2615265 Albert Richard BREEN, 1 Grenadier Guards

Discussion in 'The Brigade of Guards' started by Stephen SB, May 10, 2020.

  1. Stephen SB

    Stephen SB Member

    Hello !
    My wife’s uncle was a Grenadier Guard killed on the 29th April 1945 helping to liberate Sandbostel Concentration Camp. We have recently had access to his letters and some other details after the death of his sister. His name was Sergeant Albert Breen and he is interred at the The Becklingen War Cemetery Luneburg Heath area. We would be interested in any details of his experiences especially from DDay if anyone has got the Grenadier Guards history of these events. Regards Steve

    Service Number 2615265
    Died 29/04/1945
    Aged 26
    1st Bn. Grenadier Guards
    Son of Richard James Breen, and of Bessie Edith Breen, of Norwich.
    Location: Niedersachsen, Germany
    Number of casualties: 2303
    Cemetery/memorial reference: 3. A. 4.
    See cemetery plan

    My wife’s uncle Sergeant Albert Breen Grenadier Guards was killed on the final action at Sandbostel Concentration Camp. He is interred at the Becklingen War Cemetery. We are interested to find out some more information about the Guards Company especially from DDay onwards. Stephen B
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  2. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Welcome to the forum.

    Here is a link to the online WW2 Regimental
    History -


    Unfortunately you can’t download a copy but once you know which Battalion he was with you can follow his progress.

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  3. Stephen SB

    Stephen SB Member

    Many thanks, Looking at his many letters he was in No3 Company 1st Motor Battalion GG The Kings Company. Stephen
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  4. Sibs

    Sibs New Member

    Hi Stephen

    My wife’s great uncle L/Cpl Fred Bailey was killed alongside Albert Breen on 29 April at Sandbostel ! He is buried next to him....we visited the grave in 2017 as well as the excellent museum at Sandbostel itself. I would love to share the information I have with you.....


  5. Stephen SB

    Stephen SB Member

    Hello Martyn
    I am just resending my reply. I am sorry I have not contacted you earlier I have only just seen your post. I would be very interested in any information you have. We did visit the cemetery and note Fred Bailey’s grave next to Albert Breen. We did not go to the concentration camp as we were not aware of that connection at the time.

    Kind regards Steve ( sjbiddle(at)gmail.com )

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  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Stephen

    You might like to edit your post above with the email address in - revise the '@' symbol to 'AT' as this is a public forum and bots search them for details such as email address's

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  7. Stephen SB

    Stephen SB Member

    Thanks it looks as though the Email address was adjusted anyway.
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  8. Stephen SB

    Stephen SB Member

    Hi Martyn
    Sorry about late reply, I would be very interested in the information you have. sjbiddleATgmail.com
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  9. Debbie B.

    Debbie B. Member

    Hello, my name is Debbie and sometimes I work as a volunteer in the
    Sandbostel Camp Memorial
    First of all it is not a concentration camp. It never was. It was a prisoner of war camp. The Stalag XB. At the end of war for a very short time there where some prisoner of an concentration camp they took these prisoners on a death marsh and came with that to Sandbostel in April 1945 shortly before the camp was liberated by the british soldiers on the 29.4.45. How do you know that you family members liberated the camp Sandbostel and died there. The Sandbostel Museum tries to find out who of the soldiers died that liberated the camp. I found a list from Becklingen and my personal thinking is that Serjeant Albert Richard Breen, Lance Corporal Frederick Henry Atkins, Lance Corporal Frederick William Bailey, Guardsman Raymond Charles Reeve, Guardsman James J Fee and Lieutenant William Hallam Hogg liberated the camp and died. On the list it is written that they where burried in Zeven and than later where burried in Becklingen. On a other list I found Guardsman Maxwell Simeon Hardy who died like all the others on the 29th of April 1945 and Driver John Sydney Towell he died on the 2nd of Mayv1945. Maybe he was injured and died later. The last two where burried in Sandbostel and came later also to Becklingen. Did all these soldiers liberated Sandbostel and died infact of it? Knows anyone of you more about it so that we can know for sure that they lost their lives by liberating the camp?
    Maybe someone of you can please help to clear the circumstances.
    The pictures are from Sandbostel how it looks now. 20210321_162604.jpg

    Attached Files:

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  10. Stephen SB

    Stephen SB Member

    Hello Debbie. Many thanks for your message. We did visit Becklingen War Cemetery and the grave of Sergeant Albert Breen, my wife’s uncle. We did not know about Sandbostel, at the time, but found out a lot more after the death of my wife’s mother when we read many letters from Albert and from his comrades after his death. The letters all describe Sandbostel as a “Concentration Camp” but we understand the difference that you mentioned.

    Approaching another anniversary of Albert’s death so close to the end of the war we will remember him again and especially through the letters from him that we have read. One day we would like to visit Sandbostel and perhaps meet you. Kind regards Stephen and Christine
    Debbie B. likes this.
  11. Debbie B.

    Debbie B. Member

    Dear Christine and Stephen,
    Feel free to contact me then. You are more than welcome to visit Sandbostel. On the Sandbostel Homepage there will be an online ceremony for the liberation date be shown on the 29th of April. Everyone with a connection to Sandbostel can sent something for an kind of online memorial before. You find Informationen on the Homepage. Just Google Gedenkstätte Lager Sandbostel and you will find the Homepage. Maybe you want to sent a picture for it or write something down. I hope to hear from you again.
    Best wishes

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