York & Lancaster Regimental History

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by Paul Reed, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. John Moore

    John Moore Member

    Can you shed any light on the actions of the 6th Battalion on 29/01/1944. I'm researching my local war dead & have a Private Robert Hair who died on that day, so any information would be of huge help.
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    John , the 46 Div history says this on page 62.

    ...the stage was set for the final attack by the York and Lancasters on Monte Turlito and Monte Tuga. A long , hazardous night march took the York and Lancasters up Turlito's precipitous slopes , and dawn found them in amongst a surprised enemy.
    Sharp fighting captured the hill , but mortar and artillery fire prevented their moving on against Monte Tuga until nightfall. With darkness they attacked again , and within three hours Tuga had fallen, and the greater part of its garrison had been captured.

    map I posted on another thread.
  3. Martin D

    Martin D Junior Member

    Thanks for that, I've got a copy, I enjoyed reading it, but details on individual units are a bit thin, a bit like the help from the regimental museum!
  4. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Here are two pages from Sheffield' regimental history of the York and Lancaster Regiment about the period on 29 January 1944 for the 6th Battalion.

    Attached Files:

    • 6Y&L.jpg
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  5. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Sorry, the scans are two small. Here is the OCR version of these pages:

    The 138th Infantry Brigade was therefore moved into the bridgehead in order to reinforce the right of the 56th Division. During the night of the 20th/21st January the Battalion crossed the Garigliano river in assault boats. It was not interfered with except for a certain amount of enemy shelling. The next day it concentrated in the area of Suja. Some companies took up defensive positions around it, whilst one company occupied Suja Castle itself. Except for shelling, which was more or less continuous, there were no enemy counterattacks.
    On 23rd January the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Kendrew, D.S.O., left the Battalion on promotion to Brigadier to command the 128th Infantry Brigade. During his-aU-too brief eleven months' command of the Battalion, his brilliant leadership and courage had been an inspiration to all ranks. Worthily during this short period, he had been awarded no fewer than three D.S.Os. Although coming in to command from The Royal Leicestershire Regiment, another "Tiger Regiment," his outstanding service whilst wearing the badge of the "Tiger and Rose" will for ever be remembered by the York and Lancaster Regiment in general and assuredly by the 6th Battalion in particular. He was succeeded in command of the Battalion by Major Miller, the Secondin-Command.
    Meanwhile on 22nd January the American VI Corps had made an unexpectedly easy landing at Anzio and secured a slender bridgehead there. In consequence, by 26th of the month,the enemy had thinned out his troops opposite the British X Corps and stopped aU his counter-attacks against it. Although by no means strong in numbers, this Corps seized the opportunity to attack and try to enlarge its own bridgehead over the Garigliano river. By this time the rest of the 46th Division had moved across the river and taken over the Suja area. The 138th Infantry Brigade, with a unit of the 139th Infantry Brigade under command, now launched an attack against the hill features beyond Suja leading to Monte Maio, a dominating mountain. Advancing on 29th January, the 138th Infantry Brigade made considerable progress. Then on the left the 56th and 5th Divisions attacked and also made progress.
    In the advance of the 138th Infantry Brigade, after the Lincolns had taken Monte Rotunda, "C" Company attacked and captured Monte Turlito. "B" and "D" Companies then passed through and secured Monte Tuga in a night attack. Patrols were sent forward towards a further feature near Monte Ornito, but found it heavily defended. Nevertheless attacks on it were made, but all attempts to dislodge the enemy failed. Conversely counter-attacks by him to infiltrate were broken up by accurate 3-inch mortar and Bren gun fire. The Battalion had by now taken forty-eight prisoners. Two days later a Commando brigade, which had been put under the 138th Infantry Brigade, attacked and captured Monte Omito and then Monte Faito. It was, however, counter-attacked and forced to withdraw to Monte Ornito, which it held. Here it was relieved by a unit of the Royal Hampshire Regiment. This unit not only beat off more counter-attacks, but also succeeded in capturing the near-by feature of Monte Cerasola. Early in February the 1st Guards Brigade joined the 46th Division and the 3rd Welsh Guards took over Monte Cerasola. A proposed attack to capture the dominating Monte Maio had, however, to be abandoned for reasons beyond the control of the British X Corps.
    Violent German counter-attacks in great strength against the American VI Corps had placed the whole Anzio bridgehead in great peril. To relieve the situation, the entire 56th Division had had to be withdrawn from the Garigliano sector and sent to reinforce the garrison. In consequence the now sadly depleted British X Corps had no option but to stop all its own attacks and stand on the defensive in the hope of holding the valuable ground it had already won. Mter being in reserve for a week, the Battalion moved forward again and relieved the Hampshires on 10th February. During the actual relief the enemy launched a counter-attack supported by heavy artillery fire. It was, however, broken up by "C" Company, largely with its 2-inch mortars, which were used with devastating effect. For the next four days the Battalion held a defensive position on the spur of Monte Ornito. During this time no fewer than fourteen counter-attacks were made by the enemy either against the Battalion or the. Welsh Guards on Monte Cerasola. All these were repulsed. On 14th February the Battalion was relieved by the 2j4th K.O.Y.L.I. and went into reserve again at Suja.
    Then after five days' rest the Battalion took over from the Welsh Guards on Monte Cerasola. This formed a mountain salient in front of Monte Ornito and was completely overlooked by Monte Faito and the still bigger Monte Maio. For eight days it remained on Monte Cerasola. Although no enemy counterattacks in strength developed during this period, the areas were heavily shelled every day. In addition, a heavy mist and snow added to the discomfort of the troops. The bringing up of supplies was also difficult. These had to be delivered by mule or man-pack over a track which ran through a gully into which the enemy poured a heavy volume of fire night and day.
  6. BiscuitsAB

    BiscuitsAB Member

    Interesting. I spent some time with 1 Y & L in the '60's and one of their Coy commanders was a Major Mottram. I wonder if he could have been the son of Lt Mottram? Loyalty to local regiments were very strong in those days.
  7. fretter

    fretter pf

    Can you shed any light on the actions of the 6th Battalion on 29/01/1944. I'm researching my local war dead & have a Private Robert Hair who died on that day, so any information would be of huge help.
    I have my Father's copy of Major Elmhirst's diary 1943-45. The role of honour lists for 29/1/44 "4758359 Pte Haw, R. Died of Wounds".

    Hope this helps.
  8. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    Would someone be able to post the pages dealing with the Tobruk break-out? 2 Y&L, 20/11/41 to 09/12/41?

    It would be most helpful.

    All the best

  9. joybonjovi

    joybonjovi Junior Member

    Hi Paul
    Wonder if you can help. I am looking for back ground details on 6/Y&L for the period 27th May 1944 until and including 13 October 1944. This was the period that Cpl Frank Douglas Loade served with them before being killed. He transferred from the RA with whom he had served since 1939.
    Your help much appreciated,
  10. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member


    46 BR Inf Div were withdrawn from the line at Cassino in Apr 44 after their mammoth stint in the range of hills between the mouth of the Garigliano and Monte Cassino Feb-Apr 44. They had been in action moving up Italy since landing at Salerno on 9 Sep 44. They were worn out and were withdrawn to the Middle East for rest and refit. They did not come back into the line until the assault on the Gothic Line at Rimini in Aug-Sep 44.


  11. ClankyPencil

    ClankyPencil Senior Member


    After being withdrawn to the Middle East, 57 R.A. personnel were attached to the 6th Y & L in Palestine on 22nd April 1944 (pending posting to the unit) and a week later on the 29th a further 108 R.A. personnel.

    Frank Douglas Loade is listed as one of the 57 re-inforcements that joined on the 22nd, and his rank at this time is noted as 'A/Bdr' (Acting Bombardier)

    There is a previous thread regarding these re-inforcements here http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/46192-artillery-personnel-converted-to-infantry/ (although some of the original attachments seem to have gone missing)

    I have therefore attached the appendix listing the 57 re-inforcements which joined the 6th Y & L on 22/04/1944 and the relating War Diary Page

    I do have a lot more information (War diaries, Missing Personnel Files, etc) for the 6th Y & L, but will need some time to dig them out



    Attached Files:

  12. ClankyPencil

    ClankyPencil Senior Member


    I've added 2 albums of the War Diaries of the 6th York Lancs for September & October 1944 which may be of interest



    Also in the book 'A Diary of Events: 6th Bn The York & Lancaster Regiment (during the Campaigns in North Africa & Italy 1943-1945)' Frank Douglas Loade is noted as being 'Killed in Action' on 13/10/44 along with 5 other men of the Battalion.

  13. joybonjovi

    joybonjovi Junior Member

    Many thanks for the info Scott and FdeP. Looks like we have some serious reading for the weekend.
  14. Tom Kirkbride

    Tom Kirkbride New Member

    Hi Paul - not sure if you are still live on here but looking for extracts that show Battle of Sedjenane 30 March 1943 and in particular the death of Lt Arthur Stead ? Thanks
  15. ClankyPencil

    ClankyPencil Senior Member

    WO_175_524_0011.jpg WO_175_524_0012.jpg WO_175_524_0013.jpg WO_175_524_0013.jpg

    Attached Files:

    PHIL85 likes this.
  16. PHIL85

    PHIL85 Member

    Lt Stead (and Lt Mottram, which kicked this thread off 10 years ago) is in the attached photo. It was taken early January 1943 before the battalion embarked for North Africa.

    I have a great deal of interest in the 6 Y&L in Feb and March 1943, and any information/documentation anyone has would be much appreciated. I have the war diaries for the 6Y&L and 46Div, as well as all the usual regimental histories.

    Attached Files:

    Owen likes this.
  17. I dont suppose its possible to get the papers from 1st,2nd March from 6th Y&L, in particular i beleive around 90 men of C Coy were captured (including my grandfather PTE Charles Lonstaff)

    PHIL85 I am also interested in the dates of Feb and March 1943, do you have copies of the regimental histories? and also did you manage to get any war diaries from these dates?

  18. PHIL85

    PHIL85 Member

    Hi Steve - I have quite a lot of info about that particular engagement - my great uncle was a platoon commander in C Coy who was killed in action on March 1. I'll send you a PM with more details.

    Best regards

    steven Lightfoot and Owen like this.
  19. wow, thanks Phil, I have actually just PM'd you, id really appreciate that. regards steve
    PHIL85 likes this.

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