Tpr Howells 49 Recce

Discussion in 'Recce' started by outlawcatcher, Oct 6, 2018.

  1. outlawcatcher

    outlawcatcher Member

    Hi all, I am trying to find out where my uncle died in the 49th Recce. David John Howells, a trooper, he died on the 25th September. The family believes he was killed on the Albert canal somewhere. Anybody got any ideas??
     
  2. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    The war diary pages for 49 Recce does not mention any specific deaths for other ranks, but this unit was poor at recording casualties during the advance into Northern Belgium. A had a Belgian contact that I've met several times and I'll send him a message to see if anything comes up.

    Photo of the war diary page for 25 September 1944:- (They advanced across the Albert Canal, but exactly where I don't know)

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    Photos of the CWG cemetery at Geel. (I took these photos in 2009)

    HOWELLS, D.J.JPG

    GEEL WAR CEMETERY (Large).JPG

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  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Have you checked out the grave concentration report to help see where he died??

    [​IMG]

    I havent done the map reference bit as I'm noy very good with those
    TD

    [​IMG]

    Casualty

    Had a go at finding the cordinates and my results are:
    Latitude : 51° 20' 50'' N
    Longitude : 4° 47' 15'' E

    Latitude : 51.34732°
    Longitude : 4.78752°
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
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  4. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    How spooky is that. I checked the original coordinates for the burial place for Trooper Howells before he was moved to Geel War Cemetery. He was buried around two miles south-east of Rijkevorsel, Northern Belgium.

    My Dad's regiment were temporarily converted into Infantry (17 - 30 October 1944) as they finally captured this area and moved across the exact ground and area which Trooper Howells was temporarily buried. The map references from his unit war diary overlap.

    I am hoping my contact, who lives in Hoogstaten a few miles north will find out more. He is so passionate about this area and if anyone can come up with more details, he's the man.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
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  5. Richard Lewis

    Richard Lewis Member

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  6. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    At 0001 hrs, the 4th Battalion, The Lincolnshire Regiment prepared to assault and cross the Turnhout canal. They did so successfully at 0400 hrs. A bailey bridge (named PLUMBRIDGE) was erected by 0600 hrs, close to a brickworks. 4 Lincolns troops along with Reconnaissance Troops advanced North, West and East of the town of Rijkevorsel.

    (The 4 Lincolns war diary is attached:)

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    (View from the South, the brickworks (SAS) are still visible, although no longer in use). The Plumbridge memorial is located below the circular building and to the left.

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    Taken in October 1944 of Plumbridge. Copies of these are held by the archives at Rijkevorsel.

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    Photos of the bridge today:-

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    Trooper Howells died that day (25/9/1944) and was buried close to Rijkevorsel. The Hallams and the Leicesters only captured the strongpoint of the Depot of Mendicitie on the 29/9/1944, showing how difficult it was dislodge the enemy.

    BHC 001284 Brecht Lierre 24 & 43 - Copy (Large).jpg

    Plumbridge is still celebrated and commemorated by the town of Rijkevorsel.

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    I was honored to be part of those events in 2009. Trooper Joe Hoadley of 49 Recce (middle) was able to be part of those events.

    IMG_6256-L.jpg

    These commemorations will continue to take place in the last weekend in September.

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    Taken in 2017

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    Last edited: Dec 23, 2018
  7. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    War Diary of 49 Recce attached, showing A, B and C Squadron advancing alongside with 4 Lincolns. It is not possible to say which troop Trooper Howells is a member, unless they obtain a copy of his Service record. I hope his family is able to see the larger picture and where Trooper Howells host his life.

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    From 29 September 1944, other units of 49 Division advanced to the west & north, the 1st Polish Armoured Division went East and North. Due to extensive mines sewn by the Germans, no one was able to advance due to shortage of manpower. My Dad's regiment was converted into Infantry on 15 October 1944. They were used to fill that shortage. 49 Division advanced along with 1st Polish Armoured Division were also advance into Holland.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
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  8. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    A link to Camp Plumbridge commemorations in 2017 (thanks to Bart Hysmans). I hope this gives an idea how caring the people of Rijkevorsel about the sacrifice of the men who helped liberat their town.

    Camp Plumbridge 2017 Herdenking - Bart Huysmans
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
  9. outlawcatcher

    outlawcatcher Member

    I’m gobsmacked with this information. I will have to visit Rijkevosel if that is where my uncle died (Tpr David John Howells)
     
  10. Minnie

    Minnie New Member

    Hi all, I am the great niece of Corporal Arthur Richard Saunders 49th Recce Regt. He was killed on 2nd April 1945 in Druten Holland and is buried in Puiflijk cemetery. I was hoping that someone might have a copy of the war diary relating to that date. We have an account of that fatal night from family that owned the farm where he was killed but I would be interested to see the official report.
    Many thanks
     
  11. outlawcatcher

    outlawcatcher Member

    Hi Minnie, my unclemust have known your great uncle. Did he join 49 recce in Porthcawl? As far as a war diary is concerned write to Ramcal above. He can supply it....

    David
     
  12. outlawcatcher

    outlawcatcher Member

    To other contributors...
    Can you help me as to the course of the battle my uncle was involved in?
    He crossed over the canal on plum bridge on the 25th where I believe he was killed by machine gun fire shortly ie a few others after.
    I believe the whole regret crossed over that day in the infantry role supporting 4 Lincolnshire regiment.
    They then were pinned down for a further three days (with 49 recce?) before they broke out via the SAS brickworks where a VC was won.
    Apparently during those 3-4 days both regiments were surrounded on three sides with just the canal to their backs. Due to heavy shelling and mortar fire their only supply route was a footbridge.
    I am trying to get an overall picture of the battle. Am I on the right track?

    David
     
  13. outlawcatcher

    outlawcatcher Member

    To other contributors...
    Can you help me as to the course of the battle my uncle was involved in?
    He crossed over the canal on plum ridge on the 25th where I believe he was killed by machine gun fire shortly ie a few others after.
    I believe the whole regret crossed over that day in the infantry role supporting 4 Lincolnshire regiment.
    They then were pinned down for a further three days (with 49 recce?) before they broke out via the SAS brickworks where a VC was won by
     
  14. outlawcatcher

    outlawcatcher Member

    Sorry for the double post above...can’t seem to be able to delete it!
     
  15. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    UK, Victoria Cross Medals, 1857-2007
    Name: John William Harper
    Birth Date: 6 Aug 1915
    Birth Place: Doncaster, Yorkshire
    Death Date: 29 Sep 1944
    Death Place: Antwerp, Belgium
    40104_258646-n1296.jpg

    TD
     
  16. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    My contact in Belgium (Hoogstraaten) has not responded yet. I have seen a photo from last year's Plumbridge memorial, so I know he is around and where he lives. I will also get in contact with some others I know.

    PS. I took a photo of him (Francis Huijbrechts) at the John Harper VC Memorial at Mendicitie with my Sister.

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    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
  17. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    Sorry I don't have a copy of the 1945 war diary for 49 Recce.
     
  18. cyrus

    cyrus Junior Member

    Hi ramacal, I just saw your map of bridgehead Rijkevorsel. It seems you marked the location of Plumbridge in the wrong spot. The bridge was laid across the lock in the location I marked here:
    Sint Jozef Rijkevorsel.jpg
     
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