Was my grandad really one of the first into Belsen?

Discussion in 'The Holocaust' started by Steve hiscox, Feb 1, 2020.

  1. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    For all who have contributed to this thread, and prompted by the previous posts of JDKR and Tim(uk) here’s some more stuff I’ve retrieved (from the loft-residing old storage boxes) over the last couple of days.

    First up is an extract from a personal memoir of (the late) Major Freddie Oakes. In 1945 he was a Lance Corporal signaller in 2 SAS on Operation Archway. It shows that other chaps at least had the opportunity to have been at Bergen-Belsen from the outset of discovery.
    And for me, on revisiting this, I think what Tim has said above is highly likely. Given that Doc Patterson had his hands mightily full, he may only have gone to the main camp if his medical skills could have been spared from the poor souls he was already having to deal with.

    Second up below is a stark extract from the Operation Archway signals log, followed thirdly by a Chester Wilmot report from “BBC War Report” (1946 edition). It concurs with what Tim(uk) said regarding what Doc Patterson and the other SAS chaps found on entering Celle.
    Gracious thanks to Tim for putting me back on the right road regarding this.

    Fourth up, and as per JDKR earlier post above, extract from the “Liberation” chapter of “SAS Rougue Heroes” by Ben Macintyre (published 2016) regarding who may have been first in to Bergen-Belsen. Many thanks to JDKR for his memory jogging post.

    Fifthly (finally), more of Richard Dimbleby’s reporting regarding Bergen-Belsen, from “BBC War Report” (again, sourced from the 1946 edition)

    It is sobering stuff.

    Kind regards, always,


    Freddie Oakes 2 SAS signaller.jpg

    Archway 103 radio log extract 1.jpg

    BBC War Report Chester Wilmot 1.jpg

    BBC War Report Chester Wilmot 2.jpg

    BBC War Report Chester Wilmot 3.jpg

    BBC War Report Chester Wilmot 4.jpg

    Rogue Heroes Liberation extract 1.jpg
    Rogue Heroes Liberation extract 2.jpg

    Rogue Heroes Liberation extract 3.jpg

    Rogue Heroes Liberation extract 4.jpg

    BBC War Report Richard Dimbleby 1.jpg

    BBC War Report Richard Dimbleby 2.jpg
    PsyWar.Org, Harry Ree and timuk like this.
  2. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Thanks Jim, all very interesting.

  3. Steve hiscox

    Steve hiscox Member

    I seem to remember he fell from a second story window an broke his nose
  4. Steve hiscox

    Steve hiscox Member

    Thankyou for posting those..really Interesting..
    Cant see if hes in the photo as really grainy when enlarged but will keep checking it.
    The big question is, was he attached to the royal artillery that entered and how do i find out ?
  5. Steve hiscox

    Steve hiscox Member

    Damion thanks once again..I have posted some of the relevant service papers and it says he did transfer to the Royal Artillery..my father said he was a range finder. It's just trying to work out if he was there at belsen at the beginning of the liberation.
  6. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    I see that you have posted some of your grandfather's Service Records - is this all you have? What you really need is his Form B103 (if you search elsewhere on this Forum you can see what this Form looks like). This will give you the Regiment he was serving in and probably even the Battery. If you haven't got the B103 I would contact the MoD to see if they have it.
    Request records of deceased service personnel

    CL1 likes this.
  7. CL1

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

    Steve the records you have posted do show detail but nothing to suggest his reg in 45
    I am not very good at reading records i hasten to add so other members could possibly decipher more.

    You are currently going around in circles

    As stated here most of the British army when they arrived home said they passed through Belsen.

    I do not want to appear dismissive but re apply for his service records something else might be added to the papers.
    Also stamped on the originals is the 7th Survey reg you might want to ask either Andy or Lee to obtain copies of the war diaries from Kew at a reasonable rate

    Also you mentioned a map did you manage to track it down

    timuk likes this.
  8. Steve hiscox

    Steve hiscox Member

    Thanks Tim and Clive
    All your advice really is appreciated. I'll get all the paperwork out and double check for that form.
    And yes the glorified stories that become family history are exactly what I want to avoid.im only interested in the facts.
    What I pass onto my grandchildren I want to be as close to the truth as is possible.
    I'll be back...
    timuk likes this.
  9. Steve hiscox

    Steve hiscox Member

    Oh and I'm waiting for my father to send a photocopy of the map/s
    When here I'll post them.
  10. Steve hiscox

    Steve hiscox Member

    Just looking quickly
    Service group: 24thR.A. Try. Regt.
    Another listing of RA survey wing
    7th survey regt. R.A.
  11. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

  12. Had a little play around today, possible ID in the photo but I will leave it up to everyone else to decide.


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  13. Steve hiscox

    Steve hiscox Member

    I was thinking the same...just couldn't make my mind up..
  14. Steve hiscox

    Steve hiscox Member

    I used to know a ww1 battlefield guide who had the software to match distinguishing features
    I'll see if I can ask a favour
  15. CL1

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

    Steve you really need to send off for his records as suggested as soon as possible
  16. Steve hiscox

    Steve hiscox Member

    Appreciate your efforts guys.
    Sorry that sounded a bit pretentious, 'I was thinking the same' but I scanned the picture this morning and he jumped out and another man back row I think but I sho
  17. Steve hiscox

    Steve hiscox Member

    It seems I have his records . My dad ordered them and gave them to me. Shall I post the last couple of pages?
    I've not posted them as it doesn't seem to give any more info.
  18. CL1

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

  19. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    I would, there may be something we can spot but it's really the B103 you need.

  20. Steve hiscox

    Steve hiscox Member

    Here they are

    Attached Files:

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