Discussion in 'Non-Commemorated War Dead' started by mattymouse, Aug 6, 2014.
I think the written diary will help a lot.
Regards - Rob
Re. My granddad's service record.
I took this information from a RA website: http://www.ra39-45.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/haa/page45.html
Unit 82 certainly tallys with where Granddad went during the war. The only difference is that he stayed in Gibraltar until the end of the War.
Not sure if this is helpful?
I will ask my brother where he got the regiment and battery numbers from.
I know very little about military history; other than bits I have read on the net about the Norwegian campaign and Dunkirk plus one book titled Carrier Glorious by John Winton (Granddad's cousin was killed on this ship; Granddad mentions the sinking towards the end of his diary.). I know absolutely nothing about regiment and battery numbers.
The website above is very helpful. I am trying to date some photos I have of my Granddad based on his one 'v' shaped stripe on his uniform.
Thanks for all the comments and help.
Hi Joanne. It is interesting that 82 AA Regt, went on to Gibralter. I think we need to see an actual copy of his service record to confirm which unit he was in at the time of the Norway campaign.
Yesterday at Kew, I had a long hard look at this matter to establish which AA Units were stationed at Bardufoss. In the 6 AA Brigade file was an operational order dated 17 May 1940 listing the units. See copy attached.
56 LAA Regiment had overall command at Bardufoss with the following under command:-
3 LAA Battery less one troop.
1 troop 164 LAA Battery
156 HAA Battery (of 82 AA Regt)
193 HAA Battery (of 82 AA Regt)
82 AA Regiment Workshop
I found nothing in the 82 AA Regt war diary about deaths on 29 May 1940. Same in the 193 AA Battery war diary. There was no separate diary for 156 HAA Battery.
I then looked for casualties for all of these units between 10 May and 10 June. There were none for 56 LAA Regt and 4 for 82 AA Regiment. The ones for 82 AA Regt related to 256 Battery and 4 men died on 22 May 1940.
I checked for casualties of all the other AA units in Norway and 55 LAA Regt had 5, of which an H Jones died on 29 May 1940. 51 HAA Regt had one. None of the names were Greenway or anything like it.
Sadly, unless I have missed something, this will continue to be a mystery.
Thank you so much for your hard work. I will take a look at the details in Granddad's diary and then make another post.
My brother emailed me scanned copies of other documents he has in his possession, so I will look at those too.
Granddad mentions some batteries in his diary ie 156 and also '256 battery (part of our regiment)'. Also, he wasn't permanently in Bardufoss.
I am going to transcribe his diary but it will take some time as it is 12 pages long, difficult to read in places and I am a very slow typist. At least I can then post it without the personal extracts. Hence the reason I have not posted it on this website.
Incidentally; which organisation should I donate a copy of the diary to? Kew or the Imperial War museum perhaps?
I understand that I must transcibe exactly as it has been written, including the spelling mistakes and non-pc language. Anything else I need to know about transcriptions?
My brother has the original pocket book which is very tiny indeed. I have a photocopied enlargement.
Thanks again Rob. I really appreciate your efforts.
Have we ascertained 100% what unit he was with in Norway yet ?
After watching Rob rushing around yesterday and discussing it with him and Lee over coffee at Kew I suspect your grandfather has got his name wrong.
Thank you for taking the time to discuss this at Kew; all efforts are very much appreciated.
Yes, there is always the possibility the name is incorrect.
However, knowing my Grandfather and how meticulous he was, I think it unlikely.
I am looking through Bill Mason's (Grandfather's) diary and the other documents I have been sent. I think it may be a process of elimination from information in the diary, rather than a document specifically stating the regiment.
Experience tells me that the only way you can be 100% certain about a soldiers unit is from his service records held by the MoD.
Members have posted lists of CWGC casualties starting with Green and we now know that the Greenway from 22 Field Regiment on the Dunkirk Memorial was 100% in France so we know it's not him. I can't see anything else close to this name in Norway or around the time of death that fits.
WW2 was a testing time for all those involved and its not uncommon for details in official documents like dates and names to be wrong let alone a personal diary. Blokes got stuff wrong all the time, it's been discussed at length on here. Having served in a war myself I can vouch how one day blends into another and you soon forget what month you are in let alone the day or date.
To summarize I would confirm his unit at this time through official documentation from the ministry of defence and then pull that war diary and see what it says.
I found something page 2 in the dairy.
Bill Mason mentioned that Captain Hancock was in his regiment. (see diary extract at the foot of this post)
The probate record on www.ancestry.co.uk for Captain William Harold Hancock states he lived at 25, Brunswick Road, Southend, Essex.
UK, Army Roll of Honour, 1939-1945
William Hancock Name: William Hancock
Given Initials: W H
Death Date: 14 May 1940
Birth Place: India
Regiment at Enlistment: Royal Artillery
Branch at Enlistment: Royal Artillery
Theatre of War: At sea
Regiment at Death: Royal Artillery
Branch at Death: Royal Artillery
Diary extract May 15th page 2
15th Left base 5.15 A.M for River. boarded
river ferry boat “ SALANGEN” ) of Tromsø
at 8.45A.M bound for landed at “ SORREISA”
at 3.0p.m. landed guns & ammunition on shore by
positions helped by Marines & sailors from HMS EFFINGHAM
Three air attacks on river, base reported
1 as we were leaving. While we were leaving
base at Harstad, Irish Guards being brought
ashore from Polish ship which was bombed & machine gunned by planes & sunk at midnight
ship was bound for Narvick amount of men
lost not known. Capt Ancock ( Spelling Hancock) killed (our regt) on board the ship
I recall that in one of the diaries I read, that a Royal Artillery Officer was killed on board a ship and went down with it when it sank. As I was not looking for him, the name or the war diary has not stuck in my memory.
I notice Captain Hancock's entry on CWGC does not mention his unit. I also noted that 82 AA Regt was an Essex unit, and his residence was in Essex. His loss is not mentioned in the 193 Battery war diary, of which I took a copy. His loss is mentioned in either the 82 AA Regt or 6 AA Brigade diary.
My brother has just found this document; Will on 19th April 1940, just before going to Norway.
It was made at Aldershot and witnessed by two people in 193 Battery!
Finally found documented proof of regiment and battery for Bill Mason.
I have cropped out the info about my grandmother 's name and address which was under this section shown.
That's great Joanne. I have copied the war diary for 193 Battery for May & June 1940. I'll send you a Private Message. At least I can let you have a copy of the official diary, even though it does not mention the death you were enquiring about.
Regards - Rob
Update of progress in locating the burial of R, Greenway GNR who was buried next to two RAF airmen.
I now have a contact in Norway who is a reporter for the local newspaper in Bardufoss and he is writing a book on Bardufoss in 1940.
Using his contacts and research documents he has located the site of the burial. His guide to the location was a man who remembers the two RAF burials when he was six years old. The owner of the land is the man's son.
A letter from the local police to the occupying Germans in 1942 shows a reference to the two RAF burials but makes no mention of the third. The two RAF burials were marked with small wooden crosses with a date shown on the crosses.
I have written to the CWGC for advice on how to proceed.
My contact in Bardufoss is writing an article for his newspaper so maybe more witnesses will come forward.
I am very grateful for the help I have received both from members on this site and my contact in Bardufoss because I have discovered a great deal about my grandfather from documents.
I looked into applying for R.Greenway GNR service record but the information I have is not enough as I do not know his first name, just an initial.
His regiment was 82/193 HAA battery who were based in Leigh on Sea, Essex and at Butler's Farm, Rochford at the beginning of the War.
Thank you kindly for all the advice and help given and I will keep you updated of my progress.
I was just reading this topic now. Right from the onset, I was, and still am, under the impression that your missing man is still buried in his original grave near the air field. There is much mention of the two RAF men, but none in regards to your man. If he was in fact buried where the diary states, he is still there in my opinion. I am surprised there is no official paperwork on the burial, however, things get lost, miss filed, etc.
I am a hands on kind of person. Until the area around where the 2 RAF men were buried, is thoroughly searched, I will maintain the attitude, he is still there.
I do wish you luck in this search. It would be very nice to bring this fallen soldier home, so to speak.
Thankyou for your reply.
I do feel that the small site needs to be searched but only by experienced archaeological excavators. I have contacted the CWGC for advice but I was under the impression they record commemorations and maintain the war cemeteries and burials. I am looking for a local archaeologist who would be interested in this case and this is what I have suggested to my contact in Bardufoss.
193 HAA Battery of 82nd HAA Rgt Essex W.A.F.B Mason 879842 WAR DIARY
Please see the link above for the War Diary (transcription) referred to above.
Separate names with a comma.