3 Coldstream Guards - Italy 1944

Discussion in 'The Brigade of Guards' started by naisbitt, Sep 2, 2014.

  1. naisbitt

    naisbitt Member

    Hello, I am new to this site and an innocent to the ways of military history ...
    My purpose in being here is to seek any information about 3 Coldstream Guards during the Italian Campaign 1943-11944. I am particularly interested in the drive from Rome in early June '44 until the liberation of Florence in the 1st days of August 1944, when 3 Coldstream Guards were, I believe, part of 6th South African Armoured Division. My grandfather was killed on the final approaches to Florence on 27th July 1944 on the outskirts of a village called Strada on the road from Greve to Florence.
    I would dearly love to know any detailed information and precise location of this, his his last battle and would be most grateful for anyone who might be able to point me in the right direction.
    Thank you,
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive


    If you'd like copies of the units war diaries drop me a quick message or click the red link below for more info.

  3. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Could you post your grandfathers name etc please?


    Steve Y
  4. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    It's a bit odd but it was 24tth Guards bde which was in 6th Sth African div after Rome BUT - no mention of 3rd Coldstreamers - 6th SA took overfrom
    - 21st Tanks and 1st Cdn Inf Div at Agnani after Rome…..Google for 6th Armoured Div South Africa for a fair commentary…

  5. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Did not 24th Guards Brigade, which joined up with 6th SA Armoured in May 1944, at that time comprise:

    5th Bttn, Grenadier Guards,
    1st Bttn, Scots Guards
    3rd Bttn, Coldstream Guards (who joined the brigade after Anzio).


    edit - extra grammar and extra info.
    dbf likes this.
  6. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    3CG converted for Italy from a motorised to an infantry bn. On 11 May the plan for after Cassino was for them to become lorried infantry of 24th Gds Brigade under 6th SA Armd Div, which was achieved later in May when they joined up with 11th SA Armd and 12th SA Motor Bdes, working alongside Pretoria (Armd) Regt (Princess Alice's Own). The bn was with them at Greve on 27th July.

    According to wiki 24 Gds Bde joined 6th SA Armd Div on 20th May

    The details would be contained in the battalion's war diary, as Drew has mentioned, and in case you don't already have a copy of The Coldstream Guards by Howard & Sparrow:
    There is a rough map in appendices, which I will try to attach later, of route taken from Rome to Florence by both 2nd and 3rd Bns CG, but again details would be better found in war diary.

    CWGC results for

    3CG, 27 July 1944
    001 ATKINS CJ 2662335 3RD BN 27/07/1944 COLDSTREAM GUARDS
    002 BLACKNER A 2666187 3RD BN 27/07/1944 COLDSTREAM GUARDS
    003 DRAKES CL 2654176 3RD BN 27/07/1944 COLDSTREAM GUARDS
    004 KING JG 2653303 3RD BN 27/07/1944 COLDSTREAM GUARDS
    005 REGAN G 14212468 3RD BN 27/07/1944 COLDSTREAM GUARDS

    Pretoria Regt, 27 July 1944
    001 DAVIDSON JP SR/598058V - 27/07/1944 PRETORIA REGIMENT, S.A. FORCES
    002 HURTER B 230716V - 27/07/1944 PRETORIA REGIMENT, S.A. FORCES
    003 LE ROUX JVP 230333V - 27/07/1944 PRETORIA REGIMENT, S.A. FORCES
    004 OTTO P 156555V - 27/07/1944 PRETORIA REGIMENT, S.A. FORCES
  7. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Cavendish's book [Accidents of Fortune, Andrew Devonshire] doesn't add much detail to the above:

    The recommendation for his Military Cross
    Screen shot 2014-06-25 at 13.29.58.png
    Recommendation for Award for Cavendish, Lord Andrew Rank: Lieutenant Service... | The National Archives
    Owen likes this.
  8. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    I have a lot of detail on the two battles of Monte Camino Nov-Dec 43 in which 3 COLDM GDS were involved if that is any use.


  9. naisbitt

    naisbitt Member

    Thank you all for your helpful and amazingly knowledgeable comments - all very interesting & useful!

    I am sorry I was confused by this site and thought this post had not been put on the site so today I have put another post asking for help with identifying the exact location of "Pt 302" which is mentioned in the citation for Andrew Cavendish's MC : "On Thursday 27 July 1944 No 4 Coy 3rd Bn Coldstream Guards, commanded by Lord Andrew Cavendish, was ordered to capture the feature, Pt 302, south of Strada"

    Does anyone know if it is possible to convert "Pt 302" to modern map coordinates please?
  10. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    Very much doubt it as - generally the PT 302 would refer to hill 302 metres/feet high in the area to distinguish it from

    other hills - there was the famous case of - I think the 4th Cdn Div - sitting on the wrong hill as there were two of the

    same size in the area…it happens…

  11. naisbitt

    naisbitt Member

    In response to dbf (thank you for such a detailed and interesting reply) and when the 3CG joined up with the Sth Africans, if you are interested my grandad mentions in his diary entry for Thursday 11th May they had a lecture by their Coy Commander explaining the 8th Army front and the new front in Russia but that "We stay put holding a vital line. 10 Corps consists of 2 Poland Div. French Div. 9 Indian Div. & 24 Gds Bde, C.G.C.C.-S.C. 1,000 guns on 5th and 1,000 guns on 8th army go to barrage tonight. Big push all round."
    On Friday 26th May they have another lecture "... on the new division. Preparing to move."
    On 26th May they pass through Cassino and on 27th May he reports " All Pltn Sgts & Officers visit our new South African Armoured Division. Wireless & tanks demonstration. I see my tank & have tea & gin with tank crew. "Rhodesians" Good chaps. One tank per pltn. Told at 9pm we move tomorrow."
    dbf likes this.
  12. naisbitt

    naisbitt Member

    Apologies, previous post should say that on 27th May they passed through Cassino and on Sunday 28th May they met their new Sth African comrades.
  13. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    I'm very interested in your grandfather's diary, I'm sure others would be too, it's a rare enough thing to have. If you are willing it'd be a great thing to be shared on the forum, no worries if you feel it's too private. However, it'd be a very worthwhile exercise for you to compare his comments against the entries in the Bn war diary mentioned above which are held at The National Archives Kew. Something which others here have done, incl a few veterans themselves. A few diaries have been known to include sketch maps.

    Have you applied to Wellington Barracks already for a copy of his service records?

    Meant to add earlier - you're asking about positions for Cavendish's No. 4 Coy - do you know if your grandfather was in this Coy?
  14. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 17.09.44.png
    The Coldstream Guards, Howard & Sparrow, Map IV Appendices


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
    4jonboy and Drew5233 like this.
  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    From the Battalions war diary.

    dbf likes this.
  16. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    From Andy's post above ..

    27 July
    1300 hours
    3 Company were brought up to work round 2 Company flank up to Point 257, Map Ref 833544 and 4 Company came into the picture first, on feature 254, Map Ref 8253, and then at Point 302, Map Ref 8154, from where they were moved on and were met with very heavy MMG and mortar fire and were pinned down on the South of their ridge, suffering 25 casualties."

    The map sheet for two days before was given as Map Sheet 113

    Some members more used to the Italian campaign might be able to make some sense of these and find modern co-ordinates.
  17. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

  18. Richard Lewis

    Richard Lewis Member

    Sheet 113 is here.

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  19. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

  20. naisbitt

    naisbitt Member

    Good morning and my great thanks for all the information, brilliant!

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