2nd battalion, Middlesex Regiment help please

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by Fiona Buchan-Ng, Jul 22, 2019.

  1. I wonder if anyone can help me. My father JTS Buchan was transferred from the 209 (w) field ambulance unit to this battalion in March 1944. He was a Medical Officer. All I can ever find about this regiment is troup/equipment movements etc.
    Are there any records anywhere that capture what medical teams did and what company they were attached to? How close were they to the front line? How closely did they follow the machine gun unit? Does anyone have a copy of the War Diaries for this regiment from March 1944 to November 1945?
    My father kept a copy of RB Moberlys book "Second Battalion, The Middlesex Regiment, Campaign in NW Europe June 6th 1944 to May 7th 1945". He put some wonderful mementos in their including german currency, circus programmes, copies of the "News Brevities" etc. The book talks about the troups, and there is nothing about the attached field ambulance.
    Help please
  2. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum.

    A quick suggestion until others come on board, contact/visit the Museum of Military Medicine: The Museum of Military Medicine. It is in Aldershot, England.

    I visited it when I lived in England in the 70's, I found it very interesting at the time.

    stolpi likes this.
  3. Thank you Mark. I appreciate your suggestion. It will be another couple of years until I get to the UK, and when I do there are a number of places I would like to visit. I will add this to my list.
    BFBSM likes this.
  4. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I've replied you your email Fiona.
  6. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Hi Fiona,

    you could try & obtain a book that has the title has follows: The Middlesex Regiment 1919-1952 by Lt- Commander P.K. Kemp. It will not be cheap. Chapter IV. 2nd Battalion, 39-45 has about 60 pages. I'm sure I've come across the above book that you mention. I would have to check my deleted images of the front covers. If its the same one, then that is also rather expensive! I once came across a copy of Kemp's book that had a leather bound & was going for somewhere in the region of £100.00.

    Fiona, does the above look familiar? Moberley ( Major) Second Battalion The Middlesex Regiment (D.C.O.) Campaign in N.W. Europe, June 6th, 1944, through till May 7th, 1945. 1st Ed; 148 pp; 38 photos; 8 Sketch maps. What strikes me about this, is that appears to have been printed in Cairo: Schindler 1946.. Weird.

    MG Battalion of 3 British Infantry Division, in action Normandy from D.day on-wards; breakout, advance through France, Belgium & Holland to Germany. Roll of Honour, awards, nominal roll of all who served in 44-45. A scarce copy.

    Stu. Edit, welcome to the board.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2019
    Fiona Buchan-Ng likes this.
  7. Richard Lewis

    Richard Lewis Member

    Not so weird Stu, 2 MX, as part of 3 Inf Div went to the Middle East (Egypt and Palestine) in
    November October 1945 until 1948 May 1948.


    Edit: Dates amended after reading the Journals, the links to which Charley F provided in post #4.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
  8. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Hi Richard,

    I was going to question your source & its a good job i did not. Robin Mcnish's book, IRON DIVISION The History of the 3rd Division 1809- 2000 does mention that they went to Middle East. Not had the chance to check the ASSAULT DIVISION by Norman Scarfe.

    So, its not has weird has I thought.

    Thanks for your correction.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2019
  9. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

  10. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    I got some brilliant information about Hong Kong post-war. Real granular detail. I can only wish that the Essex Regiment would digitise their collection of The Eagle, but I fear it's a pipe dream
  11. Hi Stu,
    Sorry about taking so long to replay. I have my fathers copy of the Moberley book, and during September/October this year we followed its footsteps. Every day we would come across things in villages that were mentioned in the book. It became a wee bit like a bible. The most mind-blowing life changing experience ever. I have finally come to understand that my father was the Regimental Medical Officer and "ran" the Regimental Aid Post for his regiment;. He must have been very close to the action.
  12. They did go to the Middle East. My father took many photos of Egypt. My parents were married there.
  13. Richard Fisher

    Richard Fisher Machine Gunner

    Hi Fiona

    if you want to understand how the machine gun battalion worked and was organised then I’ve got a lot of information here: Divisional (Machine Gun) Battalions

    We do have copies of the war diaries for 2 Middlesex, as well as a book called ‘A CANLOAN Officer’ written by Rex Fendick who was a subaltern in the battalion which gives more personal perspective.


  14. Richard, this is amazing. Thank you so much. Do you have any information on Regimental Aid Posts? I have seen what I think is an old film of an RAP in action at Escaut, WW2. Not sure of its authenticity. I will search for a copy of the "A Canloan Officer".
    I really appreciate your input here.
  15. Richard Fisher

    Richard Fisher Machine Gunner

    It's quite possible that the film is correct. There was an Army Film and Photographic Unit (AFPU) in the 2 Middlesex area now and again. They mainly focused on the 4.2-inch mortars but would have included other items in the area.

    Your father is first mentioned in the war diary on 22 April 1944 for spending a week with B Company while they were in Jedburgh (image attached). He's then mentioned on the nominal roll of officers as being taken on strength on 17 March 1944.

    We've always had a close affiliation to 2 Middlesex as I knew Rex Fendick (CANLOAN) as he was writing his memoir and the living history element of the Association has portrayed the battalion on a number of occasions, most recently this June.

    We have been sharing the full war diaries on a month-by-month basis of the battalion on our Patreon page as well. It's a subscription / donation based page but provides us with extra space and archiving options. I also tweeted the moment-by-moment entries for the Battle of Normandy.


    Attached Files:

    BFBSM likes this.
  16. Richard, you are an absolute mine of information. I have ordered a copy of Canloan Officer. I should receive it mid to late January. Fantastic. I loved the file you sent. On Dads War Record it talks about him being assigned to the Battalion, and the dates tie up with what you are saying. It says that my Dad embarked on the 3rd June for Normandy. I was never sure exactly when he landed.
    So, now I am going to explore your Patreon page.
    A couple of things: Do you have a copy of the battalion officers photo taken at Rowlands Castle? I also have photos that Dad took, of the officers on Albuhera day (16th May), Schloss Langelage. There are also photos of officers at Hullen (Germany) June 1945. Would you like copies?
    Richard Fisher likes this.
  17. Richard Fisher

    Richard Fisher Machine Gunner

    I'll have a look through the war diary to see when the RAP landed but it was probably with Bn HQ as all of the machine gun companies landed with their assigned brigades. The only photos that we have are those in Moberley's book as it's the same photos (mostly) that are in CANLOAN Officer - Rex just copied them. We have the Middlesex Regiment history as well but there's not much in there if I remember rightly - it had to cover all battalions for all of the war.

  18. JDKR

    JDKR Member

    Hi Fiona

    The site's very own Trux has some solid information on medical organizations. This is what it says about RAPs for infantry battalions and I wouldn't expect the RAP for a MG battalion to be radically different (perhaps it wouldn't have had the stretcher bearers):

    Medical personnel were listed as part of Regimental Headquarters. A Regimental Aid Post was set up to the rear and its position made known to all personnel. Here would be a Medical Officer from the Royal Army Medical Corps. He would be a fully qualified doctor a held the rank of captain. The Medical Officer was assisted by a medical serjeant who was trained in emergency treatment and carried a medical hamper with dressings and drugs. There was also a Medical Officers orderly who was provided by the battalion and acted as driver and general non medical assistant. Working to the Aid Post were the stretcher bearers who were trained in first aid. They were allocated to companies as required. All stretcher bearers could be armed with a Sten gun for self defence. In peace time the battalion band doubled as stretcher bearers.
    Medical Officer
    medical officers orderly/driver
    medical serjeant
    corporal stretcher bearer
    19 X stretcher bearers.

    Trux also has information on MG battalions if you want to widen the scope of your research.

    Best. John
    Fiona Buchan-Ng likes this.
  19. Do you think Rexs' family would be interested in my photos? Rex may be in one of them
  20. Thank you John. Much appreciated

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