Year: 1939
    Address: Wolhiton??dale Ave.
    Residence Place: Scarborough, Yorkshire (North Riding), England
    Occupation: Unpaid Domestic Duties
    Schedule Number: 218
    Sub Schedule Number: 3
    Enumeration District: JGNX
    Registration district: 527/1
    Household Members:
    Muriel E Feranson

    I note her new husband was also an Army Officer [see file attached]
    UK, Outward Passenger Lists, 1890-1960
    Name: Muriel Elizabeth Rowett
    Gender: Female
    Age: 33
    Birth Date: abt 1914
    Departure Date: 11 Jul 1947
    Port of Departure: Liverpool, England
    Destination Port: Singapore

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  8. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    I now have the War Crimes Report which I have only glanced at and will read carefully later.

    It appears that this Major Ferguson was killed in the village square of Polino in Umbria, near to the border with Lazio. This would mean that if the date of death is correct he had escped from a POW camp before the Armistice and that after his death his body was never collected by CWGC. Something here doesn't ring true.

    I shall check Italian sources,

    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
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  9. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    I have now found the name of the victim at Polino. He was an American airman, Dale King, who was in hiding with a peasant family, was discovered, and was shot by the Fascists.

    The witness who reported the death of Major Ferguson and several other people whose names are in the War Crimes file was an American escaper who did so on arriving at his lines. What he reported was hearsay so it's not suprising that he got a surname worng - it's more surprising that he actually got the names right or almost right of some of the other victims.

    So, Major Ferguson was probably never in Italy. Where was his regiment in September 1942?

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  10. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    England by the looks of it.CHAPTER IV, Page 76-77. The Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own) 1919-1952 by Lieutenant Commander P.K.Kemp. Click on image if required.


    rsz_76-77 (1).jpg
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  11. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    How odd. He's remembered on the Alamein Memorial. Wouldn't this mean that the last place he had been in action was in Egypt/North Africa?

    There are three other Major Fergusons on the CWGC register but he's the only one who could have 'fitted the bill', so to speak.

    I give up on this one. His service records would clear up the mystery but I don't feel like sending for them.

    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
  12. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Not like yourself to give up!;) Its just a hunch, but i think that this chap was transferred to the 1/7 MX which was the only battalion of the regiment to be in North Africa at this time. 1/7th Middlesex Regiment ( Machine Gunners) 51st Highland Division.

    Here below is a list of 2nd Battalion Officers on 10th May, 1940. H.Q. Coy.-- spelt Temp. Maj W. M. (Furguson). Brackets in red on my part. Lets hope that some smart chap can come up with the confirmation of him being transferred ( Andy by any-chance?)


    He his shown below after coming back from Dunkirk (A/ Major) Ferguson.


    What really is most strange is that I can't see any mention of Ferguson within CHAPTER V. 1/7th Battalion, pages (118-200). It may be my bad eyes? Need to do some more reading.

    The last image below shows that he was a full blown Major W.M. Ferguson.. 4.9.1942.

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  13. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Thanks, Stu. So, perhaps he was taken prisoner and send to Italy.

    However, in any case he wasn't the person shot in Polino - I have found the American War Crime report relating tp the victim, T/Sgt. Dale E. King. So where was Maj. Ferguson killed on 4 September 1942 and what happened to his body?

    Perhaps I shouldn't give up just yet.

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  14. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    No you shouldn't Madame Sherlock

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  15. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Casualty List No. 1271 dated 22 October 1943:
    Ferguson WM.jpg
    Can't find the previous list which is mentioned but doubt anything important as would appear to be a correction to rank only.
  16. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    1937 newspaper:
  17. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Thank you very much for this, Tony56.


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