Temporary Grave Near Ath

Discussion in '1940' started by Rich Payne, Mar 15, 2015.

  1. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    This image has recently appeared on eBay :-

    HMC 447 Stanley Bell.jpg

    It reads :-

    "(Hier) Ruhen 4 unbekannte Englander

    Stanley Bell 4391912

    aus tank HMC 447 Tpr. Agyle 320579"

    gef(allen) 19.5.40

    I assume therefore that it is actually the grave of six men, of whom four unknown.

    4391912 Bell is straightforward to trace. Actually Leonard Stanley Bell of 5th Battalion Green Howards, he is now buried at Ath :-
    Rank: Private
    Service No: 4391912
    Date of Death: 23/05/1940
    Age: 21
    Regiment/Service: Green Howards (Yorkshire Regiment) 5th Bn.
    Grave Reference: B. 2. 20.
    Additional Information: Son of John Crawford Bell and Jane Bell, of Blyth, Northumberland.

    320579 was also a correct service number and indicates that the other known casualty was Trooper Albert Argyle M.M. of 4th/7th Dragoon Guards.

    Sadly he has no known grave and is listed on the Dunkirk Memorial, although he must surely be one of the four unidentified casualties in Ath Cemetery (although five would be expected if this marker indicated four plus two known), or perhaps one of those buried as unknown was subsequently identified. The only other Royal Armoured Corps casualty there is from the Fife & Forfar Yeomanry so it may well be that some of the unidentified bodies here were the other crew of the 4/7 RDG Nuffield-built Scout Carrier Mk1 HMC 447. Trooper Argyle was mentioned, with details of how he earned his MM, on an earlier thread :-http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/8194-transcript-of-journal-belgiumfrance-may-1940/

    Rank: Trooper
    Service No: 320579
    Date of Death: 19/05/1940
    Age: 20
    Regiment/Service: Royal Armoured Corps 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards
    Awards: M M
    Panel Reference: Column 2.
    Additional Information: Son of James and Rose Argyle, of Kingstanding, Birmingham.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
    Guy Hudson and Mr Jinks like this.
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    The Green Howards history has the 5th Bn leaving Ath between 6am and 7am on the 18th May. Nothing of note in the 5 GHs war diary either.

    I did identify the 2/Lt in the Glosters as being aprt of 2nd Bn and he was shot in the back entering a deserted house at night in Ath.
  3. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    A photograph has now appeared of a burned-out Scout Carrier marked to 2nd Infantry Division and which appears to bear the numberplate HMC ?47 which may well be the HMC 447 referred to on the marker cross.

    HMC burned Pass (2).jpg

    The letters HMC are more clearly visible on an earlier photo (but the '47' wasn't) and in the image above the '2' Arm of Service plate indicating Divisional Cavalry has been turned round to show 'Pass'

    HMC Burned 2 Div Scout Carrier (2).JPG

    HMC Burned hi res (2).jpg
    CWGC records have also been improved to include the Graves Registration Card which shows that one of the Ath casualties at least was 4th /7th Royal Dragoon Guards. I think there is a good chance that this is indeed Trooper Albert Argyle M.M. The complete original images include a charred body and I have therefore cropped them to post on the forum.

    Guy Hudson and Drew5233 like this.
  4. LondonNik

    LondonNik Senior Member

    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017

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