Royal Engineers Italy-- Spr. Roberts killed by 'friendly' bomb?

Discussion in 'Royal Engineers' started by ejb, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. ejb

    ejb Junior Member

    Hello....
    (Please bear in mind that I have very little research or military experience:)
    My wife's father was a private in the Royal Engineers in Italy.
    His papers seem to show that he was a member of 212 A.T. Coy and 19th Field Squadron and that he died the day after a "Battle Accident" occurred, 18th Feb. 1944.
    My wife was then 3 yrs. of age so she has no memory of him.
    Her mother died a few years later but she does remember being told that it was said that her father had stayed in the billet instead of going for a drink and he was the only one there when a 'friendly' bomb struck the building.
    She has visited his grave in Bari Military Cemetery but really feels that she needs to know where he actually was when he was injured and whether the story is true.
    Too many died in horrible ways but please tell me if there is a chance that this death might have been different enough to warrant some details in a Unit Diary ? Thanks for your patience if you have read this far !
     
  2. CL1

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

    Hello and Welcome

    Casualty below from CWGC


    ROBERTS, WILLIAM GEORGE FREDERICK

    Rank:
    Sapper
    Service No:
    2149215
    Date of Death:
    18/02/1944
    Age:
    40
    Regiment/Service:
    Royal Engineers

    212 Army Troops Coy.
    Grave Reference
    VI. C. 26.
    Cemetery
    BARI WAR CEMETERY
    Additional Information:
    Husband of Lillian May Roberts, of Upper Redbrook, Gloucestershire.
    CWGC - Casualty Details


    regards
    Clive
     
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hello and welcome to the forum.

    I'm at the National Archives for the rest of this week and away from all my resources etc. I can't make any promises but if someone else on here does the research (I know I'm being lazy but I need to hit the sack, up at 5am blah blah blah) for me and posts the war diary ref's and a link to CWGC I'll try and find the time on Saturday to check them and see if anything is listed or mentioned about him.

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Well done Clive :)
     
  5. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter 1940 Obsessive

    Nice One Andy.

    Thanks to Lee's fantastic search engine, it's not too much effort on my part - Arcre - War Diary Search Engine

    WO170/1666 appears to be 212 Coy. RE's diary.


    WO 170 War Office: Central Mediterranean Forces, (British Element): War Diaries, Second World War
    ITALY
    ROYAL ENGINEERS

    Record Summary
    Scope and content
    Companies: 212 Coy.
    Covering dates 1944 Jan.- Dec.

    Is this 19 Field ? If he was attached to them then it may be more helpful.

    WO170/1609
    WO 170 War Office: Central Mediterranean Forces, (British Element): War Diaries, Second World War
    ITALY
    ROYAL ENGINEERS

    Record Summary
    Scope and content
    Companies: 19 Coy.
    Covering dates 1944 Jan.- July
     
  6. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    ejb-

    Difficult one as the true cause of death might be found in the war diary of the 212 company as the main fighting was around the line of Monte Cassino at that time - the devastation of the Port of Bari was over with from Dec 1943 - so hardly a "friendly " bomb - by that time other cemeteries had been opened nearer to Ortona etc so my guess is that his company was located near to Bari and probably was an accidental death....

    Cheers
     
  7. ejb

    ejb Junior Member

    Thanks to all for the fast info ... if Andy has the chance to look at some refs on Saturday that will be really good.
     
  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hey up...I appear to be ahead of schedule so assuming I don't get a curve ball I'll look in 212 Coy's file tomorrow for you :)
     
  9. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Just had a text from Andy.
    He is very excited about what he's found.
    All will be revealed in due course.
     
  10. ejb

    ejb Junior Member

    Hello.... So there is something !! Slaps on the back for all concerned ........ sounds intriguing. No, ****it , its exciting. I look forward to more. Thanks again. Ed.
     
  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I'm still telling everyone now I'm back home in Leeds-Unfortunately I'll need a day to sort out all the pictures I've taken in to files but I will post here first as soon as they are sorted :)
     
    Rich Payne likes this.
  12. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    [​IMG]
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    CL1 and Owen like this.
  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  14. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  16. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  17. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    And that is all there was, hopefully one of the Italian chaps can ID the exact location for you on Google Earth and one of the RAF chaps will be able to give you some more info on the aircraft and her crew.

    Cheers
    Andy
     
    Buteman likes this.
  18. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    All there is? I was sitting next to Andy yesterday and we both agreed that it was amazing to find such a detailed report in a war diary.

    Well done Mate.:)
     
  19. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    ejb,
    Have you got a photo of Father-in-law you could post ?
    Be good to put a face to this story.

    Welld one Andy, good research.
     
  20. ejb

    ejb Junior Member

    Much more info than we could have expected! Spent years on and off trying to think how to get a little more info and by luck I stumbled onto this site and the right people and the whole thing became resolved in just a few days. We value what you have all achieved more than you might imagine. What can I do in return? Ed
     

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