4987352 Pte Geoffrey Oakes 5th Bn Sherwood Foresters MM

Discussion in 'Italy' started by G.Wright, Jul 10, 2024.

  1. G.Wright

    G.Wright Member

    Hi all ... recently joined the forum and have had a good look through for threads concerning the 5th N/D (TF) for WW2 and its time on the Gothic Line in Italy.
    I am fortunate to be the custodian of the MM group to Pte Oakes and apart from a small amount of info I have seen in the Barclay's History of the regiment in WW2 concerning the time period and his recommendation I have found out very little else.
    I note that Mike S. has written a book on the 5th T.F and have sent him a message.
    I am aware that there is a citation for Lt Wright's M.C that confirms what is in Pte Oakes's below.
    Many thanks.

    MM Rec.PNG MMRec 1.PNG

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 12, 2024 at 9:38 AM
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  2. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron


    Neither the name or service number have appeared here before.

    An online search using "5th Sherwood Foresters" site:ww2talk.com came back with confusing results as there had been 1/5 and 2/5 battalions. On a glance none were for August 1944. Appears to be the same with "5 Sherwood Foresters" site:ww2talk.com

    See for divisional / regimental histories: 1st British Infantry Division Histories - Digital Versions Posts 13. 15 and 16 appear to have the regimental history. I have not looked beyond pg.1.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2024
  3. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    From memory, the term 1/5 FORESTERS was dropped in favour of 5 FORESTERS although I cannot remember why.

  4. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    At the moment I can't find a answer in the two volumes of Order Of Battle Second World War 39-45 Prepared By Lieut-Col. H. F. Jolsen. These volumes normally give a answer. Then again we had 14 Foresters of 18 Infantry Brigade. 14 Battalions of any regiment?

    In the case of the Middlesex Regiment you had 1/7 & 2/7. My understanding is the first & second battalions. Would need to check the Battalion history. Same with the 1/4 and 1/5 Essex Regt.

  5. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Mist over Dartmoor

    139th (Sherwood Foresters) Brigade - Wikipedia

    From the link above:
    Order of battle, Second World War
    The brigade was constituted as follows:[8][9]

    2/5th Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment
    2/5th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters (redesignated 5th Battalion on 1 March 1943)
    9th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters (until 28 December 1939)
    139th Infantry Brigade Anti-Tank Company (formed 17 August 1940, joined 46th Reconnaissance Battalion 10 July 1941)[10]
    16th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry (from 28 December 1940)
    From 23 December 1942 to 3 February 1943 the brigade was constituted as a brigade group with the following additional units under command:[8]
    70th (West Riding) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery

    http://daimler-fighting-vehicles.co.uk/The Story of the 46th Infantry Division Part 1.pdf
    229th Anti-Tank Battery, Royal Artillery
    379th Light Anti-Aircraft Battery, Royal Artillery
    270th Field Company, Royal Engineers
    C Squadron, 46th Recce Regiment

    http://daimler-fighting-vehicles.co.uk/The Story of the 46th Infantry Division Part 2.pdf


    46th Infantry Division (United Kingdom) - Wikipedia

    Sherwood Foresters - Wikipedia
    The 2/5th (Derbyshire) Battalion was formed as a 2nd-Line duplicate of the 1/5th Battalion, raised in 1939 when the TA was doubled in size.
    It was renamed the 5th Battalion after the loss of the 1/5th in Malaya in February 1942.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2024 at 12:08 AM
  6. Hi Gary

    My book is not yet published, hopefully sometime next year. But I can add a little to the information that you have on Pte Oakes.

    Attached is an account of the action by Lt Wright which appears in a collection of personal recollections ‘On Active Service’, there are copies in the Mercian Regiment Archive and the Nottinghamshire Archive Wright does not mention Oakes by name but from the account he must be the ginger-haired lad from Chesterfield, though Wright also says he used a jack-knife not a bayonet!

    Oakes MM was gazetted on 8 February 1945, in the announcement of his MM in the Nottingham Journal the next day he is shown as being from Sheffield. But Geoffrey Oakes can be found on the 1939 register, his address is definitely Chesterfield. He seems to have worked in metal casting, so perhaps moved to Sheffield for work. He was born 16 Dec. 1923 so still only 20 when he won his medal. He married in Lincoln in 1947.

    How did you come to acquire his medals? I am in contact with a relative of his wife’s family and I am sure they would be interested. If you are agreeable for me to share your details with them please contact me through private chat.

    Michael Somerville

    Attached Files:

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  7. The 5th Foresters were the Derbyshire territorial battalion pre-war (the 8th being the Nottinghamshire TA Bn). Post Munich when the TA doubled in size they were split into the 1/5th and 2/5th. In 1941 the 1/5th ended up being sent to the Far East and surrendered at Singapore. I guess the War Office decided it was bad for morale to keep referring to the 2/5th as such, so in February 1943 they were retitled the 5th Battalion. The post-war battalion associations till referred to itself as the 2/5th though.
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