15th / 19th Hussars in Assche / Asse

Discussion in '1940' started by BrianM59, Apr 12, 2015.

  1. battleofassche

    battleofassche Well-Known Member

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks very much for posting that picture of your Dad. Looks like it was taken at the Cavalry Barracks in York. I have been researching the May 18, 1940 activities of 15/19 KRH for a while. From your brief description I think I might be able to add a few more details regarding what happened to him on May 18. PM or email me if you would like to chat more on the details.

    Cheers Steve
    Mark Salter likes this.
  2. battleofassche

    battleofassche Well-Known Member

    I have still not been able to spot that C Squadron 15/19 KRH scout carrier. But I have managed to find a couple of more ebay pictures of other carriers with similar markings. One is another view of Taghon's Mai 40, Chapter 18, Plate 15 picture. The other one being used by Germans after the battle. All with unique T numbers. 5 troop C Squadron 15/19 KRH were shot up near Viljst.
  3. Mark Jones

    Mark Jones New Member

    Hi. I recently came into possession of the photograph that i have attached. I believe the gentleman in the picture is my great great uncle. On the back of the photo were a number of very interesting details. Being ex forces myself i understood most of them but i've tried to dig a little deeper. I believe the details below to be correct. I'm almost certain he was taken prisoner during the battle of assche however i have no further details or information to confirm this. However the regiment and date he was taken prisoner would suggest so. If anyone could shed any light it would be greatly appreciated.

    Name: George L Bates
    Rank: Trooper
    Army Number: 321325
    Duty Location: France
    Regiment: 15th /19th Hussars - Reconnaissance Corps/Royal Armoured Corps
    Casualty List No. 243.
    Previously shown on Casualty list No. 225 as Missing.
    Date of Action: 18/05/1940
    Fate: Prisoner of War
    Incident Details: Reported to War Office Casualty Section for the 24 hours ending at 09:00.
    Incident Date: 28/06/1940
    POW Number: 5494
    Camp Type: Stalag Camp Number: XX-B
    Camp Location: Marienburg / Malbork (East Prussia / Poland)

    Attached Files:

  4. battleofassche

    battleofassche Well-Known Member

    Hi Mark, good to hear from another family member of one of the participants of the fighting near Assche on May 18. I have noted your great great uncle is listed in Courage's History of 15/19 KRH 39-45 as being taken prisoner and is not listed as being wounded. Most prisoners were from A or B Sqd. or RHQ. Only A Sqd. actually fought in Assche the other Sqd. were involved in engagements near Assche. I will have a further detailed look through my research materials to see if I can find mention of him. I will send you a PM with my email if you want to discuss more details.

    Cheers Steve
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017
  5. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member


    Just picked this up, 7899247 John Reginald James Amoss, from the casualty returns he was with the 15th/19th Hussars and was reported missing 18/5/40 but a later return has him as no longer missing - this wasn't until September 1940 so I'm not sure if he had been separated all that time or in those desperate days it just took a while to update things - oddly his name was originally given as Amoos but was "corrected" to Amos, but as you can see from his book (and his signature) its Amoss. If anyone can add any information on him it would be good
  6. battleofassche

    battleofassche Well-Known Member

    Had a look through my research materials and books but did not find any mention of Amoss. I noted his trade upon enlistment was an electrician, so perhaps he was with the attached RAOC in HQ Squadron. HQ Squadron was not involved with the fighting on 18 May and had withdrawn to a position west of the Dendre Canal by the afternoon of 18 May. I'll keep digging.....
  7. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    Thanks for checking - looking at the rest of the book his employment (in the army) is given as Electrician but that's from September 1940, so not sure if he had previously been acting as one or if he had a different trade - he isn't listed as RAOC on the returns and his number is in the RAC block so I think he was 15th/19th.
  8. battleofassche

    battleofassche Well-Known Member

    I noticed in the war establishment for mechanized cavalry that A, B and C squadrons each had an Electrician in their Squadron Headquarters (Administrative). A few other details: I found mention that Amoss was baptized in Cornwood Devon England and the England & Wales Deaths 1837-2007 had him passing away in 1998. Do you have any information on when he joined 15/19?
  9. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    Hi, Afraid not - at first glance I knew he was armoured as his kit size list has RAC beret listed but it was only the casualty returns on findmypast that narrowed it down to 15th/19th and a probable link to Assche - I may see if I can get his tracker card from Bovington at some point
  10. battleofassche

    battleofassche Well-Known Member

    I found another record on forces war records for J.R.J. Amoss (Amos) that confirms he was a Trooper in 15/19.

    Today is the 78th Anniversary of the fighting in and around Assche. I gave some thought earlier today to those British, German and Belgian soldiers who gave their lives in the fighting in and around Assche so long ago.
  11. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    What does it have on Forces War Record? any extra information I can add to my file would be very useful, I've not got a subscription and I know its not generally held in high regard on here?

  12. battleofassche

    battleofassche Well-Known Member

    Sent you a PM with the info you requested.
    Cheers Steve
  13. battleofassche

    battleofassche Well-Known Member

    Lt. Col. D.S. Frazer, DSO, commanded the 15/19 KRH on May 18, 1940.

    The following is his obituary from:
    1st JANUARY, 1978 - 31st DECEMBER, 1978 Vol. 5 No. 3

    Donald Stewart Frazer joined the Regiment in Risalpur in 1932 from the 14th/20th The King's Hussars. He already by that time had, by modern standards, quite a long and, varied military career.
    Commissioned into the 18th K.G,O. Lancers Indian Army in 1913, he served as a Squadron Leader with the Regiment in France 1914 - 16 and in the Palestine Campaign under Field Marshall Lord Allanby 1917 - 18. He was A.D.C. to the Viceroy of India 1921 - 24.

    In 1924 he transferred to the British Army and joined the 14th/20th King's Hussars, He was Adjutant of that Regiment 1929 - 32 when he transferred to the 15th/19th Hussars on promotion to Major and took over, command of "A" Squadron. The Regiment returned home, from India in 1934 and almost immediately Donald was seconded to be Chief Instructor of the Small Arms School, Hythe. He was an outstanding rifle and pistol shot and perhaps the greatest musketry expert ¡n the army at that time. H¡s achievements and the trophies he won both as a rifle and a pistol shot are too numerous to be given in detail here.

    He returned to the Regiment in 1936 and was 2nd in Command 1937 - 39. In late September 1939, very shortly after the outbreak of the Second World War he was given command of the Regiment and immediately took it to France as part of the B.E.F. He commanded the Regiment, mainly on the Franco-Belgian frontier, during the long cold winter of 1939-40, the period known as the phoney war, and during the short disastrous campaign of May 1940 which ended for the Regiment, after a week in action, at the crossings over the River Dendre near Alost. Here the majority of the Regiment was either killed or taken prisoner.

    The Commanding Officer was one of those taken prisoner and with many others, was to remain a prisoner for five long years until released in April, 1945.
    He had little opportunity to prove his capacity as Commanding Officer of the Regiment ¡n action during this brief period, but was subsequently, in February, 1946, awarded the D.S.O. for the part he played.

    During the long five years which he had to spend in P.O.W. camps he did, however, have ample opportunity to show what a fine, steadfast, selfless, kind and loving character he was. At the time of his death more than 33 years after their release, his family have had a number of letters from those who, as young men, were in prison camps with him, saying what an inspiration he had been to them.
    During the latter years of their life together, Donald showed all these wonderful aspects of his character again in looking after his beloved wife, Marjorie, who was increasingly, and finally totally crippled by arthritis and had to have everything done for her. Donald did this himself personally and alone, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for the last several years of her life.

    We must not forget that apart from other things they did for the Regiment, Donald and Marjorie gave us Simon. Simon joined in 1943 and gave distinguished service throughout the campaign of 1944 - 45 as a Troop Leader in "B" Squadron, fortunately surviving the campaign unscathed- He subsequently rose to command his fathers old Regiment 14th/20th Hussars and reached the rank of full Colonel before he retired.

    As a final note, one must mention Donald's love of music from which he got himself and gave to many others, great pleasure. He was a high class pianist and organist and was playing the organ ¡n his parish church in Devon to within a few days of his death.
  15. Rich, is it possible that you can send me these pictures ? I'm doing research for the historical society from Teralfene (Affligem). I'm a native from Teralfene and live in Teralfene. Thank you ! Jan.
  16. DazOwens413

    DazOwens413 Member

    Hi all, new member and hoping someone can possibly help.
    My grandad was 15/19H in Dunkirk
    I have no photos, no stories and never had the honour of meeting him
    What I do have are a letter he sent to my grandmother when he escaped Dunkirk, a certificate and his medals.
    I have his full name and reg no but that’s all
    Kind rgds
  17. battleofassche

    battleofassche Well-Known Member

    Hello, Daz and welcome to the forum. I would be happy to help out.

    I will need to have his full name and rank and I can then check my research materials for any mention of him.

    Here is a brief overview of the activities of 15/19 for May 28-30 1940, from Courage's history of 15/19 KRH 1939-45:

    "Early on 28 May, after a wet and uncomfortable night, we were relieved by French troops and withdrew again to Le Doulieu. One more step in our eclipse was taken when orders were received to destroy all transport vehicles, except the absolute minimum for essential baggage. In the afternoon another order came, to withdraw to Watou, just inside the Belgian frontier west of Poperinghe. We were on the way to the sea. For the BEF there were now two alternatives-evacuation or surrender. Watou was reached late that evening. After a short rest we were ordered to continue the march to the coast as far as Bergues. So on through the night we marched, the proud remnants of 15/19 Hussars, weary and foot-sore, possessing only what we stood up in. We reached Bergues at about 0200 hours. This march was a most severe test, coming as it did after three weeks of fighting in the most exhausting and disheartening conditions of retreat. We covered twenty-five miles or more to Bergues-and it was not easy marching, for the roads were absolutely congested with traffic of all sorts making for the port, and continual bombing attacks were made on the road the whole time. We were extremely fortunate to escape casualties: but it was a harrowing business, mile after mile in the dust and heat, with enemy planes circling overhead waiting to drop their bombs on any suitable target. And there were many such targets, for never had the Hun scrupled to attack civilians, either refugees or those going about their normal tasks, and now in the congestion no bomb could fail to take its toll. This march was something of an epic when it is remembered that all ranks were completely exhausted before it began. Captain Balmain, with a map torn from a railway guide, led the party and the Commanding Officer marched in rear. Some officers and men carried two rifles to ease those more tired than themselves. When the party arrived at Bergues scarcely a man was straggling-a truly remarkable performance. At Bergues we were ordered to be ready to take up a position on one of the many canals there. This position was, however, never occupied, but while waiting in Bergues the Squadron was again heavily shelled, though without casualties. 1000 Soon afterwards we were on the road again, to Rosendael, an eastern suburb of Dunkirk, prior to embarkation from the beaches. So to the beaches we came: it was an astounding spectacle, the like of which had not been seen before. Away to the left was Dunkirk itself, shrouded in a thick, black pall of smoke from its burning oil tanks and with the light of many fires kindled by the bombing. On the beaches were many thousands of troops waiting patiently to embark. Out to sea lay destroyers and some little ships. Overhead the sky was filled with German bombers, diving low over Dunkirk and the beaches, wave after wave of Stukas, diving, dropping their bombs with a scream among the densely packed mass of soldiers, and circling away again, only to be replaced by more. Sometimes too there would be the crackle of MG fire, as a few Hurricanes or Spitfires came from England to protect us, outnumbered many times but attacking swiftly and bravely the menacing German air formations. By now the evacuation was going well. But so severe was the bombing that ships waiting to come into the beaches were ordered out to sea again and now no more troops could be embarked today. The process was slowing down and the troops were accumulating; by 30 May there were eighty thousand in the area and congestion had become acute. The decision to stop embarkation was a bitter blow. In the afternoon the Commanding Officer moved the men out of the queue awaiting embarkation to two cellars for greater safety. But there was the long night ahead, the night spent restlessly on the beaches, dead tired, listless, joking feebly, and unable to do anything but wait for the ships to return. Meanwhile behind us the close perimeter round Dunkirk was drawn tight today. Today too the enemy continued his relentless advance and his shells were falling in the town from the south-west. As dawn broke, destroyers were seen out to sea and afterwards ships came alongside the mole. The Commanding Officer (Major Sir Henry Floyd, Bt.) decided to embark the Regiment from the mole rather than from the beach and so we joined the queue again to await our turn to embark. Gradually the long line of men moved forward and gradually we got nearer to the front of the queue. How slowly the time passed ! Mercifully there was no more bombing, for the sky was overcast today. Little by little we approached the end of the mole and at last our turn came. The majority of the Regiment embarked on HMS Malcolm and set sail for England and Home. The Navy, as always, did more than was expected and welcome indeed were the cups of hot tea and the food provided for us. They took us safely home, and after an uneventful voyage, the Regiment disembarked at Dover at about 1300 hours. So it was over: the BEF was fast returning to England from the shores of France, battered and bloody, but proud and un- defeated. In our brief campaign the Regiment had suffered grievous wounds; but we had done our duty, we had lived up to the high example of our forbears, and we would rise to fight again in the cause of freedom."

    Is there any mention of his activities in the letter you have?

  18. DazOwens413

    DazOwens413 Member

    Hello Steve,

    thank you so much for your reply and that extract from the book, It was fascinating reading it and if my grandfather was actually part of that march to Rosendael I’m planning to retrace his footsteps this May.
    The info you asked for is -
    Trooper Richard William Owens
    Reg no 545045
    The letter (More of a post card) was to my grandmother and reads as follows
    “Dear Ann
    Just arrived in Plymouth safe & sound & may be home in a few days time
    Love Richie”
    Also his Dunkirk certificate states Royal Artillery but I don’t know why.
    Thank you so much again

    Attached Files:

    Lindele likes this.
  19. battleofassche

    battleofassche Well-Known Member

    Daz, sadly no mention of Trooper R.W. Owens in any of my 15/19 materials and also no mention of him on Forces Records. Since he was at Dunkirk he would have most likely been in C Squadron as most of the rest of 15/19 at this point was either KIA or captured. I'll keep an eye out for any mention of him in any new materials I come across.

    Check the following website for some downloadable history of 15/19 ....
    History Downloads

  20. DazOwens413

    DazOwens413 Member

    Hi Steve,
    That is a shame and I’m a bit confused now.
    So I have his North West Frontier medal stamped with name rank, no and 15/19
    The other war medals and Dunkirk one don’t have any stamps
    Then there’s the Dunkirk certificate with Royal Artillery so I’m now wondering would/could he have been 15/19 KRH in India 1930/31 then transferred to RA in WW2 at some point?
    I’m sending off that request for information of records from MOD, hopefully that’ll help with what Units he served at.

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