Researching Grandad (Eighth Army)

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Richard Harrison, Dec 12, 2007.

  1. drumaneen

    drumaneen Senior Member

    hahahaha. anyone out there reckon they can pinpoint these locations ? the bridge and the fountain ?............think we have ruled out leicester town hall square :) mind i wonder if that fountain was copied from the one my grandad is stood in front of ? as they are very alike

    OK ... I give you that the kids don't look like Leicester kids .... so try Oporto in Portugal where there is an almost exact replica (the original apparently) of th eLions Fountain.
    Any reason your chap should have been in a neutral country in uniform?
    Hope this helps

    Brian
     

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  2. Richard Harrison

    Richard Harrison Senior Member

    not sure but the lads reckon he is in parade dress with the blancoed gaiters on and white belt ? otherwise i have no idea hahahha.
     
  3. Richard Harrison

    Richard Harrison Senior Member

    Well my trip to Italy was an experience and a half........ cant say i have many fond comments to make on those that i met, other than our guide Danilla who was fantastic i can very much recomend her as a guide to anyone interested in Italy a really nice lady with oodles of info ! I found The parts of italy that i visited to be run down area's its very much a case of "if it dont move.....grafitti it" and many of the english and canadian sites are not looked after at all. i specifically refer to Anzio beachhead and Salerno.

    Well we arrived at Cassino late evening, and after a life changing drive from the airport to the hotel, we settled down, our room looked over unobstructed to Monte Cassino which was great..... all be it The Benadictine Monks ring the bells at 0500hrs !!! in the morning once the mist had cleared we got our first view of the monestary. and what a maginificant site it was too !
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    The British are somewhat resented for Cassino, but its not as bad as the feelings towards the Newzealanders. I found that on the better part Most Itallians spoke Fondly of the German occupation.

    well we had a drive up to the road towards Anzio (i know grandad did not fight there but two of my great uncles did and landed at Peter Beach)

    en route we stopped at the museum for military vehicles which was interesting.
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    eventually we stopped at Peter Beach Anzio which was interesting, my two uncles met on the beach during the landings !
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    looking down the cliff onto peter beach
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    and shell scrapes dug out by the British just inland from peter beach
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    we also went onto the main Anzio beach which was dissapointing in respect of how filthy it was, tampons everywhere broken bottles, beer cans you name it it was dumped there....... and yet more graffitti !
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    the following day i visited the polish cemetary behind Monte Cassino, along with the monument to the ploish soldiers and the famous farm house which was the scene of a bloody battle.

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  4. Richard Harrison

    Richard Harrison Senior Member

    I asked to visit a local cemetary in Cassino for British soldiers, i recall someone on the forum asking about a Lance Corporal Hobbs who was killed on 7th November he was 1st Battalion KOYLI killed by landmine which was planted on a bridge, i located his resting place and photographed it just in case.
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    well the following day we went to Uncle beach at Salerno which was yet another dumping ground for the locals !!!!

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    (can someone ghost these pictures for me ;) )

    from my research i have established that Grandad was with the 5th Division right into Scicily where he was attached to 17th Infantry Brigade i confirmed this in his records and there is an entry confirming he was with 17th bde and part of "H" force could this be Op Husky ?? then from looking at the records and the letter from his dad he got mhumps and was flown to Bizzerta.... he then filled the ranks with 2/4th Koyli for Op avalanche..........5th Div were dissengaged from Scicily November 43 and so Grandad stayed with KOYLI..... by this time he was allready in Italy fighting.
     
  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Glad you got to Italy, Richard.
    Hope the amount of rubbish & graffitti didn't spoil the trip too much.
     
  6. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Richard

    A belated Welcome Aboard !

    Ron
     
  7. Richard Harrison

    Richard Harrison Senior Member

    well progress on my carrier continues, going to mark it up as per my grandfathers time with 5th Div in the Desert, want my carrier to stand out rather than yet another green one. just thought i would post up a pic of the front armor going back on.

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  8. Richard Harrison

    Richard Harrison Senior Member

    ok folks i have purchased the 5th Div book 1939 - 45 which is excelent it appears prior to joining the KOYLI my grandad had been all over the globe (hence theyre nick name globe trotters) if anyone needs reference i can check for them now.

    Rich
     
  9. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    going to mark it up as per my grandfathers time with 5th Div in the Desert, want my carrier to stand out rather than yet another green one

    Are you sure they painted they vehicles sand when in Persia?
     
  10. Richard Harrison

    Richard Harrison Senior Member

    Not sure owen, i know Bizzerta into scicily many of them had light stone base with dark brown disruptive i have seen images of carriers in scicily with this scheme (unable to ID as a 5th div carrier though), some still had the sand base and no disruptive, some stayed green or solid brown and some had moved onto the newer cammo schemes, i guess it depends on what they had to hand (according to Mike Starmer it was often a case of "this will do")

    what do you think i should do ? i cant paint it Caunter i dont think as Grandad joined 2nd Bat RSF 15/02/40 (earliest date on the records i have) ( he first appeared to be posted to Turriff 17/06/40 ? he stayed with 2nd Bat RSF right through until August 43 during Op Husky came down with mhumps.... and the rest we know ;) lots of reference to 17th Inf Bde the book i have is fantastic !!!! really good.


    Rich
     
  11. Richard Harrison

    Richard Harrison Senior Member

    well a turn up for the books today, i found all my grandads medals ! along with his fathers....i noticed that his fathers medals had his name serial number rank and regiment stamped into the edge of the medal.. so methinks some research on Pte 29708 J B Harrison of the R D Fusiliers ? he has 1914 - 1918 medal and wierdly 1914 - 1919 medal so further investigation is to follow....

    on my grandads front he has in his collection the 39 - 45 star, 39 - 45 medal, defence medal, italy star, africa star,
     
  12. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    he has 1914 - 1918 medal and wierdly 1914 - 1919 medal so further investigation is to follow....


    Why it that wierd?
    Althought the Armistice was signed in 1918 the Peace treaty wasn't signed until 1919.
    That was the real end of the war.

    By the way R D Fusiliers will be Royal Dublin Fusiliers.
    Start a new thread on him in the Prewar section.
     
  13. Richard Harrison

    Richard Harrison Senior Member

    will do....and there was me thinking he was DLI...... go figure !!
     
  14. Richard Harrison

    Richard Harrison Senior Member

    Well I managed to get my carrier mobile in time for war and peace, hopefully it is correct to 5th div.... Here are some images taken from the show.

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    I am hoping I have done my grandfather proud !
     
    Drew5233 likes this.
  15. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    They 5th Div vehicle insignia was a white Y on a black circle not a khkai square as on the uniform.
    I have posted pics of 5th Div vehicles on forum in the past.
     
  16. Richard Harrison

    Richard Harrison Senior Member

    I thought the circle background was a later thing ?
     
  17. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    No, did you buy the 5th Div history ?
    Few pics of black circle in there.
    see pic facing page 56, staff car in Larne April 1941.
    Also pics on the wardrobe website of 2 wilts vehicles.
     
  18. Richard Harrison

    Richard Harrison Senior Member

    I borrowed the book out and never got it back mate. :-(

    The 67 on the brown background is right though I take it ?
     
  19. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    67 correct for 2 RSF yes.
    senior Bn in Junior Brigade.
    I have noticed that 5th Div carriers had Div insignia on other side to yours. The Y is also alot thinner.
    Going by pics in their history & this one of a 2 Wilts carrier in Sicily.
    There is a photo in the history of a Royal Inniskillings carrier with aerial recognition roundal in front of driver.


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    THE BRITISH ARMY IN SICILY 1943. © IWM (NA 5752)IWM Non Commercial Licence

    you can see the Y on black circle on this one.

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    THE BRITISH ARMY IN SICILY 1943. © IWM (NA 5514)IWM Non Commercial Licence
     
  20. Richard Harrison

    Richard Harrison Senior Member

    Cheers Owen, I will get them swapped over.
     

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