Those who served in both World Wars

Discussion in 'Historiography' started by skywalker, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. skywalker

    skywalker Junior Member

    Although its quite obvious that 23 years seperate the Two World Wars I dont think people realise just close these wars too one another, 2 generations of Europeans in some cases were nearly wiped out. Father and then Son.

    That would be like another World War erupting in 1987 then another one erupting in 2010.

    So how many WW1 Vets fought in WW2 and are there any famous ones, other than generals such as Rommel etc etc i cant recall any.

    If you fought the last year of WW1 as a 17 year old in the Kaisers army you would have been 40 when WWII commenced, even in 1943 there would have been many WW1 vets under 50-many 44/45 year olds.

    I realise many Vets of WW1 of the Western Allies would not have fought in WW2 but there would no doubt have been quite a substantial amount used by the Germans and Russians.

    To the WWII Vets. Did your Fathers give you any advice before you embarked to fight the Germans ?
     
  2. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Following the threads on this forum is rather like waiting for the proverbial No.8 Bus.

    You wait for years without anyone mentioning a subject and then an almost identical thread pops up immediately !

    Only the other day, someone raised this thread and I wrote my little piece here:
    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/historiography/23812-studying-ww1-versus-ww2.html

    Today's thread reminded me that when I attended my first AJEX Annual Commemoration Parade in November 1947, at which there were at least 12,000 ex-service man & women marching, I would estimate that there would have been at least 2,000 WW1 veterans taking part.

    Ex-Servicemen from WW1 marched under their own British Legion banners, each contingent having its own band and I can remember seeing my wife's uncles proudly taking part ,
     
  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I knew a Canadian chap, Roy Henley, was at Vimy aged 15, wounded at Cambrai aged 16 in 1918.
    Transfered from Royal Canadian Hussars into 42nd Bn CEF.
    Then wounded again in Normandy in 1944 when he was a WO I , i/c maintenance, in 4th Cdn Armd Div.
     
  4. James Daly

    James Daly Senior Member

    My research into Portsmouth's WW2 suggests that there were quite a few WW1 vets who served in 1939-1947.

    In the RN especially it seems that a lot of older ratings had been around in WW1, and also I suspect that a lot of older servicemen were recalled to act as instructors in depots and the like. There do seem to have been high death rates for these men - many of them were in their 40's, 50's and 60's, so I'm wondering if this was down to natural causes such as cancer, heart disease etc. Also could wartime privations such as rationing might have had an effect? I'm thinking out loud here...
     
  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    The Royal Hampshire Regiment 1918-1954 by David Scott Daniel it says on page 185,

    It was about this time that the 1/4th lost a great character in Lance-Corporal Mitchell, MM.
    He was fifity years old -he had won his MM in 1917-and he had become a kind of battalion institution. To his own and everyone else's disgust , he had to be relegated to a Base Depot under an order forbidding men over forty to remain with battalions.

    That was in August 1944.
     
  6. CROONAERT

    CROONAERT Ipsissimus

    The only 1940 memorial scroll that I ever owned was to a guy who fought one war too many...CWGC :: Casualty Details

    T/63055 Pte.Joseph Heath Sherlock, ASC went down on the Lancastria. His medal entitlement was British War Medal, Victory medal, 39-45 star and 39-45 War Medal. (Formerly served as 44467 in the Loyal North Lancs before transferring to the Royal Engineers (612005))
     
  7. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    So how many WW1 Vets fought in WW2 and are there any famous ones, other than generals such as Rommel etc etc i cant recall any.


    Possibly more famous in the eyes of Australians however Monty sure admired him.

    Sir Leslie Morshead (Ming the Merciless to his men) who was the officer in charge of the defence of Tobruk and just a little smarter than Rommel. Defeated Rommels Blitzkrieg tactics and denied The Afrika Corps for eight months. He also commanded the 9th Australian division at El Alamein.

    Morshead served under the great Australian General Sir John Monash in the first War.
     
  8. beeza

    beeza Senior Member

    My wifes great uncle did two tours in the Boer war as a member of the Western Australian mounted infantry, joined the 10th light horse early in the Great War, transferred to the RFA then the RFC as a Lieut (O) and then had the hide to try and join the South African Airforce (he migrated to SA after GW) at the age of nearly 60.
    Got in too and ended up as a Captain in the SA air Force as a base commander.
    David
     
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  9. At Home Dad (Returning)

    At Home Dad (Returning) Well-Known Member

    One of 'my' 13th Essex 'Hammers' chaps served in the Boer War (Royal Navy Petty Officer), then in Ww1 he was an 'Original' with 13th Essex (he was CSM).

    After Ww1, he joined the Imperial War Graves Commission and was in France until 1922 working on Graves Registration. He then emigrated to Australia and on 25th October 1940 he shaved 10 years off his dob and signed up for Ww2 in Ascot, Australia, at the grand old age of 65. He was declared unfit due to age in 1943.
     
  10. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    From info supplied by Museum :
    Although a Lancashire man, Private Robert Scott died in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland on February 22, 1961 aged 86. His medals, also in the Museum of the Manchesters, are Victoria Cross, Queen’s South Africa Medal clasps, Elandslaagt, Defence of Ladysmith and Belfast, King’s South Africa clasps South Africa 1902 and 1902, 1939-45 War Medal, 1937 Coronation Medal, 1953 Coronation Medal, Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (GV) and Meritorious Service Medal (GV).

    The surprise here is that Scott earned a 1939-45 War Medal but no World War I medals.

    Despite being 62 on the outbreak of World War II he volunteered and was accepted for service in the Royal Air Force where he worked for some time in the security capacity.
     
  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Field Marshal John Standish Surtees Prendergast Vereker, 6th Viscount Gort VC, GCB, CBE, DSO & Two Bars, MVO, MC springs to mind. Oh he also got eight MiD's too.
     
  12. James Daly

    James Daly Senior Member

    Monty was seriously wounded early on in WW1, and Slim at Galipoli.

    Frederick 'Boy' Browning seems to have distinguished himself with the Grenadier Guards in WW1, winning the DSO as a Lieutenant - am I right in thinking that the DSO was quite rare for subalterns, so this might suggest that he wasnt far off a VC?

    Also Brian Horrocks was captured in October 1914 and held as a POW for 4 years.
     
  13. roodymiller

    roodymiller Senior Member

    MAJOR WILLIAM ORANMORE COPLAND, DSO. (Colonel Newman's second-in-command)
    Under intense fire and very difficult conditions, the disembarkation (from HMS Campbeltown) was completed in very rapid time under his personal direction. Many of the Commando force were wounded, some very seriously, and Major Copland, showing complete disregard for his personal safety, effected the evacuation of the more seriously wounded on to the light naval craft, and by doing so expedited the whole disembarkation. During the fighting and demolition work on shore Major Copland was again outstanding in his efforts to overcome the enemy. When the work of the destruction was complete and the escape from the port proved to be an impossibility, as the Royal Navy craft had been sunk or had been forced to withdraw owing to heavy fire from enemy gun emplacements, Major Copland played a major part in reorganising the force and breaking out into the town. He was conspicuous throughout the entire fighting and his leadership was instrumental in the destruction of many of the enemy and his equipment. Major Copland, throughout this action, proved by his leadership, courage and disregard for danger, to be a great example to all. ('Major Bill', as he was known, was forty-four years old and had been gassed at Passchendaele in the previous war. In sole charge of the Commando parties carried on board Campbeltown, his skillful choreographing of the disembarkation under heavy point blank fire set the stage for success on and around the 'Normandie' dock.)
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Kieron Hill

    Kieron Hill Senior Member

    Not famous but my Grandad served in the Royal Marines
    in WW1 & WW2, WW2 serving onboard armed merchant
    ships (DEMS). He also served in Turkey when they had
    their little uprising, which I think was in the the 1920's
     
  15. Mushin

    Mushin Junior Member

    Bloke called "Father McGann" in Kew Melbourne Australia. Fought in WW 1 over there and then put his age down come WW 11 along with his mates. Half-way across the Indian ocean they put their WW 1 campaign ribbons up..they couldn't be sent home. We were sort of short of weaponry but the blokes all drilled with broom sticks. Father McGann had the misfortune to be captured and interned. On his returned to Australia and his wife and six children he ran the local amateur foot ball club and became a Father to the lads who came to the big city looking for work. He taught them fair play, how to conduct a meeting and how to conduct oneself at a meeting and also trained them in conversation. His wife sat three hugs tables for Xmas dinner and washed the footy jumpers for five teams every week. His family had been supported during his internment by locals and he spent his life helping others.
     
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  16. At Home Dad (Returning)

    At Home Dad (Returning) Well-Known Member

    Also worth pointing out that when you look at many of the old British propoganda documentaries from Ww2 you'll often see the older chaps (policemen, firewatchers etc) wearing their Silver War Badge 'for services rendered'
     
  17. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Name:WYBORN, WILLIAM FRANK GEORGE
    Initials:W F G
    Nationality:United Kingdom
    Rank:Lieutenant
    Regiment/Service:Royal Army Pay Corps
    Age:44
    Date of Death:23/12/1940
    Service No:122971
    Additional information: Also served as 2/Lt. in the Queen Regt. in the 1914-18 War.Casualty Type:Commonwealth War Dead
     
  18. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    Bloke called "Father McGann" in Kew Melbourne Australia. Fought in WW 1 over there and then put his age down come WW 11 along with his mates. Half-way across the Indian ocean they put their WW 1 campaign ribbons up..they couldn't be sent home. We were sort of short of weaponry but the blokes all drilled with broom sticks. Father McGann had the misfortune to be captured and interned. On his returned to Australia and his wife and six children he ran the local amateur foot ball club and became a Father to the lads who came to the big city looking for work. He taught them fair play, how to conduct a meeting and how to conduct oneself at a meeting and also trained them in conversation. His wife sat three hugs tables for Xmas dinner and washed the footy jumpers for five teams every week. His family had been supported during his internment by locals and he spent his life helping others.

    Welcome Mushin,

    Great story! - I am from Ivanhoe. My brothers used to play against a Kew club at that horrible ground on the corner of Burke and Harp Roads.

    I played against them in the late 60's and early 70's at I think Hislop reserve? off Balwyn road.

    Was he POW with the 8th in Singapore or another division in the Middle East. Do you know what division he was with?

    Cheers

    Geoff
     
  19. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Using Geoff's SE with 1914-18 in additional info and UK alone, 403 results were shown for those who had served in the Great War and who died during WW2.
    Just clicking at random on the lists, although some were buried abroad, a good proportion are actually commemorated 'at Home'
     
  20. James Daly

    James Daly Senior Member

    Using Geoff's SE with 1914-18 in additional info and UK alone, 403 results were shown for those who had served in the Great War and who died during WW2.
    Just clicking at random on the lists, although some were buried abroad, a good proportion are actually commemorated 'at Home'

    I suspect that many of them were recalled on the outbreak of war to serve as instructors or administrators. Although in the RN I've found that there were a lot of older ratings, as the length of service was traditionally a lot longer in the Navy anyway so it was not unusual to find Chiefs, Warrant Officers etc in their 40s and 50s. Most of their Records are available on Documents Online.

    A few interesting stories I've found:

    Lieutenant Frederick James Wood
    HMAS Cerberus II
    D.O.D. 16 January 1941
    Age 48, from Southsea
    Portsmouth Naval Memorial

    Lieutenant Wood was awarded the Royal Humane Society's Bronze Medal in 1917. At 11.30 a.m. on the 20th November, 1916, a man fell overboard from his vessel in the Estuary of the Thames, the sea being choppy and the vessel going 12 knots. Frederick J. Wood, Petty Officer, and C.R. Walker at once jumped after him and kept him afloat till they were picked up. I thought that 48 was old for a Lieutenant!

    Colour Sergeant Frederick Bird
    Royal Marines (Eastney)
    D.O.D. 25 October 1943
    Age 62, from Eastney
    Highland Road Cemetery, Portsmouth

    According to his service record Bird was originally from Wandsworth in South London. He enlisted in the RM Artillery in 1898 when he was 17, and spent most of his service onboard ship. He saw action at the Battle of the Falkland Islands in 1914, in the Dardanelles in 1915 and at Jutland in 1916, all onboard HMS Inflexible. He was awarded the Russian Cross of St George for his service at Jutland. He was discharged to the RM Reserve in 1922, and then discharged completely in 1930. In 1939 he was recalled as a drill instructor.
     

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