1st Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by Baldy000, Dec 1, 2016.

  1. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    WOAS: means Whilst On Active Service. CB Confined to Barracks. Not sure of the other acronyms. The wiser chaps will help you out with the rest. A sharper picture of all records will help.
  2. Baldy000

    Baldy000 Member

    That's great help, thanks.
    The bit that is still confusing me is the casualty lists note him as 1st Battalion, but no mention anywhere else.
    Could he have been simply detached to them?
  3. Baldy000

    Baldy000 Member

  4. Edwardridout

    Edwardridout New Member

    Hello, I'm new to this too but greatly interested in my great grandfathers story as I have little knowledge of what happened to him and what he was involved in during world war two.

    From what I know,
    His name was Richard Henry Ridout.
    He died on Jul. 10, 1944 in and around the time of Normandy.
    He was a Corporal, Dorsetshire Regiment. Age: 31. 1st battalion.
    His service number was :5575360

    There was a story of how he died that was told to me by my grandmother. The tale was that he was guarding a make sift POW camp in Normandy and didn't have sentry duty that night, however a friend of his was "fraternising" with a local french girl and so covered his shift. That night he was shot by a German sniper. How much of this is true i've no idea but i would so love to find out any of his service details to find out more information about the man i've never met.

    Any help in this would be more than incredible.

    Kind regards, Edd
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    He was killed in afternoon whilst on patrol with D Company by a German MG Post. Initially he was reported missing along with another OR when the patrol returned. D Company sent out another patrol at 2330 to search for them and found them dead.
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    This is the other chap killed with him. They are buried next to each other.

    Casualty Details
    ozzy16, Edwardridout and Tricky Dicky like this.
  8. Baldy000

    Baldy000 Member

    Well work got in the way and I had to put this on the back burner for a while. Anyway I was given a copy of a document which has been very helpful. It’s a copy of a Pensions Appeal Tribunal (Assessment). It’s a poor copy but from what I can make out it shows a lot of information. Unfortunately due to age the print is faded and I can just about make out the words, also some of the information is missing because it wasn’t copied straight.
    It shows the notes from the Unit Medical Officer. It shows even more dates that confuse me even more! I’ll type it out here rather than copy it as I don’t think anyone would be able to read it. Here goes;

    14.08.44 Report by Unit Medical Officer.

    Diagnosis shrapnel wound (shell) penetrating left knee. Small penetrating wound left knee, marked swelling of joint.

    14.08.44 200th Casualty Clearing Station

    Shrapnel wound (shell), small penetrating wound medial side left knee.

    Small penetrating wound medial side of left knee. Entry into joint tend to bleed but easily controlled by firm bandage. Dressed, sulphonamide and vasaline gauze. Evacuate 200th Advanced Dressing Station

    14.08.44 200th Advanced Dressing Station

    Small penetrating shrapnel wound left knee joint. (Enemy Action).

    Dressing satisfactory. Condition satisfactory. Evacuate to 3rd Casualty Clearing Station.

    14.08.44 163rd Camp Medical Area

    General condition good

    14.08.44 No.3 Casualty Clearing Station

    Small penetrating shrapnel wound left knee joint. Enemy action.

    Small penetrating shrapnel wound involving knee joint. (I can’t read this bit).

    Evacuate lying (part of print missing).

    14.08.44 (part of print missing) could be felt but not pulled out. Tobruk and Thomas plaster paris split, penicillin 100,000 units into joint after aspiration. Sulphonamide and vasaline gauze dressing. No fracture. Synovial Membrane and joint capsule sutured.

    17.08.44 Evacuate, air or sea, which ever first, lying.

    19.08.44 Disembarked United Kingdom.

    19.08.44 Botley Park War Hospital, Chertsey


    14.08.44 88mm shell wound about 2-3pm sustained just so (rest of word is missing, I think it might be south) of Caan. Penetrating wound medial side right knee. Taken to 29th General Hospital.

    16.08.44 Operation. Foreign body could be felt but not extracted. Synovial membrane and part of capsule sutured. Tobruk plaster applied after 100,000 units penicillin had been introduced to the joint.

    On admission general condition good.

    Operation. Tobruk plaster removed. 2” long laceration on medial side of left knee.

    Secondary suture performed.

    Aspiration of knee. 19ccs faintly blood stained very thick fluid withdrawn.

    20,000 unit penicillin into joint. Tulle gauze knee splint applied.

    So from that little lot I’ve learnt a lot. William was wounded at about 2-3pm just south of Caan on 14/08/1944. He was hit by a piece of shrapnel from an 88mm shell.

    Any ideas why the dates are all different on other forms I have?

    Is it simply that it isn’t necessarily the date of action that is recorded but more the date the record was actually made?
    Still more work to do.
  9. Edwardridout

    Edwardridout New Member

    Thanks for the reply Drew! That's incredible to find out!
    Is there any way to find out more about what he was up to that day and what he had been involved in previously?

    Sorry for clogging up your thread baldy!
  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    You could consider the battalion war diary and or their regimental history book.
  11. Baldy000

    Baldy000 Member

    Not a problem. We are both trying to do the same thing.
  12. john hulbert

    john hulbert New Member

    Hi all
    first time poster here
    not sure if i am in the right place my grandfather was in the dorset reg during and after ww2 serving in europe and asia (burma star) when he left he was a 3 striper
    his name was thomas george stanford (lofty)
    unsure of which battalion
    any help would be grateful

  13. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum, John.

    Your grandfather was probably with the 2nd Bn Dorsetshire Regiment, 5th Infantry Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. They were with the BEF in France and thereafter, in Burma.

    You should start a separate thread asking for assistance, or maybe a mod will be along and move your post and mine to a separate thread!


    stolpi likes this.
  14. Polly P

    Polly P New Member

    Hello everyone; brand new to this website - have just (in last two weeks) found out I had a 2nd cousin who was killed in Normandy, age 24. This is what I have discovered so far: Ernest Edward BIGNOLD, 1st Btn Dorsets #6346355, killed on 27 June 1944. From reading this forum, I have discovered that his service number was not one allocated to the Dorsets - found another document that shows "on enlistment", attached to the Queens Own Royal West Kent Regt. I have no idea how/why he ended up with the 50th Division in time for D-day. He is buried in Bayeux cemetery, and in their documents, I found out he was originally buried "Near Lingevres" and was moved to Bayeux and re-buried on 24 July 1946. I'm presuming that as he was buried near Lingevres and this is just west of Tilly, that he was involved in the battles around there and fell nearby. What is odd, is that the day he was killed, it seems as if there was limited fighting because that was the day (or days) of the big storms. The bodies that were moved from Lingevres are all buried next to one another in Bayeux. Another solder from the 1st Btn called L.A. Phillips died the same day as Ernest, perhaps they died together? Here is where I need help. Am I right in assuming if I apply for his service records, I will discover how/when he moved from the Kents to the Dorsets? Is it the regimental diary or the war diary that may give me some clues as to what was going on or about the 27th, the day he died? And how do I find/trace a "Casualty list" ??? (I have found a document that shows casualty list #1504). Many MANY thanks in advance for any sage wisdom and advice. I'm going to Normandy next April to celebrate my retirement and I'd like to re-trace this young man's steps as much as possible and pay my respects. (I can post any of the above described documents if any of that would assist)
  15. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Hi Polly and welcome, to answer some of your questions.

    Any research into a soldier should really start with his service records, it will lay out a timeline of his service, it won’t necessarily tell you why he moved units but should show when.
    Get a copy of military service records - GOV.UK

    Next port of call the diaries, these will tell you about the regiment’s operations. Other ranks rarely get a mention although that should not put you off. You may be surprised and often the individuals appear in the appendices.

    You are quite correct in that Ernest is mentioned on Casualty list No. 1504 dated 21 July 1944 along with a number of others, have a look in your inbox, top right of screen. Phillips 5735017 appears on list 1501 dated 18 July 1944.

    Good luck.
    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  16. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum, Polly.

    Ernest Bignold’s service number is from the Royal West Kent Regiment’s block of numbers.

    Ernest’s service records should tell you which battalion (Bn) of the West Kent’s he served with and when he transferred to the 1st Bn Dorsetshire Regiment, but not why. The why was usually because there was a need for replacements in the 1st Bn Dorsetshire Regiment, he was eligible and the West Kent battalion he was serving with was not required for overseas service. The 1st Bn Dorsetshire Regiment had fought in Sicily (10 July to end-August 1943) and briefly in Italy in early-September and would have required replacements prior to D-Day. It would also have needed replacements after D-Day and throughout the fighting in Normandy.

    The War Diary will tell you briefly and probably in Army speak where the 1st Bn Dorsetshire Regiment was located, what they were doing and information on casualties. Whereas Officers were usually named in these documents, ‘Other ranks’ rarely were, rather it would usually state something like ORs killed 5, wounded 14, missing 7 (or similar).

    There are Casualty Lists available at the National Archives and if there are ones for the 1st Bn Dorsetshire Regiment, there are a couple of the forum members who do a copying service at a reasonable price you could contact in this regard. Let me know if you require their details.

    You are right about the area the 1st Bn Dorsetshire Regiment was located. Lingevres was behind the frontline and where those killed were likely initially concentrated. It was a period of lull prior to going back on the offensive, but the troops were subjected to constant shelling, mortaring, Nebelwerfer fire (started 21 June for the first time) and sporadic Spandau MG fire.

    Your 2nd Cousin Ernest is mentioned in the Roll of Honour in ‘Three Assault Landings,The Story of the 1st Bn The Dorsetshire Regiment in Sicily, Italy and NW Europe’ (Bredin).


    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  17. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Service Number 6346355
    Died 27/06/1944
    Aged 23
    1st Bn. Dorsetshire Regiment
    Son of Ernest Edward Bignold, and of Minnie Elizabeth Bignold, of Datchet, Buckinghamshire
    Cemetery/memorial reference: XXV. E. 19.
  18. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    There were a number of other 1st Bn Dorsetshire men died on 27 June 1944, as below. These would have, either, been killed outright on that day or died of wounds received in earlier fighting.

    The Dorsetshire Regiment Army Number block = Dorsetshire Regiment 5718001 - 5763000

    Only two of the men listed below are originally Dorsets and Pte. Light, although he has a General Service Corps number (which applied to all Army Service personnel of a certain age and after a certain date), was a Dorset resident.

    This Roll from the CWGC agrees the aforementioned book’s Roll of Honour.

    Service Number 6342858
    Died 27/06/1944
    Aged 27
    1st Bn. Dorsetshire Regiment
    Son of Allen George and Lilian Goodsell, of Hoo, Kent.
    Cemetery/memorial reference: IV. H. 13.

    Service Number 5890095
    Died 27/06/1944
    Aged 32
    1st Bn. Dorsetshire Regiment
    Son of John Henstock, and of Mary Ellen Henstock, of Sutton-on-the-Hill, Derbyshire.
    Cemetery/memorial reference: VII. E. 6

    Private HODGSON, HENRY
    Service Number 4540111
    Died 27/06/1944
    Aged 25
    1st Bn. Dorsetshire Regiment
    Son of John and Jane Hodgson, of York.
    Cemetery/memorial reference: XXIX. G. 10.

    Service Number 6342695
    Died 27/06/1944
    Aged 28
    1st Bn. Dorsetshire Regiment
    Cemetery/memorial reference: XXIX. G. 9.

    Service Number 14421092
    Died 27/06/1944
    Aged 19
    1st Bn. Dorsetshire Regiment
    Son of Tom Cross Light and Edith Kate Light, of Blandford, Foram, Dorsetshire.
    Cemetery/memorial reference: II. D. 7.

    Service Number 4922203
    Died 27/06/1944
    Aged 29
    1st Bn. Dorsetshire Regiment
    Son of Robert and Louise Marshall; husband of Irene Annette Marshall, of Ashford, Middlesex.
    Cemetery/memorial reference: VII. E. 13.

    Service Number 5735017
    Died 27/06/1944
    Aged 20
    1st Bn. Dorsetshire Regiment
    Son of Queenie N. Phillips, of Salisbury.
    Cemetery/memorial reference: XXV. E. 18.

    Service Number 5724790
    Died 27/06/1944
    Aged 28
    1st Bn. Dorsetshire Regiment
    Son of Samuel Edward and Mary Ellen Riley.
    Cemetery/memorial reference: IV. B. 7.

    Second Lieutenant ROBINSON, VERNON CHARLES
    Service Number 314213
    Died 27/06/1944
    Aged 25
    The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment), seconded to 1st Bn. Dorsetshire Regiment
    Son of John and Ellen Robinson, of Buxton, Derbyshire; husband of Jean Robinson, of Lewisham, London.
    Cemetery/memorial reference: XXI. C. 12.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  19. Polly P

    Polly P New Member

    Wow, all great stuff gents, thanks SO much. Tony, I sent a quick one to your inbox. Now I'm armed with the actual casualty list! And Steve, all very good Intel for me to work with thanks!! I had already ordered a copy of that book - I discovered it earlier in this thread and managed to grab a copy on-line. Still awaiting its arrival. I'm going to organize what I have so far and then set off on the quest for service records and the war diary of the Battalion for the days around the 27th. Now I see others were killed that same day, it doesn't seem so odd; and your comments about constant shelling make perfect sense.
  20. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Gents - would this be the War Diary for the bn??

    Reference: WO 171/1284
    1 Dorsetshire Regiment
    Date: 1944 Jan.- July
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description

    Polly - if you want a copy I would suggest contacting member Drew5233 - http://ww2talk.com/index.php?members/drew5233.6786/ he often goes to Kew and copies these files (and its cheaper than Kew can copy them, but dont tell anyone :rolleyes:)

    Steve Mac likes this.

Share This Page