Welch fusiliers, casualty buried at Arromanches, what could have caused his death?

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by HarryClarke, May 16, 2020.

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  1. HarryClarke

    HarryClarke Active Member

    Seeking some understanding of what might have happened to a member of the Welch Fusiliers (other details unknown) who was initially buried at Arromanches during the [approximate] time-period 11th June 1944 - 2nd July 1944.
    I am not a military expert and I don't know how far casualties are moved after death, in order to bury them. (Presumably not very far?)
    Particularly: what were the Welch Fusiliers doing in June/very early July 1944 which could have resulted in a (probably isolated) casualty in the Arromanches area (or, I guess, in the sea), who became separated from the larger group of men?
    e.g. Were there any problems with disembarking, such that one or two men drowned? Or was there an attack close to shore which would have affected just a few men?
    All suggestions very welcome, many thanks, Harry
  2. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Welcome to the forum.

    It will greatly assist forum members to assist you if you post the details of the man you are interested in researching.



    You may want to search the 53rd Welsh Division sub forum.

    Forum member Swiper has an interest in that formation and may be able to assist you.

    Last edited: May 16, 2020
  3. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    Do you have anything more specific?
    Captain Schooley may be the chap you seek, as he's not shown as either Commando or a Battalion.
    There were 12 deaths between 6th June and 2nd July
    SCHOOLEY, REGINALD FREDERICK. Captain Service Number 129602. Died 08/06/1944. Aged 28
    Royal Welch Fusiliers attd. H.Q. 9th Inf. Bde.
    Son of Frederick Thomas Schooley and Josephine Francis Schooley; husband of Iris Dorothy Schooley, of Whyteleafe, Surrey.
    Buried at HERMANVILLE WAR CEMETERY. Plot 1. Row G. Grave 22.
    In case it's not, I attach the List of the 12.

    Hope that helps

    Attached Files:

  4. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Was he with the 7th Btn? Their arrival appears to have been very peaceful according to the W D
    "25th June – After a very calm crossing, the Battalion arrived at its destination – the coast of Normandy. At 1330 hours the fist men disembarked onto a pontoon at La Riviere near Ver Sur Mer (map ref 9285). After disembarking straight to Assembly Area near Creully. At about 2000 hours the Battalion was lifted by Troop Carrying Company, RASC to the Brigade Concentration area near Trungy (7771) – south of Bayeux. Hear the Battalion Advance Party under Captain J Davies put the Battalion into form. We are in rear of 50th Division who are fairly thin on the ground therefore we had to take a proper Battalion defensive position."
  5. HarryClarke

    HarryClarke Active Member

    Robert-w, many thanks for this, it's useful. I don't know yet which Btn but it's believed he was mortar crew; that's all I have at the moment. Sounds like the 7th didn't have much trouble at the beginning... however, if they did, would a casualty have been buried at Arromanches? I have a feeling that Ver had its own temporary cemetery (could be wrong).
  6. HarryClarke

    HarryClarke Active Member

    KevinBattle, I appreciate your help.
    I'm not able to open the file you kindly attach, however I'm guessing that these are all named men with known graves, or commemorations on a memorial? However I'm looking for some details to try and shine light on what happened to a man who was known to have gone to war but doesn't have a named grave. I'm pretty certain of the area of the army he was serving in at the time, which is why I'm asking about the RWF and their early movements in Normandy, around the area of Arromanches.
  7. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Can we have a name ?
    Do you know he was in the RWF or are you guessing ?
  8. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    How do you know he was buried at Arromanches if he doesn't have a named grave? Puzzled - I think it would help if instead of setting us a puzzle you told us the story.
  9. HarryClarke

    HarryClarke Active Member

    Tullybrone, Steve, many thanks for your welcome.
    I will approach Swiper as suggested.

    To clarify the request: I'm not looking for anyone whose death is currently commemorated. I'm a researcher who's piecing together evidence to try and find what happened to a man named RICHARDS who is believed to have belonged to the Welch Fusiliers but never came home.
    The likelihood is that he came to grief very early on, in the first week or two of being in Normandy '44 , and there are a couple of 'unknown' graves which may correspond to this lost person, given their dates and location. (Arromanches).
    That's why I'm focusing on the place, trying to find out who would have been buried there as a temporary measure, someone who was serving with a Welsh-related unit at the time.
    I hope that helps to explain.
  10. HarryClarke

    HarryClarke Active Member

    Hi, I'm a researcher (not related to the person being sought) and I've taken over a 'case' of a missing military man. I believe the original details came from personal testimony and are not a guess. The surname is RICHARDS and it's believed he was of Welsh origin.
  11. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    If he doesn't have a grave he'd still be commemorated on the Bayeux Memorial.
  12. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Presumably if his name is known his service record could be retrieved which would save a lot of this thrashing about
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  13. HarryClarke

    HarryClarke Active Member

    You'd hope so, however there are some holes in the records and unfortunately some people do disappear from view, sad to say. Harry
  14. HarryClarke

    HarryClarke Active Member

    Agreed! However to obtain service records you need a minimum amount of info, which is not available in this case. Hence the desire to understand what was happening to the Welch/Welsh in the specified area, during the stated time-frame. Harry
  15. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    If he enlisted he had a number ,that number would have to be accounted for ? The army do not lose their men . Perhaps he enlisted under an alias?
    The RWF enlistment books are online I believe?

  16. HarryClarke

    HarryClarke Active Member

    "The army do not lose their men". OK. But records do get mixed up and there are fallible, tired humans typing up the notes and they make all kinds of errors.
    An alias? Did that happen? If so, for what purpose might a man - who's enlisting -misrepresent his name? (Forgive my naivety, I'm not a Forces person and this area is new to me.) Harry
  17. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Yes definately happened for a variety of reasons . Errors did occur I know of one man who was declared died in 1940 and is still commemorated on the Dunkirk memorial yet died in the 1980`s something the CWGC accepted last year. Another with 5 statements of identity buried as an unknown but all recorded even in error ? As Owen said if he wasnt found he is on a memorial ...or he has a different name. The RWF enlistment books have 160 `Richards` listed . Three on the Bayeux Memorial none from Wales.

    RICHARDSPrivate3317795 GEORGE 11 July 1944Age 25BAYEUX MEMORIALPanel 17, Column 2. VIEW RECORDHighland Light Infantry (City of Glasgow Regiment)United Kingdom

    RICHARDSGuardsman2623171 JOHN NEVIL 18 July 1944Age 22BAYEUX MEMORIALPanel 12, Column 2. VIEW RECORDGrenadier GuardsUnited Kingdom

    RICHARDSGunner944698 STEPHEN DAVY 15 August 1944Age 25BAYEUX MEMORIALPanel 11, Column 2. VIEW RECORDRoyal ArtilleryUnited Kingdom

    Theres an officer casualty at rest at Banneville originally buried at Mondrainville (32 km from Arromanches_ KiA 30th June hes Welsh but not RWF
    Service Number 64041
    Died 30/06/1944
    Aged 36
    3rd Bn.
    Monmouthshire Regiment
    T D
    Son of Rhys Richards and of Kate Richards (nee Jones); husband of Dilys Maud Foster Richards (nee Davies), of Heath, Cardiff.

    Best of Luck

    Last edited: May 16, 2020
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  18. HarryClarke

    HarryClarke Active Member

    Thanks a lot Kyle, every clue helps.
    How do I get to see those 160 Richards in the RWF enlistment books? Are they available online?
  19. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

  20. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Anyone who was in Welch Fusiliers, would be on their nominal roll and they wouldn't get paid unless their name was on an acquittance (pay) roll - usually prepared on a Company level. Both were used to identify those who were subsequently declared missing in action for any length of time in theatre of war. These men would be listed in Casualty lists and Missing Personnel files.

    Below are details for Missing Personnel file for RWF in NWE. It will show names and eventual outcome of enquiries, listing those subsequently found to be POW, KIA, DOW, etc. and may include witness statements, reports, appeals for information, even copies of acquittance rolls.

    North West Europe: Royal Welch Fusiliers; missing personnel | The National Archives
    Reference: WO 361/611
    North West Europe: Royal Welch Fusiliers; missing personnel
    Date: 1944 Aug 01 - 1945 Jul 31

    There are likely as many reasons as there are people who used an Alias. Quite remarkable how many identified cases there are on CWGC. Who knows how many survivors weren't ever discovered.
    John Kenneally VC was one who changed his name - he deserted HAC and re-enlisted with Irish Guards, using borrowed ID.

    I've read of at least one case where a man returned to UK for demob but did not return home. It might help if you were at liberty to explain why it's believed this man is a casualty, with no known grave but not on a Memorial? Presumably, it's been ruled out that he survived but did not return home?

    According to Casualty Branch, by August 1946 for the NWE theatre, there were only 4 missing men whose fates were yet to be determined. (No idea of their identity but there were explanations in Cas. Br. files that some parents or widows did not want their loved ones officially declared dead. There were also cases of family hardship resulting from lack of evidence.)
    WW2. Remarkable Statistics.
    Last edited: May 16, 2020
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