The 8th Battalion Sherwood Foresters in Norway April 1940

Discussion in 'WW2 Battlefields Today' started by Steve Foster, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. Steve Foster

    Steve Foster Senior Member

    Hi Kirsty, Steve Foster here and thanks for posting. If you look at the casualty list you have posted, you will see that my dad, Sgt Fred Foster, is on the same page - what a small world. Most of the 8th battalion were Nottinghamshire men - A Company from Arnold, B Company and battalion HQ from Newark, C Company from Mansfield and D Company from Worksop. Where was your granddad from? A real "Pals Battalion" just like in WW1. I expect your grandfather and dad knew each other well. The only information I have about him is: Marshall J C, Corporal, 4741933, Held Stalag 357 Oerbke, Fallingbostel POW number 4830. Dad's POW number was 4726 so they were probably captured together. It would appear from the information above, he was moved from Stalag XXA in Poland at some time to Germany. Dad also got moved to Stalag 383 in 1942. As you can see from the thread, I have spent some time researching the 8th Sherwood Foresters in Norway so you have any questions, please ask. Steve
     
  2. tony bower

    tony bower Member

    Hi
    After looking at this photo I believe my grandad may be top row second from right I think
    His name was Frederick Arthur Tomlinson who according to one site says was a lance sergent with sherwood foresters with a service number of 4987185 and a POW number of 247245 where it said he was in stalag 357. Unfortunately he died when I was 6yrs old and non of my family are alive now so hoping to find more on him.
    Seperately whilst looking I found I had a great uncle Harry Penney who died in the battle of the Somme so this has been a very worthwhile search which I am enjoying greatly
    As most POWs my grandad never spoke about his time in the camps and I am led to believe my Nan never knew he was there as she was told missing killed in action, so can only imagine her shock when he turned up
    Thanks for this photo really pleasing to see
    Tony
     
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  3. EGCB

    EGCB New Member

     
  4. EGCB

    EGCB New Member

    Dear Steve
    I have just joined this thread on POW taken at Trenton, Norway. My grandfather Capt EGC Beckwith is in that photo, middle row. He edited a camp magazine full of POW’s stories, poems drawings and paintings. It was published after the war as The Quill.
    Regards
    Georgina
     
  5. Steve Foster

    Steve Foster Senior Member

    Hello Georgina,
    A privilege to meet Captain Beckwith's granddaughter. A Company, 8th Foresters, of whom he was Officer Commanding, put up a hell of a fight at Rindheim field under his leadership and held the superior armed and numerous Germans in their tracks for some hours. The German war diaries state that this was the only time they met any serious opposition to their advance. I have read his memoirs in the Imperial War Museum in London and found them moving and informative.

    Also, I always find his poem, written in 1958, so moving and articulate and it seems to summarise the conditions the Nottinghamshire lads fought and died under. Dad hardly ever talked about his war and being a POW, but did say how fighting in the snow in Tretten was terrible.

    Steve
     

    Attached Files:

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  6. EGCB

    EGCB New Member

    Goodness me, that was quick! Yes I love that poem too. I will get the trunk full of his papers back from my brother (including his personal report of the fighting and what went wrong), and then I can answer questions. I have his scrap book in front of me now full of original drawings and his day to day diary.
    Regards
    Georgina
     
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  7. JDKR

    JDKR Member Patron

    Welcome to the forum EGCB!
     
  8. EGCB

    EGCB New Member

    Thank you. I have gone back to the beginning of these discussions and am working my way though - truly fascinating.
     
  9. Steve Foster

    Steve Foster Senior Member

    Yes, there is a lot there, I started this post after my visit to Norway in 2010 to see where dad fought and found all of the the firing positions in the field by Rindheim farmhouse south of Tretten. The young farmer thought they were piles of stones and knew nothing of the battle that happened on his land. Steve
     
  10. planet.kirsty

    planet.kirsty New Member

    Hi Tony,
    I'd be happy to scan a hi res copy of the photo for you...might take me a few days but I'll get round to it. Unfortunately i don't have any info I can share, as I never knew my grandfather and not much of his story made it to me.
    Kirsty
     
  11. planet.kirsty

    planet.kirsty New Member

    Hi Steve,

    Yes I saw the names on the causality list - small world indeed! My father was born just before the war in Edwinstowe, so I'm assuming my grandfather was living there too - that would make Mansfield the nearest town I think. Wow, isn't it amazing to think that all these years later through the power of the internet that we, their descendants, are in touch.

    Thanks you for the additional information - I've found that service records are in the national archives, and PoW records are at York. I'm close to London so after lock-down plan to make a few visits.

    Your research has really helped me get a better understanding of where the battalion was, the conditions they faced and what ultimately happened. I'm keen to find out more about my grandfather's time in the PoW camp, family stories mention an escape and my father told me that his dad was never the same when he came back from the war and was deeply affected by it (quite understandably!). So I think my next avenue for research will be delving into PoW records and trying to find out where he was and when. The info you've posted above will really help me - thank you so much!

    If I find anything pertinent I will share it back here
    Kirsty
     
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  12. tony bower

    tony bower Member

    Hi Kirsty
    That would be great. I too am at the start of my journey to find out about my grandad
    Many thanks
     
  13. Steve Foster

    Steve Foster Senior Member

    Tony,

    I don't want to be the bearer of bad news, but I don't think your granddad was in the 8th battalion of the Sherwood Foresters but possibly in one of the other battalions. The 8th was a Nottinghamshire territorial battalion, and for instance, the 5th was a Derbyshire territorial battalion. There were at least eight other battalions of the Foresters who saw active service in all theatres of WW2.
    My POW list for the 8th does not show a Frederick Arthur Tomlinson and his POW number is extremely high to have been captured in Norway. Typically the POW numbers given to men from the 8th were four figure numbers and they were almost sequential as they were given numbers on entering Stalag XXA or Stalag XXB in Poland. Officers were sent to Spangenberg in Hess, Germany.
    For instance, dad's POW number was 4726 which means he was the 4726th allied soldier to have been registered as a POW by the Germans in WW2. The men from the 8th Foresters and 5th Leicesters were captured in April, well before the BEF saw action in France and all had low numbers. All of those other ranks captured in Norway were sent to XXA or XXB in Poland and not Stalag 357 in Fallingbostel, Lower Saxony. However, many were sent to other camps later in the war - for instance dad was moved to Stalag 383 in 1942.
    The last piece of the jigsaw is your granddad's service number. It is very high to have been a member of the 8th battalion. Your granddad's was 4987185 and dad's was 4976755. Looking at the POW list for the 8th, they all began with 497. If you take one from the other, there were over 10,000 recruits between the two. This could not be if they served in the same battalion. The 8th would not have recruited any more members after 23 April 1940 when it was destroyed so, again, this points to your granddad being in another battalion using higher service numbers.

    The curator in the regimental museum in Nottingham will be able to help to identify which battalion he served in. If you send me a PM, I will give you her email address.

    Regards,
    Steve
     
  14. Steve Foster

    Steve Foster Senior Member

    A pleasure Kirsty, if I can help in any way, please ask.
    Steve
     
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  15. tony bower

    tony bower Member

    Thanks Steve the numbers I found on another website so maybe they are wrong but I am starting from scratch so any help is appreciated. I will contact the regimental museum and see. Bit confusing as I only have bits of conversations to go on but the photo from Kirsty does appear to be my grandad from old photos. Food for thought indeed. My Auntie had all his medals and paperwork but sadly passed away and cannot find what happened to them
    Thanks again
    Tony
     

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