117959 Major John Alexander HAMILTON, MC, MiD, Loyal Regiment: 02/11/1945, Military Cross info??

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by Mark Potts, Jun 26, 2022.

  1. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Turn the page

    Attached clipping from Peter Mennells document A History of the 67th Field Regt.
    Referring to the Loyals Patrol led by Lt Hamilton in the area of Djebel Djaffa/ Goubelat Plain, 30th March 1943.

    Attached Files:

  2. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Turn the page

    Cant see any Grave Concentration Forms for this Cemetery or in particular this person. So there is nothing on line to identify where he might have died unless it was local to the Cemetery and his only grave. Personally I will leave any further research to direct relatives if they wish to. They could apply for his service record and that of his brother and contact CWGC for any further information.
  3. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member

    Nantwich Chronicle 08 December 1945 found on FMP


    I suspect that the "Military Brigade Mission to Greece" described within is in fact the "British Military Mission to Greece (BMM(G))

    I believe as he went to Staff College at Haifa just before, I suspect he became the 'Brigade Major' of the unit. Brigade major - Wikipedia

    In 1945, BMM(G) one of the things they were involved in was overseeing the training of new recruits of the Greek National Army (aka Greek National Guard (GNG)).

    More info here. ANISTORITON Journal of History, Archaeology, ArtHistory: An Essay

    Hope this helps

    Last edited: Jun 27, 2022
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  4. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Personal Number: 117959
    Rank: Major
    Name: John Alexander HAMILTON, MC, MiD
    Unit: Loyal Regiment

    London Gazette : 16 February 1940
    The undermentioned Cadets, from 168th Officer Cadet Training Unit, to be 2nd Lts. except as otherwise stated. 10th Feb. 1940: —
    Loyal R.
    John Alexander HAMILTON (117959).

    London Gazette : 20 December 1940
    The names of the undermentioned have been brought to notice in recognition of distinguished services in connection with operations in the field. March-June, 1940.
    2/Lt. J. A. HAMILTON.

    London Gazette : 15 June 1944
    The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the following awards in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Italy —
    The Military Cross.
    Lieutenant (temporary Captain) John Alexander Hamilton (117959), The Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire) (Nantwich, Cheshire).

    London Gazette : 27 February 1945
    The undermentioned 2nd Lts. (W ar Subs. L ts.), from Emergency Commns., to be Lts., 28th Feb. 1945. with seniority as stated: —
    Loyal R.
    John Alexander HAMILTON, M.C. (117959), 3rd Nov. 1941.

    Last edited: Jun 27, 2022
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  5. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Last edited: Jun 27, 2022
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  6. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Turn the page

    Attached is a photograph from Peter Mennells Wartime Album (Courtesy Mennell Family collection) Major Peter Mennell MBE is middle row second from the right in the light coloured shirt. It was taken in Palestine in 1945.
    As both PM and JAH were in 1st Infantry Division I wonder if by chance J A Hamilton might be in the picture.
    Not sure what No8 MEWTC is.

    Intriguing that Major Hamilton should have been loosely associated with a British Military Mission.
    Peter Mennell MBE joined the Diplomatic Corps.
    Peter Mennell rose to be British High Commissioner to the Bahamas in 1976.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 4, 2022
  7. jonas

    jonas Junior Member

    The patrol referred to in the History of the 67th Field Regiment was commanded by Lieutenant Alec Gordon not Hamilton.
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  8. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Turn the page

    Thank you Jonas.
    A History of the 67th Field Regt was initially written by Peter Mennell but tampered with by several others to whom it was circulated as you might see by my posted excerpt.
    There is strangely, no mention of the patrol in the Regimental War Diary, PM references his sources as being from the Battery War Diaries. The comments were by Captain Peter Raban, who often contradicts the writing of Peter Mennell, who at the time he made his comments was dead. It was also partially retyped in places by Richard Whitfield who used it for his book The Eyes and Ears of the Regiment.
    I would very much appreciate your account of the events, together with a reference to your source should you have them.
    By all means PM me if you wish to maintain confidentiality.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2022
  9. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Thought I would post a map from the German perspective ( it would be rude of me not to)! Taken from the German Operations at Anzio. A Study of the German Operations at Anzio Beachhead from 22 Jan 44 to May 44. Produced at GDMS by a Combined British, Canadian, and U.S. Staff Apr 9, 1946. GMDS German Military Document Section Military Intelligence Division War Dept- Camp Ritchie- Maryland.


    Owen, its works.;)
    Much ta.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2022
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  10. jonas

    jonas Junior Member

    Thank you Uncle Target. The information regarding the patrol came from 1st Loyals War diary - 1st April 1943. The account of the patrol (produced by 67 Field Regt) is pretty accurate, it is just the name that is wrong.
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  11. jonas

    jonas Junior Member

    The FOO was at the rear of the patrol with HQ section. During the patrol HQ section became separated from the rest of the patrol. On realising part of his patrol was missing, Lt Gordon sent another section back to find them. He then returned to a position known as Red Roof Farm. Lieutenant Gordon then began to whistle 'Red Rose', probably hoping the missing men might hear the code. Unfortunately his whistling must have attracted the attention of the Germans. A fire fight then broke out around the farm during which Lt. Gordon was killed. The HQ section on hearing the battle went to assist the Loyals but were ambushed.

    Captain John Hamilton was the adjutant of Loyals for quite a long time in 1943/44, so perhaps he just mis-remembered the name.
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  12. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Turn the page

    Thank you Jonas. That fits in very nicely doesn't it. I will source the reference when including it in my draft book.
    Your assistance is greatly appreciated.
    The document to which I referred "A History of the 67th Field Regiment" was deposited with Worcester County Archive which is now housed in The Hive, part of Worcester University Campus.
    Peter Mennell did not write it as a book , he wanted it to be an aid memoire for future reunions, of which I can find no evidence of him attending due to his startling rise through the ranks of the Diplomatic Corps which took him to Russia and the USA.
    He opens with a statement that his notes from memory, will probably contain errors of dates, places and times but are intended as reminders for discussion.
    The core draft of the document being used as his dissertation for his degree at Cambridge University in 1946. It was then passed around the senior officers for their comments, many of whom made changes to satisfy their memories of events. It seems that Peter Raban was not on the list and resented the fact. One person who was individually acknowledged for his contribution was Lt. H. N. Beadle known in the Regiment as Bill. I inherited his letters which began my journey to write a book that would include his colleagues, which rapidly morphed into a book with the assistance of several families of the men who are mentioned within it.
    The book has not been published and will probably not be for some time as Covid disrupted planned visits to Italy to several key locations to photograph them for future families to visit and to carry out investigations in potential local sources.
    During my research I located what I believe to be part of the original document which matches the criteria mentioned in the document. It is hand written in at least four different hands, one of which is very difficult to read. It does however provide a certain provenance to the document, used and signed by Richard Whitfield for his book along with the signature of Peter Raban. It is deposited in an archive room in Worcester Army Reserve Centre in a box deposited in the old TA Centre by Major Tom Averill to whom Richard Whitfield refers and acknowledges.
    I hope one day to go back there but my current state of health precludes this. There are however others in the group who might pick up the baton and run with it in years to come.
    Small but important snippets keep appearing, so one wonders when to stop but this along with other recent enlightenments re-ignite my interest in going that extra yard (or Metre).
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2022
  13. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    I've had CAB 106-599- 1 Loyals-Italy 43/45 for some time of which was sent to me kindly by forum member Tom O'Brien. The only problem is, most of it is hard to read which is (nothing to do with Tom when it came to copying it)! Its the chap that typed it out at the time. Probably the worst CAB file that I've got when it comes to reading it of which is a shame. I'm stuck for once. The War diary for this month is even harder to read & its in hand writing. Another pain in the rear has it seems to have much detail.

    This chap is not even mentioned in THE LOYAL REGIMENT (NORTH LANCASHIRE) 1919-1953 by Capt. C.G.T. Dean, M.B.E. The following map is from the above book. I will post the pages from the above book later.


    CCF19032016_0011 (2).jpg
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2022
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  14. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    In Post 26 Uncle Target wondered what No8 / No. 8 MWETC was. A possible clue:
    From: School of Musketry and the Machine Gun School - The Vickers Machine Gun

    The 'C' could be college or course. Yes, that means the abbreviation would be MEWTC! Ah well enough.
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  15. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Turn the page

    Nice map Stu, I have little regarding the Loyals at this time early February.
    67th had been relocated to more or less the same position that they took up when they landed as direct support for 2nd IB on 22 Jan 1944.
    They supported the 36 Combat Engineers (US) who had previously supported The Loyals ten days earlier, coming under 56 Div then 5 Div.
    A period that they called their "Divorce from 1st Inf Div".
    On 25th of March they went into a rest area returning to 1st Infantry Div. for the rest of the war.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2022
  16. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Turn the page

    David, Thanks for the try but I was thinking more along the lines of a Staff College rather than tactical as they are all quite senior officers.
    Peter Mennell had become a Major, Commander of 266 Battery and after Lt Col Flay returned home in May/June 1945 became 2i/c of the Regiment
    under Lt Col Kerr.
    I was thinking along the lines of Middle East Warfare Training College (see photo for the acronym).
  17. jonas

    jonas Junior Member

    Thank you Uncle Target for your detailed response. Mistakes with names in documents are only to be expected when people are recalling events - especially during war time, and sometimes typing errors will be made. Recently I was looking for a man called Private R Warner but after some digging i discovered he was called Private R Warren. As Eric Morecambe would have said, all the right letters just not in the right order. Men were often very tired and the FOO probably only meet poor Alec Gordon once.

    Alec was only 23 when killed. His body was recovered the following day and buried by the Loyals padre. His father was a bank manager in Manchester and Alec had been studying law at Manchester University when war was declared. I have been researching the Loyals for a long time but so far i have been unable to find a photograph of Lieutenant Gordon.

    Was Captain Raban the FOO on the patrol?
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  18. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Turn the page

    Yes Captain Peter Raban was the FOO at that time, a bit unusual but everyone took it in turns when the Battery Commander and Troop Commander were resting or working as FOO elsewhere.
    Peter Raban was Battery Captain with 265 Bty who supported the Loyals throughout the war. He later moved to 446 Bty at Anzio.
    266 Bty supported the 6th Gordons and 446 Bty the North Staffs. with the exception of two months at Anzio when they supported the American 36th Combat Engineers in 56 Div. followed by the 5th Div.

    Battery Commanders were assigned to their Infantry Battalion HQ to observe and advise the Battalion OC regarding supporting fire and the Troop leader to a designated Company in the field. They could all call in various levels of fire throughout the range of artillery available Troop, Battery, Regiment, Division or Corps.
    In some instances the Regiment could have six or more officers working as FOO.
    If you would like to know more just drop me a conversation and I can give you much more info on them.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2022
  19. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    More maps taken from the ANZIO BEACHHEAD (22 January-25 May 1944) American Forces in Action Series Historical Division Department of the Army Washington 25, 1 October 1947. It has a booklet of 25 detailed maps to the rear. It can be found at a reasonable price if anyone shops about with many Illustrations as well. A book that I would recommend for those that don't know of it.

    MAP  NO.15.jpg
    MAP  NO.16.jpg
    MAP NO. 17 "THE CRISIS".
    MAP  NO.17.jpg
    MAP NO. 18 ("THE BATTLE IS WON"). See the red circle on the map & Legend (Enemy forward Position, 19 Feb).
    MAP  NO.18.jpg
    1 Loyal Regiment getting it in the neck. More to follow when I get the chance.

    Last edited: Jul 3, 2022
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  20. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    1st Inf Div. No6..jpg

    That's it for maps. Taken from THE HISTORY OF THE FIRST DIVISION IN THE ANZIO CAMPAIGN. A fine map printed in Nov 1946.

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