Shot At Monte Cassino.

Discussion in 'War Cemeteries & War Memorial Research' started by ozzy16, Jun 7, 2018.

  1. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    I only acquired this newspaper clipping today.Jim Layton, know to us as uncle Jim. He was my mothers brother.The report came to light when my elder sister was having a clear out.
    My mother always said she wanted to visit his grave but sadly it never happened and she passed away a few years ago.Luckly my father and 3 other uncles all survived WW2.
    (the report states his mothers name as Warford in fact it's Walford)

    Graham. jim.jpg
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  2. CL1

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

    Service Number 5249416

    Died 17/05/1944

    2nd Bn.
    Lancashire Fusiliers

    Location: Italy
    Number of casualties: 3991

    Cemetery/memorial reference: XI. C. 23.
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  3. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    I need his service record to clarify his rank, his immediate family may already have it.

  4. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    Casualty list 1944 has him as W/Corporal. 1943 casualty list has him as corporal when wounded 11/8/43.
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  5. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Cheers guys,
    I'm thinking, he joined the army in 1932 when he left at the onset of WW2 he reached the rank of Sgt. He then rejoined and lost the rank of Sgt, and maybe ????? given the rank of Corporal which he kept until he was killed.
    Just a thought, his service record would confirm this I think.
  6. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Had a dig around for infofmation on the 2nd Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers May 1944 at Monte Cassino and found this report.

    In the middle of May we were due to go to Concerta for a rest. A troupe of Polish soldiers were due to take over from us,but before they could do so the Allies started to attack the Monastery. The Poles attacked from the top and we,the Lancashire Fusiliers,from the back. We managed to make contact with the Poles and then,early on the 16th May, jerry counter-attacked.My company, C Company,was getting a real hiding from two tanks and about twenty infantry men. They wiped out one platoon completely and were starting on another. But then Frank Jefferson went out in front of a tank and fired a PIAT mortar right into it. The other tank,and about twenty infantry retreated. Our Major (Kevin Hill) ordered us to charge and we took out all infantrymen completely.
    On the 17th May at 10am a flag appeared on top of the monastery and the germans were retreating. We charged inside and took prisoners. Then we carried on up a main highway to Rome and that was the end of the Cassino Battle.
    My friend, Frank Jefferson, was awarded the V.C.

    This extract was taken from "The Peoples War."

    I'm just wondering if this was where Jim Layton met his fate on the 17th may 1944.?

    Andy is kindly going to copy the diary for me which runs from Jan to August 1944. (2nd Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers, Monte Cassino)

  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Re member

    UK, Victoria Cross Medals, 1857-2007
    Name: Francis Arthur Jefferson
    Birth Date: 18 Aug 1921
    Birth Place: Sunderland Terrace, Ulverston, Lancashire
    Death Date: 4 Sep 1982
    Death Place: Bolton Infirmary

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  8. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Very sad end for such a great hero.(this is his V.C. Citation)
    Graham. VC1.jpg VC2.jpg
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  9. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Re member

    It is possible of course that your relative was injured before the 17th May and this was the day that he died, he could for example have been wounded onthe 16th during the action noted in the VC citation, not sure how you would check that out - WD's?, service records?

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  10. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Cheers TD,
    I'm hoping the war diary will throw up something, if not I will get his service record. Expecting the W-D to be rather thick at least a few hundred pages.

  11. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    As a tribute to a very brave soldier.
    Here we have Frank Jefferson V.C. standing in front of the tank he knocked out holding a PIAT. Graham. VC4.jpg VC5.jpg
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  12. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    You should read Fred Majdalany's book on Cassino. He was a Company Commander in 2 LANCS FUS.

    On 17 May 44, II (PO) Corps were attacking Point 593 and Point 505 high up behind the monastery and 78 British Infantry Division, of which 2 LANCS FUS were part, were pushing up the Liri Valley towards Piedmonte San Germano below the monastery. Patrols from both formations met on the morning of 18 May 44.

    If you want to understand this better, you are welcome to join the battlefield study that I am running on 11-14 May 19 as part of the 75th Anniversary celebrations.


  13. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Hello Frank,
    Thanks for the info ref; Majdalany's book on Cassino. I will seek it out in the coming days.
    Thanks for your offer of joining you (battlefield study) tied up for the rest of this year, but might come back to you for next year.Look forward to it.

  14. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member


    You should consider it. The four battles of Monte Cassino are absolutely fascinating. Utter incompetence and sheer brilliance everywhere you turn.


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  15. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Hi Frank,
    Could you PM more details ref post 12, tour of Cassino 11-14 May 2019 please.
    Also do you do the tour throughout the summer months, or once yearly on the Anniversary of the 4th battle.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018 at 1:05 AM
  16. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Acting on Franks advice this book arrived today and within it there was a loose map.Got it off ebay £12 printed in 1957 it has seen better days.The dust cover shows signs of fading from exposure to bright light over the years but the book itself is in very good condition. Original price 21/-
    Graham. jim2.jpg

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