4203587 William Charles GEE, 1st Bn South Wales Borderers: 1942 POW Tobruk; d. 1945

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Onno van meurs, Sep 5, 2020.

  1. I recently adopted a wargrave near my hometown of private William charles Gee. here is wat I already know... snr 4203587 born 27 juni 1913 married to Lilian Gee living in Pendleton ,Salford.
    Captured in Tobruk on 17 juni 1942 pownr 30914 at lamsdorf.. stalagVIIIB. He died 29 april 1945 was burried at Margraten (nl) and reburried at Venray war cemetry(nl)
    I know that lamsdorf was liberated by the russians.
    Can anyone help me with fowing questions.
    The route he took from tobruk via italy? To lamsdorf.can I find that info online?
    After liberation the possible route he took to allied territory
    His couse of death?
    When looking at his waregrave form you can find them at ..commonwealth waregraves .org on his grave conformationreport at collum 7 it says d/p/w and at the end there is a reportnumber. Where can i find that report
    Casualty Details | CWGC
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    His number 4203587 shows he originally enlisted into
    Royal Welch Fusiliers 4178001 - 4256000

    Army Number Block Allocations

    SWB enlistments are South Wales Borderers 3902001 - 3947000
  3. Tnx's I will trie to find info there. However he died as an swb. That's what his waregrave report says
  4. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    In Italy he was held in Camp PG 52, which was at Coreglia Ligure, near Chiavari.


    From the register of prisoners of the Italians, WO 392/21, The National Archives London.

    Owen likes this.
  5. Tnx vitellino:cheers:
    Why couldn't I find this?
    How do you do that ?
    I am still learning
  6. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    From the RWF Enlistment register looks like he joined them 24/6/40 but fairly soon after moved to the SWB's 8/10/40

    Tony56 and Owen like this.
  7. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron


    Welcome aboard. There is plenty of expertise here, so others hopefully will be able to help.

    As Private Gee was taken prisoner @ Tobruk, it is very likely he was initially held in an Italian POW camp, in Italy, as the Italians took responsibility for all prisoners taken in North Africa. After the Italian capitulation in September 1943 (signed on the 3rd and made public on the 8th) most POW were transferred by the Germans to their camps north of the Alps, in this case in Silesia (then Germany, now Poland). Some camps were emptied quickly, others took several weeks. One was evacuated in March 1944 and another SWB NCO was injured when his train was bombed by the USAAF. See: Allerona - Wikipedia

    It is very likely that Pte. Gee joined the march westwards as the Soviets approached, ending up in Stalag VII-A @ Moosburg, in southern Bavaria, which was liberated by the US Army on 29/4/1945. I have relied on: Stalag VIII-B - Wikipedia and: Stalag VII-A - Wikipedia

    This website might help a lot more:
    Link: Story Map Series There several interviews and you would have to check these to see if Pte. Gee or the SWB are mentioned. Note thousands of POW were marched across Germany.

    The CWGC website for Venray shows others died just close to Liberation, not in large numbers.

    How was he captured? A question you did not ask I know. This gives some details of the battalion's grim baptism of fire days or slightly more after arriving in North Africa: BBC - WW2 People's War - 1st Batt South Wales Borderers 1942 and South Wales Borderers - Wikipedia There is a video too: that gives background in the run up to Tobruk.
  8. Can You explain what the numbers mean 52 and at the end 22?
  9. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    PG means Prigioniero di Guerra (Prisoner of War)
    52 is the number given to the camp by the Italian Ministry of Defence
    22 was the number of the record office in the United Kingdom


    Owen likes this.
  10. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    William Gee was reported on four Army casualty lists as follows:-

    Expeditionary Forces / Middle East / Western Desert
    1st Bn South Wales Borderers 4203587 GEE Pte WC

    Casualty List No. 879 Dated 18 July 1942
    Reported Missing 21.6.42
    (Note: 197 others from the same regiment also reported missing on this list)

    Casualty List No. 925 Dated 10 Sept 1942
    Missing believed POW

    Casualty List No. 933 Dated 19 Sept 1942
    POW (Previously reported missing)

    Casualty List No. 1969 Dated 25 Jan 1946
    Previously reported POW now reported died 29.4.45

    Prisoner of war reports

    Camp No - 8B
    POW No - 30914
    Name - GEE WC
    Rank - Pte
    Army No - 4203587
    Regt - SWB
    Record Office No - 22

    Camp No - 52
    Name - GEE WC
    Rank - Pte
    Army No - 4203587
    Regt - SWB
    Record Office No - 22

    Camp No - 344
    POW No - 30914
    Name - GEE WC
    Rank - Pte
    Army No - 4203587
    Regt - SWB
    Record Office No - 22
    Owen likes this.
  11. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Manchester Evening News, Wednesday, 31 March, 1943
    Deacs, AB64, dbf and 1 other person like this.
  12. Guys... how do you do this..
    I am surching for 2 weeks, was verry proud what I allready found ,
    but you all solve my case allmost compleetly within hours
    I ill study all the material you gave me
    Thanks a lot you all
    The only thing I need is a foto off him. I found out that there is one but due to covid restrictions I have to wait till the end of september
    I now only have to find out how he die and I want to try finding his family
  13. dear Tony,
    My friend.. you made me cry
    How can I THANK YOU
  14. ik presume on the picture it's the left one
  15. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Yes, I agree.

    His father served in WW1:
    Gee Snr.jpg
  16. I also saw something like That but wanted to focus on the son frist. But this is also very interesting.
  17. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    In a census taken on 29 September 1939 the family are living at 4 Lister Street, Salford:
    Gee 1939.jpg
    Unfortunately not a great copy.

    Do not take the following as fact although I believe likely:
    Charles Gee married Lillian Beckett Quarter 2 1937, son Charles was born in 1938, but possibly died in 2003.
    The closed record in the census is possibly a daughter Audrey, born Quarter 2, 1939.
    After William's death Lillian Gee married Daniel Matthews 15/7/46.

  18. I treed to find listerstreet on Google earth but that street doesn't exist anymore
  19. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    Large parts of Salford have been redeveloped in the last thirty years, so not surprised it has gone!
  20. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    You are correct, it has gone now, but was here:
    Google Maps

    Lister St.jpg
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