TEC 4 Ward Portland-Weymouth, Dorset?

Discussion in 'US Units' started by WrightyJones, Jun 4, 2020.

  1. WrightyJones

    WrightyJones Member

    Thanks Travers, I will have a good look on there!
    And, yes I'm certainly considering that he many have been. No luck yesterday, the cert seems to have vanished, hopefully it'll turn up soon

    Shiny9th- I still am yet to identify the location-thanks for your suggestion, I will see what i can come up with.
    As I have previously posted, they apparently moved up to Hull or Grimsby area, so did attempt to look up old photos of the beaches in that area, but haven't paid much attention to Bournemouth, so thank you again.
  2. WrightyJones

    WrightyJones Member

    Hello all, it's been a while!
    I have some new information about my G.Grandfather.
    According to my recently late Great Uncle's birth certificate, in 1946 when he was born, John Ward was a private in the Sherwood Foresters (Pvt.4802502). I am unsure which battalion.
    Was this allied forces?
    Also, now I have his rank/number, can anyone recommend the best website to use in terms of searching for records? In terms of budget, I would only be able to choose one and would like to make it worthwhile.
    Thanks in advance
  3. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    Yes, the Sherwood Foresters were an 'allied forces' and Wiki explains their history: Sherwood Foresters - Wikipedia It had multiple battalions, none of them being parachute-trained.

    Could it be that John Ward served in Ww2 in the British Army and emigrated afterwards, returning in 1955, having joined the US Army?

    I think you are saying the B&W photo is from 1955. If so, the TEC-4 Sergeants badge is wrong from this chart: US Army Enlisted Grade Timeline, 1920-1994
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
  4. WrightyJones

    WrightyJones Member

    Thankyou for that reply and the link, that's really useful!
    I have since learned that John was in 5th Battalion, found a few records;
    It seems John was a POW in North Africa and Italy in 1943, and then again in 1945 in Germany; Stalag 4b, POW number 77227.
  5. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    Thank you for updating the info on John Ward & its good to have his regiment at capture & post war confirmed as Sherwood Foresters. The Sherwoods were the county infantry regiment for Notts & Derbyshire, both mining areas, although this may be a red herring (see next para).

    His army number is for a recruit who enlisted in or was conscripted to the Lincolnshire Regiment before August 1942 after which conscripts were enlisted into the General Service Corps. He carried this number throughout his army career. Although the Lincs were the local regiment for the possible post war Grimsby location, this would usually only work as a connection for a pre war enlistment (regular or territorial). During the war conscripts went where the army sent them.

    If he was with with 5th Bn when captured & capture was in North Africa this would prob have been in the Tunisian campaign as they arrived there in Jan 1943 (The 5th Bn. that fought in Tunisia were prev named 2/5th having been renamed after the 1/5th were captured in Malaya Feb 1942). Both the 1/5th & 2/5th were with the BEF in France & between the Battle of France in 1940 & being sent overseas would have been stationed in the UK. Like many other infantry battalions they could have been on home defence duties in this time, possibly based on the South Coast of England.
    BBC - WW2 People's War - Fred Hirst's Part 2 Serving with the Sherwood Foresters in Tunisia 1943 and Capture by the Germans
    BBC - WW2 People's War - History of the Sherwood Foresters
    The only other Sherwood Battalion I could see with North Africa service is the 1st which was captured in June 1942 when Torbruck fell, so does not fit with the wedding date.

    The 1943 pow list for Italy does not have a camp number by his name, and I believe this means he was at a sub or work camp rather than a main camp when the list was made. After the Italian Armistice in Sep 1943 most of the British pows in Italy were, following the Germans quick occupation of the country transferred to camps in Germany.

    I have found an additional pow list with him on from 1944 when he is listed at Stalag 8C near Sagan, then the east of Germany, now Poland. In 1943 this camp received many men that had been held by the Italians. In Feb 1945 most of the British & Commonwealth pow's here were marched west away from the advancing Russians. One account is of 2000 of them arriving in March at Stalag 9B at Bad-Orb & liberated by the Americans in April 1945.
    Stalag VIII-C - Wikipedia
    BBC - WW2 People's War - The Beginning of the End - Part One

    Looks like John moved camps (maybe before the forced march) as he is listed as at Stalag 4B in that 1945 list you have accessed. This camp also held former pow's of the Italians & although the Soviets liberated it in April 1945, they took a further month to release the pow's.
    Stalag IV-B - Wikipedia

    Dates when he was reported missing, captured, arrived Italy, arrived Germany & released would show in the British Army casualty lists, which I know are on the findmypast website which I don't have access to at moment. Another forum member may look this up, but otherwise its free at most libraries when they open again.

    I can't see anywhere that either the Lincs or Sherwoods had battalions converted to airborne forces so maybe if John had qualified or was under training as a parachutist when he married in April 1942 he had volunteered for this.

    This has probably been mentioned before in this thread, but to apply for his service records from the mod you will need his service number or date of birth and his death certificate which could prove difficult.

    I realise that as 4802502 Private John Ward seems to have been in Germany in 1944/5 the fine detail of his time as a pow may not help in your search for your grandmothers father. You don't mention what her birth cert has as the father, if you have been able to access this yet ?

    I guess if all else fails then a DNA test may help, but like every thing else its costly when we are all watching the pennies in these current times.


    PS: I realise I have generalised in some aspects to give an overall picture, so happy to be corrected !
    WrightyJones and Roy Martin like this.
  6. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Last edited: Jan 17, 2021
  7. WrightyJones

    WrightyJones Member

    Thank you Vitellino, I will certainly give that a go!
  8. WrightyJones

    WrightyJones Member

    Hi again Travers.
    Thanks so much for your informative reply.
    I was a bit confused about the 1/5th and 2/5th battalion so thanks for clearing that up for me.
    On the library register version of my GM's birth cert it has Ward as her surname, once I obtain it or a copy I will know for sure.
    There is a lot of really good info here so I am going to take a couple of days to read through it and do some more investigating/correlating with family members (including the whereabouts of my GM's birth certificate!) when I'm not home schooling that is.
    The Stalag camps, am I right that these held NCO's? And if correct, would this make him a Sgt at the time? Apologies if I'm totally wrong on that.
    travers1940 likes this.
  9. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    He was a private on all the documents I have seen. If he had a higher rank it would have been an acting/unpaid rank only, with records showing his permanent rank. Even so to be an acting sergeant you would usually have had the permanent rank of Corporal first.

    Stalags were for all ranks of the army other than officers who were held in Oflags. Men held in stalags often did not live there permanently, and were out in sub-camps & working parties for salt mines, factories, coal mines, quarries, construction, factory work, farms etc. But it was their registration camp & where they went back to for medical treatment.

    Under the Geneva Convention officers could not be made to work, so a lot of the escape movies you see are from camps where officers were held as they had more time to plan escapes, and also may have felt more duty to escape because they were not working.

    There was some mixing of ranks between types of camp though as other ranks worked at the Oflags in the kitchens & as officers servants etc , and Stalags needed officers as the British Commander, padre, doctor etc. There were separate camps for Flying personel , Royal Navy & Merchant Navy pows.
    WrightyJones likes this.
  10. WrightyJones

    WrightyJones Member

    Ah I see, thank you that's really interesting.
  11. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    Can any forum members help with a quick look up for Private John Ward on the casualty lists ?

    I can't access these at the moment during library closures. Esp interested in confirming his dates/places of missing, capture, pow in Italy & Germany & release.

    Summary of info on thread
    48025202 Private John Ward of the Sherwood Foresters
    enlisted before Aug 1942 in Lincolnshire Regiment
    1943 pow in Italy (camp not known)
    1944 pow in Germany Stalag 8C
    1945 pow in Germany Stalag 4B
    survived the war
    Wrighty Jones advises that he was captured in North Africa & was in 5th Battalion Sherwoods.


    WrightyJones likes this.
  12. WrightyJones

    WrightyJones Member

    Hi Vitellino, logged onto the website at 7:55 this morning, and it already says they have reached the maximum number of requests. Next one is in May. Darn!

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