St. Venant War Crime against DLI during May 1940

Discussion in '1940' started by Drew5233, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. englandphil

    englandphil Very Senior Member

  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Cheers for that Phil...There's an interesting article on that link about a DLI chap that may interest Jim (Verrieres).
     
  3. Verrieres

    Verrieres no longer a member

  4. acorkhill

    acorkhill Junior Member

    Drew, I am trying to locate the grave of Pte Corkhill who is my uncle and have been in touch with Verrieres who has been immensely helpful. He suggests that perhaps the Red Cross, who investigated this matter around that time and after the war, may still have the details on file in Geneva. I am not the best on the computer and am finding it difficult to locate an email address for the Red Cross. Actually, there are just too many to choose from and I would hate to send an email to the wrong place and perhaps it may never be answered. I would welcome any suggestions. Many thanks, TC
     
  5. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Coming in late on this discussion, I find,according to the CWGC website that Anthony Corkhilled listed as 27 years of age has no known grave,ie,is remembered on the Dunkirk Memorial which appears to support the report that he was captured with minor wounds but did not subsequently appear at a POW Camp.

    Another example of the nasty business conducted by these perpretators when they thought they were on top.Happened far too often,I'm afraid.
     
  6. acorkhill

    acorkhill Junior Member

    Drew, just to let you know that Jim has kindly came up with the information I asked for.
     
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Anthony,

    Sorry I missed your request and if I'm honest I wouldn't know anyway so I'm glad Jim has sorted you out.

    Do you have any further info you can share on your uncle or a picture?

    I'm rubbish at NA searches, I can't find any files on this incident. Can anyone else or does anyone know if one exsists ?

    If I get a ref number I'll copy the file/investigation on my next visit.

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  8. acorkhill

    acorkhill Junior Member

    Andy, many thanks for your reply to my query. The up-to-date regarding my uncle, Anthony Corkhill is as follows; Jim has, once again, been most helpful in putting me in seemingly, the right direction. At his recommendation, I have emailed M.Dominique Faivre, the French historian who was so helpful in the search for Tom Rodgers. I have sent him details of what I know surrounding the death of Anthony. It may be helpful to him to know that he was already wounded in both legs and in the neck before he met his death whilst a prisoner of war. I believe they may still have the autopsy reports from the time the dead were exhumed and reburied.

    I know that he was not wearing a dog tag, which was found at my parents home after he left for France. I would hope that it may make identification a little easier because of the limited number of bodies that would have been found without their identification symbol.

    I have contacted the Red Cross (thanks to Jim once again) also because they investigated his disappearance at the time and after the war. Hopefully, they may still have those records.

    Only a matter of a few months ago, I did not know where my uncle was at the time that he died and only knew it was 'somewhere in France' near Dunkirk. Suddenly, I may be within striking distance of identifying the very spot where he is buried. Thanks to Jim (for the hundredth time!) I now know with near certainty that he is buried in St Venant Communal Cemetery. All being well, I will visit that region next year and I'm hoping against hope, that in the meantime, I may receive information to pinpoint his exact grave.

    It was on the seventieth anniversary of Anthony's death that, quite by accident, I discovered WW2talk and Jim's 'behindthewire' website. That day is proving to be a major turning point in my family's history.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Fingers crossed for you matey.
     
  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Three files on POW shootings at St Venant supplied by ADM199

    WO 208/4648

    WO 309/2220

    WO 311/97
     
  11. acorkhill

    acorkhill Junior Member

    Andy, I am keen to read what these three files say. How can I get to read them, please. Regards, Anthony
     
  12. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    You would need to visit the National Archives at Kew.
     
  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Three files on POW shootings at St Venant supplied by ADM199

    WO 208/4648

    WO 309/2220

    WO 311/97

    Just found another one:

    WO 219/5063 Vicinity of St. Venant, Pas de Calais, France in May 1940 1945 May
     
  14. Verrieres

    Verrieres no longer a member

    Just to keep everyone up with events I have been in regular contact with Anthony Corkhill regarding his `missing` uncle and there has been some progress he has been in touch with a group in St Venant who hold `some` autopsy reports on the `missing men/unknowns` he has asked if there are any listed with wounds similar to those reportedly sustained by his uncle as he has found a `possible link` .What he really needs at this time is a positive location of 2 DLI`s HQ Company on the 27th May 1940.I cannot help him with this one I do know it was a farm and the last stand was in the Barn...but what Anthony needs is the Farms name...if he gets this he can either progress his link or dismiss it as another False hope and carry on searching.The War Diary of 2 DLI does not name the farm unfortunately.Anyone out there have any ideas ? It could be Anthonys best Christmas present!

    Best Wishes


    Jim
     
  15. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello Jim,

    I have three sources of information - books - that mention the St Venant action and all three refer to the farm and the barn, but not by name. I will put the information together and see if it gives a 'general' area.

    In the meantine, a thought for you. It may just be possible that the 6th Infantry Brigade's War Diary refers to the location of the 2DLI HQ - WO 167/357, or possibly that of the 1RWF - WO 167/843.

    What about Harry Moses' book on 2 DLI, it must be due out anytime now? Or Harry Moses himself?!

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  16. Verrieres

    Verrieres no longer a member

    Hello Jim,

    I have three sources of information - books - that mention the St Venant action and all three refer to the farm and the barn, but not by name. I will put the information together and see if it gives a 'general' area.

    In the meantine, a thought for you. It may just be possible that the 6th Infantry Brigade's War Diary refers to the location of the 2DLI HQ - WO 167/357, or possibly that of the 1RWF - WO 167/843.

    What about Harry Moses' book on 2 DLI, it must be due out anytime now? Or Harry Moses himself?!

    Best,


    Steve.


    Cheers Steve,

    Agree well worth considering Harry was in touch a week or so before Christmas despite having his book launch at the begining of the month `technical` difficulties have prevented the book reaching the shelves for Christmas. Hopefully Anthony`s friends on the otherside of the Channel can come up with a definitive yes or no.The Farms are named after the families who owned them at the time and there were two witnesses to this particular `murder`including a member of the family from the farm.
    Best wishes

    Jim
     
  17. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I've just checked 6 Bde's war diary and it mentions 2 DLI's HQ but not by name or location on the 27th May.

    It does say this on the 25th May:

    In the evening 2 DLI were ordered to move and occupy the southern outskirts of St. Venant and they were in position by about 2130 hrs their HQ being at the northern outskirts of St. Venant.

    1 RWF again mentions the 2 DLI's HQ but no details. Incase its of interest, 1 Royal Welch Fusiliers HQ was in St Venants cemetery.
     
  18. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I'm just looking through the investigation, case and court papers. I have a list of French witness's (Just names no address's as yet) and I think I may have identified the farm as Farm Flageolet Luthin.

    There's around 500 pages to go through so I'll attempt to find some time on this but in the meantime anyone care to translate?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  19. acorkhill

    acorkhill Junior Member

    In my search for the grave of my uncle, Pte Anthony Corkhill 2nd Btn DLI, I would be pleased if anyone knew the location of Farm Boulet, St Venant during 1940. This information may be vital to the progress of my enquiries for the following reasons;- According to the St Venant War Crimes record, at around noon on the 27th May 1940, a British soldier, wounded in both legs, was shot in the head by an SS Officer in the vicinity of Farm Boulet. A few days later he was buried, more or less where he was shot, near the road to Robecq. The farm may have been owned or tenanted by a Victor Boulet who was one of two witnesses to this shooting and gave this farm as his address.

    Anthony was Batman to RSM Archibald Goddard who reported to the Red Cross that on the 27th May he had been taken prisoner and was about to be marched away to a POW Camp when he saw Anthony lying near the canal with a flesh wound to the neck and wounded in both legs. Despite the Germans saying that he would be taken to hospital, he was never seen again and there are no records of him ever being in hospital or a POW Camp.

    I have a strong belief that the soldier shot through the head was in fact my uncle. If Farm Boulet turns out to be in the area where Anthony was engaged in battle, this will support my belief even further. I realise, of course, that if the farm is several miles away then there is no chance of this murdered soldier being Anthony and it could signal a frustrating end to a lot of hard work and hope.
     
  20. acorkhill

    acorkhill Junior Member

    Sorry to have repeated what has already been said in the posts above but I'm sure of the farm's name now. It ties in very well with Verrieres' statement that the farms were named after the families who owned them.

    I also have a copy of where the murdered soldiers from around 27th May were first buried before exhumation. On the very top line (in case anyone else has a copy) it mentions that one 'inconnu' was buried on the land belonging to Mr Victor Boulet. I expect that the St Venant people will have a record of where this soldier was re-buried two years later. If the pathology records say that this soldier had wounds to both legs, my search may be complete.
     

Share This Page