Searching info on 231st brigade the dorsetshires.

Discussion in 'User Introductions' started by dawn rendell, Mar 31, 2017.

  1. dawn rendell

    dawn rendell New Member

    Hi it's my first post so bare with me. My family are searching for information for my grandad, he lost his brother in Italy and all of his stuff went to his eldest sister and now have been lost or sold etc.
    My great uncles name was cpl Arthur George Rendell. We know he died in Italy on September 8th 1943 and is buried at Salerno war cemetery. Hoping to visit him soon! As my grandad is too frail to visit we would love to find out more info about what he was doing over there etc, we've found bits and bobs, we think he was part of operation FERDY.

    Thank you
  2. dawn rendell

    dawn rendell New Member

    Oh he was also part of the 1st battalion the dorsetshires
  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Dawn


    Not sure there was ever a 231st Bat of the Dorsets, you may need to edit that number as it may cause some confusion.


    Service No:5725604
    Date of Death:08/09/1943
    Regiment/Service: Dorsetshire Regiment 1st Bn.
    Grave Reference: V. D. 7. Cemetery:SALERNO WAR CEMETERY
    Additional Information:Son of James Wilfred and Lillian Maud Rendell, of Poxwell, Dorsetshire.

    Casualty Details

    We have a number of members on here who specialise in the Italian Campaign and also some who run tours over there - I'm sure some of them will be along.


    edited to add:
    I would suggest when you edit your thread title that perhaps you add Italy as a tag - some members have alerts set for specific tags
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  4. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member


    No doubt belt and braces information is available if/when you read the war diaries

    From a top down point of view, you already probably knew that:
    The 1st Dorsets were part of 231 Brigade,
    - and on 8th Sept 1943 the brigade would join up with 5th Division after fighting an engagement with elements of 26th Panzer Division near Pizzo (source/further reading: 8th Army history, R Doherty).

    Also suggest that you read the story of 231 Brigade in Sicily - as your great uncle would have probably been involved during that campaign.. before he/they spent some relaxing time near Piedimonte Etneo and then headed off to the mainland.

    good luck with your research,

    edit: the war diaries
    1 Dorsetshire Regiment | The National Archives
    1 Dorsetshire Regiment

    Reference: WO 169/10197
    Description:1 Dorsetshire Regiment
    Date: 1943 Apr.- Dec.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2017
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  5. dawn rendell

    dawn rendell New Member

    Thank you so much. Would be great to go to a tour and see his grave.
    Where abouts will I source the war diaries? We know he died on the 8th but landed in Italy on the 7th do you think he died when he joined up with the 5th army?
    I've ordered a copy from the national archives!
  6. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    It wasn't the 5th Army, it was British 5th Division,,

    You can view the diaries in person at Kew.

    I suspect the war diary quote from the National Archives won't be very pleasing...
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Ooooo Don't use the National Archives, they charge over a £1.00 per page. Did they charge you for a quote?
  8. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    At this time the 1st Bn Dorsetshire Regiment were brigaded with the 1st Bn Hampshire Regiment and 2n Bn Devonshire Regiment, in the 231st Infantry Brigade. They were an independent infantry brigade.

    They had been stationed in Malta for the most part and the brigade was known as the Malta Brigade, until they were blooded in Sicily; 10 July to near the end of August 1943.

    The 1st Bn Dorsetshire Regiment landed in mainland Italy at Pizzo on the 8 September 1943. They were to establish and hold a bridgehead that they and some Commando units created, for at least 3 days until the Globetrotters (5th Infantry Divisioin) caught up with them. They were then to come under the command of the 5th Division.

    On the 10 September, in the area of Nicastro, the 1st Bn Dorsetshire Regiment halted and a battalion of the 5th Division took up the pursuit of the enemy. There were then various moves for them, but none involved fighting.

    On the 19 September, the 231st Infantry Brigade received the news that they were to return to the UK, as part of the 50th (Northumbrian) Division; described in the 1st Bn Dorsetshire Battalion history as "...such a famous Division". 'Three Assault Landings' (Bredin), Page 44.

    There are 9 men of the 1st Bn Dorsetshire Regiment shown as KIA between the 8 and 19 September (all on 8 September) and 1 of those is buried at the Catania War Cemetary, Sicily, which suggests he is a casualty of the fighting in Sicily - died of wounds.

    Cpl Arthur G Rendell was unlucky to be 1 of the 8 men of the battalion to be KIA in mainland Italy. RIP Cpl Arthur G Rendell.

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