Sjt G M Pickford C Sqn 49 Recce Regt 16/8/1944

Discussion in 'Recce' started by Charles Vernon, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. Gordon Pickford (born 1909) joined the Grenadier Guards as a drummer and was one of 4 men who blew the silver bugles at Menin Gate on 15 Sept 1929 when they were handed to the town of Ypres. At some stage he transferred to 49 Recce Regt. Can anyone provide further details surrounding his death? On 15 August the Division took Vimont and on the 16th crossed the Dives at Mezidon and would guess the Recce Regt would have been busy. But what was Gordon's role and why was an SNCO the only fatality?

  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Just for information and to provide his middle name

    UK, Army Roll of Honour, 1939-1945
    Name: Gordon Pickford
    Given Initials: G M
    Rank: Serjeant
    Death Date: 16 Aug 1944
    Number: 2609858
    Birth Place: Berkshire
    Residence: London (not otherwise specified)
    Regiment at Enlistment: Grenadier Guards
    Branch at Enlistment: Royal Armoured Corps
    Theatre of War: Western Europe Campaign, 1944/45
    Regiment at Death: Reconnaissance Corps
    Branch at Death: Royal Armoured Corps

    Global, Find A Grave Index for Burials at Sea and other Select Burial Locations, 1300s-Current
    Name: Sgt Gordon Maitland Pickford
    Maiden Name:
    Death Date: 16 Aug 1944
    Cemetery: Bayeux War Cemetery
    Burial or Cremation Place: Bayeux, Departement du Calvados, Basse-Normandie, France
    Has Bio?: N

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  3. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    His service records should reveal his service and when he joined the Reconnaissance Corps, always the only place to start researching a serviceman. The war diaries are held at The National Archives and will detail the operations the unit was involved in:
    Recce.Regt. | The National Archives

    If you are unable to visit there are good folks around here who will copy them for you.

    Some 49 Recce articles here:
    Reconnaissance Journal
  4. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member

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  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  6. Thanks guys. TD - the Recce Journal is great, provided a biography of Charles Luce, commemorated in Malmesbury Abbey along with other distinguished members of his family, he transferred to the RAF Regiment.
    Back to my query - the War Diary would seem to be the best place to look. Anyone got a copy?
  7. CL1

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

    If a member doesnt have the diary there are a couple of members on the forum who offer copy service at a reasonable price.
    The members to contact for the copy service are Andy user name Drew5233 or Lee user name Psywar

    Mentioned here possible death at the Falaise Pocket

    The Wartime Memories Project - The Second World War - Those Who Served

  8. Buteman

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

    A copy of the 49 Recce war diary page from 16 August 1944. As mentioned previously about 49 Recce casualties in other posts on the forum, this unit rarely mentions casualties suffered.

    P1000592 (Large).JPG

    P1000592 - Copy.JPG
  9. Thanks so much. The War Diary is very disappointing. From the Roll of Honour in the Journal Tpr J Bishop was wounded on the 16th but his Squadron isn't specified. So I guess the circumstances of poor old Gordon's death will never be discovered now.
  10. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    I notice from the concentration document for Sgt. Pickford on the CWGC, that he was originally buried at Cristot. Does this offer up any detail on where he may of fallen?

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  11. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

  12. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Looking at some of the locations mentioned in the war diaries it would appear that the original burial location was something like 53 km to the West of where the regiment was operating:
  13. The guys named on the Graves Concentration Report were all those killed from 49 Recce between 2nd and 16th August other than Tpr (temp Cpl) J Smith who for some reason was buried at Le Blanche Herbe. Maybe he died of wounds at a medical facility. I would guess the Regt went to Cristot for a rest and took their dead comrades with them.
  14. Buteman

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

    I've researched a number of casualties, that do not make sense. For example, men that were Kia in Holland, but buried in Belgium. Some questions will never ever be answered.
  15. jon debnam

    jon debnam Member

    I can tell you Sgt Pickford was in the same troop as my grandfather (who was also from the Grenadier Guards.) Sgt Pickford joined Number 14 Scout troop on 2.6.42.
  16. jon debnam

    jon debnam Member

    i've just come across this in the C Squadron Campaign Diary. Quatre Puits- August 16th Moved to Quatrepuits. Recce troops advanced to river DIVES. Sgt Pickford killed and Tpr Bishop wounded by mines whilst investigating a crossing. The diary is in the Porthcawl museum (which is currently closed but will reopen hopefully in the spring) along with a lot of other C Squadron material on display.

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