The death of three members of 53rd (Welsh) Recconaissance Regiment August 1944.

Discussion in 'Recce' started by Oldleg, Nov 25, 2015.

  1. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    As some of you are aware I have been spending some time trying to research an incident which is mentioned in a letter writen by a locally celebrated member of the French resistance madame Huguette Verhague who lived on the outskirts of the Abbeye De Mortemer in Lisors in the Forest of Lyons, Eure, Upper Normandy. The letter was written to her friend in English as her friend was a Scotsman by the name of James Saige Sutherland who she got to know during WWI.

    Apparently according to her letter and an entry made in the journal of a local Forester a British vehicle was destroyed when it hit a mine close to the chapppelle de St Catherine, near the Abbeye De Mortemer. All inside were killed. According to the forester the incident tooknplace on August 29th. However, following an article in the local newspaper a couple of weeks ago someone contacted me tonight giving me the names of corporal Walter Ware 4077788, Trooper Arthur Dick 14566053 and trooper Aubrey Drew 5777408. They were apparenttly in 53rd (Welsh) Recconaissance Regiment. They are now resting in Longueval, iin the Somme area. According to CWGC they died not on August 29th which is the date I have but on August 30th 1944.

    Can anyone tell me if they have any details on this incident. If I can confirm that these are the men I am looking for then something will be done to remember them by in the area where they died. Even if they are not 'my' guys something will be for them.

    Cheers,
     
  2. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    There's a long thread on the regiment:

    http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/18540-53rd-reconnaissance-regiment/

    It might be worth asking the question on there. Some of the contributors possess the rare regimental history 'Welsh Spearhead' and might check to see if it adds anything. That's a great lead - hope it pays off after all your effort.
     
  3. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    As some of you are aware I have been spending some time trying to research an incident which is mentioned in a letter writen by a locally celebrated member of the French resistance madame Huguette Verhague who lived on the outskirts of the Abbeye De Mortemer in Lisors in the Forest of Lyons, Eure, Upper Normandy. The letter was written to her friend in English as her friend was a Scotsman by the name of James Saige Sutherland who she got to know during WWI.

    Apparently according to her letter and an entry made in the journal of a local Forester a British vehicle was destroyed when it hit a German landmine close to the chapppelle de St Catherine, near the Abbeye De Mortemer. All inside were killed. According to the forester the incident took place on August 29th. However, following an article in the local newspaper a couple of weeks ago someone contacted me tonight giving me the names of corporal Walter Ware 4077788, Trooper Arthur Dick 14566053 and trooper Aubrey Drew 5777408. They were apparenttly in 53rd (Welsh) Recconaissance Regiment. They are now resting in Longueval, iin the Somme area. According to CWGC they died not on August 29th which is the date I have but on August 30th 1944.

    Can anyone tell me if they have any details on this incident. If I can confirm that these are the men I am looking for then something will be done to remember them by in the area where they died. Even if they are not 'my' guys something will be for them.

    Cheers,
     
  4. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    War Diary is sketchy:
    "Small pockets of resistance were encountered and patrols were frequently held up by mines and tree obstacles."

    I may have an account referring to it, but the names do not tally, sometimes memory issues - occasional deliberate changes.

    Welsh Spearhead is somewhere hear... but hiding. Also I can confirm that this incident does not crop up in my forthcoming 53rd Division through Normandy history as... it is just a few days on the wrong cut off side. Shall post once I've dug WS out.

    No Squadron WDs are known to exist.
     
  5. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    Just checked, there is no further info (of any use that I can see) in Welsh Spearhead regarding these casualties.

    It tends to be very good, but there are the odd exception.
     
  6. Nijmegen

    Nijmegen Member

    CWGC.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    3 Royal Tank Regiment?
     
  7. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    Nijmegen, I am not sure that they were around here at the time. Do you have any documentation to sugest they were? If so I wwould be interested to see them. If these guys that you mention were killed in the forest area along with the other three then I will have to add more names to the honours list. It is possible as I know that at the entrance to Lisors on the other side of the village if you like a Tank was destroyed by a mine, but I am not sure if it was a British or Canadian tank.
     
  8. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    Trooper ARTHUR DICK
    14566053
    "A” Sqn
    Who died age 19 on 30 August 1944 KIA
    Son of Alice Emma Dick, of Hull.
    LONDON CEMETERY AND EXTENSION, LONGUEVAL Plot 13. Row G. Grave 37.

    Trooper AUBREY VERDUN DREW
    5777408
    "A” Sqn
    Who died age 28 on 30 August 1944 KIA
    Son of Mary Ann Drew, of Elm, Cambridgeshire.
    LONDON CEMETERY AND EXTENSION, LONGUEVAL Plot 13. Row G. Grave 36.

    Corporal WALTER WARE
    4077788– Monmouthshire Regt
    Who died age 26 on 30 August 1944 KIA
    Son of Wilfred and Elsie Ware, of Llanhillith, Monmouthshire.
    LONDON CEMETERY AND EXTENSION, LONGUEVAL Plot 13. Row G. Grave 35.


    At 0400hrs the Regt with 340 (S.P.) A/Tk Bty under command moved out across the River Seine- the first vehicle crossing at 0600hrs. Our task was to pass through 15(S) Div to mop up an area measuring some 20 miles by 8 miles north of the river, and to the left of the Div main axis. Small pockets of enemy were encountered and patrols were frequently held up by mines and tree obstacles. By evening the Regt had advanced some eight miles, and the infantry were moving up to take over. Harboured at night near Lyons la Foret.

    Cas: Cpl Ware, Tpr Upton, Tpr Drew, Tpr Dick


     

    Attached Files:

  9. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    The two descriptiions of the vehicle involved in 'MY' killing are in one, it says a truck, the other a caterpillar tracked vehiicle. It is for this reason I am wondering if it was not a halftrack of some sort. Does anyone know if 53rd had anything of the sort?
     
  10. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    Apart from War Diaries, what other official documents can I check?
     
  11. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    Does anyone have the cause of death of Lawson, Oliiver and Remaine?
     
  12. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    They had both, there is no guarantee that it was infact those three men:
    Killed that day:
    Cpl W Ware
    Trooper SLG Upton
    Trooper A Dick
    Trooper AV Drew

    Wounded:
    Lieutenant KCY WIlson
    Trooper R Rice
    Sgt H Grime
    Trooper A Bowden
    L/Cpl R Jones
    Trooper DW Howells
    L/Cpl WE Clegg

    You really need to upload the letter explaining the detail of why the writer believed the first three were the casualties... currently too much to confirm/deny, no sense of certainty. All those vehicles were in use by 53 Recce and many other formations... very common sadly.
     
  13. Nijmegen

    Nijmegen Member

    On 29 August, the area was still in German hands, that is for sure.
     
  14. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    From 3 Royal Tank Regiments war diary
    [​IMG]
     
    Swiper likes this.
  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    The regiment lost 9 men and 6 tanks on the 29th August 1944

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Nijmegen

    Nijmegen Member

    And not Canadian or 3 RTR.

    On 1530 30 August 53 Recce HQ is west of the forest.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    I have been asked to publish copies of the documents that I have on the incident. For copyright reasons I can only show part of them. The one in English is at present held at the Archives in Invernessa as it was a letter writen to engineer James Richard Saige Sutherland who was in the Lovatt's Scouts Regiment during WWI. He got to know Huguette Verhague in 1918 and remained friend until his death in 1950. She is a celebrated member of the resistance here as she risked her life to save those of seven allied airmen (British, Canadian and American). If anyone is intereted we hold a ceremony of remembrance for her on the first Sunday in September in Lisors, every year. The exert writen in french says "30 (ish) mines have been layed on the Forestry roads joining the four townships, on the 29th August the last passage of the Germans, at the arrival of the allied troops a English Snowcat (tracked vehicle, presumably not tank like or else it would say char which is French for tank) exploded on one of those mines causing the death of three soldiers of the British army".

    Unfortunately, this is the only information that I have concerning the vehicle. My friend, the local chief of the ONF has nothing else as far as info is concerned although he is also trying to help me in this case. Madame Verhague unfortunately died in 1961 and no one knows if any of her relatives are alive. Her only child died soon after birthday. Her husband died during the war I believe in 1942 whilst they were out cycling.

    http://ww2talk.com/forums/uploads/gallery/album_928/gallery_60434_928_624188.png

    http://ww2talk.com/forums/uploads/gallery/album_928/gallery_60434_928_73889.jpg

    Sorry it all so vague!!!!
     
  18. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    Drew, thanks for the reports. Although I can rule them out for this incident. Thanks anyway mate!
     
  19. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    Nijmegen, that puts them very close to the scene of the killing. When you look at the map the Chappelle St Catheriine is just a little East of the lake that is just above and to the right of Lisors. It is only about 10 miles away. Thiis also another incident that took place which I mention in another thread on the same subject. On August 29th at the entrance to Saussay La Campagne there was an attack on a vehicle of the 15th Scottish Regiment. The crew were killed and are now buried in the churchyyard at Saussay La Campagne. They are Trooper Joseph Roebuck and William Charles Young.

    According to an eye witness who is still alive he saw the incident and says that there was a second vehicle involved which shot off in the direction of the forest. He later heard that the crew were killed. I have not been able to speak to this person but someone is trying to arrange a meeting with him. Apparently he helped bury our lads who were killed in Saussay La Campagne.

    http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead.aspx?cpage=1&sort=name&order=asc
     
  20. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    This is Huguette Verhague with her dog.

    [​IMG]
     

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