World War 2 memoir - Bill Cheall's diary - Dunkirk, D-Day, North Africa, Sicily

Discussion in 'Books, Films, TV, Radio' started by paulcheall, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. paulcheall

    paulcheall Son of a Green Howard

    Anyone who wants to read my Dad's first hand account of the Dunkirk Beaches might like to go to Grim Determination - D-Day. I've just spent the last year editing his memoirs and it looks like I've just found a publisher. You can read the Dunkirk chapter at this link and also register for more info about publication when available next year. I apologise in advance if this posting is regarded as spamming the forum but there is quite a lot on the site, including all my Dad's war photos and a remembrance page for all his former comrades, some of whom died very bloody deaths. Thanks, Paul

    PS Members might find the web site of my Dad's war diary helpful in tracking old soldiers. It's a long shot but there are over 200 names mentioned, either in his memoir or his notebooks and diaries etc. Dad was in the Green Howards, East Yorks and East Lancs at different times during the war although he fought alongside a number of other regiments which are also listed. If you do see a name that means something to you, please do get in touch with me and I'll see what other information I have. I am especially keen to track people down to bring closure to their stories and have had some poignant results already through relatives emailing me.
     
  2. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    Paul - I moved this to its own thread as it was going to get lost in the other one.

    Good luck with the book - sounds interesting.
     
  3. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    Well done and good luck.
     
  4. paulcheall

    paulcheall Son of a Green Howard

    Thanks Paul - and thanks for placing the post in a more sensible position, Paul
    Paul - I moved this to its own thread as it was going to get lost in the other one.

    Good luck with the book - sounds interesting.
     
  5. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member

    Paul,
    I have sent you a message on your website. In all the Lady of Mann saved 2906 troops from Dunkirk. I can give you the numbers per voyage from BEF ships if you wish. I also have a IWM photograph of the Lady of Mann waiting to leave Brest with troops later in June of that year (Operation Aerial). I can't seem to attach it here, but if you send a message to my e-mail address I will send it to you.

    Roy
     
  6. paulcheall

    paulcheall Son of a Green Howard

    Thanks Roy - have updated the typos as per the email I sent you. This was super!
     
  7. paulcheall

    paulcheall Son of a Green Howard

    dbf likes this.
  8. jainso31

    jainso31 jainso31

    That will be interesting Paul ,but what service unit did he serve with and where please? You have indicated three regiments -can you say where each was?
     
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    6 Green Howards to start off with.
    He started off in B Company, 6th Battalion, The Green Howards, 69th Brigade, 23rd Division, 30 Corps, Territorial Army.
     
  10. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Moved thread to BOOKS, Films, TV & Radio section of the forum.

    Good luck with the book.
     
  11. paulcheall

    paulcheall Son of a Green Howard

    Thanks for that contribution Drew - quite right! It's funny but this question forced me to double check the details which is why it has taken me a while to reply (plus I went to the Gym!) and my what a mystery this has stoked up because I'm convinced Dad's official war record is wrong - you can see it at the bottom of this page.

    Here's the complete listing of what Dad did.

    (BEF) - B Company, 6th Battalion, The Green Howards, 69th Brigade, 23rd Division, 30 Corps, Territorial Army - 28/4/39/ - 19/12/42
    On Queen Mary en route to Egypt and transfer to Tunisia - East Yorks - 20/12/42 - 29/3/43. Dad was never actually allocated an East Yorks Battalion because by the time they were actually being allocated the Officer in Charge recognised him and transferred him back to the 6GH! Dad left some good pals behind, such as John Bousfield who was later killed at Wadi Akarit.
    (North Africa, Wadi akarit) - C Company, 6th Battalion, The Green Howards, 69th Brigade, 50 Divn - 30/3/43 - 30/4/45, incl Sicily and D-Day below.
    Sicily - C Company, 6th Battalion, The Green Howards, 69th Brigade, 50 Div
    D-Day - C Company, 6th Battalion, The Green Howards, 69th Brigade, 50 Div. Wounded near Villers Bocage 30 June 1945 and returned to England (yet his record card suggests he left the GH 30/4/45 which is incorrect. There is a great little anecdote about Dad being wounded here
    After rehabilitation, he was posted to Germany - 1st East Lancs - Hamburg, Oberhausen, Dussledorf, Duisburg - serving in the regimental police through to 23/3/46 on the record card, though he was demobbed on 8/1/46.
    Thanks very much for the question - I can set the record on the web site straight now.
    Incidentally, I'm sorry I have posted so many links back to the web site but it helps explain background. Also, I've spent many an hour creating the site and I feel it warrants being used as there is one hell of a lot of detail on it that is not in the book.
    All the best
    Paul
    That will be interesting Paul ,but what service unit did he serve with and where please? You have indicated three regiments -can you say where each was?
     
  12. paulcheall

    paulcheall Son of a Green Howard

    Thanks Owen!
    Paul
     
  13. paulcheall

    paulcheall Son of a Green Howard

    Dad was also in:

    England - Sept 41 - 20/12/42 - 11th Battalion The Green Howards. Various postings around England and Scotland - after Dunkirk he was held back from going abroad and did a lot of training and guarding. Click here for the full itinerary.
    Paul



    That will be interesting Paul ,but what service unit did he serve with and where please? You have indicated three regiments -can you say where each was?
     
  14. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    I want to let forum members know that my Dad's war diary is scheduled for release on 19 May. More info about his war is at Fighting Through - From Dunkirk to Hamburg - War Diary and autobiography of Bill Cheall - WW2, Dunkirk, D-Day diary. World War 1939-45, where you can read the first chapter located on the beaches at Dunkirk.
    The book is available with a pre-order discount at Amazon and is published by Pen and Sword.
    Paul

    Many thanks for flagging this Paul. I will be investing in your Dad's War Diary shortly!

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  15. paulcheall

    paulcheall Son of a Green Howard

    Thanks Steve - appreciated! I've just set up a blog here to keep track of any developments in tracking down Dad's comrades so you might be interested. It's early days with it and I have yet to load up the backgrounds to many of his comrades but am hoping for some significant discoveries. If you're a real afficionado you might like to see the news page with current state of play and some very poignant tales. I'm just drafting an article which I hope to get published in the press about Dad's British Band of Brothers and if it does then the blog will go crazy!
    Paul

    I want to let forum members know that my Dad's war diary is scheduled for release on 19 May. More info about his war is at Fighting Through - From Dunkirk to Hamburg - War Diary and autobiography of Bill Cheall - WW2, Dunkirk, D-Day diary. World War 1939-45, where you can read the first chapter located on the beaches at Dunkirk.
    The book is available with a pre-order discount at Amazon and is published by Pen and Sword.
    Paul
     
  16. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Thanks Steve - appreciated! I've just set up a blog here to keep track of any developments in tracking down Dad's comrades so you might be interested. It's early days with it and I have yet to load up the backgrounds to many of his comrades but am hoping for some significant discoveries. If you're a real afficionado you might like to see the news page with current state of play and some very poignant tales. I'm just drafting an article which I hope to get published in the press about Dad's British Band of Brothers and if it does then the blog will go crazy!
    Paul

    Hello Paul,

    I did look at the link you posted a while back and I will be sure to keep revisiting. Could you please give us (me a PM) a 'heads-up' when the article is to be published and in which written media?!

    Many thanks,

    Steve.
     
  17. paulcheall

    paulcheall Son of a Green Howard

    Hi Steve - yes will certainly do that. I may well publish it on the site aswell - in fact will probably notify it via the blog so if you would care to register on the blog you can be guaranteed I won't forget! Inded you will probably be the first to register [​IMG]

    Incidentally, at the moment I'm reading a book I got on Monty's diaries and letters and it's really interesting. It's "Montgomery and the Eighth Army Edited by Stephen Brooks and published by The Army Records Society. It's interesting because things that Dad mentioned in his memoirs rng true with what Monty was saying -basically that once he got to Africa things changed in the army. I realise now it was all down to Monty being in charge!
    Paul



    Hello Paul,

    I did look at the link you posted a while back and I will be sure to keep revisiting. Could you please give us (me a PM) a 'heads-up' when the article is to be published and in which written media?!

    Many thanks,

    Steve.
     
  18. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hi Steve - yes will certainly do that. I may well publish it on the site aswell - in fact will probably notify it via the blog so if you would care to register on the blog you can be guaranteed I won't forget! Inded you will probably be the first to register [​IMG]

    Incidentally, at the moment I'm reading a book I got on Monty's diaries and letters and it's really interesting. It's "Montgomery and the Eighth Army Edited by Stephen Brooks and published by The Army Records Society. It's interesting because things that Dad mentioned in his memoirs rng true with what Monty was saying -basically that once he got to Africa things changed in the army. I realise now it was all down to Monty being in charge!
    Paul

    Hello Paul,

    I have just registered on your blog and look forward to delving into the members only site; don't know why I didn't do it first time around?! I'll let you know how I get on in due course.

    I've read quite alot about Monty, but not the book you mention. He only got Command of the 8th Army because 'Strafer' Gott who was to take command was killed in an air incident; and if I remember rightly the aeroplane taking him to his new Command was shot down. Monty stopped some of the tactical nonesense that had gone before; British tanks 'chasing the fox' for example and put in place away of fighting that suited British strengths and gave them a way of winning. It wasn't all down to Monty though...he had Brooke as CIGS who was a keen supporter and had influence with Churchill, etc. - they both sang from the same hymm sheet - and better equipment was finding its way to the front e.g. the Sherman tank, 6-pounder anti-tank gun, etc. But, I believe Monty is underrated and gets a very bad press; especially on the other side of the pond!

    I will look to link the Monty story to that of your dad when I delve into your blog!!

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  19. paulcheall

    paulcheall Son of a Green Howard

    Thanks Steve - don't hold your breath for the next blog mind you! Yes I am sure it's the case that people who have new ideas as Monty did have to "shout" to get their way otherwise the old way will always prevail and I guess he found resistance to his ideas all over the place. But he learnt his craft from seeing what didn't work so I suspect that is why he would be so sure of himself. Thank goodness eh or we might all be sprechening Deutsch right now!
    Paul

    Hello Paul,

    I have just registered on your blog and look forward to delving into the members only site; don't know why I didn't do it first time around?! I'll let you know how I get on in due course.

    I've read quite alot about Monty, but not the book you mention. He only got Command of the 8th Army because 'Strafer' Gott who was to take command was killed in an air incident; and if I remember rightly the aeroplane taking him to his new Command was shot down. Monty stopped some of the tactical nonesense that had gone before; British tanks 'chasing the fox' for example and put in place away of fighting that suited British strengths and gave them a way of winning. It wasn't all down to Monty though...he had Brooke as CIGS who was a keen supporter and had influence with Churchill, etc. - they both sang from the same hymm sheet - and better equipment was finding its way to the front e.g. the Sherman tank, 6-pounder anti-tank gun, etc. But, I believe Monty is underrated and gets a very bad press; especially on the other side of the pond!

    I will look to link the Monty story to that of your dad when I delve into your blog!!

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  20. paulcheall

    paulcheall Son of a Green Howard

    Members may be glad of a reminder that my Dad's war diary web site has details of nearly 200 comrades [/URL]from his records. The home page also has a link to edited extracts of his D-day [/URL]and Dunkirk [/URL]experiences which are dramatic in the extreme. I would love to hear from families connected with anyone mentioned on the site.
    There are some poignant postings and photos in the news [/URL]section of the site, pertaining to contact already received about this British band of brothers.
    Paul
     

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