The Essex Regiment 1929-1950 History

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by AussieNipper, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Found a nice pre-war image here:

    2nd Battalion, The Essex Regiment
    "After seventeen and a half years continuous service abroad members of the 2nd Battalion, Essex Regiment, received a ceremonial welcome by the Lord Lieutenant of Essex when they arrived home at Warley Barracks, Brentwood... The Battalion has been in Malta, India, Egypt and Sudan." - This photo appeared in the 27 February, 1937 issue of The Sphere.

    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
  2. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

  3. EmmaH

    EmmaH Junior Member

    Colonel Newman also served with the 85th Field Regiment RA which was raised in Essex prior to the inauguration of the Independent Companies, which later became the Commandos
  4. EmmaH

    EmmaH Junior Member

    I am interested in any references to the 85th Field Regiment RA which was raised in Essex from a territorial unit and later converted to 85th Mountain Regiment RA, training in Lebanon before heading to Italy. 85th came under the umbrella of both 4th and 10th Indian Division, providing Mountain Artillery cover as and when required. With a letter of commendation from Major Gen Reid (10th Indian), they were highly thought of, however, are proving very difficult to research. Any references would be gratefully received
  5. idler

    idler GeneralList

    There is a book called Farewell Screw Gun by Wilf Goldstein, but it's a memoir rather than a unit history.
  6. EmmaH

    EmmaH Junior Member

    Many thanks, I have poured over this book for hours and also the unofficial war diaries of 337, 338 and 461 batteries.......they are a very poorly documented regiment. Even the war diaries at Kew are very scant by comparison to others
  7. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Spotted this nice little scrap of ephemera online:

    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
  8. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Am just this moment trying to find out more about the 19th Essex. It seems that the battalion was raised in Egypt by scouring the hospitals and aid posts for men WIA during the heavy fighting of 1942-43. Interestingly, a good number of the men (and officers) from this unit found themselves transferred to the Raiding Support Regiment, a unit tasked with providing heavy weapons support for the for Raiding Forces (1st SAS Regt). It was established in Palestine on 26th October 1943 and operated in Greece and then the Adriatic.

    With a tip of the hat to Skip of this parish.

    Edit: Anybody seen these?

    Reference: WO 169/10210
    Description: 19 Essex Regiment
    Date: 1943 Mar.- Dec.

    Reference: WO 169/16284
    Description: 19 Essex Regiment
    Date: 1944 Jan.- Aug

    Edit 2: The Official History has a mere two and a half pages, but they're interesting--will upload when time allows. Can anybody add more?
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
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  9. IKE26

    IKE26 Active Member

    Hi Nipper

    Can I have infos about 1/5th in the Battle of Sangro (nov.-dec. 1943) ?
  10. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    By chance, I already have the 1/5th Essex section scanned (43 pages). If you message me an email address, I will forward it to you.
    IKE26 likes this.
  11. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    As an addendum to the 2/5th Essex account of being overrun at Deir el Shein on 1/7/42 [See pages attached to quoted post, but pages are missing], I offer this vignette from WO 169/4006: XIII Corps (G Branch) June to August 1942. The 2/5th Essex's own diaries stop at the end of May and presumably were taken or destroyed when they went into the bag.

    That last sentence is positively poetic.

  12. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    More random ephemera:

  13. scott gandy

    scott gandy New Member

    Hi Nipper / Charley Fortnum,
    I am trying to piece together my Grandfathers involvement and would really like any information regarding the 5th Essex (1 /5th) during WW2.
    My Grandfathers name was Reginald Arthur Ardley, from Dunmow in Essex - he joined the TA in 1937 aged 17 at the rank of 'Boy', was called up for full service at the outbreak of the war. I understand he spent approx 6 months in Egypt (1941), 18 months in Iraq (41-43), 6 months Palistine (43), 4 months Syria (43-44), 10 months Italy 44-45, 7 months NWE - France & Germany (45) and was promoted at some point to the rank of CSM (Army No.6012330).
    I have copies of the documents from his service files, and I also have various letters photo's etc (which may be of interest to others - was going to try and post some on here if that is appropriate), but would would really like more detail on the regiments movements, battles, locations etc. that he may have been involved in (maybe a copy of the relevant 43 pages from 'The Essex Regiment 1929-1950 by Colonel T.A. Martin' if possible).
    Many thanks, Scott.
  14. IKE26

    IKE26 Active Member

    Hi guys

    does anyone have any idea who can have the all the material (letters, diaries, etc..) used by the colonel A.T. Martin to write the book?

    I have war diary of 5th Essex (1943 and part of 1944) but it has very short infos :-(
  15. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    The Essex Regiment Museum, I would suppose, but I've never had a chance to go there. Bear in mind that the regimental history was penned in the 50s, so much of it would have been word-of-mouth and then checking for dates in the diaries. For 1/4th Essex, for instance, the war diaries actually include a couple of handwritten drafts of parts of the history, but there are no great revelations.

    I presume you are interested in 1/5th Essex? For more paperwork, you can always go fishing in the higher formations: 1/5th were with 161st Infantry Brigade for a while and then later the 17th (Indian) Infantry Brigade (when with 8th Infantry Division). Some of the brigade diaries really are excellent; others a waste of paper--it depends on the staff.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
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  16. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    The following image popped up on Twitter. It's easy to project your own whimsy on a photograph, but the look in this man's eyes suggests that he's the type looking for a break out.

    Private Joseph Harper, 2/5 Essex Regiment, photo taken at Italian POW camp 23 January 1943. Captured at Deir-El-Shein (First El Alamein) July 1942. Escaped POW camp September 1943.


    David Bober on Twitter
  17. westwired

    westwired Junior Member

    Hi Charley,

    My Grandad served with the 5th Essex, I believe he was wounded in action 23/12/1943 in Italy. I am trying to piece together where he was and what he was doing. I would be really grateful if you could e-mail me the pages you mentioned above. My e-mail address is xxx xxxx

    Many thanks,

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2019
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  18. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Hi Richard,

    just some polite advise, its not wise to advertise your e-mail address ( its not the done thing) on the forum. I'm sure Charley would of contacted you! It may wise be to edit your post & remove it .

    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
  19. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles


    Always happy to help, but Stu's right--you'll likely attract spambots who will send you junk mail.

    I've noted your email address and will write to you this evening (after work) with the pages you need.

    Have you applied for your Grandfather's service records yet?
  20. westwired

    westwired Junior Member

    Thanks for the edit on the post. I've not applied my Grandfather's service records yet, as I think my father or his elder brother probably have to do that, as they are the immediate next of kin, however, I could be wrong in that.

    I know that my Grandfather was initially in the OBLI (Ox and Bucks Light Infantry), however, he was then transferred into the 5th Essex.

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